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CNN Student News Transcript: December 2, 2008

  • Story Highlights
  • Examine rising tensions between India and Pakistan following deadly attacks
  • Learn who President-elect Obama is nominating for his national security team
  • Check out some ways to stay on budget as you plan your holiday gift giving
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(CNN Student News) -- December 2, 2008

Quick Guide

Terror in India - Examine rising tensions between India and Pakistan following deadly attacks.

Team of Rivals? - Learn who President-elect Obama is nominating for his national security team.

Holidays on a Budget - Check out some ways to stay on budget as you plan your holiday gift giving.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: From our newsroom to your classroom, this is CNN Student News! Thanks for spending part of your Tuesday with us. I'm Carl Azuz.

First Up: Terror in India

AZUZ: First up, tensions are on the rise between neighboring Asian countries, as officials in India investigate last week's deadly terror attacks. Indian police say 179 people were killed and hundreds more were wounded in that wave of violence that gripped the city of Mumbai. What authorities are looking into now is who was responsible for all this. They think one man, the only surviving attacker, might hold the answer. As Nic Robertson explains, what he says could impact the entire region.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN REPORTER: Could this gunman hold the balance of regional peace in his hands? He is the only attacker to be captured alive. Indian police say he is Pakistani, and what he tells investigators could shape the rising tensions between these two nuclear neighbors.

Government officials here were quick to blame Pakistan. Pakistan's ministers deny their country's involvement; have offered to help with the investigation, but are now considering bolstering their troops along the border. The two countries have fought three wars in the past 60 years. Getting this investigation right could not be more critical.

It is indeed a tough time for the city, but India's maze of new, independent media outlets have a steady stream of leaks from investigators. They vary widely. Few can agree on the captured gunman's name. Our sister network, CNN-IBN, has sources inside India's intelligence community. They are being told the gunman was trained and helped by Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, a Pakistan-based, al Qaeda terror group.

CNN-IBN has also been told the captured gunman says he and his fellow attackers were told to memorize Google Earth maps of Mumbai's streets so they could find their targets. As a measure of how seriously the attack and rising tensions are being taken in Western capitals, the FBI is sending a team to help. British investigators are also expected, and Interpol, the international policing group, are also in negotiations with Indian authorities to send in their teams. While the country mourns its fallen heroes, an undercurrent of anti-Pakistan sentiment is growing. Managing that while conducting a thorough and open investigation may be this country's biggest challenge in the coming weeks.



ERIC GERSHON, CNN STUDENT NEWS: See if you can I.D. Me! I'm a member of the president's Cabinet and serve as his main adviser on foreign policy. I negotiate treaties and agreements. And I tell U.S. citizens about conditions in other countries. I'm the secretary of state, and I'm fourth in line to the U.S. presidency!

Team of Rivals?

AZUZ: President-elect Barack Obama has made his choice for secretary of state: former primary opponent Sen. Hillary Clinton! He made the announcement yesterday as he unveiled several key members of his national security team. Of course, all of this is subject to the U.S. Senate; it has the job of confirming the president-elect's nominees. Candy Crowley gives us a look at the lineup.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN REPORTER: It is a powerhouse collection of high intellect, diverse opinion and big ego. Exactly.

BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT-ELECT: I am a strong believer in strong personalities and strong opinions. I think that's how the best decisions are made.

CROWLEY: Not a wallflower in the bunch. Nominated to be secretary of state, Hillary Clinton will be the public face of U.S. diplomacy, promising to stand up whenever, wherever is needed.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) NEW YORK: After all, New Yorkers aren't afraid to speak their minds, and do so in every language.

CROWLEY: Her nomination is a turn of events that would have been jawdropping nine months ago, when she said his foreign policy experience amounted to one speech, and he suggested hers amounted to having tea with ambassadors. Bygones.

OBAMA: This is fun for the press to try to stir up whatever quotes were generated during the course of the campaign.

CROWLEY: Clinton is part of the pragmatic, centrist core of Obama's team, a group often more hawkish than Obama has seemed. It includes current Defense Secretary Robert Gates. With close ties to the Bush family, the man in charge of prosecuting the war, now will help end it.

OBAMA: I believe that 16 months is the right timeframe. But, as I have said consistently, I will listen to the recommendations of my commanders.

CROWLEY: Retired Marine General Jim Jones, whose position as national security adviser will put him inside the West Wing of the White House, closest to the ear of the president. Jones, a man who once said timetables for withdrawal from Iraq are not in the U.S. interest. Also nominated: Eric Holder, a top Justice Department official in the Clinton years who, if confirmed, would be the first African-American attorney general. Susan Rice, another Clinton administration official who signed up with the Obama campaign, now nominated to be the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Governor and former U.S. attorney in Arizona Janet Napolitano to head Homeland Security. She is the only one of the six who is not from the Washington or military establishment. They are old hands to advise a young president, who not so long ago railed against the ways of Washington

OBAMA: I will be responsible for the vision that this team carries out and I expect them to implement.



GERSHON: Time for the Shoutout! Which of these words describes a significant decline in economic activity? Is it: A) Bull market, B) Inflation, C) Recession or D) Stagnation? You've got three seconds -- GO! A significant decline in economic activity indicates a recession. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

It's Official

AZUZ: It's official: We're in one! The National Bureau of Economic Research, the only group that has the power to declare that the country is in a recession, just did! It says this one started in December of last year. But the big question on a lot of people's minds is: When will it end?

ALI VELSHI, CNN SR. BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: The key to remember is that the U.S. economy is heavily dependent on what we spend as individuals, unlike some other economies, where government spending, maybe, is more important. So, in the United States, unless there is some sense that individuals will be spending more at some point in the future, we don't know when we'll get out of this recession. So, we've been in it for about a year; most global recessions have lasted 16 to 18 months. Does that mean that we're closer to the end than the beginning? Those are, sort of, all mysteries that remain to be solved.

Holidays on a Budget

AZUZ: Well, even though sales were up on Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, Americans are expected to spend less overall this holiday season. Maybe as much as 30 percent less than last year, according to one poll. Brianna Keilar explores buying on a budget.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN REPORTER: This year, lavish gift-giving is out; staying on budget is in.

SHOPPER: This is actually my first year putting something on layaway.

KEILAR: The practice of paying for a purchase in installments and leaving the store with it only when it's paid in full is making a return.

ELLEN DAVIS, VP, NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION: Layaway, this year, is back. Many retailers who are still offering layaway have been promoting it more this year for people who don't want access to credit or don't want to buy on credit.

KEILAR: This Kmart in Hyattsville, Maryland has exceeded its layaway goal for the quarter. Nationally, Sears is offering layaway for the first time since 1989. Online savings are luring shoppers.

MAN ON THE STREET: Online is better because you don't have to pay sales tax.

KEILAR: And shipping is often free. Still, that's not enough for some budget-conscious consumers trolling for deals on the Internet and in stores, but coming up empty.

MAN ON THE STREET: I was expecting that the prices would drop down a lot more.

MAN ON THE STREET: The sales are not as great as what I thought they should be.

KEILAR: That has many Americans rethinking the gifts they give. Instead of money, more people are spending time and effort.

CRAFT MAKER: So, it gives it a kind of an antiquey kind of look.

KEILAR: In a survey conducted by Michael's, the arts and crafts retail giant, 58 percent of respondents said they're more likely to make their own holiday gifts compared to last year.

MAN ON THE STREET: It saves money and it's something you can save, pass down through the family.

MAN ON THE STREET: Probably I would do some Christmas cookies for my neighbors.

KEILAR: Make sure you don't get in over your head. If you're not an experienced do-it-yourselfer, stick with simple baking projects like cookies or basic handicrafts, like scarves or maybe some homemade earrings. The point is to be thoughtful, not to overwhelm yourself or give your loved one something they'll wear grudgingly. Brianna Keilar, CNN, Washington.


Before We Go

AZUZ: And finally, how do you get across a gigantic gorge? Well, most people would probably just walk across that bridge there to the left. But not Eric Scott. He has much loftier goals, and a jet pack! Awesome! Before you think about trying this though, consider this: He's flying 1,100 feet above the ground, with no parachute and only 33 seconds of fuel! Luckily, especially for Scott, the trip takes only about 21 seconds.



AZUZ: We heard the view was "gorge-us". Sorry y'all. We'll see ya tomorrow.

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