(CNN Student News) -- April 14, 2011
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: In honor of National Library Week, I'm here with CNN's library team....
CNN LIBRARIANS: Shhh. Welcome to CNN Student News.
CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Today's show goes out to all of our CNN librarians and to all of you librarians and media specialists out there. Happy National Library Week. Now, let's get to the headlines.
AZUZ: First up, President Obama announces the details of his plan to lower the country's deficit. It includes a mixture of spending cuts and tax increases. The White House says the president's plan will cut the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 12 years.
Republicans have outlined their own plan. It would cut about the same amount from the deficit, but in very different ways. Republican leaders have criticized the president's plan, especially the idea of increasing government revenue by raising taxes on wealthy Americans. House Speaker John Boehner says the government doesn't have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem.
During his speech yesterday, President Obama said he doesn't expect everyone to agree, but he does hope they can find a way to work together.
U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I don't expect the details in any final agreement to look exactly like the approach I laid out today. This is a democracy; it's not how things work. I'm eager to hear other ideas from all ends of the political spectrum. And though I'm sure the criticism of what I've said here today will be fierce in some quarters, and my critique of the House Republican approach has been strong, Americans deserve and will demand that we all make an effort to bridge our differences and find common ground.
Is This Legit?
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this legit? The Latin word "fauna" refers to a region's plant life. Nope. Not true! "Flora" refers to a region's natural plant life while "fauna" refers to animal life.
AZUZ: There's a new report out looking at the status of the fauna from the U.S. Gulf Coast region. One year after the devastating BP oil spill, the National Wildlife Federation classifies the coast's wetlands as "poor." Some of the problems were around before the spill: erosion, storms. But the spill -- the worst in U.S. history -- made the situation worse. According to the report, around 3,000 miles of coast were contaminated by oil. And even the clean-up efforts can cause damage.
As for the animals that call the area home, sea turtles and bluefin tuna were some of the species that were hit pretty hard. They were both given a condition of "poor." It's not all bad news, though. Brown pelicans and dolphins in the Gulf both have a "good" status. And the report says shrimp are recovering fairly well, too.
AZUZ: Drive past a gas station and you might just wince. Gas prices are high, and they keep going up! The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded was $3.81 yesterday. That is an increase of 24 percent from the start of this year. Lisa Sylvester is going to explain what's behind the rising prices and their impact on the political world.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Coast to coast, from Atlanta to New York to Los Angeles, consumers are getting socked by high gas prices.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: $4.19 a gallon, that's ridiculous. It's absolutely absurd.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have to drive, and they don't pay mileage. So, it's really, really sticking me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, they're getting all the bailouts and the breaks, and we're getting squeezed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's L.A., so it's even worse.
SYLVESTER: Why are oil prices shooting upward now? The fighting in Libya is one contributing factor. Fears of unrest spreading to other countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, also has markets on edge. And, economists say, factoring in speculation and an increase in demand from countries like China. Higher gas prices hit consumers where it hurts most: discretionary spending.
PETER MORICI, ECONOMICS PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: Consumers really feel a pinch. They are limited in their discretion because they have to pay their mortgage, they have to pay their utilities. So, to pay higher gas prices, they go out to dinner less, they go to movies less, they buy fewer clothes. The amount of money that most consumers have to work with is very limited.
SYLVESTER: Gas prices are expected to continue to rise through the spring. The spike in prices is not just a pocketbook issue, it's also a political one.
KEN VOGEL, POLITICO: There is not a lot of evidence that anything that political leaders are doing in the short term has as much impact on gas prices as market trends or long-term energy policy. But that doesn't stop politicians of both parties from pointing the finger at each other.
SYLVESTER: The issue is already playing out like a campaign ad. Republicans are blaming President Obama. Democrats pushing back, pointing to Republicans' cozy ties with the oil and gas industry.
Teens and Music
AZUZ: You've probably heard this before: Music is one of those things that can define a generation. But new research suggests that the music you're listening to might also define your state of mind. This study looked at teens who listen to a lot of music. By a lot, we mean four to five hours a day. And the research says those teens may be at a higher risk for depression. Scientists also looked into other forms of media. Teens who read more have a lower risk of depression. And TV doesn't seem to have much of an effect. The study's author recognized that some teens might use music for comfort. So, it raises the question: Do people listen to more music when they're sad? Or can listening to a lot of music lead you to be sad?
AZUZ: You know this is something we're talking about on our blog at CNNStudentNews.com. When we get a story like this one, that's really about you, we want to know what you think. When you're feeling down, do you find that listening to music is more helpful or harmful? Put some thought into it, let us know your opinions.
This Day in History
AZUZ: It's April 14th, and on this day in history: In 1828, after more than two decades of work, Noah Webster published the first edition of his American Dictionary. In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth while attending a play at Ford's Theatre. Lincoln died the following morning. And in 1986, the U.S. launched air strikes against Libya. This was in response to Libya supporting terrorism against American troops and citizens.
Before We Go
AZUZ: Another event happened on this day in history back in 1910: President William Howard Taft threw out the first ball at the Washington Senators' home opener. With that flick of the wrist, he started the tradition of presidents tossing out the first pitch. Some of them threw from the stands, some from the mound. As we look back at this century-old tradition before we go today, see how many of these presidential pitchers you can recognize.
[MUSIC; CLIPS OF PRESIDENTIAL FIRST PITCHES]
AZUZ: I pitched the idea of getting in a few throws here in the studio, but my producer balked at the idea. So instead, we'll toss it to your teachers and strike up another edition of CNN Student News tomorrow. Hope y'all have a great day.