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  • CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: It`s the end of the month, the end of the week

  • and the start of the new day of CNN STUDENT NEWS. I`m Carl Azuz.

  • First up, three suspicious letters, one was sent to President Obama, the other two were sent to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and to an organization he founded.

  • Initial tests on those two letters indicated they were tainted with a poison called ricin.

  • As of yesterday afternoon, officials hadn`t said whether ricin was found on the letter addressed to the White House,

  • although they did say the letters were similar.

  • Ricin seriously dangerous.

  • Even a tiny amount of it can kill someone in two days or less by shutting down respiratory or circulatory systems.

  • There is no known antidote for it.

  • You might remember a month or so ago, letters tainted with ricin were sent to the president and other officials.

  • Authorities don`t think there is a connection between that and the new letter sent to President Obama.

  • UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s "Shoutout" goes out to Ms. Dunn`s (ph) morning meeting group at Tech Prep Academy in Washington, D.C.

  • Now, where will you find Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates?

  • Are they on the Iberian Peninsula, Strait of Messina, Arabian Peninsula or Horn of Africa?

  • You got 3 seconds, go.

  • Those are three of the countries that make up the Arabian Peninsula.

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

  • AZUZ: Health officials say that region seems to be the starting point for a dangerous new virus.

  • In order to fight diseases, scientists need information.

  • Right now, they don`t know where this virus started, they don`t know how it`s spread.

  • Mary Snow explains what is known about what`s becoming a medical mystery.

  • MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hollywood movies like "Contagion" are sobering reminders of the real threat of deadly viruses.

  • UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So there`s no treatment protocol and no vaccine at this time.

  • SNOW: Reports of a new strain of the coronavirus overseas is nowhere near the movie version of an outbreak.

  • So far, there are no reported cases in the United States.

  • Its name, the Middle East Respiratory System Coronavirus.

  • The World Health Organization is calling it a threat to the world.

  • UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a grave concern to us here internationally at WHO

  • because there are so many unknowns around the virus which so far has killed 55 percent of the confirmed cases.

  • SNOW: Cases have been linked from the Middle East to the UK, Germany, France and Tunisia.

  • So far, 27 people have died, with the largest number in Saudi Arabia.

  • Should people be concerned about this?

  • UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People should always be concerned whenever there is an emerging infectious disease,

  • because we don`t really know, we don`t have ways in which we can predict and project,

  • and appropriately prepare for some of these.

  • SNOW: Ian Lipkin (ph) is leading a team of scientists at Columbia University to investigate the virus,

  • which is in the same family as SARS and the common cold.

  • Symptoms include fever and severe respiratory problems.

  • Patients have also developed pneumonia and kidney failure.

  • Officials have found some clusters of cases where the disease has been transmitted between family members or in a health care setting.

  • Researchers are looking at whether it was initially passed from animals to humans.

  • Health officials don`t know much about how the virus spreads,

  • but at this point, travel warnings have not been issued.

  • UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think we should be concerned in terms of travel to the Middle East or to - to anywhere in the world right now,

  • but to just be aware of it.

  • Most of the cases and illnesses have been associated with the elderly and those with preexisting or severe underlying medical conditions.

  • SNOW: The World Health Organization is so concerned about this virus because there`s no known treatment and no way to make a vaccine, not just yet.

  • Doctors are currently working on that.

  • In the cases that have been found in eight countries, all have been linked to the Middle East.

  • Mary Snow, CNN, New York.

  • AZUZ: All right, you know those terms of agreement when you sign up for a website?

  • Facebook has one that says you will not post content that is hate speech.

  • Now, the company is increasing its efforts to get rid of hate speech.

  • It`s a response to a campaign by women`s groups.

  • The campaign targeted Facebook pages that celebrated or joked about violence against women.

  • Facebook says it`s tried to find a balance between cracking down on hateful content and allowing for freedom of expression.

  • But a new company post says in recent days,

  • it has become clear that our systems to identify and remove hate speech have failed to work as effectively as we would like.

  • The company says it`s going to update its guidelines for identifying hate speech,

  • and hold users more accountable for content considered cruel or insensitive.

  • Some Facebook users thanked the company.

  • Others said the changes don`t go far enough.

  • Some users wondered if Facebook would keep up the increased efforts long-term.

  • What about freedom of speech?

  • That`s not really an issue here.

  • Facebook is a private site.

  • You might be able to post what you want, but Facebook is free to take it down and cancel your account.

  • UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this legit?

  • The Atlantic and Eastern Pacific hurricane seasons start on the same date.

  • No, not true. In the Eastern Pacific, hurricane seasons starts on May 15th, though both seasons end on the same date.

  • AZUZ: It doesn`t always matter to an Atlantic hurricane that its official season is from June 1 to November 30.

  • These storms can form at any time, but that window is when most of them form,

  • and this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the Atlantic could be in for a bumpy ride.

  • It says a recipe of warm ocean temperatures and unique wind conditions could cook up between 7 and 11 hurricanes, between three and six of which could be major.

  • In what`s considered a normal Atlantic season, we`d be looking at six hurricanes and three major ones.

  • But predicting hurricanes is like, well, predicting the weather.

  • Last year, the administration predicted a normal season.

  • It ended up being one of the most active on record.

  • There is just no way to know how many storms will form until they spin up.

  • But if you live or vacation on the eastern Gulf Coast or the Caribbean,

  • officials say it`s always good to have an emergency plan in place and to know what your community`s plan is.

  • As far as Eastern Pacific hurricanes go, the season that started on May 15 is predicted to be less active than normal.

  • If you`re out on the water along the coast, there is something you might want to keep an eye out for.

  • Sharks. These predators get a bad rap.

  • Do they deserve it?

  • Philippe Cousteau tells us some truths and refutes some rumors when it comes to shark attacks.

  • PHILIPPE COUSTEAU: We think about shark attacks, there are actually more like usually shark bites.

  • That is the only way that sharks can tell what something is.

  • We have the opportunity to smell and to see and to feel and read a menu.

  • For sharks, it`s really about biting and tasting.

  • Many shark attacks happen in the early morning or in the evening, when there`s lots of shadows.

  • Oftentimes they are a case of mistaken identity, mostly with swimmers -- and actually up to 60 percent of shark attacks are surfers.

  • We believe that`s because sharks looking up at the surface see a surfer and they resemble, say, a sea lion or something else that they might normally eat,

  • and they go up and take a bite, although it`s also important to remember that most shark attacks are bite and release, and don`t result in a fatality.

  • Sharks aren`t naturally aggressive towards humans.

  • That being said, the most unprovoked and in many cases we believe mistaken identity shark bites occur from great white sharks and bull sharks and tiger sharks.

  • But that is oftentimes, as I said, a case of mistaken identity, not that they are actively targeting human beings.

  • Shark attacks primarily occur in the United States, South Africa, and Australia.

  • Even though the number of shark attacks are holding steady,

  • there are more and more people in the water every year,

  • and of those roughly 70 to 80 shark attacks that happen on average every year,

  • there is only about five to seven or eight of them that are actually fatal.

  • There`s no question that sharks have a lot more to fear from us than we do from them.

  • Of the five or six or so shark fatalities that happen every year,

  • we kill 100 million sharks every year.

  • And most of the time that`s killing sharks for shark fin soup.

  • The most important thing that we need to know about shark attacks is that they are so incredibly rare,

  • that sharks should not be feared.

  • They should be cherished.

  • They are animals critical to the health of the oceans, and the health of the oceans is critical to the health of humanity.

  • AZUZ: All right. Today`s last story might cause some of you to stare.

  • And since we`re talking about giraffes, let`s agree to call it rubbernecking.

  • The two gazing at each other through that gate are twins.

  • They were born in a wildlife preserve in Texas earlier this month.

  • The male may be a foot taller and about 30 pounds heavier, but his sister is the big sibling.

  • She was born first.

  • Gamekeepers knew the mom was pregnant, they didn`t know she was having twins.

  • So though they were ready for one baby, they quickly had to double down.

  • Still, you see how cute they were.

  • Baby giraffes for the twin.

  • That pun might have been a long shot, but we were willing to stick our necks out.

  • One more week of shows to go.

  • We`ll start on Monday.

  • Look forward to seeing you then. Have a great weekend.

  • END

CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: It`s the end of the month, the end of the week

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