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CNN Student News Transcript: October 15, 2009

  • Story Highlights
  • Hear how questions from ordinary citizens could shape the health care debate
  • Make your way to Moscow for a U.S.-Russia meeting about missile defense
  • Attend a fiesta at the White House as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
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(CNN Student News) -- October 15, 2009

Quick Guide

Health Care Hurdles - Hear how questions from ordinary citizens could shape the health care debate.

Missile Diplomacy - Make your way to Moscow for a U.S.-Russia meeting about missile defense.

Fiesta Latina - Attend a fiesta at the White House as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Carl Azuz. CNN Student news starts right now!

First Up: Dow 10,000

AZUZ: We begin on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended yesterday above 10,000. So what? Well, for one, the Dow is made up of thirty of the biggest stocks, and a lot of people use it as a guide of how the overall market is doing. Secondly, this is the first time the Dow has gone over 10,000 in more than a year. That could mean that investors think the U.S. economy is recovering from last year's crisis. But some experts are warning things could still take a step backward.

Health Care Hurdles

AZUZ: Health care reform. Yesterday, we outlined the next steps for Congress. But what about just ordinary folks? Some people are concerned that if health care reform gets passed, it might include some things they don't agree with. Tom Foreman breaks down some of the biggest questions in this debate.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At this moment, as you watch at home, the president and other politicians here in D.C. are also watching you, because they really don't know what you want or what you will support. And their jobs down the road depend on figuring that out. It's also safe to say they're highly sensitive to the three questions you care about most. The first we've heard in virtually every one of those town hall meetings: What about my insurance, the care I have now?


FOREMAN: Even though most Americans want reform, almost 80 percent told the CBS/New York Times pollster they are pleased with their own health care. And many fear reform could force them to change.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why would we have to change if we're completely satisfied with what we have?

FOREMAN: The president says no, you won't be forced, but the opposition has whipped that worry into a frenzy.

TELEVISION AD: For seniors, this will mean long waits for care, cuts to MRIs, CAT scans and other vital tests. Seniors may lose their own doctors.

FOREMAN: Here's the second question. What about big government getting even bigger? Again, a very hot issue in all those town halls.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This government is out of control! We are in debt up to our eyeballs and you all are doing nothing but putting more debt on us and our children. And it's got to stop!

FOREMAN: USA Today/Gallup found more than half the voters think big government is a bigger threat to the future than big labor unions or big business. The bailouts, the soaring deficit all driving that concern.

And finally, what if this measure passes but fails to produce the results that people expect or want? Health insurance for everyone was the president's goal, but even if the plan approved by the Senate committee passes, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that 25 million people will still be uninsured in 10 years.

And the rest of us? Well, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found 70 percent of you think reform will make your care no better, might make it even worse. Fair or not, these are real challenges that you have raised for supporters of this measure.


Is this Legit?

RICK VINCENT, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this legit? The United States is the largest country in the world. Nope! When it comes to total area, Russia is the largest country. The U.S. comes in third.

Missile Diplomacy

AZUZ: Representatives from both the U.S. and Russia met in Moscow this week as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sat down with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. One of the biggest issues on the agenda: missile defense. The U.S. recently said it was dropping plans to build a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic; Russia had wanted the U.S. to drop those plans. During a radio interview, Secretary Clinton suggested that the U.S. and Russia could and should work together on missile defense.

U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON: It is imperative for countries like Russia, the United States and China to lead against the forces of disintegration and destruction, so that we can stand united against those who would undermine the opportunities that we are seeking to promote.

Afghan Troop Levels

AZUZ: The number of troops in Afghanistan is increasing. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced Wednesday that 500 additional forces will be heading to the country. That will bring the total number of UK troops serving in Afghanistan to 9,500. Meanwhile, President Obama held the latest in a series of meetings with military, foreign policy and national security advisers yesterday. They're all reviewing the U.S. strategy in the Afghan conflict and how it should move forward. One big point under consideration is Gen. Stanley McChrystal's request for an additional 40,000 U.S. troops.

Runaway Teen

AZUZ: And remember Rifqa Bary? She's the 17 year old who ran away from Ohio to Florida after she accused her father of threatening her when she converted from Islam to Christianity. Well, her father had denied that accusation, and a law enforcement report found no evidence of any criminal activity. The case ended up in court, where a judge ordered Bary, who you see here, and her parents to sit down and try to work out a solution. Now, the judge says it's in Rifqa's best interest for that process to take place in Ohio. So, once her immigration status is clarified, that's where she's heading. Bary's parents are happy about the ruling. They had asked for their daughter's custody to be transferred back to Ohio. Her attorney was against the move.


TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS : Today's Shoutout goes out to Mrs. Costa's government class at Burlingame High School in Burlingame, California! What Cabinet position does Hilda Solis hold? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A) Secretary of Agriculture, B) Secretary of Energy, C) Secretary of Labor or D) Secretary of Transportation? You've got three seconds -- GO! Hilda Solis became labor secretary earlier this year. Before that, she served eight years in the U.S. House of Representatives. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Hispanic Heritage Month

AZUZ: We're recognizing Sec. Solis as we wrap up our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. She is the first Latina labor secretary and says it's "a dream" to be serving in that role. Solis has more than two decades of public service. In that time, she's put together a few firsts. You can see some right here. Sec. Solis says one of her most important accomplishments was becoming the first person in her family to graduate from college. And that came after a counselor once told Solis' mother that her daughter wasn't college material. In a recent interview with CNN's Brianna Keilar, Sec. Solis said more families need to understand the significance of getting a higher education.

HILDA SOLIS, SECRETARY OF LABOR: It is important for that to kind of be a lesson for other people, to know that it is possible to have changes like that coming, maybe even influences from outside sources like a high school counselor who happened to take an interest in what I was doing and thought I was capable of going to college.

AZUZ: During the interview, Solis said she wants to use her work with the Labor Department to improve the quality of life for everyone.

SOLIS: I want to inform people about opportunities that the Department of Labor can offer them. And I want to do that in a way that will impact the Hispanic community and other communities that are in great need right now.

Fiesta Latina

AZUZ: Meanwhile, the White House hosted a fiesta this week. Fiesta Latina featured artists with roots in Latin America. Check it out.


U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we are honored to be joined by some of this country's most successful and innovative performers of Latin music. Although Latin music takes many forms, this spirit of diversity also unifies us. Latin music speaks to us in a language we can all understand, about hope and joy, sorrow and pain, friendship and love. It moves us, and it tends to make us move a little bit ourselves.


Latino in America

AZUZ: How are Latinos remaking America, and how is America remaking them? That's the focus of the new CNN documentary "Latino in America." It airs next Wednesday and Thursday at 9 p.m. Eastern. And make sure to check out our related teacher materials. You'll find that at

Before We Go

AZUZ: Okay, we're gonna admit it. Some of our Before We Go segments and the puns that follow are corny. Some of you have said so, and that's when you're being nice. But it just doesn't get any cornier than this, especially for LeBron James! You know you've made it to the big time when your image appears on a nine-acre maze doing what you do best: dunking! Makes Mr. James king of the court and king of the corn! Amazing!



AZUZ: You just never know what's gonna crop up on our show. So, what do you get if you're not on the court, but you rock the set of CNN Student News? Boom! This was sent to us last year in an iReport. If you wanna get your own pumpkin on our show, carve it out and click the iReport link on our Web site. This pumpkinhead will see y'all tomorrow.

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