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CNN Student News Transcript: August 28, 2009

  • Story Highlights
  • Explore some of the reaction to the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy
  • Learn about a program that's planting seeds of knowledge in Pakistan
  • Find out how a British teen sailed his way into a world record
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(CNN Student News) -- August 28, 2009

Quick Guide

Kennedy Remembered - Explore some of the reaction to the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Educating Swat Valley - Learn about a program that's planting seeds of knowledge in Pakistan.

New Sailing Record - Find out how a British teen sailed his way into a world record.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: It's Friday -- awesome -- this is CNN Student News bringing you today's headlines. I'm Carl Azuz.

First Up: Kennedy Remembered

AZUZ: First up, America remembers Sen. Edward Kennedy. But his passing leaves the political world with some unanswered questions: Who will fill his Senate seat? How will his death impact the debate over health care reform, an issue that Sen. Kennedy himself championed for decades? We'll put together the answers in the weeks ahead. But for now, the focus is on memorials for the late Senator. Kate Bolduan reports on the reaction to his death.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN GENERAL ASSIGNMENT CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON, D.C.:Tributes and tears in Boston for the late Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy.

WOMAN ON STREET #1: I don't know that the next person coming is going to feel the same way as him.

BOLDUAN: Earlier in the day, a farewell to his beloved family compound. Onlookers gathered to watch the motorcade carrying the Senator from Hyannis Port to Boston, where the public will pay final respects to the legislator and the man.

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: People liked him. He had sympathy for people that were in plight or disadvantaged, and it came through in his entire career.

BOLDUAN: The public lined up before the arrival of the Kennedy motorcade, signing a condolence book and sharing memories.

WOMAN ON STREET #2: I thanked him for all his work and for all of the wonderful things he's done. And I did it from not only myself, but from friends that I had even back then, who always admired the Kennedy brothers.

BOLDUAN: For the Kennedy family, the loss even more profound, as they gather to mourn their patriarch.

EDWARD KLEIN, KENNEDY BIOGRAPHER: There's nobody who is strong enough and who has the backing of all of the members of the family, or who can impose his will on the family to take the place of Teddy. So, for quite some time, I think, we're going to see a vacuum in that role.

BOLDUAN: Hours of visitation are scheduled here at the JFKennedy Library over the next two days. Sen. Kennedy will reach his final resting place, Arlington National Cemetery, Saturday. For CNN Student News, I'm Kate Bolduan, reporting from Boston.


Danny Moving In

AZUZ: Around that same time, severe weather could be making an impact along the east coast. Officials predict that Danny will pick up strength over the next few days. On Thursday, Danny was a tropical storm with winds around 60 miles per hour. The National Hurricane Center says people from North Carolina to New England should keep an eye on the storm's progress.

Four Years Later

AZUZ: This weekend also marks the 4-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the U.S. gulf coast. Its effects were made worse in New Orleans when flood waters rose over some of the city's levees. Those are walls that are specifically designed to prevent floods. In the four years since Katrina hit, the government has spent $3 billion improving New Orleans' levees, and it expects to spend $14 billion more over the next four years. While federal officials say the levees are safer than ever, some critics argue that there are still cracks in the flood walls, and that a powerful hurricane could lead to more flooding.

Is this Legit?

TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this Legit? You'll find the Swat Valley in Pakistan. Legit! The Swat Valley is located in northern Pakistan.

Educating Swat Valley

AZUZ: When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley earlier this year, girls who lived there were banned from going to school. When a group of college students heard about that situation, they decided to act and started an education program for young Pakistani women called "Tree of Knowledge." Cal Perry shows us how it's planting seeds for the country's future.


CAL PERRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a war that separates extremists from more moderate forces clashing in the most beautiful part of Pakistan: the Swat Valley. The Taliban had intimidated the population, including young girls, forbidding them from going to school. These 26 girls are living witnesses to the central battle within Islam today. They're in Islamabad, part of a program that takes them out of their homes in the Swat Valley.

Helping them: a group of university students of Pakistani background who've returned home from abroad with a simple goal: teach the children the importance of education. Shiza chose to spend her summer here, between the 3rd and 4th years of her studies at Stanford University in California.

SHIZA SHAHID, PROGRAM ORGANIZER: Pretending to be younger students so that they could go to school. Not wearing their uniforms so that they could go to school. Hiding their books under their shawls so that they can go to school. And at that point, I think we were just so angry and upset and emotional that we decided we had to do something.

PERRY: At times, this group of mentors seems disorganized. Shiza is only 20 years old, and has done nothing like this before.

SHAHID: We need support. We need, unfortunately, more organization, more of the bureaucratic nitty gritty that you don't want to do, but you have to. Because we are young and that does come with the burden of not being as easily trusted and not being seen as capable.

PERRY: The idea is simple enough: confidence-building measures, critical thinking lessons, all framed in the context of religious values the children have heard before, but this time, from a different point of view. It's still dangerous: The girls cannot talk about Taliban harassment, because while the government is confident the Taliban was flushed out of the region, the ideology of Sharia law may still linger, and these girls will have to return to their homes in the Swat Valley. So, we talk about childhood dreams.

MALILA, PAKISTANI STUDENT: I want to become president and to rule this country in a good way.

PERRY: So, you want to become President to prove to people that a woman can become president of Pakistan? And you've decided this, how old again are you?

MALILA: Twelve.

PERRY: I don't think I believe you.

MALILA: OK, just, I'm like 35.

PERRY: They're young, idealistic, but have seen enough to make them grow up quickly. Cal Perry, CNN, Islamabad.


Bus Stop Cuts

AZUZ: Moving back to the U.S. but sticking with schools, and specifically how you get there. The government says the safest way is the yellow favorite: the school bus. But with districts around the country struggling financially, many are cutting back on bus service. One Georgia county is losing 8,000 bus stops. And Houston, Texas is canceling bus service for students living within two miles of school, except for special-needs students. Some parents are urging school districts to reconsider the cuts.

Word to the Wise


circumnavigate (verb) to travel or maneuver completely around something


New Sailing Record

AZUZ: The first people to circumnavigate the globe? The crew of Ferdinand Megellan, who made the voyage almost 500 years ago. The youngest? Zac Sunderland, who we interviewed on this show about one year ago. But that record didn't stand for long. Kate Cooney tells us about a teen from the United Kingdom who just sailed into history.


MAN ON THE STREET: We offer sincere congratulations to Mike Perham on his record-breaking, single-handed circumnavigation.

KATE COONEY, ITN REPORTER: He's waited nine months for this moment, and finally it comes. Confirmation from the Royal Navy that he's the youngest person ever to circumnavigate the globe. His dad, Peter, couldn't wait to get on board.

PETER PERHAM, MIKE'S FATHER: I love you so much.


COONEY: Mike Perham has crossed 30,000 miles. The 17 year old has battled technical problems, gale-force winds and 50-foot waves to become a world record breaker.

PERHAM: Thank you, thank you very much.

COONEY: Mike set sail from Portsmouth on November the 15th last year. He sailed through the South Atlantic before rounding the Cape of Good Hope. He then celebrated his 17th birthday in the middle of the South Indian Ocean. He skirted Australia and sailed into the South Pacific through the Panama Canal. And Mike was into the final stretch across the north Atlantic and into the record books. The finish line was between France and Cornwall. Mike needed to reach it by the end of October to beat the previous record holder, Zac Sunderland, who was also 17. He's due to sail his 50-foot yacht into Portsmouth on Saturday. It's three years since he became the youngest person to cross the Atlantic. With another record to his name, it's bound to be a hero's welcome. Kate Cooney, ITN News.



AZUZ: Okay, that was awesome, which is probably why Mike has so many fans on Facebook. Our page is doing well, too, and we're posting a new video that you can check out over the weekend. If you want to sign up to be a fan or just check out what's new on the page, head to

Before We Go

AZUZ: And teachers, if you want a dedicated Shoutout, remember to send us a picture of you or your school. Finally today, a lot of people have tall tales. This dog might just have the tallest. Dog? It looks like a cow! Actually, it's a three-foot-tall Great Dane, and it's hoping to be named the tallest dog in the world. Titan -- of course, his name is Titan -- should get the official word in a month or two.



AZUZ: Assuming he can tall-erate the wait. Doggone it, we're out of time on CNN Student News. You guys have a great weekend. I'm Carl Azuz.

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