(CNN Student News) -- November 3, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: I'm Carl Azuz. This is CNN Student News! Welcome. The U.S. Supreme Court is talking about video games. Two European countries are joining forces. But I bet you can guess what's up first today.
AZUZ: The midterm elections! By the time you're seeing this, the voting will all be finished. Some electronic voting machines had some issues, and there were delays in some places. But millions of Americans in all 50 states cast their ballots for all sorts of local elections. We're talking school superintendents, judges, state legislatures. Plus, 37 states were voting on governors. A big focus, though, was on Congress, and who will be in control after the midterms.
This shows you the balance of power in the U.S. Senate heading into yesterday's elections. These are not results. 100 seats in the Senate. Republicans held 41 seats; Democrats held 59. That 59 included two independents who vote with the Democrats. You need 51 seats for a majority in the Senate, so Republicans needed to win an additional 10 seats to take over the majority there. Next, over to the U.S. House of Representatives. Total number of seats: 435. So, just over half, or 218, is the magic number there in order to hold a majority. Heading into yesterday's midterms, Democrats had 256 seats; Republicans had 179. So, for Republicans to take a majority in the House, they needed to win 39 more seats.
So, what was on the minds of some Americans as they considered whom to vote for yesterday? Don Lemon hit the road before the midterms to find out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the fear factor is losing control, losing control of the party that they're with.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know that they've got Democrats and they got Republicans, and it's like America going against Russia, you know, the Democrats and the Republicans. You're supposed to be an American. You're supposed to be freedom. Seems like they all should be fighting for America, for one cause.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's just stop it and listen to each other.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They aren't giving the president enough time to implement his plans.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Linda, you work at the polls.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, every year.
LEMON: And what do you think?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll be so glad when it's over with. I cannot stand any more of those negative ads on TV. They're terrible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the economy is on everybody's mind. And I think we're doing better than we were, obviously, two years ago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that the right is going to have to move a little to the left and the left is going to have to move a little bit to the right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are clearly angry. And in politics, when you're angry, you take it out on the incumbents.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think a lot of people are so disappointed that I don't know how many will want to go out and vote.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm looking for people that are going to help institute change and do the right thing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I go to school. I want to focus on school. I feel like politics is going to take my mind off the books.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Politicians are out of touch with what the people in this state need. And not just this state, but throughout the country.
LEMON: What's going to influence your vote, Melissa?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Education.
LEMON: Education. Why?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have three kids.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm just worried we're not getting enough jobs, a lot of outsourcing. I'm still concerned about the outsourcing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I retired this year.
LEMON: How old are you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 88.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was laid off for about six months. But I'm more worried about government control.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I came through Hoover and Roosevelt and all through it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Multinational corporations are my biggest beef, in that the tax structure that they were allowed to work under.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Listen to us when we're talking. We want our police, all of them. We want our firefighters. We want all that. We need our security. If we don't have that, we don't have nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was worse in my day and age.
LEMON: Why is this important?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we need to make a change. We're at a low. We need to turn around and at least start rebuilding and rebuilding the entire nation.
LEMON: Or else?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think there is an or else. I think we really need to do it. I don't even want to think of alternatives.
AZUZ: When I blogged about the single biggest issue to you in this midterm election cycle, I was amazed at the number of different kinds of responses we got! First one's from a student named Jordan, who believes we should start by "focusing on our own country's problems and not every problem happening in the world." For Josh, the biggest issue is the national debt. He points out "our debt is the biggest in the world and we have to stop ignoring it." A lot of you agree with Rich, who's concerned about educational funding. "Students are the future, and we need to make sure they have every opportunity for a great education." Monique talked about taxes, saying "the government's spending all our money on pointless things that don't help us. If they spent less," Monique writes, "taxes would go down and everything would be gumdrops and ice cream." And for Maddie -- and many other folks -- it's the economy. "Not only will picking up the economy benefit us as individuals; it will benefit us as a nation."
AZUZ: So, you're probably wondering, "Where are the results?" When we produced this show yesterday evening, the midterm results hadn't starting coming in yet. We're gonna have more on those results for you tomorrow. If you want to get caught up before then, though, head to the Spotlight section on CNNStudentNews.com. Click on the CNN Election Center.
JOHN LISK, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Mr. Schoettler's 8th grade U.S. history class at Millennial Tech Middle School in San Diego, California! Which of these countries were allies in World War II? Was it: A) Germany and France, B) Japan and China, C) Britain and Germany or D) France and Britain? You've got three seconds -- GO! France and Britain were on the same side in World War II. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: Those two countries will be working together again. They're joining forces when it comes to their militaries thanks to two new treaties. The French president and British prime minister signed those agreements yesterday. They insist that this isn't a step toward some kind of European army; both militaries can still act on their own. What will happen is that they'll work together on military exercises and nuclear testing. And both countries will modify their aircraft carriers so that British and French planes can land on them; things like that.
Tomas in Caribbean
AZUZ: Haiti is keeping an eye on tropical storm Tomas. Weather experts say the storm might hit the Caribbean nation later this week. It could be a hurricane by the time it does. A lot of Haiti's residents are living in tents after January's earthquake. The country's also dealing with an outbreak of cholera. Authorities are worried about how Tomas might affect both of those situations if it hits. The storm's already ripped across some other islands in the Caribbean, killing at least five people and damaging hundreds of buildings.
AZUZ: Every so often, companies announce how much money they've made, their profits. In the 3rd quarter -- that's July, August and September -- BP, the company that's responsible for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, says it made $1.8 billion in profit. Now, compare that to the 2nd quarter, when BP lost $17 billion. Of course, the oil spill -- and the start of the clean-up -- happened during the 2nd quarter. So now, BP is paying for the spill, paying for the clean-up, and back to making a profit.
Is This Legit?
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this legit? The ESRB assigns ratings to movies. Nope! The ESRB, or Entertainment Software Rating Board, assigns ratings to video games.
AZUZ: The ESRB is responsible for those labels you see on games, like "E for everyone," "T for teen." Most game publishers use that rating system, even though it is completely voluntary. But the state of California says the rating system doesn't protect young people from being exposed to violent video games. The state passed a law that would ban stores from selling excessively violent games to anyone under the age of 18. That law is now in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. The question is whether the ban violates the video game companies' free speech. That's what the industry is arguing. It also says the rating system that's in place, the one that's run by the ESRB, does give parents enough information to decide whether or not a game is appropriate for their kids.
Before We Go
AZUZ: All right, as promised, I was on Facebook Monday night from about 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Eastern time. If we missed you, we will definitely do that again in the weeks ahead! And of course, we thank everyone for logging on. Now, before we go today, Gavin George dressed up as a piano prodigy for Halloween. That's how he dresses every day, though. Just 7 years old, and he's performing with a full orchestra. The mini maestro started displaying his piano prowess at a really young age.
AZUZ: Luckily, his parents noticed and nurtured his talent. That was the key. We hope you'll tune in for more CNN Student News tomorrow. And just another reminder on those midterm results. We didn't have any when we recorded today's show, but you can check them out at the CNN Election Center. There's a link to that on our home page. We'll be back tomorrow and see you then. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.