Tom: Nothing like a little music to get us started. Thanks to Mariachi Luna for starting off the show for Hispanic Heritage Month. We will check back in with them a little later on for a pop quiz.
First up today, Olympic star Simone Biles dominated the Games in gymnastics this summer, but now her private information — along with the information of several other Olympians — was leaked after a hacker broke into their medical files.
The group of Russian hackers, also known as Fancy Bears, say they hacked the info because they stand for fair play and clean sport and wanted to expose the dirty methods of the U.S. Olympic squad.
Biles’ medical records show she was taking medication for ADHD, which some argue gave her an unfair advantage. But she did it with permission. Four-time Olympic gold medalist and gymnast Simone Biles responded to the hack, saying "I believe in clean sport and have always followed the rules." Tennis star Venus Williams was also targeted and said the drugs revealed were "approved for legitimate medical reasons."
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency says each of the athletes got their medications cleared in advance. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee condemned the hack and said the U.S. athletes did not violate any anti-doping rules. The Russian government also denies any involvement.
Next up, an update on another story and information leak. Edward Snowden, the famous whistleblower who leaked classified information to the media back in 2013, is asking the president to give him a pardon so he will not go to jail. Edward Snowden spoke yesterday in a teleconference from Russia; that is where he is living to escape U.S. jail time for leaking the classified info.
Snowden was a government contractor for the National Security Agency, and he came across information about the United States surveillance program that was collecting info about who Americans were talking to on their phones. It was all being done without a warrant or approval from a judge. Snowden then decided to copy the files and release them to the media.
The government said he violated the Espionage Act and deserves to be in jail. Snowden says he deserves to be forgiven for exposing "unconstitutional activities." The launch of Pardon Snowden started yesterday and has the backing of human rights groups. It comes just days before a movie about him will be released.
The White House says it believes Snowden should come back to the U.S. and face charges.
Okay, next up, do you ever wonder why you can't find concert tickets that you can afford? It is because of ticketbots — computer software that buys up the tickets before humans can do it, then gives those tickets to brokers to sell for much higher prices. Now lawmakers in Washington, D.C., are cracking down.
When Adele released tickets to her concert last December, 750,000 tickets sold out in just minutes. Some Adele tickets are now selling for $15,000 on resale sites such as StubHub. And Adele, with other artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Garth Brooks, has tried to take on the online ticket scalpers but failed.
And those strange codes you are supposed to enter online to prove you are a human and not a computer — well, they don't work, either.
Jeffrey Seller: Bots are computerized cheaters.
Tom: At a congressional hearing this week, lawmakers were told ticketbots buy up hundreds of thousands of seats in just seconds and resell them for exorbitant prices. Another show being targeted is Broadway's smash hit “Hamilton.” Get this — ticket scalpers made over $15 million just over 100 performances, with some tickets selling for upwards of $15,000 a seat.
Creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda has called for a crackdown.
Lin-Manuel Miranda: You shouldn't have to fight robots to go see a thing you love.
Tom: The bill to stop ticketbots cleared the House of Representatives on Monday, but it still needs to pass the Senate in order to become law.
Let’s hope they get something done. And as we go to break, let's check out our poll results from ChannelOne.com.
Tom: All right, look at your phone. Now look at your friends. These two distractions — believe it or not — can kill you if you are behind the wheel of your car. And summertime is the most dangerous time for teen drivers. Keith Kocinski has the story.
Keith: Cars are the keys to the open road and freedom during the summer, but driving can be really dangerous. Auto accidents are the No. 1 cause of death for U.S. teens. And a new report points out some pretty scary stats about the dangers of being distracted behind the wheel.
During the summer more teens are on the road, and the number of deaths from crashes involving teen drivers soars to an average of 10 every day — 16 percent higher than the rest of the year.
Over the past eight years, AAA, working with the University of Iowa, studied teen drivers using dashboard cameras and documenting more than 2,200 moderate to severe collisions. Over that time they saw a disturbing change in behavior.
Jennifer Ryan: They're more likely to interact with their phones via texting or social media, which is particularly scary because they're actually then looking down and taking their eyes off the road.
Keith: The study says today, nearly 60 percent of teen crashes involve distracted driving, but, perhaps surprisingly, the study found that cell phones are not the No. 1 problem. No, the top distraction for teens is other passengers, accounting for 15 percent of teen driver accidents. Twelve percent were distracted by texting or talking on a cell phone.
Ryan: What we know about teens is that, when they add a passenger, they're more likely to be distracted; they're more likely to engage in risky behavior.
Stacy Robinson: I will miss both of my daughters so much.
Keith: Stacy Robinson lost two daughters in a crash in Texas in March. A teenage friend who was driving was looking at her phone moments before hitting an 18-wheeler head on.
Tom: And, hopefully, it is a message that is making an impact. Such an important story.
Okay, coming up, it is time for a pop quiz.
Tom: Okay now, today is the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month, when we honor the contributions of Hispanic and Latino-Americans, their culture and traditions, and Azia is here with mas.
Azia: Yeah, Tom, and one of those traditions is mariachi music — you know, that big-band sound that you may be familiar with. And I got a chance to meet up with some young people who are keeping the mariachi tradition alive, and they have a pop quiz for us. So here is the band Mariachi Luna. Take it away, guys.
Mariachi Luna: In what country did mariachi music originate?
c. Australia or
You have 10 seconds.
Azia: The answer is d, Mexico. Mariachi music originated in western Mexico during the 19th century. It began when Mexican folk bands put their own spin on music from Spain, Africa and other parts of the world. And it is that rich history that young people across the country are learning to keep alive.
The instruments, the clothes, the songs.
Michael: Mariachi is a huge part of Mexican culture. I think of it like a melting pot of music that has influenced Mexico.
Azia: It is a tradition that started with bands of musicians who learned to play different styles of popular music, with influences from around the world.
Michael: The instruments that make up the mariachi — only two are Mexican. Violins are European; trumpets, brass, you know, German; guitar is from Spain.
Vince: Some songs are about love, losing someone, feeling doubtful. It's all about feeling.
Azia: These students know the feeling well. In Chicago, Illinois, teens at Benito Juarez High School learn the art of mariachi in partnership with the nonprofits After School Matters and the Chicago Mariachi Project.
Maria: We have, like, a bunch of fun.
Azia: Students who learn to play mariachi music can get class credit and even score cash as a working musician.
Michael: So not only do they get to learn an instrument, learn a culture, learn music — you know, they also get a little bit of money out of it.
Azia: They say that learning the craft is helping to prepare them for the future.
Vince: It's like a regular job. When it's time to work, we know it's time to work, and we need to get it done. But when it's time to play, then we know when.
Azia: Mariachi is also a way to reconnect with their heritage.
Maria: Every detail that comes out of mariachi has a meaning to it and shows everyone what — how Mexico is. I really wanted that to be part of my life.
Azia: And we have got more Hispanic Heritage quizzes up on our website. See if you guys can get this one: Who was the first female artist to have a No. 1 movie and a No. 1 album in the same week? Was it Salma Hayek, Jennifer Lopez or Christina Aguilera? The answer is on ChannelOne.com.