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Typhoon Utor Slams Philippines; Inside a Sinkhole; Recap of George Zimmerman Trial

Aired August 13, 2013 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Love that new show open. It is Tuesday, my name is Carl Azuz, this is CNN STUDENT NEWS. We are bringing you stories from around the world, and today we`re going to take you underground and out into space. But we`re starting in the Philippines, with the impact of a powerful storm there. You can see some of the flooding and damage here. It`s all the result of Typhoon Utor. In the Philippines, it is also called La Bouillo (ph). Typhoons are the same kinds of storms as hurricanes. They are called different things based on where they happen, and this one, Utor, is the strongest typhoon that`s happened anywhere in the world so far this year. Winds up to 124 miles per hour. At least one person killed. 20 more were missing yesterday. More than 600 homes were damaged in the area where it made landfall.

The Philippines is made up of more than 7,000 islands, and the country is hit by an average of 20 typhoons every year.

In the U.S., some states are dealing with severe weather as well. In Colorado, heavy rains led to flash flooding. Take a look at this video. These cars washed away like toys. In some parts of the state, the floodwaters were up to 10 feet deep and moving at up to 30 miles per hour. You can see the water rushing through the cars that are stuck in it. These vehicles were in a parking garage that flooded. You can see how high the water rose based on how little of the cars are still visible. Once the floodwaters started to recede, this is the kind of damage they left behind. At least one person was killed. Emergency crews were searching for anyone who was missing, and residents were just starting to clean up and recover. That could take some time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s time for the shoutout. Which of these states has the most sinkholes? If you think you know it, then shout it out. Is it Alaska, California, Florida, or Minnesota? You got three seconds. Go.

Because of its terrain, you are more likely to find a sinkhole in Florida than these other states. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.

AZUZ: Florida`s terrain is ideal for sinkholes. They can form when the rock under the land`s surface is dissolved by ground water. The land above can then fall in the hole, taking along whatever was on it. This was on it. In Clermont, Florida, Sunday night, a vacation resort near Disneyworld, where people heard popping, cracking, then saw windows blow out as part of the building crumbled into the ground. More than 30 people were evacuated in time. There were no injuries, which is kind of amazing when you consider that the crater that swallowed this place was 60 feet wide and 15 feet deep. Just a reminder of how dangerous sinkholes are. And to show you what`s actually under them, CNN`s David Mattingly dove in and took a swim.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Perhaps most striking to me how appearances of the sinkhole are so misleading. A single beam of sunlight reveals the cavern is even bigger below the waterline, with tunnels and passageways carved deep into the darkness. But most disturbing could be the view from up top. The round opening is deceptively small. Little indication of the cavern that`s just beneath my feet.

Until a hole like this opens up, there`s really no warning, is there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct. It is that random and that sudden. And it can happen obviously overnight or at any time.

MATTINGLY: It can, and it does. With thousands of sinkholes opening up in Florida every year.


AZUZ: This next story started on February 26, 2012. That night, 28- year-old George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman said he shot Martin in self-defense, and he was not arrested the night of the shooting because police said there wasn`t evidence to disprove his story. Some people were angered by that decision. They held rallies in cities across the country. And in April of 2012, Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder, and he turned himself in. All week long, we`re looking at some of the stories that happened this summer. Today, the George Zimmerman trial.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: State of Florida versus George Zimmerman. Verdict, we the jury find George Zimmerman not guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That was how the trial ended on July 13th. It started more than a year after George Zimmerman was charged with second- degree murder. This was a criminal case, which means Zimmerman being prosecuted by the state of Florida, and his fate was in the hands of the six people on the jury. The trial lasted 14 days; 56 witnesses testified, but not George Zimmerman. The defendant chose not to take the stand. The prosecutors argued that Zimmerman intentionally committed an act that caused Trayvon Martin`s death.

BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTOR: He profiled a 17-year-old boy that had Skittles. That`s the crime he committed that evening.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The defense argued that Zimmerman feared for his life, and shot Martin in self-defense.

MARK O`MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That is cement. That is the sidewalk. And that is not an unarmed teenager with nothing but Skittles, trying to get home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The jury had three options - find Zimmerman guilty of second-degree murder, find him guilty of manslaughter - a lesser charge - or find him not guilty. After 16.5 hours of deliberation, they returned the verdict of not guilty.

Across the country, some people responded in anger.

CROWD (chanting): No justice, no peace.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Others said the judicial system did its job.

JIMMY CARTER, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I think the jury made the right decision based on the evidence presented. Because the prosecution inadvertently set the standard so high that the jury had to be convinced that it was a deliberate act by Zimmerman, that he was not at all defending himself and so forth. It`s not a moral question, it was a legal question.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And President Obama urged Americans to stay calm and reflect, saying, quote, "we should ask ourselves if we`re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities."

If a civil case or a civil rights lawsuit are brought against George Zimmerman, he could still be held accountable for Trayvon Martin`s death, but not in the criminal trial, which reached its conclusion this summer.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this legit? Hercules, Perseus, Mensa are all names of constellations. It`s true. Those are three of the 88 official constellations, patterns of stars in the sky.


AZUZ: Every year, Perseus gets a space shower - well, kind of. It`s actually a meteor shower, and it`s not near the constellation. It`s called the Perseid meteor shower because it happens in the same part of the sky as the Perseus constellation. This meteor shower happens when the earth`s orbit passes near the path of a comet called Swift-Tuttle. That usually happens in July or August. We get close to the path every year, but the actual comet only approaches our orbit every 130 years. Here are a few looks at the Perseid meteor shower, some from past years, one from this year, and a view from space. Those streaks of light are meteors hitting the earth`s atmosphere, something that happens more often than you might think.


AZUZ: Thousands of natural space objects come close to earth every day. Some you need a telescope to see. Others you can spot with your eyes. Then, there are those you can just pick up after they hit the ground. Meteors, sometimes called shooting stars, are the streaks of light you see when these objects enter earth`s atmosphere. The light is caused by friction between the object - called a meteoroid - and the air. Now, meteors are best seen at night, but they can happen during any part of the day, like this one that caused a sonic boom over Russia in February of 2013. Some meteors can be caused by fragments of comets, balls of ice that form way out in space. They develop really long tails as they come close to the sun. Now, if that tail passes through earth`s atmosphere, you get a meteor shower, lots of streaks of light that could last several days. Meteors caused by comets melt before they reach the ground.

Meteors can also be pieces of asteroids, balls of rock that usually orbit between Mars and Jupiter. But some asteroids orbit closer to earth, close enough to burn up in the atmosphere, forming meteors. If a rocky meteor is not completely incinerated, it could strike the ground, and then it`s called a meteorite. This one landed in what`s now Argentina about 4,000 years ago. Large ones like that are pretty rare, but NASA says about 100 tons of space stuff slams into earth`s atmosphere every day.


AZUZ: All right, getting shown up in a YouTube video does not sound like fun, but the kid in this YouTube video is at least getting shown up by the best. That`s Michael Jordan at his Michael Jordan flight school camp, and it looks like his airness can still throw down. This might not be an emphatic slam, but remember, Jordan turned 50 this year, a half-century of hops. So how did the crowd respond? Hooping and hollering. You know, just generally having a ball. No complaints, besides who`s going to slam Michael Jordan? Whether or not you think those puns are a foul, we`ll rebound and try some more tomorrow. I`m Carl Azuz.