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CNN 10

Water in the Desert; Lessons Off the Court; Terrorist Shootout

Aired March 23, 2012 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN: March Madness may be all about basketball, but today, we are looking at one team that focuses on the student part of student athletes.

I`m Carl Azuz. STUDENT NEWS starts right now.

First up today, a raid in France ends up in the death of a suspected terrorist. This all happened on Thursday morning, after a standoff that lasted more than 31 hours. CNN affiliate France 2 says the man in this amateur video is Mohamed Merah. French authorities say he trained with the al Qaeda terrorist network in Pakistan. He had been under surveillance for years. Merah was wanted in connection with a string of shootings that started on March 11th.

Two of those attacks targeted French paratroopers. Three of them were killed. Another attack was at a Jewish school, where a rabbi and three young children were killed.

Police tracked Merah down to his apartment. They say he gave several reasons for the shootings. He also claimed he was planning to attack more soldiers and police.

Merah was killed in an exchange of gunfire when French officers raided his apartment after the long standoff.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Is this legit? Fifteen percent of the world`s water is drinkable.

Not true. It`s actually less than one percent of the world`s water that is drinkable.

AZUZ: Surprising to find out that such a tiny amount of the world`s water is drinkable. Yesterday was World Water Day, and two reports came out that both focused on the issue of usable water.

The first report was from the United Nations. It said that around 89 percent of the world`s population had access to safe drinking water. UN officials called that a great achievement, but they also said that reaching that last 10 percent of the world`s population is going to get more difficult and more expensive.

The other report came from the US government. It talked about how water issues could affect national security. The idea here is, that if certain countries have floods, poor water quality or water shortages, it could cause conflicts that would have an impact on the United States.

Richard Quest looks at how one nation is looking to address its water shortage issues.


RICHARD QUEST, CNN: Abu Dhabi is a desert city and it`s running out of water. Severe shortages are expected as soon as 2012.

Natural water supply is becoming increasingly scarce in Abu Dhabi. In addition, the people who live here are amongst the largest consumers of water in the world. So now you see the problem.

H.E. RAZAN KHALIFA AL MUBARAK: The coastal areas of Abu Dhabi receive not more than 80 millimeter of annual rainfall. This is certainly not enough water to provide for the residents of the city.

QUEST: Like any arid region, Abu Dhabi has no surface water, no river, no fresh lakes.

AL MUBARAK: Natural resources, in terms of water, do not exist here in the UAE, so we need to find ways in order to acquire that.

QUEST: Almost every drop of drinking water in the Emirate comes from desalinization, the removal of salt from sea water.

As it stands, Abu Dhabi has currently just 48 hours of emergency water supply. Out in the desert, workers started on an ambitious project to build an artificial underground aquifer to increase that.

Storing spare desalinated water is only part of the solution. There are other issues that have to be addressed. This is a city that needs to reduce its consumption. Every day, Abu Dhabi resident use more than three times the amount of water recommended by the United Nations.

So the authorities have come up with these, little water-saving devices which reduce the flow of water from your tap buy a third. Thirty thousand of these have been fitted so far across the Emirate, in homes, schools, mosques and hotels.

For Abu Dhabi, this Emirate in the desert, growth and ambition will always be tied to the supply of water.

Richard Quest, CNN, Abu Dhabi.


AZUZ: All right. You go to the mailbox, you`re hoping for a letter, and all you`ve got is junk mail. That sounds frustrating. It`s not to the US Postal Service.

In fact, they want to deliver more of it. They don`t call it junk mail, though. To the postal service, it`s direct mail, and the agency is running a program to encourage small businesses to send out more of it.

The postal service is losing billions of dollars, and officials think they can make up for some of that lost revenue by getting businesses to send more direct mail.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for the Shout Out. How many teams were invited to this year`s NCAA men`s basketball tournament. If you think you know, shout it out. Was it 16, 32, 64 or 68? Three seconds on the clock - go!

When this year`s tourney tipped off, there were 68 teams. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shout Out.

AZUZ: That`s how many started the tournament. Yesterday, we were down to the Sweet Sizteen.

These teams are competing in stadiums across the country, like this one here in Atlanta, Georgia. They`re all trying to advance to the next round, and they`re not always playing close to home.

For instance, if you take Marquette, Marquette`s located in Wisconsin. They played last night in Phoeniz, Arizona.

Drew Griffin show us how Marquette is balancing studies and sports.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to thank my coaches for sticking with me - Earnest Eugene (ph) --

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN: It is Senior Day for Marquette University`s varsity basketball team, and the person they thank the most, probably has the least to do with winning a basketball game.

She is Adrienne Ridgeway. For the past nine years, she has coached the men`s basketball team off the court, as Marquette`s assistant athletic director.

The graduation rate for men`s basketball has been so bad, the NCAA recently created a new rule. Teams need to get their graduation rates up to about 50 percent to qualify for post-season play. But at Adrienne Ridgeway`s school, graduation is the rule, rather than the exception.

What`s their secret?

ADRIENNE RISGEWAY, MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY: I wave a magic wand. No, I`m kidding.

GRIFFIN: Last year, this perennial basketball powerhouse spent $10.3 on basketball alone. That money buys nice facilities and practice equipment, but it also provides players with education assistance that starts before the beginning of the regular school year.

RIDGEWAY: From that point, then we know how to approach the school year.

GRIFFIN: From there, they watch the players` every move.

JAMIL WILSON, MARQUETTE BASKETBALL PLAYER: It`s like having more coaches that don`t yell, without whistles, basically.

GRIFFN: Red-shirt sophomore Jamil Wilson has never had so much attention paid to his actual classes.

WILSON: They monitor everything you do on their computers - your homework, papers, things like that, so you`re never really behind, even if you are missing class.

GRIFFIN: The basketball money also pays for chartered planes - they take players back to class, and tutors who fly with the team to the games.

WILSON: You get to travel everywhere and see everything, but then again you still have to make up the work that you miss. You don`t get a free pass, just because you`re gone, or you play basketball.

ANNOUNCER: Baseline, Jamil Wilson - across (inaudible) - another open three!

GRIFFIN: Marquette`s basketball budget makes it one of the five most expensive programs in the tournament. President Pillarz says it`s worth it.

REV. SCOTT PILLARZ, MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT: We are going to provide a transformational education that will help them succeed in life.

GRIFFIN: Jamil plans to graduate nest year, go on to grad school, and live a lifetime of achievment.

WILSON: I`d like to play basketball until my body says, Hey, this isn`t for you anymore. But you never know, maybe my impact in life is somewhere else.

GRIFFIN: Drew Griffin, CNN.


AZUZ: All right, before we go, we`re going to bring you some behind the scenes reporting footage. As some of you know, it`s part of a reporter`s job to chase down stories.

But the big question: what happens when the hunter becomes the hunted? This journalsit found out the hard way. Sneak attack! Catching someone off guard is one thing, but that brazen barnyard belligerence is totally foul! Maybe it was just trying - she`s taking it well. Maybe the rooster was just trying to send a message to let her know that someone is nipping at her heels.

At least she seems to have a good attitude about it, and at least now she knows where she stands in the pecking order. She definitely wasn`t chicken about this. But it`s a good thing she didn`t try to fight back, because there`s just no `talon` what might have happened then.

Now, before we take off, we want to crow about this week`s social media winner. The Red Devils at Hunterdon Central Regional High in New Jersey - great job in getting our social media trivia question of the week correct.

We hope all of you enjoy your weekend.

For CNN Student News, I`m Carl Azuz.