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CNN Student News Transcript: September 20, 2010

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CNN Student News - 9/20/10

(CNN Student News) -- September 20, 2010

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Gulf of Mexico
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: North America, South America, Europe and Asia. We're gonna hit 'em all in this globetrotting edition of CNN Student News. My name is Carl Azuz. Let's get this show on the road.

First Up: Oil Well Sealed

AZUZ: First up, something we've all been waiting to hear for about five months now: The worst oil spill in U.S. history has stopped. Officials say the well that leaked so much oil out into the Gulf of Mexico is dead. BP, the company that owns the well, started the permanent seal late last week. Sunday morning, the government made the official announcement. There is still a lot of work to do, though. Around 600 miles of shoreline were affected by the spill; had a serious impact on the lives and jobs of people who live in the region. President Obama says his administration will do "everything possible to make sure the Gulf Coast recovers fully from this disaster."

Hurricane Igor

AZUZ: We're moving east to Bermuda, an island nation in the Atlantic Ocean, and one that is dealing with some severe weather. Hurricane Igor, we told you about last week, was bearing down on Bermuda yesterday and expected to either hit the country or come really close to it last night. This surf, you see here, was caused by Igor. And this iReport was shot when the storm was more than 130 miles away! Igor had been downgraded to a category 1 hurricane by yesterday, but experts said it could still be dangerous as it moves toward Bermuda.

Typhoon Hits Taiwan

AZUZ: In parts of the Pacific Ocean, hurricanes are called typhoons. And these pictures are of Typhoon Fanapi. It hit the eastern part of Taiwan on Sunday. The storm is being blamed for the deaths of at least three people. It knocked out power for 50,000 homes. Fanapi was expected to reach mainland China sometime today. Local news agencies said the typhoon would be the strongest one to hit China this year. The country's government was urging local officials to prepare as much as possible.

Chile Mine Rescue

AZUZ: Over to South America now, where 33 Chilean miners are still waiting to be rescued from the underground workshop they've been living in since August 5th. Pay attention to this video, because what you're about to see is a drill that has made it into the workshop. There it is! The miners, obviously happy to see that. That drill is one of the ways officials are hoping to get them out. There are three drills all working at the same time. The one that made it through first was called Plan B. And now that they've reached the workshop, they need to widen that hole before the miners can be lifted out.

I.D. Me

BARBARA HALL, CNN STUDENT NEWS: See if you can I.D. Me! I live in the smallest country in the world, but I'm the leader of the world's largest Christian denomination. I'm elected for life. I'm sometimes called the pontiff. I'm the pope, the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

Pope Visits the UK

AZUZ: This is Pope Benedict XVI. He's the current head of the Catholic Church and the 265th pope. He's back in the world's smallest country, Vatican City, after a four day trip to the United Kingdom. That trip was the first time that a pope has ever been invited to the UK by Britain's monarch. In this case, that is Queen Elizabeth II. The pope met with the queen during his trip, as well as other British leaders. He led religious services. And he also had to face some protests, including from people who are upset about a scandal that the Catholic Church has been dealing with: the abuse of some Catholics by some church officials. Pope Benedict offered his apologies to the victims of that abuse and his hope for their healing.

Afghanistan Elections

AZUZ: How much does it cost to run an election in Afghanistan? Around $150 million. That was the price tag for the parliamentary elections that the country held on Saturday. Ivan Watson looks at some of the challenges that Afghan voters had to deal with at the polls.


IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT, KABUL: An angry voter at the polls, accusing an election worker of allowing cheating at this polling station. Charges she quickly denies. Meanwhile, just a few feet away, another voter casts his ballot, ignoring the argument. Elections in Afghanistan are a messy process. You have election observers arguing here, agents from different candidates. People casting their ballots in [UNINTELLIGIBLE] like this. Voters have had to brave a pre-dawn earthquake, Taliban rocket and grenade attacks, and widespread allegations of fraud.

JAMIL KARZAI, CANDIDATE: I see fraud many places. I see some warlords, drug dealers are heavily involved.

WATSON: On a good day, Afghan politics are a dangerous game, and this day was bloody. United Nations officials reported more then 160 incidents of violence across the country, despite the deployment of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and police. Afghan officials say at least 12 civilians were killed and dozens wounded in Taliban-related violence. Here, in the relatively secure Afghan capital, long lines of women and men waited for their turn to vote.

IMA QADIRI, VOTER [TRANSLATED]: "I voted for a candidate I trust, because I think they will serve the people," says 18-year-old Ima. "We've suffered enough. We want a peaceful, prosperous country."

WATSON: But nearly 20% of polling stations across the country didn't even open, mostly due to security threats. International donors helping fund this $150 million election are trying to look on the bright side.

STAFFAN DE MISTURA, U.N. SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE: Have you seen the list of the 2,521 candidates? Fifty percent of them are new people, young people. 400 of them are women. They could show, if they are elected, quite a different face of Afghanistan. This is certainly better then bullets.



HALL: Time for the Shoutout! Bowhead, fin and beluga are all types of what animal? If you think you know it, shout it out! Are they: A) Fish, B) Whales, C) Dolphins or D) Lobsters? You've got three seconds -- GO! These are all different whale species. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Whale of a Fossil

AZUZ: Well, as you learn in life science and then later on in biology, different species have different features. And if you were an expert -- and some of you will be one day -- you'll be able look at the different whales and know which one is which. But scientists in California don't know what kind of whale they have on their hands, because this one, they say, is three million years old! Now, that's what the scientists think. It's actually a whale fossil. A construction crew ran across this thing recently. The experts say the fossil seems to be in pretty good shape. The skull and other parts are completely intact. Hopefully, that'll help them identify the specific species on this whale of a find.

Blog Report

AZUZ: It didn't completely surprise us that most of you strongly disagreed with this: a Massachusetts school district idea to charge between $400 and $500 for school bus service. It's only for kids who live within two miles of school, but many of you who commented on our blog ride the bus yourselves. That's the most popular way of getting to school, followed by a ride with your parents. And Tim seemed to speak for a lot of you. He said, "Making parents pay $400 per kid for bus transportation is outrageous." Austin writes, "All Americans, if not all people, deserve the right to an education. This also includes the right to have transportation to an education." Sort of a different perspective from Elani, though, who told us that "walking would give you good exercise, decrease obesity and decrease pollution as well." And what do you think of this e-mail we got from Ms. Turner? She wrote us at, saying her district is allowing ads on the sides of busses to assist in cost, rather than charging the community more in taxes.

Before We Go

AZUZ: Interesting stuff. Now, before we go, most of you probably don't know what a Smurf is. We know your teachers do, and so does Stephen Parkes, 'cause these are Smurfs, and they all belong to him. The 44-year-old Englishman now holds the world record for the biggest Smurf collection. It's smurftastic. Mr. Parkes says he's happy to have the record, although he admits these pictures might lead to some teasing from his friends. No.


AZUZ: We just hope they aren't too mean. We wouldn't want the Smurf super-fan to feel blue about it. No more puns today, honest. We wouldn't toy with you about something like that. But we will be back tomorrow. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.