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Quick Guide & Transcript: White House press secretary resigns, Mumps outbreak spreads in U.S.


(CNN Student News) -- April 20, 2006

Quick Guide

White House Shakeup - Consider what it takes to work as White House press secretary.

The Mumps - Get the latest on an old disease that's making new rounds in the United States.

Rare Coins - Hear how one man traded a paperclip for a year of free rent.



MONICA LLOYD, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to this Thursday broadcast of CNN Student News! From CNN Center in Atlanta, I'm Monica Lloyd. Changing of the guard. A liaison between the president and the press, is stepping down from his job. We'll tell you what it'd be like to fill his shoes. An old disease looks like it's on the move, again. The mumps isn't usually deadly, but we'll you where it's popping up, and what you should look out for. And start with a paper clip, end up in a house? There's no telling how far you can get, when you barter smarter! Learn how one man did it.

First Up: White House Shakeup

LLOYD: You'll be seeing some new faces in the months ahead when we report on presidential issues. The White House is making some changes in the West Wing, and one of the bigger ones, involves its press secretary: Scott McClellan is stepping down. He's the guy you see talking to the news media about the president's work and plans. McClellan's been on the job since July 2003. Before that, he worked as deputy press secretary. He says he's looking forward to a new chapter in his life, but will stick around until his replacement's found. McClellan says serving the president has been an "extraordinary honor and privilege." Here's what the president said.

PRESIDENT BUSH: One of these days he and I are going to be rocking on our chairs in Texas, talking about the good old days of his time as the press secretary, and I can assure you I will feel the same way then that I feel now, that I can say "Scott, job well done."

LLOYD: McClellan is leaving behind one of the nation's toughest jobs. You've got to be an eloquent and patient speaker, and a master at balancing acts. Check out this report by Bill Schneider, and think about whether you've got what it takes to be a press secretary.


BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN REPORTER: The White House press secretary is a public servant who must serve two masters.

STEPHEN HESS, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: The taxpayers pay the bills and they're responsible for giving information to the public. On the other hand, they are appointed by the president and the president has very strong feelings about what information he wants to get out.

SCHNEIDER: A press secretary has to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. But not necessarily the whole truth.

BARRY TOIV, FORMER DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It is not easy getting up here, saying nothing. It takes a lot of preparation.

SCHNEIDER: Like in this case.

REPORTER AT WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING: Does the president stand by his pledge to fire anyone involved in the leak of a name of a CIA operative?''

SCOTT MCCLELLAN, OUTGOING WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Terry, I appreciate your question. I think your question is being asked relating to some reports that are in reference to an ongoing criminal investigation.

SCHNEIDER: Here's another strategy.

HESS: The press secretary may well be kept in the dark as, indeed, Ron Ziegler was during the whole Watergate period. And, um, one suspects that was equally true of Mike McCurry during the Monica situation.

SCHNEIDER: Larry Speakes, President Reagan's press secretary, was kept out of the loop about the invasion of Grenada in 1983. And this case . . .

HESS: Now they liked John Kennedy's press secretary, Pierre Salinger, he was a lot of fun, ah, but he didn't know there was going to be a Bay Of Pigs invasion. That's bad stuff.

SCHNEIDER: The press secretary can get it from both sides. From the press corps, and sometimes from the president, as Ron Ziegler learned during Watergate. Former White House press secretaries do have ways of consoling themselves.

HESS: You can usually count on the first year of big buck speeches. And then the second thing they do is a big buck memoir.

SCHNEIDER: But even in those memoirs, they run the risk of seeming disloyal to the president if they tell too much. But that may be worth the risk in their post-White House careers. Bill Schneider, CNN Washington.


Is This Legit?

CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS REPORTER: Is this legit? The White House press secretary is a member of the president's Cabinet. This one's false! The press secretary is actually ranked below Cabinet level.

The Mumps

LLOYD: Ever heard of the mumps? It's a disease your grandparents might have had that isn't very common today. That's because a vaccine was developed in 1967 that's kept many Americans immune to mumps. You most likely got the vaccine when you were little. But in some states, it seems the disease is back in action. Christy Feig describes who's at risk, and what you should watch out for.


CHRISTY FEIG, CNN REPORTER: What started as a few mumps cases in Iowa in December has now spread to more than 800 suspected cases in 9 states, according to the CDC. It's the largest mumps outbreak in the U.S. in 20 years. Mumps is a virus spread by coughing and sneezing, that's why it transfers easily in crowded living spaces.

DR. MARGO SMITH, WASHINGTON HOSPITAL CENTER: You have a large group of people who are in close contact with one another and they're unprotected. You need one person who starts that domino effect, and it just goes from one to the next to the next.

FEIG: The disease appears to have spread to 8 other states Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Michigan, according to the CDC. The most common symptoms are fever, headache and swollen salivary glands under the jaw. In rare cases, it can progress to meningitis and encephalitis

SMITH: It feels like you have swollen glands, a little discomfort, and you'll notice that your face appears to be puffy around the angle of your jaw.

FEIG: There is no treatment. In children it lasts 10 to 12 days. The best protection is vaccination. Most people are vaccinated as a child and again before high school or college.

SMITH: No vaccine is 100-percent and there is the possibility that some of these individuals, even though they got vaccinated, had an incomplete immune response.

FEIG: But some of those infected in the Midwest say they never got both vaccines. Short of vaccination, Dr. Smith says the best way to prevent getting sick is to wash your hands. I'm Christy Feig, reporting from Washington.


Word to the Wise

AZUZ: A word to the wise:

vaccine (noun) a medical treatment intended to make someone immune to a particular disease

Source: www.cdc.govexternal link

Rare Coins

LLOYD: Maybe you've traded an apple for someone's chips before, or offered a ride home in exchange for help with your homework. That's the idea a 26-year-old Canadian guy started out with, but all he had to offer was a paper clip. Tammy Leitner of affiliate KPHO tells us how he got from there, to a year's free rent!


TAMMY LEITNER, REPORTER: Like so many struggling musicians, Jody Gnant dreams of a recording contract.

JODY GNANT, ASPIRING SINGER: In a normal world, it's really tough to get that kind of an opportunity.

LEITNER: But she found opportunity just a Web site away.

GNANT: He has the kind of Web site that you want to go back to, even when you're not a part of it.

LEITNER: Kyle MacDonald started this Web site and journey a year ago with nothing more than a red paper clip. The 26 year old from Montreal hatched the crazy idea to barter that paperclip into bigger and better things, until eventually he got a house. Impossible right? Maybe not. His first trade: a fish shaped pen. Not too impressive, but within three trades, he had a generator which he traded for a keg and by his sixth trade, he traded for a snowmobile. A trip, a truck, a contract, then:

GNANT: A year's free rent in my house.

LEITNER: Which brings us back to Jodi.

GNANT: I'm asking everybody I know, my mom, my dad, everybody "what do we have, what do we have?" And they didn't have anything. I did.

LEITNER: You see, Jodi's letting somebody stay in her Phoenix home free for a year. In exchange, she gets a contract and then gets to pitch her album at Sony and XM Radio.

GNANT: I felt like I won the lottery.

LEITNER: And to think one red paperclip held the power to make this dream come true.

GNANT: I would love to think it's the small things in life that make the biggest difference.



LLOYD: There's a lot of talk going on about how dependent Americans are on oil. But in a worst-case scenario-- like if our fuel supply were suddenly cut --a shortage could directly affect the way you live. Find out how in the next CNN Presents Classroom Edition. Info and show times are at our Web site,

Fast Facts

AZUZ: In the midst of National Coin Week, here are some Fast Facts about loose change! According to Coinstar, the average American home has about 99 bucks in change lying around. In fact, an estimated 64 percent of Americans have a piggy bank they use for their coins. And 79 percent of Americans reportedly said they'd pick a penny up off the street. The company also reports that if you added up all the spare coins sitting around in the country, you'd have about 10-point-5 billion bucks in cha-ching!

Before We Go

LLOYD: They say a penny saved is a penny earned. But can a single cent ever amount to a thousand bucks? Absolutely. In fact, one such coin is out there in circulation, so check your pennies! Here's how it started: In honor of National Coin Week, a collector bought some stuff in New York City, using some rare pennies. One of them-- a 1909, limited-production Lincoln cent, is actually worth a thousand buckaroos! There's another that's a year older than that, valued at two-hundred! The collector used it to buy a 75-cent newspaper.


LLOYD: His point? To get Americans to spend a little time, checking out their change. That's our two cents' worth on CNN Student News! I'm Monica Lloyd.

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