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STUDENT NEWS

Protests in Yemen; Preview of Nevada GOP Presidential Debate

Aired October 18, 2011 - 04:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Bringing today`s headlines from the CNN Newsroom here in Atlanta, Georgia, right to your classrooms around the world. I`m Carl Azuz, and this is CNN Student News.

First up, we`re talking about violence and protests in the Middle Eastern nation of Yemen. People there have been protesting against their country`s government for months. They want it to change, especially at the level of Yemen`s leadership.

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AZUZ (voice-over): Yemen`s located between Saudi Arabia and Oman. It was established as a nation in 1990, and the same man, Ali Abdullah Saleh has been president the entire time. The protesters want him out of power.

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Mohammed Jamjoom has the latest details on the reports of violence between protesters and Yemen`s government forces.

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MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): They carried signs saying, "We are not armed. Don`t attack us with gunfire." But that`s exactly what anti-government demonstrators say happened in Yemen Sunday when they gathered for a march through the streets of Sanaa. For the second straight day, they say they were fired upon by security forces and snipers.

Medics said at least five of the protesters were killed, and dozens of wounded were entering the hospital by the minute. They called on people to donate blood. But Sanaa wasn`t the only flashpoint.

In the southern city of Taiz, another demonstration and a death that has shocked even those jaded by the seemingly unending cycle of violence in Yemen: eyewitnesses and medics say a woman named Azezah Othman Khalid was killed by a shot to the head from a government sniper. Yemeni activists say she was 20 years old, and the first woman to be killed while marching against the government.

ATLAF ALWAZLR, ONLINE ACTIVIST: The fear now is that today`s attack against -- the sniper attack against one woman, who was killed (inaudible) is really an escalation and it`s a sign that the government security forces will not release -- stop shooting, even if there are women, because culturally woman, you know, may have been beaten, arrested at times, but never directly shot at.

JAMJOOM (voice-over): CNN has not independently confirmed the details of the reported violence in Sanaa or Taiz, nor has the government responded to our requests for comment.

The protesters remain determined, promising they`ll continue their peaceful revolution despite any threats or dangers they may face, vowing to keep flooding the streets until the reign of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has come to an end -- Mohammed Jamjoom, CNN, Abu Dhabi.

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AZUZ (voice-over): So you just heard Mohammed Jamjoom talk about reports that a woman had been killed in recent protests. That news led to this: a protest of just women, thousands of them gathered in Yemen`s capital on Monday.

They demanded that the United Nations get involved in the situation, and they said they want President Saleh to be tried by the international criminal court. Saleh says U.N. officials don`t get the full picture of what`s happening in his country. He says that people who are against him just want to take power.

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AZUZ: We`re moving east now to Thailand. This is a country that is used to being flooded. It usually gets some floods every single year. Nothing, though, like what it`s going through right now.

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AZUZ (voice-over): This is the worst flooding that Thailand has seen in half a century. More than 300 people have been killed, 81/2 million people have been affected by the rising waters. There were some concerned that the capital city of Bangkok would be swamped.

That hasn`t happened, but other parts of the country were hit hard. Roads were washed away in some spots, making it hard to get help to the victims. Thai officials say the floods could cause more than $2 billion in damages. Donations are coming in from other parts of the country and from around the world.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this legit? Organized auto racing in the U.S. has been around for more than a hundred years.

This one`s true. The first organized U.S. race happened in 1895.

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AZUZ: The racing world is mourning the death of Dan Wheldon, who was a 33-year-old driver killed Sunday after a crash during a race in Las Vegas. Officials said Wheldon suffered unsurvivable injuries.

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AZUZ (voice-over): The crash involved 15 cars. Video showed some of them spinning out of control, bursting into flames. One former driver said he`s never seen anything like this. Some experts think the track itself might have been part of the problem.

It`s shorter than most tracks, so cars don`t have as much room to maneuver. And this particular track is wider, too. That means more cars can be right next to each other.

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AZUZ: The news of Wheldon`s death has affected many people, especially other race car drivers and it`s a reminder of the risks that racing carries with it.

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TONY KANAAN, DRIVER: I mean, I know this is a dangerous sport. I know we`re exposed to that every day in the normal life as well. But, you know, you don`t think about it. And today we have to think about it. I lost one of my best friends, one of my greatest teammates.

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AZUZ: Well, next up today, we`re going to check out what`s going on in the world of politics. First, an event that you can watch on CNN tonight.

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AZUZ (voice-over): It is the next debate between Republican presidential candidates. Most of them are in Las Vegas, ready to face off on the issues. The debate tonight at 8:00 pm Eastern. CNN`s Paul Steinhauser talked about why Las Vegas is a good setting for this event.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: You think it`s a booming town, but at the same time, there are a lot of people in this town that are suffering.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right, you think of Las Vegas, you think of the glitz, the glamor. But, really, people don`t necessarily have the money to come out here any more. So this is kind a good backdrop for this debate, right?

STEINHAUSER: Exactly. Las Vegas is a great, great backdrop for this debate, because, like everywhere in this country, people are hurting. And they`re hurting here as well. And you`re seeing in tourism out here. There`s been a drop-off for sure over the last couple of years. And the rates at the hotels have come down in an attempt to try to draw more people here to Las Vegas.

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AZUZ (voice-over): Meanwhile, President Obama`s on the road. He`s spending a few days this week talking about his jobs plan while he travels around Virginia and North Carolina. Political experts think those states could be very important in next year`s presidential election.

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AZUZ: Moment of honesty: how many of you have gotten in trouble for going over your limit on cell phone calls or texts? I am guilty in both categories. There`s a new rule out that could warn us when we get close to that limit. The Federal Communications Commission, the FCC and most of America`s wireless carriers agreed on a new deal Monday.

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AZUZ (voice-over): The carriers will send a text or voice alert to warn users before they go over and get charged extra fees. The goal is to avoid bill shock, when you don`t realize you`ve racked up a giant cell phone bill until it shows up in the mail.

A couple things to keep in mind: first, this covers most wireless companies, not all of them. Second, some of the warnings will go into effect by a year from now. That means not all of them will be in place until April 2013.

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AZUZ: Like many school systems, a district in California is trying to find ways to reward students who do well on standardized tests. One of the latest ideas didn`t work out, though.

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AZUZ (voice-over): It gave students color-coded ID cards based on their test scores. Those who tested really well got black cards, and that would get them discounts at local businesses, free admission to school sports events and dances.

Students who met basic goals or improved from the last year got gold cards, which came with some limited benefits and with lower scores came a white card, which had no benefits and required students to stand in a separate cafeteria lunch line.

Critics said this was embarrassing to students with low scores, and that it violated their privacy, that it showed other people they had those low scores. Supporters like the fact that high achievers got rewards based on their test scores.

Now the school district has eliminated the program, given out the same color cards to everyone. But we thought you might like to discuss this on our blog at cnnstudentnews.com. Was the color-coded card program fair? Unfair? What can schools do to encourage students to do well? Find us online and let us know.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today`s Shoutout goes out to Ms. Beebe`s class at Eagle Elementary in Brownsburg, Indiana. Which of these events is 26.2 miles long? You know what to do.

Is it the decathlon, Iditarod, marathon or 40-yard dash? You`ve got three seconds, go.

After running 26.2 miles, you`ve completed a marathon. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.

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AZUZ: That`s what the gentleman we`re featuring in today`s "Before We Go" segment did.

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AZUZ (voice-over): Sure, it took him eight hours to finish those 26.2 miles. And he came in last place in the marathon held in Toronto last weekend. None of that matters, and here`s why: the runner is 100 years old. And when he crossed the finish line, he officially became the oldest person ever to run a full marathon. He`s not letting the attention go to his head.

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AZUZ: He`s just taking the feat "in stride". Didn`t win any cash for the title, but if he did, you could give him "a run for his money". I actually like that pun. We want to make more puns about the stories, but we should probably "pace" ourselves. And, anyway, it`s time for us to "run." Have a great day.

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