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CNN Student News Transcript: October 8, 2007

  • Story Highlights
  • Get a sense of the tension in Pakistan following a recent election
  • Learn how a rare amoeba is causing a health concern in some U.S. lakes
  • Find out why a famous track and field star is retiring from the sport
  • Next Article in Living »
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(CNN Student News) -- October 8, 2007

Quick Guide

Pakistan Elections - Get a sense of the tension in Pakistan following a recent election.

Dangerous Waters - Learn how a rare amoeba is causing a health concern in some U.S. lakes.

Coming Clean - Find out why a famous track and field star is retiring from the sport.



MONICA LLOYD, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Thanks for stopping in for CNN Student News on this Columbus Day, 2007! I'm Monica Lloyd. Let's see if you can figure out where we're starting things off today.

ID Me: Pakistan

CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS: See if you can I.D. me! I'm a nation located in South Asia. The Indus River flows from my northeast border all the way down to the Arabian Sea. My capital is Islamabad. I'm Pakistan, home to more than 164 million people!

First Up: Pakistan Elections

LLOYD: Many of those Pakistanis are celebrating right now over the results of Saturday's presidential election. When the votes were counted, President Pervez Musharraf appeared to have won by an overwhelming majority. But there's a catch: Musharraf might not even be eligible to hold office. The country's Supreme Court is looking at that issue right now. But the day after the election, Dan Rivers visited a Pakistani market and learned that some people aren't as concerned with the result, as they are with what it means for their country's economy.


DAN RIVERS, CNN REPORTER: President Musharraf is acting as if the election is in the bag, even though the country's Supreme Court has still to rule on his eligibility as a candidate. His supporters celebrated into the night. He claims to have won by a landslide, but the opposition boycotted the ballot, saying President Musharraf broke rules by remaining a general during the vote. At one of the capital's Sunday markets though, the talk was about prices, not politics. Pakistan's economy has been gripped by high inflation, and many blame President Musharraf. Islam Khan, his wife Gunshan and daughter Tammy moved back here after living in the UK six years ago. They've noticed their weekly grocery shopping has gotten much more expensive.

ISLAM KHAN, SHOPPER: All people are angered by it. You always notice people challenging the shopkeepers.

RIVERS: I ask him to give me a concrete example.

KHAN: Last week tomatoes were, um, 16 rupees; now they're 50, 52.

RIVERS: Most people here seem more concerned about the price of produce in the market than about the result of yesterday's election. They think the politicians have forgotten about the poor while they're busy vying for power.

MAN ON THE STREET: It's very difficult to survive; poverty is reaching sky high.

MAN ON THE STREET: Many people, nearly 60 percent people, are saying it is due to Musharraf, the current increase in prices.

RIVERS: Even those who broadly support Musharraf, like Islam Khan, think the president has neglected the economy. Like many here, he simply wants the political wrangling to end and someone to stop prices spiraling out of control. Dan Rivers, CNN, Islamabad.


Word to the Wise

AZUZ: A Word to the Wise...

amoeba (noun) a tiny, single-celled organism that can change shape to take in food. Amoebas are found in soil, saltwater and freshwater.


Dangerous Waters

LLOYD: The temperature's high and you're looking to cool off. Sounds like a good time to head for the water! Now, other than the occasional splash in the face, you might not think there's much to watch out for when you're hanging out at the lake. But as John Zarrella explains, a rare amoeba is causing a much more dangerous threat.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN REPORTER: They were all healthy and young.

RAY HERRERA, VICTIM'S DAD: Played sports; played lacrosse.

ZARRELLA: Ray and Deidre Herrera lost their 12-year-old son Jack in August. He'd been swimming in Lake LBJ in Austin, Texas.

RAY HERRERA: It's beyond description to watch your most precious, beautiful, wonderful loved one become a vegetable, essentially, and then die.

ZARRELLA: Jack died from a microscopic organism, an amoeba that entered his brain through his nose, something the Herreras had never heard of.

DEIDRE HERRERA, VICTIM'S MOTHER: This is the United States of America, cutting edge technology. Why does no one know about this? Why have we never heard about this before?

ZARRELLA: Because, health officials say, it is very rare. But not this summer: Six deaths in lakes from Florida to Arizona. The most recent, a 14-year-old swimming in Arizona's Lake Havasu. The amoeba lives in the shallows of freshwater lakes. It flourishes when water temperatures go above eighty degrees. It can kill within two weeks. Because symptoms mimic the flu, health officials say it often goes misdiagnosed.

DR. KEVIN SHERIN, ORANGE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT: If they've been in the freshwater bodies in the intervening week or two prior, that certainly has to be considered.

ZARRELLA: Health officials have no idea why it seems to affect primarily young boys. They may be more likely to roughhouse in the water, stirring up sediment and amoebas. But why so many now? During the past two decades, there had been only 23 cases in the U.S.

DR. REBECCA SUNENSHINE, ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: Because it's been such a hot summer that it has contributed to warmer water temperatures and lower water levels, and that makes an ideal environment for the amoeba.

ZARRELLA: And if climate change means hotter, drier summers become the norm, some health officials worry that may translate to more cases of amoeba deaths in the future. Right now, the only way to reduce the risk if you are going to be going swimming in lakes over 80 degrees: Wear one of these, a nose clip. John Zarrella, CNN, Orlando, Florida.


Fast Facts

AZUZ: Some athletes abuse anabolic steroids to help build muscle mass. But here are some of the side effects they're risking: liver tumors, cancer and severe acne. In addition, men who abuse steroids may become infertile and develop breasts. And women may grow facial hair and experience male-pattern baldness. Steroids are also known to keep young people from reaching their full height if the drugs are used before adolescents hit their growth spurts.

Coming Clean

LLOYD: One of track and field's most recognizable stars is leaving the sport because of steroids. Marion Jones announced her retirement on Friday. She admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs around the 2000 Summer Olympics, where she won five medals, three of them gold. Jim Acosta looks at how Jones' situation might have an effect on young athletes.


REPORTER: How do you feel Marion?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN REPORTER: As it turns out, Marion Jones wasn't the fastest. She was a fraud. But after Jones finally came clean, admitting she had used steroids, the disgraced Olympic athlete suggested she could be a role model once again, for what not to do.

MARION JONES, ADMITTED STEROID USER: I promise that these events will be used to make the lives of many people improve.

ACOSTA: Just 24 hours after her stunning downfall...


ACOSTA: ...Runners and their parents at this high school cross country meet in New York City had a brand new impression of Marion Jones.

ACOSTA: Is this someone you looked up to as an athlete?

BIANCA RODRIGUEZ, HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY RUNNER: It was someone I looked up to until she actually, like, admitted that she did that. And then, like, everything just totally went a different way.

ACOSTA: The transformation of Marion Jones from sports hero to sports zero may help stop today's young athletes from using steroids, because it's a reminder of that old adage, that winners never cheat and cheaters never win.


ACOSTA: A wake-up call that couldn't have come soon enough, says Sports Illustrated's Luis Fernando Llosa, who has investigated steroids use in athletics.

LLOSA: If she gets all her Olympic medals taken away from her, and she ends up in jail and broke, then they see the arch of this story.

ACOSTA: A recent federal study found that steroid use at the high school level has doubled since the 90s. Even some eighth graders are experimenting with performance-enhancing drugs. Columbia University sprinter Whitney Crayton hopes to see a change in attitude at the track.

WHITNEY CRAYTON, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY SPRINTER: I've won races. I've lost races. But the struggling, the fighting, the losing that you go through, as a growing process, it makes the winning that much more valuable.

ACOSTA: Winning with integrity was something Marion Jones proved along the way, would not happen for her.

JONES: There exists no one who can truthfully testify that I have ever used performance-enhancing drugs.

ACOSTA: She won five Olympic medals. But as the entire world, including many of her youngest fans, found out, Marion Jones couldn't outrun the truth. Jim Acosta, CNN, New York.



LLOYD: Missed a day of CNN Student News? No reason to worry. You can find past programs on our Web site, Just go to that day's transcript and click on the Video tab at the top of the page.

Before We Go

LLOYD: Before we go, geeks of the world, set your phasers for fun! If you're serious about sci-fi, avid for anime or rabid for RPGs -- that's role playing games -- this geekly gathering is for you. It's the first annual Geek Kon! The event is the brainchild of some University of Wisconsin-Madison students. And with everything from a costume contest to a Guitar Hero tournament, it has hundreds of ways for self-professed nerds to get their geek on.



LLOYD:That's where we beam out for today. But we'll see you tomorrow for more CNN Student News. Thanks for watching, everybody. I'm Monica Lloyd. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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