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CNN Student News Transcript: March 26, 2010

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CNN Student News - 3/26/2010

(CNN Student News) -- March 26, 2010

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Chicago, Illinois



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Fridays are acceptable! Just doesn't have the same ring, especially on the most awesome day of the week! Well, I'm Carl Azuz. I welcome you to CNN Student News; we're kicking things off right now!

First Up: Health Care

AZUZ: First up, follow the bouncing health care bill: It's in the House, then the Senate, then the House again. It's hard to keep up with. But another health care reform bill -- the set of changes to the legislation that's already law -- moved move from the Senate back to the House yesterday. Now the House, as you might remember, had dealt with this legislation before. But because the Senate made adjustments to it, the House had to pass the new version. Well, it did last night, and it will become law when President Obama signs it. It'll cost more than $60 billion in addition to the $875 billion health reform law. Democratic leaders had put these changes on the fast track. Part of the reason for the quick turnaround is recess. Congress is scheduled to start its two-week Easter break today.

Meanwhile, President Obama is working to convince the American people of the benefits of the health care law he's already signed. Here, you see him speaking at an event in Iowa yesterday. But there have been some strong reactions to this law and to the political debate surrounding the entire health care issue. And those reactions have raised concerns about security for some members of Congress. Threatening messages, vandalized offices, even gunshots fired at one congressman's campaign office. It's been reported by Democrats and Republicans, and leaders of both fo those parties are speaking out against it.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R) MINORITY LEADER: I know many Americans are angry over this health care bill and angry at Democrats here in Washington for not listening. But as I've said before, violence and threats are unacceptable. They have no place in a political debate.

REP. JAMES CLYBURN, (D) MAJORITY WHIP: We're giving aid and comfort to these people, and this stuff gets ratcheted up. We in this Congress have got to come together in a bipartisan way and tamp this foolishness down.

Don't Ask

AZUZ: Okay, moving from health care to another controversial issue. Teachers, you might want to preview this next segment. It deals with the military's controversial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. It's a law; went into effect in 1993. It keeps gays and lesbians from openly serving in the U.S. military. The Obama administration wants to end the law, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates is already taking steps toward doing that. Now, some military officials are concerned about the impact that getting rid of the law will have on troops. Secretary Gates says there's a lot to consider.

ROBERT GATES, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: I do not recommend a change in the law before we have completed our study. There is a great deal we don't know about this in terms of the views of our service members, in terms of the views of their families and influencers. There is a lot we have to address in terms of what would be required in the way of changed regulations, in terms of benefits.


MATT CHERRY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Mr. Willis's classes at Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana! Where would you find the world's tallest building? You know what to do! Is it: A) Dubai, B) New York, C) Paris or D) Kuala Lumpur? You've got three seconds -- GO! Dubai is currently home to the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Debt Crisis

AZUZ: You might've been able to tell from that map we had in that Shoutout: Dubai is in the United Arab Emirates, so this next story takes place in the Middle East. The company that built the Burj Khalifa is called Dubai World, and it's getting a $9.5 billion bailout from the government of Dubai. Now that's important, because Dubai world owes more than $23 billion in debt. The Burj Khalifa, it's towering; you see it here. It cost $1.5 billion. Dubai World has also spent money to build artificial islands and luxury homes. Dubai is a very wealthy part of the world. Financial experts thought it wouldn't be affected by the global financial crisis. But, like everywhere, it was. Last November, Dubai World said it was having problems paying off that multi-billion dollar debt. And now, the company says it could take 5 to 8 years to pay everything off in full.

Women's History Month

AZUZ: As CNN Student News celebrates Women's History Month, we want to wish a happy birthday to Sandra Day O'Connor. She was born on March 26th -- today! -- in 1930. Her birthplace: El Paso, Texas. While serving in the Arizona state senate, O'Connor became the majority leader. She was the first woman in U.S. history to hold that position. That's not her only famous first. In 1981, O'Connor was nominated to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, and she became the first female, Supreme Court justice. Exploring the achievements of women in government, like Justice O'Connor, just one of the activities in our Women's History Month materials. They're completely free. You can find them in the Spotlight section. The address is everybody's favorite Web site:

Is this Legit?

TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this legit? The limbic system is the part of the human brain that controls emotions. Legit! It includes the amygdala and hippocampus.

Emotional Intelligence

AZUZ: So, the emotions that are controlled by your limbic system don't just affect how you feel. They can play a role in how you act and what kinds of decisions you make. Yesterday, we talked about creative intelligence. There's also something called emotional intelligence; it's learning about your feelings and how to manage them. But should those lessons be taught in school? That is the question that Alina Cho now considers.


ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Along with math and science...

KEVIN SCHRANZ, CLARENDON HILLS MIDDLE SCHOOL: And so, what you're going to do is put on your blindfolds.

CHO: ...This is part of the curriculum at Clarendon Hills Middle School near Chicago.

SCHRANZ: When everyone has their blindfolds on, I'm going to have three people take off their blindfolds.

CHO: An exercise in boosting self-esteem.

SCHRANZ: Tap two people who you think can make you laugh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE STUDENT #1: It's a different kind of enjoyment than a subject. It's more like a spirit lifter, and it makes you feel good inside.

CHO: But what does that have to do with being smart?

ASHLEY MERRYMAN, CO-AUTHOR, "NURTURESHOCK": I think that's a horrible idea. Do you get graded then for being angry? I mean, what does that mean in terms of real life?


CHO: Roger Weissberg, professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is the man behind the groundbreaking research on which the best-selling book "Emotional Intelligence" is based. The concept: EQ is just as important as IQ. Weissberg says it turns out kids who get good social and emotional training score 11 percentage points higher on tests than kids who don't.

Why? Why?

WEISSBERG: Well, I think there are a variety of reasons. They can overcome obstacles when they reach them. Some of this involves academic tenacity, teaching kids self-discipline and self-control.

CHO: A learning process that starts in kindergarten. These are second graders role-playing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE STUDENT #2: I feel proud because I just learned how to draw a dinosaur in computer lab.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE STUDENT #3: That is great. Can you teach me?


CHO: What is the real world benefit of this?

WEISSBERG: One real world benefit is kids behave better in school. Another real world benefit is they're less likely to fight. Another benefit is they're less likely to do drugs.

KATHLEEN JIRASEK, ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SOCIAL WORKER: I believe that this is the future. These children are our future. And so, I believe by teaching them this, they will be the leaders.

CHO: Research also shows great leaders tend to be funny and the best doctors are empathetic. But can emotional intelligence be taught? Should it be?

MERRYMAN: You're not telling me that you can't learn how to behave with your peers?

CHO: What you're saying is, do we really need a class for this?

MERRYMAN: I don't think we need a class for this.

CHO: Others argue getting along is just as important as getting good grades, and that the really smart thrive at both.

WEISSBERG: This is not academics versus social and emotional development. That's a false choice. This is teaching kids to be socially, emotionally and academically skilled.


Before We Go

AZUZ: Before we go, we're about to run wild! As if horses aren't supposed to hang out in a parking lot! Maybe it's some sort of "no loitering" rule. Or is it the first cross-species game of tag? No, that's it. It sounds a lot more interesting than "horses run wild, humans hilariously give chase." The problem with this whole thing was it was a stampede that worked its way into a suburban area.


AZUZ: And as some folks who live in that area might be saying, "Oh well, there goes the neighborhood!" Nah, we're just horsin' around. We're sure the new residents are totally stable. You guys have a great weekend. Hope you forgive us. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.