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Damaged Cruise Pulled Into Port; Military Drones

Aired February 15, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz. You know, we think Fridays are awesome, but for the 4229 people aboard the Carnival "Triumph" cruise ship, this Friday probably seems especially awesome. Because hopefully by now they are all off that ship. On Sunday, the ship lost power in the Gulf of Mexico after a fire in the engine room. Tugboats eventually came out to help pull the "Triumph" in the port in Mobile, Alabama, but that has been very, very slow. And when the passengers finally get off the ship, their nightmare may not be over. One doctor said, conditions on board after the fire made the ship a floating petri dish, if that sounds kind of gross, that`s his point. No power means the toilets stop working. Raw sewage can be a major health risk, and we`ve heard reports about it slushing across the floors and running down the walls. No power means food starts rotting, spoiled food can lead to E. coli or Salmonella. There haven`t been any reports of any kind of outbreak on the ship. But the doctor says, a full- blown infection might not show up for a couple of weeks. So, would you consider cruising again after going through something like this?

On our Facebook page, Mason said, "Sure. That was just one very unlucky cruise." Joseph and Unique (ph) both said "No way." Reese (ph) would consider taking another cruise, but not for a very long time, and Kora`s (ph) opinion, if it happens again, it would definitely be something to tell your grandkids.

Remember, a week or so ago, when we talked about the asteroid that would fly by the Earth, today is the day. Scientists are sure it won`t hit anything down here. But what about up there?


CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: This is 17,000 miles away. Now, if you are watching a dish or Direct TV, your satellite is 22,000 miles away. So, yes, there are some Earth satellites, here, around the ring. The Moon is far away. The Moon is ten times farther away than what this thing is going to fly through our geosynchronous Earth orbit. So, is there a chance of it hitting something? Yes.


AZUZ: A chance? Sure. But it`s not too likely. One analyst said, other objects pass through the same area every day. They don`t cause any problems. This asteroid is a lot bigger than those, but that also means, it`s easier to keep track of. So, scientists have a better idea of what it will or more likely will not hit.


LEON PANETTA, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: The work that they do, contribution that they make does contribute to the success of combat operations, particularly when they remove the enemy from the field of battle.


AZUZ: Defense Secretary Panetta was talking about members of the military who are not on the battlefield themselves. People who operate drones, unmanned aircraft, or who are involved in the military cyber warfare efforts. Secretary Panetta announced a new medal to honor those people -- the Distinguished Warfare Medal -- he said it will be awarded for extraordinary actions that directly impact combat operations, but don`t actually involve the physical risks of combat.

You probably played with some remote control cars or planes at some point -- Secretary Panetta says this kind of technology is changing the way wars are fought. As drones get more attention, they can also cause some controversy.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Drones are remotely controlled aircraft. They are much more maneuverable than conventional aircraft, much lighter, much cheaper to manufacturer, and the person, the pilot manning them can be many thousands of miles away on the ground.

Drones are used in two capacities: to support troops on the ground to make sure that there are no enemy close to them, to make sure that no IEDs, mines, bombs have been laid in the road ahead of them, and they are also used in a surveillance capacity to monitor people who might be targets, and then at the end of that surveillance, then the trigger can be pulled, and the missile can be fired from that aircraft at that target.

Drones are controversial because they can kill from a great distance without certainty precisely who the person is on the ground or the possibility of collateral damage that could be women, children in the vicinity. That`s the concern. Also, the person on the ground, who is being killed, has no right to defend himself. If the information is faulty, then this can be judged by some people to be a wrongful death.

Targets can take evasive measures, by staying inside buildings. Drones that assigned to circle those buildings for days, even weeks at a time, to monitor movements who comes, who goes. They can recognize whether it`s a man or a woman entering that house. So targets have been known to not leave their location for fear of giving themselves away. Osama bin Laden, in his compound in Abbotabad, Pakistan, had tall trees planted, so that it was difficult for drones take a direct and positive recognition of him.

There is an incredible array of uses for drones now. They can be used in agriculture to look at crops, they can be used by architects to look at buildings. They can be used by law enforcement. They can be used by amateurs as well, it`s just to take pretty pictures from high up. There is really, at the moment, a hugely expanded role for drones in the civilian area.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s "Shoutout" goes out to Mrs. Weddington`s, Mrs. Wolzen`s and Ms. Anderson`s social studies classes at Schoo Middle School in Lincoln, Nebraska. Which U.S. president`s face is not featured on Mt. Rushmore? Is it George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson or Abraham Lincoln? You`ve got three seconds, go!

Mt. Rushmore features the faces of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. But not John Adams. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout".


AZUZ: Maybe you owned government class, maybe you can name all the U.S presidents. But do you know who is honored by President`s Day? You could have asked Calvin Coolidge, but he might have been silent on the matter. Teddy Roosevelt might have walked softly around the subject, despite being a rough writer. Most Americans believe President`s Day is about every president we`ve had. But that`s kind of wring, at least as far as its origin goes. President`s Day was originally Washington`s birthday, just Washington`s. On February 22nd. It became a federal holiday in 1885, and as far as the U.S government`s concerned, it`s still Washington`s birthday, not President`s Day. In 1968, Congress voted to switch it to the third Monday in February, giving government employees a three day weekend. But even though Washington`s birthday and Lincoln`s birthday were only days apart, Congress refused to combine them n the President`s Day, though that`s what many Americans do. So, if you work for the government, you`ll get a day off for Washington`s birthday. If you don`t, you may get a day off for President`s Day. Those, after all, are the precedents.

Well, how do you stand out in the crowd? It`s a question some of you might be wondering, as you start applying to college. Last weekend, there was a major college fair, right next door to the CNN Center. I spoke with some college admission officers there about what they look for in prospective students, and about what they think, you should do, when you picking out a school.


QUENTIN JOHNSON, UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA: Someone who really stands out, someone who`s really strong with their extracurricular activities as well as someone that has done well academically.

JESSICA GRANT, PRESBYTERIAN COLLEGE: Probably maybe think of the top three things that they are looking for. I think, major does a big part to consider. But also, what the school offers and the things that this school focuses on.

CLINTON HOBBS, YOUNG HARRIS COLLEGE: We tend to find the students that are really emerged in the high school experience, involved in three to four or five extracurricular or co-curricular activities, actively involved in civic opportunities, maybe involved in their church. Tend to really impress us more. A more well rounded student, a more holistically developed individual is going to be better prepared for today`s world, career, work, life.


AZUZ: Jeopardy just wrapped up its annual team tournament. And when it came to final jeopardy, Leonard Cooper didn`t know the answer, but he also knew it didn`t matter.


ALEX TREBEK, HOST, JEOPARDY: Now we go to Leonard Cooper. He is looking pretty happy. Why? Did he come up with Ike, Dwight David Eisenhower?


TREBEK: You didn`t.


TREBEK: Same guy, some guy (inaudible), but I just won $75,000.


AZUZ: It sounds like the host appreciates the smart Alecs, but I guess, you can afford to have some fun, when your victory isn`t in jeopardy. All right. That`s going to wrap things up for today. Teachers, we are looking for your feedback on today`s show. Asteroids, cruise, college -- finally, to share your thought on our home page, there will be no show on Monday for President`s Day. We hope you enjoy the long weekend, and we`ll forward to seeing you again on Tuesday. Bye there.