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  • More is known about the surface of the Moon and Mars than the bottom of the Earth`s oceans.

  • That`s adding to the challenge of finding a missing passenger plane.

  • First up this Wednesday on CNN STUDENT NEWS, the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

  • It`s entering a new phase, the jet and its 239 passengers and crew members disappeared in early March.

  • Officials believe it crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

  • The primary search area is about the size of West Virginia.

  • No trace of the jet has been found. Part of the reason, we know so little about the ocean floor.

  • Just five percent of it has been mapped.

  • And one expert says we`ve only seen one percent. Why?

  • For one thing, pressure. Engineers have trouble constructing machines that can stand the weight of the water above them. But new data can help explore the ocean floor.

  • All through the thundering waves of winter, the ships have pressed on across the Indian Ocean,

  • pulsing out sonar signals.

  • And this is what they have to show for it.

  • The most detailed map ever of the seabed in this area, 16,000 square miles covered with crumbling underwater volcanoes, winding valleys, plunging canyons and just maybe the solution to a mystery.

  • The new map is not fine enough to show wreckage, but it is a wealth of information to guide under water search vessels.

  • Tom, there makes a great deal of difference, because they`ll be able to hold a tighter path right above the ocean floor knowing what`s coming ahead of time,

  • so that they can go a little bit faster and get a lot more done in the less time.

  • Before the search broke off earlier this year, much hope was pinned on the Bluefin underwater search robot.

  • It came up empty, but now, with the new map, a much broader search with towed sonar array is beginning.

  • Australian authorities remain convinced this arch is the right place to look, saying recent refinement to the analysis of satellite data about the plane`s flight path has given greater certainty about when the aircraft turned south into the Indian Ocean.

  • And that gives them a better sense of where it ran out of fuel, most likely south of this submerged mountains called Broken Ridge. .

  • But .

  • We have to be very cautious about over-predicting or over- confidence in those predictions that you make or you`ll end up exactly where you thought you would, but it may not be the right place.

  • Don`t look for people scanning the surface for debris, those days are over.

  • Now, it is all about looking in some places nearly four miles beneath the waves, and once again, hoping for a break.

  • The search is scheduled to last for about a year, and if they find the plane during that time, of course, it will be a huge step,

  • but a big mystery still remains, whatever caused this plane to go down.

  • Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

  • It appears the ISIS terrorist group is gaining ground in Syria despite U.S. -led airstrikes against it.

  • Yesterday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the city of Kobani was about to fall to ISIS.

  • For days, the terrorist group has been fighting to get control of Kobani and ethnic group called the Kurds is fighting back with support from U.S.-led airstrikes.

  • But a U.S. military official says it`s challenging, because many of the ISIS targets are too close to either the Kurds or the Turkish border.

  • Turkey`s president says it will take ground troops to defeat ISIS, something President Obama has ruled out as far as the U.S. is concerned.

  • Despite the airstrikes, what keeps ISIS going? What keeps it funded?

  • This is the southernmost edge of Turkey. Just across those hills, is the border with Syria,

  • and the area where extremist Islamic rebels known as ISIS are fighting to create an Islamic caliphate, or Islamic State?

  • It is also an area in villages like this where ISIS can make money to finance its worth.

  • Small oil smuggling operations, some estimate adding up to millions of barrels in the last few months have been uncovered.

  • The oil comes from refineries ISIS has taken inside Iraq and Syria. Up until just last week, it was easy to smuggle into this part of Turkey.

  • Why? Smuggle, cheap oil is a much price commodity here, and it doesn`t matter who is selling it, even if it`s your enemy.

  • Buy gas at any station just across the border here in Turkey and you`ll see why it`s so easy to overlook who is selling what.

  • Gas here in Hatai (ph) costs roughly $7.50 a gallon.

  • U.S. coalition forces just in the past week have destroyed attack and bombed ISIS oil facilities,

  • precisely to cut off the group`s funding.

  • But if you think just knocking out ISIS oil will stop this radical Islamic army, you don`t understand just how many ways ISIS funds itself.

  • We`ve described this as the best financed group we`ve ever seen.

  • Born among the crooks and thugs of Iraq, it is at its roots, says Levitt, a criminal enterprise.

  • They were always primarily financed through domestic criminal activity within the borders of Iraq.

  • It`s massive organized crime run amok with no cops.

  • You want to do business in ISIS control territory, you pay a tax.

  • You want to move truck down a highway, you pay a toll. Villages on ISIS territory pay for just about everything.

  • Mawaz Mustafa (ph) is the executive director of the Syrian Emergency Taskforce in Washington, D.C.

  • He says ISIS literally formed in the void made by the pullout of U.S. troops and the retreating Iraqi army.

  • That kind of self-financing mob, he says, can`t be destroyed from airstrikes.

  • You need to take back the territory and restore order.

  • U.S.-led coalition airstrikes have now begun targeting ISIS locations, attacking the oil facilities and even grain silos.

  • But as long as ISIS controls any ground where civilians can be taxed, extorted and robbed, ISIS will remain self-financing.

  • Its state nickname is the Sagebrush State, or the silver state or the battle-born state.

  • It`s the state of Nevada, and it`s where you`ll find the Laughlin Junior Senior High School.

  • The Cougars in Laughlin, our first on today`s roll.

  • Next, we are traveling south to Mountain Brook Alabama. The Spartans are watching.

  • Welcome to Mountain Brook Junior High.

  • And the northeast is where you`ll find Syracuse, New York.

  • The black knights are online and on our roll at Henninger High School.

  • Time for a geographic shoutout. Which body of water is bordered by Kazakhstan?

  • If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it Caspian Sea, Black Sea, Indian Ocean or Lake Ladoga? You`ve got three seconds, go!

  • Part of Kazakhstan`s western border is formed by the Caspian Sea.

  • That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.

  • The Caspian Sea is the largest lake on earth by surface area.

  • Kazakhstan also borders what was once the world`s fourth largest lake, the Aral Sea.

  • But that was before it started to dry up.

  • The Aral Sea was once fed and maintained by two rivers, those were diverted, so the lake, which was pretty shallow,

  • began to evaporate and shrink quickly and dramatically.

  • The consequences, its salt and mineral levels rose killing its fish.

  • That killed its fishing industry.

  • Ports on the Aral Sea shoreline literally dried up, towns once on the coast were stranded miles from shore.

  • People left. That pictures are incredible.

  • A lot of people think the Eiffel Tower gives them a bird`s eye view of Paris.

  • Nope. This does.

  • It`s from a camera strapped to the back of awhite-tail eagle as it flew from the top of the Tower back down to earth.

  • OK. It looks cool, sounds cool with the wind noise, but why?

  • It`s a project to raise awareness about white tailed eagles. Freedom, the group that set this up, hopes this will inspire people to want to protect these European treasure.

  • Of course, it`s not as good of you as the animals have themselves.

  • After all, they are eagle-eyed. It didn`t look like the camera was a bird.

  • Then, the eagle never said it was imperchinate (ph) and it didn`t fly off with it, so you could see everything came to feather.

  • I`m Carl Azuz. Hope to see you Thursday.

More is known about the surface of the Moon and Mars than the bottom of the Earth`s oceans.

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October 8, 2014 - CNN Student News with subtitles

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