Saturday, January 7, 2017




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This is CNN STUDENT NEWS.

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I`m Carl Azuz at the CNN Center.

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First up in today`s commercial-free coverage,
the U.S. Army has charged Sergeant Bo Bergdahl

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with desertion and misbehavior before the

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enemy when he left his post in Afghanistan.
Sergeant Bergdahl is expected to be court-martialed,

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meaning he could be tried in a military court
for

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his alleged crimes. If convicted, he could
be dishonorably discharged and imprisoned.

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Bergdahl was the longest held U.S. prisoner
of war since the conflict in Vietnam. Securing

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his release was a top priority for President
Obama,

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who said the U.S. does not leave its soldiers
behind.

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But the way the Obama administration secured
Bergdahl`s release was controversial. It didn`t

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notify Congress about it 30 days in advance,
as

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law requires. It exchanged five Taliban prisoners
held at Guantanamo Bay for Bergdahl. U.S.

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intelligence reports have suggested that one
of these

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former prisoners had since contacted the Taliban.

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The night Bo Bergdahl disappeared from his
post in the summer of 2009, he was 23 years

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old. The

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Army sergeant`s gun, bullet-proof vest and
his night vision goggles were all found in

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his bunk.

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From that moment, the U.S. military would
spend almost five years looking for and negotiating

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for Bergdahl`s release.

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Our commanders are sparing no effort to find
this young soldier.

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It`s a saga that still isn`t over for the
soldier who is now 28 years old.

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When Bo Bergdahl disappeared, he was stationed
at a U.S. military outpost in Paktika Province,

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in Southeastern Afghanistan. He was

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supposed to be on a guard shift that night.
This was his first deployment as a U.S. soldier

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and he had been in Afghanistan less than two
months.

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Other soldiers in his unit have described
Bergdahl as a deserter and a traitor to his

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country.

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I think he just wanted to go on an adventure
without having anybody to answer to, without

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having

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anything to worry about. He wanted to be able
to go out and see Afghanistan for himself

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without, you know, the Army stopping him.

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Bergdahl would end up in the hands of the
Taliban. Intensive efforts to find Bergdahl

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in those early days of his disappearance

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failed. And before long, Bergdahl`s captors
would start showing off their prized capture

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in propaganda videos.

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In the propaganda, that the Army grounded
us in, in fact, this is exactly why we are

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hated not only by the

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afghans, but by many people in the world.

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The U.S. government believed Bergdahl was
then passed around between Taliban captors

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and members of what`s called the Haqqani

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Network, which would have taken him into Pakistan
at some point.

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For Bergdahl`s mother and father in Idaho,
these videos would be the only proof of life

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they`d see of their son.

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Get me to be released.

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Frustrated by the slow progress in finding
his son, Bob Bergdahl grew out his beard as

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a sign of solidarity with Bowe and started

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teaching himself to speak Pashtu, the language
of his captors.

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Bob Bergdahl would later receive scathing
criticism as a Taliban sympathizer for growing

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the beard.

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A father does not leave his son alone on the
battlefield.

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Then in May of last year, after several years
of negotiating, the Obama administration agreed

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to release five Taliban

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prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay for Bowe
Bergdahl.

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He was brought to this field in a remote area
of Khost Province and handed over to a U.S.

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Special Forces unit. One of the soldiers told
Bowe

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Bergdahl on the chopper ride out, "We`ve been
looking for you for a long time."

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Ed Lavandera, CNN, Dallas.

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Heinz probably makes you think of ketchup.
Other Heinz brands include Nancy`s, Ore Ida,

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Poppers, Bagel Bites and Smart Ones. Kraft

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brings to mind mac and cheese. Other Kraft
brands include A1, Capri Sun, Cracker Barrel,

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Kool-Aid and Miracle Whip. According to "USA
Today," 98

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percent of American households have some kind
of Kraft product in them.

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The two businesses are planning to merge,
forming the Kraft Heinz Company. We say planning

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because the merger must first be approved
by the

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U.S. government, whose anti-trust laws aim
to prevent monopolies.

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The Kraft Heinz Company would allow the businesses
to grow, to cut down on costs and to better

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accommodate the changing tastes of consumers
as

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more Americans look for fresh local foods
over processed and shipped products.

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Kraft Heinz would be the world`s fifth largest
food and beverage company.

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A lot of you are dreaming of going to the
beach this summer. The sea, sand, sun and

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swimming -- hopefully not with these. A massive
school of

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sharks, likely black tips and spinners, was
recently spotted near the Louisiana coast.

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Experts say it`s normal. They typically migrate
north as

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the weather and water warm up. It may be a
little early this year, though. And while

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black tipped sharks aren`t likely to eat you,
they do account for

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about 16 percent of the shark attacks in Florida.
They`re relatively small sized. Black tips

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usually weigh between 40 and 55 pounds. That
means the

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bite wounds people sometimes get from them
are pretty minor.

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Roll Call

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Time for the call of the Roll.

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Let`s see who`s watching and requesting a
mention at cnnstudentnews.com.

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East Windsor High School is in Connecticut.
And it`s The Panthers who are stalking CNN

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STUDENT NEWS from East Windsor.

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Paducah Tilghman High School is in Kentucky.
Its mascot is the tornado and it`s whirling

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our way from Paducah.

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And in Central America, in the capital of
Guatemala, hello to the students at Colegio

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Interamericano at Guatemala City.

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Between the nations of Israel and Jordan is
a landlocked body of water whose shores are

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more than 1,300 feet below sea level. It`s
The Dead Sea,

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which is actually a lake. It`s called dead
because it`s so high in salt and minerals

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that fish and plants can`t live in it.

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Water levels in this lowest lake on Earth
are getting lower.

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This is The Alito Hotel (ph), built on the
shores of the Dead Sea.

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No one was around to see King Herod`s view,
but many middle-aged Israelis remember walking

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through

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this once swank lobby and right into the waves.

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The Dead Sea is way, way down there.

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My goodness, are you serious?

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So where -- the water line was where?

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The water line was actually right at the steps.
The demise of the Dead Sea is completely manmade.

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This is not climate change. You

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know, this is not an act of nature. The demise
of the Dead Sea is taking place under government

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license.

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WEIR: He shows me a mural of an old crusader
map of the Jordan Valley and it`s a great

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way to get our bearings, to understand that
it all begins

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in the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus took that
famous walk across the waves. That is the

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main source of the River Jordan. And for centuries,
it flowed

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into the Dead Sea with enough force to keep
up with rapid evaporation under that scalding

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sun.

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But in the last 50 years, warring neighbors
began draining the Jordan.

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Israel took half of the River Jordan, another
quarter from Syria and another quarter from

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Jordan.

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WEIR: So there is no one villain in this manmade
disaster. It is a simple equation of too many

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people and not enough cooperation.

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As we drive down, down, down below sea level,
ears a popping, we see a liquid victim of

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all that conflict -- a lake unlike any other,
smooth as

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blueberry yogurt. Just imagine the elation
of ancient travelers seeing it for the first

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time. Water! In the desert.

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But then they got close and crunched across
a bizarro beach of salt. And instead of cool

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refreshment, found a thick mineral soup that
stings the

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eyes and burns the tongue.

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No wonder that for centuries, the Dead Sea
filled visitors with dread.

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WEIR: They say that splashing any of the Dead
Sea in your face is a sensation not unlike

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being pepper-sprayed -- or salt and pepper-sprayed
I

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suppose.

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And so one must ease into the warm and viscous
water, which feels like 90 degrees and almost

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slimy. But the floating, amazing.

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You need a bit of core muscle to keep from
flipping over, but otherwise if not for the

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blow torch sun, you could almost nap out here.

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Now, getting out brings the instant urge to
shower. So for most, this is a been there,

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done that kind of experience. But for hundreds
of

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thousands of people a year, this is not entertainment,
it is medicine.

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Before We Go

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From the lowest lake on Earth to its largest
known cave. Son Doong Cave was discovered

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in 1991, located near the border between Laos
and

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Vietnam, it`s gigantic. It has a jungle inside
of it. One of its chambers is three miles

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long.

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And thanks to a number of cave-ins, it has
its own skylights.

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A photographer used a drone to capture these
images of Son Doong. Ryan Deboodt says it

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took him eight days and involved a lot of
near misses

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with rocks.

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That`s easy to see. You stalagmite destroy
your drone flying it through such stalag-tight

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spaces. But it would be kind of spelunk-headed

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not to cave at the opportunity.

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I`m Carl Azuz and I am done droning on for
the day.

CNN Student News - Januay 7, 2017 - English Sub

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