(CNN Student News) -- January 28, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: I'm Carl Azuz, and you're tuned in to CNN Student News. Let's go!
AZUZ: "He shall from time to time give to Congress information on the state of the union." The words of the U.S. Constitution and the reason why President Obama delivered his State of the Union address to Congress last night. A little background for you here: This speech hasn't always been called the "State of the Union." It used to be called the "annual message." But the purpose has always been the same: for the president to talk about some of the biggest issues facing the country. That is why President Obama spent a good part of last night's speech talking about the economy and the challenges facing the country.
U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: One year ago, I took office amid two wars, an economy rocked by a severe recession, a financial system on the verge of collapse, and a government deeply in debt. Experts from across the political spectrum warned that if we did not act, we might face a second depression. So we acted, immediately and aggressively. And one year later, the worst of the storm has passed. But the devastation remains. One in ten Americans still cannot find work.
AZUZ: After the State of the Union, it's traditional for the other party to offer its response to the president. Last night, the Republican response was given by newly-elected Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. He won that election last year. McDonnell made his speech from the Virginia state House. He talked about some of the political issues that both parties agree on. But he also focused on some of the areas, especially when it comes to the economy, where Republicans and Democrats don't see eye to eye.
GOV. BOB MCDONNELL, (R) VIRGINIA: In the past year, more three million people have lost their jobs, yet the Democratic Congress continues deficit spending, adding to the bureaucracy, and increasing the national debt on our children and grandchildren. The amount of this debt is on pace to double in five years and triple in ten. The federal debt is already over $100,000 per household. This is simply unsustainable. The President's partial freeze announced tonight on discretionary spending is a laudable step, but a small one.
AZUZ: For more details on the State of the Union and the reaction to it, plus a quiz about the history of this annual address, head to the Spotlight section on our home page, CNNStudentNews.com
AZUZ: All right, so the economy -- you know it -- a big theme of last night's speech. It's also a big concern for residents of Wilmington, Ohio. 15,000 people live there. And when the largest employer left town, about 10,000 of those people lost their jobs. Wilmington is hoping that money from the government's stimulus bill will turn things around. Mary Snow examines how much it could help.
MARY SNOW, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: DHL stopped operations here last year, bringing shipping to a halt. Nearby businesses started to topple and continue to fall. In all, 10,000 people in this area lost their jobs. The head of the county's homeless shelter tells us she's seen the effects, and she's having a hard time meeting the demand for shelter and food. Denise Stryker-Grant is getting stimulus money through a grant, but it's not much; $200,000 spread out over 3 years that will help keep people in their homes. But she says jobs, the only thing that would really help, remain elusive.
DENISE STRYKER-GRANT, CLINTON COUNTY HOMELESS SHELTER: The frustration of continuing to refer them to places only to be told, you know, "We've got 500 resumes before you've even walked in the door," and the frustration of them not having any opportunities.
SNOW: To create opportunities, Wilmington's mayor David Raizk applied for more than $61 million worth of stimulus projects. Of that, roughly $5 million has been awarded so far to a project to create jobs. It's focused on Wilmington's downtown and is set to start this spring.
So, how do you see this benefiting from stimulus money?
DAVID RAIZK, WILMINGTON MAYOR: With the stimulus project, we'll be able to improve our curbs and gutters and sidewalks
SNOW: The hope, he says, is that improvements will attract businesses. In the immediate future, the project is estimated to create about 100 jobs.
RAIZK: They're going to be construction jobs, but it's something, it's something. We want jobs here of any type right now.
SNOW: To get thousands of others back to work, the mayor has set his sights on Wilmington's airpark and is hoping to redevelop it. Eight million dollars in stimulus money, he says, is being used to retrain workers, and he's optimistic Washington will come through with more aid if the airpark comes back to life.
RAIZK: I have tried to maintain a close relationship with our state partners and with our federal partners to say, "Look, we need help and what can you do?" And they have responded, but that doesn't mean they've responded as much as I would like or anybody would like.
SNOW: Mary Snow, CNN, Wilmington, Ohio.
AZUZ: That report, part of "The Stimulus Project," CNN's week-long look at the government program. A link to full coverage is in the Spotlight section at CNNStudentNews.com. Our Web site is also where you'll find our blog, and one of our latest entries: How would you fix the economy? Logan says we should lower taxes. Nicollette thinks we should increase taxes on the wealthy. Tom suggested cutting government budgets. What do you say? Head to our page, share your thoughts.
AZUZ: When you're driving and you take your foot off the gas, you expect your car to slow down. That isn't happening in some Toyotas, which is why the company is recalling over two million vehicles. This includes some of Toyota's best selling models. The problem is that, over time, the gas pedals can get stuck. The company hasn't figured out a solution yet. In the meantime, it says it will not make or sell any of the affected vehicles until the problem can be fixed.
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Mr. Kerns' U.S. history classes at Blach Intermediate School in Los Altos, California! Machu Picchu was part of what ancient civilization? If you think you know it, shout it out! Was it: A) Inca, B) Aztec, C) Maya or D) Olmec? You've got three seconds -- GO! Machu Picchu was part of the Inca Empire. It's located in what is now Peru. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: The Incas built Machu Picchu in the 1400s. Tens of thousands of people visit the site every year. Right now, hundreds of them are trapped. The reason? This! Floods and mudslides triggered by days of heavy rain. You can see some of it in this video sent in by iReporters. For now, the only way out of the region is by air, but bad weather has slowed down those types of evacuations.
AZUZ: In Israel, there's an exhibit about the Holocaust; that name refers to the time during World War II when Nazis killed millions of people, including six million Jews. Many of them lost their lives in concentration camps like the one at Auschwitz. It was liberated 65 years ago this week, and now, the design plans for that infamous location are on display in Israel. As Paula Hancocks explains, they're being used as a reminder and a warning.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT, JERUSALEM: Blueprints of death that shocked and shamed the world. These architectural plans for the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau are now on display in Israel, chilling proof of the planning behind the Holocaust.
AVNER SHALEV, CHAIRMAN, YAD VASHEM HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL: They had to think that they are serving evil, total evil. They are creating an industry of death.
HANCOCKS: Moshe Haelion knows this better than most. He was the only one of his family to survive Auschwitz. He has since been back to visit the camp. He wants the world to learn from its mistakes.
MOSHE HAELION, AUSCHWITZ SURVIVOR: We do believe if one says we will kill the Jews; we have to believe this.
HANCOCKS: Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed these plans in his address to the United Nations last year, calling on the world to stop Iran in its nuclear ambitions and President Ahmedinejad in his Holocaust denial. Visiting the prints now on display in Jerusalem, the Prime Minister is repeating the warning.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: There is evil in the world. If it is unstopped, it expands. It is expanding, and it is threatening the same people, the Jewish people.
HANCOCKS: These blueprints were found in an abandoned Berlin flat just two years ago. They were bought by the German newspaper Der Bild and then handed over to Israel so they could be put on display here, at Jerusalem's Holocaust museum. Israel's prime minister says it is vital to put "pure unadulterated evil" on show for all to see, so it can never be allowed to happen again. Paula Hancocks, CNN, at Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.
Before We Go
AZUZ: And finally, for one young man, keeping his cool really paid off. This is Jaden, and doctors say the three-year-old's quick thinking helped save his grandmother's life. While she was watching him recently, she had a stroke. And luckily, Jaden's mom taught him how to call 911 just four days earlier. When his grandmother passed out, Jaden knew what to do. He even put the dog in a bedroom before the paramedics showed up so the dog wouldn't get in the way.
AZUZ: Jaden's grandmother is recovering, and the three-year-old says he's just happy she's going to be all right. CNN Student News returns tomorrow. I'm Carl Azuz. We'll see you then.