Return to Transcripts main page


Barack Obama Reelected; Nor`easters Explained

Aired November 8, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: One of the world`s most powerful countries is selecting a new leader. We are not talking about the U.S. election, but we have a lot of follow-up on that at well. Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS.

We are starting with the U.S. presidential election. The election night audience wasn`t limited to the United States. From South America to Europe, Africa to the Middle East and Asia, the world was watching as results came in on Tuesday night.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a day to celebrate for Barack Obama supporters. Let`s get to the big headlines at this moment. Barack Obama is reelected U.S. president. The first picture of the first couple`s victory as Obama tweets a thank you to his voters for a second term.


AZUZ: So people were watching the election in the real world, and many of them were talking about the election in the digital one. Karin Caifa look at the role that social media took on during election day and some of the trends that defined the day.


KARIN CAIFA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As election day turned into election night, millions of votes and how they added up generated million of tweets, leading up to this one: a thank you from a newly reelected president of the United States.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: For the United States of America, the best is yet to come.


CAIFA: Election day 2012 took its place as Twitter`s biggest political event ever. And as TV networks called the race, second screens lit up at a rate of more than 327,000 tweets per minute. Google searches pointed to an anxious electorate. Top search terms during the day included "election results", "exit polls", "election news" and "Who`s winning the election?" On Facebook, the number one term Tuesday morning and afternoon, variations of "vote", "voted", and "go vote." After projections, "Obama wins" jumped to the top spots on both Facebook and Google.

Meanwhile, among Instagram photos, a bevy of proud ballot shots raised legal questions in states with restrictions on photography in polling places. In November 2008, about 37 percent of Americans said they used a social networking site. Fast forward to 2012, two thirds are socially engaged.


CAIFA: And while Republicans made social strides, they are still catching up to do -- Mitt Romney amassed a respectable 1.7 million Twitter follows during his campaign; still, just a fraction of President Obama`s over 22 million.

In Chicago, I`m Karin Caifa.


AZUZ: Well, President Obama has been elected to a second term in the White House, but the next four years could present some big challenges for the president and the country. The fiscal cliff has to do with the U.S. debt, some spending cuts and tax increases are said to kick in unless President Obama and Congress can come up with other ways to get the country`s debt under control. Most American voters said the economy was the number one issue in this election. One thing the financial experts look at in order to figure out how the economy is doing is the U.S. stock markets, specifically, the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Yesterday, it dropped more than 300 points, the worst one day drop in a year. So, things are still pretty rough on Wall Street, and that`s why economic issues like the fiscal cliff are going to get a lot of attention.

What else lies ahead for the president`s second term? There is a possibility he could nominate more justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. He nominated two during his first term, plus some members of the president`s cabinet have said they`ll step down, so he`ll need to fill those positions as well.

Before we leave election night behind, we want to point out some firsts that happened on Tuesday. Same-sex marriage became legal in Maryland and Maine. A similar vote in Washington was still pending. Judges and legislators have approved it in other states, but this was the first time that voters approved same-sex marriage.

In Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin became the first openly gay politician elected to the U.S. Senate. She`s also the first woman elected to the Senate from Wisconsin.

Voters in two states, Colorado and Washington, approved legalizing marijuana. That`s a first, but it`s also not a done deal. The federal government says marijuana is illegal, and that overrules states rights in this case. And for the first time, a majority of voters in Puerto Rico said they would like the U.S. territory to change its status and become a U.S. state.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just the facts: in 1949, China officially changed its name to the People`s Republic of China. The country had existed for centuries, but 1949 was when China became a communist nation. In a communist country, the government controls the economy and one political party holds all the power.


AZUZ: That government and country are set to get a new leader. Now, there won`t be a new party in charge of China. The Communist Party will still lead the country`s government, but there will be a different person heading up that party. Every five years, more than 2,200 delegates from the Communist Party Congress get together. They evaluate the country`s progress and set new directions for China. Every ten years, they pick new leadership. That process started today. Most, maybe all of the decisions are determined in advance. And that`s why we can tell you that this man, Xi Jingping, is expected to be China`s next president. He`s been the vice president for nearly 5 years, but some experts describe Xi as a mystery. They say they are not sure what type of leader he would be.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s the word? It`s a type of winter storm that commonly hits this part of the United States.

Nor`easter. That`s the word.


AZUZ: There is one of those bearing down on the Northeastern U.S. right now. Yes, this is the same part of the country that was hit less than two weeks ago by Sandy. A lot of people still recovering from that storm. Hundreds of thousands still don`t have power. And now they are going to have to deal with this two. You are looking at more rain, more wind, now add snow to the mix. The Nor`easter could drive temperatures down into the `20s, and that could be a serious problem for the thousands of people whose homes don`t have heat or power. Rob Marciano has more on these winter storms.


ROB MARCIANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A Nor`easter is the storm that typically happens in the Northeast. That`s not why it`s called a Nor`easter, though. The name comes from the wind or the prevailing wind that you typically get from that sort of storm, which is out of the Northeast, and the bigger, stronger the storm, the stronger the Nor`east wind is.

Nor`easters are typically a weak storm that make their way across the U.S. and will get a little bit of energy from the jet stream, and then when they heat the coast, that difference in temperature between the land and the ocean, that gives them a little bit more in the way of instability and more fuel for the fire.

Common characteristics of a Nor`easter are wind, rain, sometimes snow, definitely waves battering the coastline, and because of that you can get some beach erosion, you can get some coastal flooding. A storm surge is possible as well. So, a lot of damage can be done not only along the shoreline, but also inland in form of winds and heavy snow. Sometimes Nor`easters can dump several feet of snow, especially at the higher terrain.

Nor`easters typically happen anywhere really from September all the way to May. The more intense ones happen really in the fall and winter time, but spring time, you can get some Nor`easters that have some devastating winds.

Nor`easters and hurricanes are completely different, because they derive their energy from two completely different sources. Your hurricanes get your energy from the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean, and that latent heat relays is what drives the engine. Once a hurricane goes on land, it loses its energy.

A Nor`easter gets its energy from the differences between hot and cold. Often, a blizzard will come from a strong Nor`easter. And some cases, they can be one and the same. Blinding snow and wind, winds blowing 35-40 miles an hour. And obviously, devastating cold. And that`s why the strongest Nor`easters typically happen in fall and winter, when you have that dynamic contrast in temperatures.


AZUZ: Well, finally today, we are going to talk about a ping-pong player that is a machine. Well, at least we warned you. This robotic returner is a ping-pong prodigy. It`s on display at an event in China. The robot`s eyes have cameras that collect images of the ball, and then it takes it 50 to 100 milliseconds to respond and hit the ball back. Actually it seems kind of like the ball is coming right to it. So, if you were to really challenge this thing, it might be in for some trouble. If it couldn`t keep up, it could be up the creek without a pedal. But for the engineers building it, they could still get some valuable information. And besides, it seems like they are doing pretty well, considering the net results so far.

Coming up with puns like that is always a ball, and we really gave them our best shot, and now it`s time for us to go so, we will serve up more headlines tomorrow on CNN STUDENT NEWS.