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STUDENT NEWS

Rescue Efforts Off the Coast of Italy

Aired January 17, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET

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


CARL AZUZ, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Hi, everyone. I`m Carl Azuz and this is CNN Student News. We`re back from a long weekend and ready to bring you 10 minutes of commercial-free news, and we`re starting today off the coast of Italy. That is where rescue efforts are going on right now after a cruise ship ran into rocks last Friday night.

There were around 4,200 people on board the Costa Concordia when it ran aground. As of Monday afternoon, at least six people had died, at least 20 others were injured and around 29 people hadn`t been accounted for.

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AZUZ (voice-over): These incredible pictures show you what happened. After the cruise ship hit the rocks, it rolled onto its side. Passengers scrambled for lifeboats. Investigators have ruled out technical errors as a cause of the wreck. They say the captain of the ship made a, quote, "grave error."

The captain has never been involved in an accident before, and his lawyer says the captain was able to save many lives by performing a difficult emergency maneuver and getting the ship into shallow waters. Authorities are waiting to recover the ship`s data recorder so they can get more information from that.

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AZUZ: Now, Dan Rivers is in Italy at the site of this wreck. He filed this report on rescue operations and the potential impact this could have on the environment.

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DAN RIVERS, CNN REPORTER: This picture says it all about how precarious, dangerous and difficult this search-and-rescue operation is proving to be.

Earlier on fire, officers had to be winched off the superstructure of the Costa Concordia as she started shifting in the sea. Now they`re beginning to resume their search operation of the some 2,000 cabins inside.

Meanwhile, the chief executive of Costa Cruises has defended the actions of the crew following this disaster, but says the captain`s actions probably contributed to this wreck.

The other unknown is whether the 2,300 tons of fuel oil aboard can be prevented from spilling out into these pristine waters. Italy`s environment minister has said very urgent action is needed to avoid an environmental catastrophe here -- Dan Rivers, CNN, on Giglio Island, Italy.

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AZUZ: Onto U.S. politics now, we`re checking out some headlines from the race for the Republican presidential nomination. South Carolina is home to the next primary contest. That is this coming Saturday. But there will be one fewer candidate for voters to choose from.

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AZUZ (voice-over): Yesterday, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman announced that he is suspending his campaign. This means he`s dropping out of the race. During his announcement, Governor Huntsman endorsed Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who won the first two Republican contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.

There are still five main Republican candidates competing for the party`s nomination, but experts say that number could get smaller after South Carolina. Depending on the results of Saturday`s primary, some analysts expect more candidates to drop out.

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AZUZ: Whoever does get the Republican nomination will face off against President Obama in the general election, since he is the likely Democratic nominee.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See if you can ID me. I was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1929. I was the first African-American to be "Time" magazine`s "Man of the Year." When I was about five years old, my father changed my first name from Michael to Martin.

I`m Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the leaders of the U.S.` civil rights movement.

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AZUZ: Every year, America pays tribute to Dr. King and his work for peace and equality. Martin Luther King Day was first celebrated in 1986. In 1994, Congress also designated the holiday as a day of service. It is the only federal day of service. We told you about that on our show last Friday.

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AZUZ (voice-over): You can check it out at cnnstudentnews.com.

President Obama says everyone can find a way to serve, and that includes him. The president and first family spent part of the MLK holiday helping out at a Washington area school. President Obama said the best way to honor Dr. King`s life is to help others.

This was also the first Martin Luther King Day when people could visit the civil rights leader`s national memorial in Washington. It just opened last year. Park rangers placed wreaths at the memorial on Sunday as part of a ceremony on what would have been Dr. King`s 83rd birthday.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s Shoutout goes out to Mr. Essex`s geography students at Washington Middle School in Miles City, Montana.

Methane, propane and butane are all examples of what? Here we go. Are they all chemical elements, natural gases, radioactive isotopes or subatomic particles? You`ve got three seconds, go.

Methane, propane and butane are all natural gases. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.

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AZUZ: Natural gas can be used for energy. One of the ways companies that get it is called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. It`s when engineers use water and chemicals to crack open rocks deep underground, and that releases those natural gases.

There`s a debate happening in Youngstown, Ohio. It`s not about fracking itself. It`s about what happens to the water and chemicals afterward. and it`s launched a scientific investigation. Poppy Harlow has the details on this for us.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to know what`s causing the earthquake.

POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM (voice-over): Youngstown residents are demanding answers about why their houses shook on New Year`s Eve.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve never heard -- had an earthquake in my whole life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was frightening.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought a jet airliner crashed on the side of my house.

HARLOW: It was the biggest of 11 earthquakes here since mid-March. And get this: scientists tell us they think they`re manmade.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the New Year`s Eve earthquake.

HARLOW (voice-over): Seismologist John Armbruster says the 4.0 quake was likely triggered by this disposal well, which injects wastewater from fracking and oil and gas drilling at intense pressures, nearly 9200 feet underground.

JOHN ARMBRUSTER, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY SEISMOLOGIST: Injecting this much waste is disrupting Mother Nature. And Mother Nature, in this one case, is biting back.

HARLOW (voice-over): The company, D and L Energy, says proximity alone does not prove causation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Channels one, two, and three are --

HARLOW (voice-over): Ohio called on Armbruster to help figure out what`s causing all the earthquakes --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You only need one disc.

HARLOW (voice-over): -- and closed five nearby disposal wells indefinitely.

RICK SIMMERS, OHIO DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES: It`s possible that there`s induced seismic activity, so that`s one possibility.

HARLOW: Manmade earthquakes?

SIMMERS: Correct, but we don`t have conclusive proof yet.

HARLOW (voice-over): There are more than 170 of these wells across Ohio.

HARLOW: We wanted to understand how this process really worked, so we`re getting a rare look at these massive waste tanks, and then how it is all injected deep into the earth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Truck`s unloading the two tanks, then it is going through a filter and then injected down a hole. We`re putting it exactly where the federal government says to put it.

HARLOW (voice-over): It is mostly saltwater, but also a small amount of chemicals from the frack fluid used to break apart the shale.

HARLOW: How much drilling wastewater is being pumped deep into the earth here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two thousand barrels a day approximately.

MAYOR CHUCK SAMMARONE, YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO: I`ve lived here about 42 years. We`ve never had an earthquake like that.

HARLOW (voice-over): A proponent of fracking for the jobs it brings to this depressed economy, Youngstown`s mayor is now worried.

SAMMARONE: When you feel unsafe in your own house, then it`s a serious situation.

HARLOW (voice-over): The fracking boom is causing huge demand for more disposal well permits.

HARLOW: State Rep Bob Hagan is calling for a moratorium on all injection wells in Ohio.

ROBERT HAGAN, (D), OHIO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: It would stop the development of the best economic opportunity that`s ever presented itself over the past two decades for the state of Ohio. (END VIDEO CLIP)

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AZUZ (voice-over): Scientists hope they`re a little closer to solving a historic maritime mystery. This is the remains of the H.L. Hunley. It was a Confederate submarine from the U.S. Civil War. In fact, this is the first sub in history to sink an enemy warship.

But in 1864, the Hunley sank, too, and nobody knows why. It was pulled out of the water about 12 years ago. The truss that pulled it out was removed for the first time last week. One researcher said being able to see the Hunley without the truss is like looking at the sub for the first time. He`s hoping this new view will lead to some new clues about what happened to this ship.

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AZUZ: And finally today, we may never know why the chicken crossed the road.

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AZUZ (voice-over): But we do know who could help stop traffic for her. Say hello to Sophie (ph), one of New York`s newest crossing guards. Her owner volunteered for the job recently on one condition: Sophie (ph) had to be able to work, too.

The mini-stop sign she`s carrying there is custom-made for canine carrying. Sophie makes every trip across the street with students. You might wonder what breed is best for this job.

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AZUZ: Sophie is part German shepherd, part black Lab and 100 percent guard dog. So you better not cross her. That "tail" brings today`s program to a close. For CNN Student News, I`m Carl Azuz, and we will see you tomorrow.

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