CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Happy New Year. Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS and our first show of 2014. My name is Carl Azuz.
We`re starting off this January 6 program with a bang. Millions of them. Cities worldwide lit up their landmarks as the clocks struck midnight, January 1. One of the most remarkable fireworks displays was in the Middle East.
The United Arab Emirates has the world`s tallest building, biggest shopping mall and now the Guinness world record for largest fireworks display. The previous record, 77,000 fireworks in just over an hour. The new one, 500,000 and who cares how long it took.
Of course, some folks stayed in on New Year, some were stuck inside or inside an airport due to winter weather. Some were stuck in a ship. A group of scientists, journalists and tourists were trapped by sea ice on a holiday cruise to Antarctica.
They have plenty of food and supplies during the ten days they were stranded, but they had to be rescued by helicopter when another ship that tried to help also got stuck in ice. How does that happen?
AZUZ: You`d think that because this is a glacial environment, sea ice would move in a glacial pace. Not the case. Roughs of ice move quickly, rushed over the sea by wind. They can expand and grow thicker, rise and fall with the waves beneath them. And blizzard conditions common to Antarctica even in summer, don`t help.
You might remember this scene from Minnesota, when wind blew ice ashore from Mille Lacs Lake, climbing and cracking in the doors and window. Think of the same principle and a massive frigid sea.
And you can see how a Russian research vessel en route to the Antarctic got trapped, how Ernest Shackleton in "The Endurance" were surrounded, and how that ship was eventually crushed. Even animals used to these conditions like the trapped whales dramatized in last year`s movie "Big Miracle" are vulnerable.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see that? AZUZ: So, what does it take to get through the ice and rescue whales, cruise ships or anything else that get stranded? Wait.
Sea ice as thick as ten feet can be broken and the sloping holes of some icebreakers are designed to actually wedge up on top of the ice, so the heavy ship can crush down on it. The bows are also designed to then move the cracked ice to the side, plowing a path that other ships can follow, a crusty road to open water out of frozen maize.
AZUZ: As many of you are getting back into the swing of school today, the U.S. Congress is getting back in session this week, getting back into the swing of making laws. The Republican Party controls the House of Representatives.
The Democratic Party controls the Senate, and for most lawmakers, this is an election year. So there are a lot of challenges ahead on their to-do list.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president`s vacation is over. He faces a colder reality now - Congress.
JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE: If you`re a glass half full kind of person, like I am, they are the number one most unproductive Congress in modern history.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get ready for possible deja vu. SEN. HARRY REID, MAJORITY LEADER: I wish I had a magic want to say, I know things will be better.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This year Congress has a full plate - right off the bat, a potentially easy one for the Senate, confirming Janet Yellen as the first woman to head the Federal Reserve. But next, a real battle over long term unemployment benefits, both sides arguing Sunday.Even before vacation was over, President Obama pressed this weekend to extend the payments.
SEN. RAND PAUL, KENTUCKY: With regard to unemployment insurance, I`ve always said that I`m not opposed to unemployment insurance, I`m opposed to having it without paying for it.
REID: We have never offset emergency spending. This foolishness. We have people who are desperate. They`ve been out of work for some as much as two years.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On January 15, a major deadline to fund the government: a deal was reached last year, but it needs to be finalized.
As early as February, a deadline to raise the debt ceiling again, with both sides already dug in.
GENE SPERLING, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: I think that it will be harmful not just for the economy, but I think it will be harmful politically, if Republican choose 2014 as a year to threaten defaults again on the debt limit.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And an even heavier lift for a deal on immigration reform, which has escaped Congress for years.
REP, ERIC CANTOR, (R ) MAJORITY LEADER: It can`t be my way or the highway on such a big issue.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not to mention, continue (INAUDIBLE) by Republicans to change Obamacare.
REP. DARRELL ISSA, ( R) CALIFORNIA: This has been a failed launch, a flawed law and it needs real change.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don`t hold your breath for all of this to be crossed off the list. .According to a CNN/ORC poll, released last year, two thirds of Americans called "Congress, the Worst Ever."And the midterm elections will suck up much desire this year to compromise.
THOMAS MANN, CONGRESSIONAL SCHOLAR: These are not likely to be times of large fruitful legislative harvest.
AZUZ: Time for "The Shoutout." .What factor most determines the shape of a snowflake?Is it temperature? Humidity? Altitude or cloud type? You`ve got three seconds, go.
Ultimately, the temperature determines the basic shape of the Ice crystal that makes up a snowflake. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.
At last night`s NFL game in Wisconsin, where the Green Bay Packers hosted the San Francisco`s 49ers, the wind chill was forecast to hit negative 15, making it one of the coldest NFL games ever.
The Packers were giving free hand warmers, hot chocolate and coffee to fans. If you live in certain parts of North America and you think it`s never been this cold before, you might be right. On January 2, the National Weather Service Key West tweeted that between International Falls, Minnesota and Key West, Florida, there was a 115 degree temperature difference.
We have what a CNN meteorologist calls, a polar vortex, chilling the bones of almost half the U.S. population. As that arctic cold air mass plowed east, from the plain states to the East Coast, temperatures plunged 30 to 50 degrees below normal in some spots. The effects - traffic accidents, flight cancellations, school closings. The dangers - hypothermia, frostbite. The forecast - temperatures will be getting back to normal starting Wednesday. The western U.S. was mostly unaffected.
Now, for the CNN STUDENT NEWS, roll call. Here`s a look at some of the schools watching our show. First, from Hickory High School in Hickory, North Carolina, The Red Tornadoes. We head it over to Kentucky next for Olmstead Academy North and the Colts. And last, but not least, from Sanford, high school in Sanford, Maine, the Spartans are on today`s roll.
Last month, hundreds of farmers in Utah noticed something disturbing. Dozens of bald eagles lying sick on the ground.It left officials at the wild life rehabilitation center of northern Utah scratching their heads - what was causing this, could it be linked to a recent die off of eared grebes, which stopped at the Great Salt Lake this time a year and which Eagles are known to eat.
LESLIE MCFARLANE WILDLIFE DISEASE PROGRAM: It`s very troubling.UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a puzzling mystery.MCFARLANE: Right now we have 27 Eagles that we know have died.UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nearly three dozen bald eagles dead. Another five, sick.MCFARLANE: Lead poisoning has been definitively ruled out.UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The division of wild life resources looks at every possibility.MCFARLANE: We`ve been able to rule out a lot of things.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What they couldn`t rule out is the West Nile Virus. ? A virus spread by mosquitoes, but mosquitoes this time of year.
MCFARLANE: Now all the science and symptoms that we were seeing in the birds indicated something similar to West Nile, but the time of year threw that guess off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, they kept digging and determined that the bald eagles had been scavenging on dead grebes infected with West Nile. . How they got the virus in the winter, is still not clear. Maybe they picked it up in another state then migrate it here to Utah. Or the grebes arrived here early, when mosquitoes were still around.
MCFARLANE: We don`t think that overall, the mortalities that we see will affect our population here in Utah or it was in the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Although 27 dead eagles seems like a lot wildlife bosses don`t t think Utah`s population of bald Eagle`s numbering about 750 to a 1000, will be adversely affected.As for the five sick yet surviving birds, they are recovering.
MCFARLANE: Cutie would be responding really well to treatment. Hopefully, we`ll be able to release them.
AZUZ: Week story: two babies born in different years, better story - they are twins. You`re looking at a pair of sisters. They were born a minute part at a hospital in Texas, but what a difference that minute made. One girl was delivered at 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2013. The other, 12 a.m. on January 1, 2014.
Both are healthy, though there were complications early in the pregnancy. For that reason, their mother says they`ll each get their own birthday party. I`m guessing the reaction to that idea would be identical - it`s a win-win for the twin-twin.
We hope you find the time to watch CNN STUDENT NEWS again tomorrow. We can`t promise another story like that, but if we find one, it will make us all twice as happy. Have a great day, everyone.