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West Nile Virus Epidemic; Surveillance Cameras Everywhere

Aired August 16, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: You might wonder what $100 million apartment looks like, you are going to know before the end of today show. I`m Carl Azuz, this is CNN STUDENT NEWS.

First up, the mayor of Dallas, Texas says his city is facing an emergency. The problem is West Nile Virus. There is an outbreak of it happening around the U.S. It`s the biggest jump in the number of reported cases of West Nile since 2004, and the outbreak is spreading. This map shows some of the states that have been hit the hardest. By far, Texas has had it the worst: More than 380 confirmed cases of West Nile there. Officials are trying to fight the outbreak by using a spray to kill infected mosquitoes. The insects spread the disease after they get it from birds. West Nile started in Africa. No one knows how it got to the U.S., but we do know when it arrived: 1999. Most people who get West Nile don`t get seriously sick. Dr. Sanjay Gupta runs through some of the symptoms of this disease.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The vast majority of people who get West Nile won`t have hardly any symptoms at all, or so mild that they won`t realize that in fact they have West Nile. So when you look at the numbers of cases, keep that in mind, they are probably a lot higher. And people who have the mild illness, you know, it`s a fever, they can swollen lymph glands, they sometimes get a characteristic rash that`s usually on the chest or the back of the stomach, sort of in a truncal (ph) area of the body. That can happen. There is a more severe form, one in 150 cases, they have something known as a neuroinvasive form. That gets into the brain and spinal cord area, and it crosses the blood brain barrier, can cause someone to be lethargic, can cause someone to have neck stiffness, you know, people can also get joint pain and nausea. So, they can be sometimes vague.


AZUZ: Yesterday, we reported on the U.S. Air Force flight test, a hypersonic aircraft was supposed to fly for 300 seconds, at 4600 miles per hour. This animation shows you how it would have worked. Except it didn`t. Officials say, a tailfin problem caused the aircraft to fly out of control, so they had to cut the test flight short and destroy the aircraft. They are not sure if they`ll try another one.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this legit? The United States has had more vice presidents than presidents.

Totally true! One reason why, some presidents who served two terms had a different vice president during each term.


AZUZ: 44 presidents, 47 vice presidents. Paul Ryan would like to be number 48. We found out last Saturday that the U.S. Representative from Wisconsin is this year`s Republican vice presidential candidate. The Democratic candidate is the man who holds the office right now, Vice President Joe Biden.

In our show on Monday, we shared some of Representative Ryan`s thoughts on the choice voters have in this year`s election. Vice President Biden talked about that choice this week, too.


JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: When I called and congratulated Congressman Ryan, he is a good guy, he is a decent guy. I called to congratulate him, we both talked about, these are stark, stark choices. The differences couldn`t be more clearly laid out through this election, and you are going to hear. And the American people are going to make a choice. They are going to make a choice. And maybe once that choice is made, we can stop all this gridlock, and all this obstructionism ...


BIDEN: And we can start to move on.


AZUZ: Vice presidential candidates are called running mates. The country`s first vice presidents were actually runners-up. Originally, the vice president was the person who came in second in the presidential election. Things changed after the election of 1800 ended in a tie. Congress came up with the 12th Amendment to the Constitution, which allowed people to run specifically for the office of vice president. The office of vice president has been described as a heartbeat away from the presidency. The V.P. has to take over if something happens to the president. In fact, eight vice presidents have become president after the American leader died or was killed in office. Six other V.P.s have become president, too.

There is certain times when you are aware that you are on camera. When you are taking picture or anchoring a news program. But there are a lot of times and places when you might not know you are on camera: at the store, the mall, walking down the street, maybe. As Susan Kelly explains in this next report, for some it`s a question of privacy versus security.


SUSAN KELLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Surveillance cameras are everywhere, just who is watching and what they are watching has flamed new concerns after Wikileaks published stolen emails regarding a government surveillance program called TrapWire. It`s a program meant to identify potential terrorist activity using cameras that are now omnipresent. The idea of being watched is a new reality in a post-911 world. Though some worried that such measures come at a high price.

JAY STANLEY, ACLU SR. POLICY ANALYST: The whole approach that stopping terrorism as based on mass surveillance is not effective way to stop terrorism. And it`s very dangerous for our liberties. We don`t want to leave in a society where the government is watching all of us, all the time. Just in case we might be a terrorist.

KELLY: But TrapWire doesn`t appear to have gotten very far off the ground with government supporters. The Department of Homeland Security helped fund the initial development of the project, and official telling us, the DHS funded an operational pilot in Washington DC and Seattle in 2010, to determine if the system could be applicable in infrastructure protection applications. That pilot aimed at keeping building safe, included cameras being placed in some 15 locations. The DHS says it discontinued funding the program in January, 2011. That doesn`t mean, however, that similar programs haven`t taken off.

MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK: We are announcing the full launch of the domain awareness system.

KELLY: Last week, the City of New York announced that it had partnered with Microsoft in the development of a real time surveillance network, blanketing parts of the city with cameras and offering real time pictures of what`s happening, then feeding those images back to law enforcement personnel.

BLOOMBERG: This new system capitalizes on new powerful policing software that allows police officers and other personnel to more quickly access relevant information gathered from existing technology. And help them respond even more effectively.

KELLY: The idea that we move around anymore without being watched is just not realistic. The idea, though, that this concept is new is also not realistic. The government continues to fund projects like this as it looks at new ways to predict and disrupt terror plots. Susan Kelly, CNN, Washington.


AZUZ: All right. You are no stranger to cameras, you might have seen them in your school, you`ve seen them in convenience stores and other buildings. Do they feel like a threat to your privacy watching everything you do in public, or do you think they are acceptable if they are designed to help keep you safe? Tell us on our blog from A to Z at


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for the "Shoutout." The centrum and neural arch are in what part of the human body? If you think you know it, then shout it out. Is it the brain, spine, knee or foot? You`ve got three seconds, go.

The centrum and neural arch are part of the spinal column. That`s your answer, and that`s your "Shoutout."


AZUZ: It`s strange to think that the way you carry a backpack could actually cause problems for your back. When I was a freshman in high school, I used one of those things to lug all of my books around, because my locker was nowhere near my classes. Some doctors are now saying, don`t do that. Heavy backpack could hurt your neck and spine. They suggested a backpack weigh no more than ten to 15 percent of your body weight, so you shouldn`t carry every book in it, like I did. If you have to, they suggest buying a rolling backpack, the kind that looks a little like luggage. They also say the best way to wear a backpack is to use both straps. And to cinch them pretty tight, so that the backpack actually seats pretty high up on your back, kind of like mine is right now, the idea being that the backpack is either at or above your waistline. They also say that if the backpack has an abdominal strap, go ahead an fasten that, too. It might not look as good, but doctors are saying, it could help prevent an injury either now, or sometime down the road.

All right, in New Jersey, some drivers may soon get a new look for their license plates. A law in the state says that anyone under the age of 21 that has a permit or a probationary license has to buy a red sticker decal and to put it on his or her license plate. The sticker costs $4. If you don`t follow the law, you could get fined $100. Everyone agrees that a sticker on the license plate is going to make the car and the driver stand out. Critics argue, that could make teen drivers the target of criminals, but supporters say it will help police identify young drivers who have to follow certain rules.

All right, that apartment we mentioned at the start of today show, well, here it is. All $100 million worth. It is the most expensive apartment ever listed in the New York real estate market. And it`s easy to see why. The great views are a big selling point, so is the full gourmet kitchen, it has six bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a dining room that sits 30. Also, a private elevator. The asking price may be a little on the steep side, but this home really sets itself apart-ment. When it comes to puns about high rise homes, the sky is a limit. Back tomorrow to close out the week. We`ll see you then, bye-bye.