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Federal Government Remains Shut Down

Aired October 3, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS. My name is Carl Azuz. First up today, more talks but no negotiations. President Obama invited congressional leaders to the White House yesterday to discuss the U.S. government shutdown. That meeting was scheduled to happen after we`ve produced this program.

The shutdown has to do with government spending, but the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is also part of what`s going on here. President Obama, of course, heads the government`s executive branch. Obamacare is his health care reform law. He`s accused Republicans of using it as leverage in the debate over funding the federal government.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.: This Republican shutdown did not have to happen, but I want every American to understand why it did happen. Republicans in the House of Representatives refused to fund the government unless we defunded or dismantled the Affordable Care Act.

I will not negotiate over Congress` responsibility to pay bills it`s already racked up. I`m not going to allow anybody to drag the good name of the United States of America through the mud just to re-fight a settled election or extract ideological demands. Nobody gets to hurt our economy and millions of hard-working families over a law you don`t like.


AZUZ: Harry Reid is the U.S. Senate majority leader. His party, the Democrats, holds the most seats in the Senate. Senator Reid says he`ll work with the House on budget issues, but not if it`s all about the health care law. John Boehner is the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. His Republican Party holds the most seats there. Speaker Boehner and other Republicans want to include changes to Obamacare in any spending plan that would end the shutdown, and the speaker accuses President Obama and Democrats of refusing to negotiate on health care reforms.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-OHIO, HOUSE SPEAKER: This is an issue of fairness. How can we give waivers and breaks to all the big union guys out there, how do we give a break to all the big businesses out there, and yet stick our constituents with a bill that they don`t want and a bill they can`t afford? That`s what this fight is all about.

I talked to the president earlier tonight. I`m not going to negotiate. I`m not going to negotiate. We`re not going to do this. Well, I will say to the president, this is not about me and it`s not about Republicans here in Congress. It`s about fairness for the American people.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See if you can ID me. I once covered parts of three continents. I`m a historical empire that began in 27 BC. I was centered on the current capital of Italy. I`m the Roman Empire, and I stretched from Britain to the Black Sea, and down to Northern Africa.

AZUZ: You just never know what you`ll turn up in a land so rich in history. Last winter, it was King Richard III in Leicester, England. Poor Richard, who died in the year 1485, found in a shallow grave under a parking lot. This fall, people working on a new train route dug up this - about 20 human skulls near what used to be a tributary of the river Thames. Some think these could belong to people who rebelled against the Roman occupation in Britain. That would date them somewhere from the year 60, as in 60, AD. Or they might have just washed downriver from a Roman burial ground. Either way, they`re old. And even though they were found under a 16th century cemetery, they are believed to predate that by 1500 years. How often does that happen? It`s actually very often in Britain. During this train project alone, workers have uncovered mammoth bones and the remains of victims from the Black Plague. Just imagine, one minute you`re working on a train line, the next you`re stumbling across one of thousands of archaeological items from a nation`s rich and often violent past.

Yesterday, we talked about conservationist Philippe Cousteau and his EarthEcho expedition following the water that flows into the Chesapeake Bay. One of his goals was to raise awareness about protecting natural resources. He didn`t make the journey alone. Cousteau worked with students who hoped to make a difference in helping part of that ecosystem.


PHILIPPE COUSTEAU, CONSERVATIONIST: I`m Philippe Cousteau for CNN STUDENT NEWS, and we`re here as part of EarthEcho expeditions into the dead zone. Grace and all of these students have participated in a project this summer to restore this stream, and the word of the day is conservation. Grace, tell me a little bit about what you did here to improve the health of the stream (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We created a log (ph) deflector, and it helps introduce more oxygen back into the water. It also creates a fish habitat, and it helps deposit silt downstream.

COUSTEAU: Outstanding. It`s a perfect example of the kind of work that students can do to help improve not only the health of the rivers and streams in this community, but also all downstream to improve the problem with the Chesapeake Bay dead zone as well.


AZUZ: Teachers, there`s more on this, and you`re going to love it. If you go to the resources box at, you`re going to find a link to the EarthEcho site. It has more on Philippe Cousteau`s work, including educational materials.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s time for the shoutout. Which of these muscles is in the human leg? If you think you know it, then shout it out. Is it the gastrocnemius, thyrohyoid (ph), trapezius (ph) or coseras (ph)? You`ve got 3 seconds, go.

The gastrocnemius is a muscle in your calf. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.

AZUZ: Craig Hutto does not have a gastrocnemius on his right leg. At least not one made out of bone and muscle. He lost his right leg in an accident eight years ago, but doctors took a page out of a classic TV show. We can rebuild him, we have the technology.

Now, Craig is kind of a test pilot for a bionic leg. One that`s designed to act like muscle instead of like metal.


CRAIG HUTTO, LOST LEG IN ACCIDENT: Back in 2005, I was on vacation with my family. My brother and I were fishing out on a sandbar. Something came up and bumped me on my left leg, and then grabbed me on my right leg. And it turned out to be a shark. There was just so much tissue damage gone that the physicians had to either choose life or limb, and so that`s when they amputated my leg.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The typical prosthesis for an above-knee amputee, you can`t go up slopes, you can`t go up stairs in a biomechanically healthy way, and with power, we can provide the equivalent of muscles, and therefore we can essentially duplicate whatever the healthy human can do.

HUTTO: I never thought it was going to be possible for me to walk upstairs, and surprisingly enough, once we`ve started it, it was remarkable how easy it is for me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The project we`re working on here is a robotic leg for above-knee amputees. We are in fact the only group in the world that has a fully robotic leg prosthesis with the powered knee and a powered ankle. It has its own power, and it can move by itself, but is not connected to the user in any kind of explicit way. Instead, it has a lot of sensors on it, and it understands how the user`s interacting with it.

The leg has two fully powered joints, so it has a motor at the knee joint and a motor at the ankle joint. So effectively, the motors are the equivalent of the muscles, and sensors are the equivalent of the same sensing that we have in a healthy limb.

If you look at conventional prosthesis, they essentially lack muscles, so you have to sling them around to move them around. This is a leg that effectively has the equivalent of muscles, and so what we found is that people use less energy when they walk with it, people walk generally faster, and they can do things like go upstairs and downstairs and up slopes and down slopes, and run, which are things that generally you can`t do with conventional prosthesis. We look forward to having it improve people`s quality of life, minimizing their disability and enabling them to do things that maybe would be difficult for them to do before or maybe things that they just couldn`t do before.


AZUZ: Caxies. Caxies. Chances are you`ve never hears of caxies. We hadn`t either. But you know who has? The students at Lake Forest Academy in Illinois. Caxy is a Greek word for a frog`s ribbit, and the caxies are Lake Forest`s mascot.

From frogs to felines, we`re talking about the Wild Cats from Summview (ph) West out of Culver City, California. The tail end of today`s roll call takes us to Halifax, Virginia. That`s where you`ll find the Halifax County STEM Academy Comets. Thanks for watching, y`all.

Some people just insist on making a grand entrance. Here comes the bride, all dressed in white. Taking her sweet time as she rides down a zipline. Instead of walking down the aisle, this couple decided to take the high road. They were scouting wedding locations, and when they saw a zipline at this resort, that sealed the deal. You could say they got hung up on the idea, because as you`re about to see, they literally got hung up on the idea. That`s when this wedding turned into a workout. It wasn`t a very veiled attempt to stand out. If you pick your wedding site based on the zipline, it`s like you`re grooming the venue. If you`ll excuse us using a cliched line, it gives new meaning to taking the plunge together. But he liked it, so he put a ring on it, and a safety harness.

If you`re already on FaceBook, we hope you`ll zip over to Like our page and we`ll keep an eye out there for your roll call requests. That`s our view. Have a great rest of the day.