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CNN Student News Transcript: April 7, 2009

  • Story Highlights
  • Assess the damage that an earthquake caused in a historic Italian city
  • Journey to a country whose support the president hopes to carry home
  • Step up to the plate and see how an American sport is a hit in Iraq
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(CNN Student News) -- April 7, 2009

Quick Guide

Italy Quake - Assess the damage that an earthquake caused in a historic Italian city.

President Obama in Turkey - Journey to a country whose support the president hopes to carry home.

Iraqi Sluggers - Step up to the plate and see how an American sport is a hit in Iraq.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Buckle up, 'cause you're headed from Italy to Iraq, from an ID Me to an iReport, all in this edition of CNN Student News!

First Up: Italy Quake

AZUZ: Shaken from their beds, residents of L'Aquila, Italy rushed into the streets early Monday, as a powerful, 6.3 magnitude earthquake rumbled their historic city. Dozens of people are dead, hundreds hurt, thousands are homeless. In many cases, what used to be buildings, some dating back to the 13th century, are now just piles of stone and rubble.

This happened just before dawn on Monday, about 75 miles northeast of the Italian capital of Rome. and as you're about to see from this video, the search for survivors is tough work, though there have been some rescues. Because the city is so old, many of its structures weren't built to withstand strong quakes. And Italy is prone to tremors, it's located near two major fault lines, and this earthquake actually followed a smaller one in northern Italy, just hours beforehand.

Downloadable Maps

ID Me!

ERIK NIVISON, CNN STUDENT NEWS: See if you can ID Me! I'm a country that used to be part of the Ottoman Empire. You can find me between the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. My capital is Ankara. I'm Turkey, a nation a little bigger than state of Texas.

President Obama in Turkey

AZUZ: Turkey's population is more than 99% Muslim. And as President Obama spoke at the Turkish government yesterday, a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll said that Americans were about split on whether the U.S. should trust Muslim allies the same as any other ally. However, most Americans say they have a favorable view of Turkey itself, and Suzanne Malveaux outlines why the president wants Turkey to have a favorable view of America.


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: When President Bush came here to Ankara, Turkey covering that there was a great deal of strain and frustration, a very complicated relationship with the Turkish government. Obviously, President Bush very frustrated. He did not get the kind of support that he wanted from the Turkish government regarding the Iraq war. Well, now President Obama is really trying to show that things are different now. There's a change in leadership, a change in message as well as tone, He recognizes that the Turkish government is going to be a very important critical player on a number of fronts. They not only have troops in Afghanistan, but also could play a key role when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, perhaps dialogue there, as well as Israel's conflict with Syria, and perhaps even bridging the gap between the United States and Iran. So we heard from President Obama, a new message to the Muslim community, to the people here and the wider region. Take a listen:

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The United States is not, and will never be, at war with Islam. In fact, our partnership with the Muslim world is critical, not just in rolling back the violent ideologies that people of all faiths reject, but also to strengthen opportunity for all people. I also want to be clear that America's relationship with the Muslim community, the Muslim world, cannot and will not just be based upon opposition to terrorism.

MALVEAUX: The predominantly Muslim country borders Iraq, Iran and Syria so it is geographically as well as politically positioned really to make an impact in this region. Barack Obama saying that this is his number one priority in his administration to deal with the Middle East peace process, the conflicts in the region, so obviously looking to Turkey to really pave a new way with the Muslim community.


Media Ban Lifted

AZUZ: Back in the U.S. and back in February, President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates changed a policy that dated back to 1991. Now, when fallen American troops are returned to U.S. soil, the media are allowed to show the flag-draped coffins. This was done on Sunday for the first time in 18 years. It can only be done if the soldiers' families give permission. Some supporters of the new policy say it helps the nation become more aware of the sacrifice of America's troops. Critics say there's no good that comes of showing the coffins, and that their return to the U.S. should remain private. Well, what do you say? Head to our blog, and let us know what you're thinking.


NIVISON: Time for the Shoutout! Where would you find the National Softball Hall of Fame? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it in: A) Cooperstown, New York; B) Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; C) Cleveland, Ohio or D) Springfield, Massachusetts? You've got three seconds -- GO! Stop by the National Softball Hall of Fame next time you're in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma!

Iraqi Sluggers

AZUZ: Well, many of you have baseball on the brain, with the season officially open this week. But after all, that sport gave rise to softball in 1887, and now both are enjoyed everywhere. Now when you think softball, you probably think of your school's team or of championships you've seen on TV. You probably don't think Iraq, unless you're Fred Pleitgen. Check it out.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT, BAGHDAD: A battle call, and the game is on. The championship match, Baghdad against Diwaniyah province. Twenty year old Sabreen Kifah from the Baghdad team throws a pretty mean fastball.

SABREEN KIFAH, SOFTBALL PLAYER [TRANSLATED]: My ambition is to be the best player in Iraq and play internationally.

PLEITGEN: Baseball and softball are still in their infancy in Iraq, the teams don't even have jerseys. These are from European soccer clubs. But America's popular pastime is catching on fast. And though these ladies have only been playing the game for a few years, they certainly are good enough to beat me.

YASSER MAZIAD, SOFTBALL COACH [TRANSLATED]: The beautiful thing about this game is one player challenges the whole opposing team. It's not like other sports where you have two teams playing on the field."

PLEITGEN: And those playing here say more and more young women in Iraq are picking up the game.

KIFAH [TRANSLATED]: It is an American sport it is such a beautiful game and it's really helping to develop female sports here.

PLEITGEN: In the end, the Baghdad team won the championship game. A title that means a lot more to these young women than simply receiving a trophy. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Baghdad.


Scholarship Advice

AZUZ: Some of you might be taking a swing at a softball scholarship. The NCAA offers some financial aid to student athletes. But if softball's not your game, maybe you could apply for an accordion scholarship. Believe it or not, they're out there. If you're just looking to land a scholarship in general, though, check out part two of Josh Levs' interview with an expert.


TALLY HART, OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY: A winning scholarship really conveys who this person is. It talks about the honest background of the student and tells us a little bit more than just grades and a list of activities will convey. The scholarship source will tell you what they're interested in learning, so follow their lead and try to respond to their questions, but be sure to include things that may be unique about you. An example is, lots of times students forget to include things that are part of what they consider their family duties. If a student spends a lot of time helping care for younger children, or maybe an ill grandparent, those are the kind of things that help explain who the student is in the broader context and can be really helpful in winning the scholarship.

JOSH LEVS, CNN REPORTER: Tally, I think you also have some advice for people out there who think that a certain thing about them may be weird or quirky and they are kind of wary of sharing it, and you've said when it comes specifically to scholarship applications, that's the time to take those quirks and put them out front and center.

HART: Yeah, it has to be something you feel comfortable in sharing, but your uniquenesses may help distinguish you. Remember that they are going to be lots of people competing for those dollars. Especially if you have overcome some obstacle or found something that has really inspired you. Don't worry if it doesn't fit the usual mode that you think describes a scholarship. An example might be a student who has had to work to finance a part of their high school costs and plan for college and has worked flipping burgers but took on a management task or became a team leader. Those things are really of interest in distinguishing a student in a scholarship process.


Before We Go

AZUZ: Before we go, need to take out a little recession aggression? Don't take a nap. Take a swing! That's what hundreds of New Yorkers did last weekend, in a commotive commemoration, of World Pillow Fight Day! Who cares about economic bears? If you can't beat the market, beat someone with a pillow! And they weren't alone. Here's the mayhem from Massachusetts! It's one of the only fights where you can't get busted, or busted up.



AZUZ: Though it's guaranteed, to ruffle some feathers! That's where we turn out the lights! Y'all have a great Tuesday, from all of us here at CNN Student News.

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