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CNN Student News Transcript: May 28, 2009

  • Story Highlights
  • Explore the current tension in the Korean peninsula's demilitarized zone
  • Watch as a Navy warship embarks on a new career as an artificial coral reef
  • Find out how a scholarship program promotes diversity on college campuses
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(CNN Student News) -- May 28, 2009

Quick Guide

North South Border - Explore the current tension in the Korean peninsula's demilitarized zone.

Sinking a Ship - Watch as a Navy warship embarks on a new career as an artificial coral reef.

Posse of Scholars - Find out how a scholarship program promotes diversity on college campuses.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: How does a scholarship program promote diversity at universities? We're heading to campus in today's broadcast of CNN Student News! I'm Carl Azuz.

First Up: Pakistan Explosion

AZUZ: First up though, we begin in Pakistan, where three suspects are in custody after a suicide blast rocked the city of Lahore. At least 21 people were killed and more than 250 others were injured in the explosion, which took place yesterday morning in Pakistan's second-largest city. Police arrested two of the suspects immediately after the bombing. The attack struck one of Lahore's busiest areas. It destroyed a police building and damaged several other structures, including a nearby hospital. No group immediately claimed responsibility, but suspicion is pointing toward Islamic militants who have vowed revenge for Pakistan's military action against them in the country's northwestern region.

Spoken Word

U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON: North Korea has made a choice. It has chosen to violate the specific language of the U.N. Security Council resolution 1718. It has ignored the international community, it has abrogated the obligations it entered into through the six-party talks, and it continues to act in a provocative and belligerent manner toward its neighbors.

North South Border

AZUZ: Secretary Clinton, talking about North Korea's recent nuclear test and the five short-range missiles the country fired this week. Clinton says those actions have consequences, and the U.N. is considering how to respond. For its part, North Korea is threatening military action against South Korea after that nation joined an effort to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction. The tension is raising reminders of a past conflict.

After World War II, Korea was divided. While the Northern half wanted to re-unify, the South did not. The communist North invaded the South in June of 1950, starting the Korean war. Millions of lives were lost in the fighting. But in 1953, the conflict ended, and the Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ, was established. It splits the Korean peninsula in half and functions as a sort of buffer between North and South. Pauline Chiou reports on the current tension in the region.


PAULINE CHIOU, CNN CORRESPONDENT, SEOUL: I'm Pauline Chiou at the DMZ, the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. It may seem calm and serene, but it's the most heavily fortified border in the world. I want to show you a couple of landmarks. Behind me is the southern boundary fence, which runs the length of the DMZ, which is 248 kilometers long and four kilometers wide.

In the distance, you can see the North Korean flag; that's where the North Korean Propaganda Village sits. It's still unclear if anyone actually lives there; it was built for show several years ago.

Over my right shoulder is the Kaesong industrial complex. This is a joint venture between North and South Korea to make goods to sell. 38,000 North Koreans work here. 2,000 South Koreans, mostly factory mangers, also work there. It was considered a symbol of cooperation when this started back in 2003, but since then it has become a symbol of tension, especially this week after the events that started on Monday with North Korea undertaking its nuclear test and then following up with several short-range missile launches.

This is a story we've seen over and over again, where North Korea appears to be opening up to the rest of the world, saying, "Yes, we will dismantle our nuclear weapons program in exchange for economic aid and food aid," and then talks unravel and North Korea pulls back. Tensions are especially high this week after South Korea said that it wanted to become a full member of the Proliferation Security Initiative. This is an initiative aimed at stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

As we are standing here, we have seen vehicles going back and forth along the western corridor, which is one of two roads in the DMZ. This corridor goes from South Korea into the Kaesong industrial complex. Trucks go in with materials; they come out with finished products. So, as of now it seems that it is business as usual on the surface. In the DMZ, Pauline Chiou, CNN.



GEORGE RAMSAY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Mr. Beishir's classes at Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, Illinois. Which of these cities is closest to the world's largest artificial coral reef? Is it: A) Brisbane, Australia, B) Key West, Florida, C) Acapulco, Mexico or D) Pensacola, Florida? You've got three seconds -- GO! The world's largest artificial coral reef sits about 24 miles off the coast of Pensacola. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Sinking a Ship

AZUZ: Artificial, because it's made out of the U.S.S. Oriskany, a retired aircraft carrier that was intentionally sunk three years ago to make the reef. It probably looked something like this. Not an instant replay, more like deja vu. This is the U.S.N.S. Vandenburg, a retired warship that's embarking on a new career near Key West, Florida as the world's second largest artificial coral reef. Officials said it only took about two minutes for the 17,000-ton ship to slip beneath the surface. One benefit of these artificial reefs is that they attract divers and fishermen away from natural ones, which helps maintain a variety of marine species.

Posse of Scholars

AZUZ: Diving into our next story now, which is all about the transition from high school to college, a shift some of you are getting ready to make this fall. It can be a difficult move for anyone, meeting new people -- experiencing new situations -- but one scholarship program is built around that idea. Brooke Baldwin explains the details.


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jasmine Verreen: actress, star student, class of '09 high school senior. Jasmine is graduating from Atlanta's Dekalb School of the Arts before heading to Wooster College come fall.

You had never heard of Wooster College?


BALDWIN: If she didn't know before, Jasmine definitely knows now. Wooster is a predominantly white school in a small Ohio town. Quite a change of scenery from this diverse public school. But Jasmine says that is precisely the point.

VERREEN: I want to embrace their culture, who they are, just as much as I want them to embrace me.

BALDWIN: Jasmine won't be going alone. She will have her "posse" by her side.


JULIAN REYNARD, POSSE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT: Julian Reynard, the College of Wooster.

JESSICA PRINGLE, POSSE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT: Jessica Pringle, the College of Wooster.

BALDWIN: These 11 students are "Posse scholars," nominated and then selected to be part of the Posse Foundation, a leadership and diversity program created by education expert Deborah Bial in 1989.

DEBORAH BIAL, POSSE FOUNDATION: There was a student who said he never would've dropped out of college if he had his posse with him.

BALDWIN: Last week, Posse celebrated its 20th anniversary in Manhattan.


BALDWIN: The purpose of Posse, according to Bial, is to identify public high school students from six cities with extraordinary leadership and academic potential, and then send them to college with supportive, multicultural teams, or "posses."

BIAL: Our top institutions of higher education still have much too much homogeneous student body. Posse is helping them to diversify their student body, but also to get young people into their environments who are really dynamic leaders.

BALDWIN: Over the last 20 years, Posse partner colleges have awarded 2,650 scholars more than $265 million in four-year, full-tuition scholarships. The students' graduation rate: 90%. Alumna Tiffany Schiffner says Posse not only taught her leadership skills and self-confidence...

TIFFANY SCHIFFNER, POSSE ALUMNUS: It also taught us a lot about being sensitive and aware to diversity and multicultural issues; just really embraces the notion of support.

BALDWIN: This high school senior already feels that support from every one of her Posse peers. But before she can think about college, Jasmine's focus right now: graduation.

You'll be a big high school grad.

VERREEN: Yes, I will be.

BALDWIN: Moving on to big Wooster College!

VERREEN: I don't know about big, but it is big in the step I'm taking.

BALDWIN: A big step toward a promising future. Brooke Baldwin, CNN, Atlanta.


Before We Go

AZUZ: Before we go, a contest that's guaranteed to bring out some real animals: the Hawaii Weiner dog derby. Hot dog! The fur really flies at this canine competition, although some of the contestants don't seem to quite get the "race" part of it. Dude, the finish line's the other way! The next heat was a different tail. Now, the ones you're about to see knew what they were doing and while one certainly had a leg up on the competition...



AZUZ: ...In this race, everyone's a weiner. Doggone it, we're out of time. See you tomorrow.

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