(CNN Student News) -- April 16, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Some fast facts to get us going today: I'm Carl Azuz. This is CNN Student News. Fridays are awesome! Today's show is out of this world, or at least, that's where it starts.
AZUZ: Space. What parts of it are we going to explore? How much money are we going to spend to get there? President Obama has a new strategy that answers those questions. He talked about it in a speech at the Kennedy Space Center yesterday. The president says he is 100 percent committed to NASA and its mission. He's proposing that the agency get an additional $6 billion over the next 5 years, with a goal of sending humans to Mars by the 2030s.
But under this plan, what you won't see is this: people walking on the moon. President Obama's strategy would cancel plans to send astronauts back there. He says, "We've been there before. There's a lot more of space to explore." Buzz Aldrin, one of the first men to walk on the moon, agrees with the president. But Aldrin's NASA crewmate, Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, disagrees. He's part of a group of astronauts that have criticized the president's plan. Other NASA officials argue that the proposal could cost thousands of people their jobs. The president believes it's a way to move forward.
U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This is the next chapter that we can write together here at NASA. We will partner with industry, we will invest in cutting-edge research and technology. We will set far-reaching milestones and provide the resources to reach those milestones. And step by step, we will push the boundaries, not only of where we can go, but what we can do.
AZUZ: The president's also ordering a review of mines that have bad safety records. This comes after last week's tragedy at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia. President Obama has criticized the company that owns the mine, specifically because of its safety record. The company called that criticism "regrettable" and said the president may be misinformed about the mine's safety record. Meantime, the governor of West Virginia has asked all of the state's miners to show up for work today. But instead of producing coal, he wants them to spend the day re-evaluating safety procedures.
GOV. JOE MANCHIN, (D) WEST VIRGINIA: What better honor can we give those fallen miners than to say we're gonna dedicate this day, re-evaluate, have seminars, re-inspect. And those that have repeated violations will be heavily inspected. That's all we can do in honor of those miners, so that we never have another family or miner go through this.
Tea Party Rally
AZUZ: Switching over to politics, the Tea Party movement is getting ready for the midterm elections coming up in November. The group has released a list of "heroes and targets." The "heroes" on the list are candidates that the Tea Party plans to support in the elections. The "targets" are anyone that the group would like to see voted out of office. Of course, lists are not the only way that the Tea Party gets its message out. Rallies are the group's bread and butter. This one in Washington, D.C. yesterday was wrapping up a three-week tour across the U.S. The timing: no coincidence. Yesterday, of course, was Tax Day, and the group is opposed to what it sees as government overspending.
VA Tech Remembrance
AZUZ: In Blacksburg, Virginia and all over the U.S., people are taking time today to honor the victims of a deadly shooting. It happened on the campus of Virginia Tech University three years ago today. Police say a student at the school went on a shooting spree, killing 32 people before killing himself. Today, Virginia Tech and the local community are holding memorial ceremonies like this remembrance run from last year. Candlelight vigils and a community arts project are also scheduled to mark the day.
Word to the Wise
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: A Word to the Wise...
dormant (adjective) temporarily inactive, or in a state of no external activity
AZUZ: A volcano in Iceland had been dormant for more than 180 years. But then a few weeks ago, this started. The volcano is erupting, and some scientists say it could last for more than a year. That's about how long it went the last time this happened. That was back in the 1820s. This time, the impact is being felt all across Europe. Here, you see London's Heathrow Airport, planes on the ground. Where you don't see them is in the sky. The UK is not alone in this. More than half a dozen countries canceled flights yesterday; up to 6,000 total across the European continent. The problem is ash. When the volcano erupted, it sent this huge cloud of smoke and ash high up into the air. If a jet were to fly through that, it could cause the plane's engines to shut down. So, that's why there are so many cancellations. Rob Marciano looks at how weather and winds are playing a part in all of this.
ROB MARCIANO, CNN WEATHER ANCHOR: The way the weather pattern is set up right now -- and Iceland, obviously, to the north -- but we've got this funky upper air pattern about 30,000 feet, which is where that ash went to, up where the jets fly. And it's scooting around towards Scandinavia, back through parts of the UK and also into other parts of Western Europe. Here is the, here it is on the infrared satellite picture. You see it right there kind of heading this way. That's the cloud itself.
AZUZ: Major political change in Kyrgyzstan. The president of the central Asian country has resigned. Kurmanbek Bakiev left for neighboring Kazakhstan yesterday after he was forced out of power last week. This was all part of a deal between Bakiev and Kyrgyzstan's new government. Russia, the United States and several international groups helped in the negotiations. Kyrgyzstan's temporary government told the U.S. State Department that it plans to hold elections in six months. The U.S. says it hopes that Kyrgyzstan will become a model for democracy in the region. The country is important to the U.S. because there's a military base there. And that base supports NATO operations in Afghanistan.
MATT CHERRY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: As we wrap up National Library Week, today's Shoutout goes out to all the librarians out there! Where would you find the largest library in the world? Is it in: A) Athens, B) London, C) Washington, D.C. or D) Cairo? You've got three seconds -- GO! Washington, D.C. is home to the U.S. Library of Congress, the largest library in the world. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: Mackenzie Bearup's collection isn't quite that large, but she has rounded up more than 30,000 books. And just like a library, her goal is to share them with other people. Who she shares them with, and why, are what make Mackenzie a CNN Hero.
MACKENZIE BEARUP, CNN HERO: I was in the fifth grade when I hurt my knee.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ready?
BEARUP: Yeah, I'm ready. The doctor diagnosed me with reflex sympathetic dystrophy. When something touches it, it's like a bomb goes off in my knee. Even though I've tried many different treatments, the only thing able to get my mind off the pain was reading.
Do you guys like to read?
My pediatrician told me about a home for abused children. Any child being in horrible pain like this, they need something, and something that I knew that helped me was books.
OK. This is called "Screaming Millie."
But the people in these shelters are just like you and me. They need things to get their mind off of whatever they're going through. I put flyers in mailboxes and I set up a Web site.
Thank you so much for donating.
My original goal was to get 300 books. Before I knew it, I had 3,000 books. My total right now is 38,000 books. And I've delivered books to libraries and reading rooms in 27 different shelters in six states.
And take as many books as you want.
If one child finds a love of reading through books I've given them, then that will help them in school and just turn their life around entirely. I really think that reading can do that for someone.
AZUZ: Unless you're a librarian, there is one -- and only one -- way to get a Shoutout on our show. Teachers, you head to our home page, CNNStudentNews.com, it's whatyou are looking at right now. Now, in the Spotlight section, which you see, click on that iReport link. And once you get there, hit the "share your story" button to upload a picture of your school. That's it! That's all you gotta do. So start today at CNNStudentNews.com, and be on the lookout for your Shoutout.
Before We Go
AZUZ: Before we go, we are bringing you the ultimate in extreme sports. Get ready to shred... with your fingers? Well, why not. No helmets, no pads, no problem, right? It's called fingerboarding; it's kind-of like skateboarding. Maybe not like skateboarding. Everything's scaled down to size. But these guys are trying to land jumps and kick-flips, just like those of you who skateboard. It may look a little strange; maybe it's just the next generation of boarding.
AZUZ: I mean, after all, it seems like the perfect sport for the digital age. We're sure they won't get board with it. I don't know. We won't have any more puns; we're just sitting here, spinning our wheels. Hope you have a great weekend. We'll see you next Monday. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.