(CNN Student News) -- December 10, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Of course, Fridays are awesome! But so are Ms. Spoto, Ms. Richardson and Mr. Koczot. They know why. We welcome all of our viewers to CNN Student News on this Friday. We have some updates for you on a few stories we've been following this week. First up though, we are headed off to Europe.
AZUZ: Violent protests in the streets of London over a vote in parliament -- that's Britian's government -- about college tuition. The UK has a limit on how much universities can charge students. This vote raised that limit nearly 10,000 dollars. It was around 4,700 originally, nowthe limit is around 14,000j dollars. People who support this plan say the country needs to cut its deficit. But the protesters argue that the increase will price some people out of a college education. Dan Rivers was in London yesterday when the protests turned violent. He has more on this situation.
DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, LONDON: It's going to result in a trebling of student tuition fees, something that in the U.S., perhaps, people are more used to. But here, there is just no culture of leaving university with $50,000, $60,000, $70,000 worth of debt. And clearly, this is part of major austerity measures to try and rein in this huge deficit we have here. But this is the result of it: bitter anger and violence on the streets, with the police struggling at times, really, to contain the crowd.
This will impact students. Not those who are currently at university, but those who will go to university. I was talking to one student yesterday who said, look, this isn't going to affect me, but for my 13-year-old and 11-year-old brothers, it will have a massive impact. And she was from a lower-income family and was saying her brothers probably won't go to university because they're so worried about mounting up these massive debts.
Now, the government says if you go to university, you're going to get a better job and you'll only have to pay this money back when you're earning over about $35,000. And therefore, this is a fair way of doing this, and there are safeguards to help lower-income students get into the system.
AZUZ: Very difficult situation there. Well, you've heard of "deal or no deal". Right now in the U.S. Congress, there is no deal. The compromise on extending a set of tax cuts in the U.S. -- not happening. At least it's not happening now. Democrats in the House of Representatives have refused to vote on the agreement that President Obama worked out with Republicans. They said the deal is "not acceptable." But the debate isn't over. Those House Democrats say they want to keep working with the president and with Republicans to come up with a plan. That could mean changes to the current deal. The Obama administration had warned Democrats that trying to make changes could lead to no new deal at all. That would mean everyone's taxes would go up.
AZUZ: And it looks like the DREAM Act won't become a reality this week. Democrats in the Senate decided not to vote on that bill after they determined that they didn't have enough support. Dream would have given some young illegal immigrants the chance to become U.S. citizens by either going to college or serving in the U.S. military. The House of Representatives did vote on the DREAM Act on Wednesday, and it passed in the House by a pretty slim margin. It was 216 to 198. But this is a bill. It needs to go through the Senate too. And without approval in the Senate, it won't become law. Senate Democrats have said they might bring it up again next week, or it could roll over to the next Congress, which starts up in January. So, you'll be hearing more about this too, likely.
AZUZ: Some people who support WikiLeaks, the website that reveals secret information, are taking on companies that they see as hostile toward the site. And they're doing that where else? Online. Yesterday, WikiLeaks said it's not associated with the people who are doing this. Brian Todd has more for us now on the details of this cyber assault.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Protesters take to the streets, an uprising against perceived injustices from huge corporations. Imagine an online version of this. That's what seems to be happening to a group of major companies who have made moves against WikiLeaks or its founder, Julian Assange. Experts say a group of unknown online activists operating under the name "Anonymous" are coordinating so-called Denial of Service attacks against companies who have stopped processing donations to WikiLeaks.
Visa is one of those companies. On a Twitter page called Operation Payback associated with Anonymous, one tweet says, "We are attacking www.visa.com in an hour. Get your weapons ready." The weapon isn't hacking, but simply flooding a website with computers trying to access it all at once. Visa is not the only target.
I'm with Mark Rasch. He's a former Justice Department cyber crime prosecutor. He also helped the hacker who is in touch with the alleged leaker, Bradley Manning, get in touch with U.S. authorities to investigate all of the leaks. Mark, first, we're going to show this Anonymous Twitter page. They're basically saying that we're glad to tell you that mastercard.com is down and it's confirmed. Let's try to get to the MasterCard website.
MARK RASCH, FORMER JUSTICE DEPT. CYBER CRIME PROSECUTOR: Sure. What's happening is these people are using Twitter to try to communicate with each other. And so, if you go to the MasterCard web page and hit enter, what you're going to get is this, which is that they cannot open the web page.
TODD: Officials at MasterCard and the online funds transfer service PayPal tell CNN their websites were recently flooded within a day or two of their decision to stop processing donations to WikiLeaks. The sites either slowed down or temporarily shut down as a result. They won't say if they believe the perpetrators are WikiLeaks' supporters, but listen to an official from the Swiss Bank PostFinance, which also got attacked.
ALEX JOSTY, POSTFINANCE SPOKESMAN: The reason is a simple one: because PostFinance closed the account of Julian Assange. And that was the reason, because of the Internet community around him decided to start the "Operation Payback."
TODD: PostFinance says they closed Assange's account because he falsely told them he lived in Switzerland. They say no other accounts were affected. As for the credit cards...
A lot of people are asking, "Is my credit card affected by this?" If you're a MasterCard holder, especially now during the holidays.
RASCH: People's credit cards are not affected. Their credit isn't affected. The ability to buy things with the credit card is not affected.
This Day in History
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December 10, 1898 -- The Spanish-American War officially ends
December 10, 1901 -- The first Nobel Prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden
December 10, 1948 -- The United Nations adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Nobel Prize Ceremony
AZUZ: Well, you saw it just now on This Day in History, the first Nobel Prizes were awarded on this day in history. And over my sholder here, this is Alfred Nobel. He's the namesake of the Nobel Prizes that are being awarded today. The ceremony for the prizes in chemistry, medicine, physics, literature and economics is happening in Stockholm, Sweden. But the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony is in Oslo, Norway. And this year's peace prize ceremony will feature something interesting: an empty chair. That is because this man, Liu Xiaobo, won't be there. He's serving a jail sentence in China. Liu won this year's Peace Prize for his efforts to fight for human rights in China. But China considers him a criminal and the Chinese government has criticized the Nobel Committee for picking Liu. The committee says the empty chair isn't a protest against China, but it is meant to support the struggle for human rights in China.
AZUZ: If you are not sure how to send us an email or an iReport, check this out. We've got ya covered. It's in the "How Do I" box at CNNStudentNews.com! So, not only do we give you a place to do it, we tell you how to do it. You just scroll down the page like you saw us to do -- you see it on the left-hand side there. It covers all sorts of things, like how to get a Shoutout -- we know from our Facebook page that's something a lot of students want to know how to do and it's something a teacher in Nevada already knows how to do.
JOHN LISK, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to the history students at Del Webb Middle School in Henderson, Nevada! Who is currently on the U.S. $10 bill? Is it: A) Alexander Hamilton, B) Thomas Jefferson, C) Benjamin Franklin or D) Andrew Jackson? You've got three seconds -- GO! Hamilton, the first U.S. treasury secretary, is on the $10. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: You won't see Mr. Hamilton in today's Before We Go report. This $10 bill features former President William McKinley. And it could be worth a lot more than 10 bucks. The guy selling it on eBay says it's worth 50 grand! The rare bill was printed more than a century ago for a bank in Colorado. The big question and what would help determine its value is: is the thing real? Experts say it's possible. And the guy selling it certainly thinks so.
AZUZ: If someone's willing to break the bank to meet his price, he'll definitely cash in. Of course, if you can't pay up front, maybe he'll just send you a bill. I mean, that would make cents. Our writer, Jordan, went crazy with those puns today. And something tells me we're gonna pay for all of them. Quick reminder: Head to our home page and vote in our Quick Poll. We have a Quick Poll up. We want to know your favorite kind of Before We Go story. The last I checked, I think "Stunts" was in the lead. One more week before we go on break. So, we'll look for your votes and we will see you on Monday. Hopeo you have a great weekend. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.