(CNN Student News) -- November 9, 2009
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: From D.C. to Texas to Berlin, CNN Student News brings you stories from around the globe. Kicking off a new week of commercial-free headlines, I'm Carl Azuz.
AZUZ: First up, a health care reform bill passes in the U.S. House of Representatives. Saturday's vote was a close one, though: 220 for, 215 against, with 39 Democrats voting against the bill and one Republican voting for it. Democrats claimed the vote as a victory, and one lawmaker said it's their responsibility to pass health care reform.
REP. G.K. BUTTERFIELD, (D) NORTH CAROLINA: We have an obligation, constitutional and moral, to provide for the general welfare of every American citizen. Allowing a broken health care system to continue to bankrupt families, businesses and hospitals and deny coverage to millions is a failure of duty. We must act now.
AZUZ: A lot of people agree that the country's health care system is broken. But one Republican congressman says that the House Democrats' plan to fix it is the wrong approach.
REP. JACK KINGSTON, (R) GEORGIA: If your kitchen sink is leaking, you fix the sink. You don't take a wrecking ball to the entire kitchen. This bill is a wrecking ball to the entire economy.
AZUZ: So, what's next? The Senate has to vote on its health care bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that might not happen before the end of the year as President Obama wanted it to. Now, if the Senate passes a bill, it and the House versions would have to be combined into a new single bill, and then that would have to be passed by both houses of Congress. If all that happens, then President Obama would have to sign the final bill for it to become law. A long way to go, and a lot of "if's" along the way.
AZUZ: Turning to the economy, the new numbers are out on the nationwide unemployment rate, and they're not good: 10.2 percent. That's up from 9.8 percent last month, and it's the first time since 1983 that the country's unemployment rate has been in double digits. The news isn't good for you guys, either I'm sorry to say. Teen unemployment, which covers 16 to 19 year olds, now stands at 27.6 percent. Part of the reason for that is because teens are having to compete for jobs against adults who are out of work. The government is trying to help out. Last week, President Obama signed a new law that extends the amount of time that people can collect unemployment benefits.
GOV. RICK PERRY, TEXAS: In the days to come, our priorities are gonna be simple: support the families of those affected by this violence, support the criminal investigation that is ongoing, continue supporting our military as we always have.
Fort Hood Update
AZUZ: That was Texas Governor Rick Perry, speaking in the wake of last week's tragic shooting at Fort Hood. Authorities still don't know what prompted the attack there last Thursday killing 13 people, wounding more than 40 others. The suspected gunman, who's an Army major, was shot himself several times during the attack. He survived. Police are asking anyone who was there to step forward. They think people who ran away during the shooting might have evidence that could help the investigation. Fort Hood has a processing center where soldiers go before heading off to war. Nearby churches are offering help, services and prayers for anyone affected by the shooting.
Is this Legit
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this legit?
FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
JONES: Is this legit? In that famous speech, President Ronald Reagan was talking about the Great Wall of China. False! In the 1987 address, President Reagan was referring to the Berlin Wall.
AZUZ: Twenty years ago today, the Berlin Wall did come down, and with it, the division of Germany into east and west. On last Tuesday's show, Fred Pleitgen looked at the remains of the wall itself. Today, Jim Clancy visits Checkpoint Charlie, a main crossing spot when the wall was standing, and a museum dedicated to the people who tried to escape from behind it.
JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The Wall Museum at Checkpoint Charlie. It chronicles the fear and suffering, ingenuity and heroism of a generation who refused to be sealed off from the free world.
ALEXANDRA HILDEBRANDT, BERLIN WALL MUSEUM CURATOR: It was very, very, very dangerous because the people, they just want to be free.
CLANCY: A car seemingly too tiny to smuggle humans to freedom did exactly that. And there's the gas tank that hid a child brought in from the cold. An ultralight aircraft used by a Czech student in a flight from communism. And there were tunnels, too.
HILDEBRANDT: Here you see tunnel 57; means 57 people could come through. It was about 700 tunnels the people did try to build, but very few were successful.
CLANCY: Alexandra Hildebrandt keeps alive the enthusiasm her late husband, Rainer, felt when he opened the Wall Museum. He started building it as soon as the Soviet Union and its allies put up the wall. She estimates 900,000 people come each year to share that. Some are German students who learn from their guides about a daring balloon journey that brought entire families safely to the West. Others are visitors to Berlin, enthralled by the sheer boldness, desperation and drive of those who risked all for freedom.
HILDEBRANDT: Our museum tells people how important to be free. Our museum tells people how many people died that we are, today, can live in freedom.
CLANCY: Like no other place in the world, the Wall Museum shows visitors the actual signposts of the Cold War. It even presents artifacts dug up from the street below after the fall of the wall.
HILDEBRANDT: And this is original borderline here from Checkpoint Charlie. This is the borderline where President Reagan in 1982 stayed and made just one step over to show he do not want any more to have this border here.
CLANCY: For all the tactics and tricks on display, Berlin's famous Wall Museum pays homage to the pain and suffering of those captured or shot down and left to die slowly just a few steps from freedom. It reminds us, past or present, freedom has its price.
AZUZ: For some U.S. troops who are wounded while serving overseas, coming back home can be challenging, both physically and emotionally. There's a program that aims to aid in the recovery process by offering some helping hooves. Photojournalist Eddie Cortes gives us a look.
JUSTIN RICHARDSON, U.S. MARINE CORPS VETERAN: Gideon, come here, boy. I actually swore in on September 11, 2001. And then the first plane hit the Trade Tower. I was a squad leader during Operation Phantom Fury out in Anbar Province.
LESLIE OLSON, THERAPEUTIC RIDING INSTRUCTOR, CHASTAIN HORSE PARK: The Horses for Heroes program is a program for the wounded troops, no matter what branch of the service they're in. So, they come out and they work with the horses. It's not just about the riding.
RICHARDSON: It's a really cool feeling to, you know, be next to an animal this big that can do some serious damage if he wanted to. But really, they're just big babies that love rubdowns.
OLSON: He's really bonded with Gideon. He's a kind of a guy's kind of horse: loves to be groomed and he stands patiently.
RICHARDSON: During combat operations, I was at the wrong place at the wrong time, ended up taking some shrapnel.
BETSY SMITH, REHABILITATION COUNSELOR, SHEPHERD SPINAL CENTER: Justin is doing much better. He came to us with some difficulties.
RICHARDSON: I had sustained a brain injury and had post traumatic stress disorder.
SMITH: We've really been able to use the Horses for Heroes program to work on his anxiety.
RICHARDSON: I've never really been around horses; I'm actually from the city. Closest thing to a horse I had was a 100-pound rottweiler.
OLSON: There are many that don't want to come and ride, but they want to work hands-on with the horses.
RICHARDSON: It's kind of a trust thing, you know? He trusts you, you trust him.
OLSON: If their back hurts or if they just don't feel like riding, we always have something for them to do.
RICHARDSON: You know, it's been extremely therapeutic, especially emotionally.
OLSON: They love coming out and working with the horses. That gives them a sense of accomplishment when they're done. It's been a wonderful program. It's something I can give to these men and women who have come back and have done so much for us. We can help them heal.
AZUZ: Great story. Veterans Day is coming up on Wednesday, and if you want to give a shoutout to someone who's served in the Armed Forces, here's your chance. Send us an iReport with your message, or you can leave it on our blog. You don't have to know someone in the Armed Forces. We just want to know what you'd say to thank America's veterans for their service. You'll find both ways to submit your messages on our new Web page. CNNStudentNews.com is totally redesigned, so check out the new look while you're there.
Before We Go
AZUZ: Before we go, let them eat cake! And while you're at it, let them wear it too! The idea of food-based fashion may sound wicked, but that's exactly what's going on at this runway show: candied couture! Sounds like some weird mix of Project Runway and Top Chef. Actually, it's a tribute to all things chocolate. The edible outfits just happen to be the star of the show, and a nice showcase for designers with a creative eye and a sweet tooth.
AZUZ: We tried to come up with a better pun, but our sense of humor desserted us. Hopefully you won't desert us for that winner. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz. We'll see ya tomorrow.