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Mexico Prepares for Hurricane

Aired October 26, 2011 - 04:00:00   ET


GROUP: This is (Inaudible) Middle School in (inaudible) and you`re watching CNN Student News.

CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Want to thank Mr. Donaldson`s (ph) students for helping us get things started today. I`m Carl Azuz, welcome all of our viewers from around the world to this Wednesday edition of CNN Student News.

First up today, parts of Mexico are preparing for a hurricane that`s heading that way. On Tuesday afternoon, Rina was a category 2 hurricane. Its winds were around 105 miles per hour. But forecasters said Rina could get stronger later in the day.


AZUZ (voice-over): It`s heading toward an area of Mexico called the Yucatan Peninsula. That`s what you see right here. It`s a big vacation spot, especially around the city of Cancun. Experts think Hurricane Rina could hit that city with heavy rain and winds later this week.


AZUZ: Meanwhile, authorities in Nicaragua said they found a boat filled with dozens of people who had been evacuated because of this storm. The boat`s been missing since Sunday. Officials said all 29 people who were on board the ship are alive.


AZUZ (voice-over): Check out this incredible video we have for you from Turkey. The baby those emergency workers are carrying is two weeks old. They found her yesterday in the rubble of a building that was destroyed by Sunday`s earthquake.

More than 400 people have been killed by this quake, but scenes like this are giving some people hope for those waiting for news about their loved ones. What`s more incredible, rescue workers pulled the baby`s mother out of the building, too. That`s her on the stretcher in the middle of your screen there.

They also rescued the baby`s grandmother. All three family members were found alive and taken to nearby hospitals.


AZUZ: Parts of Japan are still recovering from a deadly quake that hit the nation back in March. It had a magnitude of 9.0. That was the largest ever recorded in the country and the earthquake launched a tsunami, a giant ocean wave.


AZUZ (voice-over): The waves from that tsunami made it all the way across the Pacific Ocean, crashing the shores of Hawaii and even California. And as Errol Barnett explains, there`s more earthquake aftermath heading across the Pacific.

ERROL BARNETT, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): This was the scene after a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami struck Japan back in March. The scope of the tragedy was horrific. More than 15,000 lives lost, entire coastal villages and towns washed away. While a vast amount of debris bashed boats, the contents of homes, people`s belongings, almost everything was swept into the sea.

And now all of that flotsam, about 20 tons` worth, is slowly making its way across the Pacific Ocean. Researchers for the International Pacific Research Center say some of the lighter debris is moving faster than expected. They predict it will reach the Midway Islands by this winter, and arrive in Hawaii in less than two years.

This animation shows the vast debris field moving across the Pacific. Crew members aboard a Russian ship spotted the junk about 3,000 kilometers from Japan. Some of the trash included a fishing boat. Researchers say it`s important to know where the stuff is heading, because it could threaten small ships as well as coastlines.

Meanwhile, in Japan, the rebuilding continues as the country deals with the disaster`s aftermath. Tourism has been down since the quake and tsunami, prompting the country`s tourist board to give away 10,000 free flights -- Errol Barnett, CNN.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today`s Shoutout goes out to Ms. Maratta`s American history classes at Westglades Middle School in Parkland, Florida. The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gave Congress the power to do what? Is it collect income taxes, set term limits, repeal Prohibition or set the voting age? You`ve got three seconds, go.

The 16th Amendment gave Congress the power to collect income taxes. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.


AZUZ: With campaign season heating up, we`re hearing some candidates and lawmakers talk about something called a flat tax. What is a flat tax? Well, the U.S. currently has something called a progressive income tax system.


AZUZ (voice-over): Means the more money you make, the higher the government`s income tax rate is. This is what those rates look like for a single person living on his or her own. The national average wage is around $41,000 a year. So you can see from this chart that this person`s federal income taxes at that wage will be around 25 percent.


AZUZ: A flat tax would make just one income tax rate that everyone pays, no matter how much or how little they earn.


AZUZ (voice-over): So one of the pros here: it`s simpler. Would make taxes a lot easier to figure out. Also, the proposals we`ve heard about are lower than 25 percent, that average wage bracket. So many Americans would pay less in government income taxes.

Businesses would pay lower taxes, too, so if people are getting bigger paychecks and spending more money, and businesses are making more money and hiring more workers, in theory, the economy would grow.

The cons of a flat tax? It`s risky. With many Americans paying less in income taxes, the government would take in less money at first, so that could increase government debt. It would also be challenging for Congress to decide what the flat tax rate would be, 9 percent, 15 percent, 20 percent.

Big debate there. And because lawmakers don`t want taxes to go up on Americans with lower incomes, there would also be a debate on who gets tax breaks to help them out.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this legit? Johannesburg is the capital of South Africa. Not true. South Africa has three capitals, but Johannesburg isn`t one of them, although it is the country`s most populated city.


AZUZ: When Amy Stokes visited South Africa in 2003, she saw how millions of the country`s children had lost their parents to HIV and AIDS. Stokes decided to do something about that.


AZUZ (voice-over): Her organization, called Infinite Family, has connected hundreds of teenagers in Johannesburg and other parts of South Africa with caring adults. It`s why Stokes is one of this year`s CNN Heroes.

GARY SINISE, ACTOR AND FOUNDER, GARY SINISE FOUNDATION: Hi, I`m Gary Sinise. As the founder of the Gary Sinise Foundation, we serve and honor the men and women who defend our country. I see just how much the world needs heroes.

Now, I`m delighted to help introduce one of this year`s top 10 CNN Heroes.

AMY STOKES, FOUNDER, INFINITE FAMILY: In 2003, my husband and I went to Johannesburg, and we adopted our son.

Here you go. Hrrrooo!

HIV/AIDS has really decimated some of these communities. Seeing all of the children and so few adults to help them grow up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. I can see you. Tell me something new that happened in school this week.

STOKES: I had to find a way to bring the caring, nurturing effect of other adults for that child to invest in themself (ph).

Who`s this?

STOKES: I`m Amy Stokes.

I use the Internet to create a global village, where the mentors and the kids can interact, face to face, on a regular basis.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Jo (ph), how are you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How was your day at school? Did you work in the garden?

STOKES: That mentor shows up every week, a relationship starts between one person here and one person there. And then that relationship expands.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My mentor is so good. I like him very much.

STOKES: Because they want to connect with that special someone, they`re going to learn keyboard skills, the skills that they will need to have jobs and to be able to do whatever they need in the future.

It`s a bite-sized opportunity to change your world. And there`s no commute.


AZUZ: Well, a few moments ago, you heard actor Gary Sinise talk about honor U.S. service members as heroes.

One military dad definitely a hero to his two-year-old daughter. He found a way to keep up a nightly tradition with her.

AZUZ (voice-over): He recorded himself reading her favorite bedtime stories so his wife could play them for the girl. It`s gotten some attention since she posted on YouTube. Here`s the best part.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I have a hug?


AZUZ (voice-over): And that is one awesome screen grab.



AZUZ: Well, before we go, we want to tell you about a unique car and its owner.


AZUZ (voice-over): This is a 1990 Honda Accord. This is Joe LoCicero, and this was his goal, one man, one car, 1 million miles. Joe was "driven" to make it happen, and when he did, his town threw him a surprise parade.

Joe has worked on cars for years, so he was able to maintain this one, as he put about 14,000 miles on it every month. Some people drive 14,000 in a year. Joe was doing it in a month.

As part of the celebration, Honda gave him a brand new model.


AZUZ: You could say that Joe and the car company reached an "accord," hey. The question is: could he make it another million miles in the new car? Give me a "brake". But even if he doesn`t top his "milestone," he`s still gotten a lot of mileage out of this story. And with that, we`re going to hit the road. We`ll "steer" you to more commercial-free headlines tomorrow. For CNN Student News, I`m Carl Azuz.