(CNN Student News) -- March 25, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: To my friends at Autrey Mill and all of our viewers around the world, welcome to CNN Student News! I'm Carl Azuz. Our first report takes you to the U.S. Senate!
AZUZ: That is where the newest round in the debate over health care reform is taking place. No, it's not over yet. The health care bill that President Obama signed Tuesday is law. What the Senate is debating is a set of changes to that bill. The House passed those changes on Sunday. In fact, those changes were the only reason why some House Democrats approved the bill that's already been signed into law. Nicole Collins examines how the Senate is approaching the changes.
NICOLE COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON, D.C.: With the ink barely dry on health care reform legislation, the fight rages on in the Senate over a package of "fixes" to the bill.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R) MINORITY LEADER: Hopefully, we'll be able to repeal the most egregious parts of this and replace them.
COLLINS: If any changes are made to the "fixes" bill, it goes back to the House for another vote, which could prove complicated since many of the "fixes" were necessary to gain the support of reluctant House Democrats. Republicans have already introduced amendments, like one from Senator John McCain, that would repeal all so-called "sweetheart deals."
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: They are provisions that were not allowed or provided to every other state in America.
COLLINS: Democrats say its an effort to hold up progress.
SEN. CHRIS DODD, (D) CONNECTICUT: One cute little amendment after the other. And yet all of it is designed to do nothing else but one thing, and that is just delay.
Is this Legit?
MATT CHERRY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this legit? The U.S. government keeps track of how many new homes are sold. True! The government has kept track of this statistic since 1963.
New Home Sales
AZUZ: And February's number of new home sales, not good. In fact, it is the lowest in the 47 years since the government started keeping track. Basically, very few people are buying new houses. The number has gone down for four straight months now. And the 308,000 new homes that were sold in February, that number is down 13 percent from last year. So, these are not good signs for the U.S. economy. We want you to keep in mind, we're just talking about the sales of new homes, homes that are brand new construction. This doesn't include older houses that are up for sale. Some experts say that bad weather is partly to blame, and the real test will be what happens in the Spring when home buying is usually the highest.
AZUZ: And an update for you on that canceled high school prom in Mississippi. Hundreds of you logged onto our blog to talk to us about this. A judge says that Constance McMillen, a senior at the school who is openly gay, had her First Amendment rights violated when the school refused to allow her to attend prom with her girlfriend. However, the judge also refused to order the school to hold the dance. McMillen, whom you see here, had asked the school to change its mind about a rule that said couples at the prom couldn't be from the same sex. The school canceled prom; McMillen and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit; and that led to this judge's decision, which both sides say they're happy with. As for prom, a group of parents are now planning a private event for all the students to attend.
AZUZ: Summer might be hot, but this summer's job market could be a little on the cool side. According to a survey from job site SnagAJob.com, 47 percent of employers won't be hiring seasonal workers this summer. And more than half the employers who took part in the survey think it'll be tough for teens to find a summer job this year. That is because the competition for that seasonal work is crowded. And if you do land a job, the average paycheck is expected to be the same as last summer: $10.20 per hour. Some ways you can stand out when you're hunting for summer jobs, though: Bring some questions of your own to ask the interviewer. Show off your energy and excitement; pretend you're me. Be flexible in what kind of schedule you're willing to work. And make sure to send a thank-you note after interviews.
This Day in History
AZUZ: On March 25, 1992, Sergei Krikalev returned to Earth after spending 10 months in space. Might not sound like a big deal. But here's what's interesting: Krikalev went into space as a citizen of the Soviet Union. When he came back down, the Soviet Union didn't exist! It broke up in late 1991. That didn't end Krikalev's career as an astronaut, though. He went back into space as part of the first joint U.S.-Russian space mission.
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Ms. Martin's sociology class at Wheeling High School in Wheeling, Illinois! What does IQ stand for? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A) Intellectual Quiz, B) Intuitive Quartile, C) Intelligence Quotient or D) Interestingly Quixotic? You've got three seconds -- GO! Your intelligence quotient, or IQ, is used to express your relative intelligence. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout, brainiac!
AZUZ: IQ tests have been around for about a hundred years. Some psychology researchers say there are different kinds of intelligence, and that those IQ tests that have been around for so long don't do the best job at measuring them. We're talking about creative intelligence, the ability to develop new and interesting ideas. Alina Cho shows us how some college applicants are putting their creative intelligence on display.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you want, Tufts is what you want.
ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What does this, this and this have to do with getting into college?
EVAN RENAUD, TUFTS APPLICANT: I hope the admissions officers will, like, notice it. Be like, "Oh, hey, this guy is really cool."
CHO: Tufts University near Boston is now accepting personal videos as part of the application process; among the first in the nation to do so. Not to replace essays, grades or SATs, but as a supplement. The videos are not required, but students are, well, getting into it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do the right thing. Accept this Israeli. I'll bring the goods like Barnum & Bailey.
CHO: Already, almost 1,000 students are taking part out of the 15,000 applications they received. Some on YouTube have been viewed by thousands, demonstrating creativity in animation, wilderness survival skills.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm making a lightweight, reusable oven out of a cardboard box, some turkey pans and some tinfoil.
CHO: And in Rhaina Cohen's case, a twist on a familiar phrase: walk a mile in my shoes. In her case, literally.
RHAINA COHEN, TUFTS APPLICANT: I wasn't trying to come off as, you know, Imelda Marcos and say I have 3,000 shoes. But I just wanted to show a bit of who I am. I think that's what the goal is with applications in general, that these are humans looking at files filled with so many papers, and they're trying to discern who are you, would I want to meet you, would I be intrigued by you.
CHO: What does the YouTube video provide for an admissions officer that the application doesn't?
MARILEE JONES, FORMER MIT DEAN OF ADMISSIONS: Well, you really get to see these applicants in their adolescent best. I mean, you see their cleverness and you see their goofiness and you see who they are as human beings. And this is the point.
CHO: Marilee Jones, former dean of admissions at MIT, calls the personal videos refreshing.
JONES: It's very easy to fall in love with someone in one minute. It's also very easy to get turned off. So, what these students are doing, by providing these videos this year, is a very high-wire act. They're taking huge risk, which is why I love them.
CHO: Showing a kind of intellectual chutzpah to go along with the other credentials.
Can you tell me range what you got on the SAT?
COHEN: Out of 2400, I got a 2300.
CHO: You got 2300 out of 2400 on your SAT? Oh my gosh. You didn't need that video.
For others, a place where playing with fire can be a ticket to college.
RENAUD: Everyone else probably talks about community service or being a varsity athlete. And so I thought fire poi is the only thing I know that I do that nobody else does.
AZUZ: We have a new video up on the Web, too. It's on our Facebook page, and it's intense! Cody calls it the coolest thing ever. Vanessa wants it to replace the beginning of our show. That's not gonna happen, but you can find out what happens when hard news meets hard rock. Just watch the most random video we've ever come up with. You know where to find it. It's Facebook.com/cnnstudentnews!
Before We Go
AZUZ: Before we go, there's a competition brewing up in Boston. It is the Regional Barista Championship; a contest about coffee. Now, our knowledge of java doesn't amount to a hill of beans. But these guys are brimming with caffeinated cockiness. And they'd better be. 15 minutes was all they had to make 12 drinks. That included espressos, cappuccinos and a signature creation, whatever that was. Sure, being a barista is a job. But these baristas really pour their heart into their work.
AZUZ: It's an impressive way to espresso your skills. Our cup runneth over with coffee-related puns. But our time runneth out. CNN Student News chugs through another 10 minutes of headlines tomorrow. Man, we are on fire today! We will see you. Have a great, great, great afternoon!