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CNN Student News Transcript: May 9, 2008

  • Story Highlights
  • Hear about global headlines, including the battles taking place in Beirut
  • Meet two entrepreneurs who are working to increase young voter turnout
  • Hear about President Bush's impact on the tiny town of Crawford, Texas
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(CNN Student News) -- May 9, 2008

Quick Guide

Today's Headlines - Hear about global headlines, including the battles taking place in Beirut.

Young People Who Rock - Meet two entrepreneurs who are working to increase young voter turnout.

Calling Crawford Home - Hear about President Bush's impact on the tiny town of Crawford, Texas.


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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: It's Friday! But before you take off for the weekend, check out our last show of the week here at CNN Student News. From the CNN Center, I'm Carl Azuz.

First Up: Today's Headlines

AZUZ: First up, let's get caught up on some of the stories making headlines around the world today. We're gonna start with the latest on the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis. This storm slammed into Myanmar nearly a week ago, killing tens of thousands of people and causing massive amounts of damage. The priority now is getting aid to the survivors. Relief workers were being delayed by the military council that runs Myanmar's government, but the group has given permission for some organizations to start delivering food and medical kits to the victims. Some United Nations aid workers say the supplies aren't getting in fast enough.

Turning to Iraq now, where the country's government says it's made a major arrest. An Iraqi official says Abu Ayyub al-Masri is in custody. He's the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, a group the U.S. military considers its number one enemy in the country. According to American officials, al-Masri has been involved in extremist movements since 1982.

Next, to the Middle Eastern country of Lebanon, where gunbattles have broken out on the streets of Beirut. This fighting is taking place between government forces and supporters of the militant group Hezbollah. But as you can see in these pictures, they aren't the only ones affected; sometimes innocent people get caught in the crossfire. The fighting started yesterday when Lebanese officials announced a plan to shut down Hezbollah's communications system. The group's leader called the move "a declaration of open war."

Head south from Lebanon and you'll run into Israel, a country that's celebrating its 60th birthday this week. Crowds of people gathered throughout the nation yesterday to mark independence day with music, picnics and some impressive displays from the Israeli Air Force. The country was established following World War II, and one Israeli author called the holiday "a celebration of the possible."

And finally, to Mount Everest, where the Olympic torch has reached the top of the world. We told you earlier this week that organizers of this year's Games promised that the flame would find its way up Everest during the torch relay. Yesterday, they made it. Climbers carried the torch to the summit using special lanterns and fuel designed by the Chinese space agency.

Young People Who Rock

AZUZ: Back in the U.S., there's an election coming up in November. You've probably heard us mention it a few times on our show. Now, young people usually don't have the best reputation when it comes to voter turnout. But there are two guys who aren't much older than you want to change that. Nicole Lapin talks to the founders of Generation Engage.


NICOLE LAPIN, CNN ANCHOR: So, both of you went to fancy, four-year universities. Justin, I want to start with you. These are not the people you guys want to reach through your organization, though.

JUSTIN ROCKEFELLER, GENERATIONENGAGE.ORG: That's exactly right. Right now, young people who've had the privilege of a four-year college experience are voting, on average, about 25%; about 1 in 4 are voting. Those who haven't had the benefit of a four-year college experience, about half of American young people aged 16 to 30, are voting at about a rate of 1 in 14. So, that's where we need to concentrate our efforts in a sustained way.

LAPIN: Adrian, let me ask you this. How are you going to do that? So many people ask these days, "How do you get the young people involved? How do you get the young people out to vote?" What do you want to say to those people?

ADRIAN TABLOTT, GENERATIONENGAGE.ORG: We hire young leaders in their own communities and we pay them full-time salaries to engage their peers independently of election cycles. We then empower them with new technologies. We use something called iChat, a video technology that Apple sponsors us with, to connect our members in disparate social venues around the country for interactive conversations.

LAPIN: We put your story up and we had a bunch of questions in for you, like this one from Victor, who says, "It's a good thing to create this type of engagement. But people are really looking for a a leader, someone or some purpose to follow. That is why young people don't get involved." What do you say to Victor, Justin?

ROCKEFELLER: We've got three fantastic, dynamic candidates right now, but it's important to understand, Victor, that not everything rests on the shoulders of these three individuals. There is an entire movement of groups, like, who realize you can't just rest on your laurels and realize that democracy revolves just around elections.

LAPIN: We hope both of you, Justin and Adrian, the discussion, the engagement, can continue after November. Thanks so much for joining us, both of the young founders of Generation Engage. And you can read more about Generation Engage on our Web site: Hey, are you a young person doing amazing things out there? Do you know somebody who is? Well, you can nominate them at this Web page as well.



GEORGE RAMSAY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Mrs. Hillenbrand's classes at Christ the King School in Evansville, Indiana. Where is President Bush's daughter Jenna getting married? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A) Crawford, Texas, B) Kennebunkport, Maine, C) The White House or D) Austin, Texas? You've got three seconds -- GO! Jenna Bush and her fiancé are tying the knot at her family's ranch in Crawford, Texas. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Calling Crawford Home

AZUZ: The couple thought a White House wedding would be a little too formal. That's why they decided on the 1,600-acre ranch in Crawford. The first family's already in town, where residents are getting ready for the big day, even if they're not on the guest list. Many businesses figure that if the wedding's coming to Crawford, so are the tourists. After all, that's been the case every time President Bush hits town. According to Crawford's Web site, the town has been reborn since the president bought his ranch there in 1999 and started making regular visits. But with his time in office coming to a close, Ed Henry looks at what's next for the president and what's next for Crawford.


U.S. PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: I'm a little wistful this evening.

ED HENRY, CNN REPORTER: At his final White House Correspondents Dinner, President Bush joked about being a lame duck.

BUSH: Senator McCain's not here. He probably wanted to distance himself from me a little bit. You know, he's not alone; Jenna's moving out, too.

HENRY: Daughter Jenna's wedding next weekend will mark one of the last hurrahs for the tiny town of Crawford, Texas, which is also feeling the impact of lame duck status. Early in the Bush administration, it experienced a boomlet as the president's vacation spot.

BUSH: Ordering some cheeseburgers and onion rings.

HENRY: He'd grab lunch at the Coffee Station, which naturally started selling all kinds of Bush-related souvenirs, just like two stores down the road. They love "Dubya" here, and say so on bumper stickers, bobbleheads, shot glasses.

BRITTAINY SHAW, COFFEE STATION: Anything that has Bush's name on it, they are like, "Wow,'' you know.

HENRY: There are now even Christmas ornaments celebrating Jenna's wedding to Henry Hager. Here in downtown Crawford, it's so quiet that there isn't even one traffic light. These gifts shops are usually pretty empty unless the president is in town, like this weekend. Then you have dozens of White House staffers, members of the White House press corps who scoop up all kinds of souvenirs for fun, like this big belt buckle. But the shop owners are getting nervous, 'cause business is way down in the waning days of the administration.

SHAW: I mean, you are still gonna get people here, tourists coming here. And like, yea, you know, the president used to live here. I mean, you still have people going to see where Elvis Presley grew up.

HENRY: Like the King? It's hard to imagine the Crawford ranch suddenly becoming Graceland. But then again, the president has been doing some singing.

BUSH (Singing): Yes, you're all gonna miss me the way you used to dis me.

HENRY: And he's even been trying to dance, like here in New Orleans, boogying like Elvis; well, not quite like Elvis. He clearly has some work to do to get his moves down in time to dance with Jenna at that wedding in sleepy old Crawford. Ed Henry, CNN, Crawford, Texas.


Teacher Appreciation

AZUZ: Wrapping up Teacher Appreciation Week, we've gotten more comments on "Best Teacher EVER" than any other blog we've done; we're talking hundreds! Here's what you're saying. From David: "Mister Wichert has shown everybody in his class how to respect others and has taught all his students about the world." Hammie credits Mr. Smith, who has the same name as our producer. "He's very passionate about teaching," Hammie says, "and he deserves to be recognized for all his hard work and dedication." Kyle says Miss West, Miss Allen, Miss Henderson and Miss Taylor "all have motivated me, and they always help me to keep going and get an education." Mrs. Mack wrote that her favorite teachers are her students! "They teach me a lot every day," she says. Mister Bluedorn got too many mentions to recap here, but he's definitely making an impression... and maybe offering some extra credit. And "Gil" writes: "Favorite teacher? That's a tough one. I love all my teachers. But if any of them wants to help me make this tough decision, I take cash, checks or credit."



AZUZ: A true capitalist! Now, I wrote in that blog that my best teacher was my mom, and it's not a cop-out because she really does teach! I'd like to wish her a very happy Mother's Day this Sunday. We hope you'll do the same for your mom! For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.

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