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Quick Guide & Transcript: Bill sets stage for political showdown, Hawking experiences zero-G

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(CNN Student News) -- April 27, 2007

Quick Guide

Fighting Over Funding - Get the latest on a political showdown over a deadline to pull troops out of Iraq.

Week in Review - Look back at the week's top headlines, including the death of a former world leader.

One Year Graduate - Meet a Michigan student who's ready for her diploma after just one year of college.



MONICA LLOYD, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: We're wrapping up the week on CNN Student News. I'm Monica Llloyd. A showdown is coming to a head in Washington after the Senate and House pass a bill that sets a timeframe for pulling troops out of Iraq. A Michigan student is ready to receive her diploma after loading up on credits and finishing college in just one year. And a teacher is honored in Washington after being recognized for her accomplishments bringing music to the minds of tomorrow.

First Up:Fighting Over Funding

LLOYD: First up, a clash between two branches of government. The White House and congressional Democrats are at odds over a war funding bill that sets dates for pulling troops out of Iraq. President Bush has already said he'll veto any bill that includes that kind of deadline, but the Senate and House have both passed the bill, deadline and all. And as Dana Bash explains, the timing of this debate may not be a coincidence.


HOUSE CLERK: By a vote of 51 to 46 the conference report is adopted.

DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: With that Senate vote, the stage is set for a dramatic wartime showdown between Congress and the White House -- the likes of which not seen since Vietnam.

SEN. RICHARD DURBIN: When the president receives this bill early next week, I hope he'll ask himself some basic questions: How many lives, how many wounds, how many soldiers must America sacrifice waiting for the Iraqis to accept their responsibility?

BASH: It is a confrontation with the president the Democratic majority says war-weary Americans demanded with their votes last November.

SEN. HARRY REID, MAJORITY LEADER: We have carried forth the wishes of the American people.

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: In the last election, the American people called for a new direction. Nowhere were they more firm in that new direction being necessary than in the war in Iraq.

BASH: The $124 billion emergency spending bill would fund the war, but order U.S. troops to start coming home October 1st -- with a goal of withdrawing all combat forces by this time next year. Republicans call that a surrender date.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL: If the Iraqis make progress, we leave. If they don't, we leave. This is not a choice. It is a mandate for a defeat that al Qaeda desperately wants.

BASH: They also call Democrats irresponsible for, in the middle of the war, sending the president a spending bill they know he won't sign.

DANA PERINO, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESWOMAN: The president will veto this legislation, and he looks forward to working with congressional leaders to crafting a bill that he can sign.

BASH: The veto will put Democrats in a difficult bind. They'll have to come up with a new war spending plan fast to minimize GOP attacks they're endangering troops in combat. And to get the president's signature, it will have to be a plan without withdrawal deadlines, which could jeopardize support from lawmakers who want to keep pushing for an end to the war.

REID: It'll take us awhile to put it together because you have to start all over again.

BASH: The senate's top Democrat says his goal is a new proposal by June 1st. Democratic sources say one leading idea is setting a series of benchmarks Iraqis must meet for U.S. troops to stay. Surprisingly, senior Republicans said that's a concept they could support. Dana Bash, CNN, Capitol Hill.


Word to the Wise

CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS: A Word to the Wise...

veto (verb) to prevent a bill from becoming law by rejecting it


Week in Review

LLOYD: A former world leader was laid to rest this week, as Russia held a national day of mourning for Boris Yeltsin. He died on Monday at the age of 76. Yeltsin helped bring reform to the former Soviet Union and became Russia's first democratically-elected president. His passing is just one story in our Week in Review.


Today's Week in Review brings your class the images of stories that made headlines this week. Included here is a brief description of each topic:

Students at Virginia Tech returned to class on Monday, one week after a deadly shooting on campus. Before classes began, students attended a memorial service for two of last week's victims; a bus driver later described the atmosphere as sad and silent. However, some students felt it was their duty to return to campus. "I feel like I owe it to the students to go back and just finish the year out," said Lauren Emery, a Virginia Tech junior.

Russians paid tribute throughout the week to former leader Boris Yeltsin, who died on Monday of sudden heart failure, according to Russian medical officials. In 1991, Yeltsin became the first democratically elected president of the Russian Federation, and he stayed in office until 1999. He was both a charismatic and controversial leader, known for both great successes and some failures while in office.

An Army specialist said he was initially ordered not to tell how Army Ranger and former NFL player Pat Tillman died. Tillman was serving in Afghanistan in 2004 when he was killed by friendly fire. U.S. Army Specialist Bryan O'Neal, who was with Tillman at the time, told a House committee that he wanted "right off the bat" to inform Tillman's family about what happened. But O'Neal said his battalion commander warned him not to do so. The military apologized in March for making critical mistakes following Tillman's death, and officials said that several officers would face "corrective action."

The military was also accused of releasing misinformation after Pfc. Jessica Lynch was captured in 2003. A Washington Post story cited a military official as saying that Lynch had "fought fiercely and shot several enemy soldiers" before she was captured. But Lynch, whom the military recovered 10 days after her capture, said she never fired her weapon when her convoy was attacked.

At least 10 people were killed -- seven in Texas and three in Mexico -- when a powerful tornado swept through the region on Tuesday evening. Dozens of other people were injured in the storm, which one local official described as "very devastating." Trees and mobile homes were uprooted, and businesses were damaged. The same storm system was blamed for heavy snows in Colorado and flooding in Nebraska.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared to record highs this week. The index, which measures the performance of 30 top American businesses, closed above 13,000 for the first time. Though the Dow is not a foolproof indicator about the state of the U.S. economy, analysts generally see its advancement as a good sign.



AZUZ: Friday's Shoutout goes out to Ms. Johnson's U.S. History and Area Studies classes at South St. Paul Senior High School in South St. Paul, Minnesota! On what continent is Colombia located? You know what to do! Is it: A) North America, B) Europe, C) Asia or D) South America? You've got three seconds -- GO! You'll find Colombia in South America between Venezuela and the Pacific Ocean. It also borders Brazil, Ecuador, Panama and Peru! That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Colombia Power Outage

LLOYD: If you were trying to find Colombia yesterday, you might have needed a flashlight. That's because what started out as a technical glitch turned into lights out for almost the entire country on Thursday. Now you've probably had a blackout at your home, but what happens when the lights go down across an entire nation? Fortunately Colombia wasn't kept in the dark for long. Crews were already restoring power to residents later that day.

Going Weightless

LLOYD: He's considered the world's most famous living physicist, and he's appeared on "Star Trek" and "The Simpsons." But Stephen Hawking is crossing a new frontier: weightlessness! The 65-year-old math professor is the first person with a disability to experience zero gravity. Hawking suffers from ALS, a disease that affects your body's motor neurons. He's usually confined to a wheelchair, which is why he said being able to float freely is so exciting.

One Year Graduate

LLOYD: When you set up your class schedule in college, you have to make some decisions about what to take when. Does English make more sense in the Fall or Spring? Maybe one semester of music instead of history. Why not just take them all? Paula Tutman of WDIV introduces us to a student who did just that.


PAULA TUTMAN, WDIV REPORTER: Her name is Nicole Matisse. She was reading at a 5th grade level at age 5, finished undergrad in a year, and even with fake nails, can pretty much type as fast as she can think, or as quickly as anybody can read.

TUTMAN: "A Time to Kill" by John Grisham: "Harry Rex Bonner was a huge slob of a lawyer.

NICOLE MATISSE, 19 YEAR OLD COLLEGE GRADUATE: Reporters crammed into the room which overflowed and trailed down the hall into the reception area.

TUTMAN: Reporters crammed into the room which overflowed and trailed down the hall into the reception area.

TUTMAN: She graduates this year from the University of Michigan at the tender age of 19 with a 4.0 average insight having aced 87 credits in one year.

MATISSE: The easiest course I think I took in college was Behavioral Neuroscience.

TUTMAN: Behavioral Neuroscience? A product of public schools, she says her biggest challenge is she has yet to really find a challenge.

PAM NABOYCHIK, NICOLE'S MOTHER: I was used to hearing the teachers say she was plagiarizing her work when she was five. She was actually writing things they were thinking she was copying from the World Book.

TUTMAN: Next stop: Wayne State University Law School, where she'll enter as one of the youngest students ever.



LLOYD: The CNN Classroom Edition: MLK Papers: Words That Changed a Nation examines the writings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his personal determination and private courage. The program airs this Monday, and you can find our free curriculum guide at

Before We Go

LLOYD: Before we go, recognition for a music teacher who's hit the right note. Andrea Peterson started teaching 10 years ago in Washington state. Now, she's being honored in Washington, D.C., as the national teacher of the year. Peterson became the just the 2nd music teacher to win the honor since it first started 57 years ago. The award-winning instructor started her career as a middle and high school band teacher, and says it's important for schools to offer classes like art and music. Peterson brings material from other classes into her own lessons and thinks that the arts can help foster success in many areas.

ANDREA PETERSON, NATIONAL TEACHER OF THE YEAR: Once they achieved in music, at least, I've seen so many times where they take that achievement into their regular classroom and acheive in math and science and all the other subjects as well.


LLOYD: And that rings the bell on today's edition of CNN Student News. Have a great weekend. I'm Monica Lloyd.




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