Quick Guide & Transcript: Alito nomination update, Ask the White House
CNN STUDENT NEWS
(CNN Student News) -- January 25, 2006
Teachers: Please preview the first story in today's program, as it mentions the issue of abortion.
Judging Alito - Follow Judge Samuel Alito's quest to sit on the nation's highest court.
Chatter in Chief - Check out how one teenager became a sort of pen pal with the White House.
Mandatory Mandarin - Brush up on your Mandarin with a British school that has made it mandatory.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MONICA LLOYD, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Monica Lloyd, and we're glad to have you along for today's broadcast of CNN Student News. One step closer: Judge Samuel Alito gets a Senate committee's approval to sit at the Supreme Court. But it's not yet a done deal. One capital correspondence: A teenager gets in touch with the nation's leaders. But is that something anyone could do? And it's one language some British students have to learn. Can Chinese lessons better prep them for the future?
First Up: Judging Alito
LLOYD: Judge Samuel Alito is one step closer to getting a judge's dream job, at the U.S. Supreme Court. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to approve him on Tuesday. That means all the committee's majority Republicans voted for him, and all its minority Democrats voted against Alito. But he hasn't got the job yet. Deanna Morawski details what's next, in Alito's quest to sit on the nation's highest court.
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SEN. ARLEN SPECTER, (R) JUDICIARY CHAIRMAN: The committee confirms the nomination of Alito for floor action.
DEANNA MORAWSKI, CNN STUDENT NEWS REPORTER: With a vote of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito was one step closer to becoming the 110th justice on the high court. The vote was split 10 to 8... with Republicans supporting his nomination and praising his qualifications and experience.
SEN. JEFF SESSIONS, (R) ALABAMA: I am so proud of Judge Alito...I think he represents the ideal of American justice.
MORAWSKI: The committee's Democrats voted against Alito - fearing he would help weaken or overturn a woman's right to abortion and would be too close to the federal government.
SEN. HARRY REID, (D) NEVADA: Judge Alito's record fails to demonstrate independence from an over-reaching executive, and he's expressed many of these same beliefs that lead to today's abuse of power.
MORAWSKI: The next step for Alito is a vote by the full Senate -- part of Article II, section 2 of the Constitution, which calls for "the advice and consent of the Senate" after the president nominates a candidate. Republicans have a majority in the Senate, but it's possible Senate Democrats will try to delay a vote or even launch a filibuster. Republicans say such a delay would be unfair.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: The independence of the judiciary is very much at stake. Nobody suppressed the vote for Justice Ginsberg who clearly was left of center, clearly qualified.
MORAWSKI: Alito would replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor - a moderate conservative. Liberals fear he would move the court to the right.
But despite the partisan tone in the Senate debate, Alito is expected to be confirmed. The white house is pushing for the final vote to take place before the president gives his State of the Union Address at the end of January. For CNN Student News, I'm Deanna Morawski.
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Word to the Wise
CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS REPORTER: A Word to the Wise... partisan: (adjective) strongly devoted to a particular group
Saddam Trial Delay
LLOYD: In other court-related news, there's been another delay in Saddam Hussein's trial. The former Iraqi dictator and seven other men are accused of committing crimes against humanity, including murder. But this is what the Iraqi courtroom looked like Tuesday. That's because officials said witnesses couldn't show up. The trial's set to resume Sunday with a new judge. The last one quit after he was both threatened and criticized for not being strict enough with the defendants.
Chatter in Chief
LLOYD: Say you e-mail the White House, asking a question about the Hussein trial, or another current event. Many folks wouldn't expect an answer-- after all... the White House gets thousands of e-mails a day. But one kid your age is in touch with the nation's leaders. Alina Cho tells us how he took his keyboard, straight to the top of the government.
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ALINA CHO, CNN REPORTER: At first glance Daniel Lippman looks like an average 15-year-old...He enjoys sports, going to the movies and hanging out with his friends. He also spends his free time chatting on-line with some of the most important people in the world: top officials at the White House.
DANIEL LIPPMAN: I've talked with John Snow, three times, the treasury secretary, and I've talked to the commerce secretary, Carlos Guitierrez and also the Energy Secretary, Sam Bodeman."
CHO: How does he do it? Quite simply... anyone can.
DAVID ALMACY, WHITE HOUSE INTERNET DIRECTOR: It's called 'Ask the White House' and it's located on the White House Web site. It's http://www.whitehouse.gov/ask/.
CHO: The live chat sessions allow regular Americans to submit questions to people who work and live at the White House. First lady Laura Bush has been a guest, so has White House Chief of Staff, Andy Card...The featured VIP chooses which questions to answer... Enter Daniel...a "regular" on the site.
CHO: Does it surprise you that you're able to do this?
LIPPMAN: It does surprise me because who would have thought that this could happen and it's just like a direct line, almost.
CHO: Take this exchange with Treasury Secretary, John Snow.
LIPPMAN: Why did the economy create only 100,000 jobs and not 200,000 jobs that was forecast?
CHO: Snow's answer:
LIPPMAN: In short, all forecasts are subject to error.
CHO: In another exchange with "special guest" -- astronaut Neil Armstrong...
Daniel asks, "Is it really possible to send a human to Mars?"
ARMSTRONG: We still have a number of difficulties to surmount, but I believe we will overcome those barriers in the years ahead.
CHO: Are you satisfied with the answers you get?
LIPPMAN: I am satisfied.
CHO: Daniel admits it may be unusual for a 15-year-old to be doing this. But he says, he's the better for it.
CHO: Is there anybody that you haven't talked to, yet, that you want to talk to?
LIPPMAN: Uh, George W. Bush, but I'm sure that he would be an interesting guest.
CHO: The White House says: No plans for that, yet; But Daniel will be ready. Alina Cho, CNN, Lakeville, Connecticut.
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AZUZ: What's the most widely spoken language in the world? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A) English, B) Mandarin, C) Hindi or D) Spanish? You've got three seconds--GO! Mandarin Chinese, which is widely spoken in the world's most populous country, is the world's most widely spoken language! That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
Link to White House Chat
LLOYD: Now if you'd like to check out the White House's chatroom... Start by visiting our Web site. We've put the link on our Ten Questions page. All you have to do is stop by CNN.com/education, and follow our lead to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
LLOYD: Maybe you're one of the three million American students who study Spanish. But if more of the world's people speak Mandarin, why not take that? Part of the reason is that many schools don't have it as an option. But there's a program in Britain, that actually requires you to pass Mandarin to graduate. Mallika Kapur took a seat for a Chinese lesson.
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MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN REPORTER: Founded in 1845 and steeped in tradition, Brighton College is breaking with the past in a new, rather radical way.
RICHARD CAIRNS, HEADMASTER, BRIGHTON COLLEGE: We're introducing Mandarin Chinese as a core part of the curriculum.
KAPUR: Richard Cairns, the school's headmaster is the man behind the mandarin.
CAIRNS: We need to do business with China in the future. The children here, aged 10, 11, 12, 13 are going to be in their 30's when China probably overtakes Japan and Germany as the 2nd and 3rd largest economies.
KAPUR: China's economy is red hot. It grew at an official rate of 9.8 percent last year, and is poised to overtake France and Britain to become the world's fourth largest economy.
Brighton College says its the first school in England to make Mandarin compulsory for its students. But its not the only one offering the course. A primary school in east London has been teaching Mandarin since last year. That decision, inspired by a school official's visit to China.
AIDAN O'KELLY, LAURISTON PRIMARY SCHOOL: It seemed like such an economic powerhouse. We felt strongly that we needed to expose our children, at this early stage, to mandarin because globally, we felt this was going to be a significant language.
KAPUR: Students at both schools say they enjoy learning Mandarin. Some say, they see it's economic benefits.
BRIGHTON STUDENT: The Chinese economy is growing larger so it will be very helpful if you want to go into the business world or have any job that involves traveling around the world.
KAPUR: This student says it makes her want to go to China and she tells us why.
LAURISTON STUDENT: I want to see the great wall of China and want to eat noodles all day.
KAPUR: Till they get that chance to do business with China - or to visit it on holiday. They're getting prepared right here in Britain. Mallika Kapur. CNN, Brighton, England.
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Before We Go
LLOYD: Before we go...It's an unlikely friendship, to say the least! No, we're not gonna show you what happens when snakes attack! These two somehow became friends months ago. when the starving snake simply refused to eat the rodent, the kicker is, the reptile has eaten other rodents since then -- he's just left his furry friend alone. The only explanation: Hamsters may not be quite as tasty as frozen mice!
LLOYD: That's all we have for today! For CNN Student News, I'm Monica Lloyd. There's more Headline News just around the corner.
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