(CNN Student News) -- February 12, 2009
Lincoln at 200 - Learn about President Lincoln's legacy on the bicentennial of his birthday.
Israel Election - Explore what recent elections might indicate about the state of Israel.
College Tour Tips - Check out some tips on how to get the most out of a college campus tour.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: It's Thursday, February 12th, and you've found your way to CNN Student News. I'm Carl Azuz. We've got a big birthday to celebrate today. But first we're bringing you the headlines.
First Up: Today's Headlines
AZUZ: Congress has reached a deal on the stimulus package. A disagreement over education funding threatened to hold up the process yesterday, but negotiators say they've settled the details. The final price tag for this thing is now at $789 billion. After the announcement, President Barack Obama, who has pushed Congress to pass this bill, thanked Democrats and Republicans for coming together on the issue. The president and lawmakers hope the stimulus plan will get the economy back on track.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D) HOUSE SPEAKER: We have come to an agreement with the Senate as to how we'll go forward, and I think people are pretty happy about that. It's always the consideration of what we had in the bill that we wish that was still there. But the fact is is that there is plenty there to create the nearly 4 million jobs that the president has set as our goal.
AZUZ: Parts of Oklahoma are recovering from severe storms that claimed at least eight lives and demolished homes in the state's central region on Tuesday. Around 50 other people were injured by the storms, which spawned tornadoes and knocked out power to thousands of customers. Authorities say the storms moved out of the state Wednesday, but they expect a difficult cleanup.
And Zimbabwe has a new prime minister. Morgan Tsvangirai, on the left there, was sworn in yesterday as part of a power-sharing agreement with President Robert Mugabe. The two African leaders faced off in last year's election and then clashed over the results. Zimbabweans hope the unified government will signal an end to the country's political and economic crises.
Is This Legit?
GEORGE RAMSAY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this legit? The word "score" refers to the number 20. Legit! So in the Gettysburg Address, "Four score and seven years ago" means 87 years.
AZUZ: And ten score ago today, the man was born. No, not me, the man who offered those famous words: Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator. The country is celebrating the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth today, the Library of Congress marking the occasion with a new exhibit featuring writings and artifacts from our 16th president. The curator says the most recognized display is President Lincoln's "hatred of inequality." Of course, Lincoln freed the country's slaves while he was in office and guided America through the Civil War, one of the most devastating experiences in U.S. history. Understandable, then, that his birthday is cause for celebration.
RAMSAY: Time for some Fast Facts you might not've known about Abraham Lincoln. Our nation's 16th president wasn't born into wealth and privilege. His father was uneducated, though he became a very good carpenter, and Lincoln himself wrote that when he came of age, he didn't know much aside from reading, writing and math. However, his law partner said Lincoln's ambition was "a little engine that knew no rest."
Like his father, Lincoln was a member of the Whig party until 1856, when he joined up with the brand new Republican Party. And four years later, when he became president, Lincoln didn't want or push for civil war. He said that was in the hands of the Confederate forces, which shortly afterward attacked Fort Sumter. And when the war was winding down in 1864, Lincoln was quick to encourage the South to rejoin the union.
AZUZ: Part of Lincoln's lasting legacy is his famous writings; the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address... But what do his words reveal about the former president? That's the question posed by our Learning Activity. It challenges you to analyze President Lincoln's documents and speeches to learn about the man and about the state of the country at the time when the words were written. It's interesting stuff. Check it out at CNNStudentNews.com!
AZUZ: Turning to Israel now, and the country's election for a new prime minister. There's been a declaration of victory by both of the leading candidates! Officials still have to certify the results, but as of Wednesday, it was a virtual tie. The recent war with Palestinian militants dominated this campaign. Bill Schnieder examines what the results indicate about the country's stance on the issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: "I won!'' says Tzipi Livni. "My party got the most votes."
TZIPI LIVNI, KADIMA PARTY LEADER (TRANSLATED): Today, the people decided: Kadimah.
SCHNEIDER: "I won!'' says Benjamin Netanyahu. "My party showed the biggest gains."
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, LIKUD PARTY LEADER (TRANSLATED): The national camp had only fifty seats. Today, without a doubt, it has increased to a decisive majority in the Knesset.
SCHNEIDER: What kind of mandate is that? Answer: mixed. Israeli voters clearly moved to the right. The message is "security first."
DAVID HOROWITZ, THE JERUSALEM POST: Israelis don't think there's much of a chance for peace at the moment, and we have to do our best to secure ourselves.
SCHNEIDER: Israeli voters feel like they've tried everything.
HOROVITZ: We tried hanging tough with Netanyahu a decade ago. And Israelis felt that we were missing opportunities for progress. So then, we were trying negotiations with Barak in the Clinton era, and that didn't work.
SCHNEIDER: And now?
HOROVITZ: So then, we tried unilateralism, and that now lies buried under Hezbollah's katyushas and Hamas's Qassam rockets. So, we're kind of back with hanging tough again.
SCHNEIDER: But Israelis are not ready to give up on peace. That's why Livni did well.
LIVNI (TRANSLATED): It's up to us to seek out every single chance of peace.
SCHNEIDER: Israelis say they have no partner for peace on the Palestinian side, and they won't until Iran's influence is curbed.
CHEMI SHALEV, ISRAEL TODAY: I think Israelis are much more concerned about Iran than they are about the issue of the peace process.
SCHNEIDER: Iran is the big test for Israel's new government and for the new American administration.
SHALEV: Israel will try to reach understandings with the Obama administration about advancing the diplomatic options. But when do you decide that it hasn't worked, and what do you do in that case?
SCHNEIDER: President Obama says he wants to open a dialogue with Iran. That should be fine with the new Israeli government, even if Netanyahu is the prime minister. But the Israeli government will press for a timeline. How long will the Obama administration allow negotiations with Iran to go on before it decides a tougher approach is needed? Bill Schneider, CNN, Jerusalem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAMSAY: Time for the Shoutout! What is the most common mascot among four-year U.S. colleges? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it the: A) Lions, B) Tigers, C) Bears or D) Eagles? You've got three seconds -- GO! There are more Eagles flying around than any other mascot. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: If you're planning to use mascots to narrow down your list of college choices, you might want a backup plan. Dozens of schools share the same nicknames. But with many of you sophomores and juniors heading out to visit prospective campuses, what should you look for, and how should you plan your trip? Melissa Long checks in with some tips on touring colleges.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELISSA LONG, CNN.COM ANCHOR: Finding the perfect school is a big decision, and education is a big investment. So, have a plan.
SARAH KANTROWITZ, TRAVEL + LEISURE: Before heading out on a college tour, be sure to schedule an appointment. Most colleges and universities prefer if you call about two weeks in advance.
LONG: Don't limit your visits to the weekend.
KANTROWITZ: Tag on a day or two during the week, so you can see how students and professors interact during a normal school day. Ask students what they love about their school. Even inquire with professors. You never know what you'll find out.
LONG: Check out as many colleges as possible.
SCOTT BURKE, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY: Bring a camera, bring a notebook to journal, sort of, some of the things that you're seeing on the college campuses
LONG: But if you are saving all your money for tuition...
KANTROWITZ: Consider a virtual tour, which are often available on a university's Web site. You might also want to e-mail with a professor or student. Admissions officers can often connect you to these types of people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: Here's an extra credit "Is This Legit" for you: We've got new video up on our Facebook page. Totally true! You should check it out! It's all about the puns on our show, like the one coming up in just a minute. If you haven't signed up as a fan yet, just log on to Facebook and search for "Carl Azuz, official." We'll look forward to seeing you online.
Before We Go
AZUZ: And finally today, the post office is unveiling some new President Lincoln stamps, so old Abe went down to check them out! Probably wanted to make sure they got his good side. No special treatment for the birthday boy, though. He had to stand in line just like everyone else. Ok, this not-so-honest Abe is actually just a stamp collector. But he also happens to be a big fan of the former president.
AZUZ: So he figured it was the perfect moment for linkin' his hobbies together. One more show to go this week. We'll see you tomorrow. I'm Carl Azuz.