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Quick Guide & Transcript: Earthquake strikes Japanese coast, U.S. Airways makes a bid for Delta

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(CNN Student News) -- November 16, 2006

Quick Guide

Undersea Earthquake - Travel to Japan, where a major earthquake triggered a wave of tsunami fear.

Delta & US Airways - Find out about U.S. Airways' multibillion-dollar bid to buy its rival Delta Airlines.

Great American Smokeout - Learn exactly why smoking is so addictive, and get tips on how to kick the habit.



MONICA LLOYD, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Another day, another day for CNN Student News. Here with the top stories, I'm Monica Lloyd.

LLOYD: A big shake off the coast of Japan triggers a tsunami scare. Why the wave that came ashore failed to rock anyone's boat. U.S. Air makes a multi- billion dollar bid for a rival. Why this takeover attempt could mean less friendly skies for travelers. And Playstation 3 plays plenty of great games. As long they're not from Playstation 2! Why gamers have gone from geeked out to freaked out in Japan.

First Up: Undersea Earthquake

LLOYD: First up today, Sighs of relief in Japan after a tsunami threat fails to materialize. Some Pacific-rim countries were prepared for a tidal-wave lashing after an 8.3 magnitude earthquake hit near Japan's northern-most island of Hokkaido yesterday. Japanese officials warned of waves six-foot tall or higher. Thousands fled to higher ground. Evacuations centers were set up. What washed ashore, though, were waves more suitable for boogie boards. The first 16-inch tsunami caused no reported damage. Hours later, all tsunami warnings and watches were lifted. Japan's history with tidal waves is not always so benign. In 1993, a 100-foot-tall tsunami rocked Hokkaido. More than 200 people were killed. Richard Quest is in Tokyo, where the wave of concern washed away quietly.


RICHARD QUEST, CNN REPORTER: For several hours after the earthquake hit in the Pacific, the northeastern quarter of Japan was flashing red on weather maps. This was a sign that this was the most critical area at risk from the tsunami from the earthquake. Initial reports had suggested the tsunami could be up to two meters in height, waves of six foot or more. But by the time those waves actually arrived on the island of Hokkaido, they were just 40 centimeters. In some cases, much less than that: 30 and 20 centimeters, barely causing a ripple in bays and on shorelines. Residents had been told they should seek higher ground, a warning that they could be facing serious danger if the worst predictions had come true. It might be thought that all of this is a big fuss about nothing. Waves of just 40 centimeters. But the truth is Japan has had numerous serious tsunamis over the last several hundred years. In many cases, causing serious loss of life. This time, and indeed every time, they take no risk. Richard Quest, CNN, Tokyo Japan.


Your Opinion

LLOYD: After that minor tsunami, we've got a question for you. How do you react to weather warnings when you see them on the news? Do you: Head for the basement? Watch the t-v with a "wait-and-see" attitude? Or do you ignore the warnings altogether? E-mail us with your thoughts. Go to And click on the "contact us" link. There's no hype here. If you e-mail us what you think, we might air your thoughts.

Delta & US Airways

LLOYD: A multi-billion dollar offer is on the table that could shake up America's aviation industry. In surprise move, U.S. Airways has made an 8-billion bid to buy its bigger rival Delta Airlines. If accepted, the takeover would happen once Delta emerges from bankruptcy. U.S. Airways is the nation's seventh largest airline. Delta, with twice the passenger traffic, is number three. Together, they could be bigger than American Airlines, the nation's largest. Analysts say combining both carriers could mean higher fares. Don Lemon has more on both companies' distinct histories.


DON LEMON, CNN REPORTER: Give credit to the boll weevil and its voracious appetite for cotton for the birth of Delta air lines. In 1928, a man by the name of C.E. Woolman bought a crop-dusting operation in Georgia, moved it to Louisiana, renaming it Delta Air Service. Delta inaugurated passenger service out of Dallas in 1929. One year later, with the new name of Delta Air Corporation, it expanded eastward, including to Atlanta. And in 1941, Delta picked Atlanta as its new headquarters. Four years later the company changed its name to what it is today -- Delta Air lines.

Like Delta, U.S. Airways started small, delivering mail in the late 1930s, as All American Aviation. In the late '40s, it started passenger service as All American Airways. It's name changed again in the early '50s, to Allegheny Airlines. Following the deregulation of the airline industry in the late '70s, Allegheny became U.S. Air. It began flying under its current name -- U.S. Airways -- in 1997.

Both airline share at least one thing in common besides airplanes -- bankruptcy. U.S. Airways emerged from its latest stay in Chapter 11 last year and merged with America West. Delta is expected to get out from under the bankruptcy cloud next year. Both also have struggled in recent years with problems with their labor unions and low-price competitors like Jet-Blue, Air Tran and Southwest.


Great American Smokeout

LLOYD: The American Cancer Society says smoking sends almost 450-thousand people to premature graves every year. At least 38-thousand die from second-hand smoke. Today is the Cancer Society's "Great American Smokeout"... It's when puffers put down their smokes for a day, and sometimes for good. It's the nicotine that's tough to kick. But Christy Feig has some some tips that can transform smokers into quitters.


CHRISTY FEIG, CNN REPORTER: After more than a decade, Wendy Martin knows first hand just how hard it is to quit smoking ... she says she tried once, but made it only a month and a half.

WENDY MARTIN, SMOKER: If I had 5-dollars in my pocket and I was hungry and I was out of cigarettes, I would buy a candy bar and get a pack of cigarettes as opposed to getting a full meal.

FEIG: And that's the power of nicotine. The American Lung Association says there are nearly 5-thousand chemicals in cigarette smoke, 69 known to cause cancer, but it's that nicotine that makes this such a tough habit to kick.

BILL BLATT, AMERICAN LUNG ASSN.: Most smokers have to try to quit several times before they quit for good.

FEIG: But if you're ready to try, there are some steps that might help you succeed:

First pick a date-- get ashtrays and cigarettes out of your house in advance. Ask for support from friends and family, and find a distraction for when the cravings hit.

BLATT: The urge to smoke passes within 3 to 5 minutes whether you smoke or not.

FEIG: Consider nicotine replacements or other medicines, and avoid difficult situations. The best way to quit is to never to start.

MARTIN: If I could go back 12 years I would never have lit that first cigarette, because it's so much easier to not start than it is to start and try to quit.

FEIG: I'm Christy Feig reporting from Washington.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! Which of the following substances has NOT been found in cigarette smoke? If you think you know it, shout it out! A) Nicotine, B) Tar, C) Carbon monoxide or D) Ammonia? You've got three seconds--GO! Trick question! You'll find ALL of these in cigarette smoke. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Before We Go

LLOYD:Before we go, a glitch in the machine is spoiling a video game debut in Japan. Since Saturday, Playstation 3 has been selling like hotcakes. Turns out the new $600 consoles can't play hundreds of games from earlier Playstation versions. This 'backward incompatibility' has got gamers hot. It's also has Sony scrambling for solutions. Dan Sloan has more from Tokyo.


DAN SLOAN, REPORTER: Fresh from the weekend launch of its PlayStation 3 game console, Sony now faces some headaches at its cash-cow game business. The consumer electronics giant says some 200 PlayStation and PS2 game titles will not run on PS3, which Sony calls its most strategically important product. Audio for some software titles does not work on the PS3, while some games cannot be played at all. Sony has sold over 100 million units each of its PlayStation and PS2, and industry watchers says such hiccups are normal in the roll-out of any new product. Nonetheless, after a spate of technical and delivery issues in the last six months, Sony can afford few nicks to the brand now.

SLOAN: After selling nearly 90,000 PS3 units in two days in Japan, Sony will offer on-line upgrades for system software to address any glitches. PS3 sales begin in North America Friday, while gamers in Europe must wait until March because of a blue laser diode production glitch, key for the high-definition DVD player.

SLOAN: Sony is pitted in a battle royale with Nintendo and Microsoft for control of the $20 billion game market. Nintendo's next-generation Wii and its motion-control sensor will launch in the U.S. Sunday. For its Japan debut in early December, Nintendo will price the Wii at less than half the PS3 with four times as many consoles available at launch. Industry watchers say in addition to price and availability, game compatibility will be key in winning the year-end shopping season as well as the future allegiance of those willing to stand in line. Dan Sloan, Reuters, Tokyo.



LLOYD: We're here every day for you.. So join us tomorrow for more CNN Student News. Signing off, I'm Monica Lloyd.



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