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CNN Student News Transcript: January 11, 2008

  • Story Highlights
  • Learn President Bush's predicted timeframe for a Middle East peace treaty
  • Look back at the life of the first man to reach the summit of Mount Everest
  • Hear how the words of some presidential candidates recall past leaders
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(CNN Student News) -- January 11, 2008

Quick Guide

Middle East Mission - Learn President Bush's predicted timeframe for a Middle East peace treaty.

Sir Edmund Hillary 1919-2008 - Look back at the life of the first man to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Speaking of Candidates - Hear how the words of some presidential candidates recall past leaders.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: It's Friday, and you've made it to the end of the week with CNN Student News. We're happy to have you with us. From the CNN Center, I'm Carl Azuz.

First Up: Middle East Mission

AZUZ: First up today: peace in the Middle East. President Bush thinks it's possible, and he's there right now working to make it happen. He's been meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders this week, hoping to keep up the momentum from a summit that took place last year. But the U.S. leader says an agreement is going to take painful sacrifices from both groups. Nicole Collins has more on the president's push for peace in the region.


U.S. PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I believe it's possible. Not only possible, I believe it's going to happen, that there will be a signed peace treaty by the time I leave office.

NICOLE COLLINS, CNN REPORTER: President Bush made the optimistic prediction in a joint news conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. After meeting privately with the leader, President Bush says he is convinced peace is possible.

BUSH: Absolutely, it's possible. Not only is it possible, it is necessary.

COLLINS: President Bush's meeting in the West Bank comes just hours after discussing the peace process with Israeli leaders in Jerusalem, including Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. There are still major issues to address, but President Bush gave his assessment of the Israeli and Palestinian leaders' commitment to ending years of violence.

BUSH: Both men understand the importance; two democratic states living side by side in peace.

COLLINS: A sentiment reiterated by both leaders.

MAHMOUD ABBAS, PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT: Our Palestinian people are committed to peace as a strategic option.

EHUD OLMERT, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Both sides, I believe, are very seriously trying to move forward.

COLLINS: President Bush tied the Mideast peace process back into the War on Terror, saying a solution in the region will help relieve chaos and violence in other parts of the world. President Bush will be in the region for one week. He'll make stops in Arab countries that are key U.S. allies to discuss how Mideast peace is a regional obligation. In Washington, I'm Nicole Collins.


Sir Edmund Hillary 1919-2008

AZUZ: Mount Everest: At more than 29,000 feet, its peak is the highest point on Earth. And about 55 years ago, Sir Edmund Hillary became the first person to reach it, achieving worldwide fame in the process. Hillary passed away yesterday at the age of 88. Jonathan Mann looks back at a life that was filled with exploration.


JONATHAN MANN, CNN REPORTER: Edmund Hillary climbed his way into history by being one of the first two men to reach the highest point on Earth, Mount Everest. Born in 1919 in Auckland, New Zealand, Edmund Percival Hillary first set his sights lower by taking up the family trade of beekeeping. But his love for the outdoors carried him to the mountains of New Zealand and then on to the Alps, and ultimately landed him in the Himalayas, where he climbed past an altitude of 20,000 feet on 11 different peaks. The highest of those peaks, five-and-a-half miles above sea level, was Everest. With brutal cold, constant winds and very little oxygen at the top the mountain, Everest had turned back all the adventurers who dared to challenge it. But on May 29, 1953, it was Hillary and guide Tenzing Norgay who finally made it.

SIR EDMUND HILLARY: He threw his arms around my shoulders and gave me a hug, and I threw my arms around his shoulders. And so we hugged each other in satisfaction on top of the mountain.

MANN: Hillary became a household name. He was knighted by a young Queen Elizabeth, and even his explanation of the climb became legendary: He went up Everest, he said, "Because it is there." His passion for exploration continued as he organized expeditions to all the remote areas of the Earth, including the first ever motorized crossing of Antarctica. But as the years passed, Hillary found himself drawn back to both the people and the natural environment of the Himalayas. He established the American Himalayan Foundation to extend his humanitarian efforts. Over the years, Hillary and the foundation built numerous hospitals, schools, village clinics and airstrips. They planted more than a million trees and organized groups to clean up more than 50 tons of garbage left behind by those who followed Hillary up Everest.

More than 700 people have made it to the top since then. Thousands more have tried and more than 150 have lost their lives. When asked how he made it up Everest, Hillary once said, "I get frightened to death on many occasions, but fear can be a stimulating factor." It is, perhaps, that unending drive that took Hillary to the top, but more importantly, allowed him to come to the aid of a culture and an environment for generations to come.

SIR EDMUND HILLARY: I feel that the media really created a hero of Ed Hillary, whereas I know perfectly well that I'm a person of very modest abilities. But I do take a little bit of credit for taking advantage of the opportunities that arose.

MANN: Sir Edmund Hillary will live on not only in the hearts of the Himalayan people, but in all of those who attempt to follow Hillary's steps to the top of the world. Jonathan Mann, CNN.



MONICA LLOYD, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Ms. Perkins' Social Studies and Language Arts classes at Grover Cleveland Middle School in Caldwell, New Jersey! Who spoke these famous words? "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." If you think you know it, shout it out! Was it: A) Benjamin Franklin, B) Grover Cleveland, C) Orlando Bloom or D) John F. Kennedy? You've got three seconds -- GO! You were listening to the voice of John F. Kennedy, recorded at his inaugural speech in 1961. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Speaking of Candidates

AZUZ: Those famous words are probably some of the most well-known in American politics. Now, they were said after Kennedy had already won the election. But the power of speech -- what words you use and how you use them -- can play a big role in a candidate's path to the presidency. Tom Foreman looks at what some of this year's White House hopefuls are saying.


BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is something happening in America!

TOM FOREMAN, CNN REPORTER: What is happening is an explosion of inspirational words that some pundits say rival the best stump speeches ever. And the senator who sounds like a preacher is leading the revival.

OBAMA: Yes we can! It was the call of workers who organized, women who reached for the ballot, a president who chose the moon as our new frontier and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the promised land. Yes we can, to justice and equality.

FOREMAN: All this superlative speech-making is no accident.

DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JUNIOR: And I've seen the promised land.

FOREMAN: Obama is channeling Martin Luther King, Jr. and John Kennedy.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is the beginning of a great new day.

FOREMAN: And other candidates are drawing on the past, too, specifically through their choice of words.

JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My friends, I didn't go to Washington to go along to get along, or to play it safe to serve my own interests. I went there to serve my country.

FOREMAN: John McCain is clearly making a link to President Ronald Reagan, who said "my friends" all the time.

MCCAIN: My friends...


MCCAIN: But I promise you, my friends...

REAGAN: My friends, the wall is crumbling...

MCCAIN: Thank you, my friends.

FOREMAN: Bill Clinton took the White House from the first President Bush, talking about health care, oil profits, the cost of education, the collapsing middle class. And Hillary Clinton's campaign echoes many of his issues and words.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to rebuild a strong and prosperous middle class. And to me, that is the most important job the next president will have here at home. Because if we don't begin to pay attention to the people who do the work, and raise the families and make this country great, we will not recognize America in a few years.

FOREMAN: John Edwards was saying much the same thing a full four years ago. But as many political observers have noticed, at some point almost every candidate borrows ideas, words, even their speaking style from someone else.

MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think you have to have somebody from outside Washington who has proven that he can get the job done.

FOREMAN: In some ways it is unavoidable. If your background is in business, like Mitt Romney, of course you sound like past campaigners who talked about a businesslike approach to government. If you are a former minister, like Mike Huckabee, well, praise the Lord and pass the familiar folksiness.

MIKE HUCKABEE, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We just sensed that we were gonna do better than a lot of people thought that this old, unknown Southern boy could possibly do up here in New England.

FOREMAN: So, is all of this all adding up to the best season of political speeches in decades? Maybe. But then, we've heard that before, too. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.




AZUZ: And those are our last words for this week. But we'll see you back again on Monday for more CNN Student News. Have a great weekend, everyone. I'm Carl Azuz. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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