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CNN Student News Transcript: August 27, 2009

  • Story Highlights
  • Look back at the life and legacy of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy
  • Hear how reconstruction is giving a boost to New Orleans' economy
  • Check out a new technology that aims to keep football players safer
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(CNN Student News) -- August 27, 2009

Quick Guide

Sen. Edward Kennedy - Look back at the life and legacy of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.

New Orleans Economy - Hear how reconstruction is giving a boost to New Orleans' economy.

High-Tech Helmet - Check out a new technology that aims to keep football players safer.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Crescent City construction, high-tech helmets, and a campsite crasher. They're all coming up on CNN Student News. But first, a political giant passes on.

First Up: Sen. Edward Kennedy

AZUZ: Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy, who was diagnosed with brain cancer 15 months ago, died Tuesday night at the age of 77. Kennedy was known as the "Lion of the Senate," and during his decades of service, he put together a long resume of accomplishments. The Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act: Kennedy played a major role in all of them. Sandra Endo looks back at his life and legacy.


SANDRA ENDO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Not many little brothers turn into father figures for powerful families. But Edward "Ted" Kennedy was not the typical youngest of nine children. He was only 31 when his big brother, President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated. But he was already a year into his first term as a U.S. Senator. He eventually became one of only six Senators to serve more than 40 years. Kennedy was lionized by many Democrats, who saw him as the champion of their ideals.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The reason that he has accomplished more than any of the others who are there, the reason that he has been able to help deliver voting rights and immigration rights and helped people who are vulnerable, is because he fights.

ENDO: He was equally demonized by many conservatives. But despite his predominantly liberal voting record, Kennedy often reached out to Republicans to compromise. Even four decades in, Kennedy's passion and powers of persuasion impressed ideological opposites.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: He remains the single most effective member of the Senate.

ENDO: For many years, however, it seemed as though Kennedy's allegedly wild conduct would overshadow any legislative accomplishments. In 1969, he drove off a bridge, and a young female aide named Mary Jo Kopechne drowned. Kennedy received a suspended sentence for leaving the scene of an accident.

SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY: I regard as indefensible the fact that I did not report the accident to the police immediately.

ENDO: In 1980, Kennedy took on a vulnerable President Jimmy Carter for the Democratic nomination. He lost and focused his energies on the Senate for the next three decades. Kennedy suffered a seizure at his family's Cape Cod compound in may of 2008. An MRI revealed it was caused by the brain tumor that eventually killed him. I'm Sandra Endo, reporting from Washington.


AZUZ: Reaction to Senator Kennedy's death has come in from around the globe. Here in the U.S. President Obama talked about the impact of Kennedy's personality on his political career.

OBAMA: The seriousness of purpose was perpetually matched by humility, warmth and good cheer. He could passionately battle others and do so peerlessly on the Senate floor for the causes that he held dear, and yet still maintain warm friendships across party lines. And that's one reason he became not only one of the greatest Senators of our time, but one of the most accomplished Americans ever to serve our democracy.

Money Word

TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Here's the deal: Today's Money Word is mortgage. It's a form of debt in which someone owns a property but pays off the entire price of it, plus interest, over time. Put that in your word bank!

New Home Sales

AZUZ: One expert says lower mortgage rates, the amount of interest that homeowners pay, is one of the factors that led to a surprising jump in new home sales. In fact, the number of newly-built houses sold in July was the highest since last September. And it's not the only good news for the housing market. Sales of existing homes, houses that aren't new, are up as well. One economist says the reason for all this is that buyers realize home prices won't stay this low forever.

New Orleans Economy

AZUZ: Construction is helping the entire economy of New Orleans as the city rebuilds from Hurricane Katrina. This coming Saturday marks the 4th anniversary of when the storm, one of the worst in U.S. history, slammed into the Gulf Coast. It caused more than $81 billion in damages. But as Sean Callebs explains, the reconstruction process is offering the city a chance for renewal.


SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: New Orleans has been shielded in the aftermath of Katrina not by levees, it has been an economic buffer. Federal and private money as the city rebuilds. Jazz great Irvin Mayfield recently opened a club in the French Quarter, but he wants to talk about his job as commissioner of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority.

IRVIN MAYFIELD, NEW ORLEANS REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY: Redevelopment is just another word of self-investment to citizens. And I think that passion has always been important to New Orleans. We're now trying to figure out how to transform that passion for music and food into different areas of redevelopment in our neighborhood.

CALLEBS: After Katrina, close to 80,000 homes had to be rebuilt, attracting legions of construction workers. It's helped keep New Orleans' unemployment rate at about 7.2 percent, while the national average is closer to 9 percent. With its hotels and night life, New Orleans has a share of service jobs. For entrepreneurs who are also investing here, finding there are benefits to being in this city. Nic Perkins is CEO of the Receivables Exchange. He could have started his business anywhere.

NIC PERKINS, CEO, THE RECEIVABLES EXCHANGE: Donny from Pennsylvania, Darrell from England, John from Boston.

CALLEBS: New residents know about the problems: crime, a poor education system, the slow pace of rebuilding. But they are convinced the positive outweighs lingering, deep-rooted problems.

PERKINS: We have an operation like this, would be literally five or six or seven times more for us in New York or San Francisco. The quality of life that we have here, you can live in New Orleans exceptionally well under a start-up salary.

CALLEBS: Home prices are up about 1.1 percent from 2008 to 2009. Nationally, they plunged about 10 percent over that same period. New Orleans is a long way from being whole. Entire neighborhoods remain in ruin, and thousands are still displaced.

MAYFIELD: I think a lot of people who see this may say, "Look, you guys have been at this for four years, why isn't this done already?" And I think people need to really understand the volume of things that we have done and we're doing.

CALLEBS: And in many ways, the city has something it couldn't claim four years ago: optimism. In many ways, New Orleans remains a tale of two cities. The central business district, the French Quarter and areas the tourists see are coming back in a big way. However, many outlying areas are still in dire need of repair and revitalization. Sean Callebs, CNN, in New Orleans.



JONES: Time for the Shoutout! What's the scientific term for an abnormally high body temperature? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A) Hypothermia, B) Hypoglycemia, C) Hyperthermia or D) Hypertension? You've got three seconds -- GO! In Greek, hyperthermia means "high heat," and that's literally what it is: when the body overheats. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

High-Tech Helmet

AZUZ: Football is a fall sport, but you players have been practicing in the summer heat, and that heat can take its toll. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and, heat stroke. That's a form of hyperthermia when your body temperature is over 104 degrees. According to the National Center for Catastrophic Injury Research, 39 football players have died from heat-related causes since 1995. Gary Tuchman tells us about a new technology that could help keep players safer.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, ATLANTA: High school football is back. A big concern for players and coaches this time of year is sweltering temperatures, which can increase the risk of heat stroke and in some cases, death.

MAN ON STREET: It's getting toasty. If we get that cloud cover we'll be all right.

TUCHMAN: To beat the heat, a Georgia company has developed these dime-sized sensors, worn inside players' helmets.

JAY BUCKALEW, HOTHEAD TECHNOLOGIES: What we're trying to do is to just give that early warning alert system that that athlete is getting dangerously close to heat stroke.

TUCHMAN: The sensors constantly monitor the body temperature of a player on the field. Every 10 seconds, updates are sent to a small device carried by coaches or trainers. And if a player exceeds 102.5 degrees for more than 30 seconds, an alert sounds.

PRESTON BAZEMORE, BLESSED TRINITY ATHLETIC TRAINER: We want to prevent the injury before it happens. This is just another tool in our little back pocket that we can use to make sure these kids are participating safely.

TUCHMAN: A few high schools and colleges are using the system this season at a cost of about $100 per player. The technology could also be used by firefighters and military personnel. But for these players, it's safety first, then Friday night lights.

TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN.



AZUZ: So, do you think players should be required to wear this heat sensor during practice? That's one of the questions in today's Daily Discussion! It's a free resource that helps students talk about the stories in our show, and it includes the Media Literacy Question of the Day. Find it every day at!

Before We Go

AZUZ: And finally, there are some rules when you go camping. One of the big ones? Keep your food locked up, and this is why: a foraging forest dweller. Pretty cool jump coming up right here. And since the coolers were closed, he just grabbed a bag out of the open food locker. Campers scared him away, but he still made off with a mouthful of grub. So, how did the people who lost their food react?



AZUZ: We guess they just had to grin and bear it. Remember to check us out on Facebook -- -- we will see you right back here tomorrow.

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