Return to Transcripts main page


Iran`s Nuclear Program

Aired March 9, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET



CARL AZUZ, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Fridays are awesome, and so are the Noels (ph) at Seminole High School in Florida, because one of you got our social media question of the week correct. All right. I`m Carl Azuz. Let`s get to today`s headlines.

Peaceful purposes or weapons? That is the constant debate over Iran`s controversial nuclear program. It`s been the source of tension between the Middle Eastern nation and other countries. And now Iran says it`s willing to restart talks about the program.


AZUZ (voice-over): At a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency yesterday, an Iranian official said it`s the start of a new chapter for his country and the IAEA. He also said Iran will, quote, "never suspend its nuclear activities."

The IAEA has been worried that Iran is trying to clean up signs of that nuclear activity. Some Western officials say these satellite photos might show that cleanup at work. Iran called any suspicions about this particular facility ridiculous.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See if you can ID me. I`m a famous star who wants nothing to do with night life. I`m a major provider of light and heat. Not to be self-centered, but the whole world does revolve around me.

I`m the sun, and scientists estimate I`ve been around for billions of years.


AZUZ: Well, things are a little stormy up on the sun right now. There isn`t any rain or thunder there. It`s a solar storm that involves geomagnetic particles, and the sun doesn`t always keep those to itself.


AZUZ (voice-over): There were two solar flares earlier this week, and they sent those magnetic particles toward Earth. It takes light about eight minutes to travel the 92 million miles from the sun to the Earth.

The material from these flares got here at about 23 hours, so it was moving at 4 million miles per hour. These solar storms can sometimes cause problems for power grids here, for GPS. Scientists say that doesn`t seem to be happening right now.


AZUZ: Most Americans will be seeing more of the sun and maybe a little less sleep. Daylight Saving Time starts this Sunday when we move our clocks ahead one hour. We`ll move them back again one hour on November 4th.


AZUZ (voice-over): The idea is to reduce the amount of electricity that`s used by extending daylight hours. Ben Franklin came up with Daylight Saving Time in the 1700s. It was used for the first time in Great Britain during World War I. U.S. states don`t have to take part in Daylight Saving. Some of them don`t, but around 70 countries do move clocks forward in the spring.


AZUZ: Japan won`t be moving its clocks ahead on March 11th, but the nation will be marking a tragic milestone. It`ll be one year since a massive earthquake hit the island nation and triggered a tsunami, a giant ocean wave. Mark Biello was part of the CNN crew that went to Japan to cover this disaster. One year later, he looked back on his experience.



MARK BIELLO, CNN PHOTOJOURNALIST: My name is Mark Biello. I`m a senior photojournalist and I`ve been working here at CNN for 28 years.

When we got to this disaster it was very challenging to cover because we didn`t have any kind of office or bureau to work out of. We were working out of the back of a van. We had a generator. It was bitter cold at times.

The infrastructure was completely shot, and we had many challenges trying to feed and do live shots with our systems and do coverage of these different villages that were destroyed.

One of the first towns we traveled to was Minamisanriku. When we first arrived, the level of destruction was incredible. Basically a small fishing village that was completely destroyed. It was heartbreaking to think that how many people could be buried under this rubble.

And there was always the threat of aftershocks. There were aftershocks that happened that rocked the van. It would -- you could feel under our feet, or while we were editing or broadcasting their live shots. There were some other tsunami warnings in the days after. So the sirens would go off and the Japanese defense forces and the Japanese fire and rescue, they were very much on edge, very stressed.

You know, they were trying to keep us safe, too, so they would come down, you know, just screaming and yelling, "Tsunami, tsunami," and so we had to listen and get to higher ground.

Another town that we were sent to was Hachinohe. What was amazing about what happened with the tsunami there, the tsunami wave actually picked up giant freighters, and they were mostly fishing trawlers, and tossed them on their side like little toy boats, and also picked some of the ships up and took them into the city. It was just a very surreal scene.

Well, it`s been a year since the tsunami. I think about Japan constantly. I think about the people, how they`re getting by. At some point, it would be great to go back and cover this again, to see the rebuilding process.



AZUZ (voice-over): In the "Spotlight" section on our home page, there`s a link to a story about the Japanese earthquake. It`s not about the disaster. It`s about people who have spent the past year writing letters to the survivors and offering them hope. Check it out at


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s Shoutout goes out to Ms. Mahoney`s advisory class at E.T. Richardson Middle School in Springfield, Pennsylvania. PSI is a measurement of what? You know what to do. Is it pressure, weight, humidity or gravity? You`ve got three seconds, go.

PSI measures pressure. It stands for pounds per square inch. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.


AZUZ: Don`t know if James Cameron is feeling increased pressure about his next project, but he will be if he can complete it. The award-winning director is trying to reach the deepest point on Earth. It`s a spot in the Mariana Trench that`s nearly 36,000 feet below the ocean surface. Jason Carroll talked with Cameron about his preparations for the expedition.


JASON CARROLL, CNN REPORTER: Well, if you`ve ever dreamed of exploration or just being an explorer, you are not going to be able to turn away from what is happening on this ship where I am right now.

I`m talking about James Cameron and his attempt to reach Challenger Deep. That is the deepest known point on the planet. It`s located in the Marianas Trench. It`s 36,000 feet down. That is seven miles from the surface to the bottom.

So how`s he going to get there? Well, over the past several years, he`s been working with a team of scientists, submarine engineers, and together with a partnership, with National Geographic, Cameron has developed this technologically advanced sub that they`ve named Deep Sea Challenger. And Cameron took me on a tour of this vehicle that will take him on this historic scientific voyage.

When do you feel like it`s real? Is it -- does it feel real after you`ve accomplished something? Or is it right before?


JAMES CAMERON, FILM DIRECTOR: It`s the clunk of the hatch closing. That when it`s -- that`s when the rubber meets the road.


CAMERON: Because now you`ve got to execute the whole task and finish the job and get -- the trickiest part about piloting one of the things is that, you know, here we are at the Equator. It`s super hot and humid. There`s so much in the way of electronics in there, just dumping heat into the sphere, that the temperature will spike up to sauna heat when you first close the hatch.

Then the temperature slowly falls to arctic conditions, to freezing. And you have to layer up as you go through the dive. And in such a constricted space.

CARROLL: Cameron is one of the most successful directors around, but he`s just as passionate about deep sea exploration. He`s been doing that for many years, and he knows the risks. Every bolt, every inch of Deep Sea Challenger has to protect him from the extreme pressure exerted at that depth, approximately 16,000 pounds of pressure per square inch.

Test dives have already been completed, one to 26,000 feet already history-making. The goal here is for Cameron and his team to collect samples from Challenger Deep and, with luck, discover new forms of life and to see what we can learn from those new forms of life.

You`ve already heard about that giant leap for mankind. Well, in Cameron`s eyes, he`s trying to take the deepest dive for mankind -- Jason Carroll, CNN, on board the Mermaid Sapphire in the Solomon Sea.


AZUZ: All right, before we go, want to see what happens when a prince meets the fastest man in the world?


AZUZ (voice-over): Well, that is champion sprinter Usain Bolt with Britain`s Prince Harry. The prince claimed he could beat Bolt in a race. We assumed he was just a poseur, but then they lined up in the starting blocks. And when the starter gun went off, Prince Harry bolts ahead of Bolt. All right. Slight chance here the champ let him win. Maybe Harry jumped the gun.


AZUZ: Either way, there`s a good chance something strange was afoot. Prince Harry better watch out if Bolt demands a rematch. The champ might want to "e-race" memories of this event, and make the prince royally sorry. We`re running out of time. We`re punning out of time, too. Remember to set your clocks ahead on Sunday. We hope you have an awesome weekend. We will see you on Monday. Bye-bye.