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CNN Student News Transcript: August 26, 2009

  • Story Highlights
  • Review Ben Bernanke's first term as chairman of the Federal Reserve
  • Find out why August 26th marks a milestone in a fight for equality
  • Meet an ex-drag racer whose charity is inspired by his former career
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(CNN Student News) -- August 26, 2009

Quick Guide

Federal Reserve Chairman - Review Ben Bernanke's first term as chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Women's Equality Day - Find out why August 26th marks a milestone in a fight for equality.

Donating Dragster - Meet an ex-drag racer whose charity is inspired by his former career.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Today marks a major milestone in the fight for equal rights. The reason why is coming up in this edition of CNN Student News. Hi everyone, I'm Carl Azuz.

First Up: H1N1

AZUZ: First up, flu season is just around the corner, and officials are preparing for the return of one specific virus: H1N1, what's also know as swine flu. You probably remember this from back in the spring, when the virus spread around the world and was declared a global pandemic. It claimed more than 1,400 lives. A new report is looking at the potential impact of the virus this fall and predicts that it could cause between 30,000 and 90,000 deaths in the U.S.

Now, there are a couple points to keep in mind here. First, those numbers are based on a variety of factors. Second, the report says that the exact impact of H1N1 is impossible to predict. And third, about 40,000 deaths are connected to the regular flu each year. The government is working on an H1N1 vaccine that should be ready by mid-October. And there are some simple things that you can do to help prevent it from spreading, like washing your hands regularly, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and staying home from school if you're sick.

South Korea Launch

AZUZ: Alright, from here to South Korea, where the country's space program has suffered kind of a setback. After years of delays, Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1, the nation's first space rocket, lifted off yesterday, carrying a satellite that was supposed to be put in orbit. Only problem: The satellite didn't separate from the rocket when it was supposed to. It ended up overshooting the planned orbit by about 36 miles. Yesterday evening, Korean experts and Russian scientists, who provided the technology for the launch, were working to figure out what went wrong.

Downloadable Maps

I.D. Me

GEORGE RAMSAY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: See if you can I.D. Me! I'm a U.S. government organization that was created in 1913. I was established to help make America's financial system more stable. I'm the country's central bank. I'm the Federal Reserve, or Fed, and I'm in charge of the nation's monetary policies.

Federal Reserve Chairman

AZUZ: The man in charge of the Fed is Ben Bernanke. As the Federal Reserve chairman, Barnanke's played a big role in the government's response to the economic crisis, and how he responded is part of the reason why President Obama says he'll nominate Bernanke for a second term as fed chairman. Jim Boulden checks out the report card on Bernanke's first term.


BEN BERNANKE, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: It's been a particular privilege for me to serve with the extraordinary colleagues throughout the Federal Reserve system.

JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Tuesday's announcement may have come in the midst of summer vacation, but Ben Bernanke's time as Federal Reserve chief has been no picnic.

BERNANKE: I, Ben F. Bernanke...

BOULDEN: Firstly, he had to follow in the footsteps of a legend in 2006, at a time when Alan Greenspan was credited with an unprecedented boom in the U.S. economy. Then Bernanke was tasked with having to clean up the mess of an economic crisis. In 2007, critics pounced when Bernanke made this statement after the American mortgage market started to falter:

BERNANKE: We do not expect significant spillovers from the sub-prime market to the rest of the economy or the financial system.

BOULDEN: In fact, the spillover was the worst since the Great Depression. Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, AIG, General Motors: the U.S. economic landscape changed forever. So, how does financial analyst Todd Benjamin rate Bernanke's first term?

BOULDEN: Think of an old American report card, where A is very good and E is failure. Where would you place Bernanke for the first three years?

TODD BENJAMIN, FINANCIAL ANALYST: Well look, I think if you were dealing early on in his term, you'd probably give him let's say a D, alright? But early on, because he didn't realize the severity of the sub-prime crisis. But you know, the job he is doing now, you've got to give him probably a B+, and probably an A- or maybe even an A, because he took the economy from the brink. It's getting back on track.

The big challenge for Ben Bernanke going forward, I'm not saying in the next six months, maybe not even in the next year, but in the next four years, is going to be his exit strategy. How does he reign in all this liquidity that they've got out there? Because there is oceans of it.

BOULDEN: Critics often say that the Fed was too interventionist, that the political aims of the White House influenced the Fed. But to anyone who might have wanted Bernanke replaced, supporters say what would have been the alternative? Jim Boulden, CNN, London.



TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout. Which U.S. constitutional amendment guarantees women the right to vote? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it the: A) 18th Amendment, B) 19th Amendment, C) 20th Amendment or D) 21st Amendment? You've got three seconds -- GO! Women's suffrage, or the right to vote, is guaranteed by the 19th Amendment. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Women's Equality Day

AZUZ: It takes a lot of people to turn an idea like women's suffrage into an amendment. The House, the Senate and three-fourths of the states all have to pass the Bill. But it also takes a lot of effort, not just by lawmakers, but by the rest of us. When it comes to equality, the end result amends the way we live.


AZUZ: During an election, it'd be bizarre to drive by a public polling station and see only men lined up to vote. But until 1920, men were the only people allowed to vote! Extending that right to women was once considered a "radical change" to the U.S. Constitution, so it took decades of marches, protests, parades and vigils until women achieved that change.

That is why today is recognized as Women's Equality Day, commemorating women's struggles to get the vote and their overall fight for equality in America. Why August 26th? Because that's the day ratification of the 19th Amendment was certified in 1920.

Section one: "The right of the citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." Sounds simple, but for those who fought for it, it was a milestone.


Donating Dragster

AZUZ: Shifting gears now to the world of drag racing, where cars can go from zero to 100 miles per hour in less than one second! It was in that same amount of time that a devastating crash changed Darrell Gwynn from the king of the road to a former dragster driver. But as John Zarrella explains, Gwynn still takes inspiration from his life's work on wheels.


JOHN ZARELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The walls are covered in a montage of racing memories.

DARRELL GWYNN, FORMER DRAG RACING CHAMPION: This is the race everybody dreams of winning.

ZARELLA: Twenty years ago, Darrell Gywnn was a rock star in the world of drag racing. If you knew anything about the sport, you knew Darrell Gwynn.

GWYNN: This is probably one of my most memorable wins. It was my last win: the 1990 Gator Nationals.

ZARELLA: His last because that same month, Gywnn's dragster came apart in a ball of flames during an exhibition in England. He lost his left arm and was paralyzed.

GWYNN: The worst thing that kind of haunts me today is just the fact that I can relive every single second, moment.

ZARELLA: But Gwynn won't allow those memories to consume his life. Today, wheels do.

GWYNN: That's a natural, you know? My whole career has been about wheels.

ZARELLA: Wheels that he gives to others.

GWYNN: Do you like your chair?

ZARELLA: Chad Russell is severely handicapped. His old wheelchair constantly broke and didn't fit him right. Insurance wouldn't cover an upgrade. At the Daytona Speedway, Chad received his new, custom power chair courtesy of the Darrell Gywnn Foundation.

GWYNN: This feels like we've won the race today.

TINA RUSSELL, CHAD RUSSELL'S MOTHER: It's gonna make a huge, huge difference in his life, be able to make him a lot more independent.

ZARELLA: Over the past seven years since it began, Gwynn's foundation has donated to children and young adults in need more than sixty custom wheelchairs.

GWYNN: We felt with our niche in the sport and the people we knew, we could start helping those people.

ZARELLA: Many of auto racing's top drivers help raise money for Gwynn's foundation, which has brought in more than three and a half million dollars. For Gwynn, the victories don't come anymore in four and a half seconds at 290 miles an hour. Today, victories are recorded in smiles. John Zarrella, CNN, Davie, Florida.


Before We Go

AZUZ: Excellent story. Before we let you go today, any of you who drive to school know it can be really tough sometimes finding a parking space. So why not let the lot do it for you? That is the plan behind this parking garage in Portland, Oregon. No one has to search for a spot. You just pull in and let the robo-parking attendant go to work. It uses lifts to stack the cars on three different levels, so 30 cars can park in what would normally be a 10-car garage.



AZUZ: Sounds like a wheel space saver. Man, that was painful. I don't feel as bad for you when I make a pun like that, as I do for your teachers. Because you guys hear it once and groan, and your teachers have to hear it like four times a day. So, sorry. We'll see ya tomorrow on CNN Student News. I'm Carl Azuz.

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