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Quick Guide & Transcript: Hurricane Katrina, Changes at the Supreme Court


(CNN Student News) -- September 6, 2005

Quick Guide

State of Emergency - View what's being done to drain the waters from New Orleans.

Huge Effort - Watch over a rescue effort with a general charged with getting it done.

Roberts Nomination - Meet the man whom President Bush thinks should head up the Supreme Court.



PHYLLIS JACKSON, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Thank you for kicking off this four-day school week with CNN Student News! I'm Phyllis Jackson. Progress is made When officials in New Orleans patch up breaches in two levees. But what is left of the city? Rescues are carried out by hundreds of helicopters sent to a storm-ravaged region. But how many are feared dead? And a nominee is announced to take over as United States Chief Justice. But what has to be done before Judge John Roberts, can sit at the Supreme Court?

First Up: State of Emergency

PHYLLIS JACKSON, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: The sun shone over New Orleans on Sunday, illuminating the murky water, death and debris that covered the city. The Deputy Police Chief said the Big Easy was completely destroyed, and that there was no power, drinkable water or food for those still there. As helicopters and recovery teams continue patrolling the area for survivors, Sumi Das shows us what's being done to help them, and others left in Katrina's ruinous wake.


SUMI DAS, CNN REPORTER: It's expected to take months to drain New Orleans of floodwater, but there is some progress. Crews have begun pumping water from the city. And they have patched part of the breach in the levees.

Still, the grim task of collecting the bodies and identifying them will take time. To survivors who don't want to leave, the deputy police chief has a message:

DEP. CHIEF WARREN RILEY, NEW ORLEANS POLICE DEPARTMENT: There is absolutely no reason to stay here.

DAS: President Bush and first lady Laura Bush visited the Gulf Coast region with stops in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Poplarville, Mississippi.

BUSH: I understand..understand the damage understand the devastation, I understand the destruction, I understand how long it's gonna take and we're with you.

DAS: Asked about criticism that the federal government did not get help to storm victims soon enough, President Clinton says there will come a time to figure out what went wrong:

FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: Our government failed those people in the beginning, and I take it now there is no dispute about it, 100% of the people recognize that, that it was a failure. I personally believe there should be a serious analysis of it, I have my own ideas about what caused it, but I don't think we should do it now.

DAS: Clinton and former President George Bush have announced the formation of a new fund to help victims of Katrina in all affected states. The money from the Bush-Clinton Katrina fund will go directly to the governors of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. For CNN Student News, I'm Sumi Das.


Fast Facts

CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS REPORTER: Time for some Fast Facts! Here's a by-the-numbers look at some statistics surrounding the aftermath of Katrina:

  • 90,000 square miles: area affected by the hurricane
  • 22,800: number of lives saved so far
  • 679: shelters for those in need
  • about 250,000: people housed in shelters
  • Huge Effort

    JACKSON: "This is just the beginning of a huge effort": Those words from President Bush yesterday, as he spoke with a group of aid workers who were caring for evacuees. FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, says the area affected by Hurricane Katrina is bigger than that of the whole United Kingdom. Thousands are believed to have died in this disaster, but to show us how survivors are being flown to safety, here's Barbara Starr.


    BARBARA STARR, CNN REPORTER: The day after the military evacuated 20,000 people from the Convention Center a small group of New Orleans citizens are waiting across the street on this sweltering night to be flown to safety. Lt General Russell Honore, the commander has come through the floodwaters to make sure everyone is getting help.

    This extraordinary military airlift is just beginning, saving some of New Orleans most helpless victims. As you watch, remember this is not a war zone, the medical personnel remind everyone these are citizens still desperately in need of food, water and medical attention.

    Doctor Julliet Saussy and her emergency medical team are providing trauma care. She has lost her home in the disaster, but is here around the clock. If you think these are just the stragglers, she will tell you there is still more disaster to emerge as the military begins to search the city for survivors.

    DR. JULLIET SAUSSY, EMERGENCY MEDICINE DIRECTOR: I have many thousands of citizens still out there. Elderly and infirm patients that can't help themselves ...that are still trapped in their houses.

    Tonight, under the generator lights there is no bureaucracy, no politics, the doctor asks the general for more help, the military response is instant

    SOLIDER: The general has said he will continue this medivac operation until we are done getting people out of New Orleans .

    STARR: On this street corner where thousands had lived for days, where there is trash and filth and no one to clean it up. Yet, this doctor running an unprecedented operation she says she could not have done without the three star general she met just a few days ago.

    DOCTOR: He has made it happen.

    STARR: And the general stands watch....making sure it does happen. Barbara Starr, CNN, New Orleans.


    Rehnquist Obit

    JACKSON: The chief justice of the United States passed away on Saturday night. William Rehnquist, who was 80 years old, had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer last October and had undergone radiation and chemotherapy since then. In July, a month after the last Supreme Court session ended, Rehnquist said he had no plans to retire and that he'd keep working as long as he could. He'd served as chief justice since 1986.

    Robertson Nomination

    JACKSON: Meanwhile, President Bush's choice to replace another Supreme Court Justice, has become the nominee to replace Rehnquist. But you'll remember that the president doesn't have absolute power in appointing justices. He must first seek the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate, which is responsible for either confirming or denying a presidential nominee. Jim Ribble tells us who that nominee is, in this case.


    JIM RIBBLE, CNN REPORTER: President Bush says he's already found the man who should fill the vacancy left by the death of Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist. He's nominated Judge John Roberts.

    PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Judge Roberts has earned the nation's confidence, and I'm pleased to announce that I will nominate him to serve as the 17th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

    RIBBLE: Until today, Roberts was the president's choice to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Senate confirmation hearings had been set to begin tomorrow but are now being pushed back to a later date. The president is still calling on the Senate to confirm Roberts by the time the high Court begins in early October.

    BUSH: I am confident that the senate can complete hearings and confirm him as Chief Justice within a month.

    RIBBLE: Though Roberts has much Republican support, Democrats say now the stakes are higher. In a written statement, New York Senator Charles Schumer says "John Roberts has a clear obligation to make his views known fully and completely at the hearings and we look forward to them." Roberts clerked for Rehnquist 25 years ago.

    JOHN ROBERTS, SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: I am honored and humbled by the confidence that the president has shown in me, and I'm very much aware that if I am confirmed, I would succeed a man I deeply respect and admire.

    RIBBLE: President Bush says he'll select a nominee to replace O'Conner in a timely manner. O'Conner has agreed to stay on the Court until she is replaced.


    Written Word

    "The President has made an excellent choice; Mr. Roberts is one of the most well qualified candidates to come before the Senate. He will be an excellent chief." - Senator Bill Frist, (R) Tennessee

    "The stakes are higher and the Senate's Advice and Consent responsibility is even more important. If confirmed to this lifetime job, John Roberts would become the leader of the third branch of the federal government. The Senate must be vigilant in considering this nomination." - Senator Harry Reid, (D) Nevada


    JACKSON: So what do you think? Should Roberts be the next chief justice? Your students will learn what they need to know to answer this question and others about presidential nominees, if you take advantage of our free classroom materials. To get them, just direct your browser to, and find today's Learning Activity in the "Watch and Learn" box!


    JACKSON: That's it for today's CNN Student News. Many people are holding clothing drives, collecting money, and sending supplies to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. As we leave you today, we'll give you a few phone numbers that you can call to help out. See you Wednesday.


    American Red Cross
    www.redcross.orgexternal link
    (800) HELP-NOW

    Quarters From Kids
    www.quartersfromkids.orgexternal link

    Food for the Hungry
    www.FH.orgexternal link
    (877) 780-4261 ext 2506

    www.mercycorps.comexternal link
    (800) 852-2100

    The United Way
    www.unitedway.orgexternal link
    (800) 272-4630

    Save the Children
    www.savethechildren.orgexternal link
    (800) 728-3843

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