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  • Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS. I`m Carl Azuz.

  • Last night was President Obama`s final State of the Union Address.

  • He has reached his two-term presidential limit.

  • So, that`s where we`re starting today on CNN STUDENT NEWS.

  • There was some breaking news in the hours before the speech.

  • The Middle Eastern nation of Iran captured 10 American sailors

  • on two boats in the Persian Gulf. They were small craft like these.

  • There were conflicting reports by different Iranian news agencies

  • about whether the sailors were arrested or rescued by Iranian forces.

  • But the U.S. sailors themselves and the Obama administration

  • said they expected the Americans to be released this morning.

  • While that was going on, President Obama headed toward the podium

  • in the U.S. House of Representatives at 9:00 last night.

  • His aim was to portray America as a nation on a rebound,

  • as he started his last year in office.

  • We live on a time of extraordinary change,

  • change that`s reshaping the way we live,

  • the way we work, our planet, our place in the world.

  • It`s change that promises amazing medical breakthroughs

  • but also economic disruptions that strain working families.

  • It promises education for girls in the most remote villages,

  • but also connects terrorists plotting an ocean away.

  • It`s change that can brought an opportunity, or widen inequality.

  • And whether we like it or not, the pace of this change will only accelerate.

  • The United States of America, right now,

  • has the strongest, most durable economy in the world.

  • We`re in the middle of the longest streak of private sector job creation in history.

  • More than 14 million new jobs,

  • the strongest two years of job growth since the 1990s,

  • an unemployment rate cut half.

  • It`s U.S. tradition for the opposing political party to

  • respond to the president`s State of the Union speech.

  • It`s been happening since the 1960s.

  • The president is a Democrat, the opposing party is Republican.

  • So, Republican Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina

  • delivered last night`s response.

  • Her aim was to highlight her party`s vision for an America significantly

  • different from President Obama`s.

  • Barack Obama`s election as president seven years ago

  • broke historic barriers and inspired millions of Americans.

  • As he did when he first ran for office, tonight,

  • President Obama spoke eloquently about grand things.

  • He`s at his best when he does that.

  • Unfortunately, the president`s record has often fallen far short

  • of his soaring words.

  • As he enters his final year in office,

  • many Americans are still feeling the squeeze of an economy

  • too weak to raise income levels.

  • We`re feeling a crushing national debt,

  • a health care plan that has made insurance less affordable,

  • and doctors less available, and chaotic unrest in many of our cities.

  • Even worse, we are facing the most dangerous terrorist threat

  • our nation has since September 11th.

  • And this president appears unwilling or unable to deal with it.

  • All right. Let`s check in now with three of the schools

  • watching CNN STUDENT NEWS.

  • These requests all came from yesterday`s transcript page at CNNStudentNews.com.

  • One, Wauneta-Palisade High School.

  • It`s in Wauneta, Nebraska, the home of the Broncos.

  • Two, Beloit Memorial School. The Knights are here today.

  • Beloit, Wisconsin, is on the roll.

  • And three, from Munich, Germany, welcome to our viewers at Phorms Munchen.

  • Next story, space junk.

  • Hundreds of thousands of pieces of debris orbiting the earth.

  • Seven years ago, when an old Russian satellite

  • smashed into a working American one, 2,000 additional pieces

  • of space junks spread into orbit.

  • A lot of you have emailed us your concerns about space junk,

  • the danger it poses to astronauts, space craft and people on earth.

  • NASA says it has plans in place for how to avoid it,

  • including how space crews or craft can change course if necessary.

  • But the challenge, like the space junk itself,

  • is increasing all the time.

  • The people on this planet generate over one billion metric tons

  • of waste each year. But did you know that we`ve created loads of junk in space?

  • The earth is surrounded by a growing cloud of orbiting garbage

  • that according to NASA contains at least 20,000 objects larger than a softball,

  • 500,000 bigger than a marble,

  • and millions of pieces of debris, they`re simply too small to track.

  • The trash comes from explosions, space craft collisions

  • and expandable rocket stages,

  • and as our space environment is getting more congested and complicated,

  • it`s also getting cluttered with all kinds of garbage.

  • The problem is, is that these pieces of trash are traveling

  • at speeds up to 18,000 miles per hour,

  • which is almost 10 times faster than a bullet.

  • Even a paint flake at that speed becomes a missile.

  • The International Space Station even had to replace windows

  • when debris paint flakes caused damage to them.

  • It`s not uncommon that ISS has to adjust its orbit to dodge some space junk.

  • Because this trash posed a threat to our properties in space,

  • the Department of Defense catalogs and tracks those items

  • that are bigger than a softball.

  • They`re currently building what they call a "space fence".

  • It`s just a radar-based space surveillance system

  • that will allow the Air Force to better track space debris and artificial satellites.

  • The long snapper may not get a lot of credit on the football team.

  • But the position has gotten so important that it`s actively

  • being recruited by college scouts.

  • The long snapper specializes in hiking the ball ten yards

  • back to a punter or several years back into the side for a place holder.

  • The long snapper still has to block and run.

  • This is a highly skilled position and that makes the subject

  • of today`s character that much more amazing.

  • Jake Olson doesn`t look at football like his teammates.

  • In fact, he can`t see the game at all.

  • The long snapper for the University of Southern California is blind.

  • When I was eight months old, I was diagnosed with

  • a rare form of eye cancer called retinoblastoma.

  • When the doctors found my cancer, it was completely taking over my left eye.

  • The greatest fear is the cancer spreading

  • through the optic nerve through the brain.

  • To save his life, doctors removed that eye.

  • Jake endured chemotherapy and laser treatment to save the right one,

  • but the cancer kept coming back.

  • After about eight times of that happening, you know, the doctors finally said,

  • listen, there`s -- we pretty much exhausted all treatment options.

  • Jake was 12 when he found out he would lose his other eye.

  • But former USC head coach Pete Carroll heard Jake`s story.

  • He knew the boy was a huge life long fan

  • and invited him to meet the team.

  • That team was there for me in my darkest hours.

  • It`s something that I always be grateful for.

  • Despite losing his eyesight, Jake played football in high school.

  • A lot is just feel. Last year, he brought that talent to USC

  • as walk-on player for his beloved team.

  • I went in to play football with the mentality that I had nothing to lose.

  • Life`s unfair, it`s taught me to keep fighting.

  • Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.

  • And before we go, my favorite feature headline of the year so far, dogs in pants.

  • You might not have known there`s a big debate going on about this

  • and if you`re the quick thinking sort who`s saying, wait,

  • do they mean pants like we people wear or pants may just cover

  • a dog`s legs and underbelly, well, you`re barking up the right tree.

  • A 19-year-old student in Belgium claims his girlfriend`s dog Rocky

  • got him thinking, if a dog wear pants,

  • would he wear them like this on four legs, or like this on his two hind legs?

  • The internet went nuts joking about and debating the question:

  • would pants on just the hind legs be shorts, or are both wrong?

  • And then, Muddy Mutts unmuddied the waters.

  • So, you think you`ve settled the argument once and for all?

  • It is settled, four legs.

  • Because pants for dogs already exist.

  • Waterproof nylon waders sold by a husband and wife company

  • in Canada for 50 bucks U.S.

  • It looks really funny but when you get tired of cleaning a dog

  • for 20 minutes after a walk, it`s really practical.

  • It was a niche product until the diagram went viral

  • and Tim Skelly (ph) says sales jumped 2,800 percent.

  • I`d love to show you one but I even sold the one

  • that was on our model dog.

  • Now, there`s a waiting list as Tim races to make more Muddy Mutts.

  • Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

  • It gives a whole new meaning to panting dog.

  • But if you`re a pet owner who sees nothing wasted,

  • you put your boxer in boxers, your chow in chow-sers,

  • your corgi in corgi-roys, or your Lab in Labra-drawers,

  • well, we know who wears the pants in the family.

  • I`m Carl Azuz and that zips up another edition of CNN STUDENT NEWS.

Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS. I`m Carl Azuz.

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