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CNN Student News Transcript: October 9, 2009

  • Story Highlights
  • Consider how Pakistan factors into the U.S. military strategy in Afghanistan
  • Find out why NASA is excited about two spacecraft crashing on the moon
  • Hear how you can avoid the H1N1 virus and what to do if you contract it
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(CNN Student News) -- October 9, 2009

Quick Guide

Attack in Afghanistan - Consider how Pakistan factors into the U.S. military strategy in Afghanistan.

Crashing the Moon - Find out why NASA is excited about two spacecraft crashing on the moon.

H1N1 Virus - Hear how you can avoid the H1N1 virus and what to do if you contract it.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: You've made it to Friday -- awesome! You're tuned in to CNN Student News and bringing you today's commercial-free headlines, I'm Carl Azuz.

First Up: Attack in Afghanistan

AZUZ: First up, the Taliban says it's responsible for an attack in Afghanistan yesterday. At least 15 people were killed and dozens more were wounded by the suicide bombing. It happened near the Indian Embassy in the capital city of Kabul. The blast knocked down restaurant walls and shattered windows in the embassy and nearby shops and cars. A similar attack took place in the same location about a year ago. Afghan President Hamid Karzai called yesterday's bombing an obvious assault on innocent civilians. As we've reported, President Obama is considering strategy for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. But some argue that the debate should also focus on Afghanistan's neighbor, Pakistan. Jill Dougherty explains why.


JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The mountainous and porous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, where terrorists find sanctuary. A stark symbol of why President Barack Obama believes the U.S. cannot win in Afghanistan without commitment from Pakistan.

ROBERT GATES, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: Particularly, the Afghan-Pakistan border is the modern epicenter of jihad.

DOUGHERTY: But in Pakistan, there's doubt the U.S. is committed to the long haul.

SHAH MEHMOOD QURESHI, PAKISTAN FOREIGN MINISTER: The people of the region have to be reassured that the United States has a long-term vision, not just for Afghanistan and Pakistan, but the entire region. And when I say that, we have to keep in mind history.

DOUGHERTY: Nearly 30 years ago, the U.S. partnered with Pakistan, supplying Mujahadeen fighters with weapons and training to defeat the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

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HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Once that was accomplished, we left. And Pakistan feels like we left them holding the bag, because all of a sudden they were awash in weapons, they were awash in drugs. They had all of these, you know, jihadists who had been trained up in conjunction with us.

DOUGHERTY: Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates insist the U.S. won't repeat the mistakes of the past:

GATES: There should be no uncertainty in terms of our determination to remain in Afghanistan and to continue to build a relationship of partnership and trust with the Pakistanis. That's long term. That's a strategic objective of the United States

DOUGHERTY: But the U.S. has its own lingering doubts: whether Pakistan is a reliable partner; whether its military intelligence is linked to terrorist organizations; whether its obsession with threats from India diverts it from fighting terrorism. The Obama administration is tripling economic and social aid to Pakistan -- $1.5 billion a year for the next five years -- but only on the condition that its President, Asif Ali Zardari, pursue terrorists in his own country.


International Headlines

AZUZ: Alright, we're gonna stick with international headlines now. In Japan, Typhoon Melor ripped across parts of the country yesterday. It killed two people. The storm's heavy rain and winds flooded roads and tore the roofs off of some homes. By Thursday night, Melor had lost strength and was heading back out to sea.

And those earthquakes we told you about yesterday near the Solomon Islands? Turns out there were 16 of them! 16 moderate to major quakes in the region in the span of 11 hours. And amazingly, there were no immediate reports of any damage or injuries.


TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! Where would you find the Sea of Tranquility? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A) In South Africa, B) In South America, C) Off the coast of Australia or D) On the moon? You've got three seconds -- GO! The Sea of Tranquility was the lunar landing spot for Apollo 11. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Crashing the Moon

AZUZ: Of course, that moon landing and incredibly historic moment in the U.S. space program, and NASA believes the moon can still help out with further space exploration. That's why the agency wants to blow it up. What?!? The agency's LCROSS mission, scheduled to take place this morning, had the plan to take a rocket that's about the size of a bus and crash it into the moon's surface. This was expected to kick up a massive cloud of dust which a second spacecraft would collect before it crashed, too. The point of the $79 million mission was to analyze the moon dust to see if it contains water vapor. NASA believes that water on the moon could be an important resource for more space exploration.

Health Care Vote

AZUZ: Coming back down to earth, the debate over health care reform is set for a significant moment next Tuesday. That is when the Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to vote on its health care bill. If the committee passes the legislation, it doesn't automatically become law. This is just one of the steps before debate on the issue moves to the full House and Senate. When that happens, one of the biggest issues could be whether or not to include a government-run insurance program, something the Senate Finance Committee voted against doing last week.

Texting Driving Course

AZUZ: In Oklahoma, some teen drivers are experiencing just how distracting it can be to text from behind the wheel. This is an issue many of you guys have talked about on our blog. But on this closed course, teens get to experience it firsthand. Drivers are encouraged to try to send text messages as part of a program designed to get teens to cut down on distractions behind the wheel. Many of them said that a run through the course brought that message home.

BAILEY WALLACE, STUDENT DRIVER: Missing three out of the four red lights was pretty good enough for me to say don't do it. There are so many things can happen on their own without you having an influence on them, so why would you add to the problems?

H1N1 Virus

AZUZ: Back to health now. Yesterday, we aired part one of my interview with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta, where we talked about his experience with the H1N1 virus. In part two, we focus on how the virus spreads, what you can do to avoid it, and what to do if you get it. Take a listen.


AZUZ: Once students get H1N1, we've told them stay away from school, stay home. When are they clear to go back?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, it's interesting, because the recommendations on that have changed. For some time, they said seven days after you develop symptoms, then you can go back to school. Now what they're saying is very clear. They're saying 24 hours with no fever and no medications bringing down that fever. So, 24 hours off of all medications, if you don't have a fever, you can go back; you're no longer contagious.

AZUZ: Once you've had it, can you get it again?

GUPTA: Great question, and I thought about that both personally and professionally. I can't get the specific strain of H1N1 again because I've had this. It's a tough way to get vaccinated, by the way; I wouldn't recommend it. Here's the problem. They think the virus may mutate; could change a little bit. That's been the concern, if you talk to people in the department of health. That's also the concern of vaccine makers, because they have this vaccine that's perfect for this strain of H1N1. If it mutates, the vaccine's not going to be as effective. So if it mutates, I won't be as protected.

AZUZ: You're a doctor. You knew everything one could do to prevent getting it. I mean, how effective is hand washing? How effective is not touching your nose or your eyes or all those sorts of things we've told our student audience not to do?

GUPTA: That's very effective, no question. The virus can live on surfaces. So if you were sick, for example, and you touched here and then I touched it and then touched my mouth or my nose, exactly, it's potentially going to happen. But here's what we know that's even different over the last few months. This really seems to be spread through the air. You notice I haven't coughed on you in the last few minutes.

AZUZ: I appreciate that.

GUPTA: If I did and you are within six feet of me, you would be at high risk of getting it. The virus just sort of gets out there and you get this cloud of virus around you. So, stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing, and encourage them to cough or sneeze into their arm. Stay home from work as well. This is how this virus is spread, which is how most viruses get out there.

AZUZ: If you know you've been exposed next to someone who's coughed or sneezed, is there anything you should do afterward?

GUPTA: If the person has H1N1, then it's something you can certainly try and prevent yourself from getting sick. You can try and drink plenty of fluids, get rest, things like that, same advice that mom's always given us. If you subsequently get confirmed for H1N1, and you're very early on, like within a day or so, you can take certain antiviral medications to try and reduce the severity of the effects. You're not going to get rid of it altogether, but you make it a little bit easier on yourself. I think that most people, here in the States at least, and many places around the world, they're not even testing for it anymore, Carl. We know it's here. We know that H1N1 is here. If you have the flu, you're pretty much going to get flu advice.

AZUZ: OK, well thank you very much, Dr. Gupta, for spending time with us today on CNN Student News.

GUPTA: You shake my hand, which I appreciate.

AZUZ: Yes, I'm going to go disinfect my hand right after this.

Before We Go

AZUZ: I didn't disinfect it; still good. But you can see that whole interview at! Now before we go, whatever. An organization recently put together a list of the top five annoying words and phrases, and that was the number one response: "whatever!" "You know" came in second, you know? Apparently, people get perturbed by "it is what it is." But hey, that's their opinion, you know; it is what it is. Anyway, "anyway" made the cut at number four. And at the end of the day "at the end of the day" rounded out the top five.



AZUZ: "Fridays are awesome," not included, because they are, and we hope your weekend is, too. Have a great one. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz -- whatever.

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