(CNN Student News) -- February 19, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: It's Friday, and we are wrapping up the week here at CNN Student News. Bringing you 10 minutes of commercial-free headlines, I'm Carl Azuz. Our first story today is out of Austin, Texas.
JERRY CULLEN, EYEWITNESS TO PLANE CRASH: Then the windows began to fly out of the building. There must have been a lot of shock inside, a shockwave. The windows blew out, and there was pink insulation pads flying all around. Imagine this. Then the Venetian blinds start to wave out and go out with the shockwave. And then the fire started.
AZUZ: An incredible scene that authorities say was caused by someone flying a small plane into a building. The location housed an office of the IRS, the Internal Revenue Service. About 200 employees worked there. This all happened around 10 a.m. yesterday in the Texas capital. Officials say that the pilot of the plane apparently had a grudge against the IRS. Two people were seriously injured in the crash, and as of yesterday evening, one other person was missing. A CNN iReporter witnessed the event. Listen to how he described it.
MIKE ERNEST, EYEWITNESS TO PLANE CRASH: When it got really close to the highway next to the building, I thought, you know, it looked pretty, pretty imminent that it was going to hit the building. It was like a fireball, basically. Fireball, black smoke. People, you know, people let out screams all around me. A few people were crying. It was, I mean, it was a pretty crazy scene.
AZUZ: For the latest details on this story, you can go to our Web site, CNNStudentNews.com.
AZUZ: Next up today, President Obama is creating a panel that will work on ways to control the country's debt. The panel will have 18 people on it. Some will be chosen by the president; others by Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress. This commission is being established by executive order. You see the president signing off on it right here. It means that Congress is not required to follow or even vote on the commission's recommendations. The Senate voted against creating this kind of commission last month because of concerns that it would have too much power.
AZUZ: We've also been talking about the government's $862 billion stimulus package this week. It is the one-year anniversary of when the president signed it into law. Matt says, "As far as my family is concerned, the stimulus has worked. My mom, a teacher, would've been laid off if not for the stimulus." But Alexes writes, "If it is working, I haven't seen it yet. No one is getting jobs in my area; it needs to get better fast." Same for Michelle: "I have seen so many people who are unemployed and desperate to find paying jobs," she says, "so I don't think that it is working." Spencer writes, "It's going to work in the long run; I didn't expect it to work right away." But from Emily: "It doesn't seem to be working. Many people are still unemployed, the economy is still iffy, and investing in the stock market is risky." Results from our Quick Poll: 13 percent of you say the government's stimulus plan has worked; 51 percent say it hasn't; 36 percent don't know yet.
MATT CHERRY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Mr. Smith's world history class at Jamestown High School in Jamestown, North Dakota! Who won the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize? If you think you know it, shout it out! Was it: A) the Dalai Lama, B) Nelson Mandela, C) Mikhail Gorbachev or D) Jimmy Carter? You've got three seconds -- GO! The Dalai Lama, a Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, won the award that year. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: A meeting with the Dalai Lama could cause more problems between the U.S. and China. The Dalai Lama, a spiritual leader, is from Tibet, a region that is officially part of China, and one that he says should be able to govern itself. But China argues that the Dalai Lama wants to cut all ties between Tibet and China. President Obama met with the Dalai Lama at the White House yesterday. Some analysts say that the location made this a political meeting, and that could upset China. The relationship between the U.S. and China is already tense. But as Jill Dougherty tells us, there's a lot that connects the two countries.
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Washington, D.C.'s Chinatown. A symbol of the old China Americans still think of. Was that a poor China at that point? We're going 150 years ago.
DOUGLAS H. PAAL, CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE: China was very poor and under a lot of stress. They had both civil wars and foreign invasions.
DOUGHERTY: But Douglas Paal says that's out of date. He studied China for decades as an investment banker, diplomat, CIA expert and presidential adviser. China, he says, is now a major international player holding more than $1 trillion of U.S. debt and a burgeoning economy.
PAAL: China doesn't want to make cheap things. It wants to make better things. And if you have an iPhone or if you have an Apple computer, that came from China. It didn't come from the United States.
DOUGHERTY: What's happening with U.S. exports to China?
PAAL: U.S. exports are zooming to China. It's the largest export market for the U.S.; largest growing export market for the U.S. It grew 65 percent this past year alone.
DOUGHERTY: So, in spite of disagreements about the Dalai Lama and U.S. arm sales to Taiwan, neither China nor the U.S., Paal says, can afford a major falling out.
There's often the impression that the United States, let's say, needs China more than China needs the United States. What is the true story?
PAAL: Right. Well, we both need each other. We need each other for a number of international security issues, to deal with the global climate crisis, to deal with the global financial crisis.
DOUGHERTY: For an average American, what is the most important trend in China that they should be looking at?
PAAL: The Chinese are always looking at America to see whether we are gaining strength or losing strength. Americans should ask themselves, are we at home taking care of our economy and moving ourselves forward so that China will always see us as a source of strength and not as a potential weak party to deal with and put pressure on. If that's done, everything else becomes easy.
Battle for Marjah
AZUZ: Military officials in Afghanistan say that it may take another month to secure the country's Helmand province and three more months to make sure the Taliban doesn't come back. U.S., British and Afghan forces are fighting together against the Taliban as part of Operation Moshtarak, which began about a week ago. A CNN correspondent in the city of Marjah, which is the major focus of this operation, said the Taliban aren't backing down.
Iran Nuclear Concerns
AZUZ: Moving next door to Iran and that country's controversial nuclear program. You've heard us talk about Iran's claims that its nuclear program is only for peaceful, civilian purposes. Well, the international community doesn't believe Iran, and this might be why: In a new report, the International Atomic Energy Agency says that Iran could be working on developing a nuclear warhead. This is the first time that the agency has released this kind of warning about Iran's nuclear program.
Is this Legit?
MICHELLE WRIGHT, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this legit? Black History Month started out as Black History Week. This is true. The first Black History Week was celebrated in 1926. Fifty years later, it was expanded to Black History Month.
AZUZ: Whether it's a week or a month, the goal is to honor African-American men and women and their contributions to American culture. Today, we are looking at the achievements of some female pioneers. Rosa Parks is known as "the mother of the civil rights movement." In 1955, she was arrested after refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. Her protest eventually led to the Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boycott, a significant milestone in the fight for civil rights.
Lena Horne began her entertainment career at the age of 16. She worked as a singer and dancer and was featured in movies and on Broadway. Horne's career garnered numerous awards, including a Tony, a Kennedy Center honor and a Grammy award for lifetime achievement.
As a young woman, Mae Jemison had two dreams: to study medical engineering and to travel into space. Jemison achieved both of those goals. She earned her medical degree in 1981. And in 1987, she became the first African-American woman in the U.S. astronaut program.
Wilma Rudolph had to wear a brace on her leg as a child. But as a teen, she earned a bronze medal in track and field at the 1956 Olympics. Four years later, Rudolph became the first American woman to win three track and field gold medals in one Olympics.
AZUZ: Well, if you were on Facebook last night, you know it was going nuts. Awesome conversation I had with you! We had so many questions coming in so fast that I had a hard time answering all of them. But I enjoyed it; I thank all of you guys for logging on. And answering your questions, we will continue to try to do that and look for another way we can talk to you again. The site: Facebook.com/CNNStudentNews.
Before We Go
AZUZ: Before we go today, there are a lot of ways to get around a college campus. This might be the coolest. It's a motorized cooler! And it's turned this sophomore into a legend. He stores books and papers in the thing while he tools around town. What's ironic is the one thing you won't find in the cooler is anything to drink! The cooler guy and his motorized madness are a big hit with other students.
AZUZ: One said that when he sees the cooler go by he gets chills. That puts a lid on today's show. Have a great weekend. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.