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CNN Student News Transcript Special: Your Top Stories

  • Story Highlights
  • CNN Student News is posting special Web casts online throughout the summer
  • Today's program includes student picks of top news stories of the school year
  • Among viewers' choices: the race for the White House and increasing gas prices
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(CNN Student News) -- June 16, 2008



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hey! I'm Carl Azuz and we welcome you to the first summer edition of CNN Student News! We're going to be bringing you these special programs every other week over the next few months. You can find them online at or at iTunes.

America Votes 2008

AZUZ: To kick things off, we are wrapping up the school year. We asked our audience to sound off on their choices for the top stories from the '07-'08 academic year. One of the first on the list: surprise, surprise, the race for the White House. Since last summer, Americans have whittled down this wide field of Democrats and Republicans. Now, the final two candidates are expected to face off on election day in November. John McCain emerged as the frontrunner for the GOP. The Arizona senator became his party's presumptive nominee back in March. He'll officially be nominated at the Republican national convention in September. It took a little longer to determine his Democratic opponent though. Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton faced off in one of the closest races we've ever seen. As the primary season came to a close in early June, Obama earned enough delegates to clinch the party's nomination, and Clinton threw her support behind her Democratic colleague. The party will hold its national convention and officially nominate its presidential candidate this August.

Soaring Gas Prices

AZUZ: Next up: Ouch! We're talking about the cost of gas. We've reported on regular increases so much it's actually become big news when prices don't go up. Nearly every day brings a new record. And during June, the average price of regular unleaded reached $4 a gallon in at least half of the 50 states! Our viewers are feeling this every time they fill up and they're talking about it on our blog.


AZUZ: Tavin on our blog calls gas prices "insanely expensive." Chris says they're "way too high." Grace writes that the "unreasonable, skyrocketing oil price" in the U.S. is what strikes her the most. Higher oil leads to higher gas, and if you drive, you are hurting. So, some students are getting creative.

STUDENT HORSEBACK RIDER: My truck is very, like, a gas guzzler. And I'm sick and tired of always being at the gas station getting gas and not having enough money to always get gas, so...

AZUZ: So, she and her friends saddle up to sidle in to school. Who would've thought it'd come to this?


Natural Disasters

AZUZ: Students looked overseas for a couple other top story suggestions. When natural disasters struck neighboring Asian countries just two weeks apart, it gripped the world's attention and our audience's too. Many of them commented on some images that stood out the most from these devastating events.


AZUZ: What stood out to Sara, who wrote into our blog, was the cyclone that struck Myanmar on May 4th. Mike said he hadn't seen natural disaster damage like that in a long time, and neither had we. Tens of thousands dead, up to a million homeless, and the country's government was hesitant at first to let some groups in to help. It's easy to see why Alice, Katy and Ms. Deis' students couldn't forget images like these. And Mrs. Klaver said her students there were divided on their most memorable news stories between the typhoon in Myanmar and the earthquake in China.

In some areas, not much was left standing by the magnitude-7.9 tremor that struck on May 12th. Smriti and Kimi described the event as "simply horrific;" Shane called it a "catastrophe;" and Yvonne said it scared her to see all the collapsed buildings. But there was an element to this story that really seemed to affect you: the Chinese wedding photographer who captured earthquake history. Vanessa liked that the couples were available for these pictures, despite the tragedy. And Sara, Andrea and Jasmine said they were happy that all the people in the photos made it out safely. We thank all of you for writing in to share your most memorable headlines with us. Our blog is always up, if you'd like to comment.


Top Blogs

AZUZ: When we asked students to give us their picks for the school year's top stories, we got more than a hundred suggestions on our blog. That's all right, but not even close to the number of comments we received on our most popular posts. Here's a look at the ones that really got you guys talking.


AZUZ: Presenting, in order, our Top 5 most popular blog posts of the year! First up, our Salute to Teachers. A total of almost 600 of you worldwide answered the question, "Who was your favorite teacher of all time?" There's no way we could list all of your responses here, but, like all of these postings, they'll be up for you to read for as long as our blog is!

Numero dos: the Getting Paid to Study story. A combined total of nearly 400 comments came in, many saying that an Atlanta-area program that paid students to get tutored was a bad idea. Some argued it offered no rewards for the students who do what they're supposed to do anyway; those who disagreed said anything that paid students while upping their grades was worth an A.

In third place: a controversial school experiment on segregation. For one day, students at a Kansas high school who were considered "dark-skinned" got special privileges. This was meant to show how racial separation affected people, and it netted more than 200 comments.

Just behind that was one of the biggest international stories we've covered on CNN Student News: the Iraq war. 197 opinions have come in calling the war everything from a "bad idea" to "necessary for America's security."

And pucker up for number five: It was all about PDA when two South Carolina students were expelled for kissing on the school bus. It violated the school district's code of conduct, and brought in comments from 187 viewers. We'll be blogging all summer From A to Z at!



JIM RIBBLE, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for a Summer Shoutout! What does the term "blog" stand for? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A) Binary language organized, B) Being literary or gerund, C) Bringing life to online gazette or D) Bibliophile leaning on greatness? You've got three seconds -- GO! Fooled you! "Blog" doesn't stand for any of these, because it's not an acronym. It's just short for "Weblog." That's your answer and that's your sneaky Summer Shoutout!

Off the Beaten Path

AZUZ: Now, a few of you -- ok, a lot of you -- leaned toward the lighter side of news when you gave us your picks for the year's top stories. So, what do a padded lamppost, edible artwork and a hound of a horse have in common? They're some of your favorite funny videos of the school year.


AZUZ: Check it out: cross-species identity crisis. For Halloween last year, a woman dressed up her horse as a poodle; what we called a hoodle, and what you called one of your favorite videos of the year! A real dog, dressed as a cow, wanted no part of this. But there's no reason why different species can't get along, according to this guy. He ambles around with a rat riding a cat riding a dog, riding a wave of your blog comments asking to see it again.

Appealing to your artistic inclinations, or maybe just your stomachs: Ramen noodle art. Feast your eyes once again on a sculpture inspired by Native American architectural ruins and built out of noodles. Now, for some video that just plain hurts. Walking while texting can be dangerous, so a lot of you responded when a British town padded stuff like light poles to prevent injury. Nothing could prevent this, though: a cheerleader who took one from the team! Yes, she was more or less okay; wouldn't have been nearly as funny otherwise. And of course, an event where everyone gets hurt: running for a roll of cheese. This got praise, not to mention medical attention. And finally, something that's just painful to look at. What happens when you think the cameras aren't rolling and your producers slap it on a bloopers reel?! All I could say when I saw this was, "Make it stop!" But you guys kept writing, "Make it happen again," so there you go.


Web Promo

AZUZ: Just because school's out of session, doesn't mean CNN Student News is on a three-month break. We'll do these Web casts and post on our blog all summer long. So, stop on by, see what we're talking about, and jump into the conversation. And send us an iReport, telling us about your summer vacation. You know where to find us:!



AZUZ: That's gonna wrap up this summer special. We'll be back with a new Web cast in a couple weeks. See you then!

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