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(CNN Student News) -- May 13, 2011

 

Download PDF maps related to today's show:

 

Spain
 • Yemen
 • Syria

 

Transcript 

 

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. 

 

CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Fridays are awesome! Yes, that includes Friday the 13th. Thank you for spending part of your day with CNN Student News. I'm Carl Azuz, and I know there's a paper airplane around here somewhere.

 

First Up: Bracing for the Worst

 

AZUZ: Louisiana is trying to prepare as this bulge of flood water moves south down the Mississippi River. In New Orleans yesterday, the water level was at 17 feet. But officials don't think the river will crest -- hit its highest point -- until it hits 19 feet. And they expect that to happen more than a week from now. Next door, in Mississippi, 14 counties have been declared major disaster areas by the governor. That'll help free up money for the relief efforts. Ed Lavandera is in Louisiana. He's looking at how officials -- and individuals -- are preparing to deal with the water that's heading their way.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO)

 

GERALD GAUDET, STEPHENVILLE, LOUISIANA RESIDENT: They going to start pumping the water out when it starts coming in.

 

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Gerald Gaudet will fight off the rising water with a little Louisiana bayou ingenuity: his own homemade levee wall.

 

Gerald, do you really think this wall will be enough?

 

GAUDET: I'm hoping so. If it gets any higher, there ain't going to be much in the neighborhood for sure.

 

LAVANDERA: Disaster is flowing downstream and residents in towns like Stephenville and Morgan City are at the end of the line.

 

GAUDET: Getting pretty ready now. The more closer it gets, starting to get worried about it.

 

LAVANDERA: Worried because the Morganza Spillway will likely be opened in the coming days. That will redirect Mississippi River water away from Baton Rouge and New Orleans west into the Atchafalaya River basin. Army Corps of Engineers Colonel Ed Fleming will decide when to open the floodgates.

 

COL. ED FLEMING, U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS: So, what these structures are designed for is to take excess water beyond the design capacity for the levee system off the top of the river.

 

LAVANDERA: This is one of the floodgates of the Morganza flood structure. On the other side, the pressure from the flood waters is already starting to rise. This structure is almost 5,000 feet long, and it has 125 gates. In the coming days, some of those gates will be opened up, and when that does, a massive wall of water will continue to flow out this way, drowning out this area and flowing toward the Gulf of Mexico.

 

These floodgates have only been opened once, back in 1973, bringing the kind of images people around here have never forgotten, like Morgan City Mayor Tim Matte.

 

MAYOR TIM MATTE, MORGAN CITY, LOUISIANA: This is where the water level reached in '73.

 

LAVANDERA: '73.

 

MATTE: Yes.

 

LAVANDERA: This is part of the wall that held it back.

 

MATTE: That's correct.

 

LAVANDERA: Now, a 22-foot wall protects historic downtown Morgan City.

 

MATTE: It will be water all the way. Of course, it will touch this wall and it will extend all the way to that wall over there.

 

LAVANDERA: You're confident about these walls holding up?

 

MATTE: I have to be. Yes. Have to be.

 

LAVANDERA: And if for whatever reason they fail?

 

MATTE: Total catastrophe. This entire city would flood.

 

LAVANDERA: National Guard soldiers are building up levees around town, and it seems like everyone in these neighborhoods has a boat in the driveway ready to go. But Gerald Gaudet will stay on the back porch.

 

So, you'll just sit back here and watch that water start creeping up here in a few days?

 

GAUDET: That's it. I'm going to pull my chairs over here and my swing, and we'll sit here and watch. Maybe catch some fish.

 

LAVANDERA: Ed Lavandera, CNN, Morgan City, Louisiana.

 

(END VIDEO)

 

Shoutout

 

SHELBY ERDMAN, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Mr. Hofer's government class -- and those State of the Union projects -- at Crofton High School in Crofton, Nebraska! What is the newest U.S. presidential Cabinet department? Is it: A) Homeland Security, B) Commerce, C) Health and Human Services or D) Energy? You've got three seconds -- GO! The Department of Homeland Security is the newest; it was established in 2003. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

 

Terror Arrests

 

AZUZ: That department was created in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks that were carried out by members of al Qaeda. Homeland Security officials say lone wolves -- people who act on their own -- can be just as dangerous as terrorist organizations. That's how officials describe two men arrested Wednesday, as lone wolves. An undercover police operation in New York City found evidence the two men were planning an attack on a synagogue, a Jewish place of worship. One source said the suspects hadn't worked out the details. They were arrested when they bought guns and a hand grenade.

 

Hearings on Oil

 

AZUZ: Down in Washington, D.C., some members of Congress have some tough questions for the country's biggest oil and gas companies. Mainly, why should they keep getting money from the government? Subsidies -- money that the government gives to companies -- was the focus of yesterday's hearing. Some U.S. Senators are talking about getting rid of those subsidies for the five biggest U.S. oil and gas companies. They say the industry should be willing to make some sacrifices to help the country. The plan would use the saved money to help pay down the U.S. deficit. But one oil executive said if these proposals become law, it would actually hurt the country.

 

REX TILLERSON, CEO AND CHAIRMAN, EXXONMOBIL: It is not simply that they are misinformed and discriminatory. They are counterproductive. By undermining U.S. competitiveness, they would discourage future investments in energy projects in the United States and therefore undercut job creation and economic growth.

 

I.D. Me

 

TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: See if you can I.D. Me! I'm a European country that's home to nearly 47 million people. I established my independence in 1492. I share the Iberian Peninsula with Portugal. I'm Spain, and I'm in the middle of campaign season for local governments.

 

Earthquake in Spain

 

AZUZ: Spanish candidates might be suspending the campaigns out of respect for the victims of a deadly earthquake. It happened on Wednesday, and it's being called the worst quake to hit Spain in 30 years. In Lorca, the city you're seeing here, officials said 80 percent of the homes sustained some kind of damage. At least nine people were killed. Hundreds of others were injured. The quake had a magnitude of 5.1. That may not sound very big. But depending on where and how these tremors take place, earthquakes of that magnitude can cause considerable damage.

 

[TOWER COLLAPSES]. All right, what you just saw was a church tower that collapsed during the earthquake. And there was a reporter standing right there! He jumped right back on camera to keep reporting. Just one of the many incredible scenes from this earthquake in Spain.

 

Middle East Unrest

 

AZUZ: We've been following the political protests in North Africa and the Middle East for a few months now. People are paying attention to this unrest because of the larger impact that it could have on the world, especially since we've seen similar situations in several countries: people speaking out against their government, calling for a longtime leader to step down.

 

In the nation of Yemen, the unrest has led to violence: protesters fighting with security forces. Reports said more than a dozen people were killed in Yemen yesterday. And in Syria, another Middle Eastern country, a huge rally broke out at a university in the city of Daraa. That's been the site of major fighting between protesters and Syrian government forces. Protesters are planning another round of rallies all across Syria today.

 

Blog Report

 

AZUZ: Well, if you've got a smartphone or used a GPS lately, information on where you are might've been tracked. And though your name isn't typically shared with other companies, sometimes your location information is. Here's what students are saying about this: Jill doesn't think this is a problem. "It's not like companies are looking through our personal items; GPS and location trackers are for our convenience." Allan writes, "Sure, you can turn off your location information. But it's still there, and eventually, it's gonna pop up again. It's really an invasion of privacy." From Emily: "Technology gets more and more advanced every day; it doesn't mean we need our privacy invaded with the use of technology." Jen thinks tracking is a good idea. "If you get lost and have your mobile device with you, then you could be tracked and found. Also, police could use it to find criminals." And Jenah says, "devices about our location should be automatically turned off on our phones. I found out mine was on after I watched CNN Student News." Jenah didn't like that.

 

Before We Go 

 

AZUZ: We have a double dog dose of Before We Go for you today. This is the smart dog, and he has the degree to prove it. Samson here just graduated from a university in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Looks like he's been practicing his handshake for the ceremony, too. Samson is a service dog, and he's been working on the campus since he was 8 weeks old. And this: the not-so-smart dog. He just wants to play fetch. But unfortunately, he's picked a partner who's permanently perched on that park bench. Whoever shot this YouTube video thinks it's hilarious. But we feel bad for the rejected rover. Denying a furry friend a game of fetch?

 

Goodbye 

 

AZUZ: Anyone who does that must have a heart of stone. That brings us to the tail end of today's show. We hope you have a great weekend, especially you students from Teasley Middle School in Canton, Georgia. Nice seeing you yesterday! For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.






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