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  • Happy to have you watching on this worldwide Wednesday, March 19. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN STUDENT NEWS.

  • First up, the maps on your classroom wall and in your geography book may be changing.

  • Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty that makes Crimea part of Russia.

  • His actions followed Sunday`s voting Crimea when Crimean residents overwhelmingly chose to split off from Ukraine and join Russia.

  • The Russian leader said he wouldn`t push for any further division of Ukraine.

  • But the move was unacceptable to the European Union and the United States.

  • Vice President Joe Biden called Russia`s actions a land grab.

  • The U.S. and E.U. have imposed sanctions, limiting the rights of certain Russian officials and they are threatening more sanctions against Russia over Ukraine.

  • 12 years ago, the U.S. Congress set up a military review.

  • It was trying to find out if American troops who`d served in combat decades ago might have been passed over for the Medal of Honor because they were Hispanic or Jewish.

  • The investigation found several people, including some African Americans who likely would have received the country`s highest military decoration, if not for their skin color.

  • So, yesterday, at the White House, President Obama awarded 24 Medals of Honor,

  • most of them for people who`d been discriminated against and had served in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam.

  • The president said their courage almost defies imagination.

  • 21 of the medals were awarded posthumously, for the three recipients who were still alive, it`s an honor decades in the making.

  • Tough times for General Motors.

  • The maker of Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC is recalling more than 1.5 million vehicles.

  • It believes a flaw in an ignition switch has let to dozens of crashes, and the deaths of at least 12 people.

  • Because this problem may date back years, and the recall was just issued last month, the company has been accused of dragging its feet in addressing the issue.

  • And a lot of the heat is on GM`s first female leader.

  • She`s the CEO at the center of a huge auto safety nightmare.

  • Just two months on the job, Mary Barra is heading up GM`s massive ignition switch recall.

  • And the stakes couldn`t be higher.

  • It`s probably the last thing she wanted to have to deal with in her first few weeks, or her first couple of months on the job.

  • Automotive it`s kind of in my blood.

  • Barra is the first woman to head up a U.S. car company, but she`s been climbing the GM corporate ladder for over 30 years.

  • Barra says she became aware of the safety issues, a few weeks ago.

  • And says, GM ordered the recall without hesitation.

  • But GM`s own records show its engineers were aware of the problem as early as 2004.

  • The company says, The chronology shows that the process employed to examine this phenomenon, was not as robust as it should have been.

  • And for this reason, Barra`s longtime insider status could put her in the tough spot.

  • It`s going to be difficult for her to maybe distance herself from this crisis,

  • rself from this crisis,

  • Adding to Barra`s problems, a Justice Department criminal probe into whether GM hid evidence about defects,

  • upcoming hearings on Capitol Hill as well as law suits from victims` families and shareholders.

  • As Toyota found out four years ago during its massive recall for unintended vehicle acceleration,

  • Congress likes to go for the jugular.

  • It set with me deeply, that it seems somewhere along the way public safety decreased in value, as profit margins saw it.

  • Toyota`s market share tumbledoring (ph) its crisis as did their reputation.

  • GM investors are clearly worried, shares have fallen more than 15 percent this year.

  • Crisis management experts say the quicker Barra speaks out, the better.

  • There`s a trickle of information that keeps coming.

  • It keeps GM in the headlines.

  • The company will be better off getting all - as many of the facts out as it possibly can to look transparent.

  • She has to get out there and talk to the public.

  • But some believe GM lawyers might hold their cards closed.

  • The fact that the company has announced that it needs to do its own internal investigation means that there are a lot of things that they are trying to figure out.

  • It`s premature, I think.

  • You`re kind of just throwing Barra out to the sharks that the media can be.

  • But if this crisis deepens, GM`s mark of excellence could be tainted for years.

  • Time for the Shoutout. Andromeda, Sombrero and Whirlpool, are all examples of what?

  • If you think you know it, shout it out! Are they all supercomputers, noble gases, straits or galaxies? You`ve got three seconds, go!

  • These are all examples of galaxies, though the one we are most familiar with is the Milky Way.

  • That`s your answer and that`s your Shoutout.

  • In intergalactic news, a Big Bang theory is making big waves among some scientists,

  • but spoiler alert: they don`t really know what happened around, say, 14 billion years ago.

  • Here`s what some researchers said they found.

  • Evidence of how the Universe rapidly expanded after the theoretical Big Bang.

  • hey say less than a trillionth of a second after the bang, the Universe suddenly inflated, doubling in size one hundred times over.

  • The elements of it separating from each other like raisins in a raisin bun as dough bakes and expands in the oven.

  • What led to this announcement - there`s a telescope at the South Pole that analyses what scientists believe is anction (ph) light in the Universe.

  • The kind that might have been around billions of years ago.

  • Scientists say this telescope found aftershocks of the Big Bang.

  • But there`s plenty of doubt. Another astrophysicist interviews by CNN says the telescope`s measurements are very hard to make.

  • That there could easily be problems with them.

  • Additional experiments and the years ahead could either back up or completely refute this latest theory.

  • It`s worldwide Wednesday on the CNN STUDENT NEWS. Roll call.

  • We are going around the globe, starting in Cartagena, Colombia.

  • We are happy to be online and part of your day at Jorge, Washington School.

  • Next, to Quy Nhon, Vietnam. Thank you for watching CNN STUDENT NEWS at (INAUDIBLE) specialized high school.

  • And our third stop is in Kazakhstan.

  • In the city of Petropavlovsk, great to see our viewers at school number seven.

  • In Shakespeare`s Julius Caesar, the title character has warned, Beware the Ides of March.

  • The play and history tell us he had something to be worried about.

  • While most of us got through the Ides OK, they were last Saturday, the Madness of March is upon us.

  • In the U.S. the annual NCAA basketball tournament has so many fans and so many people feeling out brackets, that it actually impacts workers` productivity.

  • A poll estimates the month-long tournament will cost American companies billions.

  • A poll estimates the month-long tournament will cost American companies billions.

  • It`s because workers are watching rather than working.

  • Why all this madness?

  • March Madness is really a nickname for the NCAA men`s division one basketball tournament.

  • But it`s also a description of phenomenon, which happens every March, which is why people are interested in the first place.

  • Because it really is sort of insanity in the world of college basketball.

  • To me, the NCAA tournament is the best three weeks in sports.

  • And it`s because of its unpredictability.

  • You just don`t know what`s going to happen.

  • There are well over 300 division one basketball programs, within the NCAA.

  • Only 68 of those, make the NCAA tournament, which is why it`s kind of a special thing.

  • There`s 68 teams that get in each year.

  • 31 by what it`s called automatic qualification, automatic qualifiers by virtue of winning their conference, either in the regular season or through a conference tournament.

  • The other team, the other 37 are so called at large bids.

  • It gets a little more tricky there in terms of who gets in and who doesn`t.

  • There`s a selection committee that looks over the resumes at each and every one of the teams available to play in the NCAA tournament.

  • And deems 37 of them worthy of the tournament.

  • The bracket itself for most people is the physical piece of paper you hold when you tried to determine who the winners are of the tournament.

  • As you look at a bracket, you see 32 teams on either side of it, which then - (INAUDIBLE) themselves down to 32 teams, then 16, then eight, et cetera.

  • As you look at a bracket, you see 32 teams on either side of it, which then - (INAUDIBLE) themselves down to 32 teams, then 16, then eight, et cetera.

  • All the way to a final four. And then, of course, the final two teams who play for the national championship.

  • Some of our Before We Go segments bring more questions than answers.

  • For example, why San Francisco 49`ers is coach Jim Harbaugh doing pushups at Six Flags.

  • Why is there a walrus?

  • What motivates the walrus to imitate the coach?

  • And who`d be able to do more pushups?

  • I guess you could just as easily ask why the heck not?

  • This YouTube clip shows that something you just don`t see every day.

  • The coach looks fit, the walrus looks happy.

  • It might be working to improve its walrushing yards.

  • It certainly seems up to the task.

  • It`s focused and quiet, you couldn`t call it a blubbermouth, and as long as it goes light on the shellfish - unshellfishly,

  • of course, it will certainly be in the swim with Marine teams, like the Seahawks, the Buccaneers, and of course, the Dolphins.

  • I`m Carl Azuz. And we are dolphinished. See you Thursday.

Happy to have you watching on this worldwide Wednesday, March 19. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN STUDENT NEWS.

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