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North American Leaders Summit

Aired April 3, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Hey! Thanks for spending part of your Tuesday with CNN Student News. I am Carl Azuz here in the CNN Newsroom in Atlanta, Georgia. First up, we`re heading to Washington, D.C.

The U.S. capital is, of course, home to the U.S. president. Yesterday he opened that home to two other world leaders. It was the North American Leaders` Summit, when the heads of the U.S., Canada and Mexico talk about issues facing the continent. The last time the three got together was back in 2009.


AZUZ (voice-over): This time, President Obama hosted the meeting at the White House. He was joined by Mexican President Felipe Calderon, whom you see on the left; and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, on the right. They talked about major issues like trade, energy and security. The three leaders are at different political stages right now.

President Calderon is stepping down later this year because of term limits. Prime Minister Harper was reelected last May, and President Obama is running for reelection later this year.


AZUZ: The Republican candidates who are hoping to run against President Obama in the general election are facing off in three primaries today. Maryland and Washington, D.C., are holding contests. But a lot of the focus today is on Wisconsin. The primary in that state is winner-take- all.


AZUZ (voice-over): What that means is whichever candidate gets the most votes will win all of Wisconsin`s 42 delegates. Winning enough delegates is how a candidate becomes the party`s nominee. And after today, there won`t be another chance to win delegates for a while. That`s because the next round of primaries isn`t for another three weeks.


AZUZ: Some sailors are recovering after their ship was hammered by rough weather over the weekend. They were part of an 11-month around-the- world yacht race. And on Saturday, the ship and the crew were on their way from China to San Francisco. That`s when the weather hit.


AZUZ (voice-over): The U.S. Coast Guard was called out to help the ship. Four sailors on board were injured. Two of them had to be medically evacuated. The other two stayed on board the yacht, which was making its way home to California.

The ship`s skipper said they were getting hit by winds between 45 and 70 miles per hour. Then a wave crashed over the ship. It snapped off the helm, which left the yacht with no ability to steer.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s Shoutout goes out to Mr. Doherty`s current events class at Armand Larive Middle School in Hermiston, Oregon.

James Naismith is credited with inventing what sport? You know what to do. Is it baseball, tennis, basketball or all of the above? You`ve got three seconds, go.

Naismith invented basketball when he was a P.E. instructor at a local YMCA. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.


AZUZ: James Naismith eventually became the first basketball coach at the University of Kansas. The Jayhawks played Kentucky last night in the men`s college championship game. Winning a title is a season-long struggle, but it is absolutely nothing compared to the challenges that one Kansas player has had to deal with. Rob Marciano has his story.


ROB MARCIANO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR (voice-over): College basketball can be gut-wrenching, heartbreaking and exhilarating. The life of a college basketball player can be all of those things, and one other: exhausting.

THOMAS ROBINSON, KANSAS JUNIOR FORWARD: We got, you know, early morning workouts and then, you know, classes and then on it`s training practice after that, practice normally can go from 2:00 to 4:00, depending on how the coach feels. And then tutoring at night, and then you`re back in your room, then you`re back up the next morning doing the same thing again.

MARCIANO (voice-over): It `s a full day every day, one that can sometimes be eased by a comforting call home.

TYSHAWN TAYLOR, KANSAS SENIOR GUARD: When things get tough for me, my mom is one of the first people I call and I am sure it is the same for a lot of people.

MARCIANO (voice-over): Just over a year ago, Kansas forward Thomas Robinson received a late night call from home that changed everything for him. He was told his mother, Lisa, had just died of a heart attack at age 37. This only weeks after the deaths of Robinson`s grandparents, who helped his single mother raise him. He and his seven-year-old half-sister, Jayla, were left alone.

BILL SELF, KANSAS HEAD COACH: When I said, Thomas, is there anybody back home you want me to contact? And he said, Coach, they`re all gone, and that just broke my heart.

ROBINSON: My teammates, you know, immediately became my brothers and you know, strongest supporting guys I have.

MARCIANO: Robinson`s teammates followed him home to Washington, D.C., for the funeral. And the school started an education fund for his sister. But even as the fans who filled the seats at legendary Fog Allen Field House donated to a cause more worthy than another national championship, Robinson realized his daily responsibilities had grown immensely.

ROBINSON: I have something bigger to take care of. You know, I had a little sister at home.

TAYLOR: Some people would kind of, you know, go the opposite way and feel like they shouldn`t -- they don`t have anything to work for now, you know. He kind of had a different approach, wondering like, you know, I got to go even harder now.

SELF: There was a whole different level of want, of try in him that I hadn`t even seen before.

MARCIANO: The 6`10" junior wears that responsibility to Jayla like the chain around his neck honoring his mother. His performance has shined like those medallions taking him from the Jayhawks sixth man last year to perhaps the nation`s best player this season, all with the hope it will lead him to millions in the NBA, and his sister to a future without worry.

ROBINSON: For me to feel comfortable, the best way to do that, would, you know, be able to realize my lifetime dream. Man, you know, doing that would be able to take care of her.

MARCIANO (voice-over): Gut-wrenching, heartbreaking and exhilarating. Thomas Robinson`s life has been all of those things, and one other: inspiring -- Rob Marciano, CNN, Atlanta.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for a Shoutout Extra Credit. Which of these words refers to a point of no return? Here we go. Is it Rubicon, filament, commissar or none of the above? Another three seconds on that clock, go.

When you cross the Rubicon, you`re fully committing yourself to a certain action. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout Extra Credit.


AZUZ: And that`s why Jake Wood and his colleagues named their organization Team Rubicon. They wanted to tell people that they were fully committed to their goal of relief work in disaster situations. While the group helps the victims of those disasters, it`s also helping the volunteers who are part of Team Rubicon. That`s why Jake Wood is one of this year`s CNN Heroes.


JAKE WOOD, FORMER U.S. MARINE: In the military, everyone is taught how to lead. They`re taught how to follow and how to solve problems. We really pride ourselves on being ready and willing to go anywhere.

I started in the Marine Corps, deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. When I first saw the earthquake that hit Haiti, a lot of the images I felt like I had seen them before, driving through the streets of Fallujah or Afghanistan. I realized that I could actually help out.

So I went on Facebook. I said "I`m going to Haiti, who`s in?" Seventy-two hours after that, we were on our way to Port-au-Prince.

So let`s get our gauzes. Let`s get our ChlorHex.

We got to work setting up a triage clinic.

I`m going to go through and I`m going to number the beds.

We realized veterans are really useful in these types of situations.

I`m Jake Wood, and I want to help veterans transition to civilian life and help others in need. Team Rubicon really started as a disaster relief organization and then we realized that we can help the veteran community as well. We bring these veterans together to be a part of a team once again. They are almost recharged.

When you get out, you kind of have that feeling of what are you really doing that`s important in the world. Team Rubicon has just provided a great opportunity to just help people in need.

You need to pull your foot back as far as you can.

Most of the work that we do internationally is emergency medical triage clinics. We`ve gone to Chile, Sudan, Pakistan. Here at home we`ve been in Tuscaloosa, Joplin, doing debris clearing operations, search and rescue. We have about 1,400 volunteers and about 80 percent of them are military veterans. Helping other people is part of the healing process.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t thank you all enough.

WOOD: There`s really no limit to what veterans can do. We have the ability to help and we want to serve. I think it`s a win-win situation.



AZUZ (voice-over): CNN Heroes, ordinary folks like Jake Wood, who find ways to make a positive difference. If you know someone you think is working to make the world better, nominate him or her as a CNN Hero. Go to the "Spotlight" section on our home page, and click on the CNN Heroes link. Nominations are open through the end of August.


AZUZ: What do skateboarding legends Tony Hawk, Shaun White and Bob Burnquist have in common?


AZUZ (voice-over): Well, they`ve never done what this 12-year old is about to do.

Tom Schaar just landed the world`s first 1080. You can watch it again right here in slow-mo, three full rotations in the air. Tom pulled off the rad stunt on his fifth try. Then he went back and did it again the next day. Skateboarding`s reigning royalty better watch out. Tom`s only 12 years old.


AZUZ: And he`s already pulled off three revolutions. That`s "Ollie" have for now, but we`ll keep on truckin` and ramp up more headlines for you tomorrow. You skaters in the audience are like, OK, we get it. The rest of you are just like, just stop. So we will. See you tomorrow.