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American Aircraft in the Skies over Syria; Devastating Drought in Guatemala; Warnings for Earthquakes; Monkey Business in New Delhi

Aired August 27, 2014 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: American aircraft in the skies over Syria. The U.S. has given that the green light, and it`s the first story we`re

covering today on CNN STUDENT NEWS. I`m Carl Azuz. Welcome to the show.

This week, President Obama authorized U.S. planes to take surveillance over Syria. Why? The same reason he authorized them to attack in parts of

Iraq. ISIS, the extreme terrorist group whose name stands for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. That`s what they want. And because they`ve been

murdering people who don`t share their extremist beliefs, the U.S. is getting involved in fighting them.

This is especially complicated in Syria, though, because the nation is in the middle of a civil war. The U.S. doesn`t support Syria`s government,

but both governments are against ISIS terrorists.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: U.S. reconnaissance flights could begin over Syria at any time, according to U.S. officials, using possibly drones, U2 spy planes

or F-18s.

But Pentagon is drafting options to strike inside Syria, but the U.S. won`t warn the Syrian government who says carrying out airstrikes without their

consent would be a breach of its sovereignty and the act of aggression.

It`s unclear, however, how much the president`s top military adviser, General Martin Dempsey supports immediate U.S. military action.

A spokesman confirmed, Dempsey is preparing options to address ISIS, both in Iraq and Syria with a variety of military tools, including airstrikes.

But the lack of action so far is prompting critics like hawkish Republican Senator Lindsey Graham to charge the White House is trying to minimize the

threat we face in order to justify non-changing a failed strategy."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Before any bombs could fall, the U.S. has to get fresh intelligence.

REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: Well, we don`t talk about reconnaissance and intelligence matters, but in general, when you are

thinking about conducting operations like that you certainly want to get as much of a view on the ground as you can.


AZUZ: Connecting Mexico with Central America is the nation of Guatemala. It`s about the size of Tennessee and its government has declared the state

of emergency. Drought, one of the worst in decades is killing crops and cattle. If Guatemala`s legislature approves the emergency request, money

will be provided to help farmers who`ve lost crops. Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America. More than half of its 14.6 million

people live below the poverty line. And while one percent of the U.S. economy is based on agriculture, in Guatemala it`s 13 percent.

So, you can see how an agricultural crisis here can have a dramatic impact on a nation. Things aren`t much better in other parts of the region. The

drought has left hundreds of thousands of people hungry throughout Central America.

From yesterday`s transcript page at, here are three of the schools that requested a mention on our "Roll Call." Idea College Prep

Donna. We`re looking at some titans today. They are watching in Donna, Texas.

Hello to the Huskies. Good to see the students of Hightower Trail Middle School. They are in Marietta, Georgia. And from Halifax, Virginia where

you`ll find Halifax County High School, take a look up at the Comets.

No one was killed by the 6.0 magnitude earthquake that shook northern California on Sunday, but more than 200 people were injured. And one

question being asked, is whether an advanced earthquake warning system could keep people safer. One proposed system would cause California $80

million. But if we can`t predict earthquakes, how would it work?


CHAD MYERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you in the epicenter of an earthquake, you are going to get no warning. There`s no time for that. The warning

depends on the distance you are to the earthquake epicenter.

Early warning system for earthquakes is expensive and also complex. Part of the problem is, we don`t have a system that can predict the earth is

going to move. Our warning system is based on the fact that the earth is already moving and then if you are farther away from that epicenter, we can

give you some time to prepare. Some minor time, but some time.

Unlike a tornado warning where Doppler radar can see the rotation and issue a warning before the tornado, an earthquake warning happens when the earth

is already shaking.

Another limitation is how close the sensor is to the epicenter. If the sensor is ten miles away from the epicenter, it takes five seconds to get

to that sensor. So, the more sensors we get, the better the lee time will get as well. If we get ten seconds notice of an earthquake that`s

happening, especially a big one, you can open up the elevators on the nearest floor. You can stop trains. You can stop all those things that

are moving before the shaking gets there. This entire system works because the speed of light or the speed of the warning going down the line, is

186,000 miles per second. The earth as it`s wiggling and shaking along, is going at 2 miles per second, so if you are 30 miles away, your warning

could be 15 seconds.

It`s 15 seconds I could save her life.


AZUZ: Time for a shoutout. Which of these animals is not an ape. If you think you know it, shout it out. Is it a chimpanzee, baboon, orangutan or

gorilla? You`ve got three seconds, go. Unlike the apes mentioned here, baboons have tales. And that`s one of the characteristics that separates

monkeys from apes. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.

And it`s monkeys, not apes that are running wild in the streets of New Delhi. Parts of the Indian capital are overrun with rhesus macaques.

They`ve taken over roads, houses, parks. They often carry rabies and they`ve been known to attack people. They are not endangered, but the

government can`t simply relocated or hunt them. That would violate India`s largest faith.


SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There`s "The Planet of the Apes."


UDAS: And then, there`s New Delhi`s own primate problem. They are everywhere, tens of thousands terrorizing residents, wreaking havoc.

"They snatch our food and belongings, they bit people, get into our water tanks and bathe in it. They are such a nuisance," he says. He loves

because well, the monkeys are really just being themselves. Looking for food and some fun. But not everyone is amused.

"We get so many complaints on our helpline, we`ve hired 40 people to chase monkeys away," this government official says.

When calls come in, they deploy monkey chasers. Yes, that`s actually a job like this.

Pramod Gamar (Ph) is mimicking the sounds of a langur, this longtail black and white Simens (ph) whom the smaller rhesus macaque breed apparently


"Langurs are much bigger and more vicious," he explains. For ten years Kumar and his langur roam the streets of Delhi. He says even the presence

of one langur could scare away hundreds of monkeys. But officials recently enforced the ban on the use of langurs after animal rights groups

protested. Ever since Kumar and his colleagues have had to act like langurs instead.

"It used to be so much easier with langurs," he says. They could climb up trees and scare the other monkeys away, now all we have is a stick and this

catapult and our voices. What used to take one hour, now takes four hours," he says.

Monkeys cannot be captured or killed in India, but that`s not the only reason there are so many around. Take a look at this. Hindus actually

worship the half-man, half-monkey god Hanuman, so feeding them is actually deemed auspicious.

Officials admit they haven`t figured out a long term solution yet. Before now, they are rough for doing whatever it takes to keep the monkey business

at bay. Sumnima Udas, CNN, New Delhi.


AZUZ: "Batman," shuffleboards, soft ball and ice hockey, all part of a sports program in Canada for people who are over 55 years old. You

probably wouldn`t think that someone over 100 would be competing. And you probably wouldn`t think it would be in track and field. Well, why not?

Florence Storch, who`s 101, by the way, says edge is just a number. That`s why nothing stopped her from picking up a javelin for the first time back

in her 90s. This sprightly centenarian has already speared the title of oldest competitor at the games. She`ll be sporting victory no matter what

happens and we`ll be throwing more news your way tomorrow. I hope to see you then.