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EDUCATION with Student News

Quick Guide & Transcript: Cyclone Larry hits Australia, NJ teacher becomes Liberia's top cop


• Interactive: Who's who in Iraq
• Interactive: Sectarian divide

(CNN Student News) -- March 21, 2006

Quick Guide

Cyclone Larry - Take a look at the destruction that Tropical Cyclone Larry wreaked in northeast Australia.

Speaking to the People - Hear how President Bush worked to reassure Americans about the Iraq war.

Liberia's Top Cop - Meet a teacher who is traveling from New Jersey to Liberia, where she'll lead a police force.



SHANON COOK, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Shanon Cook, and we'd like to welcome you to this Tuesday broadcast of CNN Student News! A powerful cyclone roars into northeastern Australia. See the wake of damage, down under. President Bush says he understands why Americans have had their confidence shaken, about Iraq. Hear his reason for staying the course. And these women are taking "dressing up" to new heights, hitting the slopes in outfits better suited to senior prom!

First Up: Cyclone Larry

COOK: Emergency workers and residents of northeastern Australia, are taking stock of the destruction from Tropical Cyclone Larry. That's the name of a category 5 storm that howled into the Queensland area Monday. It's estimated Larry left thousands of people homeless and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. Zain Verjee looks at what was left behind.


ZAIN VERJEE, CNN REPORTER: Witnesses tell the media it looks like the aftermath of an atomic bomb. Damage and devastation remain after a massive cyclone named "Larry" tore through northeast Australia. Wind gusts topping 180-miles-per-hour... The category five storm nearly ripped trees from their roots. Splintered wooden homes, tore metal roofs off structures, and tossed boats around like toys -- sending even this boat into a garden. Cyclone Larry is the most powerful to strike Australia in 30 years. One area hardest hit is Innisfail -- a community of nearly nine-thousand people. Local residents described the cyclone before and during its visit.

STORM SURVIVOR: The thing is, we went outside, there was just like a noise like a train was coming, the ocean was roaring, and the wind was just unbelievable.

STORM SURVIVOR: We were really scared for our lives to the stage, where at one stage we were starting to feel sick just through the worry, whether we were going to get through tonight.

VERJEE: While just over two dozen people suffered minor injuries and there are no reported deaths -- officials say the economic disaster could be staggering. Officials have declared a state of emergency and schools, businesses and airports are expected to remain closed for another day. The affected area grows bananas and sugar cane and the storm flattened large areas of those fields. One lawmaker estimated the cost would run over 100-million dollars to farmers alone. Zain Verjee, CNN.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS REPORTER: You've heard the terms hurricane and cyclone. What's another name for this type of storm? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A) Twister, B) Whirly, C) Typhoon or D) Tsunami? You've got three seconds--GO! Typhoon's the answer! That's a tropical cyclone, like a hurricane, that spins in the western Pacific or Indian Ocean. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Speaking to the People

COOK: President Bush says the U.S. won't leave Iraq until victory is achieved. He's working to convince Americans that the war has been worth the costs. Though a recent CNN, USA Today Gallup poll showed most Americans surveyed, don't feel that way. Elaine Quijano has details on how the president made his case Monday, in Cleveland, Ohio.


ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN REPORTER: With the Iraq War now entering its fourth year, and polls showing low public support for his handling of the situation, President Bush acknowledged both the continued sectarian violence in Iraq and Americans' unease:

U.S. PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: The situation on the ground remains tense. And in the face of continued reports about killings and reprisals, I understand how some Americans have had their confidence shaken.

QUIJANO: Speaking before the City Club of Cleveland -- the president again defended his Iraq strategy. This time, he zeroed in on the story of Tal Afar --- a city in northern Iraq -- citing it as an example of how he says Iraqi forces are playing in increasing role:

BUSH: Many Iraqi units conducted their own anti-terrorist operations and controlled their own battle space

QUIJANO: How the U.S. learned from previous mistakes ---

BUSH: It came only after much trial and error.

QUIJANO: And why insurgents and terrorists are losing their grip on the country's civilian population.

BUSH: The people of Tal Afar have shown that Iraqis do want

peace and freedom. And no one should underestimate them.

QUIJANO: The president also addressed the Iraqis themselves -- reiterating his position that U.S. forces will not leave prematurely.

BUSH: The United States will not abandon Iraq. We will not leave that country to the terrorists who attacked America and want to attack us again.

QUIJANO: Elaine Quijano, CNN, The White House.


Women's History Month: Madeleine Albright

DEANNA MORAWSKI, CNN STUDENT NEWS REPORTER: Madeleine Albright was born May 15, 1937 in Prague, Czechoslovakia. As the Nazis invaded that country before World War II, Albright and her family fled and eventually settled in the United States. She graduated from Wellesley College in Massachusetts and later received masters and doctorate degrees from Columbia University in New York. By the late seventies, Albright was working in the White House for President Jimmy Carter's national security team. In 1993, she became the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. And in 1997, the Senate approved Albright as the 64th U.S. Secretary of State, and the first woman ever to hold the position. Celebrating the achievements of Madeleine Albright, this Women's History Month.

ID Me: Liberia

AZUZ: See if you can ID Me! I'm a country located on the west coast of Africa. My capital is Monrovia. I recently elected my first-ever female president! I'm Liberia! Located between the Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone, I'm home to almost 3.5 million people!

Liberia's Top Cop

COOK: Imagine if your teacher were called home to another country to make history. That's what's happening at one school in New Jersey. A woman who's used to teaching classes there, will soon be heading up a police force in Liberia as it continues rebuilding from years of civil war. Nora Muchanic introduces us to someone who makes a positive difference wherever she goes.


NORA MUCHANIC, REPORTER: Forty-eight-year-old Beatrice Munah Sieh is a special education teacher at Grace Dunn Middle School in Trenton. But not for long. By the end of the month, this single mother of 3 will return to her homeland to become the first female leader of the national police force in Liberia.

BEATRICE MUNAH SIEH, LIBERIAN POLICE CHIEF DESIGNEE: I'm going there now to try and bring back law and order.

MUCHANIC: The West African nation of Liberia has been torn by a lengthy civil war. But when the country's first elected female leader was sworn in January, Beatrice says the president went looking for someone with character, competence and respect for human rights to lead the police force, and found her half a world away in a Trenton classroom.

SIEH: You know our country been going through civil war and there were abuses.

MUCHANIC: Beatrice was a cop long before she became a teacher. She started on a motorcycle, worked on riot patrol and moved up through the ranks to become the deputy director of operations for Liberia's National Police Force. But with the civil war raging, she fled. When Beatrice came to the United States in 1996, she wasn't sure she would ever go home -- let alone go back to assume such a position of authority.

SIEH: The crime rate at this time has increased. It's a tough job but somebody has to do it.

ROBIN STRAND, TEACHER: I didn't know that she was involved with law enforcement in her country. Non of us knew. We just thought we were all educators together and I'm going to miss her so much.

STUDENT: I think it's cool that my teacher's famous.

MUCHANIC: Students say they will miss their teacher as she trades in her colorful dresses for a uniform.

SIEH: That's my only regret. I'm so close to my students.

MUCHANIC: Beatrice Munah Sieh will lead a force of 2,000 and says she can't wait to return to Liberia to help enforce the rule of law in the country she loves and misses. In Trenton, I'm Nora Muchanic.


Is this Legit?

Is This Legit? The word "prom," describing the big school dance, actually comes from the word "prominent." This one's false! Prom is a shortened version of the word "promenade," which describes a ball or a dance.

Before We Go

COOK: Before we go... It's probably not the first place you'd think to wear your prom dress. But hey, who says skiing can't be a formal event? It's not exactly tradition that brought these women out here. But when asked why they dressed up to slide down the slopes... One stylish skier responded, "why not?" They call themselves the "verti-gals"... And say it's not hard unless you ski into the bushes, and get all tangled up!


COOK: A full, funny report on that story is just a click away! Head to And click on today's Transcript. From there, you'll be able to see the verti-gals in action, giving new meaning to the term, "groomed slopes"!


COOK: We hope you enjoyed today's show... And we look forward to seeing you tomorrow, when CNN Student News returns. I'm Shanon Cook.

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