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Devastating Mine Fire in Turkey; MERS Has Come to the United States; National September 11 Memorial Museum To Be Open in New York; Claire Gruenke Brings Her Sister to the Finish

Aired May 15, 2014 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: It`s time for ten minutes of commercial free current events. This is CNN STUDENT NEWS. My name is Carl Azuz. Welcome to the show, we are starting today between Europe and the Middle East in the nation of Turkey. It`s a country in mourning. During a shift change at a West Turkish mine on Tuesday, a power transformer exploded. It sparked a fire deep inside the mine. Rescuers were able to save at least 88 miners, the Turkish officials say 274 others are dead. Some people were holding out hope that dozens of miners were trapped, but still alive. Those hopes were fading last night.

Rescuers say conditions inside the mine are horrible: hot, smoky, field with carbon monoxide after the fire. Families and friends of miners have been holding a vigil outside. What happened this week in the town of Soma, is likely to become the worst mining disaster in Turkey`s history.

The MERS virus we`ve been telling you about has spread. The World Health Organization says this is not a global health emergency at this point.

But that the threat from MERS has become more serious. MERS stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. The first cases were in Saudi Arabia, and as you can see from this map, how the disease has spread, it`s reached 18 countries. Worldwide, there have been 571 confirmed cases of MERS, 171 people have died from it. There have been two cases of MERS in the U.S. One in Indiana, one in Florida. Both of them were health care workers who traveled to Saudi Arabia. The silver lining here is that MERS doesn`t spread very quickly or easily.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: MERS, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, has come to the United States. The virus was first confirmed in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and has killed about a third of the hundreds it`s infected. MERS doesn`t appear to spread easily between humans like the flu does, for example.

Risk to the general public remains low, according to the Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention. It takes close contact with the sick person, usually a health care worker or a loved one to catch the virus.

MERS is in the same family of viruses as the common cold, but the reason why authorities are so concerned is that it has a 30 percent mortality rate. MERS attacks the respiratory system, and symptoms include fever and cough and can progress to pneumonia and kidney failure.

Experts don`t know exactly where the virus came from, but it`s been linked to infected camels in Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East. There`s no vaccine or medicine to prevent or cure MERS.

To help protect yourself, the CDC advises you to wash your hands, don`t touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands and avoid close contact with sick people.



Patriot Day is marked every year in September. True. Not to be confused with Patriot Day, which is held in April, Patriot Day is on September 11 of every year.

Patriot Day remembers the victims, the first responders, the families affected by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. So does the National September 11 Memorial Museum. It opens today in New York. First, for the families who were directly affected by the attacks, and later for the public? CNN`s Kate Bolduan joined Joe Daniels, the museum`s president for an emotional tour of the building.


JOE DANIELS, MUSEUM PRESIDENT: These tridents were from the North Tower, they were covered in the aftermath of the attacks. We brought them back here, and basically built the museum all around them.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nearly 13 years after terrorists destroyed the Twin Towers killing almost 3,000 people - the 911 Memorial Museum is set to open. A commemoration of the day America changed forever.

(on camera): You are not whitewashing it. This is the raw, dirty material.

DANIELS: Exactly. I mean this is the steel that bore the attacks.

BOLDUAN (voice over): The museum is built almost entirely underground. Some 70 feet down. It sits in the precise footprint of the World Trade Center.

DANIELS (on camera): So, this is exactly where the South Tower started. And went up 1350 feet.

BOLDUAN: A striking display of the sheer scale of the destruction with poignant reminders of the tragedy at every turn.

(voice over): I mean this - this is unbelievable.

DANIELS: This is actually the front of this fire truck. This is the .

BOLDUAN (on camera): You wouldn`t know.

DANIELS: Wouldn`t know. And it`s completely burned out and destroyed.

BOLDUAN (voice over): Then there`s the retaining wall that remarkably held strong even when the Towers fell.

DANIELS: When the Towers came down, all that debris that was here, right in the space provided bracing for that wall. And when that debris was clear, there was a big concern that the wall would breach, it would flood Lower Manhattan.

BOLDUAN: It could have been so much worse, but this wall helped under all of that pressure.

(voice over): Visitors will also walk alongside the survivor stairs.

DANIELS: Used by hundreds of people as the buildings are crumbling, running from the dust cloud to escape to safety. And it`s for all our visitors to understand the story of survival.

BOLDUAN: And likely, one of the most emotional stops in the museum. This art installation mimics the blue sky on that fateful morning. Behind it, the still unidentified remains of 911 victims, the move met with mixed emotion from their families.

DANIELS: A still shocking statistic is that 1100 family members never got any human remains back to bury, never got to go through the ritual of laying their loved ones to rest.

It`s not a public space at all, only family members are allowed back behind the wall.

BOLDUAN: Right next door, a room dedicated to the lives of those lost.

(on camera): Adjacent to this is the reflection room, which is so important, and why we can`t show it and won`t show it, because the families get to see it first.

DANIELS: Exactly. That room isn`t - in area called "In Memoriam." And it`s a photographic portrait of each and every one of the 2,983 victims. You see pictures, a father coaching his son`s Little League team, a wedding. You see the lives that were lost that day and not just about how they died, it`s who these people were.

BOLDUAN: Throughout the museum, chilling reminders of the day. Handmade flyers for the missing, across a merging from the wreckage - everyday items simply left behind.

DANIELS: We helped through these autographs and images to tell that story of just - ti was panic, and people were getting out as fast as they could.

BOLDUAN: And it doesn`t- it`s not just the shoes, it tells the shoes worn by this woman Linda. I mean it`s -you are telling everything about that day.

(voice over): And while the museum is vast, one small exhibit has been the biggest source of controversy. Its focus, the terrorists themselves including the film criticized for not making a clear enough distinction between Islam and al Qaeda.

(on camera): There`s been a lot of criticism, why give any time to the terrorists?

DANIELS: You know, it`s one way to look at it, is you don`t build the Holocaust Museum and that`ll be very clear that the Nazis were the ones who committed those atrocities. Al Qaeda was an extremist terrorist group that essentially bastardized that religion for their own purposes. But no one will come through this exhibit and in any way think that we are indicting an entire religion, which we in no way are.

BOLDUAN: It seems very appropriate that you end here, at the last call.

DANIELS: And it again goes right back to resiliency. You`ve seen those messages of hope and remembrance on this very tall column that`s still standing strong.


AZUZ: We are moving from Miami to Maple in this Thursday`s call of the roll. In the Orange State we are calling on G. Holmes Braddock`s senior high school. Good to see the bulldogs, watching in Miami, Florida.

We`ll make a stop in Sandy Springs, Georgia. That`s the home of the Panthers and it`s where we found Ridgeview Charter School. And the Northwestern High School Tigers are on the roll. Hello to everyone in Maple, Wisconsin.

800 meters equals about 2600 feet. It`s almost half a mile. The world record track time for running 800 meters is one minute 40.91 seconds. And 13-year old tweens in Illinois track meet didn`t come close. But you might not have known that from the roar of the crowd.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 13-year old Chloe and Claire Gruenke are pretty close.

CHLOE GRUENKE, INJURED DURING RACE: And that was - I can`t believe you just did that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The West-Clin Middle School twins spent the weekend competing at the Southern Illinois State Track Meet. They were both running the 800 when all of a sudden.

CHLOE GRUENKE: And I felt something like pull and pop in my thigh, and then around the first curve and second lap it like just hurt too bad, so I couldn`t go anymore, and then I felt to the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then something really cool happened.

CHLOE GRUENKE: And Claire like came up behind me, and then put me on her back and then we finished.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And they finished together. Claire carried her sister for 370 - the 400 meters left in the race. And says what she did for her sister has meaning.

CLAIRE GRUENKE: Love and sportsmanship, like even if you do help somebody, even if you are losing, it`s so worth it.

The energy from the crowd made me like stronger.


AZUZ: So, it seems Claire kept the race on track and (INAUDIBLE) did the challenge. Being quick on her feet when something bad went afoot helped her carry the day, she put on a good shoe and in the end they both came out twinners.

I`m Carl Azuz and we`ll be on our mark and set to go tomorrow.