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Quick Guide & Transcript: Iraqi PM seeks Cabinet changes, Aspiring rappers get down to business

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(CNN Student News) -- November 13, 2006

Quick Guide

Changes in Iraq? - Find out why Iraq's leader wants to make some changes to his administration.

Your Big Break - Attend a conference where aspiring rappers learn the business behind the beat.

Challenging the Call - Follow a gridiron controversy that blocked a youth team from a championship game.



THOMAS ROBERTS, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: It's Monday and time for another week of CNN Student News! So glad you could join us, I'm Thomas Roberts. On the brink: Weary Iraqi residents look to their leaders for help. How political squabbling handcuffs progress on the security front. In the know: At a conference for tomorrow's hip-hop stars, why industry leaders are teaching the business behind their beat. And caught in the middle: One team's championship run gets sacked. Why these guys choose to forfeit rather than play.

First Up: Changes in Iraq?

ROBERTS: First up today, we go to Iraq. A country dealing with an unending cycle of violence. This Sunday alone, 22 bullet-ridden bodies were found on Baghdad's streets. Suicide bombers struck with deadly results. And 5 car bomb attacks killed 12 and wounded 43. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been unable to stop the carnage. Now he wants permission to dismantle his cabinet. Arwa Damon reports from Baghdad, where residents see little cause for hope.


ARWA DAMON, CNN REPORTER: We don't know her name . We don't know who she is grieving for. All we know is her sorrow. Sorrow that many Iraqis have felt in the last three and a half years. They are a people - desperate for change. So far, their young government hasn't been able to come up with a solution to the violence it seems one of its largest obstacles - itself.

MAHMOUD OTHMAN, PARLIAMENT MEMBER: If they stay like this, not agreeing with each other, not working as a team, differences in between voices out to media as you have heard, they can't do it, they will be very very weak.

DAMON: Now the prime minister - seen by many as weak and beholden to radical Shi'a Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr - is asking the parliament to allow him to make changes to the Cabinet - saying this Cabinet was not his choice.

NURI AL MALIKI, IRAQI PRIME MINISTER: If it was my choice, I would have selected other than the current ministers or at least some of them.

DAMON: Some say accepting a Cabinet whose members don't all support him was his first mistake...and Maliki is running out time.

OTHMAN: I think here by the end of this year if nothing changes and if things deteriorate, as they are deteriorating by the day, I think unfortunately we might reach a point where we couldn't do much.

DAMON: The urgency, highlighted by Sunday's attacks. In the capital alone, at least 50 Iraqis were killed in just five hours. The deadliest attack from twin suicide bombers, who detonated their explosives in a group of Iraqi police recruits - killing at least 35.

UNIDENTIFIED RECRUIT: Why, why, why? Recruits. Explosive belt and mortars. Why? It targeted civilians who were about to be recruited.

DAMON: The agony in his voice expresses what many Iraqis feel. However if potential Cabinet changes play out - the move will test Mailiki's ability to hold his nation together...And if he is able to select his own ministers - his choices could shed light on where his own loyalties lie. Arwa Damon, CNN, Baghdad.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS:Time for the Shoutout! What kind of government does Iraq have? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A) Transitional democracy, B) Islamic republic, C) Authoritarian regime or D) Constitutional monarchy? You've got three seconds--GO! The CIA describes Iraq's government as a transitional democracy. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Your Big Break

LLOYD: The flash, the fame and - yes - the bling of the hip-hop world is alluring to many up-and-coming artists. While some rappers have the talent, a lack of business savvy spoils their chances for success. Organizers of a conference in Atlanta want to change all that. Chris Askew explains how "getting down" gives attendees a big heads up.


CHRIS ASKEW, CNN REPORTER: Hip-hop hopefuls are in Atlanta, each with the same question in mind...

MAN ON THE STREET: How can I be down?

MAN ON THE STREET: How can I be down?

MAN ON THE STREET: How can I be down?

ASKEW: How Can I be down?, the hip-hop conference, began in Miami several years ago as a party. Now it's evolved to more of a Hip-Hop 101, to teach aspiring rappers the business behind the music.

PETER THOMAS, ORGANIZER, HCIBD: It's more about education of our industry than promoting a party. We've been doing that a lot, and at the end of the day, we end up being broke. So I just want to make sure that our people stay in position, and keep the position.

ASKEW: Workshops focus on topics like publishing, distribution, investing and branding. Conference organizers also stress the importance of contract negotiating.

THOMAS: Everybody is always willing to sign, because the label is giving you a couple of hundred thousand dollars, and in our community these kids never see more than 20 thousand dollars in one place. So, when somebody says they're going to give you 100 thousand dollars and sign on the dotted line, you don't even read the fine print, you just sign, and then they own you. So I really wanted to make sure that we educate them on a level that they understand what they were getting into.

ASKEW: Aspiring musicians learn from producers, label executives, song writers and artists.

KILLA MIKE, RECORDING ARTIST: The people who come here and learn, of course they get information that they can apply that day to see results in their business the next day. So anything I try to tell a person is with the intention of you can apply it when you leave, and you're gonna see results tomorrow.

ASKEW: And some of those success stories are in full Atlanta also played host to black entertainment television's first annual award show dedicated solely to hip-hop: the BET Hip Hop Awards. Fans can see.. hip hop has come a long way from its humble beginnings as an artform of rapping and breakdancing. Its popularity has exploded into a commercial powerhouse - influencing fashion and corporate America.

THOMAS: Hip hop is to me is not just music; it's a lifestyle. No matter where you go in the world, hip hop is the dominating popular, huge culture. This is evolving into a lifestyle conference for the fact that it's not just music anymore.


Shoutout Extra Credit

AZUZ: Time for a Shoutout Extra Credit! In sheet music, what do these fractions represent? You know the drill! Are they: A) Scales, B) Chord progressions, C) Triplets or D) Time signatures? Give it a go! These are time signatures, which indicate the meter, or rhythmic pattern, of a musical composition. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout Extra Credit!

Challenging the Call

ROBERTS: A youth football squad in Northern Virginia played tough all season. But when the playoffs came, team members opted to forfeit rather than play. Their walkout was a protest. It's also part of a power struggle between the league commissioner and the team coach. Gail Pennybacker of affiliate WJLA has more on the football flap that's sidelined a championship run.


GAIL PENNYBACKER, REPORTER: The south county Raptors took to a wet field in Vienna today. Determined to play one more game in a season clipped short.

ASST. COACH CLAYTON HENRY, SOUTH COUNTY RAPTORS: We worked hard; it shouldn't have been taken away. We'll do our best today.

PENNYBACKER: What was taken from the Raptors was the opportunity to play for a championship. Their coaching staff was fired by South County League founder and owner Dan Hinkle who insisted his own son play defense. In an email to Head Coach James Owens several weeks ago Hinkle said "he is my son. I own the league. And he plays every snap on defense.''

PENNEBACKER: But in a game against Herndon, the coaches put Hinkle's son on offense. And were fired.

MARK MEANA, FAIRFAX COUNTY YOUTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE: We just feel it could have been handled differently. It's unfortunate.

WILL BURNHAM, RAPTORS QUARTERBACK: I'm psyched, pumped and ready to go.

PENNYBACKER: The Raptors were invited to play the Gainesville Grizzlies in today's 2006 Harvest Bowl. Raptors quarterback will Burnham says team members have bonded during the controversy and hope the best for Hinkle's son.

WILL BURNHAM: He hasn't shown up to practice. If he shows up, we'll welcome him back.

PENNYBACKER: While the Grizzlies gave it all they had, the Raptors, with at least one man down, proved to be too much. Pullling out a win on this soggy day 6 to 0. Meanwhile, parents say this season taught the players valuable lessons.

AL HAYES, PARENT: Life is full of adversity. This is a learning experience for the parents and kids.''



ROBERTS: More and more of you are getting Student News through our downloadable podcast. To get it, go to You can also download the podcast through iTunes. To do that, search for CNN Student News while in iTunes.. Then subscribe to our podcast and we'll be there for you every time you sign in.

Before We Go

ROBERTS: Before we go, let's see some thrilling hand-to-hand combat. At the World Rock-Paper-Scissors Championship! The event wrapped up in Toronto yesterday. A British man won "handily" taking home the gold medal and $7,000. It's not exactly a spectator sport. The new champ beat out 500 competitors. But there were only 250 spectators on hand to cheer him on. The action-packed sport is governed by, you guessed it, the World Rock-Paper-Scissors-Society.


ROBERTS: That's all for this edition of CNN Student News. We'll see you again tomorrow. Signing off, I'm Thomas Roberts.


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


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