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CNN Student News Transcript: February 25, 2009

  • Story Highlights
  • Hear what President Obama discussed during his first address to Congress
  • Consider how the struggling economy could impact students' college choices
  • Learn about a battle taking place over the remains of a famous Apache leader
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(CNN Student News) -- February 25, 2009

Quick Guide

President Obama's Address To Congress - Hear what President Obama discussed during his first address to Congress.

Where to Go? - Consider how the struggling economy could impact students' college choices.

Geronimo's Skull - Learn about a battle taking place over the remains of a famous Apache leader.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Seen from Mr. Weir's class in Oregon, to Mrs. Cheetham's class in Indiana, Mrs. Cooley's in Kentucky, Mr. Bow's in Minnesota, Coach Prince's in Arkansas to Mr. Shimasaki's Class in California; this is CNN Student News!

First Up: President Obama's Address To Congress

AZUZ: We begin in Washington as President Obama lays out a "game plan" to beat the financial crisis. He did so on a pretty big stage: his first address to Congress since he took office. President Obama touched on some international issues during last night's speech, but his main focus was on things here in the U.S., including, of course, the economy. Samantha Hayes fills us in on the details of the speech and the response to it.


NANCY PELOSI, SPEAKER OF THE U.S. HOUSE: The president of the United States.

SAMANTHA HAYES, CNN REPORTER: In front of a joint session of Congress, President Barack Obama spoke to the American people, focusing on the economy.

U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: You don't need to hear another list of statistics to know that our economy is in crisis, because you live it every day.

HAYES: The president addressed the seriousness of mounting job losses and the housing meltdown, but tried to strike an optimistic tone.

OBAMA: We are living through difficult and uncertain times. Tonight, I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.

HAYES: The president also took the opportunity to promote his $787 billion stimulus program.

OBAMA: This plan will save or create 3.5 million jobs. More than 90% of these jobs will be in the private sector: jobs rebuilding our roads and bridges, constructing wind turbines and solar panels, laying broadband and expanding mass transit.

HAYES: A rising Republican star, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, delivered the GOP's response.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, (R) LOUISIANA: A few weeks ago, the president warned that our country is facing a crisis that he said "we may not be able to reverse." Now, our troubles are real, to be sure. But don't let anyone tell you that we cannot recover.

HAYES: The president also called upon Americans to pull together in order to confront boldly the challenges the country faces. For CNN Student News, I'm Samantha Hayes.



ERIK NIVISON, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! Which one of these is an Ivy League school? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A) Columbia, B) Brown, C) Cornell or D) Dartmouth? You've got three seconds -- GO! Trick question! All of these institutions are part of the Ivy League. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Where to Go?

AZUZ: Another thing those prestigious schools have in common? They're expensive. Tuition and fees at each of them topped $35,000 this year. With the struggling economy, some high school students, maybe even some of you, are adjusting expectations when it comes to post-graduation plans. Jason Carroll reports on how financial concerns are affecting one student's college choices.


JASON CARROLL, CNN REPORTER: As Mia-Sarah Abedullah sits in class, she focuses not just on the lesson of the day, she also daydreams about her future.

MIA-SARAH ABEDULLAH, STUDENT: I have a lot of goals and they're all pretty intense, but I'm really set on making them happen.

CARROLL: One goal of this high school junior: get into a prestigious university, maybe even an Ivy League school. Mia says she has the grades, the drive. What her famiily no longer has is the money.

ABEDULLAH: So I'm looking into, you know, state schools, as opposed to big-name universites that I was previously really obessed with.

CARROLL: Mia's father passed away years ago, and just last year, her mother was laid off after working 22 years in the financial industry. She was torn on how to break the news to her daughter.

ANNA ABEDULLAH, MOTHER: I couldn't. How do you tell your child you can't, you know, afford the college that she wants to attend?

CARROLL: Do you remember what the feeling was -- I mean, you're not going to have the exact words -- when your mom came to you and said, "We're going to have to re-evaluate this"?

MIA-SARAH ABEDULLAH: It was dream crushing, kind of. She didn't want to disappoint me but, you know, there's no way to not.

CARROLL: A national survey showed just over half the families polled are now considering limiting their child's college choices to less expensive schools, like public colleges. The economic downturn means fewer families can count on equity in their homes as a way to offset tuition like they did just a few years ago. The other problem: Many parents are unsure about their future on the job or, like Anna Abedullah, are out of a job.

ANNA ABEDULLAH: It's aggravating. I mean, 22 years of working, and you're gonna, okay, continue working. And then, I don't know where to take it from there.

CARROLL: Mia does. She applied to a few New York state schools where tuition would be as little as a quarter of what it would cost at Columbia University. But she still hopes with a job and some financial aid, her Ivy League dream can come true.

MIA-SARAH ABEDULLAH: I believe that if you dream about it enough, you will get it. So I hope so, fingers crossed.

CARROLL: Another point about Mia-Sarah: She was diagnosed with leukemia some time ago and fought her way through that. She and her mother say if she can fight her way through that, they can find a way to beat their financial situation. Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.


I.D. Me!

NIVISON: See if you can I.D. Me! I was born in Mexico in 1829. I'm a well-known Apache leader. I fought against Mexican and American settlers in North America. I'm Geronimo, and my Indian name means "One Who Yawns."

Geronimo's Skull

AZUZ: He passed away 100 years ago this month, but Geronimo is actually in the middle of a battle taking place right now! His descendents are accusing one of the country's most well-known secret societies of stealing the famous warrior's skull! And they're fighting to get it back. Deborah Feyerick explores the controversy surrounding Geronimo's remains.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN REPORTER: Just his name, Geronimo, conjures up images like these in "An American Legend": a fierce Apache leader and his warriors, greatly outnumbered, fighting off the U.S. calvary in an attempt to save his people and their way of life.

EMIL HER MANY HORSES, NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN: And he's eventually surrounded and outmanned, outgunned, he is convinced to surrender.

FEYERICK: Geronimo died a prisoner of war, his body buried in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Now, 100 years later, his family is suing to get his remains back.

HARLYN GERONIMO, GERONIMO'S GREAT-GRANDSON: After a while, you know, it hurts you inside.

FEYERICK: Harlyn Geronimo is the warrior's great-grandson. He and other descendants are suing Yale University and the secret society known as the Order of Skull & Bones, claiming Geronimo's skull was stolen back in 1918 by Yale students, members of the secret order. One of the alleged grave-robbers: Yalie Prescott Bush, the father and grandfather of presidents 41 and 43.

GERONIMO: When you desecrate a grave like of this nature, you know, you upset the spirits. And sooner or later, you know, the spirits will come after you.

FEYERICK: For decades, members, called Bonesmen, dismissed the suggestion as a hoax. But a Bonesman's letter written in 1918 discovered two years ago at Yale suggests otherwise: "The skull of the worthy Geronimo the Terrible, safe inside the T." "T" is believed short for the Tomb, the Bonesmen's private club.

ALEXANDERA ROBBINS, AUTHOR, "SECRETS OF THE TOMB": I spoke with several Bonesmen who told me that inside the Tomb, there's a glass display case containing a skull, and the Bonesmen have always called it Geronimo.

FEYERICK: Author Alexandera Robbins wrote a book on the secret order.

ROBBINS: If it is found that Geronimo's skull is really in there, that's a crime.

FEYERICK: Geronimo's descendants have also sued President Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, hoping to recover Geronimo's remains at Fort Sill.

HER MANY HORSES: He died as a prisoner of war, so he was not free and he was not free to be buried in the old customary ways that the Apache would have been buried at that time.


Web Promo

AZUZ: So, where exactly is Fort Sill located? How about Yale? Our downloadable maps can point you in the right direction, and you'll find links to them in our daily e-mail! It's also the place to learn about what we're covering on the show and find out about any special programming, like our upcoming coverage of Women's History Month. The e-mail is chock full of resources, and you can sign up for it at!

Before We Go

AZUZ: Before we go, some politicians who are real flip-floppers. Of course, that's what these guys are supposed to be doing, at least during the British Parliament's annual pancake race. The event cooks up competition between government officials and journalists. And yes, it looks like they're required to wear those awesome hats and aprons. But the trickiest part is probably trying to hang on to those pancakes as you race around the course.



AZUZ: Yet another reason why it's important to have a balanced breakfast. Oh, that was painful. We'll be cooking up another show tomorrow. Hope to see you then.

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