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CNN Student News Transcript: January 9, 2009

  • Story Highlights
  • Consider President-elect Barack Obama's plan to help the struggling economy
  • Learn about the impact of natural disasters in Costa Rica and Washington state
  • Head to class for some high school students' opinions about terrorism and war
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(CNN Student News) -- January 9, 2009

Quick Guide

Man With a Plan - Consider President-elect Barack Obama's plan to help the struggling economy.

Quake in Costa Rica - Learn about the impact of natural disasters in Costa Rica and Washington state.

Class in Session - Head to class for some high school students' opinions about terrorism and war.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Fridays are awesome! Thanks for spending part of yours with CNN Student News. From the CNN Center, I'm Carl Azuz.

First Up: Man With a Plan

VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: Barack Obama, of the state of Illinois, has received for president of the United States 365 votes.

AZUZ: There it is: Vice President Dick Cheney reading off the final tally of electoral votes, officially announcing Barack Obama as the U.S. president-elect. He won't be sworn in for another eleven days, but Mr. Obama is calling for fast action on the economy once he is in office. In a speech yesterday, he said his goal is to "put the American dream within reach of the American people," and he talked about some of the economic proposals that he believes can do that. But there are some concerns about his plan. Ed Henry fills us in on the details.


ED HENRY, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It turns out sometimes there are two presidents at a time, at least when you have a tight window to sell your economic plan.

BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT-ELECT: It is true that we cannot depend on government alone to create jobs or long-term growth. But at this particular moment, only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe.

HENRY: Sounding as if he's already in charge, President-elect Barack Obama used his first speech since the election to make the case the financial crisis is getting worse, blaming it on what he called a "culture of anything goes."

OBAMA: We arrived at this point due to an era of profound irresponsibility that stretched from corporate boardrooms to the halls of power in Washington, D.C. The result has been a devastating loss of trust and confidence in our economy, our financial markets and our government.

HENRY: Mr. Obama made the pitch that trust could be restored if Congress passes his massive $775 billion recovery package, though he continued to offer few details about the plan. Republicans say they're encouraged the incoming president seems willing to work with them, but they're raising concerns about the price tag on top of a $1.2 trillion budget deficit.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R) MINORITY LEADER: Well, given the deficit numbers, it really ought to not be a trillion dollar spending bill. I think we can start by saying that.

HENRY: But New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, one of many prominent local officials in the crowd for the speech, said any belt tightening needs to take a backseat to reviving the economy.

MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, (I) NEW YORK: We have no choice but to ratchet up the deficit at the moment. And the president-elect referenced that and said he'd like to do things that have a lifespan. There's an end to it, so that he can then address that issue and bring down from the deficits in the future.


Calling for a Cease-fire

AZUZ: Some late-breaking news last night from the United Nations Security Council. The group passed a resolution calling for a cease-fire to the hostilities taking place in Gaza. The resolution expressed concern about the humanitarian crisis taking place there and the need to get aid to citizens inside the territory.

Downloadable Maps


GEORGE RAMSAY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Coach Adams' 7th grade World Geography classes at Brentwood Middle School in Brentwood, Tennessee. Which of these countries is Costa Rica? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A, B, C or D? You've got three seconds -- GO! On this map, "D" is Costa Rica. You'll find the country between Nicaragua and Panama. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Quake in Costa Rica

AZUZ: Some parts of Costa Rica are cleaning up and recovering after an earthquake struck the nation yesterday afternoon. You can see the effects in this video from a local television station. Check out how much that lighting grid is shaking. Reports yesterday evening said the 6.1-magnitude quake claimed two lives. According to experts, the quake hit about 22 miles away from the capital of San Jose and cut off electricity in parts of the city.

Washington Flooding

AZUZ: Severe weather striking in the U.S. too, as flood waters flow through parts of Washington state. Heavy rains have been drenching the state's western region since Monday, dumping up to 15 inches in some areas. There are no mandatory evacuations in place, but emergency crews have warned residents it would be a good idea to leave their homes and find safer ground.

Is this Legit?

RAMSAY: Is This Legit? Washington state is bordered by three other U.S. states. Not legit! Just two states, Idaho and Oregon, border Washington.

Class in Session

AZUZ: Throughout the week, we've been airing segments from Tony Harris's visit with a group of Atlanta-area high school students. They've been talking about some of the different issues facing your generation, including the economy and how it might affect decisions about the future. Well, Harris is headed back to class. This time, he's getting the students' opinions on terrorism and war.


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: I'm curious as to your thoughts on war and peace. We've got our nation now fighting two wars.

MICHAEL BARLOW, GRADY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: When I think of the war in Afghanistan, I think of bold people that had the audacity to steal our airplanes, threaten lives of Americans, run them into American assets and cause chaos across the American country. And once you do that, you deserve what's coming to you. (Other students sound outraged)

STEPHANIE STYLES, GRADY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: How can you say it's necessary to bomb another country just because they "messed with us"? That, to me, doesn't give you justification to do whatever you want to another country. Violence, point blank, is wrong.

HARRIS: How many in the room believe it was appropriate for the U.S. to respond in Afghanistan after 9/11? Show of hands? Tell me why.

MICHAEL ROBINSON, GRADY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: The government does have a fundamental responsbility to protect its citizens. And the point to which people in other countries have caused the deaths of American citizens, we need to act and we need to ensure that does not happen again.

CAROLINE MCKAY, GRADY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: I think we're being a little bit hypocritical. I support invading Afghanistan, and I absolutely support invading Afghanistan and I support our troops. And I think it's absolutely wrong Americans were killed, but we have supported 14 coups in other countries in the past 100 years. We have killed, I think in August we killed 60 civilians, 30 of which were children in Afghanistan, something like that. And so, we kill people too.

TAYLOR WALKER, GRADY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: Us killing other people won't justify anything. I think that we did that out of anger. I don't think us going over there was appropriate. I think that us doing that only caused more problems in the United States and endangered our lives even more, because we don't even know what we're doing over there.

HARRIS: What are your expectations for the Obama administration?

ROBINSON: One of things he's promised to do is ramp up our force levels in Afghanistan.. The ultimate question I have with that is how realistic is it? Do we expect to do in Afghanistan with only 60,000 soldiers -- 30,000 of whom can't even fight -- with utmost humanitarian concern, what the Russians couldn't do with 115,000 soldiers and the utmost barbaric brutality? I don't see the realistic possiblity here.

TAYLOR FULTON, GRADY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: It seems to me like our politicians are afraid to talk to these people. They want to indirectly talk to them, whereas it takes them getting on a plane and going to their country, and sitting in their houses and in their government and talking to them.

BARLOW: I understand diplomacy, but sometimes you can't sit down with bin Ladens; you can't sit down with Vladamir Putins, because those people, people such as that...

CLASS REACTION: Oh, you did not go there. You're going to start a cold war right now!

ROBINSON: I want you to understand that I am distancing myself from the position of a nuclear war with Russia. I am not in favor of this.

HARRIS: And we'll take this one offline. Thank you very much.



AZUZ: Some strong opinions there. is your one-stop spot for everything related to our show. Transcripts of each program, free curriculum materials, maps, our blog, even the show itself. Make sure to check us out every time you log on!

Before We Go

AZUZ: And finally today, a presidential double-dose before we go. Let's start with the White House. It looks like the right place, but the address here ain't 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This replica resides in Atlanta! Just like in Washington, the occupant of this White House is getting ready to move out. If you want to scoop up the luxurious look-alike yourself, it'll only cost you about $10 million. Next up, a foray into famous fromage. Behold, the power of cheese, especially when it's named after the president-elect! A hunk of "Barick Obama" may be expensive, but you can't put a price tag on a good political pun, certainly not when it's about the commander in cheese.



AZUZ: OK, we're spreading it on a little thick, but at least this time we can admit we're being cheesy. You guys have a great weekend. I'm Carl Azuz.

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