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  • Welcome to a brand new season of CNN STUDENT NEWS.

  • Today`s show kicks off our 2015-2016 coverage

  • of commercial-free current events.

  • This is awesome! My name is Carl Azuz.

  • I`m excited to be back with you this year.

  • Here`s what`s ahead: A world of international news stories,

  • significant anniversaries, the U.S. election season.

  • And in the coming weeks,

  • we`ll be catching you up on some of the major events

  • that made headlines over the last two months.

  • One day after a series of massive explosions destroyed so much of Tianjin,

  • a black cloud continues to hang over the city,

  • the air thick with a chemical stench. A sea of cars destroyed.

  • Their paint stripped off by the intense heat.

  • Broken glass covers streets and sidewalks for miles around.

  • And when the wind blows, more glass rains down from apartments and homes.

  • Today, new images of those amazingly powerful blasts.

  • This cell phone video records the moment of impact,

  • the first blast around 11:30 at night.

  • Fire officials say hazardous chemicals stored in a warehouse were ignited by fire.

  • The bright flash followed by a tremendous explosion,

  • waking people all across this port city of more than 13 million.

  • Another explosion followed just seconds later.

  • Seven times more powerful, the equivalent of 21 tons of TNT,

  • according to a Chinese data center.

  • Buildings shook, windows blown out.

  • Blast felt more than two miles around the epicenter.

  • Some likened it to a nuclear explosion

  • even as a mushroom cloud rose over the blast site.

  • "The house collapsed. We didn`t know what happened", says one survivor.

  • Surveillance video obtained by ABC News captured the explosion`s sudden fury.

  • This man buried under a wall of glass.

  • Emotions are running high.

  • I was reporting outside a hospital when a small group of people challenged me,

  • demanding to see my phone.

  • Police arrived but I was temporarily forced off the air.

  • A statement from the environmental group Greenpeace

  • expressed what many fear, quote, "We are concerned that

  • certain chemicals will continue to pose a risk to the residents of Tianjin."

  • The company that owned the warehouse was in the business

  • of storing dangerous chemicals.

  • The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

  • Will Ripley, CNN, Tianjin, China.

  • Up next: the major change in international diplomacy,

  • how nations conduct themselves in dealing with each other,

  • this involved the U.S. and the island nation of Cuba.

  • It`s about 90 miles away from Florida`s Key West.

  • The U.S. embassy and the Cuban capital of Havana was reopened this weekend.

  • For months, the Obama administration has been moving

  • toward restoring ties with Cuba,

  • with President Obama saying the American policy of isolating Cuba

  • hasn`t worked and it`s time for a new approach.

  • But some U.S. officials disagree.

  • Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, who`s the son of Cuban immigrants,

  • says the U.S. flag shouldn`t fly in a country

  • that doesn`t value freedom and that denies its people basic human rights.

  • Mistrust between the two countries runs deep.

  • Beginning of the rise of power of Fidel Castro in Cuba.

  • Castro and his joyous (ph) troops were joyously

  • acclaimed following his incredible victory over Batista.

  • In 1959, Fidel Castro leads an army of thousands into Havana,

  • forcing out the dictator Batista at the time,

  • and becomes the country`s new leader.

  • There are high hopes for the young revolutionary,

  • but also immediately confrontation begins with the United States.

  • The U.S. places an embargo on Cuba

  • and soon after it breaks off, diplomatic relations.

  • Later the infamous, failed U.S. invasion at the "Bay of Pigs."

  • The CIA hatches plans to assassinate Castro,

  • hundreds of plots, according to the Cubans.

  • And soon, the Soviet Union secretly deploys nuclear missiles to Cuba.

  • Regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba

  • or against any nation in the Western Hemisphere

  • as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States.

  • The Cuban missile crisis lasts just two weeks.

  • But Cuba and the United States remained locked in Cold War tensions for decades.

  • In 1980, an exodus: as more than 100,000 Cubans

  • come to the United States after Castro loosens restrictions.

  • Two decades later another Cuban leaving by boat,

  • 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez.

  • His arrival in the United States sparks custody battles,

  • which Fidel Castro transforms into a propaganda victory.

  • Fidel Castro said he expected to die in power.

  • But in 2006, a mystery illness forces him to step down.

  • His brother Raul takes over, and in 2015,

  • does what many considered to be unthinkable:

  • Restores diplomatic relations with Cuba`s long-time nemesis -- the United States.

  • You know what`s random? Sea otters.

  • You know what`s more random?

  • They sometimes hold hands like best friends.

  • But it`s not just because they`re cute and friendly and stuff.

  • It`s to keep themselves from drifting away from each other while they sleep.

  • Wake up. That`s random.

  • All right. We`re heading to the largest

  • and most populated country in South America.

  • It`s Brazil, home to more than 204 million people

  • and the host country of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

  • They`re less than a year from now, in Rio de Janeiro.

  • There are often concerns about whether a host country

  • will be ready in time for the games.

  • Brazil is no exception.

  • One area of concern here though is the water,

  • dead fish washing up and sewage pollution found at Olympic water venues.

  • These reports are causing a lot of concern among athletes and organizers.

  • Local Olympic officials say their recent water samples show

  • there`s not health risk for athletes,

  • and that Rio`s waters are safe for competition.

  • We`re crossing the Pacific now, to Eastern Asia.

  • North Korea has created its own time zone.

  • Its secretive communist government is calling it Pyongyang Time,

  • named for the North Korean capital.

  • Officially, it`s Greenwich Mean Time plus 8:30,

  • which we`ll explain in a moment.

  • In a way, North Korea is setting its clock back.

  • The Korean Peninsula had this time before Japan took it over in the early 1900s.

  • Saturday, when the switch was announced was the 70th anniversary

  • of the when Korea was liberated from Japan, in 1945.

  • A South Korean official says North Korea`s change could cause some problems.

  • Most international time zones are whole hour offsets

  • from coordinated universal time,

  • the time at the Zero Meridian running through Greenwich in England.

  • But while a 30-minute difference maybe awkward

  • for those grappling with time zone calculations, it is not unique.

  • Iran, Afghanistan, India and Central Australia area all on half- hour offsets.

  • Nepal is even trickier at UTC plus six hours and 45 minutes.

  • Any country is free to choose what time it should be.

  • In 2007, Hugo Chavez set Venezuela`s clocks back by half and hour,

  • putting the nation out of step with its neighbors,

  • so he explained that children could get an extra half hour sleep

  • in the morning ands not have to get up before the sunrise.

  • This peninsula shares 5,000 years of common history,

  • a common people, a common language.

  • But the Korean people divided for decades by barbed wire,

  • land mines and political systems are now separated even by time.

  • Kathy Novak, CNN, Paju, South Korea.

  • For the first time this school year, I present to you the "Roll Call".

  • It`s a daily announcement of three of the thousands of schools

  • that watched our show. Schools like Columbus Middle.

  • It`s in Columbus, Nebraska, and its mascot is the Discoverer.

  • Get it? Columbus Discoverers. Awesome.

  • Hailing from Winder, Georgia, the Huskies are watching today.

  • Hello to everyone at Westside Middle School.

  • And in Ohio, welcome to Thurgood Marshall High School.

  • It`s great to see the Cougars in Dayton.

  • The "Roll Call" is a chance for your school

  • to get recognized on CNN STUDENT NEWS.

  • There`s one place where we look for request.

  • Each day`s transcript page at CNNStudentNews.com.

  • Just click where it says "Roll Call".

  • We announce schools from all over the world,

  • but you`ve got to be at least 13 years old to make a request.

  • One comment per day keeping the spam away is the way to go to get on our show.

  • Before we go, sea turtles may look kind of silly on land,

  • flapping around on flippers.

  • But once underwater, they appear to fly.

  • This amazing video came out of a project

  • to research the effects of pollution on Australia`s Great Barrier Reef.

  • What scientists did was attached a camera

  • with a suction cap to a turtle shell.

  • Stayed put for about 15 minutes,

  • giving them a sea turtles perspective of sailing through a world heritage site.

  • A diver recovered the camera, so they didn`t have to shell out the cost of it.

  • Still, it`s too bad it flipped from the animal after just a few minutes.

  • There is not turt-telling where it would have swum next. Whoo!

  • You who watched our show before know our endings are pretty fun-funny.

  • I`m Carl Azuz. It`s great to have you along on CNN STUDENT NEWS.

Welcome to a brand new season of CNN STUDENT NEWS.

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