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CNN Student News Transcript: December 21, 2007

  • Story Highlights
  • Hear about several news events that are making headlines today
  • Look back at some of the biggest stories of the past year
  • Check out our favorite "Before We Go" videos of 2007
  • Next Article in Living »
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(CNN Student News) -- December 21, 2007

Quick Guide

Today's Headlines - Hear about several news events that are making headlines today.

2007 Video Yearbook - Look back at some of the biggest stories of the past year.

Best of Before We Go - Check out our favorite "Before We Go" videos of 2007.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: It's Friday, and you've made your way to the end of the week and the year with CNN Student News. Hello everyone. I'm Carl Azuz. This is our last show of 2007, and we're happy to have you with us as we wrap up the year.

First Up: Today's Headlines

AZUZ: Now, before we get to our review of news from the past year, we want to get you caught up on some stories that are making headlines today.

Congress ended 2007 "on a high note." That's what President Bush said during his year-end review on Thursday. But he also had some criticism for lawmakers, saying that they stuffed a spending bill with money for projects that he called "wasteful". During his remarks, the president also talked about the economy, the environment, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Parts of New Zealand are cleaning up after an earthquake struck the country's northeastern coast. The U.S. Geological Survey registered a 6.6-magnitude for this quake, which hit Thursday night. According to officials, the seismic event caused some structural damage, which you can see here, but there were no initial reports of any injuries.

And Frederick Dominguez and his three children are safe and sound after an ordeal in the California wilderness. The group went out searching for a Christmas tree last Sunday and got lost in the woods. They were rescued on Wednesday after helicopter pilots spotted a "help" sign that the family made out of tree branches. The children were back in the hospital Thursday after one complained of pain from frostbite. Two were sent home; 15-year-old Alexis is still being treated.


GEORGE RAMSAY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" is the final installment in what author's seven-book series? If you think you can conjure up an answer, shout it out! Is it: A) Dr. Suess, B) Tom Clancy, C) Beverly Cleary or D) J.K. Rowling? You've got three seconds -- GO! Many of you muggles probably knew this one before we gave you the choices. The young wizard's writer is J.K. Rowling. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

2007 Video Yearbook

AZUZ: It's hard to believe that 2007 is almost over. for a lot of us here, the year just flew by. But before we flip the calendar to '08, we want to take a look back at the people and events that have been in the headlines over the last 12 months. From a political crisis to presidential candidates, striking writers to best-selling wizards, you'll find it all in our Video Yearbook.


AZUZ: 2007 kicked off with a changing of the guard at the United Nations. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took over for Kofi Annan. The South Korean diplomat wants to streamline the U.N., making it a more efficient organization. In the states, history was made.


AZUZ: That was the first time anyone had ever used that phrase in that way, because it's the first time the U.S. ever had a female Speaker of the House. And despite Pelosi's opposition to the Iraq war, President Bush ordered a "surge" of an additional 30,000 combat troops to the Gulf nation. General David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq, says they could be back home next summer. He also says that the surge largely met its military goals, helping decrease the violence in Iraq. However, there was a grim milestone for U.S. forces in January, when the military announced that 3,000 American troops had died in the war. The figure was approaching 4,000 by the end of this year. Iraq has factored in strongly to the ongoing presidential debates. With eyes firmly fixed on next year's election, several candidates from the Republican and Democratic parties hit the campaign trail, their sights set on President Bush's job. They have to get their parties' nominations first, though, and that process begins in early '08.

The plight of a five-year-old Iraqi boy named Youssif captured the nation's, and your, attention. He was severely scarred during a brutal attack outside his Baghdad home. But after his story appeared on CNN and, people around the world lent a helping hand. They donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to The Childrens Burn Foundation to bring Youssif and his family to the U.S. while he undergoes treatment, all free of charge to them. Tragedy struck Virginia Tech University in April, when a gunman killed 32 people before taking his own life. In the weeks and months that followed, security was increased, and the campus witnessed a unique determination in its students when most of them returned to class and vowed to continue their education there. It was freak occurrence in Minnesota: In August, a major bridge over the Mississippi River collapsed during the evening rush hour in Minneapolis. 13 people died in the incident. The president pledged government money to help rebuild the bridge, which was found to have problems back in 2001. Southern California suffered a series of wildfires that killed 14 people, charred hundreds of thousands of acres and forced a million people from their homes. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in November. And a term called MRSA, or "Super Bug," became a part of our vocabulary. It describes a kind of bacterial infection that's virtually impossible to kill with conventional drugs. Places where a lot of people touch the same equipment are where MRSA can be found, so protect yourself by regularly washing your hands and keeping your cuts covered with clean bandages.

A couple of international headlines: Political changes in Britain and France. British Prime Minister Tony Blair, seen here on the right, stepped down after ten years on the job. Gordon Brown, on the left, took over Blair's old post. And across the English Channel, President Jacques Chirac wrapped up 12 years in power, with Nicolas Sarkozy becoming the new French leader. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency for 42 days while he sorted through a political uproar. Some had questioned his authority, since Pakistan's constitution says you can't be president and leader of the military at the same time. Musharraf stepped down as Pakistan's military ruler, keeping his job as president, and he scheduled new parliamentary elections for next month.

Finally, sports and entertainment: Controversial baseball slugger Barry Bonds officially became his sport's all-time home run king in August. But in November, he was indicted on charges of lying to investigators when he testified in 2003 that he did not knowingly take illegal steroids.Bonds was just one of more than 80 players linked to performance-enhancing drugs in what's become known as the Mitchell report, named for former Senator George Mitchell, who spent more than a year investigating the controversy. Another sports star in hot water: Atlanta Falcon Michael Vick. The NFL quarterback admitted to playing a key role in running an illegal dogfighting ring, and in December he was sentenced to a 23-month prison term. By now, many of you muggles have finished up the seventh book in the immensely popular Harry Potter series. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" marked the last installment in the Potter saga by British author J.K. Rowling. And speaking of writing, there ain't much of that going on in Hollywood. Writers hit the picket lines in November, asking for more money for DVD and Internet distribution. TV shows took the first, immediate hit, though many of the late-night shows like Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien plan to return to the air without their writers in January.


Planet in Peril Promo

AZUZ: Planet in Peril explores some of the environmental issues facing the Earth, and next Tuesday, Christmas night, you can catch an encore showing on CNN. We've put together educational materials to go along with the program. You can find a link to them in the spotlight section of our home page,

Best of Before We Go

AZUZ: All right, time to have a little fun. As promised, here are my top three picks for best "Before We Go" videos of the year. Behold the world's ugliest dog. Its owner says some people mistake it for a monkey, which I'd say is a compliment. It's half Chinese crested, half chihuahua, all nasty. One dude described the tongue as an unfinished fruit roll-up. Mmmm. Speaking of nasty, the only thing uglier than a Chihuahua -- and I love them -- is a chihuahua nursing squirrels! This dog actually helped rescue the rodents after their nest fell. We wonder if the other squirrels make fun of them, though, saying stuff like, "Dude, you were raised by a dog!" And finally, your pick: A few folks wrote in on our blog that they wanted to see this cheerleader get decked again. Looks pretty violent, but we wouldn't be showing it if she wasn't completely fine afterward, however painful this looked. Props to her for taking one from the team. Props to you, for writing in to our blog!

Quotes of the Year

AZUZ: A lot of times, we use video and pictures to help tell a story. But words can be just as meaningful as images, and we couldn't close the book on 2007 without remembering some of the best quotes from this past year.

AZUZ: That's where we hop across the finish line today.... Well that is where we peel on out of here... And that's our last bite for today.... And that's where we're gonna sail on outta here... trot on outta here... We crawl to a close..last wave of the wand... And that's our last rhyme, as we've run out of time. And that sounds the final note... doing it in what looks like a very tiny tu-tu for Boo-Boo. And that's how things stand... or not. A horse crossed with a poodle. I mean, what would you even call that, like a hoodle? And you might call that a punny payoff to today's program.



AZUZ: Alright. They told me these were going to be funny quotes. I had no idea that was coming. I don't know how staged that looked. I thought it just looked bad. So I both apologize and I was going to put on my Santa hat to say goodbye, but...I don't even know...I just can't. That's the last word for this year. We hope you have a very happy holidays and a happy new year. We hop you forgive us for that horrid display of goofyness. Thanks for watching, everyone. We'll see you in '08. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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