(CNN Student News) -- September 24, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Carl Azuz. If there's one thing I'm sure of, it's that Fridays are awesome! And this Friday edition of CNN Student News is about ready to take flight.
U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Peace must be made by Israelis and Palestinians, but each of us has a responsibility to do our part as well. Those of us who are friends of Israel must understand that true security for the Jewish state requires an independent Palestine, one that allows the Palestinian people to live with dignity and opportunity. And those of us who are friends of the Palestinians must understand that the rights of the Palestinian people will be won only through peaceful means, including genuine reconciliation with a secure Israel.
AZUZ: There were a lot of subjects that President Obama talked about yesterday at the United Nations General Assembly. He discussed the economy, the environment, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the main focus of his speech was what you just heard him discuss: efforts to create a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians. There's been tension between those groups for decades. President Obama says it's time for them to come together. One quick note on that speech: The Israeli representatives weren't there while President Obama was talking. That's because it was a Jewish holiday.
AZUZ: Well, Republicans in Congress are making a pledge to America. They announced it yesterday. It's essentially a promise to try to change some government policies. House Minority Leader John Boehner explained why they came up with it.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R) MINORITY LEADER: Our government is out of control in Washington, and we need to reign it in and begin a new drive for a smaller, less costly and more accountable government in our nation's capital. These are the things that the American people are demanding, and our pledge to America is that the Republicans stand ready to get it done.
AZUZ: Democratic leaders say the pledge will take Americans back to old policies that they claim didn't work in the first place. The pledge includes things like cutting taxes and some government spending. It also takes aim at the new health care reform law. Jim Acosta has more on that.
CHRISTINE O'DONNELL, (R) DELAWARE SENATE CANDIDATE: I would fight to repeal the bill.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a GOP battle cry for the midterm elections.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: The American people will be heard, and we'll repeal and replace.
SHARRON ANGLE, (R) NEVADA SENATE CANDIDATE: I have pledged as my first act of legislation to put in a repeal ObamaCare law.
ACOSTA: If Republicans win a majority of seats in Congress, one of the first things they promise to do is repeal President Obama's signature achievement: health care reform.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's your response to that?
ACOSTA: Under a new GOP-controlled House, Texas Congressman Joe Barton would likely become chairman of a key House committee overseeing health care. He says hearings would begin as soon as January to dismantle the law.
REP. JOE BARTON, (R) TEXAS: If we're given the opportunity to be in the majority, we are going to try to repeal it and then replace it...
ACOSTA: Right away.
BARTON: ...with something that makes sense. Well, the sooner the better.
ACOSTA: That threat comes as new portions of the law go into effect this week. Provisions that stop insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions or dropping policies for people who get sick. Big expansions of coverage don't come until 2014. Still, recent polls show the law remains unpopular.
REP. GLENN NYE, (D) VIRGINIA: I voted against the health care bill because I thought it would be too expensive.
ACOSTA: Even some Democrats are running against it. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius argues the public will come around.
Why is this law so unpopular?
KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, HHS SECRETARY: I think it's more confusing than unpopular. I think that...
ACOSTA: You're ready to have this debate all over again?
SEBELIUS: I am indeed.
OBAMA: Hello, hello, hello.
ACOSTA: So is the president, who points to parts of the bill that are popular.
OBAMA: If young people don't have health insurance through their employer, then they can stay on their parents' health insurance up to the age of 26.
ACOSTA: Parts Congressman Barton wants to keep.
Are there portions of the law that should be kept?
BARTON: I think coverage of pre-existing conditions. The ability to keep your insurance and not have it revoked unless...
BARTON: ...unless you committed fraud.
ACOSTA: Other Republicans say scrap the whole thing. Conservative activist Alex Cortes, with the group defundit.org, says the solution is to starve the law of money.
ALEX CORTES, DEFUNDIT.ORG: One of our only options is defunding. Go after some of the smaller provisions. We will not let Kathleen Sebelius implement and enforce this law.
Just the Facts
STAN CASE, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Just the Facts. A concussion is an injury that affects how your brain works. They're usually caused by a hit to the head, but you don't have to lose consciousness to have a concussion. Symptoms can include dizziness, nausea and confusion. Concussions can affect your memory, reflexes, speech and balance. And if you've had a concussion, you're more likely to suffer another one.
AZUZ: Those things are serious. You hear about concussions in pro sports. Younger athletes suffer these head injuries as well. You might know someone who's had a concussion. Between 2005 and 2008, an estimated 400,000 concussions happened in high school sports. Congress wants to find a way to cut down on concussions. Yesterday, they heard from medical experts, parents, students and pro athletes about the issue. Congress is thinking about passing a law that would require student athletes who suffer head injuries to get checked out before they can get back on the field. The bill would also require schools to train coaches, students and parents about how to deal with concussions.
This Day in History
[ON SCREEN GRAPHIC]
September 24, 1960 -- The U.S. launches the Enterprise, the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier
September 24, 1789 -- The Judiciary Act establishes the first U.S. Supreme Court
September 24, 1957 -- Federal troops go to Little Rock, Arkansas to enforce the right of black students to attend a public school
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! What kind of animal is a pangolin? If you think you know it, then shout it out! Is it a: A) Bird, B) Fish, C) Mammal or D) Reptile? You've got three seconds -- GO! Pangolins are mammals that are mostly found in Asia and Africa. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: Now before you say that's kind of a funny looking creature, there may be a point where there aren't very many left to look at. Pangolins are in danger of dying out. In parts of Asia, the animals are hunted illegally for their meat and for the scales that cover their bodies. Dan Rivers shows us how some people in Vietnam are trying to help the pangolins survive.
DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, VIETNAM: Pity the pangolin, but most people have never even heard of one, let alone seen one of these endangered ant-eating mammals. The way things are going, they may become famous because there are none left. Two species are especially under threat in Asia: the Chinese pangolin and the Sunda pangolin. Experts say both are being hunted to extinction.
LEANNE CLARK, WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY: I think we're going to watch those species, both species disappear over the next 5 to 10 years if we don't do anything, which is intensely sad. You know, they were listed as common until fairly recently.
RIVERS: It's why this special pangolarium has been built in Vietnam's Cuc Phuong National Park. Staffs are trying to rehabilitate rescued pangolins, which are notoriously difficult to keep. But at least here they are safe from the poachers who prize their meat.
CLARK: They're such an interesting little mammal, you know. It's devastating to think that these animals, you know, might go extinct while we're watching if we don't do enough.
RIVERS: At the rescue center, they are hoping to slowly start releasing captured pangolins after they've been given a clean bill of health. But they need funding and more staff to ensure these creatures don't disappear completely in just a few years' time. Dan Rivers, CNN, Cuc Phoung National Park, Vietnam.
AZUZ: We haven't had any Shoutout dedications this semester. That's because we're waiting on you! Teachers, there's only one way to get a Shoutout. Log on to our page, CNNStudentNews.com, go to the "How do I" box, and click on "How do I get a Shoutout." Send us an iReport with a photograph of your school, and we'll take it from there.
Before We Go
AZUZ: Before we go, wouldn't it be cool to kinda just watch TV at your job? Hey, ladies, get back to work! They are at work. This farm in Russia -- yes, it's near Moscow -- set up plasmas as part of an experiment to see if the cows would make more milk if they were watching TV. It turns out they do! Experts think watching pictures of pastures helps relax the cows -- we're not making this up -- and that this puts them in the right mood for milking. It starts with TV.
AZUZ: But you know they'll eventually want to watch moo-vies. They should milk this thing for all it's worth, make the farmers cow-tow to them for a while. We'd do it if we cud. You guys have a great weekend. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.