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CNN Student News Transcript: February 28, 2011

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CNN Student News - 2/28/11

(CNN Student News) -- February 28, 2011

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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: February 28th: The month is just about over. But 10 minutes of commercial-free headlines are just getting started. I'm Carl Azuz. Welcome to a new week of CNN Student News!

First Up: Crisis in Libya

AZUZ: First up, British officials say the best hope for Libya is for Moammar Gadhafi to leave. The Libyan leader is the focus of protests that have been going on for weeks. And the international community is getting involved in this. On Saturday, the United Nations Security Council voted 15-0 to punish Libya by putting sanctions, or restrictions, on Col. Gadhafi and his associates. Some experts say Libya has been under sanctions before; they haven't worked. The Security Council referred the crisis to the international criminal court, which could decide to investigate Col. Gadhafi for war crimes. The U.N. also acted to freeze Gadhafi's financial assets, which means he won't have access to some of his money. The United Kingdom made the same move yesterday.

Back in Libya, thousands of people are trying to get away from the violence. The United Nations Commission on Refugees says a lot of those people have fled to the neighboring countries of Egypt and Tunisia.

Quake Anniversary

AZUZ: Chilean President Sebastian Pinera says a little more than half of the reconstruction is finished, one year after a devastating earthquake hit Chile. President Pinera said more than 2 million people were directly affected by the quake. In the early morning hours Sunday, Chileans gathered for a candlelight vigil to mark the anniversary and remember the 521 people killed by the quake. President Pinera, who hadn't taken office yet when the tremor struck, called it the most destructive earthquake in the history of Chile. This file footage shows you scenes from the aftermath of the quake. It was tremendous, with a magnitude of 8.8. Thousands were left homeless. And now, even a year later, dozens are still missing.

Budget Battle

AZUZ: Workers' unions are at the heart of a budget battle in Wisconsin. Republican Governor Scott Walker says his state is broke and unions block efforts that could save money. People protesting against Governor Walker's proposed budget bill say it's designed to break up unions by limiting collective bargaining. That's when unions negotiate working conditions for employees. Governor Walker talked recently about why collective bargaining should be limited.

GOVERNOR SCOTT WALKER, (R) WISCONSIN: Collective bargaining has a cost. It has a cost in terms of health care and pension contributions. It has a cost overall in terms of how our governments operate at the local level. And we've got to change that relationship so that we can preserve jobs and ultimately, most importantly, so that the corrections we make for this budget aren't one-time fixes or short-term fixes.

AZUZ: Last week, the Wisconsin assembly passed the budget bill. The Senate hasn't voted yet, because Senate Democrats haven't come back; they left the state to keep the vote from happening. Governor Walker says layoffs could be coming if they can't reach an agreement soon. One leading Wisconsin Democrat says the governor and Republicans aren't listening to what people want.

PETER BARCA, (D) MINORITY LEADER, WISCONSIN ASSEMBLY: Governor Walker and assembly Republicans are so out of touch that they are willing to resort to these extreme ends to achieve their political goals.


TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Mrs. Brock's social studies classes at Sullivan Middle School in Fargo, North Dakota! Which of these is located about 220 miles above the Earth's surface? Is it the: A) Moon, B) Stratosphere, C) Hubble telescope or D) International space station? You've got three seconds -- GO! The international space station is orbiting the Earth about 220 miles above its surface. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Discovery Docks

AZUZ: And that's where the space shuttle Discovery is right now, too. The shuttle and its six-person crew, on a mission to deliver a science rig and other equipment and spare parts to the international space station. Discovery docked with the ISS over the weekend. This is the 13th time the shuttle's made its way up to the station, and also its last. The space shuttle program is winding down and this is Discovery's final scheduled mission. The Endeavour and the Atlantis are set to go up later this year. And every time a shuttle launches, it comes with costs and it comes with risks. And as John Zarrella explains, that has some people asking, why keep sending shuttles up?



NASA ANNOUNCER: Space shuttle Atlantis now comes home to the Kennedy Space Center for the final time.

ZARRELLA: It was over, the first of the three shuttles heads to retirement. Clean the tires, polish the metal. Hold on, not so fast. That was last May. Something happened on the way to the museum.

BILL GERSTENMAIER, NASA ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR FOR SPACE OPERATIONS: If we didn't think we really needed this flight, I would not be recommending this flight.

ZARRELLA: NASA, with Congressional backing, in fact urging, decided Atlantis had one more flight in her. Hold off on those moth balls. Once the shuttle program ends and until commercial companies take over, with rockets ten times safer than the shuttle, the Russians will ferry astronauts to the space station. Flying Atlantis shortens that gap and allows NASA to stock the station's pantry.

GERSTENMAIER: You know, it can carry, you know, roughly five to ten times what one of these single other supply ships can carry. So, in one shuttle mission, you could think of me being able to carry at least five other vehicles' worth of cargo.

ZARRELLA: But it's an expensive U-Haul trip. Shuttle flights cost about half a billion dollars.

FRED GUTERL, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN: The rule of thumb is whenever the space shuttle flies, it's a waste of money. The space shuttle is hugely expensive for what it does and it's not that safe, which is why it's being discontinued. So, to continue it for one more flight is not necessary.

ZARRELLA: But NASA has what it needs to pull off the flight. There was one more external tank at the factory in Louisiana, and an extra set of booster rockets came in by train from Utah. But is this more about putting off the inevitable end and keeping shuttle workers employed than a real need?

MIKE LEINBACH, NASA, LAUNCH DIRECTOR: This is our passion. This is what we do. I mean this is, this is how we support our families and how we support the American people and the international partners. It's not dragging it out, it's allowing us to continue doing what we do best.

ZARRELLA: Atlantis is scheduled to lift off in late June, return in early July. This time, when the NASA commentator says...

NASA ANNOUNCER: Space shuttle Atlantis now comes home to the Kennedy Space Center for the final time.

ZARRELLA: ...He'll mean it. Probably. John Zarrella, CNN, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.


This Day in History

AZUZ: It's February 28th, and on this day in history in 1953, James Watson and Frances Crick discovered the double-helix structure of DNA.

In 1983, the final episode of the show "M*A*S*H" became the single most watched episode in television history.

In 1993, federal agents raided the compound of the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas. Ten people were killed, including 4 agents, in the unsuccessful raid.

And in 1994, the Brady Law took effect, mandating a waiting period for people to buy handguns. It was named for former White House Press Secretary Jim Brady, who was wounded in the attempted assassination of President Reagan.

Blog Report

AZUZ: Wrapping up Black History Month, this last day in February, we asked who you'd nominate for a national Black History Hall of Fame. And there were a few names that came up a lot. Those included President Obama, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman. Albert chose Carter G. Woodson, the father of black history, who laid the groundwork for black history month. Kody picks Jesse Owens because he was a great runner who won the Olympics against Nazis. Michael nominated Michael Jackson for being an amazing humanitarian, influencing music and the world. A lot of you agree with Jace that Jackie Robinson should be in the hall of fame. He shattered the barrier in baseball between black and white people; he was inspiring. Kevin nominates Bill Cosby because he's one of the few people who can be a great comedian by using clean humor. Kiara names Oprah Winfrey; she has cared and told about so many wonderful people. And Ryan says George Washington Carver transformed the way we use the peanut and inspired Ryan to become a great scientist!

Black History Month Materials

AZUZ: Even though Black History Month is coming to a close, you can keep celebrating the accomplishments of African-Americans. Head to the Spotlight section at You'll find the reports that aired on our show this past month and our Black History Month Learning Activities. It's all free and one click away at!

Before We Go

AZUZ: Before we go, you know the saying "what goes up must come back down." And for this high-rise building in Atlanta, Georgia, it's time. At first, it looks like an indoor fireworks show. But once the first puffs of smoke start to show up, it doesn't take long for the whole thing to cave in on itself. Officials decided that demolition was the only option for this run-down relic. They even set up a special ceremony so folks could see how they were tearing something down...


AZUZ: ...In order to pave the way for the future. And everyone who was there got to see a cool building implosion, but dust for a minute. Today's sign-off line from comes from Austin, and it seems appropriate. "With great puns comes great responsibility." For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.