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Civil War in Syria; Farming in the Open Ocean

Aired October 1, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: It`s Monday, October 1st. We are kicking off a new month, a new week and a new day of commercial-free global headlines. I`m Carl Azuz, and this is CNN STUDENT NEWS.

World leaders meeting at the United Nations in New York are talking about ways to resolve the civil war in Syria. Meanwhile, the violence in that Middle Eastern nation hasn`t stopped. Human rights group in Syria says that more than 30,000 people have died in the fighting. The conflict broke out a year and a half ago, and in the city of Aleppo it`s been going on about non-stop since July.

Aleppo is a world heritage site. That means it`s considered culturally and historically important. In fact, the city was named Islam`s cultural capital six years ago. But some of Aleppo`s cultural sites are being threatened by the war. This is a Youtube video of a famous market place that went up in flames over the weekend.

We`ve talked about Okinawa twice this school year. Both times, the Japanese island had been hit by a typhoon, what hurricanes are called in this part of the world? This weekend it was hit by another one.

Typhoon Jelawat ripped across the island on Saturday, Okinawa`s buildings are designed to deal with this strong storms, so there were no reports of major damage, although more than 270,000 homes lost power and at least 50 people were injured by this typhoon.

Next up today, we are going to hop across the Pacific Ocean and make our way to Washington, D.C. That is where the nine men and women who sit on the U.S. Supreme Court are starting a new session today. From now through April, the Supreme Court justices will spend several days every month hearing arguments.

Then they issue their decisions later next year. During these sessions, the court could rule on major issues, this time around that includes the case about whether race should be a factor when colleges decide which students to accept. The justices also might decide to hear cases about same sex marriage and whether the federal government can provide benefits to legally married the same sex couples that other married couples get. Plus, they might look at a voting rights law that says the government has to review changes to election procedures in some states.

Extreme weather conditions and the price of meat, at first glance these two things might not seem to go hand in hand, but we are going to take a look at this. Start with the weather, the drought, the extreme heat that covered huge sections of the U.S. this year, it was especially tough on crops like corn. Corn is used in a lot of things, including feed for pigs and cows. So, less corn means farmers are paying more for feed, and that means they are charging more for meat. With concerns about higher prices and even food shortages, some farmers are looking for alternatives. In this report, Dr. Sanjay Gupta examines a farm that shouldn`t have too many concerns about dried up land.


BRIAN O`HANLON, FOUNDER & PRESIDENT, OPEN BLUE: Over the next 50 years, we need more food produced than the last 10,000 years combined. And it`s just staggering to think where is it all going to come from.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Agriculture is critical. You know, it`s not important, it`s critical.

O`HANLON: I think we need to farm in the ocean as we farm in the land.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need to grow the supply of environmentally responsible seafood.

O`HANLON: By moving out to the open ocean, we move the fish far out to much healthier environment.

Currents are brisk, the fish never see the same water twice.

I`m Brian O`Hanlon, the founder of Open Blue, the world`s largest open ocean fish farm.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Welcome to the next list, I`m Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Every year, the world`s population grows. And with it, the need for more food. Seafood in particular is in demand, because it is such high quality protein. But the number of fish caught in the wild doesn`t even come close to meeting the demand. In fact, right now nearly half the seafood people eat comes from agriculture or farming. And that`s where any new supply will have to come from as well. Brian O`Hanlon is third generation fisherman. He is also the founder of Open Blue. Over the last ten years, O`Hanlon has developed this innovative approach to farming. He is raising his fish far out at sea. O`Hanlon is convinced, the swift currents of the open ocean produce healthier, cleaner fish with low impact on the environment, and he`s determined to prove it in the pristine waters off the coast of Panama.

O`HANLON: I think we need to farm in the oceans as we farm in the land. On land, we don`t farm our crops in the cities, in these dense areas. You know, the coastal waters are the cities. And the dense areas where there is a lot of competing uses for that environment. The farmer crops on land, in the vast wide open fields, which is really the open ocean.

So, you could see the Atlantic here. So what you are looking at is mooring grid. It`s the buoys, these big yellow buoys, which right now it`s a ten cells grid, so each cell is about a football field by a football field, and there`s cages.

GUPTA (on camera): This particular fish, cobia, how did you decide that this is the fish you wanted to raise?

O`HANLON (on camera): It was pretty clear early on, that it was a special fish. You know, this fish literally from morning to afternoon, you could see them growing. And when we put them in the cages offshore, they just exploded. While we are diving in the cage, we all came out and to our surprise a large whale shark was circling around outside of the cage. So it`s always a treat to see -- to see those animals out there, it`s not many people get to see them, I think as they often inhabit those open ocean waters pretty far from shore. I mean, whale sharks are actually animals that cobia are often found schooling with. Cobia will follow whale sharks in -- in nature. It just demonstrates that -- that`s where they naturally thrive.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today "Shoutout" goes out to Mr. Hibbard and everyone else at Southern Oaks Middle School at Port St. Lucie, Florida. Who was featured on the first CD released to the public? Here we go, was it the Bangles, Billy Joel, the Beatles or Janet Jackson? You`ve got three seconds. Go! Billy Joel`s "52nd Street" was the first commercial compact disk. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."


AZUZ: That CD came out exactly 30 years ago today, and it wasn`t exactly cheap either. Back in 1982, that Billy Joel`s CD sold for what would have been the equivalent of about 35 bucks. When they first came out, Cds were praised for their sound quality. They were more portable than records, and they could hold more music on them. In the 30 years since then, hundreds of billions of Cds have been sold and even with MP3s around now, Cds still make up more than 60 percent of all album sales in the U.S. Although the format is losing ground to digital files.

A U.S. government ruled limiting calories in public school food lunches. This is about a month old. But it`s already making a difference that many of you are noticing: on our blog last Friday after we told you this story, 93 percent of those who took our quick poll said they`d noticed changes in their school lunches. Seven percent said they hadn`t.

Bree agrees with cutting down calories, saying there are a lot of children who are uncomfortable with their bodies, and that`s sad at this age. Brett believes students are still hungry after lunch, because they only eat the parts they like, and they don`t eat the fruits and vegetables. Jonas agrees that people need to change their eating habits, but says the government doesn`t have to tell us how to eat. Jason asks, what good is it to get lunch that doesn`t even feed me enough for practice after school? And Ryan now brings his own lunch. That way, he says, he won`t be starving at football practice. At Montana says, student athletes are having a hard time not getting all the protein they need.

Friday night football. Ogama Heights High School defeated Cadillac High by three points. The NVP, Whitney Kropp. We told you about her last Wednesday. She is a student from West Ranch, Michigan who`d been picked on. She was nominated to homecoming court as a prank, and when she found out she said she felt like trash. But with the support of her family, friends and community Crock decided to go to homecoming anyway. Local businesses helped with her dress, shoes, hair and makeup, the Support Whitney Facebook site got over a 100,000 likes. And Kropp took the opportunity to tell other students never to let bullies get them down.


WHITNEY KROPP, STUDENT: You know I thought, before, you know, why no one carries about me? The world is proving that they, well, not really care about me, but they care about the situation. So like I`m happy, I`m really honored.


AZUZ: Absolutely great story. Finally today, you know that saying about picking on someone your own size? Somebody should have told it to this dog, because that tiger cub is way out of his league. Luckily it seems to be a pretty laid back cat, otherwise, there is a chance this play date could have turned into a lunch date. The Youtube video is getting attention because of how cute these two are playing together, but the tiger is just a baby, you wonder what might happen when it gets older. Will it still be pals with the dog? Or will it turn on the canine and show its true strikes? Just one pun today, but it`s good. It`s OK. It`s time for us to go. We`ll see you tomorrow on CNN STUDENT NEWS.