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CNN Student News Transcript: April 27, 2009

  • Story Highlights
  • Investigate a dangerous virus that's causing a public health emergency
  • Catch up with the U.S. secretary of state on a surprise trip to Lebanon
  • Field a story about a football score that's been unsettled for 15 years
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(CNN Student News) -- April 27, 2009

Quick Guide

Swine Flu Concerns - Investigate a dangerous virus that's causing a public health emergency.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Lebanon - Catch up with the U.S. secretary of state on a surprise trip to Lebanon.

A Score to Settle - Field a story about a football score that's been unsettled for 15 years.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Health, government, sports. There's a lot of ground to cover in today's edition of CNN Student News so we're gonna get right to it. I'm Carl Azuz.

First Up: Swine Flu Concerns

AZUZ: First up, the U.S. government declares a public health emergency in preparation for a possible epidemic of swine flu. Like the name suggests, this virus is usually associated with pigs. The worst outbreak appears to be in Mexico, where authorities say 81 deaths are likely linked to swine flu. Officials there are checking more than 1,300 other people who have flu-like symptoms. A group of students and teachers in New Zealand might have been infected during a recent trip to Mexico. Canada has at least six confirmed cases, and as of yesterday afternoon, the U.S. had at least 20 cases in five different states. Only one of those people had to be hospitalized.

The World Health Organization says it's too early to tell whether this will be a mild or serious pandemic, a disease outbreak that spreads across multiple countries. For now, experts are investigating the virus and how to avoid it.


AZUZ: It started in pigs, though you cannot get it from eating pork. At first, swine flu only occasionally transferred to people, like farmers, who came in contact with pigs. Now, it's spreading from person to person. Experts think that happens through coughing, sneezing and picking up the virus from contaminated surfaces. And though it can be deadly, many of the Americans who've gotten swine flu are expected to make a full recovery.

The symptoms here are the same as for the regular flu: fever, sore throat, achiness, chills, exhaustion, possibly vomiting and diarrhea. If prescribed within a couple days of the first symptoms, antiviral drugs work especially well against the disease. In the meantime...

DR. RICHARD BESSER, ACTING DIRECTOR, CDC: It's clear there are things people can do to reduce the likelihood they'll get infected. Frequent hand washing is one of the most important things people can do. And if people are sick, stay home. Don't travel.

AZUZ: The Centers for Disease Control recommends that you do cover up with a clean tissue when you cough or sneeze; keep your hands clean, as you heard; and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth to keep germs from spreading. In addition, Mexican authorities are telling people to avoid large crowds, keep their distance from others, and to avoid kissing.


S.C. Wildfires

AZUZ: Alright, in other news: We've been getting some comments on our Facebook page from students at Ocean Bay Middle School who have been affected by serious wildfires. We certainly hope your all doing well there. These blazes have scorched a destructive path across parts of South Carolina for more than a week. Thankfully, no injuries have been reported. The flames have destroyed about 70 homes in the area and damaged about 100 others. As of Sunday, the blaze was about 85% contained.


ERIK NIVISON, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! What country's flag is this? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A) Lebanon, B) Spain, C) Iran or D) India? You've got three seconds -- GO! It's the national flag of Lebanon, a country that's home to about 4 million people. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Lebanon

AZUZ: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says that those Lebanese should be able to take part in free elections. She made the statement during a surprise trip to Lebanon, which is scheduled to head to the polls in about six weeks. The country is in between the U.S. and other Middle Eastern nations, like Syria and Iran, both geographically and politically. As Jill Dougherty explains, that could be an issue during the upcoming election.


JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lays a wreath at the site of the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, part of the country's violent political legacy. Lebanon is facing June 7th parliamentary elections that U.S. officials concede could see some gains by Hezbollah, the hybrid political-militant group that fought a war with Israel in 2006, but also provides social services to Lebanese citizens. Hezbollah has ties to Syria and Iran. Secretary Clinton, in Beirut, said there should be no outside interference in those elections.

U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON: The people of Lebanon must be able to choose their own representatives in open and fair elections without the specter of violence or intimidation, and certainly free of outside interference.

DOUGHERTY: The stakes are clear: Will Lebanon move closer to the West or toward Iran and Syria? But, in the fluid politics of the Middle East, the Obama administration is opening a dialogue with Syria and Iran, and a senior State Department official says Clinton's visit is designed to reassure Lebanon that those discussions are not coming at the expense of support for Lebanon's independence.

CLINTON: So, I want to assure any Lebanese citizens that the United States will never make any deal with Syria that sells out Lebanon and the Lebanese people. You've been through too much.

DOUGHERTY: The U.S. has provided one billion dollars in assistance for Lebanon since 2006; the Obama administration is proposing more. But a senior State Department official says the U.S. will have to look at the composition of the government in evaluating its programs. Jill Dougherty, CNN, Beirut.


Is this legit?

NIVISON: Is this legit? In football, a delay of game results in a 10-yard penalty and a loss of down. Not legit! NFL rules say that delaying a game carries a 5-yard penalty and no loss of a down.

A Score to Settle

AZUZ: As many of you football players know, that's for a delay of the play clock, which runs 35 seconds. What about a delayed outcome, one that's lasted for 15 years?! That scenario played out in Pennsylvania this weekend, as two squads put the pads back on and took the field to settle a gridiron grudge match. Reynolds Wolf checks in with some pre-game commentary.


REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN WEATHER ANCHOR: This is the story of two American towns, separated by a bubbling reach of Delaware River but joined by a bridge and one of the nation's most heated high school football rivalries, a bitter feud played out for more than a century. And for the Stateliners of Phillipsburg, New Jersey and the Red Rovers of Easton, Pennsylvania, that battle rages every Thanksgiving.

STEVE SHIFFERT, EASTON AREA HIGH SCHOOL COACH: We always say that Thanksgiving is the barometer at which you are judged in these communities. What you do on Thanksgiving sticks with you for life.

WOLF: And as the years fade, the memories of past games remain. The 1993 contest perhaps one of the sharpest, a grueling clash that ended in a tie. Easton was heavily favored and scored first, Phillipsburg second, and then the underdogs dug in.

BRUCE SMITH, PHILLIPSBURG HIGH SCHOOL COACH: We made three big plays during the course of the game. We had two goal line stands. With about five minutes to go, Easton was lining up for what should have been a gimme field goal.

WOLF: Now, it was on this field that late in the fourth quarter Easton made that final drive. You know, all they had to do was to get the ball close, line up for a very short field goal and then push it through the uprights. Simple enough. Thing is, that's not what happened.

TIM FLYNN, PHILLIPSBURG FOOTBALL PLAYER: Their tight end blocked out and I slipped through, and I actually blocked it with my armpit. Got a little lucky.

WOLF: The overtime rule wasn't in effect in '93, so the game ended in a tie: 7-7. Which these guys say is like kissing your sister.

ANNOUNCER: A sister kisser.

WOLF: So, for fifteen years, the recollections of that frustrating day gathered cobwebs in their minds, unresolved and tucked away, until one fateful moment.

TYRONE RANDOLPH, PHILLIPSBURG FOOTBALL PLAYER: All of the sudden, the phone starts ringing, people calling me, asking me, telling me about it.

WOLF: Same players. Same field. Same rivalry. 10,000 tickets sold in 90 minutes.

SMITH: Typically, you don't get second chances in life. And to get this kind of second chance means the world to both sides of the river.

WOLF: But the boys of '93 are now grown men. Dark hair is now turning grey; slim waists are now thick. They had to get in shape within eight weeks.

MIKE CERIMELE, VELOCITY SPORTS PERFORMANCE: You're re-introducing things that these guys haven't done in 15 years.

WOLF: But strapping on the pads and walking out on that field one last time is something that most of these guys would never want to miss.

TIM GADWELL, EASTON PLAYER: I'm going to kiss the ground, and then I'm going to get up and I'm going to listen to that crowd roar one more time. I can't wait.

WOLF: One last chance to settle the score once and for all.


AZUZ: We'd love to say this one ended in a tie, too, but the the teams made sure that wouldn't happen again. The outcome? Phillipsburg, the underdog in that 1993 game, led throughout this one and came away with the victory.

Grade the president!

AZUZ: You guys are usually the ones getting report cards, but this time, we want you to give 'em to President Obama! This Wednesday marks his 100th day in office, a big milestone for any new president. How do you think he's doing? Head to our blog, give him a grade and tell us your reasons why.

Before We Go

AZUZ: Before we go, some security camera footage that's un-bull-lievable. Just your standard day at the grocery store, until this beast barrels his way down the aisle. First, it looks like he had a beef with the butcher. Then the bull's owner enters the fray before quickly turning tail. Probably a good idea as you see right here. Here's one question though: If you escape from a cattle market, why would your first stop be a super market?



AZUZ: Maybe he just couldn't find the closest china shop. Luckily, no one was hurt, they just got a bit bullied. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.

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