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STUDENT NEWS

Florida Holds Presidential Primary

Aired January 31, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET

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


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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello, everyone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Remember back in October, when Carl reported about the Post-it note war in France? Well, we at Broad Creek Middle School, home of the Bulldogs, brought the Post-it notes to the U.S.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re watching --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: CNN --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Student News.

GROUP: Take it away, Carl.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whee!

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CARL AZUZ, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Big thanks to the students at Broad Creek Middle School for getting us started today. Today`s headlines will take us to Asia and Africa, but we`re beginning in the state of Florida.

Florida is holding its presidential primary contest, and the leading Republican candidates are making a final push to win the 50 delegates that are up for grabs there.

Why are delegates important? Well, when a candidate wins one, it means the delegate will vote for that candidate to be the party`s presidential nominee.

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AZUZ (voice-over): Candidates win most delegates during primaries and caucuses. Some states, like Florida, have a winner-take-all system, win the state, you get all of its delegates. Other states have a proportional system.

So, for example, a candidate who wins 40 percent of the vote in that state wins 40 percent of the state`s delegates. Win enough delegates, and you win your party`s nomination. The bar this year for the Republican Party is 1,144 delegates.

Here`s how things broke down, heading into Florida`s primary. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney had 32 delegates; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had 27; Representative Ron Paul had 10 and former Senator Rick Santorum had eight.

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AZUZ: So you can see, we still have a long way to go as far as delegates are concerned. Candy Crowley looks at how today`s primary could impact the Republican field.

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CANDY CROWLEY, HOST, STATE OF THE UNION (voice-over): Florida will break the tie, but it won`t end the game. The four survivors of the Republican primary process intend to keep on keeping on. They can all see the White House from their campaign headquarters.

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We will beat Barack Obama.

CROWLEY (voice-over): Newt Gingrich thinks he can muddy up Mitt Romney`s prospects by doing well in states that divvy up delegates by percentages.

REP. RON PAUL (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you for coming.

CROWLEY (voice-over): Looking to caucus states where dedicated followers might produce outsized results, Ron Paul also depends on the law of political gravity.

PAUL: We`re going to stay in and see what comes of it. And who knows what will come of the other two candidates? You know, there`s been lots of ups and downs, so maybe there will be some downs and we might be able to pick up the pieces.

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don`t come from, you know, a background of wealth.

CROWLEY (voice-over): Steady, sure and under-funded, Rick Santorum needs a miracle like Iowa, but on time and bigger. He needs a tumble from the top, leaving space for him to step in as Newt without the baggage.

SANTORUM: We`re doing great, and we -- but we`re in this for the long haul. We just weren`t going to go out and spend every dime in a huge state like Florida.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to get America working again by --

CROWLEY (voice-over): Ever the CEO, Romney is a numbers cruncher. Figuring in the highs and lows, he patiently awaits a return on his investment.

ROMNEY: This is a campaign that`s going to go the distance. I`m confident we`re going to get the delegates we need and that, despite all the ups and downs of a campaign, in the final analysis, if I do my job right and get our supporters motivated, well, we`ll be able to take the prize.

CROWLEY (voice-over): Even if the Florida results do not change the players, they will surely change the game.

SANTORUM: Game on.

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CROWLEY (voice-over): Florida is not Rick Santorum`s Iowa, dismissed as too white, too rural, with a lousy record of choosing winners.

ROMNEY: Thank you, New Hampshire!

CROWLEY (voice-over): Nor is Florida Romney`s New Hampshire, discounted by critics as a hometown win.

And Florida is not Gingrich`s South Carolina, diluted by naysayers as an over-sampling of evangelicals.

Florida is nobody`s home state. It is populous, diverse, and hard hit by the economic downturn. There is a constituency for everyone. Florida is the no excuses state.

CROWLEY: A good win for Romney would reestablish him as the front- runner, the better for his bruises. And a nice win for Gingrich would make him more than a one-state wonder. Florida will change everything, even if we don`t notice at first -- Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.

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AZUZ: The city of Joplin, Missouri, is gradually moving forward after it took a direct hit from a massive tornado last May. One hundred and sixty-one people were killed. It was the deadliest twister on U.S. soil since officials started keeping records. St. John`s Mercy Hospital in Joplin was left standing, but severely damaged.

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AZUZ (voice-over): On Sunday, a demolition crew started taking down the old building. But that was just the first ceremony in Joplin on Sunday. There was also a groundbreaking at St. John`s new site. The hospital`s president said it`s hard to say goodbye to the old building, but he`s glad to be moving ahead and looking to the future.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See if you can ID me. I have an emperor, but my government is run by a prime minister. I have the world`s 10th largest population, but I`m smaller than California. I`m an island nation that`s part of Asia.

I`m Japan, and my people have one of the world`s largest life expectancies.

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AZUZ: Over the next half-century or so, Japan`s population might not stay in the top 10. According to new estimates from the country`s government, the population is going to get smaller -- a lot smaller.

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AZUZ (voice-over): Right now, Japan has more than 120 million residents. By the year 2060, officials predict there will be less than 87 million residents. That`s a 30 percent drop-off. A low national birth rate is one explanation for the potential decrease in population.

Another is that long life expectancy. Right now, around 23 percent of Japan`s population is 65 or older. By 2060, experts predict that number will be up to nearly 40 percent.

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AZUZ: We want to see you on an upcoming edition of CNN Student News. And this is how you can do it. You can record yourself on either a camera or a phone, like you see me doing right now, talking about Black History Month. It`s next month.

We want you to tell us, in 60 seconds or less, about an important figure in black history. We don`t want to hear any music or see any pictures. We just want to see you talking. Send it to us as an iReport at cnnstudentnews.com, and then look for our response in your email inbox.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this legit? The nation of Cote d`Ivoire is located in Europe.

Not legit. Cote d`Ivoire, which is sometimes known as Ivory Coast, is located in western Africa.

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AZUZ: Cote d`Ivoire is the world`s biggest producer of cocoa beans, which are the main ingredient in chocolate. When we eat a candy bar, we don`t think about who harvested the cocoa beans it`s make out of. But as David McKenzie shows us, sometimes it`s kids who are younger than you are, and they don`t have a choice about the work they`re forced to do.

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DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): On this farm, we find Abdul (ph). He survived three years of work. He`s just 10. He earns no wages for his work, he says, just food, the occasional tip from the owner and the torn clothes on his back.

Put in the simplest of terms, Abdul (ph) is a child slave. We move away from the group, so he can speak more freely. And through our translator, he tells us his story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he had a choice, he wouldn`t work.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Abdul (ph) says he`s from neighboring Burkina Faso. When his father died, he says, a stranger brought him to Ivory Coast. Abdul (ph) has never eaten chocolate. He tells us he doesn`t even know what cocoa is for.

We met Jaku (ph) on the same farm, also from Burkina Faso.

"My mother brought me when my father died," he tells me. Jaku (ph) insists he`s 16, but he looks much younger. His legs bear machete scars from hours clearing the bush. The emotional scars seem much deeper.

"I wish I could just go to school," he says, "to learn to read and write." But Jaku (ph) says he`s never spent a day in school.

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AZUZ (voice-over): Teachers, that report was part of CNN`s Freedom Project. It`s part of the fight to end modern-day slavery. If you go to the "Spotlight" section at cnnstudentnews.com, you can access our free teacher`s guide on the Freedom Project.

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AZUZ: What`s the one ingredient you need for a great winter carnival?

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AZUZ (voice-over): It`s snow. You can see how these sculptors use it to impress. But this Idaho event almost got the cold shoulder from Mother Nature. There was hardly any snow for weeks leading up to the festival.

No snow, no sculptures. Organizers were ready to change the rules, but some last-minute flurries provided plenty of building material and sent sculptors on a mad dash to craft the cool creations.

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AZUZ: You know, when that snow finally did fall, it sent the artists into a flurry of activity. They might not have had as much time to build. They did get a great story out of it, though. And for the champion, we`re sure it was a "win-ter" remember. Not sure that worked, but it`s "an ice" way to end today`s program. For CNN Student News, I`m Carl Azuz. We`ll see you.

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