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CNN Student News Transcript: September 10, 2009

  • Story Highlights
  • Hear the latest arguments in the debate over U.S. health care reform
  • Review the details of a court case that could impact U.S. elections
  • Find out how one inventor hopes to quench concerns about clean water
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(CNN Student News) -- September 10, 2009

Quick Guide

Health Care Address - Hear the latest arguments in the debate over U.S. health care reform.

Campaign Finance - Review the details of a court case that could impact U.S. elections.

Purifying Invention - Find out how one inventor hopes to quench concerns about clean water.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: On HLN, online, on iTunes; here, there and everywhere, this is CNN Student News! Thank you for spending part of your Thursday with us. From the CNN Center, I'm Carl Azuz.

First Up: Health Care Address

AZUZ: First up, health care reform reclaims the spotlight as President Obama takes up the issue in a speech to Congress. This debate has been heating up for months, with politicians and citizens weighing in with their opinions. It's an incredibly complicated issue, so we're gonna look at some of the main points right now. Some people think the country's health care system is fine the way it is. Others think it's broken, but what they don't agree on is how to fix it. For example, how much would it cost to reform the system, and where would that money come from? Should there be a government-run health insurance program? And if so, how might that impact private insurance companies? Those are just a few of the questions facing lawmakers. President Obama says he isn't the first president to take on health care, but he hopes to be the last. He's been pushing for reform since he took office, and he believes the time for action is now.

U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action. Now is when we must bring the best ideas of both parties together and show the American people that we can still do what we were sent here to do. Now is the time to deliver on health care.

Health Care Response

AZUZ: After the president wrapped up his address to Congress, the Republican Party offered a response from U.S. Representative Charles Boustany. The Louisiana representative, who has more than 20 years of experience as a surgeon, says he agrees with parts of President Obama's plan. But he thinks it also presents several problems. Last night, he outlined some alternative ideas about how to improve the health care system and how to lower its costs.

REP. CHARLES BOUSTANY JR, (R) LOUISIANA: We need to establish tough liability reform standards, encourage speedy resolution of claims, and deter junk lawsuits that drive up the cost of care. Real reform must do this. Let's also talk about letting families and businesses buy insurance across state lines. I and many other Republicans believe that that will provide real choice and competition to lower the cost of health insurance.


GEORGE RAMSAY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! Stephen Breyer, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas are all members of what governmental body? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A) Congress, B) The U.S. Supreme Court, C) President Obama's Cabinet or D) The Federal Reserve? You've got three seconds -- GO! Along with six other justices, these people compose the U.S. Supreme Court. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Campaign Finance

Downloadable Maps

AZUZ: It's their job to interpret our country's laws, and one case the justices are looking at right now could have a major impact on elections, including the ones coming up next year! It's all about how much money corporations can give to candidates. Right now, there's a limit on that, but some people argue that violates the Constitution. Elaine Quijano is on the case.



ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON, D.C.: It started small. During last year's presidential primaries, a federal court said campaign finance laws barred this ad for an anti-Hillary Clinton movie by an advocacy group, a non-profit corporation.

FROM CITIZENS UNITED AD FOR "HILLARY, THE MOVIE": If you thought you knew everything about Hillary Clinton, wait 'til you see the movie.

QUIJANO: But now, the Supreme Court could make a monumental change in how money influences politics, deciding, in the name of free speech, whether there should be any limits at all on corporate campaign spending.

FRED WERTHEIMER, DEMOCRACY 21, CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM SUPPORTER: Allowing corporations to flood our elections and use campaign expenditures to buy influence would fundamentally undermine our democracy.

QUIJANO: Fred Wertheimer of Democracy 21 warns overturning a century of precedents would shut average citizens out of the political process.

WERTHEIMER: The little guy would have no role here, because the dominant force in our politics, the dominant force in Washington decision-making, would become corporations.

QUIJANO: But David Bossee of Citizens United, the group behind the anti-Hillary Clinton movie, argues that anyone pooling resources, including unions, the health industry, advocacy groups like the National Rifle Association, has free speech rights.

DAVID BOSSEE, CITIZENS UNITED: I actually went out and looked for this fight, because I don't believe the government should have the right to impede people's entry into the process. And that's what the Federal Election Commission is trying to do here, squelch our first Amendment Rights.

QUIJANO: Interestingly, the American Civil Liberties Union agrees. A final ruling is expected in a couple of months, and legal observers say conservatives could hold the key, with enough votes to possibly declare much of current campaign finance law unconstitutional. Elaine Quijano, CNN, the Supreme Court.


Flash Flooding

AZUZ: Six months' worth of rain in two days! That is what residents in parts of Turkey are dealing with. This massive downpour triggered flash floods in the country this week, claiming more than 30 lives. In this video - look at this - you can see how the water rushed through a low-lying valley. It flipped and ripped up dozens of cargo trucks. Hundreds of other vehicles were washed out into the sea. The country's prime minister said emergency workers rescued around 1,300 people from the floods. He's already pledged money to get help and relief to the affected regions that need it.

I.D. Me

RAMSAY: See if you can I.D. Me! I'm a rock band originally from Liverpool, England. I made my first U.S. appearance in 1964. 20 of my songs landed at number 1 on the U.S. charts. And I was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. I'm the Beatles: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr!

The Beatles: Rock Band

AZUZ: They were a rock band. Now the Beatles are in Rock Band! A new game featuring the famous Fab Four is out this week. It lets players jam out on dozens of the group's biggest hits. Plus, it gives younger audiences -- you -- a chance to check out some of rock and roll's most famous songs nearly four decades after the band's last gig. That's not the only reason the Beatles are back in the spotlight. All 15 of their albums have been re-mastered and put back on store shelves.

Purifying Invention

AZUZ: Meanwhile, a famous inventor wants to do some re-mastering of his own. But we're not talking about digital, we're talking liquid. More than a billion people around the globe don't have access to clean drinking water. Sure, there're water water everywhere, but if it's not clean, it can cause serious consequences. Gary Tuchman looks at one idea designed to quench the problem.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Water: It's the most abundant resource on the planet, yet every year, millions of people die because they don't have access to clean water. So Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway, decided to take this problem on with a machine he calls the "Slingshot."

DEAN KAMEN, INVENTOR: We believe the world needs a slingshot to take care of its goliath of a problem: bad water.

TUCHMAN: He says the machine can turn contaminated water like this dirty river water into clean drinking water by boiling, distilling and vaporizing it.

KAMEN: In goes the bad, and as you can see, out comes the good. That is pure water.

TUCHMAN: The machine is smaller than some other water purifying systems, making it more portable.

KAMEN: It's ideally suited to go to places in the developing world.

TUCHMAN: Kamen says it requires very little electricity and maintenance to function. But until he finds partners and distributors to keep costs down, Slingshots won't be available to the people who need them most.

KAMEN: We've got to find better strategies to deal with this incredibly unique and valuable resource called water, that we've all come to take for granted, but we'll not be able to do that in the future.

TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN.


Before We Go

AZUZ: Before we leave you today, we've got a story about something that's pretty darn fast. Usian Bolt may be the quickest person on the planet, but he's got nothing on Sarah. The cheetah charged into the record books yesterday as the world's fastest land mammal. She made the 100-meter dash in 6.16 seconds. Then she went out and shaved some more time off in her second attempt. Now for reference, sprinter Usain Bolt did it in 9.58 seconds. So, cheetah wins. Think you could outrun her? You're welcome to give it a shot.



AZUZ: But you've got to make sure that she doesn't break any rules. After all, she's a cheetah. Okay, we know a lot of you probably saw that coming, but you just can't miss the opportunity to make a cheetah pun. It's where we cross the finish line for today, but we'll be back tomorrow to close out the week. We look forward to seeing you then. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.

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