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Encouraging Numbers in Last Unemployment Report; Deadly Concussions in Football; Health Benefits of Laughter

Aired October 06, 2014 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you for taking ten minutes for commercial free current events. I`m Carl Azuz. First up, jobs in the U.S. The

government`s monthly unemployment report came out last Friday. It`s significant for a couple of reasons: one, it`s one indication of how the

U.S. economy is doing. Two, it`s the final government jobs report before November`s midterm elections. That`s when Americans vote on all seats of

the U.S. House of Representatives, and a third of those in the U.S. Senate. And the recent CNN/ORC poll found that the economy is the biggest issue on

the ballot.

Democrats and the president are generally celebrating the report. Republicans are generally saying it`s not good enough. Will it matter in

the midterms?


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Escaping the gloom and doom in Washington, President Obama toured a steel plan in Indiana to shine a light on the

revived U.S. economy.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: This progress that we`ve been making, it`s been hard, it goes in fits and starts, it`s

not always been perfectly smooth, or as fast as we want, but it is real and it is steady and it is happening.


ACOSTA: The new numbers are encouraging. 248,000 jobs created in September, and an unemployment rate at 5.9 percent, the lowest level since

July 2008. The president thanked workers then patted himself on the back.

OBAMA: It`s also got a little bit to do with some decisions we made pretty early on in my administration.


ACOSTA: But the president isn`t getting much credit. Before the latest jobs report only 42 percent of Americans said they approved of Mr. Obama`s

handling of the economy.

THOMAS PEREZ, LABOR SECRETARY: We have undeniable unfinished business, and that`s why no one is spiking any footballs here at the Labor Department or

the White House, because there are still too many people that need work.

ACOSTA: Republicans argue that`s because government regulations are holding back job growth.

REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: We need to start growing America`s economy instead of Washington`s economy so that working Americans see better wages

and more opportunity.

ACOSTA: Queue to midterm elections, a little more than a month away. The president wants voters to approve his economic plan, which includes raising

the minimum wage and passing immigration reform by keeping Democrats in control of the senate.

OBAMA: I`m not on the ballot this fall. But make no mistake, these policies are on the ballot.

ACOSTA: One reason why Americans are not feeling the recovery yet, is wages. American take home pay is only up a meager two percent over the

last 12 months, and until that number changes, President Obama may not get the credit he wants for the improving U.S. economy. Jim Acosta, CNN, the

White House.


AZUZ: A U.S. Marine may be the first American military casualty in the war against the ISIS terrorist group. Corporal Jordan L. Spears was aboard an

NV-22 Osprey, an aircraft like this. Last Wednesday it was taking off from an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf when it suddenly lost power. It

didn`t crash into the water. The pilots were able to get control before that. But because it looked like it was going to, Spears and another crew

member jumped into the Gulf.

The other service member was rescued, Spears was lost at sea. Because his squadron is supporting the U.S. operation in the region, which includes the

war against ISIS, Spears could be classified as a casualty of the war.

Doctors have been saying for years that if you take a hit to the head in sports, especially football, but also soccer, basketball or anything else,

get it checked out.

Last year an Institute of Medicine Study found there`s still this culture among athletes that they don`t report possible concussions. They want to

keep playing, they don`t want to let their teammates down.

Recent tragedies remind all of us of the importance of playing smart.


ANDY SCHOLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In just the last week, we`ve been reminded how dangerous youth football can be. The games are supposed to be

about having fun and school spirit, but right now three different communities are in morning after death on the field.

16-year old varsity line man Tom Cutinella was involved in the collision during the third quarter of Wednesday night`s game in New York`s Long

Island. According to authorities, he got up after the hit, but then collapsed from a serious head injury. Cutinella was rushed to the

hospital, but died after emergency surgery.

STEVEN COHEN, SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT: The game involves contact, and it was the result of a freak football play.

UF: Parents put their kids to - into sports, thinking that they are going to be all right, and so it`s just a scary thing.

SCHOLES: Cutinella`s death follows two others in the past week: in Alabama, 17-year old DeMario Harris Jr. died Sunday after collapsing on the

field Friday following a tackle, the cause of death was unknown, and in North Carolina 17-year old Isaiah Langston died after collapsing during his

team`s pregame warmups. His cause of death is also unknown. A death among high school football players are rare. Last season of the more than 1

million players, there were just eight football -related death. Not all of the deaths were contract related, but some were result of a head injury.

Concussions are a growing problem in the game. All football players including high schoolers have a 75 percent chance of suffering a

concussion, and players who suffer a concussion are twice as likely to receive a second one.

The dangers of head injuries are starting to resonate with parents, participation in both pop warner and high school football has decreased in

the past five years.

And many states and leagues have adopted rules where players have to sit out after a hard hit, they`ve also tried to provide better helmets and take

a padding along with more education for coaches, but we all know in football, once the play starts on the field, anything can happen.


AZUZ: There`s one place we look for schools to feature on our "Roll Call." It`s the transcript page at

From Friday`s transcript, we`ve got the Cardinals. Blue Valley Middle School of Overland Park, Kansas, great to see you.

We`ve got the wild cats. Hello to Woodland High School. They are watching in Cartersville, Georgia. And over in Kabul, Afghanistan, thanks for

making us part of your day at Oruj Learning Center.

Is laughter truly the best medicine? Maybe not for everything, but if you are looking to relieve stress, stimulate your heart, increase your

endorphins, taking more oxygen, ease pain, improve your immune system, lighten the mood, help your muscles relax and maybe, just laughter live to

age 100, laughter may be just what the doctor ordered.


SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you want to live to 100, doing something as simple as laughing can make a huge difference. It`s

interesting, people have known for some time that you feel better when you laugh, but now there`s evidence to show that it lower some of the stress

hormones in your body, helps you lower some of the blood sugars in your bloodstream as well. It really can be beneficial to your health overall.

Even if you fake laugh, even if there was nothing in particular that was just funny, and you just fake laugh, you can still get a lot of benefits

that way as well.

We find the people who laugh regularly and, by the way, you laugh on average about 15 to 20 times a day, whether you knew that or not, but when

you do that, you tend to actually have this greater insight, so feel more creative, and again, that`s gone from the world of anecdotal, where people

just believed that, where they can actually show that now looking inside the brain.

All right. This may seem like a ridiculous experiment, but simply taking a pencil, sticking in your mouth and sort of clenching on it, forces you to

smile, and just the act of doing that can make you happier.

So, if you do nothing else today, make sure you smile, even laugh. It will help you live to 100.


AZUZ: Time for a "Shoutout." Who was U.S. president during the 1924 World Series? If you think you know it, shout it out!

Was it Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge or Herbert Hoover? You`ve got three seconds, go!

The 30th U.S. president Calvin Coolidge served from 1923 to 1929. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.

And, of course, that included the year when the Washington Senators defeated the New York Giants and seven games. Newsreel footage of that

game with the shot of Silent Cal in the stands, was just discovered in Massachusetts. The owner passed away this year. While neighbors were

preparing the house for sale, they found eight old film reels in the garage. Those were sent to the Library of Congress who called the find and

the condition of the film miraculous. Archivists don`t know who originally owned this, or how the fragile film held up so well for 90 years.

It may be the only footage in existence of the final game of the 1924 World Series.

See, every once in a while we end on a serious story. Someone makes the pits, producer makes the call, and then we take a swing with some puns.

Some are hits, some are baseless, some are way off base. The important thing is to strike out even if they strike out, even if no one bats an eye,

at least we`ll have safely fielded our traditional pastime. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN STUDENT NEWS.