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CNN Student News Transcript: November 14, 2007

  • Story Highlights
  • Discover how an aggressive strain of bacteria spreads in the human body
  • Find out why the governor of Georgia made a heavenly appeal for rain
  • Learn why an exhibit of ancient artifacts means big bucks for Britain
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(CNN Student News) -- November 14, 2007

Quick Guide

Superbug Threat - Discover how an aggressive strain of bacteria spreads in the human body.

Praying for Rain - Find out why the governor of Georgia made a heavenly appeal for rain.

The Biz of Tut - Learn why an exhibit of ancient artifacts means big bucks for Britain.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: You've hit the halfway mark of the week here at CNN Student News. We're glad to have you along with us. From the CNN Center, I'm Carl Azuz.

First Up: Superbug Threat

AZUZ: First up, new information about a bacteria that's being blamed for a lot of recent illnesses. Every year, an estimated 90,000 people in the U.S. are infected by this bug. It's called MRSA, and it's a lot more serious than the flu. That's because it's resistant to most antibiotics. Last month, officials at a North Carolina high school discovered that six football players had a MRSA infection. And the bacteria is responsible for the death of a Virginia student. But the new information might offer some clues on how to beat this superbug.


AZUZ: New info published in the journal Nature: It describes how a strain of MRSA -- methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus -- spreads through the body. The infection has previously been linked to hospitals and health-care places. But doctors are seeing a newer, more aggressive strain of the infection called community-associated MRSA. It can cause otherwise-healthy people outside of health-care facilities to get seriously ill or die. How? By killing off the cells that defend the body from infection.

Researchers discovered a substance in community-associated MRSA that literally causes immune cells to burst. Without those cells to protect you, the disease is free to spread. But there is some good news here. Now that scientists know what's causing the bacteria to spread, they can start working on ways to go after it: new drugs, new cures. And that means new hope for wiping MRSA off the map. In the meantime...

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: To avoid MRSA, you really need to keep two things in mind. MRSA gets into your body often through a cut or a scrape on your skin, so keep that in mind if you have a cut or a scrape. And the second thing to keep in mind is that you can get it from someone else through skin-to-skin contact.

AZUZ: So, here's what you should do: Shower immediately after contact sports. If you get MRSA bacteria on your skin, you can often wash it right off. Don't borrow anyone else's razor. That can put you in contact with someone else's bacteria. Don't even share towels, same idea there. And what's really important: Keep your cuts covered. Find a bandage and use it. It will both protect you from bacteria and help your cuts to heal. And of course, it's always a good idea to wash your hands. One more thing to keep in mind: There is an antibiotic that treats MRSA. So, if you have any concerns that you may have contracted it, just be sure to bring it up with your doctor.



AZUZ: So, what are the symptoms of MRSA? Most often, MRSA appears as a skin infection with a small sore on the skin. Some people mght mistake it for a spider bite. How do you treat the disease if you do get it? And how does MRSA spread? We've got a Learning Activity that helps your students research the answers to those questions. Check it out at

MRSA I-Report

AZUZ: And while you're there, you can watch this student I-Report from Long Island, New York. James Brierton went to a lecture on MRSA infections and sent us back what he found out. And if that weren't enough, we've posted an entry about MRSA on our blog! So, check it out and leave us your comments. It's all at

Praying for Rain

AZUZ: Switching gears now, parts of the U.S. are suffering through one of the worst dry spells in history. And officials are trying anything they can think of to fight the drought. Impose water restrictions. Check. Work on water-sharing plans with other states. Check. Pray for rain? Why not? Rusty Dornin has the details on an appeal to the heavens, about the heavens.


RUSTY DORNIN, CNN REPORTER: It is scenes like these that require a little divine intervention, according to Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. So, he and about two hundred Georgians gathered for that reason only.

GOV. SONNY PERDUE, (R) GEORGIA: To very reverently and respectully pray up a storm.

DORNIN: And pray, they did.

PASTOR MAURICE WATSON, BEULAHLAND BIBLE CHURCH: Ask the Lord for Rain. And that's what we are here to do, to simply say: Lord, let it rain. Let it rain on our fields.

DORNIN: This is not the first time a Georgia governor has asked his constituents to pray for rain. But it is the first time it's been done on the steps of the state Capitol.

DORNIN: Is it appropriate to have his prayer vigil on the state steps of the Capitol?

SOT: Yes. Our nation was found on Godly principals, so definitely.

DORNIN: While there wasn't exactly fire and brimstone, there were some admissions of guilt.

REV. GIL WATSON: Father, we acknowlege our wastefulness. We acknowlege that we have not done those things that we know we should. And God, we call upon you today to meet that need.

EDWARD MURRAY, RESIDENT: I think it's one of our worst droughts that we've seen in a hundred years, so I just came out to support and see what was going on.

DORNIN: Hoping it works?

MURRAY: Hoping it will. Yeah, I believe it will.

DORNIN: Across town, news of the prayer vigil was suprising to some.

DANIEL GONZALES, ATLANTA RESIDENT: It's a little weird, considering it's like you're supposed to have a separation of church and state. So, it's interesting to hear that the governor did that.

DORNIN: But here, eyes were occasionally drawn to the heavens. And yes, it just so happens...

CHAD MYERS, CNN WEATHER REPORTER: Atlanta, still down to the south, but this is the first chance for rain.

DORNIN: You brought your raincoats. It's supposed to rain tomorrow. Do you think you guys will have anything to do with that?

PERSON ON THE STREET: Sure. No, we're not, God is!

DORNIN: On a more earthly plane, the governor is asking all Georgians to conserve water, he's involved in legal battles, and urging President Bush to help out the state. The city of Atlanta is looking at just about 9 months' supply of water. Rusty Dornin, CNN, Atlanta.



AZUZ: Time for the Shoutout! Who ruled Egypt between about 1333 and 1323 B.C.? You know what to do! Was it: A) Ramses, B) Akhenaton, C) Nefertiti or D) Tutankhamun? You've got three seconds -- GO! King Tut was in charge of Egypt during this time. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

The Biz of Tut

AZUZ: 3,000 years after King Tut sat on his throne, his body is still around, and so is a lot of his stuff! In fact, an exhibit of his ancient artifacts is opening in London this week. And the King is attracting other royalty: Prince Charles checked out the exhibit yesterday. As Alphonso Van Marsh tells us, Tut's treasures are expected to translate into big bucks for Britain.


ALPHONSO VAN MARSH, CNN REPORTER: Egyptian treasures that have survived the sands of time are back in London. From when English archaeologist Howard Carter pulled priceless relics from the Egyptian pharaoh's tomb in 1922, the treasures of King Tut have fascinated the world. Last time his artifacts toured London, the lines snaked around The British Museum, the wait up to eight hours.

DR. ZAHI HAWASS, EGYPTIAN SUPREME COUNCIL OF ANTIQUITY: London is going to shine with gold, the gold of Tutankhamun.

VAN MARSH: Today, objects telling the story of King Tut and his relatives are at the Millennium Dome, now known as the O2 Arena. The British Museum, already committed to its popular "First Emperor of China" exhibit, says it's not losing out on the return of the Tut's goods. But with two sure-fire hit exhibits in town at the same time, the race for antiquity dollars is on.

When the First Emperor exhibit opened in September, the British Museum says it pre-sold almost 151,000 tickets; each adult admission about $25. The O2 says that they've sold and reserved 325,000 tickets ahead of King Tut's opening day. Each adult will pay between $30 and $42. And that's just the beginning. Both exhibitors are saying they are expecting a holiday rush.

And since it is the season to be giving, gift shops at each exhibit have no shortage of merchandizing options for the old, the young and, apparently, the young at heart. The British Museum says it will easily clear two million dollars in merchandizing sales during the First Emperor's six-month tour. The head of King Tut merchandizing says he's expecting $10 million in sales during the year-long London exhibition.

HAWASS: Fifty-five years ago, we made nothing, no money at all. But now, for the first time, Egypt is making $140 million from this exhibit for the conservation of the Egyptian relics.

VAN MARSH: Seeing these relics up close, it's hard to believe that they are more than 3,000 years old. Like this winged serpent goddess, one of the many objects found buried with the boy king. But if you want to see one of the best known of King Tut's relics, this funerary mask used in all the promotional materials for the exhibit, well you'll have to travel to Cairo. Egyptian Officials say it's simply too delicate to leave the country. Alphonso Van Marsh, CNN, London.


Before We Go

AZUZ: And before we go, two tales of toppling towers. In Las Vegas, it's not often that you see the house fold. But that's just what happened early yesterday when the New Frontier went to its final frontier. The 65-year-old hotel and casino was imploded to make way for a new resort. And it came down like a house of cards. Or a skycraper, in this case. Check it out: Even a leafblower can only do some minor damage. Are you kidding? How is that thing still standing? To really bring this design down, you have to dig in with both hands, remove the right cards and then just wait for the inevitable.



AZUZ: Which was probably followed by the world's worst game of 52-pickup. That's gonna wrap things up for today. But we'll see you right back here tomorrow. Until then, I'm Carl Azuz. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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