CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Lots of news to catch you up on from this weekend. I`m Carl Azuz. It`s great to see you this Monday, November 10. First up, the U.S. is doubling the number of its troops in Iraq. An additional 1500 military personnel are headed there, bringing the total to about 3,000. Their mission, to train Iraqi troops and militias to battle the ISIS terrorist group.
President Obama says the American Forces will not be involved in direct combat. He calls the increase a new phase in the U.S.-led fight against ISIS. Some critics say they are concerned that the president doesn`t have a clear strategy to defeat the militants.
Also this weekend, an interesting and unexpected development concerning North Korea. Its secretive government released Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller, two Americans held prisoner for months, accused of breaking North Korean laws. At North Korea`s invitation, the Obama administration sent James Clapper to the capital Pyongyang. Clapper is the U.S. director of National Intelligence.
PAUL HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A top secret mission in the dead of night. The top spy chief in the United States arrives in Pyongyang, carrying a letter from the U.S. president. He leaves one day later with two former prisoners. No conditions and no strings attached, according to the U.S. So why this sudden humanitarian gesture from North Korea?
CHRISTOPHER HILL, FORMER AMBASSADOR TO SOUTH KOREA: Clearly, they crave having this kind of high level attention, so obviously they are pleased that General Clapper came.
HANCOCKS: Another suggestion: Kim Jong Un wants to show he`s still in charge after disappearing for six weeks recently. He`s back in the spotlight, limping but without the cane. Other experts believe Pyongyang`s recent charm offensive, including a high profile visit to Seoul, technically enemy territory, is a PR exercise to improve its image. The release of Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller comes more than two weeks after a third U.S. citizen, Jeffrey Fowle, won his freedom. No U.S. citizens remain in North Korean captivity.
Two things are certain. This decision came from the top, and it was made for a reason. Pyongyang released a statement claiming that the U.S. president had made many requests, and also an apology. Now, if that is the case, this domestically is propaganda gold for a leader who wants to remain and show he`s relevant on the international stage. Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.
AZUZ: President Obama wants Loretta Lynch to be the next attorney general of the United States. The 55-year-old Harvard alumni is currently a federal prosecutor, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. And she appears to have some support from Republicans, as well as Democrats. It`s up to the Senate to ultimately decide if Lynch will replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder. Because this position is cabinet-level, the Constitution requires the Senate to give the president advice and consent on his nominees. It`s not certain whether the outgoing Democratic controlled Senate or the newly elected Republican controlled Senate will decide whether to confirm Lynch.
Between the U.S. and Russia over the Bering Sea, what was left over from super typhoon Nuri (ph) has been stirring up the ocean. Its effects, intense wind, heavy rain and snow, massive waves, have mostly hit the Aleutian Islands. Not a lot of people there, and those who are used to severe weather. But Nuri is about to whip the jet stream, and a lot of people in the lower 48 will feel that in the days ahead. Bottom line, bundle up.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Remember this? Winter of 2013/2014 is one many want to forget. Reporters standing in the frozen tundra while much of the nation was bundled up and digging out for months, coping with one of the coldest winters in roughly 20 years. It was also the season of new hashtags, snowjam 2014 in Atlanta, snowcalypse and snowmageddon. But the one trending term that may have a cringing grip on you as much as the cold - polar vortex. We heard it over and over last winter as if it was something new. Now that we`ve all had a chance to thaw out a bit, let`s set the record straight on what it is and what it isn`t.
It`s not a storm, it`s not a hurricane of cold air. It`s not even something that can come and get you. The only way to be in the polar vortex is to be in an airplane. It exists in the upper levels of the atmosphere, and is always there. It`s an area of low pressure around the Arctic Circle that`s locked in place and houses some very cold air.
Sometimes different weather patterns can influence the polar vortex and cause it to become distorted. As this happens, a large dip in the jet stream allows very cold air to spill into the U.S. That`s the cold air you feel, the air that lives beneath the polar vortex, air that many times is so cold, it can feel like something out of this world. And you may want to dig out your winter gear next week, because the polar air is coming back. One of the strongest non-tropical storms ever is currently churning off the coast of Alaska, which will have a domino effect across the country. It will cause a huge dip in the jet stream, allowing temperatures to plummet. Much of the country will experience the coldest temperatures of the season, with highs only in the 20s and 30s for the Midwest by early next week.
AZUZ: Who`s on a roll this Monday? We`re going to start up north today, and by north I mean Canada. St. Michael Catholic School is in Guelph, Ontario. Good to see the Stingers are watching. Not too far southeast from there, in New Rochelle, New York, we`ve got the Albert Leonard Middle School Leopards. And now to Kearney, Nebraska, where the Vikings are watching. Hello to everyone in West Kearney High School.
Yesterday, November 9, was the anniversary of a major event in the Cold War. This was a rivalry that developed after World War II between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. There wasn`t open combat between them, but the two superpowers supported different sides of conflict in the Korean War and Vietnam among other places. A wall built in the German capital came to represent the Cold War. It stood between democracy and communism, and it cracked in 1989.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the embers of World War II, a defeated Germany was carved up, occupied by Britain, France and the United States to the west, and the Soviet Union to the east. Berlin, which lay well within the eastern territory, was also divided. The west, an island of capitalism engulfed by a communist super block. Though many Berliners could still move freely within the city - well, that was until August 13, 1961. Berliners awoke to a barbed wire fence surrounding the western part of the city, a barrier to contain East Germans hungry for the lifestyles of the West. Overnight, families were split, and East Berliners working in the West were cut off from their jobs.
Barbed wire soon became a sprawling concrete colossus, stretching 155 kilometers. Thousands of armed guards kept watch from 302 observation towers. Now, looking out from the east, past the outer wall, is an area known as the death zone, where guards would shoot to kill. A signal fence here sends a silent alarm when touched. Next, tank traps before a terrible carpet of metal spikes, nicknamed felons` lawn. Then the wall as the West saw it, 3.6 meters tall, topped with a half pipe in places to make scaling it almost impossible. More than 100,000 East Germans attempted to escape past the wall. At least 5,000 succeeded, but more than 200 died trying.
JOHN F. KENNEDY, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Ich bin ein Berliner (German).
SHUBERT: One of President Kennedy`s most rousing speeches was delivered here at the wall, within earshot of the East. A message repeated years later by President Reagan.
RONALD REAGAN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
SHUBERT: In 1989, cracks began to show. Guards were told not to shoot. Thousands rallied for freedom in East Berlin. On the 9th of November, a sea change. East Germans would be allowed to cross the border. Thousands headed to the wall. Tearful, jubilant Germans from both sides began to hack and rip down the concrete. Excited welcoming hands reached over. East Berliners soaked up the strange Western wonderland. Sparkling with the things they had so long been denied. In less than a year, the wall was in tatters, and the iron curtain was being pulled back. Germany fractured for four decades, was united once more.
AZUZ: Two words, holy and cow! That`s pretty much how everyone who sees Blossom describes Blossom. The average Holstein or Holstein cow weighs around 1500 pounds and stands around 4.5 feet tall. Blossom has bloomed her way into the record books for tallest cow. 2000 pounds, 6 feet 4 inches of moo. She`s so big, she`s got her own Facebook page, and her owner says she`s hormone free. It took just oats, grass, and hay that made her this way. Now we know the answer to where`s the beef. People who see that beauty as bovine can`t help having a cow. She`s un-bull-eivable (unbelievable). A true modern moo-vel. Something with incalculable influence whenever she stands tall. I think we`re milking this for all it`s worth, with all the puns we cud think of, and we don`t want to fence you in or push it past your class time, so join us again tomorrow when CNN STUDENT NEWS returns.