(CNN Student News) -- April 23, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: A feature focus on a formidable feline. You know it. Fridays are awesome! Thank you for spending part of yours with CNN Student News. From the CNN Center, I'm Carl Azuz.
First Up: Wall Street Reform
AZUZ: First up, President Obama is asking Wall Street to be part of his efforts to reform Wall Street. We've talked about this issue of financial reform this week. The president and members of Congress are looking at ways to protect the U.S. economy from another financial crisis. Yesterday, President Obama took his message to New York, to Wall Street. He's pushing a bill that's being debated in the Senate right now, and he explained why he wants the financial industry to get behind it.
U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I am here today, specifically when I speak to the titans of industry here, because I want to urge you to join us instead of fighting us in this effort. I am here because I believe that these reforms are, in the end, not only in the best interest of our country, but in the best interest of the financial sector.
AZUZ: Some members of Wall Street didn't agree with everything the president said. And there's been some debate between Democrats and Republicans over how financial reform should be done. Some lawmakers are criticizing the president's proposal because they say it'll just end up helping Wall Street and costing taxpayers.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R) OHIO, HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: While the president says he wants to reform Wall Street, the bill that we have in front of us will actually provide permanent bailouts for Wall Streets and enshrine "too big to fail," things that Republicans don't do in our bill to reform the regulatory system.
Oil Rig Sinks
AZUZ: A quick follow-up on that story about an oil rig fire in the Gulf of Mexico. You can see it in this iReport from one of the rescue workers. The Coast Guard says the rig has sunk. That happened Thursday. When we recorded this show yesterday, 11 people who had been working on the rig were still missing.
AZUZ: Heading overseas to Thailand, where grenade attacks in the capital city of Bangkok have killed at least three people. A Thai official said the grenades came from an area where people who were protesting the government were gathered together. The protesters say they're not responsible. They've been fighting with police for a while. Here, you can see them throwing rocks and other things at police. They support the country's former prime minister, and they want the current leader to leave office. After these recent attacks, Thailand's prime minister called an emergency meeting to figure out how to deal with the situation.
AZUZ: Moving from Thailand to the Persian Gulf now, where Iran is running a massive military drill expected to last three days. An Iranian official says the goal is to show off the country's military strength. It might look like a real battle; what you're seeing here is just practice. The U.S. Navy says Iran has done this sort of thing in the past. This one is getting more attention because Iran talked about it ahead of time.
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to the 8th period current events class at the Tennessee School for the Blind in Nashville, Tennessee! Who is credited with saying, "A penny saved is a penny earned"? Is it: A) Benjamin Franklin, B) Mark Twain, C) William Shakespeare or D) P.T. Barnum? You've got three seconds -- GO! That famous phrase is attributed to Ben Franklin. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: You've all been told saving's important. But it can be hard to do sometimes, especially in a recession. There was a recent survey that found that 54 percent of adults who were interviewed said they had not been able to save money over the past year. Recently, I talked with CNN anchor and chief business correspondent Ali Velshi about your questions on saving; when, where, how much, things like that. Listen to what Mr. Velshi had to say.
AZUZ: First question we have is from a student named Jocelyn. She wants to know at what age students should start saving.
ALI VELSHI, CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You know, some people start saving when they're born. People give gifts and parents put that money into bank accounts or piggy banks. It is never too early to start saving. That's why we have piggy banks. You should always have some sense of putting something away for a rainy day. The thing about being a kid that's interesting is you go from not having to pay anything to a world where you want to buy everything. And then you go into college, where everything costs a lot more money than you bring in. So, if you can save money right from the beginning, the rest of your life is going to be a lot easier.
AZUZ: What percentage, is there a rule of thumb that students should start saving?
VELSHI: The earlier you start saving, the lower the percentage needs to be. Generally speaking, if people can put ten percent of what they bring in away, that's going to help them. That's just a good policy. So, if you're young and someone gives you ten bucks, or a hundred bucks, put ten percent of it away into a savings account or into a piggy bank; whatever you like to do. Obviously as you get older, you're gonna want to have accounts, bank accounts. The understanding of taking a portion of your money and putting it somewhere else where you can not easily touch it, where you have to have a discussion with yourself or your parents about how you are going to spend that money, is brilliant. I think start with ten percent, and if you can do more than that, do that. And when you get large chunks of money, like gifts for birthdays or bar mitzvahs or things like that, put a larger proportion of that away. So, ten percent's a good rule of thumb for everyday money; larger porportion when you get big gifts.
AZUZ: Is there a safe place, a student named Eric is asking, he's always been curious what's the safest way to save up your money.
VELSHI: Bank accounts can be held by everybody these days. Having a bank account is a great, great idea because it gives you one extra step in having to spend that money. So you have to put it away in an account, and you have to think about the fact that you're going in and get it. You don't want it too accessible. A jar, all you gotta do is take the lid off and take that money. And you certainly, once you start building up some savings, you don't want to keep any significant amount of money inside your house.
AZUZ: Excellent ideas from Mr. Velshi about saving money. One way to get started is just to spend less in the first place. There's a group of students in Washington, D.C. that's looking at how to do that in school. As photojournalist John Bodnar shows us, these teens are learning you can save some green by going green.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, I am measuring to figure out how much power the pencil sharpener is drawing.
JEFF GUSTAFSON, THE ALLIANCE TO SAVE ENERGY: We work with schools. All elements of it; teachers, students, administrators.
MEGAN CAMPION, THE ALLIANCE TO SAVE ENERGY: This is what we're going to use to see how much power is being drawn by each light bulb.
GUSTAFSON: Trying to teach energy efficiency and bringing that to the schools and back home.
DAVON BRYNT, STUDENT: I would definitely take home to my parents and talk to them about just energy efficiency and how we could save money.
Now, we're going to take some energy data and go upstairs and check out how efficient our school is.
CAMPION: The first is to educate students about the link between energy and the environment.
BRYNT: The desktop is right here, and I'm guessing that uses the most energy since it's always on.
CAMPION: The Green Schools program helps to save energy in schools and allow schools to have that money to spend on other things.
BRYNT: It's 80 degrees Fahrenheit. That's pretty good.
CAMPION: The third is to expose kids to careers in energy and other green careers in sustainability.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've been burning coal and wood for the past thousands of years and it's just starting to really hit us.
GUSTAFSON: Young people have all the tools at their disposal.
CAMPION: It's not a heat gun. It's an infrared temperature gun.
GUSTAFSON: And the Alliance to Save Energy is really working to get those tools into their hands.
CAMPION: So, this measures the luminosity of any particular light source.
GUSTAFSON: Young people can be the center of moving this forward, making our buildings, making our society, making schools far more efficiently than they currently are.
BRYNT: By applying it in my own life, I'm educating the people around me. And by bringing some of the things that I learned in class today to the administration, I could help the school for years to come.
National Park Week
AZUZ: Bad news: Our tour of national parks is just about over. Good news: We've got one more to go! For our last stop, we're heading across the country up into Maine and Acadia National Park. It became the first national park east of the Mississippi River back in 1919. Not as large as some of the other parks we've mentioned this week; just 65 square miles. But it is home to Cadillac Mountain. That is the highest point on the U.S. Atlantic coast. If you want to check out Acadia, Yellowstone, the Badlands or any of the country's 392 national parks, now is the best time. Entrance is free at all of them throughout National Park Week, but National Park Week wraps up this Sunday. So, try to get in there this weekend.
AZUZ: There are a lot of perks to this job. We're putting together a new Facebook video to show you just a few of them. It is every bit as goofy as many of our other Facebook videos. Will it be up over the weekend? You're gonna have to find that out for yourself. You see the address right there: Facebook.com/cnnstudentnews.
Before We Go
AZUZ: Before we go, some tall tales are made up. This one is pure magic. Scarlett's Magic; that is the name of the cat. And the cat is the tallest one in the world. Certified by Guinness and everything. More than 17 inches from shoulder to toe. That is just a towering achievement. What's incredible is, Scarlett's owner says she has more growing to do! Makes you wonder if she has any other special features.
AZUZ: For example, maybe her senses are heightened? That was a straight up catastrophe. But sometimes, coming up with a good pun at the end of the show can be a tall order. Hope you guys have a great weekend. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.