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GOP Convention Starts; Tropical Storm Isaac May Hit New Orleans

Aired August 28, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Leaving through one earthquake can be scary enough. But 300 in the same day, we are going to tell you where that actually happened. I`m Carl Azuz. Welcome to your Tuesday edition of CNN STUDENT NEWS.


REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: So it is my privilege to proclaim the 2012 Republican National Convention in session and called to order.

The 2012 Republican National Convention stands in recess subject to the call of the chair.



AZUZ: And with that the Republican National Convention officially got started, and then it took a little pause: a one day delay due to concerns about severe weather means the convention is really going to get started today. We are going to spend the next two weeks covering these events. First, the Republicans, then the Democrats. Chief political correspondent Candy Crowley breaks down what the conventions are all about.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is a lot of party that goes on. There is some really mind-numbing business that goes on. So it`s a little bit business, and it`s a whole lot show.

These party conventions are two different animals, really. The first is, to do the business of the conventions, which is get a nominee out there. Yes, we all know who it`s going to be. But they have to do that, that`s under the party rules and the way they`ve set it, and how it all works, they`ve got to go, and they`ve got to vote. So, that`s the official business. The rest of it is about putting on a face that voters will get an idea of who this candidate is, and what this party is about.

The fact of the matter is, these are important, for these candidates, whether it`s the president or the challenger, to say this is what I am about. The party is presenting itself, be they Republicans or Democrats, to the general public. Number one, it helps excite their base, the people who are going to vote anyway, or who might say, well, it`s too cold, it`s too hot, I`m not going to the polls. So, it`s about their base, but it`s also about that minuscule number of swing voters that are still trying to figure out who they are going to vote for.

Delegates are chosen depending on the state, either through a caucus, sometimes they are picked at state party conventions. Generally what happens is, a delegate runs in a primary, and they say, I`m Matt Smith, and I want to be a delegate for Mitt Romney. And if they win, they go and cast their vote for Mitt Romney.


AZUZ: So, what can we expect during this week`s Republican convention in Tampa? Well, each day has a theme. Today`s is "we built it," tomorrow`s is "we can change it," and Thursday`s theme, the last day of the convention, is "we believe in America." There are speeches throughout the convention that each day wraps up with some big ones. Tonight, it`s Ann Romney, the presumptive nominee`s wife. Then, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie closes out the day, tomorrow night Representative Paul Ryan, Romney`s vice presidential pick takes the stage, and on Thursday, Mitt Romney accepts the nomination to officially become his party`s presidential nominee.

The reason for the delay in Tampa is the reason why three Gulf state governors have declared a state of emergency: it`s Tropical Storm Isaac, it`s getting some comparisons to another infamous storm, the rotating red circle you see in your screen is Isaac, the white area is it`s projected, it`s possible path. The blue line to the left, that was the path of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Similar path and similar time, too, Katrina hit seven years ago tomorrow. One major difference, Isaac isn`t nearly as powerful as Katrina, still, people in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama are preparing for Isaac, some of the emergency plans they are using were created as a result of Katrina. Rob Marciano looks at one difference between then and now.


ROB MARCIANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They are much more protected now than they were seven years ago. What is behind me, was not here seven years ago. This massive structure, the flood gates here, basically at the 17 Street Canal, and on either side of those 11 flood gates, each of which weighs 20 tons, by the way, are eight massive pipes connected to pumps, that each have the ability to pump out water over 8,000 gallons per second. From the other side of that into Lake Pontchartrain, where it should be. Because this is where the surge came because Katrina missed New Orleans just to the east, and the surge came this way, into the canals, and that`s what made that levy breech.


AZUZ: We want you to check out this home video from Brawley, California.


AZUZ: That was one of about 300 earthquakes that hit Southern California on Sunday. Officials said there were reports of some minor damage. The strongest quake had a magnitude of 5.5. One expert described the event as an earthquake swarm. This area is what he called, a zone of transition between two fault lines, the Imperial and San Andreas. The expert says these zones tend to get more earthquake activity than other parts of the state.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s time for the "Shoutout." What is the westernmost country in continental Europe? If you think you know it, then shout it out! Is it Portugal, Denmark, Spain or Italy? You`ve got three seconds. Go! Portugal is farther west than any other country in continental Europe. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."


AZUZ: Portugal is also in a very deep recession, with unemployment at around 15 percent. That means a lot of parents are out of work, so there is a new children`s book out that aims to explain Portugal`s massive debt crisis to five-year olds, as if high school economics isn`t hard enough.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The crisis I can`t quite explain, because it`s a bit complicated, and I haven`t understood it yet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The markets are getting worse with the crisis.


AZUZ: The book that aims to help these kids out actually has two sides to it. It explains the crisis from two different political view points, one from the right, one from the left. The blame for the country`s crisis is different, depending on the side, but maybe by reading both, the kids will get a better read on why Portugal is struggling.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See if you can I.D. me: I`m a country that borders both the Indian and Atlantic Ocean. I have three capital cities, but my most populated city, Johannesburg, isn`t one of them. My name includes the continent where I`m located. I`m South Africa, and I`m home to more than 48 million people.


AZUZ: Nearly 40,000 of those South Africans leave in an area of slums called Kliptown. Many houses there don`t have electricity or running water, the crime and school dropout rates are high, but one Kliptown resident is trying to change his community. Here is his story.


THULANI MADONDO: Since the Apartheid time Kliptown has not changed, there is no electricity, people are leaving in shacks. Growing up in Kliptown makes you feel like you don`t have control over your life. Many children drop out of school because they don`t have school uniforms and textbooks. I realize that the only way that Kliptown could change was through education.

I`m Thulani Madondo, I`m helping educating the children, so that we can change Kliptown together.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. (inaudible).


MADONDO: We help the children by paying for their school books, school uniforms. Our main focus is our tutoring program that we run four days a week.

As young people who were born and raised here, we know the challenges of this community.

(on camera): One, two, three!

(voice over): We also do a number of activities ...

We`ve got (ph) to come together for fun, while we also come together for academics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This program gave me a change to go to the university, they (ph) paid for my fees. But I also come back and I volunteer.

Number two, number three ...

A little can go a long way.

MADONDO: What subjects do you need to study?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Math and science.

MADONDO: Math and science. And English


MADONDO: That`s good, yeah.

I didn`t go to university, but I`ve been able to help them. I feel excited.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going to be an accountant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going to be a lawyer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I`m going to be a nurse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The world got you doing (inaudible) is bringing change.


AZUZ: Love those hero stories. Well, back in the day, there was a cartoon character named Droopy Dog. He must have been this guy`s idol. This poor bulldog is struggling to stay awake. I don`t why I give in, buddy, it`s nap time. That`s a perfectly good time to drift off to sleep. Lucky for us, his owner captured the canine`s refusal to rest on camera. Maybe he`s just trying to figure out a way to stretch out. Just hope he was eventually able to drift off to sleep. I mean, it`s obvious he was just dog tired. We`re going to pause right there and let sleeping dogs lie, and we`ll be back tomorrow with more CNN STUDENT NEWS. See you then.