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CNN Student News Transcript: December 8, 2010

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CNN Student News - 12/8/10

(CNN Student News) -- December 8, 2010

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UNIDENTIFIED STUDENTS, EAST COWETA HIGH: Police lettuce watch curl aye Zeus. [Please let us watch Carl Azuz.] Take it away! We are ECHS! Go Indians! Woo!

CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Awesome! Thank you to the students at East Coweta High School for getting this show off to a punderful start. I am "Curl" Azuz, and this is CNN Student News!

First Up: Proposed Tax Deal

AZUZ: We have an agreement on extending those tax cuts we've been telling you about. But it's not between congressional Democrats and Republicans. It's between Republicans and President Obama.

U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Because it's a big diverse country and people have a lot of complicated positions, it means that in order to get stuff done, we're going to compromise.

AZUZ: This compromise is over the debate to extend tax cuts passed several years ago under President George W. Bush. Republicans wanted to extend the cuts for everyone. Democrats wanted to extend them for everyone except for families making more than $250,000 a year. Under the deal between President Obama and Republicans, the cuts will be extended for everyone for two more years. According to estimates, this compromise would cost between $600 and $800 billion. And the deal doesn't say anything about raising money to pay for it, which suggests it would increase the U.S. deficit.

The old tax cuts aren't the only part of this deal. It also includes a new tax cut, one that would lower payroll taxes during 2011. Also, it comes with an extension of unemployment benefits. Not the amount of time that people can collect unemployment, but Americans who have lost their jobs will be able to file for extended unemployment for another 13 months.

This whole deal only goes into effect if congressional Democrats vote for it, and some of them aren't happy. They think the president gave up too much in order to make the deal. If Congress doesn't pass some kind of tax deal by the end of the year, though, those old cuts will expire and everyone's taxes will go up.

WikiLeaks Founder

AZUZ: Last Tuesday, we reported on a website called WikiLeaks. This is a site that leaks secret information anonymously. And right now, its founder, Julian Assange, is sitting in a jail in England. The 39-year-old has been accused of sex crimes in Sweden. Assange, whom you see here, turned himself in to police in London yesterday. A judge there denied him bail. The court has to decide whether or not to send Assange to Sweden. He calls the accusations against him retaliation for his website leaking those secret documents. The judge in London says the case is not about WikiLeaks, but about the serious allegations against Assange.

Winter Weather

AZUZ: In the United States, some Florida farmers are worried about how this cold weather could affect their crops. They made it through Monday night okay, but there were hard freeze warnings in effect last night for most of the Florida panhandle. More warnings stretched all the way down to South Florida. It was 40 degrees in Fort Lauderdale yesterday. That's a record low for that date. Might not sound too bad if you're living in the Northeast or the Midwest, which are also getting hit with this severe winter weather. But for Florida, it's freezing.


JOHN LISK, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! John Lennon was a member of what rock band? If you think you know it, shout it out! Was it: A) The Rolling Stones, B) Green Day, C) The Beatles or D) Led Zeppelin? You've got three seconds -- GO! We'll "Help" you out with the answer: John Lennon was one of the Beatles. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Lennon Remembered

AZUZ: And the Beatles were one of the most successful bands of all time. They had 20 number one singles in the U.S. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame says that the group's impact can't be overstated. And with his outspoken social and political views, John Lennon was an icon in culture, as well as music. That's why this date, December 8th, is a sad one for Beatles fans. On December 8th, 1980, Lennon was shot and killed outside his New York City apartment. He was 40 years old.

Career Connections

AZUZ: We have more to share about the field of journalism now. Our associate producer, Tomeka Jones, is here to tell us what's up in Career Connections.

TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: We're going from behind-the-scenes to on air, Carl. So, when did you decide you wanted to be an anchor?

AZUZ: Well, I started as a writer, and I decided after awhile, I didn't want to just write the news; I wanted to be the person to tell people about it.

JONES: Joe Carter decided when he was in college. He's a reporter and a weekend sports anchor for HLN. Joe says a lot people want to be on air, but they don't realize it's a lot of work.


JOE CARTER, HLN ANCHOR/REPORTER: An anchor is somebody who basically is in the studio the entire time. You can anchor out of studio, but I've never anchored anywhere but in studio. You're in studio, you've got the TelePrompTer, you've got your notes. It's a sterile environment, it's more controlled. Your reporters are out in the field. You're telling the story that's happening in the field.

Sports reporting, we're obviously talking about sports, talking about the game, talking about the passion, the emotion. News, same type of thing. You're looking at both sides of the story. You don't want to be biased; you want to make sure you're on both sides and you get everyone's account.

I'm Joe Carter and this is HLN's Views from the Street...

Before we go shoot, we usually put together between five and six topics. And when we put together the topics, we have to find out the sourcing, make sure we're not going out there with any improper information or misleading information. So, then we find the topics, we make sure we have all the sourcing for the topics, and then we put the questions together. Once we have that, then it's time for me to go home and do homework, because then I have to start reading into the topics that I know because I don't take paper with me. And it's basically, I'm going on to the street with five topics, and I have to have a nice fluid conversation with you.

I started as a reporter. I was bad at first; I was terrible. When I go back and look at college stuff, I think, "Oh my lord, I was terrible." But you have to start somewhere. I also did audio, I did graphics, I was a floor director, I did tapes, I was an editor, I was a photographer, I was a producer, and I was a sports director. All in a matter of four years. So, I got a chance to do it all.

You have to have passion in everything you do. Doesn't matter if it's at work or at home or at school, you have to have passion. You have to come with energy and excitement. Persistence, because there is another person willing to take it from you if you don't keep pushing forward. Patience, which is it doesn't all come in the beginning. It takes time, actually, to get where you want to be. It doesn't happen overnight. And positioning. So, every day you wake up, you have to think about how you can better yourself for tomorrow.


AZUZ: Well, if you didn't get a chance to learn about Video Journalists -- those are CNN's entry level positions -- or find out what it takes to be a producer, you can check out all of our Career Connections segments here on our home page at Scroll down and look for the Career Connections box. You're gonna love it.

Blog Report

AZUZ: How long could you stay unplugged? I mean no Facebook, Twitter, texting, none of this. Erik has an interesting point. He says "it'd be easy if everyone stopped at the same time. If you were the only person to unplug, you'd get out of the loop." Emily asks, "How do you think people made it without cell phones and texting? They went outside. People these days are so addicted that they have zero face-to-face communication." But Michael had another perspective: "The only thing unplugging from our lives does effectively, is waste time. The technology we have today is constantly evolving; we should embrace it." Amanda calls unplugging hard at first, but "after a week or two, you start to enjoy it." She's unplugged for a month at her summer camp. Christine says she wouldn't last a day. Some of her friends moved and Facebook is the only way she can keep up with them. Of course, the great irony here, as a student named Katie pointed out, is that we got these comments from our blog and our Facebook site.

A Twist on Saggy Pants

AZUZ: Well, we usually don't talk too much about fashion here on CNN Student News, but we're gonna make an exception for today's Before We Go segment. You might think your friends look like fools with their pants on the ground, or at least hanging low. Well, Kontji Anthony of affiliate WMC in Memphis, Tennessee shows us how one school's solution to sagging comes with a twist.


KONTJI ANTHONY, WMC REPORTER: Westside Middle School principal Bobby White had a problem to solve.

BOBBY WHITE, WESTSIDE MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL: How do we stop the sagging of the pants?

ANTHONY: So, he put a twist on his "no saggy pants" policy.

WHITE: Everybody who possibly needed to be Urkeled, they were Urkeled.

ANTHONY: A staff member suggested fighting pop culture with pop culture.

JADARIUS WALTON, 7TH GRADER: I thought it was a joke until I got Urkeled.

ANTHONY: The school staff turned to "Family Matters" TV character Steve Urkel. His style of dress is now a verb at Westside Middle.

ANTHONY: What's it like to get Urkeled?

KELDRION VANN, 8TH GRADER: It's pretty embarrassing.

ANTHONY: Staff members walk the halls with zip ties. And if they see saggy pants, students get Urkeled.

SHAKA GREENE, COMPUTER LAB TEACHER: You slide it over, take out the remaining slack, and it's almost impossible to get it off.

VANN: They can put your pants as high as your chest, and they can put as many as three or four on you.

ANTHONY: They even have an Urkel photo board for all to see.

WALTON: All the girls will laugh and they'll tell you how ridiculous you look.

ANTHONY: Teacher Shaka Greene is the reigning Urkel Award champ. He started Urkeling up to 80 students a week. In five weeks, it dropped to 18.

GREENE: We're talking about over an 80 percent drop in the number of students that we actually have to put a zip tie on.

WHITE: There's something about looking right, acting right, beginning to think right.

WALTON: If you keep your pants up, it has you looking like a proper young man.

VANN: The students know to strap up or to get strapped up around here.



AZUZ: The thought of getting Urkeled probably made some students buckle. We've reached the end of today's show. But we don't want you to let your spirits sag. We're gonna be back to belt out more headlines tomorrow. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.