CNN Radio News Day: February 12, 2013
South Korean passengers watch TV news reporting North Korea's apparent nuclear test, at the Seoul train station.
February 12th, 2013
05:06 PM ET

CNN Radio News Day: February 12, 2013

CNN Radio News Day is an evening news program providing an informative, thoughtful and creative look at the day's events. It's posted Monday through Friday at 4:30 pm ET.

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(CNN) – Welcome to CNN Radio News Day.

  • North Korea delivered on its latest threat to set off a third nuclear test blast. Pyongyang says it's their most powerful nuclear test yet and it triggered a magnitude 5.1 seismic disturbance. The test, North Korea says, is in direct response to hostility from the U.S. Mike Chinoy is a senior fellow at the U.S. China institute at USC and the author of a book on North Korea, titled 'Meltdown':

"This was not at all a surprise," says Chinoy. "The North Koreans have been making clear for several weeks now that they were planning to stage a nuclear test. The only real question was when. The timing, I think, is very interesting because this comes just before President Obama is going to deliver his State of the Union message."

  • It's been almost two months, since a gunman shot and killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. When tragedies happen the question of religion often comes up. Rabbi Marvin Heir with the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, said he’s not surprised that people question religion, and, God in tragedies.

“Remember we live in a very scientific age and so the man of faith is getting smaller and smaller because he can’t bring any proof to the horizon; where is this so-called God?’

  • Close to 4,000 people are stuck on a broken-down Carnival Cruise Line ship in the Gulf of Mexico.  They're waiting to be towed ashore.  Some passengers say the conditions are absolutely gross.  Sewage is filling the hallways because there aren't many working toilets and people are sleeping on the ship's decks because there's no air conditioning or ventilation.  Passenger  Donna Gutzman says the worst part is the bathrooms:

"There's no water.  You can't really flush, so everyone's going in little plastic baggies and putting it outside their room."

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February 12th, 2013
11:39 AM ET

Does the State of the Union matter?

By Lisa Desjardins, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @LisaDCNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) – Legions of journalists, dignitaries and self-defined VIPs will file into the Capitol tonight to watch an annual rite of democracy that is a show of power and priorities.

But, does the carefully choreographed State of the Union address affect policy after the hour-long speech ends? How much does it really matter?

[:20] James Klumpp, professor of communications and expert on presidential speeches, University of Maryland says “the State of the Union has a pretty bad reputation among those of us who study speeches, largely because so many of them end up being laundry lists of programs.”