Return to Transcripts main page


Government Investigation into GM`s Failure to Recall Dangerous Products; Unmapped Bottom of Indian Ocean Making Recovery of Flight 370 Extremely Difficult; One day of Air Traffic Controller at Busiest Airport

Aired April 2, 2014 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Hi. I`m Carl Azuz. It`s a privilege to welcome you to CNN STUDENT NEWS, ten minutes of commercial free current events. First up this Wednesday, April Second, General Motors has seen better days, the maker of Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC has recalled more than 2.5 million vehicles worldwide. The reason - a problematic ignition switch that can slip out of place while someone`s driving. Disabling the engine, the airbags, power steering and power breaks. GM`s new CEO Mary Barra was on Capitol Hill yesterday. She was there to apologize and to answer investigators` questions. GM says the ignition switch problem caused 13 deaths and car accidents. And because ten years passed between the time when the problem was first discovered and when GM ordered the recall this February, lawmakers are trying to find out why the company waited so long.

Backup cameras. If you`ve been inside a newer truck or SUV, you might have seen one. It gives you a view of what`s behind the vehicle. That appears on the screen in the dashboard or a rearview mirror. At the moment, backup cameras are in option on many cars. The U.S. government is making them the law. All new cars, SUVs, trucks and vans will have to have one by 2018. The government estimates this will save between 60 and 70 lives every year, and they`ll increase visibility, especially in larger vehicles. Some families who`ve lost loved ones in backover accidents, say the law is long overdue. But it will add to the cost of cars. The government estimates a complete system will start at $132. And some critics say smaller vehicles like roasters or smartcars simply don`t need them.

What you are about to see almost looks like a scene from a war movie or a on older version of "Call of Duty" but this is real. This is recent. This is from Syria. Someone mounted the camera on a tank to get this. And notice, not just the firing, but the areas around the tank. Shot up, shell, burned out buildings where people used to live, shop and work. These are scenes from Syria`s civil war, which started three years ago. It`s between the government forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and various rebel groups who want that government out.

Terrorists have also joined in the fighting. One observation group says at least 150,000 people have been killed in the civil war. As many as a third of the victims are reportedly civilians.

A United Nations` peace mediator said last week, that talks between the Syrian government and the rebels are unlikely to continue any time soon. So the war will likely rage on.

There`s not much new information to give you about a missing Malaysia Airlines passenger plane. Nothing has been recovered after 26 days. The batteries on the plane`s locator beacon are probably running out, but you`ve got to be close to be close to the wreckage to hear the beacon. Officials` orient. One reason the search has been so difficult is because the ocean is so vast. We know more about the surface of Mars than what`s under the surface of our oceans.


CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You can`t take a picture from a satellite of the ocean floor and get the symmetry, get the up and down, get the canyons. You just can`t see through the ocean far enough. So, how do we get that data? We have a pinger on the ship and the ship moves along. While the pinger just like a fish finder, finds the bottom, depending on how far away the bottom is, that`s about a mile or so width. It can be farther. If it`s a 12,000 feet the beam goes out farther. So, its` a wider footprint. But the ship could really only go about five miles per hour or so to get a really decent ping if you`re trying to map the bottom of the ocean. And try to go faster, but here`s what happens: when you ping, and then you wait for it to come back up, if you are going too fast, the ship is here, and ping will get to the transducer on the bottom of the boat. So, you can`t go too fast.

So, five miles per hour, that`s the assumption, one mile width, that`s the assumption. So, that`s five square miles per hour of the ocean.

There`s 130 million square miles of the ocean bottom. I did the math, I divided it all up. If you never stop for fuel and you never stop for new sailors, it will take you 2955 years to map the ocean with one ship. Here`s the deal: we`d love to have a pattern here in the past that looks something like what (INAUDIBLE) back and forth, and back and forth, and back and forth, there`ll be a couple of miles, you need to get a really great sense. We don`t have that. What we really have are these lines where ship went that way. And then a ship went that way. But there`s an awful lot of blue in between all of those spots. And do the same thing for the U.S., it`s a lot better because of NoVa, all of this has been essentially mapped, we get some blue skies, blue areas out here, far enough away or far enough out here in the Pacific, but on the way back and forth to Hawaii, down here pretty good, even off the coast of Mexico pretty good. It`s because of the remoteness of that ocean that we simply don`t know what it looks like.

Here`s what a stereographic picture looks like of the Moon. Two pictures side by side, we know how deep this crater is, we even know the size of it back and forth. And we also know that there`s a crater inside the crater.

Here`s what Mars looks like. It`s pretty incredible as well. All of the craters that we have here on Mars, all because of 3D mapping. You get two eyes or you get two cameras, you take a pictures of the same thing. It can`t see three dimensions. We can`t see through the water to do the same thing on the ocean floor.


AZUZ: In 2013, 94 million passengers travel through Hartsville Jackson international airport in Atlanta, making it once again, the world`s busiest airport. There are almost nine miles of runway, 2600 takeoffs and landings in one day. 250,000 passengers a day. It`s a few miles from where we produce this show, and CNN wanted to find out what it`s like for an air traffic controller with so much up in the air.



When you push back off the gate, you`re going to be talking to an air traffic controller from the minute you start taxing to the runway till you get to your final destination.

We have five parallel runways, and I was working departures for runway 2a.

This is one 11 contact departure.

I`m talking directly to the pilot in the cockpit, and I`m issuing lineup and weigh procedures, which means you`ll line up on the runway and issuing takeoff clearances.

32 contact departure.

We run 2700 airplanes a day. Volume breeds complexity here in Atlanta. There`s so many aircraft coin for a tax instructions, so many aircrafts returning from the landing runways trying to get to the gates.

You`ve got to stay alert. And you`ve got to be focused at all times. Because of the volume that we have here, we run probably about five or six emergencies a shift. There`s a cardiac arrest patient, a woman going to labor on an aircraft. People having strokes on aircrafts. Smoke in the cockpit. That happens here every shift every single day.

But when is aircraft coming to the airspace, we get him into the airport as quickly as possible. You probably wouldn`t even notice it. It`s just another day at work and the guys - they are professionals. We just keep moving.

I always liked the aviation since being a kid. We used to have a little matchbox airport that you could fall down and (INAUDIBLE), airplanes and stuff like that. It was one of my favorite things I can play with. But I get to play with them for real.

But don`t misconstrue what I`m saying. What we do here is extremely important. The sheer volume of what we do every day and doing it without any - without a hiccup. That - job has faction enough.


AZUZ: It`s Worldwide Wednesday - get ready to go globetrotting. We are happy to be part of your day at Esquela, Americana, glad to see students in San Salvador, El Salvador are watching.

Up north, in Ontario, Canada, hello to our viewers at (INAUDIBLE) Boulevard Public School. I hope you are enjoying this show there. And in Konya, Turkey, we are online at Mevlana University. Thank you for taking ten minutes for CNN STUDENT NEWS.

UNIDENTIFIEED FEMALE: Time for "The Shoutout." Whose home field is located at 4 Yawkey Way: let`s play ball. Is it the Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, New York Yankees, or Boston Red Sox? You`ve got three seconds, go.

4 Yawkey Way is the address of Fenway Park, and that`s the home of the Boston Red Sox. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.

But the bow (ph) Sox. We (INAUDIBLE) been yesterday. They were in the Capital and not for a game with the Nationals. They were enjoying an American tradition when a championship team gets a trip to the White House. The Sox won the World Series last year, so they visited 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue yesterday, presented the president with an honorary jersey and posed for a picture, though David Ortiz took the chance to snap a selfie. The president didn`t need a pitch. He played right along. It seemed like everyone was having a ball - no one looked like he was in the foul mood. No one seemed to have a bad time. Of course, maybe we are being empirical, but the snap selfie crossed no baselines, there were mounts of smiles and everyone got home safe. I`m Carl Azuz and CNN STUDENT NEWS is out.