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  • Hi, I'm Carl Azuz for CNN Student News.

  • Welcome to Wednesday's show.

  • As always we're jumping right into our first story today,

  • headed to the Middle Eastern Country of Syria.

  • The nation's been torn apart by civil war since 2011.

  • One group that's benefited from the instability there is ISIS.

  • It's a terrorist organization.

  • ISIS standing for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

  • That's what they want,

  • to create a country based on their own severe interpretation of Islam.

  • They took over large parts of the region last year.

  • They're notorious for mass murders,

  • brutally killing civilians, kidnapping people,

  • and though a US- led coalition aims to destroy ISIS,

  • most experts say the coalition has a long way to go.

  • This spring, the terrorists took over an ancient city called Palmyra.

  • It's in central Syria,

  • it's thousands of years old,

  • its architectural ruins date back to the first century AD,

  • and ISIS is destroying them.

  • On Tuesday, ISIS supporters posted photos of

  • how the group blew up part of an ancient temple.

  • It's part of ISIS's campaign to destroy relics of non- Muslim culture,

  • though they reportedly leveled Islamic shrines as well.

  • Fighting ISIS is a slow and often quite a tricky thing to do,

  • and one of the reasons why the militant group has been so successful

  • is that those combating it are often fractured

  • and at odds with one another.

  • First of all, it's core territory spans two countries.

  • So you have two governments,

  • the Iraqi government and the Syrian government,

  • each with their own allies or enemies trying to deal with the problem.

  • Then you have different interests among the groups leading the charge.

  • On the one hand, you have the US

  • and its main European and Arab allies bombing ISIS both in Iraq and Syria.

  • Now they got a major boost when Turkey joined the coalition.

  • That's not just because Turkish war playing started bombing ISIS positions,

  • but also because Turkey allowed the coalition to use the bases

  • inside Turkey like the one in Incirlik.

  • Then you have the Syrians,

  • their Air Force has been notorious for allegedly

  • causing a lot of civilian casualties while bombing opposition- controlled areas.

  • But the Syrian military has also conducted many air strikes against ISIS

  • in places like Raqqa, but also in Palmyra,

  • which was captured by the militant group.

  • The Syrian government's main ally on the ground is Iran,

  • which has been training pro- regime militias to fight ISIS and other groups.

  • Iran has also been helping the Iraqi government,

  • organizing Shia militias there.

  • Then you have both the Syrian and the Iraqi Kurds,

  • who have made major gains against ISIS.

  • But many of these groups and countries simply have no trust in each other,

  • and that's one of the reasons why

  • it's so difficult to start a concerted effort to beat back ISIS.

  • There's only one place we look for your roll call requests.

  • It's each day's transcript page at cnnstudentnews. com.

  • Kicking things off, are the BoilerMakers, always a cool mascot.

  • They're at Bradley- Bourbonnais Community High School, in Bradley, Illinois.

  • Moving east, its tough to catch the Cheetahs.

  • They're at WL Chenery middle school in Belmont, Massachusetts,

  • and on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea,

  • we're visiting Latvia today.

  • Say hello to the International School of Riga in the Latvian capital.

  • On Wall Street, things started out pretty well yesterday.

  • After losing 531 points last Friday

  • and dropping another 588 points Monday,

  • the Dow Jones Industrial Average had gained back 442

  • at one point yesterday. That didn't hold.

  • The Dow gives a measure of

  • how the whole market is doing,

  • and it took another hit before Tuesday's trading was over,

  • losing an additional 205 points.

  • Half of America has money invested in the market,

  • and a lot of it was lost, and one major factor in this is China's economy.

  • It's slowing down.

  • Because what happens in one country can affect markets in another,

  • well, you see how the Dow reacted. China is not the only factor in this, though.

  • The price of oil has plunged, falling to the lowest levels

  • since the 2009 economic crisis.

  • But this isn't just about money lost in trading pits or saved at the gas pump,

  • oil is a signal for the global economy.

  • It powers the planet, supplying a third of all energy consumed.

  • So, in a sense, the economic activity of billions of people

  • is reflected in the price of the single barrel of crude.

  • Let's break down the global game of supply and demand.

  • That's driving the drop.

  • The world is producing more oil, especially in America.

  • New technologies allow companies to extract oil from shale rock,

  • boosting US production nearly 90 % since 2008.

  • Meanwhile OPEC, the international cartel

  • that represents many of the biggest oil- producing nations

  • isn't turning off its spigot, keeping production levels stable.

  • While new oil floods the market,

  • demand is falling. Economic stumbles in Europe and China

  • have curbed the world's thirst,

  • and oil consumption will grow by less than 1 % this year.

  • Low demand, high supply,

  • a perfect recipe for falling prices,

  • which helps one part of the economy and hurts another.

  • Who's benefiting? Consumers.

  • The energy department expects prices to average $ 2. 60 a gallon next year.

  • The lowest in five years.

  • That gives US consumers an extra $ 60 Billion to spend.

  • Getting hurt? The American energy industry.

  • US production costs are high, and if companies scale back,

  • that could threaten jobs especially in states like North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

  • Local jobs, international demand, American production and Chinese consumption,

  • all that activity is summed up in a drop of oil. So watch out when oil drops.

  • The US is one of only three countries in the world

  • that aren't on the metric system,

  • but one of America's highways is.

  • Arizona's highway 19 dates back to a Carter administration

  • era test of the metric system.

  • Never caught on nationally, of course,

  • but many locals say they're used to it,

  • and they want to keep their highways just as it is,

  • going the distance in kilometers. Now that's random.

  • An Arizona transportation official says if the signs are updated,

  • they may show kilometers and miles.

  • And if you're the type that prefers to burn off a kilogram

  • by drinking water by the liter and running a 5K,

  • you might like the idea behind Highway 19,

  • which connects Tucson, Arizona, with Mexico.

  • But why hasn't the metric system measured up in other parts of the U. S .?

  • To be sure, only the United States,

  • Liberia and Myanmar have not officially adopted the metric standard.

  • And the US Metric Association, yes, there is such a thing,

  • says being among the outliers costs real money.

  • We have to convert, repackage and relabel products for trade.

  • Research and technology are constantly straddling the metric American fence.

  • And, well, it's just confusing.

  • In 1999, NASA literally lost a $ 125 million Mars orbiter in space

  • because of a mismatch between American units of measurement

  • and the more commonly used metric standards.

  • About to change the world. Of course we've tried to change.

  • In the 70's, the White House, starting with President Ford,

  • pushed for a makeover under the Metric Conversion Act.

  • President Carter also championed the system.

  • It didn't hurt that he was a runner,

  • since road races are routinely measured in kilometers.

  • Running to win this morning? Well, I'm running to finish.

  • nd soon, soda, gasoline and more was being sold by the liter.

  • Federal contracts went metric too, but commerce was trumped by culture.

  • Some people were clearly not ready to watch football on a 91 meter

  • field or measure American babies in centimeters.

  • And although President Reagan signed an act designating

  • the metric system as the preferred system of measurement,

  • he later shut the program down, unwilling to touch it with a ten- foot pole.

  • It's hard to imagine that back in the 1930's,

  • the US Navy had aircraft carriers that flew.

  • They were air ships, like blimps,

  • that could lower a trapeze for biplanes to hook onto midair.

  • This is the last one, the USS Macon.

  • It lies 1400 feet deep off of California's Point Sur.

  • where it crashed during a storm in 1935.

  • That ended the military's flying aircraft carrier program.

  • Even though experts say it'd be too expensive

  • and time consuming to try to recover the airship,

  • scientists have continued to explore the wreckage

  • since it was first discovered in 1990.

  • It includes the USS Macon and parts of the biplanes it carried.

  • Past and present coming together on CNN Student News.

  • No puns today, we'll plan on bringing them back tomorrow.

  • And we hope you'll be watching,

  • and probably groaning when we do.

  • Hope the rest of your day goes well.

Hi, I'm Carl Azuz for CNN Student News.

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