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CNN Student News Transcript: January 16, 2009

  • Story Highlights
  • Listen in as President Bush makes his farewell White House address
  • Explore how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. might view modern-day America
  • Check out the astounding monthly total of text messages sent by one teen
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(CNN Student News) -- January 16, 2009

Quick Guide

Farewell Address - Listen in as President Bush makes his farewell White House address.

What Would MLK Say? - Explore how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. might view modern-day America.

Tireless Teen Texter - Check out the astounding monthly total of text messages sent by one teen.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: It is Friday -- awesome -- and we're glad you're closing out the week with CNN Student News. From the CNN Center, I'm Carl Azuz.

First Up: Farewell Address

AZUZ: First up, a farewell address from President George W. Bush as he prepares to leave the post he's held for eight years. The presidential farewell speech is a tradition that dates back to the country's first president. Last night, the 43rd made his final address to the nation from the White House. President Bush reflected on his time in office and his vision for the future of America. Samantha Hayes has the details.


SAMANTHA HAYES, CNN REPORTER: In his final address to the nation, President Bush reflected on the event that defined his presidency.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: As the years passed, most Americans were able to return to life much as it had been before 9/11. But I never did. Every morning, I received a briefing on the threats to our nation, and I vowed to do everything in my power to keep us safe.

HAYES: After 9/11, and when he took office for a second term in 2005, the public saw President Bush as strong and decisive, even if they disagreed with his actions. He now leaves his job as commander in chief with only about one in four Americans approving of the job he's done. President Bush himself says he has some regrets.

BUSH: Like all who have held this office before me, I have experienced setbacks. There are things I would do differently if given the chance. Yet, I have always acted with the best interests of our country in mind.

HAYES: The president warned that terrorism is still the country's greatest threat and defended his world view.

BUSH: I have often spoken to you about good and evil and this has made some uncomfortable. But good and evil are present in this world, and between the two there can be no compromise.

HAYES: And before closing, looked ahead to the new administration.

BUSH: God bless this house and our next president.

HAYES: President Bush will spend this weekend at Camp David before his term ends Tuesday afternoon with the swearing in of Barack Obama. For CNN Student News, I'm Samantha Hayes.


Plane Crashes into Hudson

AZUZ: "Miraculous" would be a good word to describe what happened yesterday when an airliner went into the Hudson River.

JEFF KOLODJAY, PLANE CRASH SURVIVOR: There's a couple of ladies got some bad leg injuries and everything, but all in all, I give my hats off to the pilot.

AZUZ: Hitting a bird or flock of them just after takeoff, that pilot he mentioned -- C.B. "Sully" Sullenberger -- of US Airways flight 1549 softly ditched the aircraft into the river. Every single one of the 150-plus people aboard survived, the Coast Guard and nearby boats rescuing them from the frigid waters.

Word to the Wise


culmination (noun) a final stage, ending or close


Burris Sworn In

AZUZ: The controversy surrounding Roland Burris appears to have reached its culmination, as he was sworn in to the U.S. Senate yesterday as the junior senator from Illinois. Of course, Burris was picked to fill that seat by the state's embattled governor, Rod Blagojevich. Initially, Senate Democrats said they wouldn't seat anyone appointed by the governor, who's facing corruption charges in his home state.


RAMSAY: Today's Shoutout goes out to Mr. Jaber's 9th grade civics classes at Fond du Lac High School in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Who was the youngest man to win the Nobel Peace Prize? Was it: A) Jimmy Carter, B) Mahatma Gandhi, C) Martin Luther King Jr. or D) The Dalai Lama? You've got three seconds -- GO! 35-year-old Martin Luther King Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

What Would MLK Say?

AZUZ: Dr. King was awarded that prize for his work with the civil rights movement. He famously offered his vision of an America where people are judged by their character, rather than their skin color. As we get ready to celebrate the federal holiday that honors the civil rights icon, John Zarrella explores what Dr. King might say about today's America.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN REPORTER: The road to the White House brings us to Memphis, Tennessee and the National Civil Rights Museum and the Lorraine Motel. This is the balcony where Dr. King stood when he was assassinated. If he were still with us, what might he say about the Obama presidency?

ZARRELLA: Memphis, the Lorraine Motel. In the parking lot below room 306, two vintage Cadillacs: history's detail preserved. This is where Martin Luther King Jr. died, 1968.

GWEN HARMON, NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM: It's not so important that Martin Luther King Jr. died here. It's that he lived here and he changed Memphis. He changed America, and he did change the world.

ZARRELLA: Gwen Harmon is a director at the National Civil Rights Museum, of which the Lorraine is a part. Since Barack Obama's victory, Harmon has sensed a change in those who come here.

HARMON: So, we see curiosity. We see pride. We see a sense of hope now. The groups are younger, they're bigger. We also see more diversity.

ZARRELLA: And all of this would have pleased Dr. King.

CLARENCE JONES, FRIEND OF DR. KING: He had a great faith in the fairness and decency of the American people.

ZARRELLA: Clarence Jones. For eight years, until King died, Jones was his confidant, speech writer, attorney. About an African-American president?

JONES: What he would say, "However long it takes. In some reasonable period of time, not an eternity, but in some reasonable period of time, there will be." I am sure he would have said that!

ZARRELLA: And more.

HARMON: He would say, "There is still so much to do. As long as a child goes to bed hungry, we have work to do."

ZARRELLA: The museum tells the story of those who paved the way in civil and human rights. There's a bus from the 1955 Montgomery boycotts. We leave the bus and we come to the next period of time.

HARMON: 1960. This is actually my favorite exhibit. This shows the power of networking, as far as the movement.

TOUR GUIDE: Is everybody ready?


ZARRELLA: Today, students from Arlington Elementary are here.

STUDENT #1: Is that the room that Dr. King was in?

STUDENT #2: He'd probably feel very proud.

STUDENT #3: I think that he would feel good, because he would know that he helped change.

ZARRELLA: Change that might not have taken place, Harmon and Jones say, if not for those like Dr. King, who paved the way with their blood and tears. Many of those who were with the civil rights movement say that what Barack Obama has accomplished is not dissimilar to what Dr. King did. Both men built a movement based in no small part on substantial support from white America.



AZUZ: We'll be off the air on Monday for Martin Luther King Day. But we've put together a One-Sheet that details the legacy of Dr. King and a Learning Activity that challenges students to compare his vision to present-day America. You'll find both at!

Tireless Teen Texter

AZUZ: Texting. A lot of you do it, but how much? One study says the average monthly text total for 13-to-17 year olds is about 1,700 texts. But one teen texter topped that number by more than 10,000! Jaime Chambers of affiliate KTLA in California adds up the bill.


JAIME CHAMBERS, KTLA REPORTER: You hear people say that they'd die without their ability to text. But after meeting this teenage multitasker, I'm afraid I'm starting to believe them. Reina Hardesty is 13. She loves to act, go to the mall and text her fingers off. Her last bill showed 14,528 texts in one month. Yeah, that number is insane.

REINA HARDESTY, TEXTY 13-YEAR-OLD: I just knew that I texted a lot because it was winter break, and I knew I was texting way more than I usually do. But I didn't think it was going to be this humongous. I thought 9,000. But then it was 14,000. So, I was like, "What!?"

CHAMBERS: She didn't even have a Blackberry. It was all done from a no frills, bare bones, hand out free cell phone. Her parents were baffled.

GREG HARDESTY, REINA'S FATHER: I was appalled on one level and also amazed. How can this be humanly possible? So, I've got to admit, there was sort of, underneath this all, a little sense of, a little bit of, "Wow!" I was a little proud that she could do that.

CHAMBERS: Greg says tonight that the texting has been slowed down to some degree, but we'll see about that next month. So, that means Reina was sending or receiving a text every two minutes every waking hour in the day. That's not including eating, talking on the phone or brushing your teeth. That's 484 texts a day. So, what are these 13-year-old girls texting about?

HARDESTY: The latest reason why you are mad at your family. Like, "My brother's annoying me," and stuff like that.

CHAMBERS: So, if a stranger took your phone and threw it through the window, what would happen?

HARDESTY: I would just pounce, and be like, "What the heck was that for?" and just totally attack.

CHAMBERS: You'd fight?


CHAMBERS: If Reina was a regular paying customer, those texts could have cost $3,000. Lucky for her, she was on the unlimited plan.


Before We Go

AZUZ: Before we go, a small look at a monumental moment. The country's capital is preparing for President-elect Obama to step up to the podium, all two inches of him. This miniature first family is taking part in its own inauguration, one made entirely out of Legos! Master builders are recreating the event at California's LegoLand, complete with famous monuments and massive crowds. The Capitol Building alone took 1,200 hours and more than 380,000 bricks to build.



AZUZ: But it makes for one heck of a block party! We'll be off on Monday for MLK, but we'll see you again on Tuesday. Enjoy the weekend. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.

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