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STUDENT NEWS for August 31, 2011

Aired August 31, 2011 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: We all shop with our eyes. But one company`s advertising to your nose. The story`s coming up. I`m Carl Azuz, and CNN Student News starts right now.

First up today, an ultimatum from the group that appears to be taking control of Libya`s government. The head of the National Transitional Council says that towns that are still loyal to long-time Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi have until this Saturday to surrender peacefully. Otherwise, he says, rebels will attack them.

As of Tuesday, there was still no news of where Moammar Gadhafi might be hiding. But several members of his family, including his wife, two sons and one daughter, have escaped across Libya`s western border to Algeria. One of that country`s officials said Gadhafi`s family was allowed into Algeria on humanitarian grounds.

Turning our attention now to the war in Afghanistan, today is the last day of August, and the month wraps up with a tragic milestone in the conflict. This has been the deadliest month for U.S. forces in Afghanistan since the war there started.

According to CNN estimates, 66 American troops were killed in Afghanistan during August. Nearly half of those deaths were on August 6th, when 30 service members died after their U.S. helicopter was shot down.

The U.S. first sent troops in Afghanistan in October 2001, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the U.S. Nearly 10 years later, this is now the longest military conflict the U.S. has ever been involved in.

CNN has put together something called "Home and Away". You can find a link to it in the "Spotlight" section on The interactive is focused on all of the U.S. troops who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It lets you connect them with their hometowns in the United States, and it gives people the chance to share memories and messages about these men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.



Hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons are all the same type of storm.

This is true. The events are given different names in different parts of the world.


AZUZ: Those storms can all bring the kind of devastation that many Americans are struggling through after Hurricane Irene. Yesterday, millions of people didn`t have power. In some parts of Vermont, residents were stranded.

Some of that state`s famous covered bridges, like you see here, were just wiped out by floodwaters that rushed through Vermont. And this is a time-lapse video from NASA. It`s satellite imagery of Irene.

You can see the storm work its way through the Caribbean, then it moves off the coast of Florida and, at that point, it turned north and started making its way up the East Coast, all the way up through New England.

Officials say it`s going to take a while to figure out how much damage Irene caused. They are giving some estimates, though. The government says the damage from wind alone will be more than a billion dollars. And the Small Business Administration estimates $10 billion in damages.

Despite all the destruction, Irene ended up not being as powerful as forecasters expected. CNN`s John Zarrella looks at the science behind predicting these storms.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Max Tucker owns a bar and grill just outside Philadelphia. It flooded. Tucker says, no way did the government overreact to Irene.

MAX TUCKER, OWNER, MAD RIVER BAR AND GRILL: I think we all got really lucky. It could have been a lot worse. I`d rather be safe than sorry, and I think -- I think they did -- they did what was necessary. I think always better safe than sorry.

ZARRELLA (voice-over): This is where the information comes from that helps keep you safe rather than sorry, the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Here, the science of forecasting is digested, regurgitated, all that science, everything that supercomputers were computing told forecasters Irene would be a major hurricane when it hit North Carolina.

BILL READ, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER: At least in the guidance we were looking at, there was no indication of anything that would cause the storm to weaken. So we thought we would have a category 3 storm at landfall.

ZARRELLA (voice-over): Instead, Irene was a category 1, the weakest. So what happened? Simple. Hurricane forecasters say they`re pretty good at telling where a storm will hit. But technology and science aren`t there yet when it comes to forecasting how strong a storm will be.

Despite all the modern-day advances, they just don`t fully understand what makes these storms tick. And in every storm, Read sees a curve ball.

READ: In this case, it was one where it went downhill. In Charlie, just a few years ago, it was one that went uphill. Neither case did we see that coming, and that`s my measure of the fact that we have a long way to go.

ZARRELLA: Aside from the might of the wind, Read says the forecast was on the money, heavy rainfall, storm surge up the east coast, and inland flooding. For portions of the northeast, the rain was a one in 100-year event.

In Vermont, is anyone saying there was an overreaction?

VERMONT GOV. PETER SHUMLIN: I do not that there`s any blame to go around. I think that, frankly, those that got hit had their hearts broken and understand how serious this storm was.

ZARRELLA: It`s estimated overall damage could reach $10 billion or more. If that happens, Irene will rank as one of the top 15 costliest hurricanes ever.

John Zarrella, CNN, Miami.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Time for the Shoutout. "Olfactory" describes your sense of what? If you think you know it, shout it out. Is it your sense of taste? Touch? Smell? Or humor? You`ve got three seconds, go.

You might have sniffed out that your olfactory sense is your sense of smell. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.


AZUZ: One food company is hoping to sniff out higher sales by installing advertising in grocery stores that appeal to your olfactory senses. Felicia Taylor "nose" what we`re talking about. She`s at one of the markets that uses this technology, and she has this report on whether or not the idea of marketing to your sense of smell passes the sniff test.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you`re passing the sour pickles, it smells good. We buy the olives here. They`re delicious.

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN REPORTER: About 75 percent of what we sense as taste actually from our sense of smell. It`s a pretty important detail when it comes to selling food. And the folks here at Net Cost Market have figured out a way to actually boost that scent. And here it is.

ANGELINA KHRISTICHENKO, NET COST: I don`t eat a lot of product. They cannot attract me by a package. So the scent, that`s why it can attract me. So that`s why I brought this idea.

TAYLOR (voice-over): Five machines are mounted on the walls throughout the store, and pump out artificial scents, like bread, chocolate, bacon and grapefruit.

TAYLOR: We want to test the power of the aromas. So we asked Tonya (ph), one of our producers, if we could blindfold her and take her through the store and see what she could sense.

And keep in mind, she`s never been in this store. She has no idea exactly where we`re going or what aisle we`re in.

TONYA (PH): Mmm.

TAYLOR: Something changed?

TONYA (PH): Yes. Are we like in the bakery section? Dessert aisle?

TAYLOR: Desserts, yep. Absolutely.

TONYA (PH): Yum.


TAYLOR (voice-over): Customers had a similar reaction.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I do smell different, like breads smell different, like cooked foods smell different, you know, even like bakeries smell different, you know.

TAYLOR: And it`s -- does it make you want to buy more things?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything is so yummy, and you want to buy everything.

TAYLOR (voice-over): The company has stores in New York and Pennsylvania and already has plans to install the machines in all other stores besides this one in Brooklyn.

KHRISTICHENKO: The goal is very simple, to increase the sales by making our customers hungry, satisfied and happy. Everybody will be happy.

TAYLOR (voice-over): For the folks at Net Cost Market, they`re already seen results with sales up about five percent in the last three months. And that adds up to the sweet smell of success. Felicia Taylor, CNN, New York.

AZUZ: Good business or bad taste, that`s the question today on our blog from A to Z at Head on over and sound off with your thoughts on this idea of marketing to shoppers` sense of smell. We can`t wait to read your opinions, but, remember, we only want to read your first names.

Next up, a sandwich you don`t want to smell, and probably don`t want to eat. OK, fair warning: if you have a weak stomach, turn away now.

That is because this, my friends, is the Maggot Melt. It`s exactly what it sounds like, a grilled cheese sandwich with a little extra crunch.

One vendor served up the sandwiches at the Colorado State Fair. It was his idea of doing something wacky. The chef says he hasn`t had any complaints yet about the Maggot Melt. But if customers do start revolting, we guess that`s just the way the worm turns.

And we tried not to get too gross with that story, but we just couldn`t worm our way out of it. Whoo! If you could stomach more puns like that, come back tomorrow for more CNN Student News. We`ll see you then.