Thursday, February 2, 2017


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Whether you`re watching in the classroom,
in office, at home or on the go -- thank you

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for taking 10 minutes for CNN 10.

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I`m Carl Azuz.

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The U.S. Supreme Court has had eight justices
serving on it since Associate Justice Antonin

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Scalia died suddenly last February. Four of
these justices

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were appointed by Republican presidents. Four
were appointed by Democratic presidents. So,

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on divisive cases, you can see how a 4-4 split
could

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hamper the court`s decision making process.

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Last March, then-President Barack Obama, a
Democrat, nominated a U.S. Appeals Court judge

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named Merrick Garland to replace Justice Scalia.
But

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Republicans who controlled the Senate argued
that the next U.S. president should appoint

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Scalia`s replacement. And they did not give
Judge Garland a

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hearing.

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With the new U.S. leader now in place, a new
nominee has been named. Tuesday night, President

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Donald Trump announced that Neil Gorsuch,
a U.S.

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Appeals Court judge, was his pick to fill
Scalia`s seat on the high court. The 49-year-old

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Judge Gorsuch is considered to be a conservative
jurist,

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like Scalia. The nominee studied at Columbia,
Harvard and Oxford Universities and President

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Trump says his qualifications are beyond

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dispute.

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But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi described
Gorsuch as a hostile appointment, who`s outside

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the American mainstream.

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Experts say Gorsuch is still likely to join
the Supreme Court bench. His Senate confirmation

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hearings are set to begin in six weeks.

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Federal judges, including Supreme Court justices,
serve for life. That`s why presidents regard

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these

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judicial appointments as such an important
way to extend their own legacies.

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Selecting Supreme Court justices.

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Steps to becoming a Supreme Court justice:

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Secure a presidential nomination. Sit before
the Senate Judiciary Committee. Receive confirmation

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by a Senate vote.

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The Constitution does not set out a resume
that a Supreme Court justice has to have.

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There`s no requirement in the Constitution
that a

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Supreme Court justice even be a lawyer. But
traditionally, presidents have nominated impeccably

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qualified sitting judges.

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Both presidents and senators like to say that
the confirmation process is all about qualifications.

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But it`s really also about politics. Virtually,

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every important issue in American politics
and even American life winds up in front of

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the Supreme Court, and they have the last
word. Both the

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president and the senators trying to figure
out how the nominee`s stance on the hot-button

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issues that the Supreme Court deals with and
that`s why the

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senators will vote yes or not.

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The Supreme Court is designed to operate with
nine justices. What makes Justice Scalia`s

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death so unusual in Supreme Court history
is that most

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justices announce that they plan to retire
and then a president nominates their successor.

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So, there is no vacancy at any point in the
Supreme

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Court. With eight justices, there are possibilities
for tie votes, which can create a significant

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amount of confusion in the law.

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Next, messages crisscrossing the Pacific Ocean.
A U.S. research institute says it looks like

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the Asian country of North Korea has restarted

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one of its nuclear reactors and it may be
using it to make plutonium for its controversial

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nuclear weapons program.

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The United Nations considers North Korea`s
nuclear and missile programs illegal. It`s

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repeatedly penalized the country for them.
But that hasn`t

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stopped the communist nation from moving forward
with nuclear production. And officials from

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the U.S. and South Korea say the North may
be testing

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more long-range missiles sometime soon.

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This is all happening as the new U.S. defense
secretary, James Mattis, heads overseas to

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visit Japan and South Korea. They`re both
American

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allies in the region and they`re both hoping
the Trump administration supports those alliances

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and addresses the threat posed by North Korea.

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Earlier this week, Secretary Mattis said America
was committed to defending South Korea.

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U.S. military helicopters test fire on the
South Korean soil, target practice.

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In case we are called to fight tonight, we
can. We can actually execute our mission at

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a moment`s notice, if we`re ordered to do

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so.

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On the peninsula still technically at war,
U.S. troops are key to a decade`s old deterrent

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against an unstable armed neighbor.

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U.S. troops train here 365 days a year, preparing
for the possibility of one day being called

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upon to potentially confront a threat

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from North Korea. This live fire training
complex is just about 10 miles away from the

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DMZ, between North Korea and South Korea.
Nearly every U.S.

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unit that deploys to South Korea will at one
point be sent here for training.

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The units are also part of annual exercises
with South Korea`s military, advanced training

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and an unmistakably warning that`s

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angered Kim Jong-un -- the erratic dictator
who`s believed to have an arsenal of between

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16 and 20 nuclear weapons.

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The construction of U.S. military post Camp
Humphreys is currently the Pentagon`s largest

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construction project in the world. The total
costs,

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$10.8 billion. South Korea will pay for more
than 90 percent of it. They also foot about

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half the bill when it comes to personnel cost
for 28,000

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U.S. soldiers stationed here.

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Ten-second trivia:

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Name the U.S. president who, in 1959, proclaimed
Hawaii as the 50th state. Was it Truman, Eisenhower,

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Kennedy or Johnson?

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Hawaii achieved statehood under President
Dwight D. Eisenhower, who served from 1953

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to 1961.

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And Hawaii is where our next story takes place
today. It involves surge (ph). In Hawaii Volcano

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National Park, lava is streaming into the

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sea. What it looks like a red bar in the center
of your screen is actually molten rock. It`s

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flowing quickly from Hawaii`s Kilauea Volcano,
raising

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through a lava tube and splashing into the
Pacific.

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The research team that observed this says
the entire cliff nearby could be unstable

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and that the explosions that occur as the
lava hits the cool water

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make the whole area dangerous on land and
sea. It`s the U.S. Geological Survey which

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posted this video, is telling people to avoid
the area.

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Today is a groundbreaking holiday in the U.S.
Yes, that`s a pun -- no, it`s not really a

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holiday. But it is a time when millions or
at least a

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handful of Americans look to a woodchuck,
not to see how much wood it would chuck, but

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to see what it says about the weather.

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Groundhog Day is a kind of ancient way of
forecasting. From semi-famous rodents like

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Punxsutawney Phil, General Beauregard Lee
or Staten Island

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Chuck, people are hoping to get a sense of
whether spring weather is coming soon. And

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if they don`t get an accurate sense of that,
at least they can

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have fun trying.

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Where exactly did this tradition come from?

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It`s Groundhog Day. Every year on February
2nd, it`s Groundhog Day. But this has been

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around for a long

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time. This is a German tradition that dates
back to the 1700. The Germans brought it over

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to the United States when they settled in
Pennsylvania.

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Now, on Groundhog Day, it all comes down to
this guy, Phil the Groundhog in Punxsutawney,

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Pennsylvania, whether he will see his shadow
or not. Now,

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Phil comes out of hibernation every year on
Groundhog Day, on February 2nd. If it`s a

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bright, sunny day, well, most likely, Phil
will see his shadow.

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But then, he will get scared, go back in his
hole, and go back to sleep, we`ll have winter

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for six more weeks. But if it`s a cloudy day,
a dreary

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day, and he comes out and does not see his
shadow, well, he`ll stay out. And that means

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spring will come early.

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Now, if you count up all of the years that
Phil has been forecasting, he basically sees

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his shadow about 85 percent of the time. So,
it`s most

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likely he`ll see his shadow. His owners think
he`s accurate 100 percent of the time, but

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if you ask meteorologists around the world,
well, we

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disagree. We think he`s wrong about 50 percent
of the time.

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Whether he sees his shadow or not though,
the official start to spring is March 20th.

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It`s time for a world record that`s totally
going to knock your socks off. Most people

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floating while holding hands. What? Do you

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believe this?

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Well, sure. It`s footage from a lake in Argentina.
It shows some of the 1,941 people who literally

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floated into the Guinness World Record books.

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Previous record was 634 people.

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These folks have a bit of an advantage. This
lake is 10 times saltier than the ocean and

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that helps people stay afloat.

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I want to know who first floated the idea.
Did he have an inflated ego? Was she full

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of hot air? How did they it hold water?

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Guess they figured, we`ll just hold our breath
and see. After all, it`s sink or swim. And

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if we keep our heads above the waves, it`s
likely we`ll

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sink that previous record.

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Hey, y`all, whatever floats your boat.

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I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10.

CNN Student News - February 2, 2017 - English Sub

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