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CNN Student News Transcript: May 26, 2009

  • Story Highlights
  • Understand how a seismic disturbance triggered global anger at North Korea
  • Tally up the reasons why crude oil is king, albeit an evasive one to find
  • Get stadium seating for a report about recession, a new park and an old game
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(CNN Student News) -- May 26, 2009

Quick Guide

North Korea Nuclear Test - Understand how a seismic disturbance triggered global anger at North Korea.

Search for Crude - Tally up the reasons why crude oil is king, albeit an evasive one to find.

Stadium Stumbles - Get stadium seating for a report about recession, a new park and an old game.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Today's show goes out to Mr. Osborne at Villa Grove High, Mrs. Price at Harnett Central, and the entire Social Studies department at Templeton Middle School, who actually put us on their homepage. Thank you for doing that. I'm Carl Azuz and this is CNN Student News!

First Up: North Korea Nuclear Test

AZUZ: First up, the world responds to a nuclear test that took place in North Korea. Many nations, including China, one of North Korea's closest allies, have spoken out against this test. The U.N. Security Council met yesterday and unanimously condemned the action as a "clear violation" of U.N. resolutions. North Korea, which also claimed to test fire a short-range missile on Monday, had threatened to carry out this action unless the Security Council apologized for imposing sanctions on the country after it tested a rocket last month. North Korea insists that rocket was a communications satellite.

The nation announced its nuclear test after the U.S. Geological Survey reported a seismic disturbance, something like an earthquake, at the site of North Korea's similar test in 2006. Experts estimated that event produced an explosion equal to less than 1,000 tons of TNT. North Korea says yesterday's test was designed to strengthen the country's nuclear capabilities to discourage other nations from attacking. Essentially, North Korea says it was about self-defense. However, President Obama says the test "poses a grave threat to the peace and stability of the world," and if anything, Obama believes it will have the opposite effect than the one the Asian Country is looking for.

U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: North Korea will not find security and respect through threats and illegal weapons. We will work with our friends and allies to stand up to this behavior, and we will redouble our efforts toward a more robust international nonproliferation regime that all countries have responsibilities to meet.

Memorial Day Events

AZUZ: Later in the day, President Obama participated in the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery's Tomb of the Unknowns. It was one of many Memorial Day events taking place around the U.S. The president called on all Americans to remember those men and women who lost their lives in the service of their country, noting that they "waged war so that we may know peace." Many Americans across the nation marked the day at 3 p.m., pausing for a moment of remembrance, something the White House described as an act of national unity to honor those who died for our freedom. Officials chose that time because they said it's when many Americans are enjoying their freedoms on Memorial Day.

Word to the Wise


crude (adjective) in an unrefined, raw or natural state


Search for Crude

AZUZ: Well, when it comes to oil, crude is king, and that is because when you refine the raw material, it can be made into gasoline. In fact, for every dollar you pay at the pump, about 56 cents of it goes toward crude oil. But before it can be processed, you've got to find it, and as Sean Callebs explains, that search alone can be expensive.


SEAN CALLEBS , CNN CORRESPONDENT, NEW ORLEANS: One hundred thirty miles off the coast of Louisiana, over the last decade and a half, tremendous advances in technology have allowed oil companies like Marathon to venture nearly two miles into deep Gulf water in search of crude. It's not cheap, but drilling chiefly limited to the western part of the Gulf of Mexico is the best alternative, according to Marathon Oil.

WOODY PACE, MARATHON OIL, GULF ASSET MANAGER: Over 60% of our oil from foreign sources. And if we stop doing that, if we do not look for, explore more for oil and gas here at home, then we're not going to be able to decrease our dependence on foreign oil.

CALLEBS: The price of gas has spiked this past month, and many fear gas at three, four, even five dollars a gallon could be just around the corner. There are a lot of factors and reasons gasoline is going up in price, not in any small part because it is expensive to look for this stuff. Marathon Oil will spend about a million dollars a day just in exploration. They've spent $230 million so far and haven't even got a drop of oil. Still, spending that much money at just this field, it dubbed Drovshky, Marathon believes eventually will pay off in a big way. But get this: In just three years, the company expects to have drained all the oil from this one reserve.

PACE: You're always fighting the natural decline of oil and gas. You've got a container that you're producing this oil and gas from. It's sort of anomalous [sic] to drinking soda out of a can with a straw. There is only so much there, and once it's gone, it's gone.

CALLEBS: On a different site, a production rig a half hour away by helicopter, this is what everyone is after. This oil is straight from beneath the ocean floor, unfiltered, untreated. Instead of running pipe through thousands of feet of water far out in the Gulf and then through miles and miles of earth, the industry has its eyes on low hanging fruit, cheaper and easier to access.

CATHY LANDRY, AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE: We have untapped oil and natural gas off the Atlantic coast, the Pacific coast, and even in some places on shore.

CALLEBS: Drilling in untapped areas is a politically sensitive issue. Environmentalists and many politicians have been fighting that and pushing for alternative forms of energy. The industry says only one in five expensive operations in deep water actually produces oil. But in a nation so dependent on petroleum, these companies can simply pass along their costs to the consumer. Sean Callebs, CNN, in the Gulf of Mexico.



NIVISON: Time for the Shoutout! Which of these pro teams has won the most championships? Is it the: A) New York Yankees, B) Detroit Red Wings, C) Boston Celtics or D) Pittsburgh Steelers? You've got three seconds -- GO! The Yankees have won 26 World Series titles, making them the winningest team in Major League Baseball history. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Stadium Stumbles

AZUZ: But the recession has made it harder for the Yankees to win sellout crowds. I looked up ticket prices for their June 2 game against the Texas Rangers. A spot on the bleachers goes for 14 bucks, which most of you could probably reach. A premium seat in the new "Legends" section is a couple thousand. Guess what's harder to sell? Richard Roth takes us out to the ball game.


RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK: A former New York Yankee superstar, Reggie Jackson, seemed awestruck, one of the first to survey the new $1.5 billion Yankee Stadium. It still has the potential to be a field of dreams. However, the new Yankee Stadium, with a name recognized around the world, opened in the teeth of a brutal recession.

LON TROST, YANKEES COO: For me to say that we're immune from the economics of the city, the country and the world would be foolish.

ROTH: The Yankees had a rough start on and off the playing field.

ANDREW ZIMBALIST, SPORTS ECONOMIST, SMITH COLLEGE: They've taken a very large bet here on this stadium. It's financially risky for them.

ROTH: Expensive seats, highly visible to game cameras, were empty even against top opponents.

PERSON ON STREET #1: It's a little disconcerting to watch it on TV and see the $1,000, $2,000 seats behind home plate being like a ghost town, essentially.

ROTH: The Yankees were charging $2,500 dollars for so-called "Legends Seats," with a moat-like separation from other fans. Even students at New York University's graduation ceremonies couldn't sit in that section at a free event. The Yankees, the Mets and other teams like the Washington Nationals have spent millions for new parks in urban neighborhoods.

PERSON ON STREET #2: This is a stimulus package. This stadium is a stimulus package.

ROTH: New restaurants and amenities; lavish entertainment in a recession. The baseball commissioner denies the sport will fall victim to the economy.

BUD SELIG, BASEBALL COMMISSIONER: They're not gilded palaces. In fact, in truth, we've held our ticket prices down.

ROTH: The Yankees did reduce prices in those close-up seats.

PERSON ON STREET #3: I'm glad the Yankees have learned that prices can not be completely inelastic, even in this marketplace.

ROTH: And by chance, the team started winning.

NICK SWISHER, NEW YORK YANKEES OUTFIELDER: It's the Taj Mahal! Its the Taj Mahal of baseball!

ROTH: The Yankees told CNN they lead the league in attendance, and suggested too much attention was paid to only 700 seats. In Detroit, Comerica Park was initially a turn-off to some Tigers fans because it was hard to hit home runs. So, the fences were moved in.

JOHN MCHALE JR., FORMER TIGERS EXECUTIVE, MLB CIO: You need at least a full season to see how the park plays.

ROTH: The mayor of New York City is not yet ready to call the stadium a relic.

MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, (I) NEW YORK CITY: I think the entertainment you get at baseball games, if you like baseball, is well worth it.

PERSON ON STREET #4: It's all about the New York Yankees, the old and the new.

ROTH: Richard Roth, CNN, New York.


Before We Go

AZUZ: Well, before we go, we are bringing you the chase of cheese, the crash of queso, the flop of fromage! This is gonna hurt. It's been said that "the cheese stands alone." But very few runners are left standing in Britain's annual cheese roll! That is because this hill is actually concave, like a skateboard ramp, and competitors are falling all over themselves to get down it. The winners get the cheeses if they don't fall to pieces!



AZUZ: Specifically, it's Double Gloucester cheese, though the winners tell the losers, it's "nacho cheese"! Painful, yes, but what would that story be without a cheesy pun? I'm Carl Azuz.

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