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(CNN Student News) -- September 21, 2006
Goodbye, Croc Hunter - Witness the tribute that Australia paid to its world-famous Crocodile Hunter.
United Nations - Learn how Venezuela's leader caused a stir yesterday at the United Nations.
Changing Climate - Find out how long it's been since the U.S. had a summer as hot as this one.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MONICA LLOYD, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: It's time for news your way. I'm Monica Lloyd for CNN Student News. Glad to have you along. Tears and tributes for the fallen "Crocodile Hunter." How Australia said goodbye to an over-sized hero. Sticks and stones don't break bones. But can words hurt President Bush? How a South American leader created a "devil" of a controversy at the U.N. And the debate about global warming heats up. How the hottest summer in decades may be putting polar ice in hot water.
LLOYD: First up, we go down under. More than 5,000 people gathered at the Australia Zoo yesterday to say good-bye to Steve Irwin. Australia's prime minister opened the memorial service for the outdoors man known as the "Crocodile Hunter." Flags on the Sydney Harbor Bridge flew at half-staff. As Hugh Riminton reports, the public memorial capped a period of national grief for the naturalist.
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HUGH RIMINTON, CNN REPORTER: The Croc Hunter's Memorial Service featured tributes from Hollywood names like Cameron Diaz, Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe. But for the fans streaming in from before dawn, only one celebrity mattered.
MAN ON THE STREET: Well, he taught the kids a lot about animals. Didn't he? And sea creatures and how to wrestle crocodiles. He is a hero - He's Australia's hero.
RIMINTON: Australia's Prime Minister began by addressing Steve Irwin's American-born widow, Terri, and their two young children.
AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER JOHN HOWARD: There are 20 million pairs of Australian arms reaching out to embrace you this morning.
FOLK SINGER: Hey True Blue.. (sings)
RIMINTON: Steve Irwin was sent off with Australian folk song - and more ancient music. The focus of the service, like Irwin's life, was on family and the plight of wild animals.
A month ago - alive - Steve Irwin was a famous Australian 'character' - a man not always universally admired for his methods or his style. But with his death he has become what his fans always thought he was - a mythic figure, the Great Australian Bush Hero. Just as heroic, his 8 year old daughter's effort in eulogizing her father.
BINDI IRWIN: I had the best daddy in the whole world and I will miss him every day. When I see a crocodile I will always think of him.
RIMINTON: Then, his expedition truck was loaded up one last time, traveling through a khaki guard of honor, while flowers spelled out the croc-hunter's lifelong catchphrase. Hugh Riminton, CNN, Beerwah, Australia.
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LLOYD: Hugo Chavez probably won't be named "Mr. Congeniality." But the Venezuelan president got some applause at the United Nations yesterday, when he called President Bush a "devil." Chavez accused the U.S. of "domination and exploitation." While the White House said the remarks were "not worthy of comment", the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. had a comeback for Chavez. Tara Mergener wraps up all the un-diplomatic name-calling.
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TARA MERGENER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had some unkind words about President Bush during his speech to the United Nations Wednesday.
VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT HUGO CHAVEZ: Yesterday, the devil came here...right here...right here. And it smells of sulfur still today.
MERGENER: Chavez who is a close ally of Iran, Syria and Cuba, made the remark a day after President Bush addressed the annual meeting of the General Assembly. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton called Chavez's comments insulting.
U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N. JOHN BOLTON : Too bad President Chavez doesn't extend the same freedom of speech and the press to the people of Venezuela.
MERGENER: President Bush defended his decision not to meet with the President of Iran. The Iranian leader spoke Tuesday at the U.N., weeks after ignoring the world body's deadline to stop its nation's uranium enrichment program. In an interview, President Bush was asked if he thought Iran could drop a bomb or launch a bomb at Israel.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: You've got to assume that the leader when he says that he would like to destroy Israel, means what he says. If you say, well gosh, maybe he doesn't mean it, and you turn out to be wrong, you have not done your duty as a world leader.
MERGENER: And President Bush defended his decision not to meet with the president of Iran, but did address the Iranian people, saying Americans do respect their country. Reporting for CNN Student News, I'm Tara Merenger in Washington.
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS REPORTER: See if you can ID Me! I'm a predominantly Buddhist country located in Southeast Asia. Until 1939, I was known as Siam. My capital is Bangkok. Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that's never been taken over by a European power.
Thai Coup Update
LLOYD: A bloodless military coup in Thailand is not playing well in Washington. Martial law is in effect in the Asian country, since tanks rolled through Bangkok two days ago. The army chief has declared himself "interim leader" and promised that elections will be held next year. The military coup got a royal endorsement from the Thai king yesterday. But the Bush Administration hinted that U.S. aid and military cooperation might be jeopardized and called the overthrow a "step backward for democracy."
LLOYD: If all goes according to schedule, the Space Shuttle Atlantis should be back on earth by the time you're watching this. Its return was delayed a day to allow for a thorough inspection of its heat shield. Several pieces of floating debris had NASA worried. But inspections found they didn't damage the shuttle, so Atlantis got the "all-clear" for landing. It was heat-shield damage that caused the Shuttle Columbia to burn up while re-entering the atmosphere in 2003.
Word to the Wise
AZUZ: A Word to the Wise... greenhouse effect (noun) phenomenon that occurs when gases in the atmosphere allow the sun's energy to pass through but do not allow heat from the warmed surface of the Earth to escape; results in warming
LLOYD: Summer officially ends this Saturday. But climatologists already know what you've been feeling. This summer's been a scorcher! Record highs caused deaths and dry conditions helped spark wildfires charring millions of acres. The numbers are heating up the debate on global warming. Rob Marciano shows how this hot stuff is causing a meltdown near the north pole.
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ROB MARCIANO, CNN REPORTER: September air is a welcome relief for the scorched North American landscape. But the damage is done... and the numbers are in. January through August 2006 saw the warmest average temperatures ever recorded. And this summer was the hottest summer since the Dust Bowl - the years in the 1930's when the central United States was plagued by drought and dust storms.
In July, an intense heat wave blistered much of the nation -- breaking more than than 50 all-time highs.
MAN ON THE STREET: Hot. It's really hot.
MARCIANO: Californians suffered the most. Out of 200 heat-related deaths around the nation, 160 were in California. And if it seems like summers have been getting warmer now for years... you're right. Eight of the last ten summers have been warmer than average in the United States. But will the trend continue?
TOM KARL: If you had to place your bets you'd place them on warmer than average temperatures, and the likelihood of having record and near-record summers will continue to increase.
MARCIANO: And record heat is causing record wildfires. Over 8 million acres have burned in 2006...more land than Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. That's more land than has ever been burned since record-keeping started. Why so hot? You may already know the answer.
KARL : We think there's very strong evidence that humans in fact are largely attributable. As greenhouse gasses continue to increase, conditions like this past summer become more frequent and more extreme.
MARCIANO: If global warming is making summer hotter...what's happening in winter? For a while now scientists have been concerned about the shrinking glaciers in the Arctic, but they have always taken comfort in knowing that sea ice - sea water that freezes in the Arctic regions during the colder months - comes back year after year. But a new study from NASA shows that that sea ice is not returning like it once did.
JOSEFINO COMISO, NASA RESEARCH SCIENTIST: In the previous 25 years it was flat, but in the last two years it has declined substantially. This is a very important result because it ties up with modeling predictions which had expected the biggest signal of greenhouse warming in the winter period.
MARCIANO: Which means one of the last pieces to the global warming puzzle may be falling into place. And much of what climate forecasting computers said was going to happen, IS starting to happen. Rob Marciano, CNN, Atlanta.
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LLOYD: Teachers, there's more than just our show at our website. Each day, the staff at CNN.com/EDUCATION tells the stories of new trends, and new technologies in teaching. So take a look around. We hope you'll like what you see.
Before We Go
LLOYD: Before we go, a family in Tucson, Arizona can skip the zoo. If they want to see wildlife, they can just look out the front door, at the family of bobcats in their own front yard. That's mother and her two kittens. Everyone's respecting the animals' rights to privacy, and no one's bothering the wild house guests.
LLOYD: That's all for CNN Student News this time. Signing out until tomorrow I'm Monica Lloyd.
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