Return to Transcripts main page


Earthquake, Tsunami Near Solomon Islands; Post Office to Stop Saturday Mail Delivery

Aired February 7, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET





CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Cool! We love it when you introduce our show. I`m Carl Azuz. And first out today, we`re looking at two natural disasters, one led to the other. We`re going to explain how that happened in just a second. But first, we want to show you where this happened. It was out in the South Pacific Ocean near the Solomon Islands. An earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0 hit there on Wednesday, it caused a tsunami, a giant ocean wave. Reports said five people were killed and there was damage in several villages, but it wasn`t widespread. How does an earthquake lead to a tsunami? Well, this shows the intersection between two tectonic plates. And earthquake happens when those plates move against each other, and that releases energy, energy moving up. I this case, to the surface of the water. And it pushed that water out. That`s where these tsunamis, these large waves come from. And out in the ocean, they move very quickly, but as you see here, when they get closer to shore, and the water gets shallower, they slow down, and the energy of the wave speed transfers in the height and force as it hits land.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today "Shoutout" goes out to Mrs. Andrzejewski`s Geography Class at Romulus Middle School in Romulus, Michigan.

What did the U.S. Postal Service start in 1863? Here we go, was it the Pony Express, commemorative stamps, Saturday delivery or using zip codes? You`ve got three seconds, go!

The letter we`re looking for here is C. Get it? In 1863 the post office started delivering mail on Saturdays. That`s your answer, and that`s your "Shoutout".


AZUZ: And 158 years later, the postal service has scheduled to stop Saturday delivery. Some post offices themselves will still be open, P.O. boxes will still get mail. And packages, if you are waiting on one of those, will still be delivered on Saturdays. It`s just that letters will not. And this isn`t the first time this has happened. In some cities in 1947, and nationwide in 1957, the post office stopped Saturday delivery because of budget issues. Similar cause this time around, but the effect could be here to stay.

The reason is simple: for years, the postal service has been losing billions of dollars. Email is partly to blame, people just don`t mail letters like they used to. A bunch of bad business decisions factor in, and the biggest reason, by law the USPS has to set aside money to cover some health care costs for its current workers` retirement. Add all that up, you get an equation of desperate times and desperate measures.

Ending Saturday delivery would ease a little postal pain, expecting to save the service about 2 billion bucks a year. But it wouldn`t cure the problem. The service lost $16 billion last year alone. And if it wanted to, Congress could force the service to deliver on Saturdays, though that`s not likely.

With all this, you might be asking, why do we even have a government- run postal service? The answer? Article One, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution: Congress shall have the power "to establish post offices."

What it doesn`t say, is that the postal service shall be a monopoly, only the USPS can legally put something in your mailbox. One proposed solution is to privatize the post office. Turn over mail delivery to private companies that could compete with each other instead of having the government do it. This has been done with success, partially in Germany, entirely in New Zealand. But the USPS is a massive employer, so some fear massive job losses if that happens. It`s also the only service that delivers to some rural areas of the country. Private companies might not want to do that, if it doesn`t pay off. So, while the reason for cuts may be simple, the solution is not. One thing you can expect, an empty mailbox on Saturdays beginning this August.

So, this is a big deal for the postal service. It could potentially impact thousands of jobs, but does it matter to you? Do you go to your mailbox looking for letters or sending anything out? Talk to us in a quick poll we have up now right there,

Earlier this week, we reported on the royal remains of Great Britain`s King Richard III. People have been talking about Richard for hundreds of years, this recent discovery offered a chance to put a face with the name, but not the faith some people had in mind. This is a reconstruction of what Richard might have looked like. Probably what you would imagine for a medieval king, but history has always had a different image of him, one that made him out to be a hateful, murderous villain. The group that asked for this reconstruction to be made, thinks the king has been getting a bad rap for centuries. So, is this a more proper portrayal?


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How accurate is this portrayal?

JANICE AITKEN, UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE: It`s very difficult to tell. We had to use both the references from the skull and references from contemporary portraits, looking at whether or not, what sort of hair style he would have, but actually, it`s difficult to tell in terms of the textures, whether or not they are accurate, we can only guess, really.

MCLAUGHLIN: But the facial, construction of the face itself is pretty accurate, because it`s based on the skull.

AITKEN: Absolutely, yes. The structure, the sculpture itself is very accurate in terms of the reconstruction.

MCLAUGHLIN: And how does this compare to portraits from that time period?

AITKEN: I would leave that to your audience to make a decision. I think personally I see some resemblance, but you have to take into account that the portraits themselves were painted after the death of Richard III. So, it`s not absolutely clear whether or not they were 100 percent accurate either.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See if you can I.D. me. I`m a world leader who`s currently serving a second term in office. I`m the first president in my country`s history to visit Iraq, even though we are the next door neighbor. I was born in Iran in 1956.

I`m Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran.


AZUZ: President Ahmadinejad is pretty controversial. Some of the things he said and done as the leader of Iran have made him a target for criticism, during a trip to Egypt this week, he was a target for footwear. That`s President Ahmadinejad in the middle of this crowd in Cairo, the Egyptian capital. Now, watch the spot shadow: that guy is holding up a shoe, and he threw it at the Iranian president. Authorities say, other men around him did the same thing. The shoe didn`t connect with its intended target, it hit a security guard. You might think this sounds a little strange.


MIKE MYERS, ACTOR: Who throws a shoe, honestly?


AZUZ: But remember this: in 2008, President George W. Bush was visiting Iraq when a local journalist let laces fly. President Bush ducked out of the way and avoided being hit. It turns out, throwing your shoes at someone, isn`t so rare in the Muslim world, but it is offensive. And it`s supposed to be. In fact, it`s considered a major insult in that region. Think about all the dirt and filth you step on. It gets on the bottom of your shoes. Now, imagine hurling all that dirt at someone you don`t like. That`s the idea behind shoe throwing. The man who threw his shoe at President Ahmadinejad was arrested. He is out on bail, but authorities say he will go on trial for this.

All right. We always want to know your thoughts on certain subjects. Especially, the issues most important to you. A recent survey says, money for college, getting a job, youth violence and risky behaviors are some major concerns among teenagers. Boys and Girls Clubs National Youth of the Year Trei Dudley spoke with us about teen issues last week. Now, here is some of what you had to say.

Lauren thinks bullying is another issue. She says it drives kids to suicide. Words really do hurt. You know that old saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?" She says it`s not true, speaking from experience.

On the other hand, Sam thinks "Those issues about drinking and smoking are simply stereotypes. The majority of teenagers, like me and my friends, don`t have these kinds of issues."

But Khaliyah feels differently. She says the most important problem for teens is risky behaviors, because some teens want to fit in with other people.

Kenneth believes, one issue is getting their high school diploma, because a lot of students drop out of school because of the challenge.

According to Adam, the biggest problem for teenagers is that they don`t listen to their parents, and then their parents won`t fund college.

Now, Kendall believes we should not be afraid to stand up for ourselves, but most importantly, stand up for what`s right.

We mentioned monopoly earlier, we were talking about the post office. This is the kind we`re all very familiar with. When I played, I always wanted to be the race car. Sometimes I`d settle for the top hat. But there is a change a-coming. And it can go all the way from Mediterranean Avenue to Boardwalk. Hasbro held an online contest, and let fans dump one old token and pick out a new one. Getting the boot? Not the boot, it`s the iron that`s being pressed out of the rotation. It must be steamed about that. And in its place, a cat. Hello, kitty. Nice kitty. The token representative of the feline community will make its debut later this year. At that point the iron will go to jail, go directly to jail, it won`t pass go, won`t collect $200. What`s behind the change for the game? I don`t know. Maybe it was just board. We`re going to roll the dice with more puns tomorrow. I hope to see you then.