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CNN Student News Transcript: June 3, 2009

  • Story Highlights
  • Examine the anticipation surrounding President Obama's Middle East trip
  • Get some perspective on China's investment in the U.S. government's debt
  • Follow the trail of a California restaurant that's always on the move
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(CNN Student News) -- June 3, 2009

Quick Guide

Middle East Trip - Examine the anticipation surrounding President Obama's Middle East trip.

Buying U.S. Debt - Get some perspective on China's investment in the U.S. government's debt.

Twitter Taco Truck - Follow the trail of a California restaurant that's always on the move.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Today's edition of CNN Student News brings you a business model based on hide and go seek. Welcome to the show, I'm Carl Azuz.

First Up: Debris Found

AZUZ: We begin with an update on the Air France flight that disappeared Monday morning. Yesterday, planes spotted debris in the Atlantic Ocean that a Brazilian official says is wreckage from that plane. The debris, which includes an airplane seat, an orange float and an oil spill, was spotted about 400 miles northeast of a group of islands off the coast of Brazil. The site is near the missing plane's flight path. Officials say no survivors have been found.

Middle East Trip

AZUZ: Turning to the Middle East, as President Obama visits the region this week in an effort to improve the relationship between America and the Muslim world. In a recent CNN poll, 21 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Muslim countries. But more than twice that number, 46 percent, have an unfavorable view. Candy Crowley gives us a preview of the president's trip.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: If you listen on the streets of the Palestinian city of Ramallah, you understand the enormity of expectations.

PERSON ON THE STREET #1: Everything in life needs to change between America and the United States and the Middle East, especially between Arabs and Muslims.

CROWLEY: President Obama's speech in Cairo Thursday is another in a series of efforts to do just that: reset the U.S. relationship with Arabs and Muslims.

HISHAM MELHEM, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, AL ARABIYA: Definitely, he is creating a more conducive environment in the Arab and the Muslim world for a different beginning, for a different page. And I think that is why millions of Arabs and Muslims are going to watch every word he utters in Cairo on Thursday.

CROWLEY: They wait to hear President Obama's words on their most important, most intractable problem: the Arab-Israeli conflict.

PERSON ON THE STREET #2: He needs to deliver a message of reassurance of that he means peace in the Middle East, fair and balanced peace between us and the Israelis.

CROWLEY: It is not just about Ramallah, it is key to the entire region. This from the heart of Baghdad:

PERSON ON THE STREET #3: His speech is for bringing the Palestinians and the Israelis together. We wish that he will be fair with the Palestinian people.

CROWLEY: Experts think in his speech the President will in some way affirm the U.S.-Israeli relationship, but continue to pressure Israel to stop all construction in West Bank settlements. They do not believe he will ignore, however, the Arab side of the peace equation:

STEVEN COOK, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: The president, as is his will, is likely to hold the mirror up to the Arab and Muslim world as well, and suggest to them that incitement, the kinds of things, not recognizing Israel's legitimate right to exist in the Middle East.

CROWLEY: Better relationships could mean a more stable oil supply for the U.S. and maybe diplomatic backup while dealing with Iran. But far more than that...

MELHEM: The radicals, the anti-American groups are using the festering, long-festering Arab-Israeli conflict to mobilize support and to whip up anger and resentment against the United States.



MICHELLE WRIGHT, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Mr. de Hart's freshman studies classes at the Las Vegas Academy in Las Vegas, Nevada. Which of these U.S. presidents established direct relations with China? Was it: A) John Kennedy, B) Gerald Ford, C) Richard Nixon or D) Jimmy Carter? You've got three seconds -- GO! President Nixon established direct relations during his 1972 trip to the Communist country. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Buying U.S. Debt

AZUZ: Part of establishing direct relations: trade. China is one of America's most important trading partners, but the Asian country has another big stake in the U.S. economy. America is in debt. And in order to keep its economy running, it has to offer what are called treasuries. And China has bought a lot of them. Eunice Yoon puts the numbers in perspective.


EUNICE YOON, CNN ASIA BUSINESS EDITOR, HONG KONG: There's been a lot of discussion these days about the tight financial relationship between China and the United States. Well, at this rice shop in Hong Kong, I thought I would take the opportunity to explain to you exactly what's at stake in this relationship.

This jar represents the amount of debt, or Treasuries, the U.S. had to issue in 2006 in order to finance its budget deficit. This rice represents China's money. One grain is the equivalent of $5 million U.S. So, in 2006, the Chinese lent the United States about this much, half.

So, let's talk now about 2008. The U.S. had to issue a lot more Treasuries to finance its ballooning budget deficit. China bought about this much. So, China bought three times more. It's a smaller percentage of the overall whole, but take a look at how much more debt the U.S. has. That's why the U.S. government is looking for buyers wherever they can find them, and China has a whole lot of cash.

So, why would China need to buy U.S. debt? Well, China has a lot of U.S. dollars from all its exports, and it needs a safe place to park those dollars and watch them grow. It's within China's interest to keep feeding the U.S. economy and help it grow so that Americans can be happy and well-fed and buy more Chinese goods.


Money Word

WRIGHT: Here's the deal: Today's Money Word is demand. It's the desire people have to purchase something. Higher demand will usually result in a higher price. Put that in your word bank!

Twitter Taco Truck

AZUZ: A California eating establishment is using the Internet to drive up demand for its product. The restaurant refuses to stay in one place, and you have to go online to find the food. Might sound like a strange strategy. But as Ted Rowlands tells us, business is booming.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT, LOS ANGELES: The latest L.A. "must have" that has people scrambling to find and waiting hours to buy is a $2 taco sold from a difficult-to-find food truck called Kogi. The tacos, and other specialties, are the creation of chef Roy Choi, who along with two business partners started Kogi last November. The food is a mix of Korean and Mexican cuisine, which is a hit with both food snobs and late night partiers.

But it's not just the food, there's also the chase. There are two Kogi trucks: One is named Verde, the other Rojo. Finding either requires some work. Locations are posted online and updated on Twitter. Changes are frequent. The night we followed chef Roy, plans to go to Orange County were scrapped at the last minute because they couldn't get a permit.

ROY CHOI, KOGI CHEF: We sent out our Twitter, and we're going to go right to the county line with L.A. County, and we're going to sell our food.

ROWLANDS: When the truck arrived, a line was waiting. Kogi is so popular that most nights the trucks run out of food. Kogi YouTube videos show how long the lines can get. They also show what lengths some go to to find a Kogi truck.


ROWLANDS: There's even a rap song about Kogi. Kogi fans run the gamut, from the professional lunch crowd to "Lord Of The Rings" Star Elijah Wood, who recently hired the truck for his birthday.

CAROLINE SHIN-MANGUERA, KOGI CO-FOUNDER: It doesn't make any sense whatsoever. We make our people wait in line for two hours, and we make them wait in the rain, and we don't give them chairs to sit on. We don't take reservations, we're late half the time. But we must be doing something right.

ROWLANDS: Kogi is doing so well they've added two new trucks for the streets of Los Angeles, and they say they are thinking of expanding to New York. Ted Rowlands, CNN, Los Angeles.


Before We Go

AZUZ: CNN Student Views is a new segment where we get your take on a variety of subjects. Today's thousand dollar question: What would you do if you won a thousand dollars? We asked some students from Piney Grove Middle School in Cumming, Georgia when they came for a tour inside CNN studios. Here's what they had to say.


PAUL MORRIS, PINEY GROVE MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT: If I won a thousand dollars today, I would probably put it in the bank and save it for college.


TJ LOWE, PINEY GROVE MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT: Save it for college and to buy a car.

OSLVALDO DELGADILLO, PINEY GROVE MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT: I would save it up and buy a car for high school.

CHARLES GARCIA, PINEY GROVE MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT: Donate half the money to a charity and keep the half to myself.


ZAIN KHAN, PINEY GROVE MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT: Save it for my ambition to be a doctor, or give it to charity about across seas.

CHARIS TAYLOR, PINEY GROVE MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT: I would save it up to help pay bills because in this economy it's hard to get money like that.

YVENARDE SEMEXAN, PINEY GROVE MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT: I would spend some of that money to help my book get published that I'm writing.

BETH HANLEY, PINEY GROVE MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT: Probably save some if it just to make my parents happy.




AZUZ: You can tell us on our blog what you woul ddo with a thousand bucks. Meanwhile, watch for more CNN Student Views in the fall. CNN Student News returns tomorrow.

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