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CNN Student News Transcript: May 12, 2010

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CNN Student News - 5/12/2010

(CNN Student News) -- May 12, 2010

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United Kingdom
Montreal, Quebec



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: You have the right to 10 minutes of commercial-free headlines. Here to take you through them, I'm Carl Azuz. We're going to start things off today with a change of power in Britain.

First Up: UK Elections

AZUZ: David Cameron is that country's new prime minister. Queen Elizabeth II named him to the position yesterday. That came after Gordon Brown, who had been prime minister, resigned. Cameron heads up the UK's Conservative Party, which beat out Brown's Labour Party in last week's election. But the Conservatives didn't get enough votes to take control of Britain's government. So now, Cameron's goal is to form an alliance with the Liberal Democrat party.

Deadly Tornadoes

AZUZ: Back in the United States, people in Oklahoma are preparing for another round of severe weather today after tornadoes ripped across the state on Monday. Rescue workers were searching for victims until 5 a.m. yesterday. They had to stop those rescue efforts because heavy fog made conditions too dangerous. The storms are being blamed for several deaths. Dozens of people were hurt, some pretty badly.

Storm chasers who were in Oklahoma got these amazing pictures. Just watch this. It looks like something out of a movie; you can actually see the tornadoes forming. Twisters like this one popped up all across the state on Monday. The storms dropped hail the size of softballs.

The mayor of Oklahoma City says more than 80 buildings in his city were destroyed. The severe weather slammed through trees and power lines, too. According to state officials, around 65,000 homes and businesses lost power. That includes a major water treatment plant. Some quick thinking might have saved people who pulled into this truck stop to take cover. Employees led them into the store's large coolers. A tornado flipped over tractor-trailers and demolished the building, but the cooler was left standing, and everyone inside of it was able to walk away.

Oil Hearings

AZUZ: Experts say it could take anywhere from $2 billion to $14 billion to clean up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP says it's already spent $350 million. Officials are still working to try to close the well that this oil is leaking out of, and lawmakers are looking at who's responsible for the spill. During a Senate committee hearing yesterday, the three main companies involved in this situation all kind of pointed the finger at each other. BP owns the well; they're responsible for all the cleanup costs. But they say a company called TransOcean is responsible for safety issues. TransOcean owns and runs the oil rig; they were hired by BP to drill the well. TransOcean says the focus should be on the well and the casing that's around it. A third company, Halliburton, made that casing. They were part of yesterday's hearing, too. Halliburton says that either BP or TransOcean is responsible for the spill. Senators weren't happy with the finger pointing. They hammered the companies about what caused the spill and what it might mean for the future of offshore drilling.


AZUZ: Next up, we're heading to Canada and a small town near Montreal in the eastern province of Quebec. What you're looking at here is a massive sinkhole. Late Monday, the ground gave away and created this crater, which is almost 500 yards long. That's nearly 5 football fields! When it happened, the sinkhole collapsed a house; the Earth just swallowed the thing up. Rescue workers have been trying to get inside and find out if the family who lives there was trapped. But officials say the house is basically tilting on its side, so it's dangerous for rescuers to get too close.


MATT CHERRY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! What is the name of the legal warning that begins with the words, "You have the right to remain silent"? Is it: A) Habeas Corpus, B) Miranda Rights, C) Ipso Facto or D) Bill of Rights? You've got three seconds -- GO! The right to remain silent is part of the Miranda Rights, also called the "Miranda Warning." That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Miranda Rights Debate

AZUZ: Government officials are looking at who should get that warning. You usually hear about this when someone is being arrested. The point is to make sure that Americans know that they don't have to give up information that might be used against them. But what if that American is accused of trying to commit terrorism? Faisal Shahzad is an American citizen. He's also the man who's suspected of trying to set off a bomb in Times Square. And while he was being questioned by police, he was given a Miranda Warning. The Obama administration said it got good information from Shahzad, but some critics argue that warning terror suspects about their right to remain silent might mean that authorities lose the chance to get important information. One possibility that's being discussed is a change to the warning itself.

New Drug Strategy

AZUZ: Another issue the government's looking at is drug abuse, specifically, we're talking about prescription drugs. You hear a lot of messages about the dangers of drug abuse. One official argues that people, especially young people, don't connect those dangers with prescription drugs. The numbers tell part of the story. A government survey from 2008 shows that more people tried narcotic pain relievers for the first time than the number of people who tried marijuana. And a survey from last year indicated that almost 10 percent of high school seniors used vicodin, a powerful narcotic. The new drug control strategy that the Obama administration announced yesterday aims to reduce the rate of drug abuse by young people by 15 percent.


TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout Extra Credit! In what activity would you hear the words aft, jib and tack? You know what to do here! Is it: A) Croquet, B) Curling, C) Jai Alai or D) Sailing? Another three seconds on the clock -- GO! These are all sailing terms. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout Extra Credit!

Powering the Plastiki

AZUZ: The crew of the Plastiki -- it's a boat -- is sailing across the Pacific Ocean. It's gonna take them about three months to do it. If the idea of three months at sea makes you a little bit green, it does for them, too. In fact, that's the whole point of the voyage: it's conservation; going green. Kristie Lu Stout shows us some of the ship's unique features.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT, CNN TODAY, HONG KONG: The technology on board the Plastiki is groundbreaking. Its green credentials extend beyond just building material, but how it's powered.

JO ROYLE, SKIPPER, PLASTIKI: Renewable energy systems on the boat is definitely going to be a big challenge and something I will always have my eye on. How much energy have we got, how much are we making, how much are we using, and whether we can have iPods playing or not.

STOUT: A powered journey across the Pacific solely on renewable energy is no easy feat. Let's take a closer look at the specs of the Plastiki. First, we have solar power. We have eight solar panels on the aft of the boat that produce 1,000 watts. And there are also panels here, on the cabin, which produce another 500 watts.

JASON IFTAKHAR, SOLAR ARCHITECT, PLASTIKI: The cabin of the boat is where we have the largest surface area where we can place panels. But that surface area is made up of triangles. Most solar panels are not triangles, they are squares, so there's a real challenge in trying and come up with a solution where we could get enough surface area for photovoltaic cells to sit on and to generate enough power.

STOUT: We also have a wind turbine here and a trailing turbine which help top up the energy systems of the boat. And there's one more thing: pedal power.

ROYLE: For the pedal power, it's great, and then it's also going to prevent us getting -- when you spend a lot of time at sea, you can get chicken legs because you're using all your upper body and none of your lower body. So, pedal power's going to help make sure we have strong legs when we meet shore.


Blog Report

AZUZ: President Obama recently said that in a 24/7 media environment with computers, MP3 players and video games, information becomes a distraction and something that doesn't empower people. Rodney's response to that: "All of this extra technology is a good thing, because it can keep us away from bad stuff like gangs and drugs." From Kyle: "I mostly agree with President Obama. Most kids now are too dependent on electronics and don't go outside and play." Zach thinks the president is wrong: "iPads, iPods, iPhones and everything else in the world end up educating you in some odd way," he says. Chiavoni writes that "hopping on the XBox with friends after a stressful day at school relieves a bit of the stress." From Mickey: "I have nothing against technology, but every once in awhile you have to take a step back and be thankful for the simple things." And Cassie says: "Technology comes in handy and can be useful. You just have to use it right and be responsible with it."

Before We Go

AZUZ: Before we go, some artists are really driven to be creative. This art is just driven, period. It's the annual Art Car Parade in Houston, Texas, showing off mobile masterpieces to the masses. With cars decked out like dragons or propping up planes, it's easy to see why this event draws a crowd. It's got something for everyone. People who like cars. People who like art. Even people who like parades.


AZUZ: And the kind of thing is sure to get just about anyone revved up. We never tire of the puns. But we're going to have to put the brakes on for now and start gearing up for tomorrow's show. We'll see you then.