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  • You're only a day away from Friday.

  • We're happy to see you're taking ten minutes for CNN Student News.

  • From the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia, I'm Carl Azuz.

  • Our first story takes us to the US state of Michigan.

  • The National Guard's been activated there.

  • A state of emergency has been declared.

  • It's all related to the water supply in the city of Flint.

  • About 100, 000 people live there, and some of them

  • have been exposed to increased levels of lead in their tap water.

  • This is serious. Lead poisoning can cause developmental

  • and behavioral problems in children. It can lead to lower IQ levels, it's irreversible.

  • And what started out as a way to save money in a struggling city

  • has put parts of the population at risk.

  • A preliminary investigation did not blame the city council or the mayor of Flint,

  • but it put the blame at the state level,

  • with Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality.

  • This neighborhood says it all.

  • 15 % of homes in Flint, Michigan are boarded up.

  • There's a 40 % poverty rate, high unemployment

  • and it's consistently at the top of the nation's list of most dangerous places.

  • This 33 square mile city

  • doesn't even have a grocery store

  • and now they don't have clean drinking water.

  • For 18 months researchers believe the water flowing

  • through taps across Flint has been tainted with lead.

  • In an attempt to cut costs,

  • city officials stopped getting pretreated water

  • from the city of Detroit in 2014 and instead began using water

  • from the nearby Flint River.

  • The problem is that the Flint River is 19 times more corrosive than Lake Huron,

  • Detroit's water source, according to researchers at Virginia Tech,

  • and the city wasn't treating it according to federal law.

  • Lead pipes began to corrode, leaching into the water.

  • Dr. Mona Hanna- Attisha is a pediatrician at Flint's Hurley Children's Hospital.

  • It is a well known potent neurotoxin.

  • There's tons of evidence on what lead does to a child.

  • After hearing her patients complain about water

  • that looked and smelled and tasted funny,

  • she decided to investigate.

  • Using publicly available data on lead levels in children in Flint,

  • she found that the percentage of lead in kids doubled, even tripled,

  • in some places after the water switch.

  • Here's how this happened. The corrosive Flint River water

  • goes from the plant to the water mains to the service lines to homes.

  • In Flint, the water mains are made of iron,

  • which turns some of the water brown.

  • And half of the service lines and pipes in Flint homes are made of lead.

  • I refuse to give this place my tax money.

  • For at least a year, city and state officials denied anything was wrong.

  • The former mayor, Dayne Walling, publicly drank the water to make a statement.

  • But a 2011 study had also warned

  • that the Flint River was corrosive and needed to be treated.

  • In late September, officials finally recognized what experts had been saying.

  • The water in Flint was toxic.

  • By October, the city reverted back to using the Detroit water supply

  • but the damage was done.

  • I do apologize for it, but respect our role in this issue.

  • The State's Director of Environmental Quality stepped down

  • and Walling lost a re- election campaign that centered around the issue.

  • In retrospect, I regret all of it,

  • all the way back to the seeing the city move to a different drinking water source.

  • You can't put a dollar amount on the devastation to our community,

  • our kids, and it was completely avoidable.

  • The government of Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China,

  • is taking a step toward clamping down on its ivory trade.

  • Buying and selling ivory is currently allowed there,

  • said to be the world's largest market for ivory.

  • The valuable material comes from the tusks of elephants.

  • It's durable, attractive, easy to carve.

  • It's been used to make everything from jewelry to figurines to piano keys,

  • but it's also led to the decimation of some elephant species by poachers,

  • people who illegally kill the animals for their ivory.

  • Wildlife conservationists are applauding an announcement

  • by the Hong Kong city government that it will ban the legal trade

  • of ivory in this island city.

  • The international trade of ivory was banned in 1989,

  • and despite that, there are more than 400 licensed ivory traders In Hong Kong.

  • The dealers insist they're following the rules.

  • They're only buying and selling from a stockpile of ivory

  • from elephants that were killed before 1989.

  • But the conservationist group, Wild Aid, conducted a year- long investigation

  • during which they alleged that some of these dealers

  • must be laundering ivory that was poached from Africa after 1989,

  • ivory that may also be smuggled in and outside of

  • Hong Kong against international law.

  • Now, the Government of Hong Kong says it still needs to draw up legislation

  • for this proposed ban. Activist say

  • every minute counts because at the current rate of poaching,

  • the elephant, the largest living mammal to walk the Earth in the wild,

  • could be extinct within a generation.

  • Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.

  • Well we always welcome international viewers to the show,

  • and we look for your requests at cnnstudentnews. com.

  • Heard from SHAPE Belgium on Wednesday's transcript page.

  • SHAPE American Middle School was there, it's great to see you.

  • From Seeley Lake in Western Montana,

  • hello to the Blackhawks. Seeley- Swan High School is on the roll.

  • Wrapping things up in Mount Airy North Carolina,

  • near the border with Virginia, the Bears are watching from Mount Airy Middle School.

  • We've mentioned California schools six times so far this school year.

  • We'll be doing more.

  • It's the most populous state.

  • And football fans there are getting a new team to cheer for, well not exactly new.

  • The Rams have been around since 1936.

  • They started in Cleveland, Ohio, spent most of their time in Los Angeles, California,

  • and left that city in 1994 to play in St. Louis, Missouri.

  • So what's happening with the team now is a sort of homecoming.

  • NFL football is returning to Los Angeles.

  • One city's victory is usually another city's loss,

  • , and that is the case this time around.

  • LA Rams. LA Rams. This year the St. Louis Rams

  • will now become the Los Angeles Rams.

  • And if they were any confusion over why the team left St. Louis,

  • the NFL Commissioner cleared that right up.

  • We felt that we needed to have the kind of stadium

  • and kind of project that had the vision,

  • that had the facilities that would really bring a new kind of

  • fan experience to the NFL and to Los Angeles. But that is not all.

  • Two other NFL teams got golden opportunities.

  • This agreement also allows the Chargers to relocate to Los Angeles as well.

  • If they do not exercise that option,

  • the Raiders would have the option also to move to Los Angeles with the Rams.

  • The San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders have been

  • trying to get their respective cities to pony up and pay

  • for a new stadium with public money, but that hasn't happened

  • We have one team opt for LA.

  • It will play in the same stadium as the Rams in Englewood, California.

  • LA Rams' fans couldn't be more thrilled to have their team back.

  • They never should have left.

  • They belong to Los Angeles and that's why I get so upset

  • when they even think about any other team coming here.

  • For St. Louis Rams' fans, the new deal is a bitter loss. C'est la vie.

  • I don't know. Maybe we'll get another team.

  • One that wants to be here, right? I think that we've given them all we have,

  • and if they don't want it, then move on.

  • And they are moving on, relocating this year to Los Angeles

  • but they'll be in a temporary stadium.

  • Their new stadium, the commissioner says, won't be completed until 2019.

  • Sara Sidner, CNN, Los Angeles.

  • Get ready to break out the ice scraper. Or just break the ice scraper.

  • This used to be a car. It was parked overnight near Lake Erie in Buffalo, New York,

  • and a blast of arctic air, plus 47 mile per hour winds,

  • plus water from the lake equals a carsicle.

  • And there's a sheet of ice all around it,

  • so it'd be hard to drive even if you could get it started.

  • The owner says it's probably damaged and that he'll have to

  • get rides from his folks until it thaws.

  • Of course he could always try to sell it, even though it's an eerie sight.

  • It's been throughly winterized. It's got snow tires, an ice clean grill,

  • a snow roof, plenty of spoilers, perfect seals, lots of fresh coolant,

  • and ice cold air conditioning, but it's gonna need some antifreeze.

  • I'm Carl Azuz and that's CNN Student News.

You're only a day away from Friday.

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