Webcast August 3, 2005
DEANNA MORAWSKI, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hey...Thanks for checking in with us for this summer update on CNN Student News. I'm Deanna Morawski. The first space shuttle flight since 2003 isn't going exactly according to plan. After the shuttle took off, NASA discovered a few problems that could make a return to Earth difficult and dangerous. That's our top story in this Weekly Rewind.
DEANNA MORAWSKI, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR:
An astronaut practices removing a protruding gap filler in a NASA pool.
Risky business in space... NASA has decided to send an astronaut on a spacewalk. The mission - removing two gap fillers that are sticking out from the underbelly of the shuttle "discovery," which launched into space on July 26th.
JERRY ROSS, NASA ASTRONAUT: We think that, even though it's a challenging concept, the actual execution should go very smoothly and hopefully very quickly.
MORAWSKI: There are thousands of ceramic tiles and gap fillers on the shuttle's underside. Uneven placement of them could lead to dangerous temperature spikes during re-entry. The fix would mark the first in-flight exterior repair of a vehicle in the shuttle program's history.
This artist's concept, released by NASA, shows the planet catalogued as 2003UB313.
Elsewhere in the solar system... Could this dot be the 10th planet? A group of astronomers says yes. While researchers aren't sure of its actual size, they say the object is bigger than the 9th planet.
MICHAEL BROWN, PLANETARY SCIENTIST: If Pluto's a planet, it seems pretty reasonable that something that's bigger than Pluto, and further away than Pluto, should be called a planet, too.
MORAWSKI: The object is 3 times farther away from the sun than Pluto - roughly 9 billion miles away from us. It could take several years for the science community to decide whether it officially qualifies as a planet.
In international headlines...Iraq's new constitution is nearing completion. The committee drafting the document says it remains committed to meeting an August 15th deadline. Once it's approved by the transitional National Assembly, the constitution will face a vote by the public.
An anti-disengagement demonstrator sings during a protest Tuesday in southern Israel.
Also in the Mideast - a protest by thousands of Israelis, rallying against Israel's planned pullout from Gaza. As part of President Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan, security forces will soon evacuate Jewish settlements from land that Palestinians want for a state. Opponents view the pullout as a betrayal of Jewish claims to biblical land.
A desperate battle against hunger in Niger, where international food aid, including 44 tons from the U.N., recently began arriving. More than a million people there are facing starvation after a locust invasion worsened a severe famine. Niger is the second poorest nation in the world, with 64 percent of the population surviving on less than a dollar a day.
Authorities have made several new arrests in the failed London bombings... including this man - Hamdi Aus Issac arrested in Italy and charged with international terrorism. Issac reportedly admitted to participating in the July 21st attacks on London's transport system, saying they were a protest over British participation in the Iraq war. One person was injured in the botched bombings, which came two weeks after suicide bombings on London's transport system killed 52 commuters.
President Bush announces John Bolton's appointment Monday.
Back in the U.S., a controversial decision... With Congress in recess, President Bush used his constitutional authority to name John Bolton the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. The move ended a five-month standoff in the Senate, where Democrats refused to give Bolton an up-or-down vote.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: This post is too important to leave vacant any longer, especially during a war and a vital debate about U.N. reform.
MORAWSKI: Many Democrats are criticizing what some have called an "abuse of power." Democrats had blocked a vote on Bolton's nomination in a debate over documents, and accused him of mistreating subordinates. The recess appointment means Bolton can serve at the U.N. through the end of 2006 with no Senate confirmation.
Rewind - Presidential Appointments
DEANNA MORAWSKI, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Now for a quick rewind on presidential appointments. Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution gives the president power to make appointments. Posts like ambassadorships, cabinet secretaries, and federal judgeships are filled this way. Nominees are approved or rejected by the U.S. Senate, unless the appointment is made during a recess of the Senate, as is the case with the Bolton nomination.
DEANNA MORAWSKI, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: The new school year will bring some changes to CNN Student News. Starting August 15th, cnnstudentnews.com becomes cnn.com/education. Same show... same curriculum... new Website. You'll be able to view archived shows for up to two weeks, all without a password! So stay with us, as we become cnn.com/education.
Before We Go
DEANNA MORAWSKI, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Before we go...If NASCAR or Formula One just isn't your style... check this out! The lawnmower le Mans recently got the green flag in England. These souped-up grass cutters were outfitted by their crews, and stripped of their blades for safety, of course. The drivers careened around the corners, trying to keep control of their makeshift motorcars...some with more success than others. And like most "Le Mans-style" races, they didn't stop when the sun went down. After 12 full hours of of pit stops, driver changes, and a few more spins, one tired team earned that checkered flag.
DEANNA MORAWSKI, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: The winning team's name? Accident prone racing. Guess they didn't live up to that one. Thanks for being with us. See you next week here at CNNstudentnews.com.