(CNN Student News) -- November 17, 2010
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BEN TINKER, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hey there, everybody, and welcome to this extra engaging edition of CNN Student News. That will make more sense in a few minutes. I'm Ben Tinker, filling in for Carl, who's at an anti-bullying conference. More on that when he gets back. Meantime, let's get started with the headlines. And we begin today at the White House.
U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Today, therefore, marks the first time in nearly forty years that the recipient of the Medal of Honor for an ongoing conflict has been able to come to the White House and accept this recognition in person.
TINKER: And that's how we start today's program, with the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor in more than 30 years. Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta earned the medal because of his heroic actions in Afghanistan in 2007. He helped fight off the enemy and rescue a fellow soldier after they were attacked. Giunta says he wants the medal to be a symbol of dedicated service to the armed forces.
STAFF SGT. SALVATORE GIUNTA, MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT: This is truly an incredible experience. But although I'm the one standing here wearing this medal right now, I want to make it be known that this represents all service members from all branches that have been in Afghanistan since 2001, Iraq since 2003; who were there yesterday, are there today, and will go again tomorrow.
TINKER: Up next, a congressional committee says New York Democratic Representative Charlie Rangel is guilty of violating some house ethics rules. Yesterday, the committee announced that there was "clear and convincing" evidence of guilt on 11 of the 12 charges that Rangel was facing. Rep. Rangel has been serving in Congress for nearly 40 years. In fact, he was re-elected to another term just this month. He says he's not being treated fairly. Now, the committee will recommend a sentence for Rangel. It could be anything from a fine up to an expulsion from Congress.
Riots in Haiti
TINKER: Questions about the cholera outbreak in Haiti have triggered violence in the Caribbean nation. Protesters fought with authorities on Monday. At least one person was killed. There was gunfire in the towns where these riots happened, and people set fires at the entrances to these towns. It seems like this all started because of rumors that a group of peacekeepers may have started the outbreak. The United Nations says those rumors are completely false.
What's the Word
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: What's the word?
It's an economic term that's used to define when a government spends more money than it makes
That's the word!
TINKER: Right now, the U.S. government is dealing with a major deficit. That means it's spending more money than it's bringing in. And that is not a good thing, just like if you spend more than you make. The question is, how can things get turned around? Earlier, I sat down with CNN's Chief Business Correspondent Ali Velshi to talk about some of the possibilities that have been suggested and about who might be affected.
TINKER: All right, so first things first, just so we're all on the same page. What exactly is a deficit?
ALI VELSHI, CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: A deficit is one of the biggest problems of our time, but it's actually really easy to understand. The government takes in money through taxes on people and businesses, and it spends money on programs like unemployment or stimulus. The deficit is the difference between what it takes in and what it spends. If the government spends more than it takes in, it goes into a deficit. It's pretty much the same as anybody. If you spend more than you take in, you go into an overdraft on your bank account. Basically, the deficit is the government's overdraft. And if you combine all the deficits, if you add them all up, you've got the national debt.
TINKER: So, what can we do, or rather, what can the government do, to reduce that deficit?
VELSHI: Well, it's the same thing as in your own house. There are only two ways to fix a deficit: you either increase the revenue; you charge more people more taxes, or more people are earning and they pay taxes; you increase the amount of money you take in. Or, you cut what you spend; you have to decide you're not spending on certain things. That's the difficulty right now. We either have to do one or the other. And at the moment, we're doing neither.
TINKER: What are some other reasons, now, that kids in high school should really be worried about this, and something they should care about?
VELSHI: Well, here's the thing: If you have an overdraft at the bank, if you spend more money than you earn, you have to pay interest on that. When you have a deficit or an overdraft the size of the U.S. government has, it has to pay interest on those things. And our deficit is so big that the interest that we're paying is money that's not going toward fixing schools, it's not going toward colleges, it's not going toward things that the government could be spending on. So what happens is, over time, when you spend so much of your income on interest, you're not spending on things you enjoy. It's the same thing that happens in your personal life; it's happening to the government. Our priorities will shift because we're spending all this money just paying the interest on all of this debt. And that's going to affect your standard of living as you grow up. That's why it's important for this to be dealt with now.
TINKER: Perfect sense. Ali, thanks!
VELSHI: Always a pleasure.
This Day in History
[ON SCREEN GRAPHIC]
November 17, 1558 -- Elizabeth becomes the Queen of England after her sister Mary dies
November 17, 1800 -- The U.S. Congress meets in Washington, D.C. for the first time
November 17, 1989 -- The Velvet Revolution begins, leading to the end of communism in the former Czechoslovakia
TINKER: So, there you just saw a "This Day in History" on the British royal family. And you know what? It's about to get a lot bigger. Prince William is getting married. He recently got engaged to his long-time girlfriend, Kate Middleton. You see her right there. Normally, we don't cover engagement announcements, but you see, this one's a little different. Prince William is the oldest son of Prince Charles. He is the oldest son of the current queen. That means one day William could be king! Makes this a little more important. The royal family says the wedding will be some time next year.
TINKER: Toyota, Sony and Nintendo: These are just a few of the many companies that started in Japan and now operate around the world. Another Japanese company is taking an interesting approach to doing business, and it's hoping it'll translate into that same kind of success. But some other business leaders argue that this company is sacrificing Japanese culture for the new corporate culture. Kyung Lah explains exactly what we're talking about.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT, TOKYO: The Monday morning meeting at the Tokyo headquarters of Rakuten, Japan's biggest e-commerce company. Listen closely
HIROSHI MIKITANI, RAKUTEN, INC. CEO: For learning programming...
LAH: That's English; no Japanese here. In the cafeteria, English lessons on the TV monitors, English posters on the walls, and the menu...
If they want to eat something, they have to be able to read English.
MIKITANI: Yes. It's very symbolic.
LAH: Symbolic of Rakuten's mission, says CEO Hiroshi Mikitani, to become a household name globally.
Why is English so vital for you and this company?
MIKITANI: English is only global language. If we want to share expertise and knowledge across the organization, everybody needs to be able to communicate in English. We're doing global business.
LAH: All English for this entire company by the year 2012, pledges Mikitani. He even uses a made-up phrase for it: English-ization.
The CEO of Honda even, very loudly, publicly said, and this is his quote: "It's stupid for a Japanese company to only use English in Japan where the workforce is mainly Japanese." What do you say to the business community within Japan who feels that way?
MIKITANI: If you want to become successful in other countries, we need to internationalize our headquarters.
LAH: Going outside of Japan is the only way a Japanese company can grow, says Mikitani, amid demographics that predict a shrinking population and an economy that's been stagnant for two decades.
Do you think other Japanese companies will globalize?
MIKITANI: I think so; they need to. If they want to survive, they need to.
LAH: How soon before Rakuten is a global household name?
MIKITANI: 10 years.
LAH: 10 years before everyone knows who you are?
MIKITANI: Everyone knows about Yahoo and Google, right? So, 10 years.
LAH: A bold prediction and one that lives up to Mikitani's vision. Rakuten means optimistic in Japanese.
TINKER: Yesterday, we posted a question on our blog about air travel. We asked, "Where do you stand on the privacy versus security debate?" And boy, did you sound off. Bethy writes: "I want my privacy just as much as the next guy. But I want my life more. I would be more than willing to give up my privacy in order to protect my life, and the lives of those around me." Marie weighs in like this: "I think airports should have thorough security checks because," she says, "you never know. The one person you don't check properly could bring everyone on the plane into danger." From Jeffery: "I understand that they say they are doing it for our own safety, but they really shouldn't search somebody unless they have a reason to do so. Otherwise, it's a true invasion of privacy." Lastly, Jake says: "I think the TSA needs to find more appropriate but efficient ways of detecting harmful objects. The full body scan is too much of an invasion of privacy." On the whole, it seems, more of you favor security over personal privacy. You can continue to weigh in on this topic on our blog at CNNStudentNews.com
Before We Go
TINKER: Before we go, a backyard brawl you have to see to believe. Two against one hardly seems like a fair fight, especially when it's two alligators against a cat! But this ain't no scaredy cat. And this Liveleak.com video makes that pretty plain. Whap! The cat takes a swipe at the gator! Are you serious?!?!? The reptile retreats from the ferocious feline, and he probably should after that beatdown.
TINKER: That was just a total cat-tastrophe. What happened with the second alligator, you ask? Well, that's a tail for another time. Although, just one suggestion: If you live right next to a lake, maybe you want to put up a gator something. Or just own a fearless feline. That's where we paws for now. For CNN Student News, I'm Ben Tinker.