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STUDENT NEWS

Violence in Afghanistan; Political Unrest in Egypt; Diagnosing Parkinson`s Over the Phone

Aired December 3, 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, CNN ANCHOR: Mondays, not awesome. But getting on CNN STUDENT NEWS definitely is. And today we`re going to tell you how you can make it happen. I`m Carl Azuz. Let`s go!

First up today, we are talking about violence in Afghanistan. Suicide bombings, three of them, all of them targeting a U.S. Afghan base in the eastern part of the country. Officials say at least three Afghan soldiers and two civilians were killed. The Taliban, the militant group that used to control most of Afghanistan says it`s responsible for these attacks. They happened earlier Sunday morning before sunrise. Afghan authorities say all nine of the attackers were killed, either in the bombings or in the firefight with U.S. and Afghan troops that happened afterward. This isn`t the first time that the base has been targeted by suicide bombings. It`s located in a region that`s home to a lot of insurgent activity.

Next up today, we`re looking at the political unrest in Egypt. An elected assembly has drafted a new constitution, but only after more moderate members of that assembly left, complaining they weren`t being heard. On Saturday, the assembly turned over the draft to President Mohamed Morsi. That`s him on the right, he said there`ll be a referendum, a vote on December 15th. After that announcement protests broke out, some from people who support President Morsi, some from people who think he`s trying to give himself too much power.

Egypt`s Supreme Court was planning to review the constitution, but some of Morsi`s supporters gathered outside the court building. The court canceled its sessions indefinitely. It said judges won`t go back to work until they can do their jobs without "any psychological or physical pressures."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just the facts: Parkinson`s disease is a disorder of the human nervous system. Unintentional shaking may be the most well-known sign of Parkinson`s. But it can also cause stiffness or slower movements. It can affect someone`s balance or speech. Doctors don`t know what causes Parkinson`s disease and there`s no cure for it. But medications can help improve its symptoms.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: All right, so we don`t know what causes Parkinson`s. we do know about 4 million people worldwide have it, and tens of thousands of new cases are diagnosed every year. Now, there is a man who says he`s found a new way to make that diagnosis. Normally when something is wrong, you go to a doctor. In this case, you might not even have to be in the room. Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains what we mean.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Max Little has a bold idea -- what if doctors could detect Parkinson`s disease simply by the sound of your voice?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A-a-a ....

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A-a-a ...

GUPTA: Max Little is close to proving just that. He says one simple voice test will determine if someone has Parkinson`s. And all you need is a telephone.

MAX LITTLE, MATHEMATICIAN: We`ve got an ultra low-cost way of detecting the disease.

GUPTA: What makes this discovery even more incredible, Max isn`t a doctor. He is a mathematician.

LITTLE: My name is Max Little, and for a living I do applied mathematics.

GUPTA (on camera): So, just in terms of the process, if someone picks up the phone and calls, what are they told to do?

LITTLE: So, we`ve set up a study called Parkinson`s Voice Initiative. And the idea with that study is that we want to collect enough data that we can test this technology outside the lab, so we are collecting recordings from people in all sorts of circumstances that we can`t control.

And we want to then test our ability to be able to, you know, accurately detect whether they have Parkinson`s disease or not. In lab- based studies we can get 99 percent detection accuracy. But can we get that sort of accuracy over the telephone when we don`t have that sort of controlled circumstances. That`s why we need to do the study.

GUPTA: 99 percent though?

LITTLE: Yeah. Yeah. That`s the overall accuracy. Yeah.

In this case, what will happen is that people will call in, they simply say whether or not they have been diagnosed with Parkinson`s. And then they -- we just ask them to say A--a-a for as long as they can.

GUPTA: That`s it?

LITTLE: Yeah.

GUPTA: It sounds so remarkably simple.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A-a-a -a-a ...

GUPTA: So, what do you hear there?

LITTLE: Yes, that`s a classic example of vocal tremor. You can actually hear the tremor in the way that the vocal folds, the laringia muscles are twitching somewhere.

And that affects the pitch.

GUPTA: So, the same soft of tremor that you have in your hands, your arms -- you`re saying that`s basically happening around in the muscles around your vocal cords.

LITTLE: That`s right. Yeah.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s "Shoutout" goes out to Mr. Osborn`s economics and history classes at Creswell High School in Creswell, Oregon.

Which of these bodies of water is the largest? Here we go. Is it the Persian Gulf, Black Sea, Gulf of Mexico or Lake Superior? You`ve got three seconds, go!

The Gulf of Mexico is the biggest option here covering an area of around 600,000 square miles. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: Part of that massive area of the Gulf of Mexico is now a crime scene in a real life mystery. Authorities in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi are trying to find a killer -- but not somebody who is targeting people: Ed Lavandera tells us what animals have become targets and what makes it so difficult to investigate their murders.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: To reach the crime scenes, you need to catch a ride and take a guide.

In this island that we see (inaudible), this is Dear Island, where you found two of them?

DR. MOBY SOLANGI, INSTITUTE FOR MARINE MAMMAL STUDIES: That`s correct.

LAVANDERA (voice over): A Harrison County Mississippi sheriff`s chopper and Moby Solangi, the lead biologist from the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies. They took us to see the sites where most of the murdered dolphins have mysteriously emerged along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

(on camera): So, Moby, get us up to date how many dolphins have turned up here so far?

SOLANGI: We`ve been dealing with about six or seven. We know that these three or four of them have been found dead with bullets.

LAVANDERA (voice over): Federal investigators say they don`t know yet if the murders are the work of one dolphin killer or all unrelated, but even in the wild, it`s easy for a killer to lure in dolphins.

Katherine Burton trains dolphins at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies.

KATHERINE BURTON, MAMMAL TRAINER: They are very curious, and I think by getting fed ...

LAVANDERA (on camera): Even out in the wild.

BURTON: Yes. Out in the wild, they will get fairly close.

LAVANDERA: So they can get themselves in the bad situation just unsuspecting.

BURTON: Right. I think sometimes they get close without realizing they are going to be in any kind of danger.

LAVANDERA (voice over): That`s why it`s actually illegal to feed dolphins in the wild.

(on camera): So, this is Sheep Island where one of the dolphins was found?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.

LAVANDERA (voice over): Rusty Pittman is an officer with Mississippi`s Department of Marine Resources, one of the agencies patrolling these waters.

(on camera): It seems so much more difficult to investigate something like this. You know, if you have a murder of humans, you have ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Evidence .

LAVANDERA: You have evidence, there is a crime scene.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.

There`s you go.

LAVANDERA: This crime scene is huge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But like you said, you`ve got so much area through here. This is totally different than a crime scene involving humans.

LAVANDERA (voice over): This part of the Gulf Coast is home to the largest population of dolphins anywhere in the United States, as many as 5,000. The race is on to catch a dolphin killer before he strikes again.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, Gulfport, Mississippi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AZUZ: The season of giving is about more than presents. From now through the holidays, people are finding ways to volunteer, to give back, to make a difference for others. If you are doing this, we want to hear about it in an I-report, you`ve got to give it in by December 14th. And if you are wondering how do I send in an I-report, we are glad you asked.

CHRIS LETT, CNN RESEARCHER: So, you want to be on CNN STUDENT NEWS? Me too. I`ll show you how by submitting an I-report video. So let`s see what assignments are up on our CNN STUDENT NEWS I-report page. I- report.com/cnnstudentnews. We are going to do an I-report on how to submit an I-report. Let`s get a camera and start rolling.

No, I know I need to keep this short. No more than 30 seconds, and I can`t use any music.

If I do, they won`t be able to use my I-report.

So, just me and the camera.

Hi, I`m Chris. And this is an I-Report about I-Reports.

OK, done shooting now, it`s back to the STUDENT NEWS, I-Report page.

Upload my story, fill out all the information and now I`m done. No way, I`m not.

They say I need to watch out for an email after I submit this video.

Hey, here it is.

OK, a couple of things to fill out. If I weren`t 18, I`d need to have my parents to sign this. But I`m over 18, so I can sign it myself.

Then send this back to the STUDENT NEWS team and they`ll let me know when my I-Report is going to be on the show.

AZUZ: And sometimes you might notice something`s happening behind me in the newsroom here during our show. This meteorologist doesn`t have to worry about what`s behind him, he`s got something happening below him -- check out the bottom of his screen, it`s a cat walked right though the live broadcast, and then hung around for a while. What`s awesome is that the reporter doesn`t even flinch. Thankfully, the cat didn`t come near a microphone, because you know how we TV folks can get -- we can be just so catty.

That`s a tail for another day, so we hope you enjoy the rest of yours. For CNN STUDENT NEWS, I`m Carl Azuz.

END