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CNN Student News Transcript: January 14, 2008

  • Story Highlights
  • See what stops President Bush has made on his trip to the Middle East
  • Examine why many White House hopefuls have quieted down about the Iraq war
  • Hear why an Iowa woman is calling herself the meanest mom in the world
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(CNN Student News) -- January 14, 2008

Quick Guide

Middle East Mission - See what stops President Bush has made on his trip to the Middle East.

What About Iraq? - Examine why many White House hopefuls have quieted down about the Iraq war.

Meanest Mom Ever - Hear why an Iowa woman is calling herself the meanest mom in the world.



MONICA LLOYD, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Thanks for joining us as we kick off a brand new week of CNN Student News. Hi, everyone. I'm Monica Lloyd. Let's start today's show with some travel trivia.


CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! Which of these former presidents traveled the most while in office? If you think you know it, shout it out! Was it: A) Franklin D. Roosevelt, B) Ronald Reagan, C) Bill Clinton or D) Richard M. Nixon? You've got three seconds -- GO! Though Roosevelt did a lot of traveling for his day, Bill Clinton traveled the most of these former presidents. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

First Up: Middle East Mission

LLOYD: And the current commander in chief is on the road right now, making an eight-day swing across the Middle East. President Bush spent a few days in Israel and the West Bank last week, working on a peace treaty between Israelis and Palestinians. After stops in Kuwait and Bahrain, Mr. Bush moved to the United Arab Emirates and spent some time talking about its neighbor across the Persian Gulf, Iran. Ed Henry tells us what the president had to say.


ED HENRY, CNN REPORTER: It was one of President Bush's typical blasts at Iran.

U.S. PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: It seeks to intimidate its neighbors with ballistic missiles and bellicose rhetoric.

HENRY: Atypical was he delivered those words in this opulent Abu Dhabi hotel just 200 miles across the Persian Gulf from Iranian soil.

BUSH: Iran's actions threaten the security of nations everywhere. So, the United States is strengthening our long-standing security commitments with our friends in the Gulf, and rallying friends around the world to confront this danger before it is too late.

HENRY: An in-your-face shot in the front yard of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Earlier, Mr. Bush met in Bahrain with the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, which dealt with the recent incident in which Iranian speedboats confronted Navy ships. An aide said the president was told by a vice admiral the Navy takes such threats in the Strait of Hormuz "deadly seriously." In his formal remarks in Abu Dhabi, which the White House billed as the "signature speech" of this eight-day swing through the Mideast, Mr. Bush linked the threat from Iran to that from al Qaeda and the Taliban.

BUSH: The United States joins you in your commitment to the freedom and security of this region, and we will not abandon you to terrorists or extremists.

HENRY: The president knows his alternate vision of spreading democracy in the Mideast faces skepticism because the model for his "freedom agenda," the Iraq war, has brought instability to the region.

BUSH: Our own history teaches us that the road to freedom is not always even, and democracy does not come overnight. Yet we also know that for all the difficulties, a society based on liberty is worth the sacrifice.

HENRY: And he walked a fine line between optimism and realism over the primary goal of his trip, fostering an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

BUSH: Leaders on both sides still have many tough decisions ahead, and they will need to back these decisions with real commitments. The talks are just beginning, and our hopes are high.

HENRY: Next stop after the president's freedom speech: Saudi Arabia, which still doesn't allow women to vote. A senior White House official explained that Saudi King Abdullah has a "conservative" society, but realizes it needs to change over time. Ed Henry, CNN, with the president in Abu Dhabi.


What About Iraq?

LLOYD: You just heard the war in Iraq mentioned, and the effect it's having on the Middle East. Here in the U.S., the issue is certainly front and center for the current administration, and probably will be for the person who moves into the Oval Office next year, too. So, it should be a hot topic in the race for the White House. But that's not really the case these days. Tom Foreman looks at the possible reasons why.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN REPORTER: A few months ago, the war was all the rage on the campaign trail.




MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We already have a civil war...


FOREMAN: Now, the war talk is a whisper of its old self. And in this Sunday's New York Times Magazine, Harvard professor Noah Feldman has an idea why.

NOAH FELDMAN, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Politicians very much want us to have warm associations with them, and talking about the war is a bit of a downer. There's nothing terribly optimistic, and I think that's probably their first issue.

FOREMAN: More issues: The war remains enormously unpopular with voters who largely blame President Bush, so Republicans are not eager to bring it up. That makes Ron Paul and John McCain rarities as they keep hammering on it.

JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If we'd have done what the Democrats wanted to do six months ago, al Qaeda would be trumpeting to the world that they beat us. I'll never let that happen. We'll never surrender.

FOREMAN: Funny thing is, McCain's war stance may have helped propel him to victory in New Hampshire, and he's pointing out the reason most Democratic contenders are keeping quiet: One year after the president announced the troop surge, which Democrats said could not work, it is working. Fatalities for troops and civilians are way down; Iraqi neighborhoods, shops, even the symphony is back in full swing. Dems do not want to talk about that, but political analysts say they should.

JIM VANDEHEI, POLITICO.COM: The next president will have 100,000-plus troops on the ground. They should deal with this. They should articulate exactly what they would do as president.

FOREMAN: One last cause for the roaring silence: Both sides are beginning to agree.

FELDMAN: With the moderate to dove-ish people saying we should leave as soon as we can, and the hawkish people saying we should leave as soon as we're able, it's just hard to distinguish themselves, and that's what they need to do.

FOREMAN: Don't hold your breath. The raw politics: Candidates of all stripes hate betting their careers on outcomes they can't predict, even if other Americans are betting their lives. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


Is this legit?

AZUZ: Is This Legit? The Tasman Sea lies between Australia and New Zealand. Yes! It's named for Abel Tasman, who navigated through it in 1642.

First Crossing

LLOYD: More than three-and-a-half centuries later, a couple of other explorers have notched a new first for the Tasman Sea: they crossed it in a kayak! We're talking about a body of water that's 1,400 miles across, and these guys actually paddled a lot farther than that. They set out from Australia on November 13th and expected to make the crossing by Christmas. But strong winds and tides spun them in circles and forced a change in plans. Sixty-two days and more than 2,000 miles later, they pulled in to New Zealand safe and sound.

Meanest Mom Ever

LLOYD: Now, you might think you have a mean mom. But one Iowa parent says she's the meanest in the world! She busted her son breaking one of the rules she had set for his car, so she punished him. Doesn't sound too extreme, except that the punishment included telling the whole town what he did! Angie Hunt of affiliate KCCI explains the story.


ANGIE HUNT, KCCI REPORTER: Getting behind the wheel of a car is something not to take for granted.

PERSON ON THE STREET: I think that driving is a privilege, especially when you're a teenager.

HUNT: Especially if you are a teenager with a mom who is not afraid to sell your car if you break the rules.

PERSON ON THE STREET: Oh, I'd freak out. I'd be so mad.

HUNT: And what teen wouldn't freak out if their mom placed a classified ad in the Des Moines Register to sell their car? Jane Hambleton, who calls herself the "meanest mom on the planet," did just that after finding alcohol in her 19-year-old son's car.

EMILEE BRAMMER: He only drove it three weeks before snoopy mom, who needs to get a life, found booze under the front seat.

HUNT: Ten-year-old Emilee Brammer isn't even old enough to drive, but after reading the ad, she had no doubt what her dad would do.

EMILEE BRAMMER: No. Alcohol is... but I bet my dad would do that too.

NATHAN BRAMMER, EMILEE BRAMMER'S FATHER: I think he'll be very angry for a while. But I think, you know, years from now, he'll get it once he has his own kids. And you worry about them all the time.

MARTY MARTINEZ, PSYCHOLOGIST, IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY: What she was doing was being, really, a pretty good parent.

HUNT: Psychologist Marty Martinez said, unfortunately, what makes this punishment so shocking is that it's a rare example of a parent standing their ground.

MARTINEZ: That's probably, unfortunately the unusual thing is, that you actually would back up, you know, what you say to the extent of going to this, I don't know if the word is extreme, but to this extent.

HUNT: Still, some parents feel the son deserved a second chance.

LYNNE BALDWIN, AMES, IOWA RESIDENT: I don't think that was a very motherly way to handle this.



LLOYD: That mom actually kept the ad running after the car was sold because of how much feedback it got. And now we want to hear yours. What do you think about this public punishment? Tough but fair, or did she go too far? Head to our blog at and leave us your comments on the issue.

Word to the Wise

AZUZ: A Word to the Wise...

nano It's not just an iPod, it's also a prefix meaning one billionth; extremely small


Before We Go

LLOYD: Extremely small has been big news the last few years: nanotechnology, the iPod Nano. Now, say hello to the newest nano: the car! The latest in tiny transportation debuted last week in India. It's hitting the market later this year, and it's not just small in stature. It's rock bottom in cost! For the low, low price of just 2,500 bucks, you can own the world's cheapest car! Of course, you won't get some deluxe features, like power steering or power windows or air conditioning.



LLOYD: But hey, as long as it has four wheels and gets you where you're going, who needs those luxuries? That's where we drive off into the sunset. Have a great day, everyone. I'm Monica Lloyd. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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