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Quick Guide & Transcript: Typhoon hits Philippines, Cabinet nominee gears up for Senate hearings

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(CNN Student News) -- December 4, 2006

Quick Guide

Typhoon Disaster - Find out what might have weakened some areas of the Philippines before Typhoon Durian hit.

Gates at the Gate - Get a profile of the man who's expected to become the country's next defense secretary.

"Beautiful Game" Gets Ugly - Understand how a violent incident led to the postponement of a soccer match in France.



CHRISTINA PARK, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Glad you could join us for this Monday edition of CNN Student News! I'm Christina Park. The worst may be over for the storm-ravaged Philippines, but the clean-up process has just begun. The current defense secretary may be just days away from retirement. Find out who's expected to take over his old job. And pain and protest are probably not what you'd associate with soccer. Learn why one field fell silent in France.

First Up: Typhoon Disaster

PARK: First up today, a state of "calamity." That's what the president of the Philippines has declared, following a typhoon that roared through last Thursday. The Red Cross estimates that some 66-thousand people are now homeless, more than a thousand others may be dead. A typhoon is essentially a hurricane that occurs in the western Pacific Ocean. Dan Rivers takes us through some of the worst-hit areas, where grief and shock are all that some people have left.


DAN RIVERS, CNN REPORTER: Buried under tons of mud and rubble, entire villages in the Albay province of the Philippines have simply disappeared. Consumed by mudslides, triggered by this ferocious typhoon, this is now a wasteland containing hundreds of bodies. In the shadow of Mount Mayon, survivors pick through the debris of their destroyed homes. Many feared a volcanic eruption; few believed a storm could be just as devastating. The mortuaries are crowded with corpses; many more are expected to be recovered. But there's not enough room for the dead. Shopping plazas and municipal buildings are quickly filling with bodies. People here knew Durian was coming, but none expected it to be quite as deadly. It's thought seismic activity had disturbed the top soil over recent months, making it more susceptible to mudslides. The deluge that accompanied the vicious winds simply washed parts of the volcano over nearby villages. Those that survived are utterly overwhelmed with grief; the scale of this tragedy is too much to take in.

GWENDOLYN PANG, RED CROSS SPOKESPERSON: There are two villages from Ginobata and Albay that were reported to be wiped off the Philippines map and its estimated there could be thousands of people killed in that area.

RIVERS: Survivors are making do with the little food they have salvaged from their smashed homes. Each with their own heart-rending story. 'We struggled to hold on to a fallen tree. I tried not to let go, but I lost hold of my child's hand. He died.' Now the challenge is to reach those in need, with food and shelter to stop disease compounding this tragedy. Dan Rivers CNN, Manila.


PARK: Aid for the Philippines is pouring in from across the globe. Canada has pledged almost 900-thousand dollars in relief money. The U.S. and the Netherlands are also promising to help. Here's one way you can contribute.

Iraq Policy Memo

PARK: The New York Times reported over the weekend that the outgoing defense secretary thinks it's time for change in Iraq. In a classified memo leaked to the newspaper, Donald Rumsfeld said a "major readjustment" is necessary. He added that a reduction in the number of U.S. forces, or a revision in the U.S. mission there are options. The memo was dated two days before Rumsfeld's resignation was announced.

Gates at the Gate

PARK: And the man whom President Bush nominated to replace Rumsfeld will be in the hot-seat this week. Former CIA Director Robert Gates is scheduled to meet with the Senate Armed Services Committee tomorrow. Senators are expected to confirm him as the new defense secretary, probably before Christmas. But as Gary Nurenberg reports, Gates could face some tough questions in his job interview.


GARY NURENBERG, CNN REPORTER: When Ronald Reagan wanted to elevate then Deputy CIA Director Robert Gates to replace William Casey as CIA director in 1987, Gates was accused of having slanted intelligence to reflect administration pre conceptions.

MELVIN GOODMAN, GATES OPPONENT: Under Bob Gates and Bill Casey the CIA became a corrupt organization.

NURENBERG: Some 1987 senators were skeptical Gates had told the truth about his knowledge of arms deals that were the basis of the infamous Iran-Contra scandal.

ROBERT GATES, CIA DEPUTY DIRECTOR: We had a very intensive series of questions over a long period of hours.

NURENBERG: The criticism became so intense, Reagan withdrew the nomination. Gates went to work at the White House under the first president Bush and National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, who sings his praises.

NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER BRENT SCOWCROFT: He is a dedicated patriot. He has served this country for decades.

NURENBERG: President Bush nominated Gates for CIA chief again in 1991. That time he was confirmed and served as CIA director until 1993, urging employees to refrain from slanting intelligence.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, : He was deeply affected by the perception that he had slanted intelligence and that he then, as director, lived to the credo of speaking truth to power.

NURENBERG: But long-time congressional critics are skeptical.

SEN. CARL LEVIN, (D) MICHIGAN: Is he willing to speak truth to power? Is he willing to tell the president what the president might not want to hear?

NURENBERG: His supporters say: Yes.

SCOWCROFT: Not only, "gee, this would be a good thing to do, but what happens if you try it and it doesn't work?" Then where are you?

NURENBERG: Gates has recently served as president of Texas A & M University.

DOUG SLACK TEXAS A & M PROFESSOR: One of the hallmarks of his presidency is he expects alternative views before he makes decisions.

NURENBERG: But a former colleague who clashed with Gates says:

GOODMAN: He is a political windsock. He serves his master. No one serves a master better than Bob Gates.

NURENBERG: Senate critics of administration Iraq policy may not exactly like Bob Gates as secretary of defense, but he may well get their support this week because they don't dislike him as much as they dislike the current occupant of the office. Gary Nurenberg, CNN, Washington.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! How many favorable votes are needed in the U.S. Senate to confirm a presidential nominee? If you think you know it, shout it out!

Is it: A) Two-thirds B) 25 C) One-third D) Simple majority? You've got three seconds--GO!

In the U-S Senate, only a simple majority -- even if it's as close as 51 to 49 -- is needed to confirm a presidential nominee. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

"Beautiful Game" Gets Ugly

PARK: You've probably heard insults shouted at a visiting team during a football game. In Europe, some fans recently crossed the line. Soccer is the continent's most popular sport, and it attracts hooligans, people out to stir up trouble, as well as peaceful fans. Jim Bittermann brings us a story of how racism and death put an ugly face on the so-called "beautiful game."


JIM BITTERMANN, CNN REPORTER: The only football being played at the Paris St. Germain stadium Sunday was a father and son friendly. The scheduled match between PSG and Toulouse was postponed because authorities feared there could be violence if the game went ahead as planned. Even without the match, obsessive PSG fans known as the 'Ultras' were in the streets anyway to silently march in memory and protest the shooting death of one their own ten days ago. After a match with a team from Tel Aviv, police say that French fans cornered and were abusively threatening a Jewish fan when a plain clothes police officer intervened. Believing both were in grave danger, the officer fired his service revolver killing one PSG fan and wounding another. A magazine reporter who has written extensively about soccer hooliganism witnessed most of the incident and says those involved are well known to the police and thrive on violence.

PHILIPPE BROUSSARD, L'EXPRESS MAGAZINE: There is, generally speaking, not only in football, a kind of fascination for some young people for violence. They live with it, they want to feel it. They call it adrenaline, to have the feeling of violence and they are happy when they do that.

BITTERMANN: The players and club have repeatedly spoken out against the kind of racist behavior they have seen in the stands but with little effect. Authorities first announced they were planning to close down a section of the stadium where the troublemakers gather, but then hearing they might try to storm the stadium if they were locked out, The match was postponed.

BITTERMANN: The Interior minister says he would rather see the stands empty than full of unwanted people. But critics say closing a section of the stadium or postponing a match is just postponing dealing with the problem. Something they say that has been for two decades now. Jim Bittermann, CNN, Paris.


Before We Go

PARK: Before we go, Michael Schumacher is the Michael Jordan of Formula One racing, one of the greatest drivers on the planet. Now that he's retired, he's showing up in slightly different competitions. For example, this 24-hour go-kart contest! And even though Schumacher raced karts long before he raced cars, his team didn't place in this race. He jokingly blamed the pit crew and said he had fun, which is really what it was all about.


PARK: And that's the checkered flag for today's show. For CNN Student News, I'm Christina Park.


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


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