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CNN Student News Transcript: October 2, 2009

  • Story Highlights
  • Step inside a meeting of global powers in Switzerland
  • Gain some insight into a conference on distracted driving
  • Take a walk on the wild side as we head Off the Beaten Path
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(CNN Student News) -- October 2, 2009

Quick Guide

Geneva Talks Begin - Step inside a meeting of global powers in Switzerland.

Distracted Driving - Gain some insight into a conference on distracted driving.

Off the Beaten Path - Take a walk on the wild side as we head Off the Beaten Path.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Fridays are awesome! And this one is jam packed with news from around the globe. Here to guide you through the all the headlines, I'm Carl Azuz.

First Up: Geneva Talks Begin

AZUZ: First up, Iran offers full and immediate cooperation with regard to its controversial nuclear program. That statement made at a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland yesterday, when representatives from Iran, the U.S. and several other countries got together to discuss the issue. Iran has been accused of trying to develop nuclear weapons, but the country says its nuclear program only has peaceful purposes. Iran says inspectors can check out its newest facility soon. Another round of talks is scheduled for later this month, but President Obama says that "talk is no substitute for action."

U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We're not interested in talking for the sake of talking. If Iran does not take steps in the near future to live up to its obligations, then the United States will not continue to negotiate indefinitely, and we are prepared to move towards increased pressure.

Natural Disasters

AZUZ: Moving to Indonesia, where the situation is much worse than first reported. Two earthquakes on back-to-back days, the first one we told you about yesterday, claimed more than 1,100 lives and reduced buildings to rubble. After Wednesday's 7.6-magnitude quake, a 6.6-magnitude tremor struck the country yesterday. Rescue efforts are underway, but heavy rainfall is causing some delays.

The Samoan Islands struggling through a similar situation, with Wednesday's 5.5-magnitude quake there following Tuesday's deadly 8.0. One of the islands, American Samoa, is a U.S. territory and President Obama has declared a major disaster in the area in order to speed up relief efforts for that island. He says U.S. aid efforts will be available to the entire region.

And the Philippines is bracing for Typhoon Parma even as it recovers from Typhoon Ketsana, which struck last weekend, killing at least 240 people. Parma is expected to make landfall in the Philippines this weekend. You can get the latest details on all of these natural disasters at

Impact Your World

AZUZ: The victims of these disasters need your help. Relief efforts are underway. If you want to take part directly, go to the Spotlight section at and find out how you can Impact Your World.

Is this legit?

TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this legit? The International Olympic Committee is announcing the host of the 2012 Summer Games today. Nope! London was announced as the 2012 host city back in 2005.

Olympic Bid Announced

AZUZ: What the IOC is announcing today is the host of the 2016 Olympics! Yes, they decide this far in advance. The four finalists: Chicago, Illinois; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Madrid, Spain and Tokyo, Japan. The competition for these things is intense, and leaders of all four countries, including President Obama, are making personal appearances to push for their nations to be named host. Obama was headed to Copenhagen, Denmark today, where the Olympic Committee's 105 members are voting on the host city. According to sources close to this process, Chicago and Rio appear to be the frontrunners. You can find out the final winner at

China Celebrates

AZUZ: Meanwhile, the host of the most recent Summer Games is holding a celebration. China, whose full name is the People's Republic of China, is marking the 60th anniversary of when it officially took that name, when the country was established as a communist state. Ceremonies in the capital city of Beijing commemorated the occasion yesterday. They included president Hu Jintao's inspection of military forces, weapons and vehicles. Chinese news agencies said it was the first troop inspection in a decade. About 200,000 soldiers and civilians gathered in Tiananmen Square for a parade showcasing China's achievements from the past six decades.

Saturn Brand Ending

AZUZ: And in automotive news and in the U.S., the Saturn line is coming to a close after plans to buy the brand were canceled. The Penske Group agreed to buy the rights to Saturn four months ago from General Motors. GM was in bankruptcy at that time. But this week, Penske said it's not moving forward with the purchase and, as a result, GM said it's going to stop production of the cars. The automaker doesn't expect that to affect factory closures or job losses. The three plants that make Saturns also make other GM vehicles, and the company says they'll just move resources around. But, there are roughly 350 Saturn dealerships around the U.S., and those 13,000 jobs could be in danger.


RICK VINCENT, CNN STUDENT NEWS : Today's Shoutout goes out to Mr. McBurrows's social studies classes at Autrey Mill Middle School in Johns Creek, Georgia.


VINCENT: Yesterday, we asked about the education department. Today, we're asking who heads up the U.S. Department of Transportation. Is it: A) Gary Locke, B) Kenneth Salazar, C) Shaun Donovan or D) Raymond LaHood? You've got three seconds -- GO! Ray LaHood is the country's 16th Secretary of Transportation. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Distracted Driving

AZUZ: Half a million. According to experts, that's how many people were injured last year because of distracted or inattentive drivers. And that is why Secretary LaHood and the Department of Transportation held a conference this week to address the issue. Earlier, I talked with CNN Radio's Amanda Moyer, who covered that meeting, about what exactly distracted driving is and some of the arguments for and against creating laws to fight it.


AZUZ: So, Amanda Moyer, you've been covering the Distracted Driving Summit going on up in D.C. They started out with a definition. How do they define distracted driving?

AMANDA MOYER, CNN RADIO: Well, distracted driving is anything that takes your eyes off the road for even a few seconds. So, that's texting, talking on your cell phone, playing with a GPS devices, even eating or putting on makeup in the car.

AZUZ: So, why did -- obviously it's dangerous -- why did the Department of Transportation think an entire summit was necessary?

MOYER: Well, they see it as a growing problem. Nearly 6,000 deaths related to driver distractions last year, and about 80% of crashes are related to inattentive driving. So, they wanted to curb this now before the problem gets worse.

AZUZ: What sort of recommendations do they have on how to curb it?

MOYER: Well, one of the big things is public awareness. Also, driver responsibility. And even though that's difficult to control, they say it's something that's really key in moving forward.

AZUZ: Now, we've seen statistic after statistic illustrating distracted driving is dangerous in any form, but some say this should remain a state issue. States have their own driver's licenses, they have their own driving laws. What are the pros and cons of a national law against this?

MOYER: Well, some of the pros are of course saving lives, but also cutting down on confusion. Right now, 18 states and the District of Columbia currently ban it. So, you might not realize it's in your state or in your city depending on how the laws are. Cons would be a lot of people say that's Big Brother after you, and also they say that the government shouldn't be dictating how you drive safely.

AZUZ: The next thing I want to ask you about is enforcement, because we had a student on our blog name Diamond, and he wrote that if lawmakers do ban texting, they need to ban reading a map, they need to ban doing make-up, the other distractions you mentioned. How can any of these new laws be enforced?

MOYER: The law enforcement is a big problem, and they recognize that. So, that's one of the reasons why they wanted to have the summit. They wanted to get a number of different types of people together, whether it was safety advocates, law enforcement officials and members of Congress, to try and work out a way that they can do that. Because like I said, only 18 states currently ban it.

AZUZ: Ok, we'll see what happens. Amanda Moyer of CNN Radio, thanks for being with us today on CNN Student News.

MOYER: Thank you.



AZUZ: We've got a brand new video on our Facebook site, and it's not the sort of glamorous, flattering masterpiece we usually post. In fact, I wouldn't want you to see it at all if I weren't in on the joke. Go see for yourself what we're talking about!, or log on to and search for "CNN Student News official!"

Off the Beaten Path

AZUZ: Sometimes, we like to end the week with a look at the lighter side of news, like stories about when wildlife attacks... and when people attack back! Brace yourselves as we take you on a trip Off the Beaten Path.


AZUZ: You know that saying about how you shouldn't get between a mother bear and her cub? Well, here's a woman who did, and fought 'em off with a pillow! She was watching a Rockies game with her son when she heard what she thought was the dog downstairs. No!

SALLY REBEHN, BEAR FIGHTER: She raised up on her hind feet and was hissing at me. And I grabbed this pillow, and I just slung it as hard as I could!

AZUZ: The bear backed down, but still managed to trash the kitchen before officers showed up and got her and her cubs out of the house. Guess she just couldn't bear defeat.

You know that question about whether the chicken or the egg came first? This egg came biggest. Two-and-a-half times the size of a regular egg, this bad baby got plenty of press and praise before becoming an omelette. An egg-sellent end to this trip Off the Beaten Path!




AZUZ: Hopefully that pun went over easy. If not, I guess the yolk's on us. Or we've got egg on our face. Ah, this whole thing is scrambled up. The hits just keep on coming! We'll keep it going on Monday. Bringing you more stories then. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.

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