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CNN Student News Transcript: March 23, 2009

  • Story Highlights
  • Go global to get up to speed on what's making international headlines
  • Tune in to a music scene that's striking a chord with Chinese listeners
  • Step inside a warehouse that's filled with aid for four-legged friends
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(CNN Student News) -- March 23, 2009

Quick Guide

International Headlines - Go global to get up to speed on what's making international headlines.

China Rockers - Tune in to a music scene that's striking a chord with Chinese listeners.

Pet Soup Kitchen - Step inside a warehouse that's filled with aid for four-legged friends.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Thanks for tuning in, because we're ready to knock out a new week of CNN Student News. From the CNN Center, I'm Carl Azuz. First up today, we are springing into some international headlines.

First Up: International Headlines

AZUZ: Pope Benedict XVI is back in Rome today after wrapping up his first trip to Africa. Yesterday, he led a Mass in Angola, where he spoke about the need for peace in the country. It suffered through a civil war that lasted nearly 30 years. Africa, home to one in five of the world's Christians, was the only continent Benedict had yet to visit since becoming pope.

The U.S. Navy is checking out two of its ships after they collided Friday in the Strait of Hormuz. That's located between the United Arab Emirates and Iran. About 1,200 sailors were onboard the vessels, a submarine and an amphibious ship, when the incident happened. Fifteen sailors were slightly hurt by the collision. About 25,000 gallons of diesel fuel marine were spilled, although it broke up on the ocean's surface fairly quickly.

And the acting world is mourning the loss of Natasha Richardson, who passed away last Wednesday after suffering a fatal brain injury while skiing at a resort in Canada. Family and friends attended a wake in New York on Friday. Theaters on Broadway in New York and London's West End dimmed their lights Thursday in honor of the Tony Award-winning actress.

Watch Your Head

AZUZ: Well, according to the medical report, Richardson's injury was caused by a "blunt impact to the head" that happened during a ski lesson. Now, according to the resort, paramedics checked on Richardson immediately afterward, but the actress showed "no visible signs of injury." An hour later, an ambulance rushed her to the hospital. It's a tragic reminder of the potential seriousness of head injuries.


AZUZ: When in doubt, get it checked out: That's what the experts say about head injuries. One thing that makes them so scary is that you can feel fine right after the injury happens, but be in danger of losing your life within hours.

DR. STEPHEN MAYER, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: If you encounter someone after something that seems trivial, and they're getting sleepy or they're confused or they're weak on one side or can't speak properly, that should trigger terror because the brain is malfunctioning. And what you should do then is you call 911, you get to the nearest emergency room, and you need a CAT scan.

AZUZ: The reason: Your skull is like nature's helmet for the brain. And if that skull gets bumped directly, the brain it protects is in danger.

DR. KEITH BLACK, CEDARS-SINAI MEDICAL CENTER: The skull is hard; the brain is soft. And when you fall, the brain bangs back and forth on the inner surface of the skull, and that can cause serious damage to the brain.

AZUZ: One way to keep yourself safer: what you've heard a million times. Wear a helmet when you're playing sports. A 2008 study by the National Ski Association found that 43%, less than half of skiers and snowboarders wore helmets. But that figure's still up from 2003, when only 25% donned a cranium cap. And as ski season melts into biking and skateboarding season, the need to wear a helmet increases. In fact, putting one on when you get on a bike reduces your chances of having a concussion by around 85%.


Is This Legit?

GEORGE RAMSAY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this legit? China is home to about 20 percent of the world's entire population. Legit! There are around 6.7 billion people in the world, and more than 1.3 billion of them live in China.

China Rockers

AZUZ: Of course, with that many people, you can't expect everyone in China to move to the same beat, especially when it comes to music. Here in the U.S., indie rock has had some success in the mainstream. In China, it's still mostly an underground movement. But as Anjali Rao explains, the music is striking a chord with audiences.


ANJALI RAO: It's China's political and cultural capital. But in Beijing, this is what you won't hear on the radio.

MICHAEL PETTIS, D22 MUSIC CLUB OWNER: I would say that right now, Beijing has to be among the top five or ten cities in the world for new music.

ILCHI, HANGGAI: In our music, we use a Mongolian singing technique named humai, or throat singing. It's one person making the sounds of two at the same time. It goes like this. [Demonstrates]

RAO: How do you do that?

RAO: Do your songs contain lyrics that denounce the government, for example?

ZHANG WEI, BUYI: Challenge the authorities? We're more focused in challenging ourselves.

RAO: Is it at all frustrating to you that you'll probably never hear yourselves on the radio?

WEI: This is probably to do with commercialization. Isn't there some kind of saying that money can make the world go round? If you get into that system, you can easily get onto radio and television. If you're outside that commercial cycle, then you are like us.

PETTIS: There's a young man by the name of Shouwang who has a rock band by the name of Carsick Cars. I am as certain that he is a genius as I was of any of the people that I worked with in New York. And when you think about it, it's really not that surprising. China has about a fifth of the world's population. They probably have a fifth of the world's musical geniuses, too.


Facebook Promo

AZUZ: We have a rockin' new video up on our Facebook page. Log in and check that out. I think we've got over 5,000 fans so far, which is really cool. If you haven't signed up yet, check it out. Log in to Facebook, you seach for "CNN Student News official" -- "official" is the key -- and sign up. We hope to see you there soon.

Pet Soup Kitchen

AZUZ: The economic recession: You've heard about it; it's on everyone's minds, probably because most everyone is feeling its effects, including our four-legged friends. The national Humane Society says many families are struggling to keep and feed their pets, and some animals are being abandoned all together. But Don Lemon introduces us to one man who's working to keep families together.


DON LEMON, CNN REPORTER: Construction worker Tom Wargo and his miniature pinscher Daffy have been together for eight years. They met on the job.

TOM WARGO, OWNER AND FOUNDER, DAFFY'S PET SOUP KITCHEN: I actually found Daffy at a job that I was doing, construction-wise. He was abused, you know, when I thought that he was a little puppy.

LEMON: Being the animal lover he is, Tom took Daffy in, not knowing the little guy was diabetic.

WARGO: He's on prescription food, he has to have two shots of insulin a day. I mean, he has a lot of care, expensive food.

LEMON: But Wargo was used to labors of love. Through his church, he had already been delivering pet food to the elderly and disabled.

WARGO: People that had pets needed assistance, and so we helped them out with food that way, and we did that for about 11 years.

LEMON: Little did Wargo know, seven years after rescuing Daffy, the dog would in part become inspiration for a new charity. The other inspiration: the economy and people losing their jobs, like Rich Schmidt.

RICH SCHMIDT, VOLUNTEER: I found myself in a position where I couldn't take care of the animals myself, provide for them.

LEMON: And that's how Daffy's Pet Soup Kitchen came about, handing out 8,000 - 12,000 pounds of food per month to needy pet owners in Georgia.

SCHMIDT: It was a great answer to my prayers to be able to take care of and keep my animals as opposed to having to give them up.

BARBARA DENTON, VOLUNTEER: It just, you know, gets harder and harder to make ends meet, so this is a great help. This is a great help to me.

LEMON: But there are rules: Clients have to fix and vaccinate their pets. The most important rule here though is pay it forward.

WARGO: They have to volunteer five hours in their community or here or church or dog rescue, anything.

SCHMIDT: I was in need of the service at the time I wasn't employed, so what better way to give something back than to help out here.

LEMON: They're hoping for corporate sponsorships to come through. But for now, volunteers and donations from kind strangers keep the doors open and families together.

WARGO: Your pets are like your kids, and you don't want to see them shipped off to jail, which is in essence what they're going to do if you have to get rid of them.

LEMON: Daffy the dog that stole one man's heart, now keeping hundreds of others from breaking. Don Lemon, CNN, Atlanta.


Before We Go

AZUZ: OK, dogs are cute, but have you ever wanted to own your own dinosaur? Well if you do, you might be alone, at least based on the results of a recent auction. When one gallery offered up a complete skeleton of a 150 million-year-old Dryosaurus, it estimated the bones might bring in bids of up to half a million bucks! Turns out the gallery might have been setting its sights a little bit too high, since the dried up dino didn't even sell!



AZUZ: You might just say that the offers for it were extinct. Going once, going twice, we're gone! You guys have a great day. I'm Carl Azuz.

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