(CNN Student News) -- August 24, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Carl Azuz. This is CNN Student News, bringing the world to your classroom. You know a dog can bark, but have you ever heard one tweet? That story's coming up. First, though, we're heading to the coast.
AZUZ: The U.S. Gulf Coast, and we're looking at claims related to the oil spill there. BP, the company that owns the well that the oil leaked out of, is responsible for the costs of the spill. It's set up a $20 billion dollar account to pay people or companies that were affected. An example might be a business that processed Gulf shrimp. So far, BP has paid out about $400 million in claims. It's going to keep paying for them, but BP won't process any more claims. It's turned that job over to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, or GCCF.
AZUZ: So, a different group is handling the claims. So what? Well, the GCCF is independent, so it will decide which claims are eligible, not BP, not the government. The head of the agency says that when eligible claims come in, his goal is to get checks out to individuals within 2 days, out to businesses within 7 days. Filing a claim doesn't automatically prevent someone from suing to try to get more help or money in damages. But the GCCF director says he plans to be more generous than the courts in figuring out payment amounts.
AZUZ: Next up today: eggs. We've been talking about this recall of more than half a billion eggs. And we know some of you might be worried about the eggs in your fridge. Well, here's how you can check. Every carton of eggs has a code number on it, kinda like this one you see right there. Now, you can check that against the Egg Safety Center's web site. It has a complete list of the recalled eggs. Meantime, the head of the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration, tells us about the steps that the agency is taking.
MARGARET HAMBURG, FDA COMMISSIONER: Well, we're continuing to investigate to make sure that we fully understand the source of the contamination and, of course, as we do that we're going forward with the recall. And as you say, we've recalled more than a half a billion eggs so far. It's the largest such egg recall in recent history. We may have to continue with some smaller subrecalls, but we think that we are getting to a very important point of control of what's going on.
What's the Word
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: What's the Word?
the fee that you are charged when you borrow money
That's the word!
AZUZ: One example some of you are familiar with: credit cards. If you don't pay off your balance every month, you will get charged interest. That's how credit card companies make money. When the government passed the Wall Street reform bill last year, it included some new rules for the credit card industry, and the last of those rules went into effect this week.
A lot of them are aimed at putting restrictions on interest rates and fees. For example, companies can't charge more than $25 for late payments, except in extreme circumstances. They can't charge customers for not using their cards. And they have to reconsider any interest rate increases they've made since the start of 2009. Now, these new rules could lead to lower interest rates. But they could also make it harder to get a credit card in the first place. The banking industry uses these rates and fees to protect itself against risk; the risk of lending money when people don't pay back their credit cards immediately. And industry representatives say if they can't protect themselves, they might be less likely to offer credit.
JOHN LISK, CNN STUDENT NEWS: See if you can I.D. Me! I'm a South American country that's home to more than 16 million people. You'll find me between the Pacific Ocean and Argentina. I'm home to the Atacama Desert, and my capital city is Santiago. I'm Chile, and one of my main industries is copper mining.
AZUZ: You heard copper; copper makes up more than one-third of the Chilean government's total revenue. At a copper mine and gold mine in northern Chile, a nervous wait has turned into a celebration. Here's the incredible reason why: It's because of a note you'll see the Chilean president holding right here. Now that note reads: "We are fine in the shelter, the 33 of us." It was written by a group of miners who have been trapped underground for nearly three weeks. The note was tied to a probe that had been lowered down into the mine. When they pulled the probe back up, the note said everybody was alive; they were okay. The miners' families you see here, obviously thrilled to hear the news. Officials say it could take four months to actually rescue the workers. Right now, officials are sending water, oxygen and other supplies down to those who are trapped.
AZUZ: New school year, new look for our home page, CNNStudentnews.com. One of the new features you're going to see is the "How Do I" box. It's kinda like an FAQ. And one of the questions it answers: How to sign up for our daily e-mail. If you do that, you'll get a sneak preview of what's in tomorrow's show delivered to your inbox every day. It is great! Head on over to CNNStudentNews.com, sign up. I guarantee you're gonna love it!
AZUZ: Another thing you'll find on our front page is a quick vote. And this week, we ask how you spent your summer vacation. There's a group of students from Kansas City, Missouri, and they spent their summer building a car from the ground up. And as Marcus Moore of affiliate KMBC explains, what these students built has a lot of people paying attention.
MARCUS MOORE, KMBC REPORTER: Beneath a relentless and hot summer sun in far west Texas, this electric car faced its first real challenge. Behind the wheel and in the garage: a group of students from DeLaSalle high school in Kansas City. During a test at Bridgestone Tire Company's proving grounds, results showed the car they built can travel the equivalent of more than 300 miles per gallon. That was earlier this month. Today, Kelvin Duley and the crew are back home.
KELVIN DULEY, DELASALLE STUDENT: We're looking at a huge achievement.
MOORE: The electric car they built virtually from scratch is the result of several years of planning, designing and then building.
DULEY: We did plenty of welding, as you can see.
MOORE: It's part of a program at DeLaSalle High School that pairs students with adult mentors, experts in their fields of engineering, racing and aerodynamics. Together, they took a ten-year-old Indy car chassis made of a strong, lightweight material called carbon fiber, and turned it into a car that can plug into just about any outlet. And listen to this: They say it can travel the equivalent of 450 miles per gallon.
DULEY: To me, it's actually more than what I thought it would be. I thought it would be a slowpoke, actually. It can actually move.
STEVE REES, DELASALLE INSTRUCTOR: We wanted to do something that really heightened the value of efficient design.
MOORE: Steve Rees is the program's volunteer instructor and agrees they've achieved something with the car. But they also feel like they've opened doors to new possibilities.
REES: Just like Kelvin said, "I want to go to college and be an engineer." Six months ago, he was talking about being a basketball player. Now, he's talking about being an engineer and a basketball player.
DULEY: I guess what I've learned is there's nothing wrong with trying something outside of yourself.
MOORE: And perhaps be a part of something truly inspiring.
DULEY: It's been an amazing ride. It's been a lot of fun.
Before We Go
AZUZ: Thing looked really fun to drive. Before we go, you can't teach an old dog new tricks. But apparently, you can teach him new tweets. One beagle is blowing up the social networking world. Michelle Paynter of affiliate WTOC introduces us to the canny canine behind an online experiment.
MICHELLE PAYNTER, WTOC REPORTER: Meet Bond, James Bond. When he's not sniffing out the neighborhood, he's sitting on the porch with his owner, Sloane Kelley, tweeting about his day.
SLOANE KELLEY, DOG OWNER: So, as kind of this James Bond persona, he definitely talks a lot about life as kind of a doggie spy, if you will. And of course, he is a hound dog, so he likes to sleep a lot, and there's a natural tension between his desire to sleep and his need to do his duties.
PAYNTER: Sloane set up her dog's Twitter account a year ago. She tweets for a living at her job at a Hilton Head ad agency.
KELLEY: I was bored on a weekend and said, "Why not create something based on my dog?"
PAYNTER: @JamesBondthedog now has more than 2,600 followers.
KELLEY: I was pretty amazed, actually. I think within the first week that I had the account rolling, he had acquired more followers than I personally had on Twitter at the time.
PAYNTER: Today, while we were there, he tweeted, "Hope the TV cameras are getting my good side." While this has been a lot of fun for Sloane, she said it has really opened her eyes to how social media can connect pet lovers.
KELLEY: Also from a business standpoint, there are so many opportunities out there, I think, for pet-oriented businesses to get involved in the space and to meet these folks.
AZUZ: So, it looks like thousands of people are all a-twitter waiting for his next message. But I guess that's a tale fur another day. We'll see you tomorrow. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.