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EDUCATION with Student News

Quick Guide & Transcript: White House issues Katrina report, Week in Review


• Interactive: Who's who in Iraq
• Interactive: Sectarian divide

(CNN Student News) -- February 24, 2006

Quick Guide

Lessons Learned - Pore over a White House report about the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina.

Week in Review - Look back at how a small, Middle Eastern country recently became part of a big controversy.

Shiites and Sunnis - Learn about the differences that distinguish Shiite Muslims from Sunni Muslims.



VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: You've made it to Friday, and we're glad you've joined us for the week's last edition of CNN Student News! I'm Veronica De La Cruz. Lessons learned: the White House releases its plans on what it'll do differently, if another hurricane like Katrina rolls in. Sectarian violence: the destruction of a Shiite mosque sparks religious strife throughout Iraq. Could the country's future be taking a deadly turn? And fresh off the bench... A sports sensation wastes little time in going for three and making history at his New York high school. Meet us on the court!

First Up: Lessons Learned

DE LA CRUZ: Our first story today-- The White House says it's learned from the mistakes made after Hurricane Katrina. The Bush administration recently did its own investigation of the storm response and a report released yesterday says problems arose because of poor planning and a lack of leadership. So what's the white house going to do about it, with the 2006 storm season just months away? Here's Kyung Lah with some of the government's ideas.


KATRINA VICTIMS: We want help, we want help, we want help.

KYUNG LAH, CNN REPORTER: It was the repeated cry of the 1.5 million displaced... And the families of the 1,300 killed by Hurricane Katrina. President Bush briefed his cabinet on his "Lessons Learned Report"... It lays out eleven critical actions to be complete before June first of this year, the first day of the hurricane season.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: We have made a strong commitment to people in the Gulf Coast. We will honor the commitment as well. The report helps us anticipate how to better respond to future disasters. In the meantime, our commitment to rebuild and help rebuild Mississippi and Louisiana is ongoing and robust.

LAH: Senior administration officials say the report includes 125 recommendations for improving communications, evacuation and search and rescue. It includes leaning more on the military during a natural catastrophe when state and local first responders are overwhelmed. White House aides say there are no calls for Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to resign--or move FEMA out of the Department of Homeland Security.

FRANCES FRAGOS TOWNSEND, HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISER/ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT BUSH: It will take all of us working together to put our country in the best position to be prepared for, to defend against, to respond to and recover from natural disaster or terrorist attacks.

LAH: The Homeland Security Adviser adds this, while it appears to be systematic changes primarily laid out in the 228 page report, the changes will have an impact on federal response. The president says to make sure, there will be followup on these recommendations. In Washington, Kyungh Lah, CNN Student News.


Upcoming CNN Presents

DE LA CRUZ: CNN reporter Kathleen Koch grew up in Bay Saint Louis. Her childhood home, along with many others, was utterly destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Join her in the next "CNN Presents, Classroom Edition," for a look at how the community is coping. More info is at our web site!

Week in Review

DE LA CRUZ: The government also made headlines earlier this week. When a plan to change who controls some U.S. seaport, became public, the United Arab Emirates, or UAE, is a middle eastern country bordering Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf. In our Week in Review, Deanna Morawski tells us how that small country became part of a big controversy.


DEANNA MORAWSKI, CNN REPORTER: A government-approved deal allowing a United Arab Emirates company to run six U.S. ports has triggered widespread criticism. Under the deal, the company would handle day-to-day port operations, including loading and unloading, but would not oversee security for the ports. But because some of the 9/11 hijackers used the UAE as an operational and financial base, Many democrats and republicans say it's too dangerous.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Today we are announcing emergency legislation to go on the floor of the house and senate next week to undo this deal with the United Arab Emirates until a full, thorough review is done.

MORAWSKI: President Bush has promised to veto any congressional attempt to block the deal, though a top aide says he may be willing to accept a delay while congress reviews the deal.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: 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.

MORAWSKI: The president insists that because the company would not be overseeing security, America would not be in danger.

MORAWSKI: Officials in Iraq say more than 120 people have been killed in violence since Wednesday's attack on a Shiite mosque in Samarra. No one claimed responsibility for the bombing, but U.S. officials say it bore the signs of al Qaeda in Iraq. In a wave of retaliation, dozens of Sunni mosques have been attacked... And Sunni clerics, worshippers, and even bystanders have been killed. The violence could derail U.S. plans to form a national unity government representing all factions of the country.

MORAWSKI: That's your week in review. For CNN Student News, I'm Deanna Morawski.


Fact Check: Shiites and Sunnis

DE LA CRUZ: You just heard the terms "Shiites" and "Sunnis." We told you yesterday that these are two different Muslim religious sects, or groups. But what differences distinguish them from each other? Octavia Nasr has the answer in this "Fact Check."


OCTAVIA NASR, CNN REPORTER: About one in every five people on the planet consider themselves Muslim; that's about 1.2 billion. But there are many divisions in the Muslim community--the largest being between Shiites and Sunnis. The majority of the world's Muslim population follows the Sunni branch--only about 15 percent follow the Shiite branch. But in some countries, the concentration of Shiites is larger. These nations are Bahrain, Lebanon, Azerbaijan, Iran and Iraq. Shiites historically believe that religious authority has been handed down from the Prophet Muhammad through bloodlines. When you hear the terms "Imam" and "Ayatollah," these refer to Shiite religious leaders. Sunnis attach much less importance to their leaders, and much more importance on Muslim traditions. There can be extremists in both branches of Islam. But Sunni extremists, like Osama bin Laden, have focused predominantly on the corruption of the religion, and specifically the negative influence of western culture. In Iraq, both Shiite and Sunni insurgent groups have carried out attacks against coalition forces, but most Shiite groups have dropped violent opposition to pursue political activism. As the majority, Shiites have been successful in dominating the leadership of Iraq's new government. Needless to say, many Sunni insurgent groups have not been satisfied by the results of these democratic elections.


Black History Month

DE LA CRUZ: In the minds of many Americans, Dr. Martin Luther King's name is synonymous with civil rights. The Atlanta-born Baptist minister began his civil rights activities in the mid-1950's, when he led the black boycott of segregated city buses in Montgomery, Alabama. He soon rose to become the main leader of the American Civil Rights Movement. Dr. King's outstanding speaking ability allowed him to effectively express the black community's demands for social justice. His eloquent speeches and philosophy of nonviolent resistance won the support of millions worldwide, and earned him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Dr. King was assassinated a few years later...His legacy of pursuing equal rights for all Americans lives on....honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., this Black History Month.

Off the Beaten Path

DE LA CRUZ: Switching gears now... when you've got cows leaping bikes and snakes in showers, you know you're no longer on the beaten path. Then again, Carl Azuz rarely is!


CARL AZUZ, CNN REPORTER: Who cares if a cow jumped over the moon? Able-bodied bovines looked a lot cooler leaping a bike or two, at this extraordinary event in India! It's known as the "mini rural Olympics" though we can't think why! Many of the players here are hoping to be discovered, either for their athletic ability...or bodily imbecility! Now remember that guy from class who always looked like he just rolled out of bed? Well, now we know where he works. Forget Hawaiian Shirt Day...employees at this South Korean company have taken "dressing down" to the bottoms! Still, "Pajama Day" gives them the chance to say "I might've gotten up, but I ain't dressin' up!" Wonder if they skipped their morning shower? We bet these folks wish they had! For two weeks, an eight-foot-long python was missing in their Idaho apartment complex...and no chihuahua was safe. Turns out the surreptitious slitherer had taken up residence right above one couple's shower!

RACHEL MEYNLEY, RENTER: It was sick; it was scary. I guess you pay for a cheap apartment, you get kinda creepy stuff.

AZUZ: ...Which is enough to make anyone spend a little more, to live on the top floor. Reporting from the highest point Off the Beaten Path, I'm Carl Azuz!

Before We Go

DE LA CRUZ: Before we go... every aspiring basketballer dreams of the words, "he shoots, he scores!" And this student assistant at a New York High School was no exception. But when his coach asked him to suit up and play for the first time on Wednesday night, who'd have thought he'd shoot and score six times?! That's six "three pointers" in four minutes, tying a school record! And putting Jason Mcelwain, or "J-mac," down in Rochester hoop history.


DE LA CRUZ: We've put a longer report about "J-mac" on our web site. If you want to check it out, look for the link on today's transcript page at That's going to do it for this week...We'll see you again on Monday!

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