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State of National Calamity in the Philippines; Iron Man Suit for U.S. Special Forces

Aired November 12, 2013 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz. Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS. When governments respond to severe weather, sometimes they declare a state of emergency or a state of disaster. The president of the Philippines declared a state of national calamity. That word, calamity, refers to a disastrous event with significant loss and suffering. That`s what Typhoon Haiyan brought to many Filipinos. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people killed, survivors who`ve lost everything. The rescue and recovery efforts are ongoing. U.S. Marines stationed in nearby Japan brought emergency supplies. Disaster teams from the U.S. and United Nations are in the Philippines.

Before they can help the victims of this storm, first they have to reach them.


ANN COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Above the vast blue sea that separates the thousands of islands that make up the Philippines, a rescue mission is under way. We`re traveling with the military to a remote group of islands devastated by super Typhoon Hayian, yet to be reached by authorities.

From the air, we can see the carnage. Home after home, village after village. Nowhere has been spared. On the ground lie the injured, with broken bones and internal bleeding. They`ve been waiting for days for a medical evacuation.

HILARIO DAVIDE, CEBU GOVERNOR: We haven`t seen anything like this before. I thought I`d only see this on television.

COREN: There is a real sense of desperation here on the ground. While the focus is obviously on the sick and the injured and getting them to safety, the people of this hard hit island need food and fresh water. They`ve been without it for days, and despite assurances from the government, it is yet to arrive. The problem facing authorities is logistics, getting the supplies to these hard hit and remote areas, and to the people who need it.

All these people have lost their homes. They are now staying in tents and makeshift shelters they`ve erected from the debris. And while they say they received the storm warnings from the government and took what they thought was appropriate action, no one here anticipated that Mother Nature would unleash such fury.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At my age of 35, I have experienced a lot of typhoons, but this is the worst thing.

COREN: This airfield in Cebu has become the staging ground for the country`s biggest relief operation. C-130 Hercules fly in survivors, all shell-shocked from what they`ve just lived through.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I cannot say anything yet. I`m still in shock. I`m so sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of people are dead, our friends are dead, some of our family members are dead, so it`s really devastating.

COREN: As the death toll grows by the day, families here desperately wait for news of their loved ones.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am the only survivor of the family, and I want to know if they are still alive.

COREN: Having had no contact since the typhoon hit, many say hope is all they can hold on to.

Anna Coren, CNN, Cebu, the Philippines.


AZUZ: Dozens of aid and recovery groups are working to help the victims of the Philippines. If you`d like to be part of the effort, teachers and students who are 13 and older, one way is to go to the resources box on our home page and look for the impact your world link.

The Washington Monument is getting its braces off. The scaffolding that was put up after the skyscraping structure was rattled and cracked by an earthquake in 2011 is coming down. The monument has been closed since the quake. But after inspections, assessments, repairs and some really cool helmet cam video, assuming you`re not acrophobic - terrified of heights - the 555-foot 5 1/8 inch obelisk will once again stand proud without a frame. The lights will come down with the scaffolding, 488 lamps all part of a $15 million repair bill. The monument has stood for more than 125 years, and for 23 presidents. It has weathered rain, snow, sleet, hale and now an earthquake, and it will continue to stand tall over the National Mall as one of the capital`s towering achievements.

In Washington, D.C. and other cities around the country, events paid tribute to America`s veterans yesterday. All those who have ever served in the U.S. military. At Arlington National Cemetery, President Obama was part of the traditional wreath laying ceremony. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 21 million veterans in the United States. The president says Veterans Day is a chance for Americans to say thank you.

Veterans Day is an American holiday, but other countries honor their veterans on or around November 11 as well. In the UK, Canada, France and Australia, the holiday is called Remembrance Day or Remembrance Sunday. Origin for all of this is the armistice that ended World War I. It was signed on November 11, 1918.

Over the past week, we`ve reported on the situation with the Miami Dolphins. One player, Jonathan Martin, left the team. Another, Richie Incognito, was suspended after accusations of bullying. Now, the accused player is telling his side of the story. In an interview with Fox Sports, Incognito said the alleged bullying was misunderstood. He said, quote, "people don`t know how Jon and I communicate." Incognito acknowledged that he used racist and vulgar language in voicemails and text messages, but he said there`s a lot of colorful words thrown around in the locker room that we don`t use in everyday life. Incognito added that it`s not an issue of bullying. Quote, "this is an issue where I`ve taken stuff too far and I didn`t know it was hurting him."

Jonathan Martin`s lawyer says the harassment that Martin faced went far beyond the traditional locker room hazing. The lawyer says Martin tried to befriend the teammates who were bullying him in an effort to try to stop the harassment.

The Long Star state, the Natural State and the Beehive State. Sounds like a good roll call to me, let`s go to the map. Carroll High School in South Lake, Texas. The Dragons make today`s roll call. In Conway, Arkansas, we`ve got some Wampus (ph) Cats from Conway Junior High, and Ivans (ph), Utah is on the map, with the Wizards from Vista Charter School.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s time for the shoutout. What is Iron Man`s real name? If you think you know it, then shout it out. Is it Bruce Banner, Peter Parker, Steve Rogers or Tony Stark? You`ve got 3 seconds, go.

It`s Tony Stark inside the Iron Man suit. The character made his comic debut in 1963. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.

AZUZ: Iron Man has been around as a fictional character for 50 years, but the U.S. military wants to turn shellhead into a reality, or at least his hardware. The military is recruiting companies and academics to design a suit for special forces, and hopefully move superhero technology from movies and comic books to the battlefield.


BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Iron Man`s powered suit of armor and high-tech weapons help him protect the world, and that is exactly what America`s top commando, Admiral William McRaven, wants when his men have to kick down a door.

ADM. WILLIAM MCRAVEN, COMMANDER, U.S. SPECIAL FORCES: He`s got to open that door not knowing what`s on the other side. He`s got to be in a position to be protected as soon as that door comes open.

STARR: McRaven has ordered up the tactical assault light operator suit, better known as the Iron Man suit. The idea, lightweight armor protection -- possibly with battery power flowing through it - to give a soldier extraordinary ability to move faster and operate longer in battle.

Former Navy SEAL Chris Hebbon (ph) says the suit can make commandos even better.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is going to take a super soldier, a SEAL, a Green Beret, a Delta Force guy, and push him into a stratospheric level. What people don`t realize is all these technologies exist already, but they exist separately. So they are taking them all and they are putting them together, and they are adding some pretty cool things like liquid armor that becomes hardened in a millisecond.

STARR: There are plenty of ideas. Imagery from drones and satellites overhead right into the helmet`s visual display. Boots that generate electricity with every step a soldier takes. And flexible, head to toe protection, so troops can move closer to the enemy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they can work out the bugs and get it to where it`s functional, it`s going to allow - it`s going to take a group of guys that are already extremely high-functioning on the battlefield and make them completely unstoppable.

STARR: McRaven wants the first version of an Iron Man suit within a year.


AZUZ: All right, typical Wednesday for Carl. Work out, go to work, maybe see some friends. Typical Wednesday for Yves Rossy - go to work, jump out of a helicopter, fly around Mount Fuji. You know, in your personal jetpack. Rossy, who flies airplanes when he`s not flying this thing, designed and built the jetpack on his own. The Japanese mountain is the latest landmark added to the list of the jet man`s personal flybys. All of them have been impressive, but we`d have to say it`s the Mountain Fuji win (ph). It`s time for us to fly. We`ll jet back tomorrow for more CNN STUDENT NEWS. Have a great day.