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CNN Student News Transcript: May 6, 2009

  • Story Highlights
  • Hear a pair of presidents' views on the possibilities for Middle East peace
  • Find out what might happen if banks can't make the grade on a stress test
  • Beware of scams that take advantage of concerns about the H1N1 flu outbreak
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(CNN Student News) -- May 6, 2009

Quick Guide

Seeking Solutions - Hear a pair of presidents' views on the possibilities for Middle East peace.

Bank Stress Tests - Find out what might happen if banks can't make the grade on a stress test.

Phony Flu Protection - Beware of scams that take advantage of concerns about the H1N1 flu outbreak.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Mr. Buda in Tampa, Mrs. Ferguson in Kimball, Mr. Cutler and Mrs. Baron in Farmington Hills; we want to wish you and all teachers around the world a very happy Teacher Appreciation Week.

First Up: Seeking Solutions

AZUZ: First up, discussions about the Middle East peace process make their way to Washington, D.C. Recently, talks have centered around what's called the "two-state solution," the idea of Israeli and Palestinian states existing side by side. Israel's president, Shimon Peres, has supported the plan in the past, but he's not in charge of his country's government. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is. As Suzanne Malveaux reports, President Obama is meeting with both Israeli leaders to discuss the issue.


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: For President Barack Obama and Israeli President Shimon Peres, it's a first step.

SHIMON PERES, ISRAELI PRESIDENT: Let me make it clear: We trust the leadership of President Obama.

MALVEAUX: The two leaders' top priority: peace in the Middle East, starting with the Israelis and Palestinians.

U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I am a strong supporter of a two-state solution.

PERES: I have a simple question: why wait? Israel is prepared today to bring peace closer. Today!

MALVEAUX: But even the Israeli leadership is split over whether that's even possible. Israel's newly-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not endorsed the two-state solution. Mr. Obama would like that to change.

OBAMA: My hope would be that over the next several months, that you start seeing gestures of good faith on all sides.

MALVEAUX: Already some Arab states are encouraged by Mr. Obama's early outreach to the Muslim-Arab world.

KING ABDULLAH II, JORDAN: It has gone on extremely well and really begins, I believe, a new page of mutual respect and mutual understanding between cultures.

MALVEAUX: But Iran continues to threaten the region with its nuclear ambitions. The U.S. and Israel believe the regime is intent on developing nuclear weapons.

PERES: Iran is not threatened by anybody!

MALVEAUX: But President Obama believes opening a dialogue with Iran's regime could change its behavior.

OBAMA: Tough, direct diplomacy has to be pursued without taking a whole host of other options off the table.

MALVEAUX: Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich slammed the president's approach, telling the Jerusalem Post it was a "fantasy," part of a policy "very dangerous for Israel." But Peres told CNN's Wolf Blitzer he didnt have a problem with Mr. Obama reaching out to talk to Iran's leader.

PERES: If it will be successful, God bless him. Who wants a war? We're not crazy.

MALVEAUX: Shimon Peres is a highly respected elder statesman, but his post is largely ceremonial. It's the newly-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanhuya who has much of the power. He'll also be meeting with President Obama in the weeks to come. Suzanne Malveaux, CNN, the White House.


Money Word$

ERIK NIVISON, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Here's the deal: Today's Money Word is capital. In our Financial Glossary at, capital is defined as a company's available resources, including money. Put that in your word bank!

Bank Stress Tests

AZUZ: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says that the fate of the U.S. economy could depend on the country's financial system. Officials are giving some of the country's largest banks a "stress test" to see if they have enough capital to stay in business if the economy gets worse. Mary Snow breaks down what might happen if banks do, or don't, make the grade.


MARY SNOW, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Treasury came up with the idea of stress tests for the big banks to see if they could weather an even deeper recession. Wall Street is not expecting the 19 banks being tested to pass with flying colors. After weeks of number crunching, tense negotiations and a few leaks, the expectation is some banks will need to raise more money.

ART HOGAN, JEFFRIES & COMPANY: We're going to find out there are some banks in the next six months that will go to the private sector and try and raise some capital. If they can't, we're going to find out what banks will be the next recipients of TARP funds. And I think that's the mixed bag of news.

SNOW: Still, that mixed bag ends months of uncertainty about the financial health of the banks, that itself has brought angst.

MARK ZANDI, ECONOMY.COM: I think this will mark the beginning of the end of this very severe banking crisis. I don't think the crisis comes to an end, however, until these banks actually do raise the capital that they need and ultimately begin lending more freely again.

SNOW: The White House says it doesn't expect to provide more public funds.

ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The administration doesn't believe that we need to go to Congress right now looking for more money.

SNOW: But economist Nouriel Roubini, who is sometimes called Doctor Doom and called the downturn before others, says the stress tests weren't stressful enough, that the unemployment levels used in them were too optimistic.

NOURIEL ROUBINI, NYU STERN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: The risk is that we keep alive zombie banks, like Japan, that might lead to a more protracted credit crunch and weakness of the economy.


Flu Recommendations

AZUZ: From the health of the country's economy to health in general. Federal officials are recommending that schools not close when they have confirmed cases of the H1N1, or swine, flu. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says this virus is no more dangerous than your regular seasonal flu, and while sick students should stay home, schools should stay open.

Phony Flu Protection

AZUZ: In the meantime, a lot of people are looking for information about this outbreak, but they need to make sure they're looking in the right places. Because as Christie Anderson of affiliate KETV in Omaha, Nebraska reports, some scammers are trying to take advantage of the situation.


CHRISTIE ANDERSON, KETV REPORTER: According to McAfee Online security company, spammers started pumping out e-mails right after the first news reports of the flu. Many of those e-mails link you directly to online pharmacies. And according to F-Secure, another online security company, more than 250 Web sites with the term "swine flu" have been registered, and it predicts scam artists are preparing to use the sites in a variety of scams. And we found a number of Web sites already selling swine flu protection kits, anywhere from $19.95 all the way up to almost $2,000.

JIM HEGARTY, PRESIDENT, NEBRASKA BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU: None of the information that you would be able to purchase on this Web site is going to be of any more use to you than information that's available free of charge through government Web sites.

ANDERSON: Nebraska Better Business Bureau President Jim Hegarty says to avoid the H1N1 swine flu scams, don't open e-mails from unknown sources and don't click on any of the links or attachments. Don't fall for offers of a swine flu vaccine; there is no such thing. And make sure your anti-virus software is up to date, so that malware and data mining software can't infect your computer.

HEGARTY: It's just another malicious attempt to use the vulnerability of a situation that's occurring in our country to take advantage of people.


Blog Report

AZUZ: Now, your voices! In honor of teachers, here's what you're saying this Teacher Appreciation Week. Felipe calls Mr. Painter an awesome civics teacher, saying his class was a pleasure. Quincy says nobody knows how to teach like Mr. White does, and Dave thanked Ms. Jablonski for being a wonderful teacher and for making Dave a good writer.

Allison, Adam, "Bull Rider," Samantha, Tyler, Trent and Rath are all big fans of Mr. Easto. Kayla, Sean and Tyler think Coach McCullers keeps class interesting every day. And Nathan and Preston thank Mrs. Blackstock, who sent us an iReport earlier this year about a deer in their school. You can send us an iReport at, kicking your own shoutout to your own teachers!

Before We Go

AZUZ: And finally today, you know how younger siblings sometimes want to copy everything their older brothers and sisters do? Well, that's the case for a family in Colorado, even if the siblings are only minutes apart. Tim Ciesco of affiliate KKCO scouts out the details.


TIM CIESCO, KKCO REPORTER: Meet Christian, Aaron and Nelson Rock, 15-year-old fraternal triplets who say they've experienced just about all aspects of their lives together.

CHRISTIAN ROCK, EAGLE SCOUT TRIPLET: I'm used to having them around.

CIESCO: In keeping with that tradition, the three brothers, who have been Boy Scouts since they were 11, all became Eagle Scouts, the highest honor in scouting, at the same time.

CHRISTIAN ROCK: It's a great honor because not a lot of people can get this award. Like I said before, it's just something that will really help you in the future when you apply for jobs and stuff like that.

NELSON ROCK, EAGLE SCOUT TRIPLET: It's pretty nice getting to do it with my brothers because they're cool.

CIESCO: Their Scoutmaster Clint Erekson says it's truly a night to celebrate, because getting to this point for any scout, let alone three of them, is no easy task. To become Eagle Scouts, the Rocks each had to earn 21 merit badges and plan and complete a large-scale community service project, which took the form of making the Grand Junction Trap Club handicap accessible, among others.

CLINT EREKSON, SCOUTMASTER, TROOP 383: We have a pretty rare opportunity.

CIESCO: But just how rare? According to Childbirth Solutions Inc., triplets occur once every 8,100 births. And according to Boy Scouts of America, only two out of every 100 Boy Scouts become Eagle Scouts. So by our math, the odds of a triplet becoming an Eagle Scout is one in four million. And overcoming odds like that makes the Rocks feel pretty good.

AARON ROCK, EAGLE SCOUT TRIPLET: I'm feeling lucky right now. I'm gonna try the lottery or something when I get older.

CIESCO: But they say the only reason they were able to overcome those odds was because they had each other.

AARON ROCK: I'm just happy that we had an Eagle project that was one giant one we could all do together, and that these two are my brothers to do it.

EREKSON: We're really proud of them. They've worked really hard, and I'm just excited to be part of it.




AZUZ: The triplets have two older brothers who achieved the same rank. Five Eagle Scouts? This family Rocks! Cause that's their last name... ah, forget it. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.

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