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  • Hey hope you had a great weekend and thank you for taking ten minutes

  • to get up to speed on current events.

  • I'm Carl Azuz for CNN Student News.

  • First up, a papal trip across the sea.

  • Pope Francis traveled from the Vatican

  • to the Caribbean nation of Cuba over the weekend.

  • This is a significant visit.

  • Pope Francis is the leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

  • It's the largest denomination of the world's largest religion,

  • Christianity, and for decades, Cuba's government has been officially atheist.

  • It's had a number of restrictions on religion.

  • The pope said that the Catholic Church

  • was once an important part of Cuban history.

  • And he called for Cuba's government to give people the freedom,

  • the means, and the space to practice their faith.

  • He also called on Cuba to open itself to the world.

  • The pope's visit included a mass with

  • tens of thousands of people yesterday

  • and a private meeting with Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro.

  • The pontiff plans to spend today traveling through Cuba

  • and then fly to the US capital tomorrow.

  • Like Cuba, China is a communist country, and like Cuba,

  • China's had a history of tensions with the US.

  • Its leader, Xi Jinping, is visiting America this week.

  • It'll be his first trip here as Chinese President,

  • though he has been in the US before.

  • President Xi is scheduled to speak to business leaders

  • and international diplomats in Seattle, Washington tomorrow.

  • Later in the week, he'll be in Washington, D. C.

  • for meetings with president Obama.

  • That includes a state dinner at the White House,

  • a formal meal and high honor for U. S. presidential guests.

  • President Xi leads a country that is both a U. S. ally and a rival.

  • Are the U. S. and China friends or enemies?

  • Even some of the stodgiest diplomats will,

  • for lack of a better word, use the word frenemies,

  • because the fact is the truth is somewhere in between.

  • Let's talk about what makes the two countries friends

  • and the first is economic.

  • The US is China's number one trading partner.

  • China is the US's number two after only Canada.

  • And just as a matter of comparison,

  • the US has more than 500 times the amount of trade, in dollar terms,

  • with China as it had with the USSR.

  • But there are other shared interests, one is counter- terrorism.

  • Another is nonproliferation.

  • China was also a part of the Iran nuclear negotiations.

  • A big one is climate change,

  • and when I talk to even the some of the toughest diplomats on both sides,

  • they all agree on one thing,

  • it's not in either countries interest to go to war with the other.

  • But China and the US have real, and troubling,

  • and growing differences. One of them is cyber attacks.

  • For years, US companies have accused China

  • of stealing trade secrets to the loss of tens of billions of dollars.

  • And the U. S. government has accused China of attacking the US military

  • and a whole host of US institutions.

  • The US and China also have severe differences over territory.

  • The US opposes China's manufacture in effect,

  • of man- made islands hundreds of miles off of its coast.

  • And other differences as well including islands

  • that both China and Japan claim.

  • At the same time the US is very concerned

  • about the expansion of China's military

  • and the expansion of where China's military is operating.

  • We saw that when Chinese warships turned up off the coast of Alaska,

  • within US territorial waters at the same time

  • that president Obama was on the ground here.

  • Bigger picture, the US and Chinese systems are diametrically opposed.

  • The US is a democracy, based on the rule of law.

  • China is an authoritarian state,

  • where the law is essentially the Chinese communist party.

  • So the challenge,

  • and Chinese and US diplomats talk about this all the time,

  • is how to keep the peace between a rising power, China,

  • and an existing power, the US. And historically that's always been tough.

  • Today China talks a lot about a new kind of super power relationship.

  • The US talks about its pivot to Asia.

  • But the fact is, even the smartest diplomats on both sides

  • haven't figured out a solution to this problem

  • and it is in all our interests that they do.

  • The one US state we haven't mentioned yet

  • on our roll call this year is Connecticut.

  • And it's Wintergreen Interdistrict Magnet School that leads things off.

  • Hello to all of our viewers in Hamden and thank you for watching.

  • One city we've never announced in Mississippi is Picayune

  • and it's the Maroon Tide of Picayune Memorial High School that's on today's roll.

  • And one country we've never announced before is United Arab Emirates from Abu Dabi,

  • welcome the International School of Choueifat.

  • Pre- game medical assessments of players,

  • examinations of those who take hard hits during the game,

  • moving the kickoff spot forward five yards,

  • these are some of the steps the National Football League

  • says it has already taken to make the game safer.

  • A recent study measure suggests measures like that

  • and perhaps more are needed.

  • It found that 87 out of 91 former NFL players had CTE.

  • Well first of all CTE,

  • chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a brain disease.

  • It's a progressive brain disease for which

  • we have no known treatment, no cure.

  • And frankly, it's not something that we even knew about

  • until seven or eight years ago.

  • Research in this really began about in 2008.

  • I had a chance to visit the lab in 2011

  • where this science was taking place,

  • where they were examining the brains of former NFL players,

  • and other people as well.

  • Now, this most recent study says 96 % of people

  • whose brains were examined had evidence of the CTE.

  • Now I wanna make something clear here.

  • These were people who probably during their lives worried

  • that something was wrong and donated,

  • had their brains donated to science after they died.

  • So there was already some concern about it.

  • There's no way to suggest that 96 % percent of all NFL players will develop CTE.

  • But there is obviously a lot of science here,

  • and when you look at the brains of these people,

  • what they found were these protein deposits that were very similar, again,

  • to what you might see with Alzheimer's disease.

  • In life, these people often had anger issues,

  • depression and memory loss.

  • Those are the three, the sort of constellation of symptoms

  • that people often developed,

  • and it was often younger players whose brains were still developing

  • that may have been most at risk. CTE is not limited to athletes.

  • Anyone with repeated head trauma and concussions could develop it.

  • As far as football goes,

  • researchers don't know why some players develop CTE and others don't,

  • but engineers are joining the effort to make the game safer.

  • A high- tech tackling dummy that costs around $ 3, 500 could help.

  • We've clocked in a five- second forty- yard dash, which is pretty quick for a player.

  • It makes some quick cuts, too. It's pretty difficult to tackle.

  • We can turn it like a car.

  • We can rotate in place. This is actually the first tackling dummy at any practice,

  • of this sort, that can actually move and replicate player motion.

  • You take one player out of any tackling at practice

  • and you've already cut your injury risk by half

  • because that player isn't standing there taking a hit. Nice.

  • How realistic is it in terms of, like, the real deal?

  • We talked to my players. It's identical.

  • There's some subtleties, change in,

  • of speed and so forth that makes it like you're tackling something on the field.

  • It's as close as you can get short of tackling a real person.

  • Have you ever had a concussion, yourself? I have.

  • I had one my sophomore year of high school, and it was pretty scary.

  • It made me black out for a couple of seconds.

  • When I looked at that hit after the game,

  • my explanation of that was like it's a freight train hitting a Volkswagen.

  • My thing was not remembering.

  • I've been taking my daughters to practice for years and all of a sudden,

  • I forget how to get there. I have to ask my wife, how do you get there.

  • If you have multiple head injuries,

  • you're at a higher risk for having longer term consequences.

  • There you go. Do you see this device being a real tool in preventing concussions?

  • Yeah, I do. I really do.

  • Literally you take half the equation out, 50 % of the problem.

  • When two guys collide, we remove one of them.

  • So we can practice and our technique is improving

  • because we're doing it more frequently,

  • but we're not jeopardizing ourselves or other players.

  • We've had huge players and teams contact us

  • wanting to know when they can get their hands on one.

  • At this point, all we're trying to say is we're developing it.

  • We'll get them to you as soon as we can.

  • So teams from across the country are contacting you.

  • Yeah, across the world. Coaches want to protect their players.

  • Players want to protect themselves.

  • And more importantly, parents want to protect their young players.

  • Before we go, we're baking up something delicious and huge.

  • A single apple pie that could serve 1, 000 people. How?

  • Well I'll tell you. It's 7 feet long,

  • it takes 6 hours to assemble and about 17 hours to bake.

  • The prodigious pie packs 400 pounds

  • of filling on top of 200 pounds of dough,

  • so it might taste light and flaky, but it ain't.

  • It's a traditional part of an apple festival in Indiana,

  • though it would be a great addition to Pi Day in March.

  • We could give them 3. 14 Reeses for that.

  • The piled high pie pieces together another e- pie- sode

  • of our show allowing us say good pie before we say goodbye.

  • It's not all dough. If you're hungry for more puns

  • and roll call tips and you're already on Instagram,

  • pie us a visit at Instagram. com / CNNStudentNews

Hey hope you had a great weekend and thank you for taking ten minutes

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