Channel One News: April 29, 2016

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Headlines: April 29, 2016

Azia: First up in headlines, Vice President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Iraq yesterday. He landed in Baghdad. His main focus? To push for national unity in the fight against ISIS.

The vice president’s visit was not announced. The main reason? Officials didn’t want to compromise his security. These days, the capital of Iraq, Baghdad, is an unsettled city. There have been major protests, as many as 100,000 people in the streets, protesting the current government and what they say is too much corruption.

The vice president’s visit was two-fold: one, to discuss economic stability, and the second part, to discuss plans with Iraq’s leaders on how to deal with the crippling war with ISIS. His visit comes just as the U.S. is sending more troops to Iraq; more than 4,000 U.S. forces will now be on the ground, and their aim is to defeat ISIS and regain control of Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul.

Next, we are moving to the neighboring country of Syria. The United Nations says that the situation in the Syrian city of Aleppo is catastrophic. A wave of airstrikes has killed more than 60 people. A children’s hospital was reportedly hit early Thursday morning. Rescuers carried out young victims from the rubble following airstrikes in the city of Aleppo.

Activists say it is proof that a partial cease-fire announced in February has completely collapsed. Now the United Nations is calling on the United States and Russia to restart peace talks.

A Georgia man is suing Snapchat. He claims that a teen driver crashed into his car while using Snapchat’s speed filter. But did the company know that the filter was tempting teens to drive faster? That is up for a court to decide.

Eighteen-year-old Christal McGee apparently posted this snap shortly after crashing a car in September. The caption: “lucky to be alive.” While driving this white Mercedes, the teenager allegedly used Snapchat’s speed filter and topped out at 113 miles per hour. She then slammed into this gray Mitsubishi.

In a lawsuit, the driver of that car, Wentworth Maynard, said, “McGee was distracted and using the Snapchat app on her phone” and that the crash has left him with permanent brain damage.

The lawsuit claims the popular “miles per hour” filter motivates Snapchatters to drive very fast. In a statement, Snapchat said: “We actively discourage our community from using the speed filter while driving, including by displaying a ‘Do not snap and drive’ warning message in the app itself.”

Hollywood Languages

Azia: So TV shows like “Game of Thrones” may seem like complete fiction, but Maggie is here to tell us about the very real languages that these characters speak.

Maggie: Yeah, Azia, and we have a look at the scholars who create these languages. Take a listen.

When the actors on “Game of Thrones” speak High Valyrian and Dothraki, they are not just making it up. These new languages were invented right here in the home office of David Peterson, a linguist — someone who studies every aspect of language.

David Peterson: They actually tried to use gibberish for the Dothraki scenes that were going to be in the pilot, but they just didn’t like the sound of it. It really has to feel real in order to get — to drive that impact home to the audience, and the languages that I create are a part of that.

Maggie: The show sends him scripts with the dialogue in English, and he sends back the translation as well as an audio recording of how it should sound. Peterson has now created more than 5,000 words for “Game of Thrones,” and every single word is its own battle.

Peterson: Should this word be derived from another via regular affixation; should it be zero derived, so we take the word and just have it mean something different; or should it be a metaphorical extension of something else; or should it be an expression, like, or an idiom?

Maggie: In the end, it is the actors who have to deliver what he has created.

Jason Momoa: It’s basically like Arabic and German, and it’s insane. It’s really, really hard. So I just kind of recite it all the time, and then you gotta figure out what you’re saying in English, and it’s been hard, but it’s a great challenge.

Maggie: Historically, actors have sounded a bit silly using made-up words, like in the “Star Wars” films. But it was Klingon from “Star Trek” that raised the bar, one of the first wholly invented languages that led to its own books and dictionaries. In 2009’s “Avatar,” the Na’vi on Pandora got their own fully fledged vocabulary, and David recently created the language for the Dark Elves in the latest “Thor” film.

These invented languages inspired a linguistics class at the University of California, San Diego. Peterson has now created languages for nine shows and three movies.

Peterson: Before “Game of Thrones,” no language creator ever thought they would ever be paid for their work at all. It just was completely unrealistic. It’s basically our golden age.

Next Big Thing: Eco-Friendly Shampoo

Azia: It is a product that is changing the way you keep your hair fresh, but before we lather into this week’s next big thing, let’s see what you thought about last week’s.

We told you about an idea putting a new spin on the way you work out, the bike washing machine. So is it the next big thing? Fifty percent said, “Yes — so fresh and so clean clean!” But 50 percent said, “No — this idea is a wash!”

Time to hear your thoughts. Here is Team Yes.

Class: This is Mr. Young’s 11th-grade class from Maple Lake, Minnesota. We think this is the next big thing.

Class: We’re Mr. Hennessy’s service learning class from Fisher Middle School in Greenville, South Carolina. We may have…but they’ve invented a bike. This may cost some ching, but we think the bike washing machine is the next big thing.

Azia: And Team No.

Class: We think the bike washing machine is not the next big thing.

Class: We are Ms. Jeffrey’s fourth-period economics class, and we do not think this is the next big thing. I love you, Tom Hanson!

Azia: Thanks, guys — love those videos.

Okay now, plastic bottles hold a lot of the products we use every day, but they can be harmful to the environment, so one teen decided to reinvent shampoo.

It is changing the world, one ball at a time. Meet Nohbo, the world’s first eco-friendly shampoo ball. It was created by 16-year-old Benjamin Stern in Florida, and we got the chance to speak with him about his invention.

Benjamin Stern: I came up with Nohbo after watching a documentary on, like, the marine life and plastic’s impact on it. And it, you know, it horrified me to see these little, like, animals and sea turtles with, inside them, plastic bottles, you know.

Azia: The solid ball becomes shampoo when you hold it under water and rub it in your hands, creating a lather, then you use it as you would any other liquid shampoo. There are no plastic bottles and no waste when you use the product, because each package is wrapped in a biodegradable, plant-based material.

And for those of you who are wondering, it smells like — well, we will let Benjamin tell you.

Benjamin: The Smoky Sandalwood, it has more of a musky, light scent to it. Our Japanese Cherry Blossom, it’s more of a light and floral scent, and the last one, Unscented, well, you know, that’s unscented.