(CNN Student News) -- December 18, 2009
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Fridays are awesome! Even when it's our last one of the semester. I'm Carl Azuz, and you're tuned in to CNN Student News! First up today, a quick check of our headlines.
AZUZ: The strike is off! A judge says plans for a walkout by British Airways cabin crews cannot happen. As we reported yesterday, this strike, which would have lasted through the holidays, could have affected a million passengers' holiday travel plans. But the judge has blocked it from happening. Now the airline says it hopes the cabin crews' labor union will take some time to think about its next steps. But union representatives say this dispute is not over, and that unless the two sides can come to a solution, they could vote to strike again, but after Christmas.
"Running out of time": the warning from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday to the attendees at a global climate conference. This meeting has been aimed at coming up with a climate change agreement. But critics say that as of Thursday, there had been little, if any, progress. The talks seemed to hit sort of a standstill yesterday, leaving the chances of making a deal before the summit ends today in question. To get the latest on whether or not they did make that agreement, head to CNN.com, and that is also where you can check up on the debate over health care reform.
Right now, debate is fierce. The version of the bill being considered by the U.S. Senate is getting criticism from Republicans, Democrats and even an important labor group. President Obama is urging senators to accept a compromise and pass it. But even if they do, it would still have to be combined with a House version, and then both the House and Senate would have to approve that final bill.
AZUZ: Now health care is one of the topics that has just dominated headlines since we kicked off the school year back in August. But it's certainly not the only story that has. Here's a look back at some of the biggest news we've covered this semester.
AZUZ: Health care! This issue is heating up as President Obama pushes Congress to reform the country's current system.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D) HOUSE SPEAKER: It reduces the deficit, meets President Obama's call to keep the cost under $900 billion over 10 years, and it insures 36 million more Americans.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R) HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: It's going to raise the cost of Americans' health insurance. It's going to kill jobs with tax hikes and new mandates in it.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They may work weekends right up to Christmas, fearing any delay on health care will kill the bill.
AZUZ: The "public option," a possible, government-run health care plan. Well, it probably won't be in the Senate bill.
Some economic ups and downs...
U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The jobs picture is not going to improve considerably, and it could even get a little bit worse over the next couple of months.
MONROE UDELL, OWNER, JAXSON'S ICE CREAM PARLOUR: We've had, you know, down time and good times with the economy.
AZUZ: The Dow Jones Industrial Average: up! Gold: up! The dollar: down! Oil: up!
Right now, the U.S. unemployment rate is 10.2 percent. That is the highest it's been in decades.
A recent CNN poll found that the economy, not health care, is the biggest issue on the minds of Americans.
Schools prepare to fight the H1N1 virus.
The government is working on an H1N1 vaccine that should be ready by mid-October.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it was definitely worse than the regular flu. It just really knocked me down.
AZUZ: Some deliveries of the shot are going to be delayed.
ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Obama declared a national H1N1 emergency.
MARY SNOW, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Health officials say a delay in vaccine production comes down to a 50-year-old technology that relies on eggs.
AZUZ: The impact of the H1N1 virus may be more widespread than originally thought.
The war in Afghanistan.
The votes from last month's presidential election in Afghanistan are going to be recounted.
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: 100,000 American and allied troops are already fighting in Afghanistan.
CPL. JIMMY PARKER, 1ST BATTALION, 17TH INFANTRY: We need the help down here, even though we're handling our own.
SPC. LUKE ADLER, 82ND AIRBORNE: Logistically, Afghanistan is not ready for all the troops.
AZUZ: Hamid Karzai is scheduled to be sworn in today for his second term as the president of Afghanistan.
President Obama plans to send 30,000 additional U.S. forces to Afghanistan.
OBAMA: I am convinced that our security is at stake.
AZUZ: 50 percent of you agree with the president's decision; 50 percent say he should not be sending more troops.
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: See if you can I.D. Me! You can find me on the Internet. I'm usually filled with writing, but I can also include pictures and video. I'm a type of journal that's part of an online universe. I'm a blog! My name first appeared about 10 years ago, and it's short for the word "Weblog."
Your Top Blogs
AZUZ: Okay, our blog, From A to Z, is where we ask you guys to sound off on stories from our show. And you have not let us down. We've had tons of comments throughout the school year - thousands in the past few months. Here are the blog posts that have gotten the most reaction this semester, and a look at what some of you had to say.
MICHELLE WRIGHT, CNN STUDENT NEWS: At number 5: Ohio eighth grader Dustin Reader received an in-school suspension for that Cincinnati Bengals haircut right there. Was it fair or not? Maddie says Dustin has been warned before about the haircut, and he should have known not to do it again. But Jeremy feels schools are going too far and it's just a football team. Schools need to calm down.
At number 4: 13-year-old Carol Ray is living her dream: a peewee football player now turned high school running back. Can guys and girls play the sport? Chris says he wouldn't mind playing with a girl on the team, although he would be scared for the other team being beaten by a girl. Christina disagrees; she doesn't think girls should play with the guys. They should have a girls team.
At number 3: A judge in Wisconsin issues $366 fines to the parents of students with excessive absences. Is this plan effective or not? Mr. Kelley's homeroom thinks parents should be fined for their childrens' absences. But Justen disagrees and feels parents should not be held responsible for their children's actions. Briana suggests talking to the students and finding out why they skip. That, she says, might solve the problem more efficiently.
At number 2: Three notable public outbursts this year came from Kanye West, Serena Willams and Representative Joe Wilson. Were they acceptable or unacceptable? Jewale thinks none of the three outbursts were all right and there is no place for them. But Emma feels that if it's in a good manner, an outburst can sometimes be okay. According to K.C., if you don't have something nice to say, don't say it at all.
At number 1: boys in one classroom and girls in another. This is how one school is testing the ongoing debate over whether males and females learn differently. Should classes be co-ed or separate? Patrick agrees that the separation would allow everybody to reach their full potential. But in Ani's opinion, co-ed classrooms are beneficial. She feels in life, we will not be separated from people of the opposite gender, so why should that occur in schools?
AZUZ: Good stuff. Two more things that really get you talking to us: Before We Go segments that feature animals and our puns, for better or for worse. We put together a special, Christmas-themed, year-end, animal extravaganza to bring you the best of both worlds. Check it out.
AZUZ: Who in the world wants a partridge in a pear tree? In these 12 days of Christmas, we're looking at 12 lessons learned from animals this year on CNN!
Number 12: Buses may be perfect for people, but when goats try to get involved -- or get on board -- it's always a baa-aad idea.
Number 11: It's possible to win a "cutest dog" competition, even if you're a chihuahua.
Number 10: It's possible to win a cat show, even if you're a "Gorilla."
Number 9: Rodeos work much better in a dirt arena than in a department store, but that didn't stop the cows or the cowboys!
Number 8: Turnpikes are not for turkeys! Sandwiches are. And who wants tire tread in his lunch?
Number 7: With this many birds around, you'd better know a good dry cleaner.
Number 6: Good genes can make even a cow worth a million dollars, assuming you can milk that out of a buyer.
Number 5: You can take a cat to a spa, but you can't make it pretty.
Number 4: A racing roach that can win you a hundred dollars should not be stomped, at least until after the race.
Number 3: The smaller the pig, the cuter the snout, the bigger the price tag! For micropigs, at $1,100 each, it ain't cheap to bring home the bacon!
Number 2: You can lead a leopard to a popsicle, but you can't make him share.
And the number one thing learned from animals this year: Dogs may be a man's best friend, but you've gotta be careful about putting one on camera. Some tend to lap up all the attention. Well, this anchor took a licking and kept on ticking, and so will we after the holiday break! Have a great one.
AZUZ: Well, I'll be the first to admit it: Some of those puns were ruff! Having reached the tail end of 2009, we'd like to paws and thank all of you for watching CNN Student News. We will em-bark on a new semester on January 4th. In the meantime, have a very safe and happy holidays. We're looking forward to seeing you in 2010, unless you beat us to the punch, and you head to Facebook.com/CNNStudentNews. There, you'll see a brand-new video we have set up for you. Have a great one. We're looking forward to seeing y'all next year. Bye!