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CNN Student News Transcript: January 13, 2009

  • Story Highlights
  • Listen in as President Bush holds his final news conference in office
  • Examine a controversy surrounding lunch service in one school district
  • Check out the requirements for what could be the best job in the world
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(CNN Student News) -- January 13, 2009

Quick Guide

The President and the Press - Listen in as President Bush holds his final news conference in office.

School Lunches Cut - Examine a controversy surrounding lunch service in one school district.

Best Job in the World? - Check out the requirements for what could be the best job in the world.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: From our newsroom to your classroom, this is CNN Student News! Thanks for spending part of your Tuesday with us. I'm Carl Azuz.

First Up - The President and the Press

AZUZ: First up, a final press conference for President George W. Bush as he begins his last full week in the White House. He's planning to address the nation later on this week. But yesterday, the president held his last Q&A session with the media. He discussed some things that he believed went well during his time in office, and some that he said didn't go quite according to plan. Elizabeth Manresa has the details on the event.


ELIZABETH MANRESA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Describing it as the "ultimate exit interview," President George W. Bush opened his final news conference with a classic "Bushism," this one, perhaps, intentional.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Sometimes you misunderestimated me.

MANRESA: The 43rd president, in his last days in office, is opening up about the past eight years.

BUSH: There have been disappointments.

MANRESA: But Mr. Bush said he is proud of the job his administration has done.

BUSH: Look, I inherited a recession; I am ending on a recession. In the meantime, there were 52 months of uninterrupted job growth.

MANRESA: George W. Bush first took office in 2001. Early in his term, he became a wartime president. He is leaving office with a high unemployment rate, a slow economy and dismal approval ratings. But the president believes history will decide his fate.

BUSH: I don't see how I can get back home in Texas and look in the mirror and be proud of what I see, if I allowed the loud voices, the loud critics to prevent me from doing what I thought was necessary to protect this country.

MANRESA: Mr. Bush also revealed what it might be like for President-elect Obama.

BUSH: He will feel the effect the moment he walks into the Oval Office.

MANRESA: Something this president may carry with him.

BUSH: I wish you and your families the best. God bless you.

MANRESA: The president and his wife Laura will wake up in their new Texas home the day after the inauguration of the 44th president. In Washington, I'm Elizabeth Manresa for CNN Student News.


Seat at the Senate?

AZUZ: Staying in Washington, it looks like the controversy surrounding Roland Burris, the man picked to fill Barack Obama's open Senate seat, may be coming to an end. Senate Democratic leaders say Burris should be sworn in and seated sometime this week. That's a 180 from last week, when Senate Democrats argued that Burris should not be seated because he was appointed by Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. The governor is accused of trying to sell that Senate seat for personal gain.


ERIK NIVISON, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! The word "lunch" comes from what language? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A) German, B) Latin, C) Russian or D) Middle English? You've got three seconds -- GO! Lunch is short for luncheon, which is believed to come from the Middle English word for a midday meal. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

School Lunches Cut

AZUZ: It has been said that there is no such thing as a free lunch. That's why, when classes started back up after the holidays, some Colorado students went without their midday meal. You see, their accounts were unpaid to the total tune of $10,000! And the school's solution cooked up a bit of controversy. Matt Renoux of affiliate KUSA serves up the story.


MATT RENOUX, KUSA REPORTER: At the Steamboat Springs Middle School...

MAX HUPPERT, DIRECTOR OF NUTRITION: We're trying to cut back on a lot of the preservatives.

RENOUX: ...Director of Nutrition Max Huppert is well known for his creative...

HUPPERT: We're gonna do Moroccan chicken with couscous.

RENOUX: ...And inexpensive lunches.

HUPPERT: It's only three dollars a lunch.

RENOUX: But those hot lunches have also served up some heated discussion.

LORAINNE MORRISION, PARENT: I heard about it from my son. He came home upset because he shared his lunch with another kid who didn't have any at all.

RENOUX: Some elementary, middle and high school students were turned away from the hot lunch counter because of unpaid lunch accounts.

DR. SHALEE CUNNINGHAM, SUPERINTENDENT: They have an account, and these accounts have accrued debt over time.

RENOUX: When that debt spread from kid to kid and reached several thousand dollars district wide...

CUNNINGHAM: We have over the months accrued a $10,000 debt in hot lunches.

RENOUX: ...It was more than the district could swallow. So, they first notifed parents to pay up, then cut some kids off.

CUNNINGHAM: We let them know that when we came back from the holidays in January, we would no longer be able to serve hot lunches.

RENOUX: The district says free and reduced lunch programs were not affected, and elementary students were offered snack food. But some middle school and high school students went without a lunch.

MORRISON: It was the first day of the new year and the kids had been on break for two weeks.

RENOUX: And parents like Lorainne Morrision feel not only was the timing wrong, so was punishing the kids.

MORRISON: Kind of the wrong way to handle the situation, to punish the kids for the parents forgetting to pay.

RENOUX: As for the school district, they say most of the debt has now been repaid.

HUPPERT: We got back roughly 80 percent of our lost income.

RENOUX: So, Max can get back to serving those famous hot lunches.



NIVISON: See if you can I.D. Me! I'm located in the Pacific Ocean off the northeastern coast of Australia. I stretch for more than 1,250 miles. I'm home to hundreds of species of coral, as well as many kinds of birds, fish, worms and sponges. I'm the Great Barrier Reef, made up of thousands of individual reefs!

Best Job in the World?

AZUZ: For reasons you're about to see, the Great Barrier Reef is a popular tourist attraction. Maybe you can't afford to travel there, but maybe you can get a job looking after it. An Australian company is currently accepting applications for a position that requires little qualifications, but comes with tons of perks. Atika Shubert examines what could be the best job in the world.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wanted: One island caretaker of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Pay: $100,000 U.S. for 6 months of watching whales, feeding turtles or whatever else you'd like to do on a tropical island. Oh, you might have to clean the pool at the beachfront, three-bedroom luxury house that comes with this package. All you have to do is write a weekly blog for the Tourism Board of Queensland about your island experience. So, is it a job too good to be true?

MAN ON THE STREET: You get a three-bedroom luxury apartment with a swimming pool and 73,000 pounds a year.

MAN ON THE STREET: That can't be right. It's gotta be a catch somewhere.

WOMAN ON THE STREET: Sounds like a good job. I should go bikini hunting straight away.

SHUBERT: Tourism Queensland insists there's no catch, just "the best job in the world." Others might call it a publicity stunt for Australian tourism, but one that just might work.

JANE NICHOLSON, REGIONAL MANAGER, TOURISM QUEENSLAND: Word of mouth is really important now. You need to hear from fellow travelers what a destination is really like. So, what better way than to create a job for someone to do that? They need to be over 18; they have to be able able to swim. Apart from that, it's open to anybody.

SHUBERT: The land down under has been hit hard by the credit crunch. Tourism Research Australia says tourist numbers could fall by 4% this year, especially from mainstay markets like the UK. So, will the "best job in the world" spark new interest? Well so far, so good. On opening day, the Web site has been flooded with about 33 hits a second. All applicants have to do is submit a 60-second video to this Web site,, explaining why they are perfect candidate to be island caretaker. It's very tempting.

SHUBERT: Eleven lucky finalists will be flown to Australia for a final round of interviews before an island caretaker is chosen. Twenty-six year old Louise Cryan saw it in the paper on Monday morning and immediately called up, one of the first to apply.

LOUISE CRYAN, APPLICANT: It's actually a real job, so that's amazing. I just thought, what a great place to spend 6 months. I looked out the window. It's such a grey and miserable day, so who wouldn't want to go?

SHUBERT: So, rainy London versus sunny Australia in the middle of a credit crunch? What would you choose?

MAN ON THE STREET: For me, with everything that's going on in my life, it couldn't come at a better time.

SHUBERT: Better get your applications in. The deadline for the best job in the world is February 22nd. Atika Shubert, CNN, London.


Before We Go

AZUZ: And finally today, a distinguished performance from an award-winning journalist. Yeah, that's CNN's Wolf Blitzer getting his groove on during an appearance on the Ellen Degeneres Show. Get low, Wolf. Audiences are used to him being a bit more stationary. But what you probably don't know is that when someone plays music in a TV studio -- where ever that studio may be -- news anchors have to get down. For example. It's all part of my job, although I think my moves are a bit better than Blitzer's.



AZUZ: We wanna know what you have to say. I say it's embarassing. But what do you think is better, the smooth style of Wolf or the fancy footwork of yours truly? Which anchor busts the best move? Head to our blog, cast your vote, and be nice. We'll see you again tomorrow. I'm Carl Azuz.

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