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Quick Guide & Transcript: Port deal draws debate, Bush promotes renewable energy


(CNN Student News) -- February 22, 2006

Quick Guide

Storm Over the Ports - Hear both sides of the debate over whether a deal involving six U.S. seaports should go through.

Renewed Effort - Learn about some ways in which the United States can end its "addiction to oil."

Protecting the Monarchy - Discover why some famous ravens have been locked up in the Tower of London.



MONICA LLOYD, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to this Wednesday, February 22nd edition of CNN Student News! I'm Monica Lloyd in Atlanta. A storm over the ports: bipartisan criticism swirls, around a controversial deal involving management of several key U.S. seaports. A call for renewable resources: the president reminds Americans of a very energetic point he made, in his State of the Union address. And a lockup for the birds some ravens are shut in the Tower of London, not as prisoners, but for their own protection!

First Up: Storm Over the Ports

LLOYD: President Bush says he'll veto any bill that blocks a deal over the management of six U.S. seaports. We told you yesterday that a company based in the Middle East, is in line to manage these ports. That means this company, called "Dubai Port World," would oversee the ports' day-to-day operations, but not their security. The White House says the U.S. Homeland Security Department, would still protect the ports. Still, several lawmakers from both houses of Congress don't like the idea. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said that if the administration cannot delay the deal. He'd introduce legislation to ensure that the deal is placed on hold until it got a more thorough review. House Speaker Dennis Hastert said he was quote, 'very concerned about the national security implications, that the deal could have for the safety of Americans.' But President Bush said yesterday that U.S. security, wouldn't be threatened.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: If there was any question as to whether or not this country would be less safe as a result of this transaction, it wouldn't go forward. But I also want to repeat something again: And that is, this is a company that has played by the rules, it has been cooperative with the United States and a country that's an ally in the war on terror, and it will send a terrible signal to friends and allies not to let this transaction go through.

LLOYD: Dubai Ports World is based in the United Arab Emirates. That's a country that borders Saudi Arabia, and it's across the Persian Gulf from Iran and Iraq. Critics of the deal say the UAE was also home to two of nine-eleven hijackers. But Tom Foreman examines whether the drawbacks of the deal, could outweigh the symbolic benefits.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN REPORTER: The doomsday scenario, and it is only a scenario right this: Dubai Ports World, through its Middle Eastern contacts, hires people to handle operations in the United States. Those people have secret ties to terrorists. And those terrorists exploit the company's inside information to slip weapons into America and strike.

CLARK KENT IRVIN, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: Securing the port facility itself, securing the cargo as it moves into and out of the facility, and also hiring security guards. So those are three very, very, key security activities that are going to be done by a country with manifest ties to terrorism.

FOREMAN: But does that really matter? Even though the overwhelming bulk of imports come to America by ship, fewer than five percent of cargos are currently being inspected. Against that backdrop, some argue what counts more than the nationality of a port company, is its commitment to following the laws and procedures designed to protect American ports.

RICHARD FALKENRATH, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: The Coast Guard is in charge of enforcing those regulations and every port operator has to comply with those, regardless of who owns them.

FOREMAN: And there is symbolism to consider. The port deal could build support among Muslim allies. Some Americans may not like it...

TOM FOREMAN QUESTION: But it seems to me if you're in the Arab world, this looks really good; looks like the United States trusts the Arab world.

IRVIN: Or, it could look like it's dumb.

FOREMAN: It's tricky business. Seventy-thousand ship, train and truck containers cross the country's borders every day. That means whatever is decided about the port deal will be watched closely, both inside and outside of America. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS REPORTER: Time for the Shoutout! What's the busiest port in the U.S.? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it:

A) Port of New York

B) Port of Houston

C) Port of Los Angeles

D) Port of Miami?

You've got three seconds--GO! The Port of Los Angeles is the country's busiest seaport. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Renewed Effort

LLOYD: Oil's in a lot of the stuff around you, from the fuel tank of the bus you rode to school, to the wheels on your skateboard. In fact, America is the world's biggest oil consumer. In his State of the Union address last month, President Bush said he wants the U.S. to find different sources of energy. Now he's renewing that effort, going to Colorado to discuss it. Andy Flick explains why he's making a big push.


ANDY FLICK, CNN REPORTER: In a move that the president acknowledged sent a mixed message, five million dollars funding for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado was restored days ahead of his visit Tuesday. Laid off employees were reinstated. Mister Bush blamed an appropriations error.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I recognize there have been some mixed signals when it comes to funding. The issue is whether or not good intentions are met with actual dollars spent.

FLICK: The timing left some uneasy.


ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT FOR STATE & LOCAL INITIATIVES: It makes me question the true or the seriousness of the commitment of the administration and the government in Washington to renewable energies and moving the U.S. forward in our energy policy.

FLICK: President Bush outlined initiatives to remedy what he called America's addiction to oil, and its reliance on the Middle East.

BUSH: If we can change the way we drive our cars and our trucks. We can change our addiction to oil.

FLICK: The plan includes a 22% increase in research for clean energy technologies such as solar and wind power. He also supports developing better batteries for hybrid and electric cars as well as cars that run on hydrogen. Experts caution changes to the way the country powers its homes and vehicles will demand a new infrastructure.

JEAN JENNINGS, EDITOR IN CHIEF, AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE: We have to be very realistic about this. First of all, not jump right in with both feet and say this is the be all end all.

FLICK: For CNN Student News, I'm Andy Flick.



LLOYD: Solar and wind energy, ethanol and batteries: they're all ways to generate power, without relying only on oil or coal. But they're not perfect. Explore the pro's and cons of alternative energy sources, using today's free learning activity at!


AZUZ: Time for a Shoutout Extra Credit! What's the last name of the British royal family? You know the drill! Is it:

A) Windsor

B) Hampton

C) Buckingham

D) Westminster

Three seconds on the clock -- GO! When Queen Elizabeth II is at Windsor Castle, she's at the home of her family's namesake: Windsor. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout Extra Credit!

Protecting the Monarchy

LLOYD: An old superstition links Britain's royal family, to ravens. And that's why some of the sleek, black birds are now locked up in the Tower of London. It's no joke to be there: British adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh and two of Henry VIII's wives were executed at the tower. But Paul Larsmon explains why the birds' captivity, is actually for their own protection.


PAUL LARSMON, REPORTER: Banged up in the tower, with no prospects of immediate release. A humiliating defeat for the ravens who have strutted their stuff around the Tower of London for centuries. (names of birds) Thor and Young Baldric, are free to frolic among the tourists. Now, they've been confined to specially built aviaries in the tower. The raven master who takes care of their every need has taken pains to make their stay comfortable.

DERRICK COYLE, YEOMAN RAVEN MASTER: The first night was a bit iffy. I could tell because they weren't feeding too well. The following morning, when I went in, saw the one that talks say hello to me, so they were OK. As I fed them, they took food from me and start feeding themselves. So, I know they are OK now.

LARSMON: I'm sorry, did you say 'saw the one that talks to you'?

COYLE: Yes, he's a good talker. He'll say good morning, hello, c'mon then. When I feed him, I'll say 'that's for you' and very very occasionally, he'll say 'that's for me'

LARSMON: In raven or in English?

COYLE: Same language as me. Sounds like me as well.

LARSMON: Legend has it that the tower and the monarchy will fall if the ravens depart. So perhaps caution about their care is understandable. The Tower authorities say they could be accused of panic, especially since bird flu hasn't even arrived here yet. But, they say, imagine if it did, and one of the ravens caught it? And then one by one, the feathered friends succumbed? Never mind the fall of the monarchy, it could even cause a run on the pound. But doesn't hiding the ravens away send out the wrong message?

LARSMON: Tell me, are you protecting the ravens or are you protecting the realm?

COYLE: Well, I suppose its a bit of both, really isn't it?

LARSMON: The ravens will stay in captivity until the bird flu threat is over. As with some of the tower's human prisoners in time's past, it could be a long stretch. Paul Larsmon, London Today.


Before We Go

LLOYD: Before we go... It's not exactly the Olympics, but it draws quite a crowd and features some events you won't find anywhere else! Take for example a teeth-pulling variation on a tractor pull. Or the somewhat bizarre bovine bike jump. It's all part of what's known as Northern India's "mini rural olympics." And they say it helps aspiring young athletes, get off to a running start. But of course, we'd advise you to stick to soccer!


LLOYD: And it's time to say goodbye. We thank you for watching CNN Student News. I'm Monica Lloyd -- see you tomorrow!

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