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11-Mile Stretch of Mississippi River Closed; Nyad Falls Short

Aired August 22, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: I`m Carl Azuz, and I`m standing here, in the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia. We want to welcome all of our viewers from around the world to this Wednesday edition of CNN STUDENT NEWS.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A lot of stuff we use goes up and down the Mississippi River. We are talking steel, coal, ore, grain. The problem is now a lot of those barges had had to lighten their loads, and even doing that, they are still running aground. There is a real fear that there could be a possibility of closing the Mississippi River.


AZUZ: That`s from a report that Martin Savidge filed on August 10th, the possibility he mentioned is now reality. The U.S. Coast Guard closed down 11 miles of the Mississippi River on Monday. The problem is low water levels, historically low water levels. This is a historic drought combined with extreme heat, and those have combined to drop the level along parts of the Mississippi. Usually around 50 ships a day pass through the area that was closed down on Monday. Officials say the closure has already affected nearly 100 boats and barges.

Diana Nyad is out of the water. 62-year old was making her fourth and possibly last attempt to swim from Cuba to the Florida Keys, but this try, like the others, felt short. Matt Sloane, with the CNN medical unit has been following the story for us. He was in touch with Diana Nyad`s team during her swim. Matt, talk to us about what happened.

MATT SLOANE, CNN MEDICAL PRODUCER: Well, Carl, ultimately we know she didn`t succeed in the swim attempt that started 63 hours before she finished up. Just about 40 miles off the coast of Key West. It`s a pretty remarkable fit, no matter how you look at it. Diana actually swam longer in this attempt than she has ever before, even in 1978, she swam only about 41 hours and 42 minutes, this time 41 hours and 45 minutes of actual swimming time. Now, we know she did get out of the water the second night into the swim because of some very bad storms that was actually dangerous for her to continue to stay in the water because of lightning strikes, and jelly fish. You know, the jellyfish have continued to plague her as she does any of these swims, you know she actually had a jellyfish suit on that covered almost all of her body, with the exception of her lips, and jellyfish managed to get the stingers right across her lips and made it very difficult for her to continue swimming.

One of the other things she is very concerned about, of course, is sharks. She has a device called the shark shield, that`s actually an electronic antenna that goes on a boat that swims right next to her that keeps the sharks away. They don`t like it. It overwhelms their senses. They didn`t see any sharks for most of the swim. Towards the end, they started to get a little bit concerned as the waters got churned up with the storms. A couple of other things that she`s facing that can be very dangerous: sun exposure, dehydration, malnutrition. We know she is burning about 700 calories an hour, she has to replace that somehow. She is now headed back to Key West, she says this will be her last attempt, and she is moving on to bigger and better things. Carl.

AZUZ: This is a very different swim, and a very different body of water. It`s Lake Ontario, one of the Great Lakes. The person you see swimming across it is, Annelise Carr. Nearly 50 other swimmers, including Diana Nyad, have made it across Lake Ontario. But Annelise is the youngest. She is just 14. She took on the challenge to raise money for a childhood cancer center. Annelise said she wanted to accomplish something difficult for kids who fight cancer. According to her parents, Annelise raised close to $80,000. She started the 31.6 mile swim Saturday evening, and 27 hours later, reached the other side.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this Legit? A CV is a longer version of a resume. This is true. CV stands for curriculum vitae, which is Latin for course of one`s life.


AZUZ: What a CV and resume can both do, is to outline your professional experiences and accomplishments. People use these documents to show they are qualified for a job they want. In this next report, Maggie Lake looks at the C.V.`s of two candidates for the same job, one that millions of Americans will decide on in 76 days.


MAGGIE LAKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It`s a race between the man who holds the Oval Office and the man who sat in the corner office. Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, two men who say they have the best C.V. to fix the U.S. economy.

MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`ve spent 25 years in business. I know how business works. I want to use that experience to help businesses grow again.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Where we were losing 800,000 jobs a month when I was sworn in the office, we`ve been creating jobs now for almost three years straight.

RYAN LIZZA, THE NEW YORKER: The Romney campaign is closer to the sort of austerity point of view, that some countries in Europe are trying.

OBAMA: And go with me!

LIZZA: Obama for the last few years has been more about priming the pump and stimulus.

LAKE: It`s a tough job the candidates are applying for. U.S. economic growth has slowed to an anemic 1.5 percent in the spring. The jobless rate has been stuck over eight percent for 42 straight months, and spiraling government debt has undermined business confidence.

Most hiring managers have stacks and stacks of C.V.s to choose from when trying to pick the right candidate to feel a key position. But in this election, the American people have a choice between just two men who have very different ideas on how to fix the U.S. balance sheet.

First, the Obama C.V.

The president`s campaign points to his success at saving the U.S. auto industry. His plan to overhaul the healthcare system, and the creation of more than 4.5 million private sector jobs. But critics question Obama`s sometime rocky relations with Wall Street, and what they call his commitment to big government.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Under Obama`s plan, you wouldn`t have to work and wouldn`t have to train for a job. They`ll just send you your welfare check.

LAKE: As for Mitt Romney, the GOP says his time as governor of Massachusetts and head of the 2002 Winter Olympics shows he can manage budgets. And as former CEO of private equity firm Bain Capital, he amassed a fortune. But that private sector experience has proved a rich target for the Democrats.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Took our benefits. We didn`t have any more retirement, and Bain, Mitt Romney, they did not care about us as workers. They were looking at the mighty dollar.

LAKE: While Obama and Romney battle it out on the campaign trail, it may be the ability to reach across the political divide that voters should be most focused on.

LIZZA: If you want to get something done in this country, is a president who can move members of the other party to his position.

LAKE: A tough job, indeed, in these days of divided government, but the stakes couldn`t be higher. Maggie Lake, CNN, New York.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s time for the "Shoutout." Finish this quote by author Samuel Johnson: "Great works are performed not by strength, but by ..." what? If you think you know it, then shout it out. Is it perseverance, dedication, teamwork or money? You`ve got three seconds, go.

Samuel Johnson said that great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance. That`s your answer, and that`s your "Shoutout."


AZUZ: That`s an idea that Beverly Kearney has some personal experience with. She`s a college track and field coach, in fact she`s in the sports hall of fame. But Kearney really showed her perseverance off the track. After an accident doctors told her repeatedly she would never walk again. But Kearney didn`t accept that. Watch this.


ROBIN MEADE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In track and field, timing is everything.

BEVERLY KEARNEY, COACH: What are you doing?

MEADE: University of Texas women`s track head coach Beverly Kearney makes every second count. A decade ago, she survived a terrible car accident.

KEARNEY: When they told me I was paralyzed, I`d go no, I don`t think so. Because I had to get up and coach.

MEADE: Beverly continued to lead her team from the hospital bed.

KEARNEY: They filmed practices. The hospital was close enough for the athletes to walk over. We reviewed the tape.

MEADE: She defied expectations and learned to walk again. Beverly has made even larger strides in college sports. She`s the first black head coach at UT.

KEARNEY: I just knew I could not fail. I would be a shining example of why you don`t hire African-Americans and why you don`t hire women.

MEADE: She`s led her Texas women`s track team to six NCAA championships.

KEARNEY: I coach with my heart. If I can get you to believe in the essence of who you are, it`s like fire.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She taught me you are the maker of your success and of your failure.

KEARNEY: After all I`ve been through in my life, every experience has been the foundation that has created an unwavering, unshakable faith that all things are possible.


AZUZ: We`ve all been there. You get so frustrated with your cell phone, you just want to toss it.




AZUZ: Kind of like that guy. The difference is, he has someone checking to see how far his throw went. This is the mobile phone throwing world championships in Finland. The goal is to chuck technology as far as possible. There is also a freestyle category where throwers are judged on their creativity. Wonder if the crowd reaction factors in here. I mean, you might get a better score depending on the reception. Entertainment at this event is an easy cell. We just hope none of the contestants phoned it in. I am going to signal that we`re out of time. We`ll dial up more headlines for you tomorrow. See you then.