(CNN Student News) -- August 29, 2008
America the Beautiful - Meet a documentary filmmaker who's questioning American ideas about beauty.
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Fridays are awesome, and we hope you think the same thing of today's show. I'm Carl Azuz for CNN Student News.
AZUZ: First up, we're wrapping up our coverage of the Democratic National Convention with a historic moment in American politics. As the curtain came down on four days of big crowds and big speeches, Sen. Barack Obama accepted his party's nomination for president, becoming the first African-American ever to hold that distinction. Tens of thousands of people packed into Denver's Invesco Field to witness the moment. Reggie Aqui details the final day of the DNC.
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SEN. BARACK OBAMA, DEM. PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for presidency of the United States.
REGGIE AQUI: The Barack Obama show is out of the convention hall and into the Denver Broncos' stadium. Obama speaks in front of 75,000.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA, DEM. PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work. That's the promise of America.
AQUI: The first major-party African-American presidential nominee makes his own history on an already significant day. 45 years ago, Martin Luther King, jr. spoke of his dream on the National Mall in Washington.
MARTIN LUTHER KING, III, SON OF MLK: You know we are all children of the dream. And he is here in all of our hearts and minds. But not only that, he is in the hopes and dreams, the competence and courage, the rightness and readiness of Barack Obama.
AQUI: Now all that's left to do here in Denver is to clean up the confetti. Friday, Barack Obama campaigns in Pennsylvania. And John McCain, celebrating his 72nd birthday, campaigns in Ohio and Pennsylvania. For CNN Student News, I'm Reggie Aqui.
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AZUZ: Not all of the crowds gathered in Denver this week are cheering. This group, about 9,000 strong, is protesting the war in Iraq and pushing for an immediate U.S. withdrawal from that conflict. They've sent a letter to Barack Obama asking for his support. On Wednesday, they tried to deliver the message in person, marching as close as they could get to the Pepsi Center.
GEORGE RAMSAY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Mr. Wozniak's Global Studies classes at Vaughn International Studies Academy in Pacoima, California! What city is hosting next week's Republican National Convention? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A) Baltimore, Maryland, B) St. Paul, Minnesota, C) Cincinnati, Ohio or D) Houston, Texas? You've got three seconds -- GO! Members of the Republican Party are heading to St. Paul, Minnesota, for next week's convention. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
McCain VP Announcement
AZUZ: That's where John McCain will accept his party's nomination for president. The Republicans take over the political spotlight next week, and our convention coverage kicks off on Tuesday. We'll be off Monday for Labor Day. One of the things we'll talk about is McCain's running mate! He's expected to announce his choice for vice presidential candidate today. If you want to get the early scoop on who that is, check out CNN.com over the weekend.
This Week in History
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AZUZ: The news is about what's going on now. But what about what happened then? Let's check out some highlights from this week in history. It's an election year, so let's talk about the right to vote. It's a fundamental part of our democracy, and on August 26, 1920, it was officially given to women by the 19th Amendment, which said that the right to vote shall not be denied on account of sex. Jump ahead to August 28, 1963. That's when the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. led the March on Washington. When the peaceful protest arrived at the Lincoln Memorial, the civil rights icon delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, sharing his vision for a country free of racial discrimination. And it was three years ago this week when Hurricane Katrina slammed into the U.S. Gulf Coast. The Category 3 storm claimed more than 1,800 lives and caused more than $81 billion in damages. So it's understandable why many consider it the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. That's our quick look back at a few of this week's historical highlights.
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AZUZ: On the anniversary of that devastating storm -- this is unbelievable -- Louisiana is bracing for what could be another one. Residents there are preparing for Tropical Storm Gustav. Officials say it's already claimed more than 50 lives in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Forecasters warn it could become a major storm by early next week as it moves into the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Hanna formed near Puerto Rico on Thursday. This is the eighth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.
Severe weather's taking a toll halfway around the world, as well, where parts of India are struggling through the worst flooding in decades. One official said "flood is an understatement," and you can see why. Nearly three million people have been affected as rushing waters destroyed or damaged hundreds of thousands of homes and left an area the size of Delaware under water.
Is this legit?
RAMSAY: Is this legit? India is the most populated country in the world. Not legit, but close. India's home to about 1.15 billion people. That ranks second to China's 1.33 billion.
AZUZ: Every Friday, we put your news knowledge to the test with ten questions about some of the stories we've covered on our show. The answers to half of this week's quiz can be found in today's program. Have your students been paying attention? Head to CNNStudentNews.com and use our Newsquiz to find out!
AZUZ: My hair's too big. My ears stick out. My eyes are too far apart. All of us probably have some feature or features that we don't like about ourselves and wish we could change. But are Americans too obsessed with beauty? And if so, why, and what can we do about it? Those questions are the focus of a new documentary film. Kareen Wynter goes beneath the surface to examine the issue.
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KAREEN WYNTER, ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Beauty.
CLIP FROM "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL": We're not going to put someone ugly on our cover. It's not going to sell.
CLIP FROM "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL": I weigh 130 pounds, but I've already been told I need to lose 15 pounds.
WYNTER: America's sometimes unhealthy obsession with looking good.
CLIP FROM "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL": Who are you going to employ? You're going to employ the good looking guy.
WYNTER: The new documentary, "America the Beautiful," examines the ugly side of beauty and the lengths some will go to achieve it.
DARRYL ROBERTS, PRODUCER, "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL": The first thing I did was interview 200 women. One of the questions that I asked all of them was, "Do you feel attractive?" Only two said yes. So, it hit me that it's possible that 99 percent of women who are just walking the streets, randomly, aren't feeling good about themselves.
ROBERTS (TO A GROUP OF YOUNG KIDS): When you see those images, how does it make you feel?
WYNTER: Producer Darryl Roberts says the women blamed the skinny images on fashion magazines for their flaws. So he began to wonder if pretty people in fact have it all? Part of his documentary profiles a then 12-year-old rising model...
ROBERTS: Now, that's Gerren.
WYNTER: ...who booked runway shows from New York to Paris. Then, it all ended.
CLIP FROM "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL": People had the nerve to call me obese. Obese? Ok, let's see here. When I walk, my legs don't even rub together.
WYNTER: Roberts, who filmed Gerren Taylor over four years, says little did he know he was actually documenting her downfall. Gerren, now 18, says she was labeled fat when she began fitting into a size 4, so she starved herself.
GERREN TAYLOR: Because of what the industry was telling me, and I was trying to get back to a certain weight and size.
WYNTER: The high school senior now spends her days in a classroom instead of on the catwalk. Roberts says she's an example of how unrealistic beauty standards can chip away at a young girl's self-esteem and career.
ROBERTS: We need to get it in check, because we're entering a state of moral decay if we don't.
WYNTER: Gerren Taylor still dabbles in modeling, but says her focus now is to become a role model for others.
TAYLOR: If I do a fashion show, I'm going to be walking for the empowerment of women. I'm not going to be a clothes hanger walking down the runway.
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AZUZ: Great story, there. There's been a compromise reached on the cheerleader uniform controversy you heard about on Tuesday's show. Cheerleaders in Monroe, Ohio, still won't be allowed to wear their skirts to class without leggings or shorts underneath them. But school officials now say they'll give the girls special t-shirts to wear in class for the rest of the year and provide free uniforms next year that meet the school's dress code. Now, y'all lit in to this one on our blog before this compromise was reached, Melissa wrote that if a skirt is in violation of the school dress code, then don't wear it. Sara asked, "This is news?" But later she added that "modest is cool and should be required in school." But Mike said the cheerleaders are only trying to show school spirit and enthusiasm, and since when did public high schools have a dress code anyway? Kinzy writes the uniforms are short, but she thinks they're okay for every Friday. And according to Rachael, officials should've made the uniforms abide by the dress code in the first place.
AZUZ: My favorite was Hunter, though. He said dress codes: okay; extreme whacked out dress codes: no! We'll be off Monday for Labor Day, so you've got three days to let us know where you stand at CNNStudentNews.com! I'm Carl Azuz. Have a great weekend!