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  • Three days into the 11th month of the year,

  • you've found CNN Student News. I'm Carl Azuz at the CNN Center.

  • First up, US President Barack Obama

  • wants changes made to America's criminal justice system.

  • Yesterday he announced new government actions intended

  • to help rehabilitate US prisoners,

  • and help them get their lives back on track after their time is served.

  • His announcement came as the US government wrapped up

  • its early release of 6, 000 federal prisoners.

  • It was the largest release of its kind in American history.

  • The President's also calling on Congress

  • to change prison sentencing laws

  • for people who've committed nonviolent drug crimes.

  • It's part of an effort to decrease the US prison population.

  • His actions come at a time when the use of certain drugs,

  • especially heroin, has increased in recent years.

  • And some officials, like the head of New York City's police department,

  • said the government needs to be cautious about

  • the people it releases from prison.

  • He says many inmates go to jail with negotiated charges.

  • Meaning some might have committed violent crimes,

  • they're just not specifically serving time for them.

  • The US Geological Survey says the first earthquake

  • that hit just before 9: 00 PM was magnitude 3. 2.

  • The second, two and a half hours later was stronger, magnitude 4. 1.

  • The third, 20 minutes after that, 4. 0.

  • This wouldn't have been breaking news in San Francisco maybe,

  • but this series of quakes was felt in Phoenix, Arizona,

  • pretty far removed from the West Coast's major fault lines.

  • There wasn't any major damage.

  • Quakes of these magnitudes are felt, pictures may sway, plates may fall.

  • But they're not usually very destructive.

  • Still, local residents were shaken up.

  • US scientists are finding there's potential for these well beyond Phoenix.

  • You may think that people living on the West Coast

  • are the only ones at risk of an earthquake,

  • but that's far from the truth.

  • In fact, the USGS just released new research

  • that states nearly half of all Americans

  • are at risk from damaging shaking due to earthquakes.

  • One reason is that population has grown significantly

  • in some of these areas more prone to earthquakes.

  • But also, scientists have improved their capabilities

  • of estimating where these danger zones are.

  • So which states have the strongest shaking potential?

  • California, Washington, Utah, Tennessee, Oregon, South Carolina,

  • Nevada, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois.

  • You may be surprised at how many East Coast states are on the list.

  • Well scientists learned a lot from the Virginia earthquake in 2011.

  • They say that a stronger earthquake is possible,

  • specifically stating Charleston, South Carolina is at risk.

  • New York City, you had a little good news.

  • The threat is down from slower shaking,

  • which causes more damage to taller buildings,

  • versus fast shaking, which does more damage to shorter structures.

  • Even with this new information, there's still a threat.

  • California has always been known for their risk of earthquakes,

  • and that hasn't changed.

  • In fact, the risk has actually gone up

  • for Southern California as well as the Bay Area.

  • And then there's the Pacific Northwest.

  • The Cascadia subduction zone has the potential

  • to produce an earthquake with a magnitude up to 9. 3.

  • This was discovered by studying the 2011 earthquake in Japan,

  • and the 2014 earthquake in Chile.

  • Both occurred along subduction zones similar to the Northwest zone.

  • Whether you live right along a fault or not,

  • you may still be at risk of feeling the shaking from an earthquake.

  • Not all journalists disclose their sources but we do on our Roll Call,

  • each day's transcript page at CNNstudentnews. com.

  • Essex Middle School knows about this.

  • Great to see the Eagles today from Essex, Vermont.

  • How about Fairfield Area High School?

  • Its always Knight time y'all in Fairfield, Pennsylvania.

  • And from the capital of Turkey, that's Ankara,

  • we heard from Gurcag High School yesterday.

  • Thank you for watching. In northwestern Iraq, a battle is looming.

  • There's a town there called Sinjar.

  • It's not far from the Iraqi border with Syria.

  • And in August of last year, Sinjar was overrun by the ISIS terrorist group.

  • It's an important strategic location because it sits between Mosul,

  • an ISIS controlled city in Iraq, and Raqqa,

  • an ISIS controlled city in Syria.

  • The Kurdish Peshmerga forces who've been battling ISIS

  • in a number of places in the Middle East are getting ready to take Sinjar back.

  • And they've enlisted the help of about 5, 000 Yazidis.

  • They're a religious minority group that's been an ongoing target for ISIS.

  • ISIS view one religious group in particular as infidels.

  • They have a great deal of hatred for a religious group called the Yazidis.

  • ISIS has worked deliberately to enslave, capture,

  • and to kill members of the Yazidi religious faith.

  • They don't consider them to be a religion of the book.

  • ISIS actually has more respect for Christians and Jews

  • because the Quran recognizes those religions as being precursors of Islam.

  • These are the people of Sinjar mountain.

  • These are the Yazidis trapped there.

  • As ISIS moved forward one of the areas they moved into

  • was Sinjar that had hundreds of thousands

  • of members of the Yazidi faith living there,

  • and those people were particularly terrified.

  • We're flying over ISIS frontlines right now.

  • There have been accounts gathered by Yazidi activists

  • that perhaps more than 3, 000 Yazidi men and boys

  • were executed in various massacres by ISIS.

  • ISIS also took thousands of people hostage,

  • and many of these people are women and girls.

  • One of the Yazidi activists that I talked to

  • many of the children were forced to attend Islamic schools,

  • and begin Muslim prayers five times a day.

  • As some Yazidi activists have put it,

  • ISIS is bringing back practices of slavery to the modern day era.

  • And they've imposed this modern day slavery

  • on some of these innocent Yazidi civilians now, for more than a year.

  • Here's what investigators know about Kogalymavia Flight 9268

  • that crashed in part of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula Saturday.

  • It was cruising at more than 30, 000 feet when it disappeared from radar.

  • It was about 23 minutes into its flight from Egypt to Russia.

  • It broke into pieces before it hit the ground.

  • A Kogalymavia executive said yesterday

  • that the only reasonable explanation for the crash

  • was an external influence.

  • He didn't explain what that meant,

  • but other officials say it's too early to know for sure what happened.

  • They have recovered and they're decoding the plane's flight

  • and voice data recorders.

  • Following a plane crash, the search for survivors always comes first,

  • but just as important is the search for answers, the why and the how.

  • Often, those answers are found in the black box.

  • Since the 60s, all commercial airplanes

  • have been required to have one onboard.

  • Now, the name is a little misleading,

  • because they're actually orange.

  • And when we're talking about a black box,

  • we're talking about two different boxes,

  • one being the Cockpit Voice Recorder,

  • the other being the Flight Data Recorder.

  • Together, they weigh anywhere between 20 to 30 pounds

  • and they have to be crash proof.

  • Black boxes can survive just about anything.

  • Temperatures up to 2, 000 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour,

  • forces that are 3, 4000 G's. Now that's 3, 400 times the force of gravity.

  • They're water proof and they can save recorded data for two years.

  • And it's a lot of data.

  • The cockpit voice recorder records the crew's conversation

  • and background noise.

  • By listening to the ambient sounds in a cockpit before a crash,

  • experts can determine if a stall took place,

  • the RPMs of the engine and the speed at which the plane was traveling.

  • When these sounds are cross- referenced with ground

  • control conversations, they can even help searchers locate a crash site.

  • Then there's the flight data recorder.

  • It gathers 25 hour of technical data from airplane sensors,

  • recording several thousand discrete pieces of information.

  • Data about the air speed, altitude, pitch, acceleration,

  • roll, fuel, and the list goes on and on.

  • If you're scared of lightening, this'll make you jump.

  • A National Weather Service technician was recording a recent storm.

  • He was indoors where we should be during a thunderstorm.

  • But this was a little close.

  • Yeah, told you. A lightning bolt nailed a weather radar tower.

  • And it did some damage at a time when storms

  • were contributing to flash flooding in Brownsville, Texas.

  • Fortunately, the technician was okay.

  • Though he probably considered lighting out of the area,

  • the enlightening lightning video is not to be taken lightly.

  • It sheds light on an illuminating subject,

  • brightening our concept of nature's light show

  • and electrifying our coverage of current events.

  • I'm Carl Azuz, and CNN Student News is lights out!

Three days into the 11th month of the year,

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