(CNN Student News) -- May 28, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: The headlines are coming! The headlines are coming! They're here. It's Friday, which is awesome! I'm Carl Azuz. This is CNN Student News.
AZUZ: The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is up first today, and there is a lot of new stuff to tell you about. First: the "top kill" procedure. What we know: It started Wednesday afternoon. What we don't know: if it's successful. At least, we don't know yet. Yesterday, the Coast Guard said the top kill process was going as planned. A BP official said it had been a success so far, but he also said it'll take 24 to 48 hours to complete.
Another thing we do know: This is now the worst spill in American history. It could already be twice as big as the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989. For a while, the estimate was that this leak was spilling around 5,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf every day. New estimates say, nah ah: It could be anywhere from 12,000 to 19,000 barrels per day. That means between 18 and 30 million gallons of oil might have been spilled.
We've also talked about the controversy surrounding the Minerals Management Service. That's the government agency that oversees oil drilling. There have been accusations about mismanagement and inappropriate behavior from some members of the agency. Yesterday, the director of the MMS resigned, although some sources indicated that she was fired. Officials are investigating what caused this spill. In the meantime, President Obama wants to limit new oil drilling and exploration, at least for a while.
You can keep up with all the details on this throughout the weekend. This is a dynamic story, so head to CNNStudentNews.com. Meanwhile, you've heard about the impact of this oil spill. Rob Marciano is going to give us a first-hand look that is absolutely shocking. Watch this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was worse back there where it's super thick. I've never seen anything like it. Unreal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh man, look at that streak. Look at the holes off of those. It's thick, thick, thick.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like mud.
MARCIANO: That's unreal. This is ugly. This is really ugly.
Ugly is definitely an understatement. And we're only 12 miles from shore. By far, the thickest oil we've seen yet. This is just disturbing. Check it out. I mean, the oil, layers of oil actually building on each other in a putty-like form. This definitely is not dispersed. It's barely weathered at all. It almost looks like it's fresh, fresh from the pipe. Some areas of the oil are thicker than others. This is only the western edge of the slick. We are still not even 50 miles from the site of the spill. Unbelievable.
Our little armada pauses. We're out here with five other boats, and all of them have this nasty oil stuck to the hull. That's going to be a chore getting off. This boat just across the way, those guys are lowering a submersible camera to take a look at what the water and oil mixture looks like below the surface.
Boats are carrying scientists peering into and under the oil. Dr. Ian McDonald takes samples back to his lab in Florida, while Dr. Doug Inkley patrols for the National Wildlife Federation. A dead eel floats toward our boat. It too is taken as a sample, now headed to the lab for a closer look. Minutes later, something else is in the water. This one is alive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That animal might be in a lot of trouble.
DOUG INKLEY, NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION: You normally don't see sharks like this running around on the surface, but this animal looks like it's in distress.
MARCIANO: The shark dives as we approach. Along the way, we see other sea creatures struggling in the oil like this baby crab. What's on the surface is easy to see.
IAN MACDONALD, OCEANOGRAPHER, FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY: The animals like this that are out in the open ocean and we don't see them washed up. How do you assess that? You have a shark that dies in the water here and sinks to the bottom. Where's the assessment on that? How do you assess that?
MARCIANO: Can't count it. Much like the oil still spewing from the well, the amount of wildlife lost here may never be known. Rob Marciano, CNN, Venice, Louisiana.
Is this Legit?
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this legit? The Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1st. It's true! The Atlantic hurricane season officially lasts from June 1st to November 30th.
AZUZ: Some experts think this year's hurricane season could be extremely active. Hurricanes are rated by how intense they are; a lot of that has to do with their wind speed. If you hit a certain speed, the storm gets a name. Reynolds Wolf gives us the forecast for the 2010 Atlantic season.
REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN WEATHER ANCHOR: The reason why NOAA thinks this could be a very big season is for two reasons. One, sea surface temperatures are at record levels; very, very high. Another thing we've got going is very weak upper level winds. So, they've got a pretty good handle on this and what they're calling for would be 14 through 23 named storms; hurricanes, anywhere from eight to 14; and out of those hurricanes, seven to even three could be major hurricanes. So again, scary stuff.
AZUZ: Storms that form out in the Atlantic can also move into the Gulf of Mexico. So the question is, what kind of effect might they have on the oil spill? High winds could pick the oil up and hurl it onto the shore, spreading the impact of the spill. Or, if the storm makes waves, the oil could ride those waves into shore.
AZUZ: Will there be a new show on Monday? No. We're off for Memorial Day. Does this mean you have an extra day to check out our Facebook page? Yes. Will there be a new video? Maybe. They say everyone out there has a double somewhere. Mine is the star of our latest video. Facebook.com/cnnstudentnews.
AZUZ: We ran a story last week about a restaurant that allowed customers to pay whatever they could; prices weren't set in stone. On our blog at CNNStudentNews.com, most students -- 60 percent -- say this would work where they live. Heather is one of them. "I think when people aren't being forced to pay but are given the choice, we are more generous", she writes. Rehan writes "it wouldn't work in my city because people would take advantage of the opportunity." But Lary says it would work in his because people there are generous. Connor writes that "50 years ago, [he] would've said yes because people's morals, decency and character would've kept the restaurant afloat. Now, [he] believes everyone would scam these restaurants or rip them off." Notice this: We only accept your first names on the blog and we only use your first names on the show!
STAN CASE, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Coach Langford's world history class at Carroll High School in Southlake, Texas! What was Paul Revere's profession? You know what to do! Was he a: A) Silversmith, B) Horse trainer, C) Town crier or D) Lawyer? You've got three seconds -- GO! He might be best known for a horseback ride, but Paul Revere was a silversmith. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: Revere's silver shop made at least 90 different kinds of products. Everything from spoons to parts for a sword to a chain for a pet squirrel. His work was top notch. In fact, you might even say he was "revered" for it. Okay. That was 200 years ago. But as Frances Rivera of affiliate WHDH tells us, Revere's work is back in the headlines.
FRANCES RIVERA , WHDH REPORTER: Two Masons with an accidental find. They stumbled across Masonic jewels dating back to 1797 at a lodge in Concord.
JOHN RITCHIE, FOUND JEWELS: While working on the building, we managed to locate a bag hidden amongst the insulation. Unbeknownst to us, this bag that was all chewed up from animals or moths or something that had gottten trapped in a very old building, contained these items.
RIVERA: Ritchie says they were so busy with their work, the men just put the jewels aside.
RITCHIE: It did take us some time until we found out, almost a year and a half later. We were quite surprised when we actually did discover that they were as old as they were.
RIVERA: After doing some research, they say they think Paul Revere actually made the jewels.
RANDALL OXLEY, MASTER, CORINTHIAN LODGE: As the Grand Master and as the master who chartered lodges, he, being a silversmith, wanted to give a gift to the brothers that were going to be in that lodge and kind of put his mark on the craft at that time.
RIVERA: Each jewel represents an officer's position in the lodge. They're similar to the ones used today.
OXLEY: He left us a legacy with these jewels. The care and affection he put into them inspires us to want to leave a legacy to our community, our children and our craft.
Before We Go
AZUZ: Finally, we're gonna be off on Monday. You heard me mention the reason why earlier: it's Memorial Day. This tradition goes back nearly 150 years. It started out as a way to pay tribute to troops who died during the Civil War. And now, Memorial Day honors all of the men and women who have sacrificed their lives in service of their country.
AZUZ: CNN Student News salutes them. We'll be back on Tuesday for our last week of the school year. Hope everyone enjoys the long weekend. I'm Carl Azuz.