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CNN Student News Transcript: May 23, 2011

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CNN Student News - 5/23/11

(CNN Student News) -- May 23, 2011

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Baghdad, Iraq



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Your school probably has fire drills, tornado drills. But how should you prepare for zombies?! Believe it or not, the government has an answer. I'm Carl Azuz. This is CNN Student News!

First Up: Violence in Baghdad

AZUZ: First up today, deadly violence in Baghdad, as a string of bombings hits the Iraqi capital. Fifteen explosions went off within hours of each other on Sunday. Iraqi authorities said the mix of car bombs and roadside bombs killed at least 18 people and wounded at least 80 others. There's been an increase recently of violence in Iraq. That includes yesterday's attacks. It's raising some concerns about whether or not Iraqi security forces will be able to protect their own country. Britain pulled the last of its combat troops out of Iraq yesterday, and U.S. troops are scheduled to leave Iraq by the start of next year, though Iraqi leaders might ask them to stay longer.

Just the Facts

STAN CASE, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Just the Facts! There is a history of conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people. The areas at the center of that conflict are Gaza and the West Bank. Israel took control of these areas in 1967 during the six-day Arab-Israeli War. Right now, around 4 million Palestinians live in Gaza and the West Bank.

Leadership Differences

AZUZ: For decades, there have been attempts to make peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. President Obama tried to push for a new start to peace talks in a speech he gave last week. During that speech, he mentioned going back to the pre-1967 war borders, but with exchanges in land that both sides would agree on. The idea did not go over well with Israel's prime minister. Yesterday, President Obama explained what he meant when he gave a speech to AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. He told the conference that the pre-1967 borders should be a starting point for negotiations, and that he expects Israel and the Palestinians to work together to define new borders.

Part of the reason the U.S. is so involved in what's going on in Israel is that the two countries are very close allies. The U.S. has supported Israel since it was founded in 1948. But as Brianna Keilar explains, that friendship was pretty tense late last week.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was about to leave for the U.S. when President Obama made the announcement that infuriated him.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines wiith mutually agreed swaps.

KEILAR: At the White House Friday, Netanyahu panned the proposal.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: These lines are indefensible because they don't take into account certain changes that have taken place on the ground, demographic changes that have taken place over the last 44 years.

KEILER: After the initial war of words, the White House hoped the meeting would be a time to kiss and make up.

OBAMA: Obviously, there are some differences between us, the precise formulations and language. And that's going to happen between friends.

NETANYAHU: We have an enduring bond of friendship between our two countries.

KEILER: But for all of the niceties, Netanyahu drew a line in the sand, and not only on a return to pre-1967 borders. He said Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government supported by Hamas or house Palestinian refugees.

NETANYAHU: That's not going to happen. Everybody knows it's not going to happen, and I think it's time to tell the Palestinians forthrightly that it's not going to happen.

KEILER: Despite tough words, the U.S. and Israel will remain allies, even past this rough spot. But the tension between the two leaders was palpable. After the President's meeting with Netanyahu, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was peppered with questions about the disagreement on the borders issue. He said the president made clear the pre-1967 border proposal is a starting point, that the mutual swaps that would create the eventual borders would be negotiated. The thing is, what the White House considers a starting point, Israel still considers a non-starter, even after the meeting. Brianna Keiler, CNN, Washington.


Trip to Europe

AZUZ: President Obama is working on some other alliances this week. He's heading to Europe to visit four countries there. Today, he lands in Dublin, Ireland to meet with that nation's leaders. Tomorrow, the president travels to London, where he'll talk with British Prime Minister David Cameron and address the British Parliament. Then it's off to France for the G-8. That's a meeting of world economic powers. And the last stop: Warsaw, Poland. President Obama will meet with the Polish president and visit some of Poland's historic sites. Today, the president plans to take a side trip to visit some of his personal history: an Irish village where President Obama's great-great-great-grandfather lived.

Iceland Volcano

AZUZ: From Ireland, we're hopping across the Northern Atlantic Ocean to Iceland. Something happening there might not affect President Obama's travel plans, but it was certainly having an impact on Iceland yesterday. A volcano erupted over the weekend; it sent a cloud of ash up into the sky. No flights were allowed in or out of the country's four international airports. This is one of the most active volcanoes in Iceland. Local media said it last erupted in 2004. Last year, another Icelandic volcano eruption -- you might remember this -- caused air travel problems across all of Europe. One official said she doesn't think this new eruption will have that kind of impact, although she said it's hard to predict how the ash cloud might move.


TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Mrs. Rash's 6th grade classes at Grant County Middle School in Dry Ridge, Kentucky! Who performed the first American spacewalk? You know what to do! Was it: A) Ed White, B) Buzz Aldrin, C) Michael Collins or D) Alan Shepard? You've got three seconds -- GO! Ed White floated out of his Gemini capsule and into history in 1965. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Endeavour Spacewalk

AZUZ: Ed White's spacewalk in 1965 lasted 23 minutes. He said it wasn't nearly long enough. He might have preferred yesterday's spacewalk at the international space station. That one lasted more than eight hours! It was the sixth-longest spacewalk ever and the second one on this mission for the crew of the space shuttle Endeavour.

This was the mission's first spacewalk. Happened back on Friday; lasted a little over six hours. You really get a good view of the astronauts moving around out there. What they've been doing is some routine maintenance. That includes working on a two-armed robot that will eventually take care of some of the work that astronauts are doing now. There are two more spacewalks planned for Endeavour's mission.

Zombie Survival Kit

AZUZ: From walking in space to the walking dead. You don't hear much about this on CNN Student News. We're talking about a zombie apocalypse, and it brought down the Centers for Disease Control's website last week. That is because -- as a joke -- the CDC posted a zombie survival plan. And it was heavy traffic that crashed the internet site.

The living dead might be taking over pop culture, but the government agency doesn't think there's any real threat from zombies. So we can all breathe easier. The reason it posted the survival plan was to raise awareness about preparing for disasters. The CDC says preparing for zombies would pretty much be the same as preparing for hurricanes or widespread disease. That includes stocking up on food, water, medicine; and having a battery-powered radio, plus some changes of clothes.

Blog Report

AZUZ: Well, what's more fun than exams? Anything! But here are some tips that students have for getting through them. Gretchen tries to write everything down on paper and put a little drawing next to it, making it colorful. The color helps her absorb information better. Erik suggests this: record yourself reading the material, then listen to it every day in the morning and evening. It's like your own personal teacher. N'kayla's method: "I use flash cards because they help me memorize things better." Chia-sheng says, "I review what I've learned right after class to have impressions of what's covered and what's important. Before tests, I just skim through the materials." Keagan likes things quiet. "It seems I can fit more into my head when I'm not distracted." Reading the textbook and making a song throughout the chapter works for Calista. Jake goes to a certain room in his house and picks out something in that room to remember the information when he's taking the test. And Chelsea connects different types of music to different subjects and then breaks it into songs that fit the genre.

Before We Go

AZUZ: Before we go, a new museum invites visitors to dive in, 'cause that's the only way they can get there. It claims to be the world's largest underwater museum. It's located off the coast of Cancun, Mexico. The sculptures are made out of a special kind of cement that encourages coral reefs and marine life to grow. So if you visit several times, it'll actually look different each time. Of course, if you don't know to expect the changes, it might throw you for a loop.


AZUZ: We guess it's a subject that deserves some in-depth exploration. You only have so long to make puns about underwater museums before the statue of limitations runs out. All right! Before we run out of time, we want to give a special shoutout to all you graduating seniors out there. Just two weeks left before we wrap up our school year. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.