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STUDENT NEWS

Storms Devastate Midwest

Aired June 3, 2013 - 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: I`m Carl Azuz, and this is CNN STUDENT NEWS. And this is our last week of the school year. For some people in the Midwest of U.S., especially Oklahoma, this week is starting off the same last week ended -- recovering from storms like this. Another round of tornadoes hit the region on Friday, tearing up land and destroying homes. The storms killed 19 people in parts of Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas. The heavy wind and rain caused flooding in some places. You could see hear where the water has just caused the ground to give way. This region is still dealing with the aftermath of the massive tornado the week before in Moore, Oklahoma. So imagine when it`s like when you hear this kind of warning again.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please (inaudible) get out. The tornado warning. Shelter--

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AZUZ: This video was shot by storm chasers, people who put their lives at risk to help gather information and warn the public about tornadoes. Three storm chasers were killed last Friday, a reminder of how dangerous this work is. Videos like this give you a sense of how destructive tornadoes are. Chad Myers offers another example:

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CHAD MYERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We came across this car. I can`t tell you what kind of car this is without looking at the blue oval that says "Ford." If you`re in this car at 200 mile per hour wind speeds, there is no place left for you inside. And then we came across the front, just to get even more crazy there is no engine left. It`s gone, the transmission is gone, the engine is completely somewhere else.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s first "Shoutout" goes out to Mr. McGeehan`s and Mr. Davis` history classes at Arise Academy Charter High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. What country is highlighted on this map - you know what to do. So, is it Greece, Turkey, Iraq or Syria? You`ve got three seconds, go.

That`s the nation of Turkey, which is partly in Europe and partly in Asia. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."

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AZUZ: Some other facts about Turkey: it`s a member of NATO, it`s capital is Ankara, it`s biggest city is Istanbul. And it just went through its biggest protest against the government in years. It started on Friday as a small peaceful protest. People were upset about the government`s plan to bulldoze a park in Istanbul for development. But that turned into this: Turkish security forces fighting against angry protesters for days. At some point the protest went from being about park to being about Turkey`s government and prime-minister. The protest spread to other cities. Riot police used tear gas, pepper spray and water cannons against the crowds. By the end of the weekend, hundreds of people have been arrested, and dozens were injured, both civilians and security officers. Protesters held control of the square in Istanbul, where all this started.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s "Shoutout Extra Credit" goes out to Mrs. Bauer`s social studies classes at Epsom Central School in Epsom, New Jersey.

Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across what ocean? Here we go: was it the Arctic, Pacific, Atlantic or Indian? Put another three seconds on the clock and go.

Earhart made history in 1932 with her solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout Extra Credit."

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AZUZ: Five years later, Amelia Earhart sent off to fly around the world: she made it two thirds of the way, she just disappeared. Earhart, her plane, her navigator - all gone. It`s believed somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. What happened is then a mystery for more than 75 years. But one researcher thinks he`s found a new clue: Brian Todd fills this in:

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BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A man who`s been chasing the mystery of Amelia Earhart for a quarter of century, believes this grainy, almost pixelated looking image from the ocean floor may bring us closer to finding her.

RIC GILLESPIE, THE INTL. GROUP OF HISTORIC AIRCRAFT RECOVERY: It`s unlike anything else on that whole ridge that shows up in the sonar imagery.

TODD: Ric Gillespie is with the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery. With a roving submersible, his team captures this: a sonar image, he says this anomaly on an ocean shelf off the coast of the Pacific Island of Nikumaroro could be the remnants of Earhart`s Lockheed Electra plane. On July 2nd 1937, Amelia Earhart attempting to become the first person to fly around the globe at the equator vanished off Howland Island, the last place her monitors lost contact with her. Not a trace of Earhart or her plane have ever been found. For years, Gillespie and his team have believed her plane actually went down off Nikumaroro, about 300 miles southeast of Howland. I held the rendering of what the split up fuselage might look like against Gillespie`s new image:

(on camera): Why do you think the anomaly on the ocean floor matches the fuselage of Earhart`s plane?

GILLESPIE: We know how a Lockheed Electra breaks up in a crash, we`ve studies other crashes, and we know that the center section of the airplane is the strongest part, a part that holds together. Engines tend to come off, the outer wings come off, the fuselage breaks behind the wing. So, the size of the anomaly image matches the part of an Electra that hangs together the best.

TODD (voice over): Gillespie admits there is a chance this isn`t Earhart`s plane. Still, he`s trying to raise $3 million for an expedition to Nikumaroro next year.

But there are plenty of skeptics of Gillespie`s latest theory, and of his work overall. The skeptics believe he has attached himself to the idea that the remains of Earhart`s plane are off Nikumaroro. And they believe he`s flat wrong.

One skeptic, Dorothy Cochrane, curator at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington.

DOROTHY COCHRANE, SMITHSONIAN NATIONAL AIR & SPACE MUSEUNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is nothing that says this was part of Earhart`s equipment, there is nothing that has a number, a designation that would indicate it was part of Amelia Earhart`s aircraft, there is nothing that can only be traced to Amelia Earhart.

TODD: Cochrane points out, Gillespie`s launched other expeditions to Nikumaroro that have dug up human bones, items common to that era, but that he`s never found proof that Amelia Earhart`s there. Cochrane and other historians believe Earhart`s remains are somewhere near Howland Island. She says that`s based on Earhart`s radio transmissions and the fact that she was circling close to Howland when she disappeared. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

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AZUZ: After a hurricane barrels through, federal disaster officials nowhere to go to get a quick fix on just how bad it was. OK, sounds like a joke, but think about it: there are waffle house restaurants all up and down the East Coast where Atlantic hurricanes might hit. They are open 24/7, 365 days a year. And if people`s homes are damaged ...

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EMILY COLEMAN, WAFFLE HOUSE DIVISION MANAGER: It`s kind of like a place where everybody can meet. We tend to be one of the first places that opens up.

AZUZ: That`s why the Federal Emergency Management Agency really does check in with the restaurants, as one indicator of how things are after a hurricane. FEMA uses a traffic light-style system to rank conditions. Green means the waffle houses are open, serving a full menu. And that indicates hurricane damage is limited and the power is on.

Yellow is not as good. If the waffle house only has a limited menu, food supplies may be low and there may be problems with electricity. And if it`s red, the waffle house is closed, and the waffle house is never closed. So things are bad.

The business itself I proud of getting and keeping its doors open. It`s part of mobile command center and portable power generators to make sure it`s open for business after a storm. Is that good for profits? For individual restaurants, yes. But the company says, it`s more about giving folks a place to go. A normal sign under the yellow sign.

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AZUZ: Recently we asked in our blog for you to share your experiences of overcoming adversity, big or small. Hana talked about how she`s taking care of her brother while her mom is with her dad who is in the hospital. Hana says she`s still gotten straight As and made high honor roll. Elizabeth wrote about overcoming her fear of public speaking. "I cannot say that I enjoy being up on a stage," she said. But I know now that I can do it. Daisy struggled through the loss of her sister and stepmom, but she says now "I achieve for them. I`m not going to let anything or anyone hold me back from what I can accomplish. Hiroki talked about a physical accomplishment. When he was younger, he wasn`t in great shape. "After I decided to change my body, I was able to finish a full marathon." And Arnob reflected on the idea of perseverance, saying it`s the rough road that leads to heights of greatness."

We`ve got a new post up today, we`re looking for you to share your advice for new graduates. The blog is up at cnnstudentnews.com.

Last week, a couple threw out the first pitch at a baseball game. Then this guy turned around and threw his girlfriend a curveball, dropping the one knee and making another pitch: marry me. Taisha (ph) and Travis have (inaudible) connection at baseball. Travis needed a kidney. Ten months after they started dating, Taisha gave him one of hers, than last week he asked for her hand. Taisha decided she couldn`t live her life without Travis, so she said yes. Now comes the wedding planning. First order of business, finding an organist. I know we make a lot of puns sometimes, but we`re really happy for this couple. All kidneying aside. That`s all for today. We`ll be back bright and early tomorrow with more CNN STUDENT NEWS.

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