(CNN Student News) -- December 17, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Carl Azuz, and this is CNN Student News, where Fridays are awesome! This one, though, is a little sad, because it's actually our last show of 2010. Before we move ahead into 2011, we're going to look back at some of the biggest stories from this year. And we kick things off with today's headlines.
AZUZ: First up, a quick check of where things stand with some high-profile proposals in Congress. The tax cut deal: Thursday afternoon, that was with the House of Representatives. Some Democrats were indicating that it would probably pass, despite being controversial. If that happens, everyone's taxes will stay at this current rate, where they are right now, for the next two years.
The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, a new nuclear treaty between the U.S. and Russia. Treaties like this have to be approved by the U.S. Senate, and that group was getting ready to begin debating this proposal yesterday.
Finally, Don't Ask Don't Tell, the policy that bans homosexuals from serving openly in the U.S. military. The House voted to overturn that ban on Wednesday. Now, Don't Ask Don't Tell heads to the Senate. Congress is scheduled to go on break starting tomorrow. You can get the latest details on all of these proposals at CNN.com.
AZUZ: Over at the White House, there's a new report about how the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan is going. This comes out once a year, and this year's report seems to be fairly positive. And President Obama says the U.S. is making a lot of progress in the nine-year war in Afghanistan, although recent polls suggest that a growing number of Americans do not support the war.
The president says the goals that have been set for that conflict are on track. That includes the plan to start pulling troops out of Afghanistan in 2011. But the president acknowledged that the war is difficult. While U.S. and Afghan forces are making progress, he said those gains are fragile. The strategy report discussed the importance of a long-term commitment to helping that region of the world.
AZUZ: The president wants to improve the relationship between the federal government and Native American communities. He met with the leaders of 565 tribes at the White House conference yesterday to try and work on that. President Obama said he wants to get more input from the tribes about ways the U.S. government might be able to help them. That could include supporting education and health care on Native American reservations, for example, or making changes to the criminal justice system there. He says there's been some progress, but there needs to be more.
AZUZ: A lot of people looking to take a flight Wednesday were delayed by these winter storms that have been pounding parts of the United States. It's not even officially winter yet. You wouldn't know that by stepping outside, though. The National Weather Service put out winter storm warnings and advisories for more than a dozen states. Sandra Endo examines the impact of the cold.
SANDRA ENDO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This frozen water fountain in Raleigh, North Carolina is proof of just how cold it is in the South. Wicked winter weather sweeping across the deep South to the upper Plains, causing plenty of problems, especially on the roads. In Georgia, it took trucks, salt and sand to get this school bus carrying high school kids to budge after slick ice left it at a standstill for hours. Some Georgia drivers couldn't keep their cars from moving after authorities say roads went from normal to an ice rink in just minutes. Some drivers were sent slipping and sliding. Pile-ups in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi have caused several deaths. Earlier this week, some states began bracing for the worst. In Tennessee, officials sprayed the road with beet juice and salt, their solution to combat the winter white stuff. But planes can't compete with the wintry mix. Air travel is being disrupted by mother nature's chill. Several airlines are reporting cancellations and major delays. In Washington, I'm Sandra Endo.
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for our last Shoutout of 2010! Which of these events happened first? You know what to do! Was it the: A) Iceland volcano eruption, B) UK election, C) World Cup championship or D) Failed Times Square bomb plot? You've got three seconds -- GO! The Iceland volcano event happened first; it erupted back in March. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: Those were just some of the major events that happened during the past 12 months. And now, we want you to fill in the blanks as we look back, in no particular order, at some of the other stories that dominated headlines in 2010.
A powerful earthquake devastates the Caribbean nation of __________
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360°: Finally, after being trapped for more than 18 hours, the men make a small hole and pull Bea out. She is alive. She is finally free.
AZUZ: Stories of rescue and survival offered measures of hope in the middle of tragedy, after a powerful earthquake devastated the Caribbean nation of Haiti in January. An estimated 230,000 people were killed by the quake.
Next question: An explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon leads to a __________ in the Gulf of Mexico.
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, (R) LOUISIANA: We are literally in a war to fight, to protect our way of life. And anybody that doubts the impact of this oil, go to any one of a number of places. 140 miles of our coast have been oiled. Go and talk to those commercial fishermen. Go look them in the face.
AZUZ: The blast aboard the Deepwater Horizon led to an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the worst oil spill in U.S. history. It dumped hundreds of millions of gallons into the Gulf and took a tremendous toll on the region and the people who live there.
The last full U.S. combat brigade leaves __________
U.S. VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, but American engagement with Iraq will continue with the mission that begins today: Operation New Dawn.
AZUZ: It was in August that the last U.S. combat brigade left Iraq. And meanwhile, thousands of additional U.S. troops were sent to Afghanistan as part of the strategy in the fight against the Taliban there.
After months of primaries and rallies, Americans vote in the __________ elections on November 2nd.
U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: What yesterday also told us is that no one party will be able to dictate where we go from here; that we must find common ground in order to set, in order to make progress on some uncommonly difficult challenges.
AZUZ: The midterm elections were on November 2nd. Americans cast ballots in local, state and federal races. The results in Congress: Democrats held onto a slim majority in the U.S. Senate, while Republicans took over the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Despite the official end of the recession, the U.S. __________ continues to struggle.
[NYSE CLOSING BELL]
AZUZ: The U.S. economy continues to struggle despite emerging from the longest recession in American history since World War II. The stock market has made gains so far this year, but housing prices decreased and the national unemployment rate stayed above nine percent all year.
Last one: 33 miners are rescued after being trapped underground for 69 days in this country.
GROUP: Chi! Le! Chi Chi Chi ...Le Le Le! Viva! Viva Chile!
AZUZ: Raucous celebration, as 33 miners were rescued after being trapped underground 69 days in Chile. They were trapped by a cave-in at the mine in August. And more than two months later, one by one, all of them emerged back on the surface.
Before We Go
AZUZ: Now, we're gonna have a little fun. We asked you to vote on your favorite type of Before We Go segment. The winning category: stunts! We're not saying no animals were involved. Getting a dog on a kneeboard is kind of a stunt in itself, but making him surf? Seeing him hang 20? That's a paws-ition worth repetition!
And how about this? It's a long shot, but, it's also a long shot! Nothin' but net and rim and excessive celebration. Yes, two points! Now, we don't know how many takes this took to finally sink in.
But this took only one. Forget pumpkin carve competition. This is pumpkin car recondition! It came to us from Liveleak.com and it repeats, which makes watching it a really gourd time. You think insurance would cover that?
You think it would cover this? Take one school bus, paint some flames on the hood, and add a jet engine. In this YouTube video, a tricked-out twinkie tears up the track at 300 miles per hour! And it guarantees you'll never be late for the bell.
AZUZ: Unless your ride gets pulled over by the police, in which case you'd be totally bus-ted. All right, we wanna give a special Shoutout to Coach Adams, Mrs. Mazell and Mrs. Hood. Their students sent us an excellent Facebook video. You can see it at Facebook.com/CNNStudentNews. Just scroll down to Fan Videos, and you'll see what happens when Carl Azuz is comin' to town! All right, we at CNN Student News want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Kwanzaa, a Happy New Year. We hope you have a wonderful break; we're looking forward to seeing you again on January 3rd, 2011! Thank you for being, what I often call, the best audience out there.