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CNN Student News Transcript: January 13, 2011

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CNN Student News - 1/13/11

(CNN Student News) -- January 13, 2011

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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: A problem that won't be solved, even if the solution is clear. The story and the reasons, leading off today's broadcast of CNN Student News! My name is Carl Azuz!

First Up: Winter Storm Woes

AZUZ: Florida is the only state in the union without snow on the ground and that includes Hawaii! In the northeast, that snow is deep. When a weather emergency is called in New York, which gets more than two feet of snow a year, you know it's bad. More than 1,700 flights have been canceled at New York city's 3 major airports, though the city's public schools stayed open. They're closed in Philly and Boston, though. And across Massachusetts, 64,000 homes had their power knocked out. Forecasters expect 24 inches in some areas. Some of this can be blamed on the storm system that iced out the southeast. And Martin Savidge explains how and why, that's likely to happen again!


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Officials knew Atlanta wasn't prepared for the storm. In fact, over the years the city made a conscious decision not to be ready.

Historically, what's been the attitude of the city when it comes to snow or ice?

MAYOR KASIM REED, (D) ATLANTA: Well, I mean, when I was a boy growing up here it was a day off, a day or two off. But now that I'm mayor, that's fundamentally different.

SAVIDGE: Atlanta has relied on two basic facts -- southern snowstorms are rare, and the best way to get rid of the snow is to simply let it melt. That logic fails about once a decade. This time the city remained shut down for days as roads became impassable. In fact the roads are still so bad I couldn't get to the experts I wanted to interview, so I called them.

Do we have any idea of what this snow event for the city of Atlanta may cost?


SAVIDGE: Cunningham says because a convention might have been snowed out doesn't mean the city lost money. Remember all those passengers stuck at the airport? Most would have just passed through. Instead they spent money on hotels and ate at area restaurants. What about all those businesses who couldn't work because their employees couldn't get in?

CUNNINGHAM [ON PHONE]: There is certainly some lost income associated with hourly workers not being able to get in and get paid. A lot of that aggregate output is going to be made up over the course of the year.

SAVIDGE: But why lose it at all? Why not just buy the equipment to handle the snow? I got that answer in my very next call to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

JILL GOLDBERG, DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY, GDOT [ON PHONE]: A snowplow is $250,000. You would need so many of them it would be $100 million or more to shell out in order to truly cover all of the interstates.

SAVIDGE: And that's not likely to happen in this economy.

There are many businesses that were unable to do business, employees couldn't come in. Millions of dollars, maybe tens of millions, maybe more, lost over what appears to be this 3 day period? Still not worth buying the trucks:

REED: My answer right now is no.

SAVIDGE: And you know what, the economist says the mayor's probably right. It appears that the business community, at least for now, is in agreement with the city that these events are so rare that its not worth the expense of investment of equipment and personnel.

CUNNINGHAM [ON PHONE]: I think that's a fair assessment.


House Condemns Shooting

AZUZ: A tone of coming together at the U.S. House of Representatives. Yesterday, lawmakers held a bipartisan Congressional prayer service in honor of the 19 shooting victims in Arizona. House Speaker John Boehner said, "our nation mourns for the victims, it yearns for peace and it thirsts for answers." Later, the House planned to vote on a Resolution, a statement, that spoke out against the Arizona shooting. President Obama left Washington, D.C. for Tucson, Arizona yesterday. Last night, he was scheduled to speak at a memorial service for attack victims. The president and first lady, whom you see here, were also planning to spend time at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where they were going to visit with victims' families.

Blog Report

AZUZ: We're turning now to our Facebook page, for some of your comments on the Arizona shooting. Justin writes that even if the suspect is mentally unstable, he was stable enough to target the Congresswoman, and therefore should be tried and thrown into prison. Savannah lives in a town near Tucson, in Gabrielle Giffords' area. She said she was completely shocked and that this was a horrible tragedy that never should've happened. And Aubrey states, "when things like this happen, I often wonder what were the signs that he was going to do this, and why could no one see them?" All of these comments from And on our blog: Jacob believes that in order for someone to carry a gun, they need to have a mental stability test. And listen to what Ben says: "This was a flaw in U.S. defense; There wasn't enough security at this gathering to prevent the shooting from happening. But if we lived in a civilized country, we wouldn't need that security." You can talk to us at And of course at our blog at!

Is This Legit?

CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is This Legit? Queensland is a state in New Zealand. Not Legit! Queensland is a state in Australia.

Australia Floodwaters Rising

AZUZ: Parts of Queensland, Australia are suffering through what's being called the worst natural disaster in the state's history. Massive flooding has left huge areas of Queensland underwater. And it's not just the people in the middle of these floods who've been affected. Some areas that were able to stay dry have been completely cut off for weeks. Supplies had to be brought in by helicopter. Phil Black is where people are racing against the rising tide.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Brisbane river churned swiftly, sweeping away boats, their jetties and other huge pieces of debris. And the water steadily began creeping beyond its banks. But this was just the beginning. This marker on a riverside pub showed what to expect. 2011 is predicted to get very close to the floods of 1974. Very quickly the first streets were inundated and locals were shocked by the water's speed.

It's well up there already isn't it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:It is. It's coming up real quick.

BLACK: All along the river people desperately packed what they could into cars and trailers. They raced the water, and some kept going even when they were clearly falling behind. Philip Johnston got his family out before the floods reached his home.

PHILIP JOHNSTON, BRISBANE RESIDENT: We've got places to go to so we're right with that. Some of the lower lying guys are going to lose everything.

ADAM BESWICK, BRISBANE RESIDENT IN ROW BOAT: Water was halfway up the driveway. Waist deep at the gate.

BLACK: We rowed with Adam Beswick to his home, past others with water already up to the ceiling. Beswick's house is on a small hill and on stilts, but he believes it will be swamped.

If the prediction is accurate, how high up will this come? How much of it will be covered?

BESWICK: I would probably think up to this ridge here but not the main ridge.

BLACK: And all of this is just one street. What you are seeing here is going to be experienced by, it's estimated, more than 20,000 homes and properties across the city. Some people were clearly taking things casually. Some were too casual and too slow to realize the seriousness of their situation. More proof of just how quickly this water is coming in. These rescue boats have been called out to help people who very suddenly found themselves surrounded by water.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We couldn't evacuate before and we just couldn't go anywhere so we ended up calling the police.

BLACK: How would you describe what you've seen out there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:It's pretty horrendous actually. Especially looking at the river. It's just frightening looking at the power of nature there.

BLACK: The extent of that power will be known soon with flood waters expected to peak here on Thursday.

Phil Black, CNN, Brisbane, Australia.



CNN STUDENT NEWS: We know you want a Shoutout dedicated to your class on CNN Student News and there is one way to get it, so listen up, y'all! First: Have your teacher take an original photo of your school. It has to be an original, not taken from anywhere else. Then: Head to, and scroll down the page to the "How Do I" box on the left side. You click "How do I get a Shoutout?" And you follow the instructions to get your iReport to us. Hope to hear from you soon!

Before We Go

AZUZ: If you've ever visited us here at the CNN Center, you've been only a snowball's throw, from the world famous Peachtree Street. These days, it's more like an ice rink. A place where driving is deleterious, but skating is serious! Or at least seriously possible. Of everyone who's ever passed through the middle of downtown Atlanta, this guy's gotta be one of the only people ever, to do it on ice skates.


AZUZ: At least as far as ice-see it. It's like Peachtree on ice: A once-in-a-lifetime sight to ski. We'll ski ya tomorrow, on air, online, on iTunes, and probably still on ice. I'm Carl Azuz!