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Personal Stories; Michelangelo`s Masterpiece Turns 500

Aired November 2, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: All week we`ve been looking at different aspects of this massive storm named Sandy. We`ve talked about the science behind it, what happened when it hit the U.S., the devastation that it left behind. Today we are going to take a look at how Sandy affected people on an individual level. Plus, we`re going to take a look ahead the next Tuesday as the presidential campaigns make their final push. I`m Carl Azuz. This is CNN STUDENT NEWS.

When you`ve lived through something like Sandy, how do you balance the need to emotionally recover with the need to get back some sense of normalcy? A lot of people are struggling with that question right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can`t describe it in words, because there is nothing -- nothing, all you see is burnt out rubble. That`s it. Burnt out rubble.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, it is no words to put on what happened here, but we -- we got to start over and bring back this community.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You take a lot of stuff for granted, I think until you get to this point, and then now it`s -- you just want to get back to it, you know, you want everything back that you complained about a week ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want to get back in there, get the kids back to school and things like that, get our life back.


AZUZ: In New York and New Jersey, people are trying to get back to their normal routines, but things aren`t normal. This line, it`s for a bus. With huge sections of the subway shutdown, bus service is trying to help now. Some people said it took four or five hours to get to work on Thursday. And how about checking your email or sending a text? Millions of people still didn`t have power on Thursday, couldn`t even charge their phones. Some of the ones who did, were offering it up to neighbors. They set up charging stations, running extension cords and power strips out of their homes for anyone to use, the sign of community coming together as it tries to recover.

On our blog, it`s, jobs, the economy and education top your list of election issues.

Priscilla is concerned about all three. "With the prices of everything going up, including college, it is really going to be a challenge to attain a higher education."

Carol says, "... there are enough jobs for the people who have just graduated college. I am worried I won`t be able to support myself when I graduate."

Max writes," ... education should be the top concern. If we have a good educational system, we will be able to make jobs and help the economy at the same time."

Some folks like Joshua had a different take, the biggest issue for him is deficit reduction. As a large deficit could lead to a default on our debt.

Jabari also notes the debt, saying, "new ways to try to fix it might not help."

Austin writes, "It`s the high price of fuel. I think that if the price of gas were lower, more people would have jobs ..."

And Brittany feels that Obama and Romney should talk more about what will happen when schools have to fire teachers because the school is low on money."

People who think jobs are the number one election issue, might focus on a government report that comes out every month. It updates the national unemployment rate and says how many jobs were added the month before. The latest numbers come out today, and they are the last ones coming out before Tuesday`s election. You could be sure the presidential candidates will be talking about this report and hoping it helps them gain some support on Tuesday.

We looked at Governor Romney and President Obama`s economic policies earlier this week. Today, as we wrap up our series on the candidates` positions we are focusing on foreign policy. That covers a lot of issues, so we are going to cover two of them today. First one, the war in Afghanistan. President Obama has announced the plan that would have U.S. combat troops out of Afghanistan by 2014. Governor Romney has said, he supports gradually pulling American forces out of Afghanistan, but he`s criticized the president for announcing the timetable.

Next up, Iran. When it comes to that country`s controversial nuclear program, the U.S. presidential candidates share a lot of the same basic ideas. Neither one wants Iran to be able to develop a nuclear weapon. Both support the idea of using sanctions, punishments against Iran and neither one has ruled out the idea of using military force against Iran.

We have a ton of resources on the presidential election on our home page. Go to, check out the election resources bin.

We are in the home stretch of this presidential campaign. For some folks, it feels like it`s going on forever. It`s this idea called voter fatigue. That after months and months of the speeches and the rallies, the media coverage and especially the ads, some people are just worn out. Presidential candidates have been making political ads for decades, but they haven`t always look like the ones we see today. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You like Ike, I like Ike, everybody likes Ike.

DARRELL WEST, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: The way that candidates communicate with voters tells us a lot about the politicians, but also about ourselves.

JOHN F. KENNEDY: This is candidate John Kennedy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Johnson.


WEST: So, it`s an amazing lens on American culture and on American politics.`

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This time, vote like your whole world depended on it.

WEST: The biggest difference in ads that we see today is really in the editing. Today, we have a much faster pace, they splice different images together, there is much greater sophistication in the production that lies behind contemporary ads.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eisenhower answers America.

WEST: The first presidential election where TV ads played a role was 1952, Dwight Eisenhower pulled together footage from press conferences and basically had "Eisenhower Answering America."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This historic moment is brought to you by Citizens for Kennedy.

WEST: 1960 is really considered the first television election, that was the first election where we had TV debates between Kennedy and Nixon, ads also were seen as very prominent, because it was a wave for Kennedy to basically contrast his youthfulness with Nixon experience.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They understand what peace demands.

WEST: 1964 was a very interesting election, and it featured a lot of attack ads.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Four, five, six ...

WEST: There was a famous ad called "the daisy ad", incumbent president Lyndon Johnson had a little girl in a meadow pulling petals off of a daisy and in the background you have the countdown, and at the end of the end, there is a nuclear explosion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nine, eight, seven, six, five ...

WEST: By today standards, it seems remarkably tame, because we`ve seen a lot more vicious and personal attacks on individuals. But when that ad aired, it actually only aired once on network television, the public outcry was so strong that Johnson took down that ad and never aired it again.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s "Shoutout" goes out to Mrs. Golden`s U.S. and world history classes at the Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts in Baltimore, Maryland. Who painted this famous artwork? You know what to do. Was it Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello or Raphael? You`ve got three seconds, go!

You`re looking at Michelangelo`s masterpiece on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."


AZUZ: Michelangelo`s masterpiece is celebrating a big birthday this week. In 1512, exactly 500 years ago, it was finished and open to the public. The different panels on the Sistine Chapel ceiling show people and events from the Bible. The most famous one is the creation of Adam, which shows the arms of God and Adam reaching out to each other. The painting has survived centuries of war and severe weather. But now, it`s facing a new threat, one that comes from an unexpected source.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Today the greatest threat to this priceless art comes from those who flock to admire it. About 5 million people visit the Sistine Chapel every year, that means 5 million people with sweat, with heat, with dust.

The number of visitors is expected only to grown in coming years. The Vatican is planning to upgrade the current climate control system for the chapel, but officials are hesitant to turn tourists away.


AZUZ: We don`t have to wait till next Tuesday for election results, thanks to some presidential prognosticators. Like the Redskins rule. If the team wins its last home game before the election, the person or party in power stays there. Road team wins, expect a victory for the White House challenger. Has that ever been manipulated before? We`d be worried about pass interference.

If football is not your cup of tea, try coffee. 711 is selling Obama and Romney cups of java, those results will be hot off the presses. Halloween may be over, but some people think they can predict the presidency based on which candidate`s mask sold more. On election day, they`ll face reality. And the squirrel can tell us the outcome based on which dish it eats from. Some of these ideas seem a little wacky, that squirrel one is downright nuts, but hey, listen, it`s not scientific, it just food for thought. One thing we can predict, we will be back on the air next Monday, so we hope to see you then, and that you have a wonderful weekend. Bye now.