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President Obama Puts Forward Gun Control Measures; A Look at Flu Vaccines

Aired January 17, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: So, I`m putting forward a specific set of proposals based on the work of Joe`s task force. And in the days ahead I intend to use whatever weight this office holds to make them real.


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: After last month shooting in New Town, Connecticut, President Obama said he wanted to find ways to reduce gun violence in America. He`s hoping the proposals he made yesterday will get the ball rolling. First, he signed 23 executive orders, laws that don`t have to be approved by Congress. The president said the ones he signed yesterday will make background check stronger and expand school safety programs. We explained how executive orders work in yesterday`s program, you can check that out on our Web site. President Obama also wants Congress to take action, he`s asking them to reinstate a ban on assault weapons that expired in 2004. To make laws that limit how much ammunition weapons can hold and that require background checks on anyone who buys a gun whether it`s at a store, a gun show or a private sale. The National Rifle Association says the president`s idea could violate people`s constitutional right to bear arms. The NRA is promising to put up a political fight over these proposals, and they say they have new support, pointing out that around 250,000 new members joined the organization in the past month. That`s when the gun control debate really heated up.



Sucrose, fructose and glucose are all examples of sugars? Totally true. The suffix -ose is used for carbohydrates, especially sugar.


AZUZ: Of course, having too much sugar can contribute to obesity. That`s a major health issue in the United States. So when it comes to what`s to blame, a lot of people point the finger right here. The one expert says soft drinks are the best place to start dealing with obesity, because they are the one food or drink that`s been proven to cause it. Coca-Cola is the world`s biggest beverage company. This week, the company started putting out ads that say it wants to be part of the fight against obesity. Dr. Sanjay Gupta has more for us on that right now.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Carl, in many ways, you know, this campaign was something that we could foresee coming, obviously, obesity and all the problems associated with obesity are a very large issue in this country for students, young people alike and older people.

So one of the things you hear specifically in this ad campaign besides the fact that they`re addressing this problem of obesity, you also hear some of the things that they have already done. For example, in schools over the last several years they say they`ve been able to reduce by 90 percent the number of calories that kids are getting from sugar related to Coke products. And they also point out something I think very interesting is that despite the fact that we do drink fewer sugary drinks nowadays than we did in a couple of decades ago, a few decades ago, obesity rates have continued to go up. So, it`s not just sugar and sugary drinks, but sugar in all sorts of different places.

Let me show you something, Carl, I think is very instructive. Ask most people how many calories in a coke. Just think about that for a second. A lot of people may not know, but it`s actually about 140 calories, a lot or not depending on your perspective, but look at the sugar as well. More than nine teaspoons of sugar, again, in a single Coke. And what we`ve learned is that it`s not just the amount of sugar, but also the rate at which the body absorbs it. So, with a sugary drink, you simply get a lot of those sugar calories much more quickly into the body. Unlike with fruit, for example, we have the fiber to slow that down.

I think, Carl, more than anything else, people are going to pay more attention to this issue, because everybody, including, you know, politicians, including the Center for Science at Public Interest, including, now, Coke is talking about this issue. So it may make people think twice the next time they pick up a sugary drink. Carl, back to you.


AZUZ: Thanks, Dr. Gupta. You`d already mentioned just a second ago how many calories there are in one can of coke. How much would it take to work that off in a gym? An HLN producer found out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. So, I`m on a bike, and I want to see how long it takes me to burn off a 140 calories. Just have a lot to go. I raised the level to six to make this go faster. 140 calories, just over 25 minutes, needless to say, I`m exhausted.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s "Shoutout" goes out Mrs. Graber`s history classes at Boonville High School in Boonville, Indiana.

The word "vaccine" comes from the Latin word "vacca" which means what?

Here we go, is it medicine, wine, poison or cow? You`ve got three seconds, go!

Vacca means cow. These animals were involved in the discovery of the earliest vaccines. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."


AZUZ: Doctors recommend that babies get vaccines for lots of things: measles, polio, tetanus. And it could be years before you need another vaccine for that same thing. So, why do people get flu shots every year? Can`t they make one of those that last longer? They are working on it.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It`s not a pandemic this year, but as always, it causes serious illness and even death. A big part of the problem, vaccines that can`t keep up with the flu virus.

(on camera): Why isn`t the flu vaccine that we are getting now as effective as it should be?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NATL., INST. OF ALLERGY & INFECTIOUS DISEASES: People get exposed to influenza more or less every year, but the influenza virus itself generally changes a little bit, it drifts.

TODD (voice over): Not like illnesses that we get childhood vaccines for like measles or polio, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the U.S. government`s Institute of Allergy and infectious diseases. He took us inside the lab that could be turning that battle in our favor. The Vaccine Research Center at NIH where more than a dozen top minds are developing a universal flu vaccine. If they nail it ...

FAUCI: Then you`ll have a vaccine that you can give to someone and not worry about those little bit changes from year to year, and you`ll have a response you may need to give it every few years, every five years, every ten years, but you won`t have to give it every year and have to chase after those little changes.

TODD: But Fauci says it means changing the plan of attack.

(on camera): This is the flu virus. On it are a bunch of proteins called hemagglutinin. Blown up, they look like this. Now, the problem with the vaccine as we know it now, is that it induces the response that only attacks the head of each hemagglutinin, which changes basically from year to year. The vaccine can`t quite keep up with it. Now, the goal of the universal vaccine being developed at this lab is to attack not only the head, but the stem of the hemagglutinin, which doesn`t change. So, if they can induce a response that attacks the stem, the can combat multiple strains of the flu for years to come.


AZUZ: Last night, next door to us on CNN, the NBA`s Atlanta Hawks were playing the Brooklyn Nets, and when I checked the few hours before the game, there weren`t a whole lot of seats left. Not the case in some other cities. The Detroit Pistons played in an arena that seats 25,000 people. The teams average attendance this year, a little more than 13,000. Why does this matter? Well, this teams aren`t just about sports. They are businesses. In order to make money, they need to get people in those seats. That`s why some of then are trying all sorts of ideas to boost attendance. The Milwaukee Bucks hosted Buck night, where tickets where guess what - a buck. The Charlotte Bobcats ran a buy one -get one free deal, and the Phoenix Suns offered a money back guarantee. Fans can get a refund if they weren`t happy with the team`s performance.

Will the public forgive Lance Armstrong? A thought-provoking question on our blog. Katie thinks that Armstrong should be forgiven, that everyone deserves the second chance. The public is being a bit harsh, but maybe that will teach him a lesson. Riya or Riya disagrees: "The public won`t and they shouldn`t! Why should they? That would be encouraging other athletes to do what he did." Paige also asked, why should the pubic forgive him? He not only lost his titles, but everyone`s trust. Tony argues, if steroids are illegal are athletes, then Photoshop should be illegal for models. Lance says that Lance Armstrong made such an image of himself as a moral hero, it`s not acceptable that he is forgiven easily, if at all. De`Quan doesn`t think Armstrong will ever be forgiven. He basically lied to everyone. He was the inspiration to many, and he has let them down. And Jodie thinks it`s a shame that students look up to these professional athletes who end up lying to the public. Jodie says "what we need are honest, morally responsible people to look up to, instead of overpaid, corrupt sport stars."

We`re going to wrap things up today on a happy note. We don`t know if the driver in this Youtube video is in a good mood, but the ATM definitely is. Why else would it be printing out smiley faces? Why is it printing out smiley faces? Why won`t it stop printing them out? Maybe if you are nice to the machine, it will be nice back. Eventually, it did stop spitting out happy face receipts and the driver just took off. Until then, though, he just had to grin and bear it. It`s certainly a unique machine, there`s not one like it for smiles around. Still, why was it so eager to share its good mood? After years of silence, it was ready to tell her friends about it. I think we`ve cashed out on puns, but you can bank on us having more tomorrow with CNN STUDENT NEWS wraps up the week. See you then.