(CNN Student News) -- September 9, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Carl Azuz with your morning announcements. One: CNN Student News is on, and you're gonna love it. Two: The CNN Teachers' Lounge is open, and you're gonna hear more about it in just a few minutes!
AZUZ: First up, though, the economy, and a pair of plans that both aim to give it a needed boost. The first one comes from President Obama. During a visit to Cleveland, Ohio yesterday, he laid out his ideas to help the economy. They include cutting taxes for businesses that buy new equipment or do new research; and spending money on the country's infrastructure, things like roads and power programs. He also talked about some of the things that have happened since he took office in 2009.
U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Our economic plan has invested in badly needed infrastructure projects over the last nineteen months. Not just roads and bridges, but high-speed railroads and expanded broadband access. Altogether, these are projects that have led to thousands of good, private sector jobs, especially for those in the trades. Mr. Boehner and the Republicans in Congress said no to these projects, fought them tooth and nail.
AZUZ: You heard President Obama mention a Mr. Boehner there. That would be Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner. He's from Ohio. He says the president's economic plans so far haven't worked, and Mr. Boehner doesn't think the new ideas will work either. He's pushing a different plan to boost the economy, one that comes from Republican leaders in Congress. This one has two main points. The first is to cut government spending. Congressman Boehner says that's caused more debt and fewer jobs. The second point is to put a freeze on tax rates for two years. Mr. Boehner argues that when taxes go up, it hurts families and small businesses.
AZUZ: When it comes to something like the Gulf Coast oil spill, a lot of people want to know whom can be blamed. Well, there's a new report out that puts most of that blame on TransOcean and Halliburton, two companies that BP hired to work on the oil well. But the report was written by BP. The company did accept some of the responsibility. It says faulty cementing, a misread pressure test, and a blowout preventer that wasn't maintained correctly all led to the spill. Halliburton and Transocean have criticized BP's report. One expert talked about how this whole situation is a unique one.
DON VAN NIEUWENHUISE, PROFESSOR, PETROLEUM GEOSCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON: What's interesting in this case is that, you know, they actually went through eight steps and no one said, "Hey, stop." That, to me, is more of a rig problem than, say, a systemic problem across the oil industry.
AZUZ: 85 fires in four hours. That's what firefighters in Detroit, Michigan had to deal with Tuesday night. There were so many fires that nearby towns sent emergency workers to help out. Fire officials say a lot of the blazes started when strong winds knocked down power lines. The winds then carried flames from house to house. That caused nine homes to catch fire on one block alone. Officials say no one was hurt, but a power company spokesperson said 15,000 people still didn't have power yesterday morning. Authorities think at least one fire might have been caused by arson; it might have been set on purpose.
Is This Legit?
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this legit? Fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. True! During Ramadan, Muslims don't eat or drink during daylight hours.
AZUZ: There are more than a billion Muslims around the world. And for them, Ramadan is the most sacred time of the year. It's been going on since August; it'll finish at the end of this week. But the exact date when Ramadan finishes this year has some Muslims considering how they might celebrate the end of Ramadan. It's on September 11th, and this is the first time since the 9/11 attacks that Ramadan has ended on that date. Mary Snow visits an Islamic center in New York to see how celebrations might be balanced with sensitivity.
MARY SNOW, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Afternoon prayers at the Islamic center of Long Island. As Ramadan draws to a close later this week, these worshipers are being advised to tone down what is usually a celebratory occasion.
SAJID SHAH, PRESIDENT, ISLAMIC CENTER OF LONG ISLAND: After 30 days of fasting, you know, this is the month that ended our celebration.
SNOW: How will it be different this year?
SHAH: This year will be a little different. You know, we are not celebrating the way we suppose to do, normally would do.
SHAH: Because of 9/11.
SNOW: The end of Ramadan, or Eid, depending on the moon Thursday night, falls on either Friday or Saturday, which is September 11th. But many Muslims have decided to mark it on Friday. Imam Al-Amin Abdul Latif is the head of the Islamic Leadership Council in New York, an umbrella group of Muslim organizations.
IMAM AL-AMIN ABDUL LATIF, MAJLIS ASH-SHURA: I guess people may think, look at Eid as a protest, you know, against, against people who may be celebrating.
SNOW: One Muslim group, for example, celebrates Eid at Six Flags parks. This year, organizers have been careful not to schedule their events for September 11th. It comes against the backdrop over anger about the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero and protests at other mosques around the country. Muslims are trying to send out their own message, like this public service announcement created through grassroots efforts.
VIDEO CLIP, MYFAITHMYVOICE.COM: I don't want to take over this country.
SNOW: One Muslim leader who works with an interfaith youth group in Chicago says he feels the attitude towards Muslims this year is unlike any other.
EBOO PATEL, INTERFAITH YOUTH CORE: Frankly, I have not felt this fearful. A mother came up to me at my Muslim house of worship earlier this week and said to me, "Eboo, when will my 8 and 10-year-old sons stop being bullied on the playground because of their names, Ahmed and Akbar?" And what I said to her is "very soon, very soon," because the forces of inclusion in America have always defeated the forces of intolerance, and they will defeat the forces of intolerance again.
SNOW: This 9/11, this mosque in Westbury, New York will dedicate a peace garden with other clergy, but it has also asked local police for protection following suspicious incident of broken windows at the mosque. Imam Latif says his group has also decided not to hold a counter-protest Saturday supporting the Islamic center near Ground Zero after the families of 9/11 victims requested they not hold the rally.
LATIF: We've been encouraging our people to be calm, to be patient, but be firm and be strong and to reach out, you know.
SNOW: And this Islamic center, for one, is opening its doors to hold open houses with the aim of promoting understanding.
AZUZ: Ramadan isn't the only religious holiday that's happening this week. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, began last night. It marks the start of the Jewish High Holy Days, which end ten days later with Yom Kippur. In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means "beginning of the year." It's also sometimes referred to as the "day of repentance" or "day of remembrance." One of the holiday's most significant rituals is the blowing of the shofar. It's a ram's horn that's used to call people to worship during the High Holy Days.
BILL CAIACCIO, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! What is the name for small, rocky objects that are found in space? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A) Nebula, B) Asteroid, C) Stalactite or D) Metroid? You've got three seconds -- GO! l Those rocky objects are called asteroids, and most of them are found between Mars and Jupiter. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: The space community is buzzing about two asteroids that buzzed by Earth yesterday. One passed our planet in the morning. The other went by about 12 hours later. Both of them were closer to the Earth than the moon is. Officials say neither asteroid were any sort of threat to our planet. Unless you had a telescope, you wouldn't even have been able to see them. What's interesting about this is both asteroids passed so close to Earth on the same day, and that NASA spotted them so far in advance.
The CNN Teachers' Lounge
AZUZ: We ask for your opinions on our blog, and you're great about giving them to us. Now, though, it's your teachers' turn! The CNN Teachers' Lounge is up and running. Teachers, this is where you can sound off on education issues. This week's question: When is the best time to start a new school year? Log on to the lounge at CNNStudentNews.com, and tell us what you think.
Before We Go
AZUZ: All right, before we go, water skiing ain't easy the first time you do it. Even kneeboarding requires a bit of balance. This here dog has twice the legs we do, though, combined with a fish's love for the water. And when it comes to tricks, sit, shake and roll over have nothing on this. Chibi the water skiing dog is giving the water skiing squirrel a run for its acorns. How do you top this? One neighbor says skydiving, maybe parasailing.
AZUZ: We say hot dogging! We'll "ski" you tomorrow for our awesome Friday edition of CNN Student News! I'm sorry about the puns, but really I'm not. Have a great day. Talk to you soon!