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Hurricane Bud Becomes Second Named Storm in Pacific Ocean; Debris Along Alaska`s Coastline

Aired May 25, 2012 - 04:00   ET




GROUP: From Mr. Delaney`s (ph) journalism class --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- at Spanish River High School --

GROUP: -- in Boca Raton, Florida --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- you`re watching --

GROUP: -- CNN Student News. Take it away, Carl.


CARL AZUZ, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Fridays are awesome. So is that iReport from Mr. Delaney and the Spanish River Sharks. Very well done, y`all. I`m Carl Azuz. Let`s go ahead and get started.

First up, we`re looking at the second tropical storm to get a name so far this year. This is the second named storm in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The Pacific hurricane season starts a couple works before the Atlantic season, and there are different sets of names for storms in the two oceans.


AZUZ (voice-over): This is Hurricane Bud. As of Thursday, it was a category 2 hurricane off the cost of Mexico. Experts following its path don`t predict Bud to make landfall, but they did warn that rain from the storm could lead to floods or mudslides.


AZUZ: Now we mentioned the different lists of names, but the type of storm we`re talking about is actually called different things in different parts of the world.


AZUZ (voice-over): For instance, in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific, these are called hurricanes. You knew that. But if you travel up to the northwestern part of the Pacific Ocean -- so up near Japan and Russia, the storms are called typhoons. And then if you go down into the Indian Ocean, the name changes to cyclones. So you have three names, all the same type of storm.


AZUZ: These storms can be affected by something called El Nino. It`s a weather event that involves unusually warm ocean temperatures. Chad Myers breaks down the forecast for this year`s Atlantic hurricane seasons, which starts a week from today, and he explains the impact that El Nino could have.


CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It is going to be a below-normal or above-normal season. Pick one. So here you go. A normal average year, 11. Now there`s a new forecast out, just at 11 o`clock, somewhere between nine, which would be below normal, or 15 named storms, which would be above normal.

Hurricanes, six is the average. It could be four, below normal, or eight, above normal. And major hurricanes, two, it could be one, below normal, or three, above normal. Why? Because El Nino could get in the way.

If El Nino really builds off the coast, the west coast of South America, Mexico and even kind of runs up toward the U.S., but really, it`s South America, that would ruin the season, which means it would hamper the storms, and we would have all those lower numbers. If El Nino does not form, we could still be above normal. Remember, it -- all these numbers are just an estimate.



AZUZ (voice-over): On this day in history, in 1787, the Constitutional Convention kicked off in Philadelphia. Its goal: to form a new U.S. government.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced his goal of putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade. That happened in 1969.

In 1968, hundreds of people gathered in St. Louis, Missouri, for the official dedication of the Gateway Arch.

And in 1977, the movie "Star Wars" premiered, taking viewers to a galaxy far, far away, and launching a science fiction megafranchise.


AZUZ: Earlier this week, we reported on some of the debris that`s washing up along Alaska`s coastline. A lot of that has come all the way across the Pacific from Japan. It was washed out into the ocean by last year`s tsunami, things like Styrofoam buoys and building materials. As Casey Wian explains, there are concerns not just about what`s washing up, but what that debris might bring with it.


CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A large haul of black cod and a smaller catch of rockfish arrive at Alaska`s Yakutat Seafood Company. Here it`s processed and shipped all over the United States, but nearby, the sea is delivering a potentially toxic threat.

One and a half million tons of debris from last year`s Japanese tsunami has begun washing ashore. Locals say their greatest fear is of the unknown contaminants it may contain.

GREG INDRELAND, OWNER, YAKUTAT SEAFOOD: There`s always concern. But it`s, you know, is it going to be a few buoys, or is it going to be oil, petroleum, boats, houses. I`ve always been one of those guys that it`s like you deal with the reality as it approaches.

WIAN (voice-over): But others are worried about the threat of toxic materials, even radiation contaminating Alaskan fish.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve tested a lot of these with a Geiger counter, and none of them have been hot. Everything`s been clean, no radiation whatsoever. Otherwise, I wouldn`t be doing it.

WIAN (voice-over): Government and university scientists say it`s highly unlikely radiation will be present in tsunami debris. One reason: most of it was already at sea before the Fukushima reactor leak. Still, other toxins may be present in waters that provide 90 percent of the nation`s wild salmon.

CHRIS PALLISTER, GULF OF ALASKA KEEPERS: Germicidal bowl cleanser. Now that`s not something you`d want to dump in your herring or salmon spawning area.

WIAN (voice-over): The Yakutat Tlingit tribe has been fishing these waters for centuries.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s a king (ph) in the net, right there, pulling a little bit on that.

WIAN (voice-over): Four hundred of Yakutat`s 650 residents are Tlingit. They`re pleading for federal help to clean up the tsunami debris.

VICTORIA DEMMERT, TRIBAL PRESIDENT: We have to get it off the beaches because if it begins to disintegrate there, it`ll -- the birds will eat it and so will the fish. It will affect us. We`re subsistence people and whatever happens in the air or ground or sea will end up in our bodies.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s Shoutout goes out to Mr. Linser`s contemporary world affairs classes at Bellevue High School in Bellevue, Washington. Waterloo, New York, is credited as being the birthplace of what U.S. holiday? Here we go. Is it Armed Forces Day, Decoration Day, Flag Day or Arbor Day? You`ve got three seconds, go.

Back in 1866, Waterloo celebrated what came to be known as Decoration Day. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.


AZUZ: Well, it started in Waterloo. Now people celebrate the holiday all over the U.S. They`ll be doing that this weekend. But they`re going to be calling it by a different name. For a lot of folks, this means three days of cookouts or pool parties, time off from school or work. But there`s a deeper meaning to this annual event, and we examine it right here.


AZUZ (voice-over): It started as Decoration Day. During the Civil War, the deadliest conflict in U.S. history, Americans would decorate the graves of troops who`d died in battle.

The holiday became Memorial Day after World War I in honor of fallen service men, and that`s what distinguishes it from Veterans` Day. While that occasion honors everyone who`s ever served in the U.S. Armed Forces, Memorial Day honors everyone who has died in U.S. wars.

This unifying theme is symbolized at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. It was originally known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, who`d died in World War I, but in 1958, unknown troops from World War II and the Korean War were also interred there.

You`ll see the ceremonial wreath laying at the tomb every Memorial Day. You`ll also see flags and hear services across the nation. Unofficially, Memorial Day signals the beginning of summer, which, in a way, also makes it a tribute to life.


AZUZ: It takes character to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and headed into this Memorial Day weekend, we asked how you would define character.


AZUZ (voice-over): Miranda says, "Character is who you are and what you do when no one is watching."

Autumn echoes that, saying, it`s the type of person you really are, which is shown through your actions when you are by yourself.

Bryce defines character as "being a role model to others who want to be successful in life."

Sean believes, "Character is who you are; it does not matter where you come from or what your surroundings look like."

Joy feels it`s "how you act when you have to make a difficult decision."

Joshua writes, "Character is what defines you as a person. Our football team has a motto, `Ability may get you to the top, but character is what keeps you there.`"

Lizzie defines character as "something that a person has that proves they can be responsible and that they can be trusted."

And to Nykolas, "character is who you are on the inside. It`s not who you pretend to be or who you become so others will like you."


AZUZ: Good comments there. Now before we go today, how do you celebrate a 95th birthday?


AZUZ (voice-over): If you`re in a restaurant in Detroit, you drop it like it`s hot -- dog. Apparently you drop a whole lot of them. This doesn`t seem like much of a party, but they`re not done yet. Once the hot dogs hit the ground, people then run in and try to scoop up as many as they could. The winner gets 1,000 bucks and a lifetime supply of -- guess what?

At least one person decided to feed part of what he picked up to his pup. You know what they say.


AZUZ: It`s a dog-eat-dog world. All right. That`s going to wrap things up for us today.

Before we go, though, we do want to congratulate the Kidder (ph) County Pirates for getting this week`s social media question right.

We will not have a show on Monday. We`re off the air in observance of Memorial Day. We`ll see you again on Tuesday unless you are out of school of the summer, in which case we wish you all the best. For the rest of you, we`ll see you Tuesday. For CNN Student News, I`m Carl Azuz.