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STUDENT NEWS

Two Military Helicopters Collide, Killing 7 Marines

Aired February 24, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET

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


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re students at Spelman College.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome to CNN Student News.

BEN TINKER, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: You`re going to hear more from those students at Spelman in just a bit, but we want to thank them for getting us started today, and thank all of you for spending part of your Friday with CNN Student News. Carl is out today. I`m Ben Tinker, and I think that paper airplane should be ready to launch any second now.

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TINKER: First up today, authorities are investigating an accident that led to the deaths of seven U.S. Marines. It happened Wednesday night when two military helicopters collided in midair.

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TINKER (voice-over): The crash took place during a training operations near a Marine base in Arizona. Arizona`s governor said it`s a reminder that no military mission is ever routine, whether it`s in combat or in training.

The two helicopters that were involved in the crash were a Super Cobra attack helicopter and a Huey utility chopper. The Marines on board were getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan, and that`s why they were training in Arizona, because the terrain there is so similar to what they would experience overseas.

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TINKER: The tension in parts of Afghanistan doesn`t look like it`ll ease up any time soon. This, of course, is related to the coalition forces admitting that they accidentally burned some copies of the Quran, Islam`s holy book.

President Obama apologized yesterday to Afghanistan`s president for the, quote, "error."

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TINKER (voice-over): Meantime, hundreds of Afghans have been protesting for days, sometimes outside of military bases in the country. Afghan officials who are investigating the situation have urged the protesters to avoid resorting to violence.

Two U.S. troops were killed in Afghanistan on Thursday, and an unnamed official said the gunman is thought to have been acting in conjunction with a protest taking place outside the base.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this legit? The word forensics means the study of formal debates.

This one`s true. You might have heard about forensic science, but the word also applies to debates.

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TINKER: And it applies to an event held in Arizona Wednesday night. Another forensic foray, if you will, for the leading Republican presidential candidates. They got together for the 20th debate this campaign season. And the last one before a bunch of upcoming primaries and caucuses.

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TINKER (voice-over): Health care, the economy and social issues were some of the big topics the candidates focused on, and this was their first time Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former Senator Rick Santorum and Texas Representative Ron Paul shared a stage since the debate in Florida about a month ago.

And it was the last opportunity the candidates will have to face off against each other before next Tuesday`s primaries in Arizona and Michigan.

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TINKER: The eventual Republican nominee will face off against President Obama, the all-but-certain Democratic nominee. Yesterday the president was focused on another issue that came up during Wednesday night`s debate: energy.

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TINKER (voice-over): This is something a lot of people are worried about, especially as prices at the pump climb higher and higher. In fact, the average cost of a gallon of gas is up more than 10 percent over the last two months.

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TINKER: And during a speech in Miami yesterday, President Obama talked about developing a policy that includes different sources of energy, like oil, nuclear, solar and wind. The president said he`ll work to help Americans who are dealing with the rising cost of gas.

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BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We`re going to look at every single aspect of gas prices, because we know the burden that it`s putting on consumers. And we will keep taking as many steps as we can in the coming weeks.

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TINKER: The housing industry is one of the big factors that experts look at when they`re figuring out how the U.S. economy is doing. Now this much we know: home sales are increasing.

Good news if you`re looking to buy, but part of the reason for that increase is that home prices are incredibly low, and that`s, of course, bad news if you already own a house. Christine Romans has a look at where things stand right now.

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CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Home prices in this country are now the lowest they`ve been in a decade. Since November 2001, that`s the verdict from the National Association of Realtors. This is what home prices looked like in January of 2012, last month, $154,700 is the median price of an existing home in this country.

Take a look at how that has come down dramatically from the peak of $219,000 in 2007. Let`s move it forward, shall we? Zillow says last year home prices were down nationwide almost 5 percent. And this year they could go down another 3.7 percent.

That means overall, home prices are still falling. But look, all real estate is local. It`s different where you live, and there are three categories here: places where home prices are still falling, where they`re bottoming out and also where they`re starting to rise.

Let`s look at the zones that are still falling: Atlanta. This year, Zillow says, Atlanta home prices could go down another 8 percent and change. Chicago as well, down more than 7 percent. Seattle, Cleveland, Sacramento, St. Louis -- you get the picture. These are some of the areas where home prices in this country are still falling.

Where are they bottoming out? Places like Dallas-Ft. Worth, San Diego, San Francisco, you could see small, very minor losses in home prices for the year. But for the most part, there`s a feeling that in those places the worst price losses are behind us.

And where are prices rising? Because there are some parts of the country where very low mortgage rates and a washout of all of these foreclosures is providing some opportunity. Those are places like Baltimore; Riverside, California; even Phoenix, which has had a real estate crisis for several years; Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for the Shoutout. Which of these schools is an HBCU, a historically black college or university? If you think you know it, then shout it out. Is it Howard University, Morehouse College, Cheyney University or Spelman College? You`ve got three seconds, go.

If you picked any of these options, you`d be right, because they`re all HBCUs. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.

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TINKER: And, of course, the term HBCU refers to schools that were founded before 1964, explicitly for African-American students. Today, there are around 100 historically black colleges and universities in the U.S. And as part of our continuing coverage of Black History Month, we talked with some students at Morehouse and Spelman Colleges right here in Atlanta, about their experiences attending HBCUs.

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REGINALD SHARPE, JR., MOREHOUSE COLLEGE JUNIOR: The reason I wanted to come to Morehouse is because I heard about so many of its alumni. The first black mayor of Atlanta, Maynard Jackson, went here. Spike Lee and so many others went here.

Martin Luther King Jr. went here, and the list goes on and on and on, and I said, well, if those men made it here, I want to be here, and I wanted to have the opportunity to learn what they learned and walk where they walked.

Every day, there are moments when I just have to -- I walk outside and look at the statues. There are statues of Martin Luther King Jr., Benjamin E. Mays (ph) around the campus. There are certain spots on this campus, like Sale Hall, where different leaders actually sat. They used to have graduations there.

And I`ll just walk in there and just breathe the air, because it`s just -- there`s a sense of belonging that I sense here.

GABRIELLE HORTON, SPELMAN COLLEGE SENIOR: An HBCU is really an environment that cultivates and nurtures the young minds of African- American men and women, although, you know, it`s a very multicultural environment.

I think you get to see people from different walks of life in terms of diverse socioeconomic experiences, but I don`t think I was ever exposed to, throughout any my years of schooling, and I think this international mindset I`ve kind of kept in mind, you know, this going global theme is -- permeates throughout Spelman`s culture.

JARRAD MANDEVILLE-LAWSON, MOREHOUSE COLLEGE JUNIOR: I feel like Morehouse is built on the fact that all the students here are accountable for their brothers. We`re not going to let one fall behind or fall below. We`re going to constantly have our brothers` back and uplift them.

I heard Oprah say when you empower men of Morehouse, you empower the world, and I thought that was just the -- that was so moving, and I wanted to be a part of it. Morehouse gives you different characteristics so you can surround yourself with different people that help empower your identify, empower your inner man.

KIRSTIN EVANS, SPELMAN COLLEGE JUNIOR: I did grow up in a majority white environment in Malta (ph), New Jersey, and I didn`t have many black friends there. So when I came here and I was surrounded by African- American women that were driven, I really connected with my identify.

When I was a freshman, I was very shy. Spelman has allowed me to grow and to be more forward and have the ability to talk to anyone. Just the opportunity that Spelman has given me -- and I call my parents and tell them stories, and they`re just like, wow, Kirstin, you do belong at Spelman.

SHARPE: And sometimes when I am discouraged and classes are getting rough, I will literally just walk slowly through these walls and listen to the voices. And I hear them saying, "If I made it, you can make it."

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TINKER: And sometimes we like to feature cute animals in our "Before We Go" segment.

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TINKER (voice-over): But, man, that is one ugly looking dog. Luckily, it looks perfect for a baby aardvark. This little guy is the newest arrival at a zoo in Illinois. He`s only about 40 days old, so he doesn`t have a name yet. The zoo, for now, is just calling him "It."

Officials made sure to point out that "It" is an aardvark, not an anteater --

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TINKER: -- although when they described how he was feeling, they said he was strong, but a little bit antsy. You know, it`s "aard" to come up with puns sometimes, so we "burrowed" that one from the zoo. Hope they don`t mind.

And before we take off, as we promised, we want to mention that the students at Daniel Wright (ph) Junior High School in Illinois, one of you guys got the answer to our social media question right. That`s going to wrap things up for us. Enjoy your weekend, everybody. For CNN Student News, I`m Ben Tinker.

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