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STUDENT NEWS

Stock Markets Up; World Population Projected to Hit 7 Billion Monday

Aired October 28, 2011 - 04:00:00   ET

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


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Fridays are awesome, especially when we get to talk about not one but two amendments to the U.S. Constitution. I`m Carl Azuz, and you`re watching CNN Student News.

First up, a good day for the stock market, not just the U.S. one. Markets in Japan, China, Britain, Germany and France did well. When stocks go up, usually it means investors are feeling positive. The experts think a big reason for yesterday`s positivity was a deal over Europe`s debt crisis.

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AZUZ (voice-over): After a marathon of talks, European leaders came to an agreement on how to tackle three related problems. First, Greece`s debt will be reduced. Second, they found ways to increase the power of a bailout fund. And, third, they`re making new rules to help make Europe`s banks stronger.

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AZUZ: So why are other markets reacting well to this deal? Well, remember what we said yesterday. Different economies are connected. So if the crisis in Europe had gotten worse, it could have had an impact worldwide. This deal hopefully indicates that won`t happen.

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AZUZ (voice-over): Next up, we`re heading to Southeast Asia to the country of Thailand. Its capital city, Bangkok, home to millions of people and many of them are dealing with this: massive flooding. Thai officials say it`s the worst to hit their country in half a century.

Homes flooded, people`s belongings destroyed. We`re talking about billions of dollars in damages. Experts thought that most of Bangkok could end up under floodwaters yesterday, and it might take more than a month before those waters go back down in some areas.

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AZUZ: Thailand`s government declared five holidays starting yesterday. A lot of people used that as a reason to get out of Bangkok. But CNN`s Sara Sidner is there. She has more on the evacuation efforts.

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SARA SIDNER, CNN REPORTER: We`re in northern Bangkok, and what you`re seeing right now is a road, the road to the north, that`s now a river.

What`s happening here is that the army is going and helping to get people to safety. And you`re seeing truckloads of people coming from areas that have been inundated with water. But what`s also happening here is that people are trying to figure out just how far this water is going to go into town.

So far, 9.5 million people in Thailand have been affected by these floods, and there have been hundreds of people killed so far. This water is supposed to crest in the next few days, and there is great concern that it will make it all the way into the business district, which will further hurt the economy here.

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) AZUZ (voice-over): On this day in history, back in 1636, Harvard College was founded in Massachusetts. That means the school is 375 years old today.

In 1886, the Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York Harbor. The famous landmark was a gift of friendship from France to the U.S.

In 1919, the U.S. Congress passed the Volstead Act. That enforced the 18th Amendment, which made it illegal to make or sell alcohol.

And in 1962, the Cuban missile crisis came to an end. It was a tense standoff between the U.S. and the Soviet Union that could have caused a nuclear conflict.

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AZUZ: Jim Clancy has a report on another historic event. It hasn`t happened yet, but it`s coming in just a few days. According to estimates from the United Nations, this coming Monday the world population will hit 7 billion. But with more and more people, there are some concerns about whether there are enough resources to go around. Watch this report.

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JIM CLANCY, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): October 31st, 2011: that`s the date the U.N. says the 7 billionth person will be born on Earth, 7 billion. That`s a crowded planet.

JEFFREY SACHS, DIRECTOR, THE EARTH INSTITUTE: It took only 12 years to go from 6 billion to 7 billion, and it`s expected to take maybe another 14 years to go to 8 billion. So the trajectory is still rising quickly.

CLANCY (voice-over): Sachs says all those people mean more demands for food, more stresses on the land, and more loss of water. But that`s not the biggest problem.

SACHS: The big problem is that in the poorest countries, families are still having six, seven or eight children. That`s what`s putting this tremendous growth of population continuing, because in the high income countries, fertility rates have come down to two children on average or even less.

CLANCY (voice-over): This map shows you birth rates across the world. Multiple births about five are centered in Africa. Most lower birth rates are in developed countries. Dr. Sachs says rapid population growth in poor countries often creates conflict and political stress at borders.

And on top of that, cultural values and available health care in developing countries creates a barrier to proper birth control -- Jim Clancy, CNN, Atlanta.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s first Shoutout goes out to Mr. Estlick`s social studies classes at Jamestown High School in Jamestown, North Dakota.

What is the technical name for a predator at the top of its food chain? Here we go. Is it alpha, nadir, apex or zenith? Three second to chew it over: go.

Apex predators sit at the top of their food chains. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.

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AZUZ: So lions, tigers, sharks, those are examples of apex predators. But it turns out shark populations are actually decreasing. And when you take away an apex predator, it can have serious consequences for the rest of that food chain. Kaj Larsen looks at some of the potential ripple effects and explains why the ocean`s top predators have become prey.

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KAJ LARSEN, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Shark populations are crashing around the world. Millions die by finning to feed the growing demand for sharkfin soup in Asia. Roughly a third of all shark and ray species face some threat of extinction. Without them, the marine food web could start to unravel.

Marine biologist Luke Tipple is on a mission to protect sharks. We met up in the Bahamas.

LUKE TIPPLE, MARINE BIOLOGIST: Actually, the marina that we`re in right now was one of the first shark-free marinas in Bahamas.

LARSEN (voice-over): Sharks are an apex predator, which means they`re at the very top of the marine food chain. They grow slowly, mature late and produce few young, making them vulnerable to overfishing.

TIPPLE: We`re supposed to have a number of sharks to able to control all of these animals which are below them.

So what we do is we take out that apex and we allow a lot of other fish to breed underneath them. They basically annihilate everything below them, and that leads to trophic collapse, which means we don`t have healthy ocean systems, and we won`t be able to pull food or product from there anymore.

LARSEN (voice-over): The Bahamas banned commercial shark fishing, and that`s helped lure more divers and tourist dollars to the islands.

LARSEN: (Inaudible) back and forth with these, all 10 of these.

LARSEN (voice-over): Luke and I jump in to see some sharks up close.

LARSEN: Wow. They`re right there.

TIPPLE: Uh-huh.

LARSEN (voice-over): But outside of sanctuaries like this one, sharks remain at risk.

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AZUZ: Can animals sue? That is one question about a lawsuit filed on behalf of five orcas or killer whales. PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is an animal rights activist group, and it is suing Sea World on behalf of the whales for slavery. How?

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AZUZ (voice-over): Well, take a look at the 13th Amendment. It says, "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime . shall exist within the United States."

It doesn`t say humans, persons or people. It says parties. So PETA says this applies to animals, too, because the whales are taken from their natural habitat and forced to work for Sea World, making the animals involuntary servants.

Sea World calls the lawsuit offensive and a publicity stunt. It says it follows all government and state laws regarding the treatment of its animals, and that it gives them the best care and contributes to conservation.

We don`t know what the courts are going to say about this. You can say what you think at cnnstudentnews.com.

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AZUZ: Finally, when I say the word "interactive," what`s the first thing you think of?

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AZUZ (voice-over): A museum exhibit, obviously. Well, at least this one. A three-story slide, sticking your head inside some kind of tank, glasses that turn the entire thing upside down. If it gets too exhausting, you can lay down to relax, or maybe take a seat on this giant carousel. Definitely a different take on visiting a museum, but it`s supposed to be art.

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AZUZ: Does this exhibit qualify as art? Well, sometimes you just have to judge these things on a sliding scale. We`ve reached the end of "art" show. We`ll spend the weekend "canvassing" for headlines and have them ready for you on Monday. Oh, yeah, art puns, love to "draw" on those. Have a good weekend.

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