(CNN Student News) -- January 19, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: I'm Carl Azuz and this is CNN Student News! We are back from a long weekend and hope you enjoyed it. We're bringing you today's commercial-free headlines, so hang out with us for a few minutes.
AZUZ: First up, Haiti: Rescue workers are searching for -- and finding -- survivors a week after the Caribbean nation was hit by a catastrophic earthquake. As of yesterday afternoon, crews from different countries had saved more than 75 people from the rubble. Some experts are warning about the aftermath of the earthquake; what's coming next. A lack of food and clean water, concerns about access to medical care: All of that could make the situation in Haiti even worse. It can be hard to imagine just how fast a natural disaster like this can strike. We want you to watch this video from the moment when the tremor hit. And let us point out, everyone in the house survived.
Incredible images there. Now, we want to get back to those rescue efforts. One of the ways that search teams are trying to locate victims is with specially trained dogs. Here's a look at how they get ready for that job.
BRUCE HALE, FIREFIGHTER/DOG HANDLER: Hey, buddy. You ready to find somebody? Rex! Search!
This dog right here, he is a live search dog, which means he will search on rubble piles. He's looking for only people that are living. He will not alert on someone that's deceased. And when he does find somebody that's alive, he will bark repeatedly.
What a good boy, Rex! What did you find? What did you find, buddy?
With the disaster that's taking place in Haiti right now with the earthquake, these dogs are really important, because so many buildings have collapsed, with so many people inside of them, and there are so many void spaces, and these dogs can pick up scent from five stories up, three stories up, to where it's literally rubble to the ground.
What we're going to do now is we're going to hide a victim down in here. This is great because it's pancake collapse, which means different floors. So, this could simulate the top floor, second floor, and the first floor.
You see, there's a bunch of hazards: There's rebar sticking out which can poke the dog, so they have to be really careful on how they walk and which path they take to come down in here.
We can clear this whole pile within 10 minutes, and it would take a team of 80 people probably close to two, three hours with cameras and listening devices to clear the pile.
This is Jerry. He is a three-year-old black lab from the pound. He is a high-energy, high-strung dog that people really don't want. If the Search Dog Foundation wouldn't have found Jerry, he definitely would have been put down.
The way the Search Dog Foundation takes a dog from being, in essence, going to be euthanized from a pound and trains it to what its real purpose was in life, and now he is used as a tool with the task force to find people, it's phenomenal. It's bittersweet.
As far as how good the dogs are, there's no scale to compare it. They're better than anything out there as far as finding people.
Good job, dude! Great job!
AZUZ: On our blog at CNNStudentNews.com, a student named Jaxon paralleled this earthquake to the tsunami that devastated Indonesia in 2004. He said "the people in Haiti need our help more than ever. If you can donate, donate. If you can start a fundraiser, start one. If you can help in any way, be assured, they need it." What's impressive to us is that many of you are helping. Amanda's student council is raising money to help the people of Haiti. "I really wish there was something else I could do," she writes. "I'm going to keep the people in my prayers." Brenda's school had a donut day, when they donated all the money they made to Haiti. Nicole wishes she could do something to help. "I know I can even though I am just one person, because one person can do a lot." She's right. And Hailey says, "I wish I was older because I've always wanted to be a missionary, and if I was old enough, I would absolutely go and help out."
Impact Your World
AZUZ: Many of you can help out from where you're sitting right now. Head to our home page, CNNStudentNews.com, and click on the Impact Your World link in the Spotlight section. You'll find a list of dozens of organizations there that are all working to get help to the earthquake victims in Haiti.
Is this Legit?
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this legit? The first national Martin Luther King Jr. holiday was observed in 1986. Legit! Legislation passed in 1983 scheduled the holiday for the third Monday in January. Dr. King's actual birthday is January 15.
AZUZ: And since yesterday was the third Monday in January, it was also Martin Luther King Day. For a lot of people, it's a day on, not a day off; a time to give back to their communities. Folks took part in hundreds of service projects across the U.S., from repainting schools to serving food at soup kitchens. People also donated time to charities that are focused on the needs of the earthquake victims in Haiti. Of course, the holiday also honors the man it's named after. And in his hometown of Atlanta, relatives laid a wreath at the tomb of Dr. King. Later in the day, a commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where the civil rights leader had served as pastor, paid tribute to his life and legacy.
AZUZ: All right, to politics: A special election is happening today in the state of Massachusetts. This race is going to fill the U.S. Senate seat that was left open when Senator Ted Kennedy passed away last August, and the result could affect the balance of power in the U.S. Senate. It has been nearly four decades since Massachusetts elected a Republican to the Senate. That streak may be about to end. Jim Acosta explains why.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Facing a volcano of voter anger, President Obama dashed off to Boston to prevent a Massachusetts meltdown. How important is Tuesday's election here?
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you were fired up in the last elections, I need you more fired up in this election.
ACOSTA: So important, the president parachuted into this campaign rally on the first lady's birthday.
OBAMA: Where we don't want to go right now is backwards, to the same policies that got us into this mess in the first place.
ACOSTA: Mr. Obama was out to rescue Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, who polls show could actually do the unthinkable for Democrats and lose Ted Kennedy's Senate seat. Kennedy's widow is on hand to support Coakley, who concedes the nation's top issue, the economy, is not on her side.
MARTHA COAKLEY, (D) MASSACHUSETTS SENATE CANDIDATE: People deserve to be angry, but we can't let that anger get in the way of remembering where it came from.
SCOTT BROWN, (R) MASSACHUSETTS SENATE CANDIDATE: This is my truck. I put a lot of miles on it during this campaign.
ACOSTA: Coakley's challenger, the pickup-driving Republican state lawmaker Scott Brown, has the backing of frustrated Tea Party voters.
ELLEN SVEGALIS, CONSERVATIVE VOTER: We don't like the health care. That's the bill that's in Congress right now. I think it's going to be a very dangerous control of our rights.
ACOSTA: Brown's vowing to deny Democrats the 60th vote in the Senate needed to pass health care reform.
BROWN: I want to be the person to go down there and send the health care back to its drawing board.
ACOSTA: This ultimate blue state is seeing red in part because some independents and conservatives who supported Democrats in the past are having second thoughts.
DENIS FITZGERALD, INDEPENDENT VOTER: I don't think it's, it's particularly the president. I don't think it's particularly Coakley. I think it's, it's the direction that this country is taking. We need to send a message to, to the people. The people are very angry.
ACOSTA: Even die-hard Democrats accuse Coakley, who once had a double-digit lead here, of running a lackluster campaign.
SCOTT OLSON, DEMOCRATIC VOTER: I wish she was more likeable as a candidate, but there's some things that are turning me off about her as a candidate.
ACOSTA: The race is so close Democrats are now trying to figure out if they can pass health care reform if Coakley loses and before Brown would take office, a scenario Republicans welcome.
MARY MATALIN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: They slow walk the certification and they warp speed the vote, that is it. That is it. You're going, we will win the House for sure and probably take over this Congress.
AZUZ: You might have noticed we haven't had any dedicated Shoutouts so far this semester. That's because we're waiting on you! If you want to get a Shoutout, there's only one way to do it: Have your teachers send us an iReport with a picture of your school. You'll find a link on how to do that in the Spotlight section at CNNStudentNews.com.
Before We Go
AZUZ: Before we go, a Chinese tourist attraction that's really cool. It is Beijing's annual ice festival, where every single frigid feature is carved entirely out of ice! These illuminated ice sculptures are actually large-scale versions of ice lanterns that people in northern China used to use for everyday lighting. The festival runs through the end of February, which is when the ice begins to melt. It's probably a good time to stop.
AZUZ: That puts today's show on ice. All right, I can feel your cold stares for that one, but just remember, we only have ice for you! For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.