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CNN Student News Transcript: February 26, 2009

  • Story Highlights
  • Check out some global reaction to President Obama's address to Congress
  • Learn why a stress test is being administered to some major U.S. banks
  • Consider how the return of its biggest star could impact the golf world
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(CNN Student News) -- February 26, 2009

Quick Guide

The World Reacts - Check out some global reaction to President Obama's address to Congress.

Nationalizing Banks? - Learn why a stress test is being administered to some major U.S. banks.

Tiger Returns - Consider how the return of its biggest star could impact the golf world.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: The sports world is buzzing about the re-emergence of Eldrick. If you're not sure who we're talking about, you'll find out in today's edition of CNN Student News!

First Up: The World Reacts

AZUZ: First up, reaction from around the world to President Obama's address to Congress. Well over 30 million people tuned in to watch Tuesday night's speech, and that was just here in the U.S. But the president's words reverberated overseas. Especially when he spoke about countries where U.S. troops are serving, like Iraq and Afghanistan, and nations that could be impacted by American policies, like Pakistan and Israel. Some of our correspondents wrap up the global response.


ARWA DAMON, CNN IRAQ CORRESPONDENT: President Obama promising to end the Iraq War "responsibly," and that is the word that is key. No one wants to see a premature U.S. troop withdrawal that would result in the loss of the current security gains. No one, not America, not the Iraqis themselves, are going to want to see a rush to pull U.S. troops out of here.

ATIA ABAWI, CNN AFGHANISTAN CORRESPONDENT: There hasn't been much of a reaction from Afghanistan just yet on President Obama's speech because many Afghans weren't able to watch it. Those who have televisions will see clips in their evening newscasts. President Obama has promised 17,000 additional troops into the country in 2009. Afghans are very skeptical of this decision, saying that it willl lead to more civilian casualties. 2008 was the deadliest year in the War on Terror in Afghanistan, and 2009 is expected to be much worse.

STAN GRANT, CNN PAKISTAN CORRESPONDENT: Any call by the United States for Pakistan to work more closely with it on cracking down on terrorist organizations is going to be met with skepticism, if not hostility, on the streets here. There is a very strong anti-American sentiment in Pakistan. Many blame U.S. foreign policy for the problems that they face here, particularly this rising tide of militancy. The Pakistan government is saying that force alone will not defeat militant organizations like the Taliban and al Qaeda. They are saying that you need more engagement, more dialogue. That's why we've seen this deal cut in Swat Valley, about 100 miles from here, to allow Sharia law in return for a Taliban cease-fire. So, a rising tide of anti-Americanism, a militant threat, and a Pakistan government running out of options to deal with it makes President Obama's objectives here very difficult indeed.

Downloadable Maps

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN MIDDLE EAST CORRESPONDENT: President Obama made only passing reference to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, saying that his administration had appointed a new envoy, Senator George Mitchell, to try to work towards peace between Israel and its neighbors. There is a realization in the Middle East that, given the size of the American, indeed the global, international economic crisis, that resolving this hundred-year-old conflict may not be a top priority of the new administration.


Word to the Wise


nationalization (noun) government ownership or control of something, like a business or industry

Nationalizing Banks?

AZUZ: The leader of the country's central bank says he doesn't want to nationalize the U.S. banking industry. But many financial institutions are being hit hard by the current recession, and that affects their ability to offer loans to individuals and businesses. As Allan Chernoff explains, the government is planning to give some of the country's biggest banks a test to see if they need government help, and possibly government control.


ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: The nation's chief banker, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, says he does not intend to simply take control of troubled banks.

BEN BERNANKE, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: I don't see any reason to destroy the franchise value, or to create a huge legal uncertainties of trying to formally nationalize a bank when it just isn't necessary.

CHERNOFF: The nation's 19 biggest banks, those with assets over $100 billion, are going to get a financial stress test to see if they can withstand a deep and severe recession.

BERNANKE: The outcome of this test is not going to be say, you passed, you failed. That's not going to be the outcome. The outcome is going to be, here is how much capital this institution needs.

CHERNOFF: Any major bank that appears vulnerable, Bernanke says, will be able to get additional financing from the U.S. Treasury. In return, the government will receive preferred stock.

LARRY WHITE, PROFESSOR, NYU STERN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: It's going to take government money. There's no avoiding that. I wish it were so, that we could avoid it. We can't, and so it just has to happen.

CHERNOFF: Washington has already invested $50 billion into Citigroup, and is considering converting its shares into common stock, which would make the U.S. government by far the biggest stakeholder in Citi. Some analysts argue that is de-facto nationalization, which could mean Uncle Sam decides who gets a loan.

BRIAN GARDNER, KEEFE, BRUYETTE & WOODS: I think those implications are political influence over the bank's decisions, and I think it makes it tough for the bank to operate in a normal environment.



RAMSAY: Time for the Shoutout! What do Chi Chi Rodriguez, Fuzzy Zoeller and Stewart Cink have in common? If you think you know it, shout it out! Are they all: A) Golfers, B) Singers, C) Politicians or D) Bankers? You've got three seconds -- GO! The link between these three is the links! They're all golfers. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Tiger Returns

AZUZ: Alright, we mentioned "Eldrick" at the top of today's show. This week, the golf world is welcoming back its biggest star: Eldrick "Tiger" Woods. He's been out since last June, when he had surgery on his knee. But here's just one indication of just how dominant Woods is: He maintained his number one ranking during the past eight months, even though he didn't play in a single tournament! As Patrick Snell reports, Woods is back on the course and bringing attention back to the sport.


PATRICK SNELL, CNN REPORTER: Eight months on from playing through the pain to win the U.S. Open at San Diego, Tiger Woods is back, and he says he's feeling better than ever. You can be sure he's not just here for the practice. He'll be going all out to trying to win this event for the fourth time, and it's clear he's missed the game of golf as much as it's missed him.

TIGER WOODS, 14 CAREER MAJORS: I missed that rush of playing and competing, I really do. Getting on that first tee and feeling it, I missed that. As much as you can have money games at home with the guys, it's not the same. This is what I do for a living, and this is what I've always wanted to do my entire life. Not being able to do it at the highest level, you know, it was frustrating at times.

PHIL MICKELSON, PGA GOLFER: I came here on a Tuesday practice round, and as I'm walking onto the range I've never seen so many cameras and photographers and so forth, especially that early in the morning, you know, waiting for Tiger to get there. And so, it's amazing to me what he has done for our sport. And for us to have the most recognizable athlete in the world playing our sport is so fortunate for all of us, and we've all been able to benefit from it, and to have him back is awesome.

SNELL: The one good thing from being out of action for so long is the extra time it's given Tiger to spend with his young family, and that's something he truly appreciates.

WOODS: It was a blessing in disguise to have an opportunity to see Sam grow that fast and that much. As players, you travel so much I would have missed a lot of that, so I was very lucky there.

SNELL: Even the best can suffer from nerves, with Woods admitting the day he doesn't feel any is the day he quits. Patrick Snell, CNN, Marana, Arizona.


Blog Report

AZUZ: So, what's on your mind? That's the latest topic on our blog at, and Justice said, "The remains of Geronimo should never had been touched. He's a hero to Native Americans." Shayne wrote, "I would really love to go to a good college, but because of the costs, there is no way I will be able to afford it." Alexis echoed that, writing, "School is becoming less affordable and thus robbing Americans of their right to learn." Juny mentioned the president's speech, saying, "I think Obama's stimulus package will have a good impact on the overall American economy." But Joshua wrote, "The fact that some kids are siding with the plan is absurd. Do they not realize he's sending our generation into debt?" Lea wondered, "Who came up with the idea of the pancake races that you saw in yesterday's show?" Fiona called sweater vests "ugly" and wondered who would wear one of those. I can't imagine. And Kaylee says what's on her mind is why none of her comments are on the show. Well, Kaylee, here you go!

Before We Go

AZUZ: Before we go, looks like you can teach an old dog new tricks, like how to ride a bike! Apparently, someone recorded this pedaling pooch for a Japanese TV show. But he became an online sensation when the video hit YouTube. We don't even need a joke here; this is just really cool to watch! Of course, he doesn't have to balance the bike -- note the training wheels -- but he's doing the rest of the work on his own.



AZUZ: Which is pretty doggone impressive. That's where we ride off into the sunset. You guys have a great day.

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