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CNN Student News Transcript: October 26, 2009

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CNN Student News - 10/26/2009

(CNN Student News) -- October 26, 2009

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Baghdad, Iraq
Bayamon, Puerto Rico
Qom, Iran



AYESHA TEJPAR, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Hi there. I'm Ayesha Tejpar. Hope you had a great weekend. Carl Azuz is off this week, but CNN Student News is on, and it starts right now!

First Up: H1N1 Declaration

TEJPAR: First up, President Obama declares a national emergency in response to the H1N1 flu virus. Now, this may seem alarming, but the announcement, which the president made over the weekend, is actually a technical one. It's kind of like declaring a federal disaster area in a city or state after a flood or an earthquake. The declaration helps officials get aid to victims or, in this case, it makes resources available to help health officials respond to the H1N1 outbreak. Yesterday, two leading Senators, a Republican and a Democrat, both agreed that the government should have whatever resources it needs to deal with the virus. Elaine Quijano examines the impact of H1N1 and the attempts to keep the virus under control.


ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON, D.C.: President Obama declared a national H1N1 emergency, an ominous sounding name for what officials insist is a purely pre-emptive move. In the declaration, the president said, "The rates of illness continue to rise rapidly within many communities across the nation, and the potential exists for the pandemic to overburden health care resources in some localities."

The declaration is meant to lift that potential burden, so if hospitals get overwhelmed with H1N1 patients, they'll be able to bypass bureaucratic requirements, like making patients sign certain forms. The goal: to allow doctors and nurses in disaster mode to focus on patients, not paperwork. The declaration comes as millions of Americans in 46 states have come down with H1N1.

DR. THOMAS FRIEDEN, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL: Of the pandemic, in April and May, we've seen more than 1,000 deaths from the pandemic influenza and more than 20,000 hospitalizations in this country.

QUIJANO: In communities nationwide, including this line that stretched for hours in Michigan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two hour wait for the swine flu shot.

QUIJANO: People are already flooding health care facilities anxious to get their H1N1 vaccine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Been trying not to be paranoid about it, yet be aware, be cautious, be safe, and take advantage of any opportunity that we can.

QUIJANO: But the government acknowledges officials have nowhere near the amount of the H1N1 vaccine that manufacturers had predicted they'd have. The shortage is being blamed on problems growing the vaccine. But one top official predicts there will eventually be enough vaccine to meet demand. Elaine Quijano, CNN, the White House.


Baghdad Blast

TEJPAR: Turning our attention to the Middle East, where a pair of attacks have rocked Iraq's capital. Yesterday's suicide bombings in Baghdad killed at least 132 people and wounded more than 500 others. The attacks, which happened one right after the other, were the deadliest in the Middle Eastern nation in more than two years. The bombings took place outside government buildings Sunday morning, which is when the work week begins for most of the country. Some Iraqi journalists questioned how the attacks could happen since Iraq put new security measures in place after a bombing that took place in August. Iraq's prime minister said yesterday's attacks shouldn't affect the country's determination to fight terrorists who carry out this kind of violence.

Puerto Rico Fire

TEJPAR: In Puerto Rico, hundreds of firefighters have been battling a blaze near the capital city of San Juan. The flames forced more than a thousand people to leave their homes. This fire broke out Friday at an oil storage facility. The first explosion shook the ground with the same amount of force as a 2.8-magnitude earthquake! Officials expected to have the flames contained by yesterday evening. They plan to investigate the cause of the blaze once it's completely out. President Obama has declared an emergency in Puerto Rico, which is a U.S. territory. As we explained earlier, that helps free up aid for the recovery process.

Iran Inspections

TEJPAR: And inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency are checking out a nuclear facility near the Iranian city of Qom. An Iranian official says the inspectors are making sure that the facility is being used only for peaceful purposes, which is what the country claims. Some western nations believe Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. Last week, Iran's nuclear program was the focus of talks in Austria. We reported that the Iranian representative had agreed on a deal about sending nuclear materials to other countries for development. But on Friday, the country said it needs more time to decide whether or not to sign the agreement.

Maps Promo

TEJPAR: From the U.S. to Iraq, Puerto Rico to Iran, today's show is all over the globe. But you can always track down where stories are making headlines with our downloadable maps. These guides help pinpoint locations in the news. They're 100 percent free, and you can find them every day at!


TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! In the classic baseball poem "Casey at the Bat," what town does Casey play for? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A) Brooklyn, B) Mudville, C) Toledo or D) Kalamazoo? You've got three seconds -- GO! When mighty Casey struck out, there was no joy in Mudville. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Magic Mud

TEJPAR: No joy in that made-up Mudville, but there's a real one that's hit a home run with baseball. It's less of a Mudville and more of a mud-swamp. But the important part isn't the name. It's what the swamp is named for. It's all part of baseball's dirty little secret. Larry Smith lets us in on the details.


LARRY SMITH, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Major League Baseball teams never use a brand new ball out of the box.

TIM HUDSON, PITCHER, ATLANTA BRAVES: A brand new pearl is pretty slick. I don't think there's a hitter who's gong to stand in the box without one being rubbed up. Because if you just don't get a real good grip on it, it's pretty dangerous

SMITH: So before each home game, Atlanta Braves team manager Chris Van Zant performs the same ritual.

CHRIS VAN ZANT, TEAM MANAGER, ATLANTA BRAVES: We rub about eight or nine dozen balls a game.

SMITH: In the ten years Chris has worked at Turner Field, he says that more than 40,000 new baseballs have passed through his hands.

VAN ZANT: Every guy who does this has his own way of rubbing the baseballs, but there's always going to be spit and mud on every single baseball.

SMITH: The spit may come from the mouths of team managers, but the source of the mud might be baseball's best kept secret.

JIM BINTLIFF, MUD FARMER: Nobody knows that this is where I get the magic mud.

SMITH: Seven times a year, Jim Bintliff treks to a fishing hole in New Jersey with a shovel and some buckets to gather this and turn it into Lena BlackBurne's Baseball Rubbing Mud. Jim now owns the company, named for the player and manager who discovered it.

BINTLIFF: In the 1920s, a batter was killed by a wild pitch. From that point forward, the umpires were looking for a way to get a better grip for the pitcher on a new baseball. Lena Blackburne knew of a mud that he thought might do the trick. And through experimenting with it, he found out it worked.

SMITH: Word of the magic mud traveled fast and soon, orders were coming in from every team in baseball. In 1960, Blackburne left the business to his best friend, Jim's grandfather, and the mud's location has been a Bintliff family secret ever since.

BINTLIFF: If anybody happens to catch me in the act of harvesting mud, I come up with a story. I've told people I use it in my garden, I use it in my rose bushes; use it for bee stings and poison ivy.

SMITH: Jim says he digs around 400 pounds of the stuff every year, but he doesn't earn enough to quit his job as an overnight printing press operator.

BINTLIFF: Right now, we probably bring in less than $25,000 a year. We make enough money to pay for the supplies and have a little vacation out of it.

SMITH: But for Jim, it's never been about the money

BINTLIFF: It's the history and the tradition. It's something I've been doing since I was a kid and I wouldn't give it up for anything. From 1938 on, I know that there's been mud on every baseball that's been thrown in the Major Leagues. All those record home runs and those thousands of strikeouts, my mud's been on every ball.

SMITH: Larry Smith, CNN, Atlanta.


Before We Go

TEJPAR: Before we go, a skateboarding star who's a real hot dog. He also happens to be a real dog. This four-legged friend is a four-wheeled fiend! Although that crash probably wasn't part of the plan. But he's back up and on the board with no fear. Tillman is the little guy's name, and he's actually the world record-holder as the fastest skateboarding dog. It's easy to see why. His gnarly moves may seem reckless...


TEJPAR: ...but he's just having a wheelie good time. Oooh, that pun was ruff! Hope you have a great day. For CNN Student News, I'm Ayesha Tejpar.