(CNN Student News) -- October 2, 2008
Bailout Proposal - Consider what could happen if no action is taken on the U.S. financial crisis.
Second in Command - Learn about the responsibilities associated with the American vice presidency.
Shock Tactics - Hear how graphic images are being used in an anti-smoking campaign in the UK.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
Teachers, please preview the 'Shock Tactics' story, as it contains some graphic images of the effects of smoking that may not be appropriate for your students.
CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hi. We're glad to have you with us for this Thursday edition of CNN Student News. From the CNN Center in Atlanta, I'm Carl Azuz.
AZUZ: First up, the financial bailout proposal takes center stage at the U.S. Senate. As you know, the House of Representatives rejected a similar bill on Monday. There are some new provisions in the Senate version though. The price tag, for one thing, is going to be even higher than President Bush's $700 billion proposal, and it includes a number of tax breaks for businesses and individuals. You can see the result here on your screen: The Senate did approve the controversial bailout proposal. But we're not done yet. The House is scheduled to vote again on Friday. In the meantime, Christine Romans explores what could happen if nothing is done about the current economic situation.
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CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN REPORTER: A crescendo of gloomy predictions.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: We're in the midst of a serious financial crisis.
HENRY M. PAULSON, JR., SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY: The taxpayer already is going to suffer the consequences if things don't work the way they should work.
BEN BERNANKE, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: This plan is an emergency plan to put out a fire, to resolve a serious crisis.
ROMANS: So just what is going to happen and when? No one believes America will wake up tomorrow to soup lines, shanty towns and Depression-era panic on Wall Street. What they do expect?
STEPHEN LEEB, MONEY MANAGER: Banks get weaker, they can't finance home credits, they start foreclosing, individuals stop spending, banks get weaker still, the stock market goes down.
ROMANS: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce predicts a vicious cycle of frozen credit markets, where banks don't lend money, towns can't borrow for important projects, companies miss payrolls and consumers stop spending. The Chamber says the cycle could begin in a week or two, and once started, would be hard to stop. Others predict it will be much further down the road. Listen to the president's own prediction of life without a bailout bill.
BUSH: Further stress on our financial markets would cause massive job losses, devastate retirement accounts, further erode housing values, and dry up new loans for homes, cars and college tuitions.
ROMANS: Harvard economist Ken Rogoff says government action is better than the alternative.
KEN ROGOFF, HARVARD ECONOMIST: We are worried about something that wipes out a big chunk of our financial intermediation that gives us, you know, credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, you name it. It's something that hurts us for many years.
ROMANS: Christine Romans, CNN, New York.
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GEORGE RAMSAY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! Who was the first U.S. vice president? If you think you know it, shout it out! Was it: A) John Adams, B) Ben Franklin, C) Thomas Jefferson or D) Aaron Burr? You've got three seconds -- GO! Before he became president, John Adams served as the country's first VP. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: Imagine if you will: John McCain becomes president, but has Barack Obama as his vice president. Or Barack Obama gets in the White House, but has John McCain as VP. Back in the day, that could've happened. In the case of John Adams, he didn't actually run for VP. He lost the country's first presidential election to George Washington, and back then, the candidate who came in second became the vice president. That position, vice president, is often described as being "a heartbeat away from the presidency." But assuming that heartbeat never happens, what in the world does a VP actually do?
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AZUZ: See if you can I.D. this guy: His address is Number One Observatory Circle, Washington, D.C. He worked as defense secretary under President George H. W. Bush, the current president's father. And oh yeah, he's our vice president. Believe it or not, many Americans can't identify Dick Cheney. That was an easy one for me. But before I wrote this report, I was not familiar with John Nance Garner, Alben W. Barkley, Henry A. Wallace or Charles Curtis; all of whom served as U.S. vice presidents! And what may be even less well known is what exactly a vice president does. You have come to the right place, my friends.
First and most obvious, the vice president is number two in line to the presidency. That means if anything happens to the president and he's unable to do his job, the VP steps in as the nation's leader. The VP also has an interesting power in the U.S. Senate: If there's ever a deadlock over a certain issue -- and that's not hard to imagine given the 49 Democrats and 49 Republicans currently in the Senate -- the VP casts the tie-breaking vote. He's on hand during Cabinet meetings; Vice President Cheney is listed as a Cabinet Rank Member alongside the White House Chief of Staff. The VP also represents the president on Capitol Hill and carries out his special assignments.
But as far as many Americans see it, the job of VP is not a particularly popular one. An author named Mark Hatfield, who wrote a book on vice presidents, described the position as "the least understood, most ridiculed, and most often ignored constitutional office in the federal government." Who would want that?! And though former vice presidents range from a fugitive to a Confederate soldier to a Nobel Prize winner, there is one thing most of them have in common: They're politically experienced, politically ambitious, or both. You'd have to be to work as second-in-command to the Commander in Chief.
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AZUZ: The candidates currently vying for the vice presidential position are scheduled to face off tonight in the only debate between Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Joe Biden. It gets started at 9 p.m. Eastern. But before you tune in, head to our home page and check out our Debates Viewing Guide. It'll help you understand what's going on.
AZUZ: We have some new information now in the mystery surrounding the disappearance of millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett. Officials say hikers discovered ID cards and about a thousand dollars in cash near the town of Mammoth Lakes, California on Monday. Fossett's name is on the documents, but authorities are trying to confirm if they're authentic. Fossett was last seen more than a year ago. He disappeared after taking off on a solo plane flight in Nevada. He's famous for round-the-world trips in boats, balloons and planes.
Word to the Wise
RAMSAY: A Word to the Wise...
carcinogen (noun) a substance that can cause cancer
source: American Cancer Society
AZUZ: According to the National Cancer Institute, cigarette smoke contains more than 60 carcinogens. Since 1984, the U.S. Congress has required that cigarette packs include written warnings about the dangers of smoking. But Atika Shubert reports on a campaign in the UK that's going a step further than that. It actually shows smokers what their habit can lead to. Teachers, this story contains some graphic images of the effects of smoking, so please preview it before showing it to your class.
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ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN REPORTER: Most people know that smoking is bad for your health. But it's not easy to quit. Well, here's some motivation. It's called the "Grim Reality" campaign. These pictures will now be featured on the packaging of tobacco products sold in the UK, photos designed to shock and horrify.
LIAM DONALDSON, UK CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER: Seeing the mouth cancer, seeing the lung cancer, seeing the diseases of the arteries and the legs leading to gangrenous feet. Those sorts of things bring it home to people that they're not just dicing with death but with very serious illness whenever they continue to smoke.
SHUBERT: Judging by the reaction of some London smokers, it might be working.
PERSON ON THE STREET: It's quite nasty, that's my reaction.
PERSON ON THE STREET: It's scary. I don't want to look like that.
PERSON ON THE STREET: I'm feeling kind of guilty now, actually.
SHUBERT: Despite a ban on lighting up in enclosed public areas, smoking-related disease is still the UK's top killer. Twenty-two percent, about 10 million people, continue to smoke. Will this campaign reduce the numbers? Well, it might. Canada was the first country to introduce this photo campaign, and a Canadian survey showed more than 30% of smokers who quit said these photos were their motivation. But some smokers insist it won't work, and the photos are simply offensive.
SIMON CLARKE FOREST, PRO-SMOKING CAMPAIGNER: It's designed to embarrass and humiliate smokers. Now, if you don't smoke, but you drink alcohol, how would you feel if pictures of diseased livers were put on the side of bottles of wine? Or diseased hearts were put on fatty foods and dairy products?
SHUBERT: Anti-smoking advocates say cigarettes are an addictive product that requires a tough warning.
SARAH WOOLNOUGH, CANCER RESEARCH UK: It's the only product that if used as intended, will kill half of its users, so it requires a unique approach.
SHUBERT: Not all the images are so graphic. But the message is the same, and some smokers support it.
PERSON ON THE STREET: There's nothing really too graphic about it. It just really shows you what it's doing to you really. It's good.
SHUBERT: A picture may be worth a thousand words, but can it kick a habit? Atika Shubert, CNN, London.
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Before We Go
AZUZ: And finally, before we let you go today, we're going right in the gutter. Because that is where this dog made a discovery this week. The helpful hound alerted his owner to a baby duckling that was stuck in the drain! A rescue team was called out to retrieve the wayward water fowl. Only one problem: They couldn't get the gate open! So they let the duck swim out on its own and eventually catch up with the rest of its family.
AZUZ: And that is going to be where we waddle out the door. We'll quack at you some more tomorrow. Have a great day. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.