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  • CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: It`s Wednesday. I`m Carl Azuz. Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS.

  • The U.S. government is considering taking action against Syria

  • because of the suspected use of chemical weapons in that country`s civil war.

  • Syrian officials deny using of chemical weapons,

  • but President Obama says there is doubt the Syrian government is responsible.

  • He wants to launch a military strike against Syria.

  • And he has the power to order that,

  • but last week, he decided to ask Congress for approval.

  • Congress isn`t in session until September 9th,

  • before then the president is meeting with congressional leaders and making his case for an attack.

  • Today, we are focusing on some of the key players in the debate over possible U.S. military action.

  • When it comes to Syria and the U.S., the focus is now on Congress,

  • especially leaders in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives who can influence other members of their parties.

  • Speaker John Boehner leads the U.S. House of Representatives where his Republican Party is in the majority.

  • The speaker presides over the House and has certain line to the presidency.

  • Boehner took over that job from Nancy Pelosi,

  • the former speaker is now the House minority leader,

  • the highest ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives.

  • Balance of power in the U.S. Senate is the reverse, with Democrats outnumbering Republicans.

  • Senator Harry Reid is the majority leader there, responsible for deciding which issues the Senate takes up on a day to day basis.

  • Reid has served in Congress since 1983, and has been a senator since 1987.

  • Senator Mitch McConnell is the Senate minority leader.

  • And its highest Republican.

  • McConnell has been serving the state of Kentucky in Congress since he was first elected to the Senate in 1984.

  • The senator is responsible for confirming members of the president`s cabinet,

  • and two members of President Obama`s cabinet played a large role in the discussion of Syria.

  • John Kerry became secretary of state in February of this year, as the head of the State Department.

  • Secretary Kerry is the president`s chief advisor on foreign policy,

  • and he`s responsible for carrying out the president`s policies with regard to other nations.

  • Chuck Hagel, head of the U.S. Defense Department, which oversees all branches of the U.S. military as Defense secretary.

  • Hagel advises President Obama on military issues and is responsible for carrying out approved policies.

  • General Martin Dempsey is the primary military adviser to Secretary Hagel and President Obama.

  • General Dempsey is chairman of the joint chiefs of staff,

  • and the senior ranking member of the U.S. Armed Forces.

  • Leaders in Congress, members of the president`s cabinet and military leaders,

  • will all have a voice in the debate over whether the U.S. takes action against Syria.

  • UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s time for the "Shoutout."

  • Which of these animals are members of the order Cetacea?

  • If you think you know it, then shout it out.

  • Is it crabs and shrimp? Dolphins and whales? Lions and tigers? Porcupines and hedgehogs?

  • You`ve got three seconds, go.

  • The order Cetacea is made of aquatic mammals, like whales and dolphins.

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

  • AZUZ: Officials and researches are examining (inaudible) is called cetacean morbillivirus.

  • Showing up in dolphins along the U.S. East Coast.

  • It`s kind of like measles, it doesn`t affect humans,

  • but it spreads the same way between dolphins as a virus would spread between people,

  • through direct contact or through the air.

  • Susan Candiotti has more on how it`s affecting dolphins.

  • SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bottlenose dolphins, known for their graceful moves,

  • so highly intelligent the U.S. Navy trains them to pinpoint mines,

  • are under attack by an invisible enemy that doesn`t discriminate.

  • LAWRENCE HAJNA, NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION: There is no pattern, really, to, you know, either geographic or age or sex.

  • It really seems to be an equal opportunity killer.

  • CANDIOTTI: In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie is paying a state laboratory to speed up necropsies, and stepping up air and sea patrols.

  • Here off the Jersey shore, it would be very hard to see a dolphin that is dead or dying, because they lie so low in the water,

  • but if the state fishing and wildlife patrol does spot one,

  • these guys will tow it to shore for testing.

  • In July and August, 404 dolphins have died from New York to North Carolina,

  • the highest numbers in Virginia and New Jersey,

  • which has scientists wondering how long this will go on.

  • And whether the dolphins will develop an immunity.

  • Scientists acknowledge there is no easy way to fix this problem,

  • no vaccines, no medications, no a practical way to administer them.

  • But there is a reason to understand why so many dolphins are dying

  • to try to prevent this from happening in the future.

  • Susan Candiotti, CNN, Asbury Park, New Jersey.

  • AZUZ: There is a battle going on for smartphones, not just to get them, but to get control of the market.

  • As more people buy these things, there is more money to be made for their manufacturers and software makers.

  • Microsoft wants to be both,

  • so it`s buying the Finnish cell phone company Nokia for a little more than $7 billion.

  • Microsoft is known for its Windows software.

  • It also wants to be known for hardware, the devices that run it.

  • Thing is, there is tough competition in the smartphone world.

  • Apple and Google control 86 percent of the smartphones market.

  • Microsoft`s Windows phone system has less than four percent.

  • Nokia is not a top maker of smartphones, but it is a major cell phone manufacturer.

  • Microsoft says it`s buying Nokia in part, because it doesn`t want to let Google and Apple get complete control over smartphones, apps and prices.

  • Time will tell, if its decision will be the right call.

  • Roll Call: Time to check out some of the schools that are checking out CNN STUDENT NEWS.

  • First, the Indians at Mount Gilead High School in Mount Gilead, Ohio.

  • Thank you for watching there.

  • Over in Callaway, Nebraska, the Bears and Bobcats from Callaway public schools make today`s Roll Call.

  • And finally, we are pointing out the East Union Lancers, out in Manteca, California.

  • I hope you all have a great day.

  • Teachers, go to cnnstudentnews.com.

  • You can find out how to get your school in the running to be mentioned on the CNN STUDENT NEWS Roll Call.

  • And why you`re there, teachers, check out the summer recapped videos in the resources bin.

  • We`ve recapped some of the big news stories from while school was out.

  • They`re right there at cnnstudentnews.com

  • Student news has student views. Your thoughts on the issues that matter to you.

  • We put them together in a segment called the CNN STUDENT NEWS viewfinder.

  • This time, we asked a group of high school juniors and seniors to talk about what they see as the biggest challenges facing teenagers today.

  • MYKEL SKINNER, HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR: The pressure of being accepted by society.

  • Today you think that you need to fit in with the certain group,

  • and I think that we need to realize that diversity is,

  • you know, it`s good to be diverse,

  • it`s good to be different, and not everyone should be the same.

  • ROMA PARIKH, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: I think in age where everyone`s a bit disconnected or maybe has a lot of prejudice and judging going around,

  • people don`t always feel comfortable around others, and it makes it harder to be themselves.

  • AMAYA CARR, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: Society.

  • We don`t know where to fit in, we don`t know who we want to be, there is puberty,

  • you know, different types of people, what clique we want to be in.

  • It`s hard finding ourselves.

  • MARILYN PRIMOVIC, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: Juggling school, friends and sleep.

  • BROOKE JOHNSON, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: Judgment from other people,

  • like personally I know that I`ve had self-esteem issues,

  • and so like girls and stuff, how they judge you and stuff. That really gets so (ph) personally.

  • GORDON CLARK, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: It`s getting noticed.

  • There are so many great people around doing so many wonderful things.

  • And it`s hard to stand out, but I think if you really apply yourself and be yourself,

  • it really shouldn`t be too much of a challenge for you to get noticed.

  • NICK MUSEY, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: I think that a lot of teenagers don`t.

  • You know, they just go through a high school thinking,

  • you know, with the whole YOLO,

  • you know, attitude,

  • not really caring what they want to do and then,

  • when they actually get to the point where they have to make decisions what they want to do,

  • they don`t know.

  • So, I think they are more than anything,

  • it`s just figuring out their plans for the future.

  • AZUZ: That`s what they said, what do you say?

  • We`d like to know.

  • If you are 13 or older,

  • you can go to our blog at cnnstudentnews.com,

  • talk about what you think are the biggest challenges for teenagers today.

  • Or, if you`re already on Facebook, you can talk to us there, too.

  • The address for that is Facebook.com/CNN STUDENT NEWS.

  • Just anyone who plays basketball will tell you a free throw worth one point, field goals, two or three points.

  • How many points is it worth when you`re shooting from the top of a skyscraper?

  • AZUZ: Who cares. Just made a basket from on top of a skyscraper.

  • That`s Rotterdam`s Euro mast in the Netherlands,

  • and the guys in this YouTube video are taking aim for more than 320 feet off the ground.

  • It took 62 tries before they got one in, but it was definitely worth looking at.

  • AZUZ: Because as long as you make one, it still qualifies as a towering achievement.

  • Yeah, I know, that was kind of painful.

  • Maybe next time, they should pick a spot on the other side of the world, than they could shoot for the Pacific Rim.

  • It`s going to be tough to rebound from all that,

  • we`ll give it another shot tomorrow, we`re looking forward to seeing you then.

  • END

CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: It`s Wednesday. I`m Carl Azuz. Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS.

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