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CNN Student News Transcript: October 8, 2009

  • Story Highlights
  • Consider some of the changes that have taken place in Afghanistan since 2001
  • Hear from U.S. officials and young people on the issue of teen violence
  • Learn about the H1N1 virus from a doctor who contracted the disease
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(CNN Student News) -- October 8, 2009

Quick Guide

Afghanistan Strategy - Consider some of the changes that have taken place in Afghanistan since 2001.

Seeking Solutions - Hear from U.S. officials and young people on the issue of teen violence.

H1N1 Virus - Learn about the H1N1 virus from a doctor who contracted the disease.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: A look at teen violence and some of your thoughts on the issue. That's what's coming up in today's edition of CNN Student News. Hi, I'm Carl Azuz.

First Up: Afghanistan Strategy

AZUZ: Strategy and resources. Those are the big factors as President Obama considers the U.S. approach to the war in Afghanistan. He's holding a series of meetings this week, all of them focused on how the U.S. is going to move forward in the conflict and whether or not more troops are needed. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, is expected to call for 40,000 additional U.S. forces. There are 68,000 troops in the country now. One leading Republican says that whatever decision the president makes, he needs to make it quickly.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: We need to act with deliberate haste, and I believe an important aspect of this whole decision-making is that there are a number of options.

AZUZ: President Obama has said one thing that isn't an option is leaving the war, that's a point echoed by fellow Democrats.

SEN. JOHN KERRY, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: I think the president is directly on target here. He made it very, very clear nobody is talking about pulling out or pulling up stakes.

AZUZ: Atia Abawi checks in with the current situation in Afghanistan and how that has changed since the U.S. military action began there.


ATIA ABAWI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's been eight years since the first U.S. boots hit the ground in Afghanistan, and the situation is nowhere near where the Afghan and the international community expected it to be. You have a resurgent Taliban, you have a government that's not recognized by all of the people, and you have military commanders on the ground stating that they have insufficient troop levels to this day to complete the mission here.

But there have been improvements. For example, here in the capital of Kabul, you will see women walking by themselves, going to the store, going to work, and getting an education. But Afghans will tell you although their lives have improved since 2001, it has reversed since 2005, and their situation has deteriorated drastically.


Major Earthquakes

AZUZ: Breaking news last night. Three major earthquakes struck in just over an hour's time near the Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, but officials did issue tsunami warnings, although they were canceled fairly soon afterwards. You can get the latest details on this story at

Seeking Solutions

AZUZ: Back in the America, more than 60 percent of the young people who took part in a Justice Department survey say they experienced violence in the past year. Attorney General Eric Holder calls that number "staggering." Yesterday, he and Education Secretary Arne Duncan addressed the issue in Chicago, where 16-year-old Derrion Albert was killed recently when he got caught in the middle of a street fight. But Attorney General Holder says this issue is not limited to one city.

ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Youth violence is not a Chicago problem, any more than it is a black problem, a white problem or a Hispanic problem. It is something that affects communities big and small and people of all races and all colors. It is an American problem.


Downloadable Maps

AZUZ: We've gotten hundreds of really insightful comments from you about teen violence and the Chicago fight. Kathryn told us that if 16 year olds are fighting bad enough to kill each other, then obviously they were not raised right. She suggests finding out why teens are so angry and wanting to fight. Abdallah says the only way to stop teen violence, especially between high schools, is for the rival schools to come together and be friends. David writes that teen violence is a copy of being bullied and abused by other teens. County officials should go to high schools and talk to teens about it. EO thinks that fighting is not always bad. One guy has a problem with another, or a situation calls for self defense, then EO argues that a fair fight can help things. But this, he adds, was far from anything fair. And from Jeffree: "I pity that humans can be so inhuman. It's sad that anyone would do this." We're always looking for your comments at You notice we only feature blog comments with first names. So when you write in, please use just that.

Word to the Wise

CNN STUDENT NEWS: A Word to the Wise...

pandemic (adjective) occurring over a wide area and affecting a large number of people


H1N1 Virus

AZUZ: The World Health Organization declared the H1N1 virus a pandemic back in June. There have been more than 340,000 confirmed cases of this virus, and one of them is CNN's own Dr. Sanjay Gupta. I sat down with him recently to talk about H1N1. Chck it out.


AZUZ: Dr. Gupta, thank you for being with us on CNN Student News. Now, H1N1 doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. Why call it that? How'd it get the name?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, people have been calling it swine flu instead, because they originally thought it came from pigs. When they first saw this, you remember this, down in Mexico in the spring, they thought this originated with pigs, and it was probably a variant of swine flu. As they looked into it further, they found that in fact, it has all sorts of different components in it. They had swine components, but also bird components and even human components. So, that sort of started this whole process of what do we call this thing. And they decided to call it by its truly scientific name. So, it's interesting, and this may be more than some people want to know, but if you look at the overall virus, it has a couple of different receptors on it. It has what's called a hemagglutinin receptor and a neuraminidase receptor. Most people won't remember those names, which is OK.

AZUZ: I won't.

GUPTA: But hemagglutinin, H; neuraminidase 1, and it's the 1 receptor on both of those that is bound, so it's the H1N1. It doesn't roll off the tongue and people have a hard time remembering that, but swine flu is a bit of a misnomer. And now you can tell your friends why it's called H1N1.

AZUZ: And stay away from swine flu, then. That would probably be the right thing to do.

GUPTA: Yeah, it's really not an accurate name, so it's probably best to stick with H1N1. Unless you come up with something better.

AZUZ: I can't. Now, whatever you want to call it, you had it. What was that like?

GUPTA: You know, it was pretty hard. I got to be honest. I'm not someone who gets sick very often, but I woke up with one of the sorest throats that I've had. I felt a little bit crummy the day before, but then the next morning I woke up really sore, and the cough was one of these coughs where your whole body just sort of rattles. The chest hurts when you cough. And the light-headeadness, I think, was the most significant for me.

I was actually covering a war in Afghanistan when this happened, so the living conditions weren't perfect. I would have much rather been at home, you know, getting lots of sympathy from my family. Sort of getting out of my sleeping bag, I could almost fall down just taking a couple of steps.

So, I eventually decided to get this checked out by the combat hospital in Kandahar, and they took my temperature, which was quite high, and they tested me first for something known as influenza A, which is sort of the broader category of flu viruses. Then ultimately, they confirmed it as H1N1. But it was pretty tough. I'd say two days I was sort of just out of commission, then it started to gradually begin to get better.

AZUZ: How'd they treat it?

GUPTA: In my case, you know, it was sort of mom's advice: I got some medications for my fever, I was told to take lots of fluid and get rest. Which is hard to do, as you know, when you are in the field. There is a medication called Tamiflu and another medication called Relenza. These are anti-viral medications, different than antibiotics. The thing with those, Carl, unless you take them within the first day or two, they're really not going to have much impact. And in my case, I probably already had symptoms for a couple of days before I went to the doctor.

AZUZ: I see. So you just had to tough it out?

GUPTA: Toughed it out, yeah, in that dusty desert tent.

AZUZ: Ooh, that's rough. Now, how would that compare to a regular flu?

GUPTA: I don't get sick very often, so I was trying to think about that same thing. This is the way I described it to my friends. I think it was definitely worse than the regular flu. It just really knocked me down. I'm the kind of guy, I get the regular flu, I'll stay home from work because I don't want to get other people sick, but I'll meander around the house and do things and stuff like this.

Here, I pretty much did not want to get out of bed. Every time I got out of bed, I was sore, my muscles hurt, that cough was awful, I was lightheaded, I had a fever, I had no appetite. That's what it was like. But I am here, talking to you, totally fine, 100% back to normal. So you know, it was a few miserable days.


AZUZ: Good info there, from the good doctor. And there's alot more coming in part two. So, please be sure to check out tomorrow's show for the rest of my interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

I.D. Me

TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: See if you can I.D. Me! I was born in Alabama in 1880. I lost my sight and hearing because of an illness before I turned two. I learned how to communicate thanks to the help of several teachers, and I eventually went on to become an author and teacher. I'm Helen Keller, and I'm one of the most well-known advocates for the disabled.

Keller Statue Unveiled

AZUZ: Keller was the first blind and deaf student to graduate from Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. More than 40 years after she passed away, Keller is still making history. A statue of the famous advocate was unveiled at the U.S. Capitol yesterday. It's the first one to honor a person with a disability. During the ceremony, one lawmaker said the monument will "always remind us that people must be respected for what they can do rather than judged for what they cannot."

Before We Go

AZUZ: And finally, remember that nursery rhyme about the little piggies? Say hello to the real thing. These are micro pigs, and besides being super cute, they're the latest pet trend in parts of Great Britain. And based on this video, they apparently love to ham it up for the cameras. These pint-size porkers only weigh about nine ounces when they're born, but they can cost up to $1,100! So you better start saving up...



AZUZ: ...If you want to bring home the bacon. That's our cue to head sn-out! For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.

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