Maggie: Hey, everyone! It is Thursday, August 22nd. And today, we have got your headlines, and we check out how one school’s gym is giving a whole new meaning to the term power lift.
I am Maggie Rulli and Channel One News starts right now!
News about the governments’ surveillance program tops our headlines today. And there is some outrage over just how much of our activity on the web can be monitored.
The National Security Agency, or NSA, has built a network that can monitor as much as 75% of all U.S. web traffic – much more than what was previously thought. And while the NSA is only supposed to target foreigners, the NSA sometimes ‘retains the written content of emails sent between citizens within the U.S.,’ that is according to a report in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. The NSA hasn’t responded directly to the report but has said it is their job to protect the U.S. from threats, and that is why they monitor this type of information.
The NSA has been at the center of controversy since June when it was leaked to the media that the agency had collected the records of ordinary Americans without permission.
Up next, we head to the country of Syria where the situation is getting even more tense.
Demetrius: Right, Maggie. There are accusations flying around that if proven true could draw many countries into the fighting there.
Syrian rebels posted these videos to YouTube yesterday showing what they claim are the victims of a poisonous gas attack – most of them too graphic for us to show on TV. They say President Bashar Assad’s troops killed hundreds of civilians, including many children, in the attack.
Khaled Saleh: These chemical weapons were used and were carried out using ballistic missiles. Only the regime has that capability, has the willingness to use them against innocent civilians.
Demetrius: A Syrian military spokesman denied the use of chemical weapons, calling the claims absolutely baseless.
Rebels have been trying to throw Assad out of power for more than two years. The United Nations says more than 100,000 people have died in the civil war.
There is no way to know if the videos are real because, so far, independent experts haven’t been able to check out the situation. If this was a chemical attack, its timing is surprising because a team of United Nations weapons inspectors arrived in Syria’s capital city of Damascus just three days ago.
William Hague: If verified, this would be a shocking escalation of the use of chemical weapons in Syria. We are determined the people responsible will one day be held to account.
Demetrius: They are there to investigate prior claims of chemical weapons attacks. If those inspectors can get to the scene, they could test mucus and soil samples and determine whether a chemical was used within hours. But we don’t know if they will be allowed by the government to go there.
President Obama has said if the claims about the use of chemical weapons against its own people are found to be true, the Syrian government has gone too far.
Maggie: Thanks, Demetrius.
Now, homeschooling is becoming a growing trend throughout the country. And, Jason, you have some good news for some of those students?
Jason: That is right, Maggie. A new ruling in Indiana says that homeschooled athletes can now participate in public high school competitions.
At least 1.5 million students in the U.S. are home-schooled or attend non-accredited schools. Now, the Indiana High School Athletic Association, known as the IHSAA, says at least some of those students can take part in public school athletics.
In the past, home-schooled students were forced to create their own athletic events, like these members of the New Testament Homeschool Co-op. But the new ruling in Indiana says that if homeschooled athletes fit a few requirements, they can now compete with their peers of the school district they live in. Requirements include that they must complete statewide exams and enroll in at least one class at the school where they would like to play.
Other state athletic associations may soon start following in the footsteps of Indiana. Ohio recently created similar opportunities for homeschooled students there.
Maggie: Alright. That is going to do it for headlines. Coming up, we have the final ruling in a case that involved one of the biggest leaks of top-secret information.
It is a case that has divided opinion worldwide. Some say the man behind one of the largest leaks of classified information is a traitor. Others say he is a hero. After three years, his case has finally come to a close. Scott Evans has the story.
Scott: Security escorted Bradley Manning into a military courtroom yesterday where he learned his fate. A military judge sentenced the 25-year-old Army analyst to 35 years in prison. He will be dishonorably discharged and forfeit all pay and benefits. The sentence is the longest ever handed down in a case like this.
Manning was convicted of giving WikiLeaks, a controversial website that publishes top- secret info, more than 700,000 classified documents. The leak showed the heavy civilian death toll during the Iraq War and instances of prisoner abuse. It also included private messages to diplomats and this video from 2007 of a U.S. helicopter attack that killed civilians in Iraq. Comments were even included about leaders around the world, like this one that described the Russian president as ‘afraid and hesitant,’ and Afghan President Hamid Karzai is described as being ‘driven by paranoia.’
The leak, officials said, wasn’t just embarrassing, but it puts peoples’ lives in danger – people who were working behind the scenes.
The leak gave the world an inside look at how the U.S. was operating. The documents even contained specific instructions to collect things like credit card numbers and, in some cases, even DNA samples and fingerprints. The U.S. government said the leak left the country vulnerable and made foreign officials more cautious and even suspicious when dealing with American diplomats.
Last week, Manning apologized, saying, ‘I understand that I must pay a price for my decisions and actions.’
His lawyers tried to argue for a lesser sentence, saying their client was under severe emotional distress. Manning was a low-level analyst when he leaked the information. He said he did it to start a public debate about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. His supporters call him a hero, and a small group of them gathered outside the military base where he was sentenced.
Jeff Patterson: And he did a heroic thing while most people kept their mouths shut.
Scott: The documents Manning released represent the largest leak in classified information in U.S. history.
Scott: With good behavior he could shave several years off his prison sentence and he will get a credit for the more than three years he has already spent in custody.
Scott Evans, Channel One News.
Maggie: Alright. Coming up, what if your gym time could improve your health and the environment? We will check out how one school greened-up their workout routine.
Do you ever wonder what happens to all that energy you expend when you work out? Well, Demetrius Pipkin checks out one school that is making that sweat work double time.
Sienna Wheeler: It’s very good to know that I’m actually doing something while I’m sweating.
Demetrius: Students and staff at Sacramento State in California are doing more than just shaping up when they step on an exercise machine. They are actually powering the campus.
Kate Costelo: The more that you challenge yourself and the higher intensity, the more electricity that you’re going to produce.
Demetrius: Nineteen elliptical machines in their gym are now hooked up to the campus power grid. And each student can track how much energy he or she is putting out simply by logging into the system. Their output shows up on this screen.
Gina Hagh: I was, like, working out and kind of watching the bulb. So, it’s pretty neat.
Demetrius: And this bulb lights up brighter the harder the students work out.
Costelo: A typical 30-minute workout is equal to about 10 minutes of powering a television and about 15 minutes of powering a ceiling fan.
Demetrius: And combined, these gym goers can be pretty powerful.
Costelo: On a typical day, we average 0.9-kilowatt hours, which is equivalent to about 3 hours of television, 19 hours of a computer laptop, or 4.5 hours of a ceiling fan.
Demetrius: A lot of schools and businesses are now using the LEED green building rating system, which measures how environmentally friendly your building actually is. Now, this four-level rating system goes from a basic certification to a platinum level, and it measures everything from how much water is wasted to the air quality indoors. And thanks to Sac State’s energy-producing elliptical machines, their gym has earned a gold rating.
The state of California has twice as many LEED projects than any other state in the country. It is all in an effort to produce buildings that are more energy efficient and that are safer for the environment by limiting the need for fossil fuels, like oil and coal, which many scientists say are the leading cause of climate change.
Gina: I feel like it’s kind of like your own mini motivation. You’re like, ‘Okay, cool, I’m going to turn the light on and see how bright I can make it for, you know, how long.’
Demetrius: The university also hopes it motivates students to become more aware of the other ways they can help the environment one step at a time.
Student: Every time I come now, I’m going to definitely make sure to log in so I can keep contributing.
Demetrius: Demetrius Pipkin, Channel One News.
Maggie: Every day during the school year, the gym creates enough energy to power up a computer laptop for 19 hours!
And if you want more green in your life, head on over to Channelone.com for tips on saving energy, and cash, when making environmentally-friendly choices.
Alright. Now that I am all motivated to workout, I am out of here! But we will be back tomorrow. I am Maggie Rulli. Go have an awesome day!
Students at the Universtiy of California in Sacramento are helping to power their campus.
Some of the machines in the school’s gym are hooked up to a machine that turns the students’ workouts into electricity.
A typical 30-minute workout could power a television for 10 minutes.
Many students love the idea that by going to the gym, they are helping the environment.
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More running means more energy!
The energy created by student workouts in Sacramento State’s gym, helps to power the campus.