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CNN Student News Transcript: May 14, 2010

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CNN Student News - 5/14/2010

(CNN Student News) -- May 14, 2010

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Westerly, Rhode Island



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Fridays are awesome! But we only have a few of them left this school year, though, so we're gonna make 'em count. I'm Carl Azuz. CNN Student News starts right now!

First Up: FBI Raids

AZUZ: Following the money trail. Raids by federal agents. Kinda sounds like a movie, but this actually happened; it actually happened yesterday, in fact. Officials raided spots in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. All of it's connected with a failed attempt to set off a car bomb in Times Square. The authorities followed what are called "cash couriers," people who bring money into the U.S. from overseas. They think that some of that money may be used to pay for operations like the bomb plot in Times Square. Attorney General Eric Holder says that yesterday's raids were based on evidence from the investigation into that plot. But he added that the raids aren't connected to any immediate threat against the United States.

Gulf Coast Oil Spill

AZUZ: President Obama wants to set aside more than $100 million to help pay for oil spill relief efforts. He also wants oil companies to put more money into an emergency fund that gets used for situations like what's happening right now in the Gulf of Mexico. We've been talking about this oil leak. Now, you can see it. This is one of the two leaks, the bigger one. You can see the oil gushing out of the pipe there. This is happening about 5,000 feet under the sea's surface. That's why it's so hard to fix the leak. Sunlight can't get past 1,500 feet of water, so it's pitch dark down there. Also, the water pressure at 5,000 feet is extreme. It's enough to crush a submarine. And finally, the water temperature is 40 degrees, near freezing. Up on the surface, one of the challenges is trying to protect land and wildlife from this oil spill. David Mattingly talked with the Army about those efforts.

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The plan is that, since you've filled in this breach, if the oil comes this way it's going to stop right here.

LT. KYLE GALLOWAY, LOUISIANA ARMY NATIONAL GUARD: Exactly. What we have back here between Elmer's Island, which is what we're standing on, and Grand Isle is, I like to call it an estuary. It's a vibrant ecosystem, and it's also an important breeding ground for shrimp. So, it's ecologically and economically very important to the local community.

Big Banks

AZUZ: All right, back up to New York, now, and another investigation, this one focused on some of the country's biggest banks. The state's attorney general wants to find out if these banks gave out misleading information about their investments in order to get better credit ratings for some of the investments they offered. Better ratings generally mean better business for the banks. But the ratings are based on information provided by the banks themselves. If it turns out that the banks were giving out false information in order to get better ratings, that could be a serious problem. Some people even argue that was part of what led to the recession. At least one of the banks in question says it's cooperating with the investigation.


MATT CHERRY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Mr. Addis' social studies classes at Oswego Middle School in Oswego, Kansas! Which of these states is Arizona? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A, B, C or D? You've got three seconds -- GO! On this map, A marks Arizona, which became a state in 1912. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Ethnic Studies Law

AZUZ: Like so many schools out there, Arizona is making some education cuts. But not in teachers, in classes. It's a new state law, and it eliminates certain ethnic studies programs. It's not every class. The law bans classes that are "designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group," and which promote "the overthrow of the U.S. government or resentment toward a race or class of people." Arizona's state superintendent says the goal of the law is to teach students to "treat each other as individuals and not on the basis of what race they were born into."

What started all this is an ethnic studies program in the city of Tucson. The superintendent says the program divided students by race, with specific classes for African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians. He says the classes created anger and resentment among the students. Critics of the new law argue that the classes weren't divided by race, that they were open to everyone, and that they don't promote resentment. One Arizona lawmaker says that having classes about different cultures helps students understand those cultures, whether it's one that they are part of or not.


AZUZ: Another tense situation to tell you about from Thailand. Yesterday, the tension there you've been hearing about went way up. Protesters have been facing off against government forces. One of the protest leaders was shot in the head yesterday while he was being interviewed by reporters. The incident sparked huge mobs in the Asian country, with reports of explosions and gunfire in the city of Bangkok. The protesters support Thailand's former prime minister. They want the country's current leader to step down. The protest leader who was shot was taken immediately to a hospital. He was in critical condition yesterday evening. One other person was killed in yesterday's violence.

This Day in History


May 14, 1607 - Jamestown is established as the first permanent British settlement in North America.

May 14, 1804 - Famous explorers Lewis and Clark leave on their expedition to explore the U.S. Northwest.

May 14, 1948 - Israel is officially established as the first Jewish state in 2,000 years.

May 14, 1973 - Skylab, America's first space station, is launched into orbit.

Winning Idea

AZUZ: I mentioned the other day that many of you have grown up without knowing a world without computers. We use them constantly. This show was written on a computer. A lot of you are probably watching it on a computer. But eventually, as you know, those computers get old; they get slow, and we tend to get new ones. What happens to all of the old machines? Stephanie Elam shows us how one high school student's answer is having an impact around the globe.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Sixteen-year-old Alex Lin likes to go for impact. Besides the rigors of AP classes and competitive sports, the high school senior has made helping others -- while also protecting the environment -- an important part of his schedule.

ALEXANDER LIN, WIN FOUNDER: When you are throwing out hundreds of thousands of tons of computers, it all adds up. And especially back when everybody was using CRT monitors. Each of those big monitors had between four and eight pounds of lead. Add that up, and that's a lot of lead going into our landfills, going into our ground, going into our water.

ELAM: Driven to find creative solutions for his community's problems, Alex began WIN, Westerly Innovations Networks, with a galvanized group of peers.

JEFF BRODIE, WIN TEAM MEMBER: It takes up a good amount of time. You really have to be dedicated to do something this big.

NANCI FIORE-CHETTIAR, WIN TEAM MEMBER: I love helping people. I love that that's what we do.

ELAM: Working with his hometown of Westerly, Rhode Island, he set up a place to recycle old computers and monitors.

LIN: If we can use it, we'll take it in so we can refurbish it. And if not, we'll bring it to the transfer station to recycle it. Most of the computers have gone to students here in Westerly locally. Also, we have a separate section of the computers that we refurbish which have gone overseas to community centers.

ELAM: To places in Kenya, Cameroon, the Philippines, Mexico and Sri Lanka, where the computer center was named after the WIN team.

LIN: That was the more awesome parts of our project, I would say, when we found out that there is a place pretty literally halfway across the world that was actually named after our product.

ELAM: But WIN wanted to do more, so they introduced an ordinance to ban the dumping of electronics in Westerly.

LIN: Eventually, we did get the law passed statewide. We can hopefully get this out around the entire nation, where there are these systems in place to properly dispose of electronics, just like there are systems to dispose of aluminum, paper and plastics.



ELAM: As Alex heads to Stanford University in the fall, he says he'll keep solving problems.

LIN: I'll find something new or some other way to make myself active and have a lasting impact, but definitely something like this, but maybe not exactly this.

ELAM: Stephanie Elam, CNN, Westerly, Rhode Island.


Facebook Promo

AZUZ: Our Facebook comment of the day comes from a student named Austin. He asked what my favorite flavor of ice cream was. He said his favorite flavor of ice cream was chicken. It got our whole staff laughing. It was part of the conversation we had yesterday at the site you see on your screen: This is CNN Student News' home on Facebook. Visit us this weekend. Talk to us. Leave a comment. And hopefully one day soon, I'll be able to log on and have another conversation with you.

Before We Go

AZUZ: Before we go, the tale of a truly pampered pet. This seems like an odd place to put a cat crate. But it's the perfect spot for a cat elevator! You know this video is getting a ton of hits on YouTube. But come on: He needs an elevator to get downstairs? This is the laziest cat ever! Or the most creative cat owner ever. But since it's in the privacy of his own home...


AZUZ: ...At least he doesn't have to deal with any stares. It is a hair-raising -- or lowering -- story, and it lets us off at our next stop: the weekend. We hope you guys have a great one. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.