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Fighting in Libya Continues; Hurricane Jova Hammers Mexico

Aired October 13, 2011 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: We`re going globetrotting today on CNN Student News. We`re going to hit North America, South America, Europe. We begin in northern Africa, though. I`m Carl Azuz, and this is CNN Student News.

The fighting in Libya is not over. It started in February as a revolt against the government, turned into an all-out civil war. On one side, Moammar Gadhafi and the forces that were loyal to the country`s former leader.

On the other, people who wanted Gadhafi out of power. And they have had support for months, from an international team of military forces.


AZUZ (voice-over): This is Sirte, Moammar Gadhafi`s hometown. It`s where some of the most intense fighting is happening now, and around 90 percent of it is under control of the anti-Gadhafi forces. Dan Rivers reports on the efforts to gain full control of the town.

DAN RIVERS, CNN REPORTER: Well, this is pretty much the front line in Sirte. You can hear -- you can hear there`s quite a lot of shooting going on down this road. We`re right on the outskirts of the city. And it is what sounds like a very fierce battle indeed going on, just a few hundred yards up the road.

RIVERS (voice-over): We ventured down that road quickly. This is not somewhere you want to linger. The wounded limp back from the front lines. This is now exhausting urban warfare with the anti-Gadhafi forces taking casualties, but gaining ground all the time.

The commanders think this is worth the blood being spilled here. They show us photos found nearby of the former leader with local people. But now Gadhafi`s hometown is on the verge of falling.

RIVERS: And what kind of resistance (inaudible)?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, there is (inaudible) become weaker. They -- the (inaudible) and some prisoners out. But not (inaudible) finish tomorrow (ph).

RIVERS (voice-over): The civilians caught up in all this certainly hope so. Hundreds are streaming out, their city now wreathed in smoke and gunfire. Is this the last battle of this war?


AZUZ: From Libya, we move to Mexico, where Jova is hammering parts of the country`s west coast. This storm was a hurricane earlier in the week. By Wednesday, it was downgraded to a tropical storm. Experts thought it might break up completely by the end of the week.


AZUZ (voice-over): That does not mean Jova is not still dangerous. Officials said the heavy rain from Jova was a major threat. There were concerns the rain could cause floods or mudslides in some areas, especially spots with steep hills or mountains.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).


AZUZ: Those were scenes of joy and celebration one year ago in Chile that marked the end of a news story that pretty much caught the attention of the entire world.

AZUZ (voice-over): On August 5th, 2010, a cave-in trapped 33 miners more than 2,000 feet underground. A couple weeks later, they got a message out, saying they were all alive, but they had limited amounts of food and water.

More than two months after the cave-in and exactly one year ago today, this is how they were rescued. Crews drilled a tunnel down to where the miners had been waiting underground. And that allowed this capsule to carry the miners up to the surface, one by one. All 33 men arrived safely and were hailed as heroes.



AZUZ (voice-over): In Washington yesterday, President Obama was part of a meeting commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month. The event was for the American Latino Heritage Forum. The president praised the contributions that American Latinos have made to the country.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar talked about why it`s important to celebrate all cultures.

KEN SALAZAR, SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: For us as a country, as we look ahead at the great diversity of our 310 million people, 50 million of them being members of the Latino community, we believe strongly that we need to celebrate everybody`s culture, and everybody`s heritage and everybody`s history.

Now that`s just part of what, in my mind, has always made some common sense, and that is that if we are a nation that really believes in the equality and dignity for all people, we need to make sure that the history and the stories of all people is equally told.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s the word? It`s the process of the earth being worn away by water, wind or waves. Erosion, that`s the word.


AZUZ: You`re about to see an incredible demonstration of erosion thanks to a geologist whose video camera just happened to be in the right place at the right time.


AZUZ (voice-over): Look at this. The cliff in this YouTube video is on the southwest coast of the United Kingdom. People had seen some early cracks, which is why the camera is there. First you see the dust, but then, watch this. Huge section of it crashes into the sea. That is thousands of tons of rock, falling away from erosion. Scientist who recorded it said it was the most exciting thing he`d ever seen.


AZUZ: When you hear the word "widow," someone who has lost her husband, the image in your mind probably isn`t a woman in her 20s. That`s what Taryn Davis struggled with when her husband was killed while serving in Iraq.

Her loss gave her the inspiration to connect with other young war widows in an effort to provide support and healing.


TARYN DAVIS, COMMUNITY CRUSADER: My husband, Cpl. Michael Davis, was killed in Baghdad, Iraq.

You know, even four years later, people still don`t really know how to react when you say, "Hi, I`m Taryn, and I am a widow." After the funeral, I felt ostracized. Everybody liked to write off my grief due to my young age, be like saying, "Well, at least you`re young, you`ll get remarried."

I come bearing widows.


DAVIS: I just wanted to talk about it with the widows. And they`re not going to judge me when I`m laughing. They`re not going to tell me that I`m grieving wrong. I just wanted to create what I was searching for, and just hope there were others out there that could come and help me build it, too.

I`m Taryn Davis, and I invite a new generation of military widows to share their love, their sacrifice and their survival.

It`s (inaudible) all these events, because they step outside of that comfort zone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His impact will continue to affect us all for the rest of our lives.

DAVIS: There are moments where they can all reflect, followed by that time where they feel like they`re living life to the fullest.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My little sister wrote Taryn. She didn`t know how to get me through the loss. And so she wanted me to find other sisters.

From my first event, I went from going completely alone to not any more, at all.

DAVIS: You get up that high, you see the world a different way, and I think as widows, we see our life a different way when we land, too, so.

And these military widows, they`ve given me life again. They teach me so much, and show me how far I`ve come. And, you know, one day, another widows going to come along and they`re going to be the one that`s changing that widow`s life. I mean, that`s pretty amazing.


AZUZ: Amazing indeed. Teachers, you can check our CNN Heroes curriculum guide on our home page.

Before we go, we`re heading to Tennessee for a report from Carley Gordon of affiliate WSMV. She has the details on a rare reptile, whose facial features could make you think you`ve got double vision.


DALE GRANDSTAFF, TENNESSEE WILDLIFE RESOURCES AGENCY: It`s got the distinct yellow bands going down the body.

CARLEY GORDON, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): At first glance, it looks like your typical baby king snake. But when Paul Carver found this slithering around his back yard, he realized this royal serpent would need two crowns.

You see, this snake has not one head, but two.

PAUL CARVER, SNAKE DISCOVERER: I was worried about which head was going to bite me.

GORDON (voice-over): So Carver took it to wildlife officer Dale Grandstaff, who was just as bewildered.

GRANDSTAFF: I`ve been working for 13 years and been in the woods all my life, you know, nearly 40 years, and I`ve never seen anything like this.

GORDON (voice-over): Two separate heads with two functioning brains, yet they share the same 8-inch body.

GRANDSTAFF: Both tongues work, has a set of eyes on each head, a mouth on each head.

GORDON: But when it comes to snakes, two heads aren`t actually better than one. In fact, Grandstaff says its chances of survival in the wild are actually slim to none.

GRANDSTAFF: With two heads, everything`s getting caught. See, he`s trying to push, but he can`t.

GORDON (voice-over): So Grandstaff plans to take the snake to Tennessee Tech in Cookeville Thursday, where the first order of business will be to feed the hungry hydra.

But the hope is that this unusual snake will survive.

GRANDSTAFF: . think, you know, just something very, very unnatural or odd-looking about it.

GORDON (voice-over): . and that its two heads will make smarter scholars.


AZUZ: Well, thank goodness they`re taking the thing in, because leaving that snake out in the wild would be "cold-blooded." And we`re sure that once the snake meets the scientists, they`ll all put their heads together and come up with something.

Whoo! I hope you enjoy the rest of your Thursday. For sss-CNN Student News, I`m Carl Azuz.