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Massive Typhoon Hits Philippines; President Obama Apologizes

Aired November 11, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN: (inaudible) 11th month on its 11 day in the (inaudible) in 1918 an armistice went into effect ending World War I.



CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, our friends in Broad Creek for getting us started today. We`re going to have more on that armistice later on. But we`re starting in Southeast Asia. A powerful storm hit Vietnam today after slamming into the Philippines late last week. Typhoons are the same thing as hurricanes. Experts say typhoon Hayian might be one of the strongest ever. It left the path of destruction as it moved across the Philippines Islands. On this map, you`ll see Tacloban. It was one of the spots that was hit the hardest. No electricity, no food, no water, houses and buildings demolished. The Philippines Red Cross estimated at least 1200 people were killed. Officials warned that the number could be much higher than that. Tacloban`s mayor said everyone he talked to had lost someone.


ANDREW STEVENS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It`s struck with terrifying and deadly force. The aftermath Tacloban city`s shattered landscape. This was home to thousands. It was not the wind who did it, it was the storm surge. Reports of a five meter wall of water that engulfed the coastal strip and spread through the city.

It`s where the CNN crew was sheltering, about a kilometer from the shoreline, the surge was waist deep and powerful.

Al around us, you hear the sounds of windows breaking, you hear the sounds of the large objects falling, crashing to the floor. And under foot, it is now just a (inaudible). And if you look behind me, I don`t know if you can see, the staircase behind me is now basically a waterfall.

But that didn`t compare with what happened here. The storm surge was the most destructive path of this typhoon. We`re about 100 meters or so from the water here, and you can see, that damage caused. These houses, these are all rough-built houses, completely flattened along the full shore, Thousands of people live along a stretch of several kilometers and you can see behind the - just how bad it must have been.

The devastation across the entire city of 200,000 people, is widespread. Winds output a 250 kilometers an hour leaving a trail of destruction.


AZUZ: When disasters like this happen, people look for ways they can help the victims. Teachers and students, who are 13 or older, if you go the resources box on our homepage, that, you`ll see a link for "Impact Your World." Check it out and see some ways you can get involved.

In an interview with NBC News last week, President Obama said I`m sorry to millions of Americans.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I`m sorry that they are finding themselves in the situation based on insurances they got from me. We`ve got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them.


AZUZ: Most Americans get their health insurance through their employers. But more than 10 million people by their own, and many of them will lose it because of the Affordable Care Act. Obamacare. And that`s who the president was apologizing to. It`s one of the reasons why the law is still surrounded by controversy.


ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Due out in the few days are the initial enrollment numbers, Americans who`ve actually been able to sign up for Obamacare, despite all the problems with the website.

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, U.S. SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: I can tell you our early enrollment numbers are going to be very low.

MCPIKE: And since this. OBAMA: If you like your health care plan you can keep your health care plan.

MCPIKE: Hasn`t exactly turned out to be the case, on Wednesday, House Republicans will vote to ensure that Americans with health care plans they like really won`t have to switch. House Speaker John Boehner taunted him on Twitter, "President Obama says he`s sorry, but owes Americans more than that, he ought to keep the promise. Mr. Obama has promised his team will find the solution, telling NBC News ..

OBAMA: But obviously, we didn`t do a good enough job in terms of how we crafted the law. And that`s something that I regret. That`s something that we`re going to do everything we can to get it fixed.

MCPIKE: But no fix announced yet. And as of Saturday afternoon, even the White House website was still saying, "If you like your plan, you can keep it. And you don`t have to change a thing due to the health care law.


AZUZ: Today is patriotic "Roll Call." It`s going to take us from one side of the U.S. to the other. We`ll start in the East Coast with the Independence High School Patriots from Charlotte, North Carolina. In the Midwest, we have the Thomas Jefferson Patriots from Jefferson City, Missouri and out west we catch up with the pioneer of patriots from Pioneer High in Woodland, California.

Here are five things to know as the U.S. honors its veterans. First up, in the 1970s, Veterans` Day was temporarily made into a Monday holiday, like Memorial Day or Columbus Day to give government employees a three day weekend. Many states and veterans groups didn`t like that, though, so it was moved back to November 11th. Why then? Because it was on the 11th that the armistice that ended World War l went into effect. In fact, the holiday was originally called Armistice Day, but it was later expanded to honor anyone who`s ever served in the U.S. military. And that`s what separates Veterans` Day from Memorial Day, which happens in May in honor to those troops who`ve passed away.

The U.S. isn`t the only country that celebrates a holiday like Veterans` Day. Australia, Britain, Canada and France, also honor their service men and women around this time.

The story of how a man remembered his son, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, inspired the song that took top honors at this year`s country music awards.


ANNOUNCER: I Drive Your Truck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The CNA song of the year has a simple name, but it`s the deep emotion, the inconceivable feeling of loss behind the song "I Drive Your Truck" that helped earn it the honor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): I drive your truck!

ANNOUNCER: Thank you so much, Jared (ph) for what you did to this country, man.


ANNOUNCER: Jared Monti, an Army sergeant 1st class who was killed in Afghanistan while trying to save a fellow soldier. The song is about the absence of Jared, really, that deep longing for him felt by his father Paul.

PAUL MONTI, GOLD STAR FATHER, SON KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN: Very humble kid, very hard-working kid, extremely adventurous kid. It was no hill too high, no tree too tall for Jared.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In 2011, Paul Monti told the reporter with Boston Public Radio about his operation Flags for Vets. His mission to place American flags on the graves of service members on Memorial Day.

(on camera): I think I have this right - do you still drive Jared`s truck?

PAUL MONTI: Yes, I do. I love driving it because it reminds me him, though I don`t need the truck to remind me of him. I think about him every (inaudible) day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): It just so happened that was a song writer from Nashville who was going home from work. She turned on NPR radio and heard the interview, and it struck her immediately. Today, we caught up with Monti in Rockwin (ph) , Massachusetts where he`s still living out his son`s message of strength and duty and - yes, still driving Jared`s black Dodge Ram pickup. He was pleased to hear about the award.

PAUL MONTI: It was very uplifting. It was a song that touched the hearts of Gold Star families throughout the country, as well as other families that have lost their child. You know, it`s fitting the - we have something that honors them that they can hold on to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): I drive your truck!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jared Monti was killed trying to save a fellow soldier. He was later awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. Jared Monti`s truck gets bad mileage. It doesn`t matter to Paul.

PAUL MONTI: I`m alone in the truck with him - it`s just - it`s a very special peaceful feeling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that peace is hard to come by.

PAUL MONTI: People tell you time heals all, well, in this case it doesn`t. Losing a parent is one thing, that`s your past. But losing a child - you`ve lost your future. We don`t have those grandkids to look forward to when those - those special days of going to ballpark together, we`re going fishing. All of that you envisioned, is gone.


AZUZ: All of us here at CNN STUDENT NEWS extend our gratitude to all veterans and all military families. We`re going to wrap up today with videos of some of those families reuniting. I`m Carl Azuz. We`ll see you tomorrow.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love you guys!