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STUDENT NEWS

Super Tuesday Results; Violence in Syria

Aired March 8, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET

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


CARL AZUZ, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz. Before we get started today, I want to say hello to the students at Calhoun Middle School in Calhoun, Georgia. It was great seeing you guys yesterday at the CNN Center here in Atlanta.

All right. Let`s go.

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AZUZ: The Republican Party will officially name its presidential nominee in a conversation in Florida in late August. Don`t know yet who that will be, and the results of this week`s Super Tuesday contest didn`t give a definitive answer, though the front-runner stayed out front. Three out of four Republican candidates won at least one state on Tuesday.

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AZUZ (voice-over): Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney had the most first place finishes. He won his home state of Massachusetts plus Idaho, Vermont, Virginia, Alaska and a close win in Ohio.

Former Senator Rick Santorum came in second in Ohio, but he won contests in Tennessee, Oklahoma and North Dakota. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich claimed victory in Georgia. That`s the state he represented in Congress for 20 years.

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John King looks at how things stack up after Super Tuesday, and how the math for the next round of contests could break down.

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JOHN KING, HOST, JOHN KING U.S.A.: Hasn`t always been pretty, but what you want to do in politics is win. And if you look at the map nationally you see more Romney red than anything else. Senator Santorum has won in the middle of the country, including his Super Tuesday wins in Tennessee, Oklahoma and North Dakota.

Romney winning in Idaho on Super Tuesday, winning in Virginia, Massachusetts and Vermont. The big win for Romney here in Ohio, winning gets you what? It gets you delegates. And so if you look now at the delegate chase, these are ball park numbers, not exactly, still some calculations to do. But Governor Romney came into Super Tuesday just above 200. He ends it above 400. That is a big gain on a big day.

Takes 1,144 to win. Nobody is close to Governor Romney right now. That is his advantage going forward. Over the next week or so, though, you might not see any Romney victories. Kansas is up next on Saturday, for the sake of argument, let`s give that one to Senator Santorum. Then we come to two big Southern contests next week: Alabama and Mississippi.

If Speaker Gingrich can win them and continue his trek across the South, first it was South Carolina, his only win on Super Tuesday came at home in Georgia. If he can pick up Alabama and Mississippi, Speaker Gingrich would be a tight contest for Senator Santorum then for second place. Governor Romney would pick up some delegates and still pull ahead.

Here`s the big challenge for Senator Santorum: try to take Mississippi and Alabama so that he can make the argument next week it`s time for Speaker Gingrich to get out of the race, to give him a shot at catching up to Governor Romney because even if Santorum wins Kansas, wins the two Southern prizes next week, yes, he would close the gap, but he would still be well behind Governor Romney.

He would need, at that point, to convince Speaker Gingrich to get out. So as we look at the next we know this: Romney has a big delegate lead, not quite yet to the finish line.

And the biggest question over the next seven days might not be what happens to Governor Romney, but whether Gingrich and Santorum can figure out whether they`re both in for the long haul or whether the impact of these two Southern states convinces one of them to say goodbye.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s Shoutout goes out to Ms. Miller`s social studies classes at Seymour Middle School in Seymour, Indiana. What country`s capital is Damascus? You know what to do. Is it Libya, Syria, Yemen or Iran? You`ve got three seconds, go.

Damascus is the capital of Syria, a country that`s home to more than 22 million people. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.

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AZUZ (voice-over): And that`s where this video was taken. The woman on the left is Valerie Amos. She`s the head of Emergency Relief Efforts at the United Nations. After meeting with officials in Damascus, Amos was allowed to visit Homs, a city that`s been hammered by Syrian military attacks.

Before her trip, Amos said her goal was to urge everyone involved in the fighting in Syria to let relief workers in to deliver supplies and evacuate people who`ve been wounded.

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AZUZ: Some Syrians have tried to escape the violence by leaving their country. Nic Robertson reports on what life is like for these refugees as they cross the border.

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NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hidden in woods close to the Lebanese border, Lebanese Red Cross ambulances wait for Syria`s wounded. Not far away, in the mountaintop town of Aarsal, more Syrians are getting Lebanese help.

These refugees arrived two days ago. Many are camera shy. Some, though, are prepared to talk and their tales are horrific. Sisters Dalia (ph) and Zaina (ph) both suffer nightmares.

"I see Assad`s forces killing us," she says. "The shelling and shooting was unbearable."

Their father tells me they fled their home just across the border in Al Qusuayr two days ago. "We were told it was going to be bombed," he says. Twelve people live in this tiny room. Three families, all sharing each other`s grief. They are a fraction of the estimated 2,000 who have fled Syria in the past few days, 120 of them crammed into this eight-room building made for far fewer.

Local officials are worrying. They are running out of space. "We expect more refugees," the deputy mayor tells me. "Everyone wants to help, but we are filling up. We`re asking aid groups to build a camp."

Throughout Aarsal`s rugged alleyways, refugees are squeezing in wherever there is space.

ROBERTSON: The U.N. refugee agency says that until last week, it had registered close to 7,000 refugees crossing into northern Lebanon in the past year. The concern is that now Bashar al-Assad`s new military offensive is well underway. That number could rise dramatically -- Nic Robertson, CNN, Aarsal, Lebanon.

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AZUZ: You already know that March is Women`s History Month. But today, March 8th, is International Women`s Day. It`s actually why March was picked for the month-long celebration.

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AZUZ (voice-over): All around the world today, governments and organizations are holding events like this one from 2010. International Women`s Day has been celebrated for more than 100 years. It honors the achievements that women have made and it promotes women`s rights, especially in developing countries.

That ties into the U.N.`s theme for this year`s International Women`s Day, which is about empowering rural women and ending hunger and poverty.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this legit? On an average, U.S. college graduates make around $20,000 more than workers with a high school diploma.

This is true, according to the U.S. Census information from 2009.

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AZUZ: So chances are you`ll get a better salary if you go to college. But here`s the thing: you`re not going to do as well as you might have around 10 years ago. This is based on a new study from the Economic Policy Institute. Researchers there found that entry level wages, the salary that you might get right out of college, went down from 2000 through 2010.

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AZUZ (voice-over): During that 10-year window, men with a college degree saw their entry salaries drop by more than 11 percent. For women, it dropped more than 7.5 percent. Lower salaries means it could take longer to pay off student loans if you`ve got them, and it could limit workers` spending habits.

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AZUZ: Interesting story for you out of Rhode Island. A teenager there is having his driver`s license suspended forever. The judge who made the decision said it`s time for a change in attitudes about young people driving.

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AZUZ (voice-over): This goes back to a car crash in last October. The teen behind the wheel was driving on a suspended license, which means he`d been in trouble before. He was speeding. He was allegedly coming from a party where there had been alcohol.

He and all three of his passengers were injured when he crashed his car into a tree. Now the judge says he will never be allowed to get a license in Rhode Island again.

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AZUZ: The judge says the lifetime ban was the strongest penalty available. The local police chief says he thinks the decision is fair. The state senator says the judge went too far.

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AZUZ (voice-over): Now, we want to get your take on this. Does the punishment fit the crime? And if you don`t think so, what should it have been? You be the judge. Today at cnnstudentnews.com, the story is now featured at the top of our blog. Please remember it`s first names only, no last initials or school or class names. We can`t publish that. Them`s the rules.

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AZUZ: You can usually bank on something kind of wacky in our "Before We Go" segment.

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AZUZ (voice-over): But today`s story might take the cake. If you`re looking for cash this ain`t the ATM for you. This automated teller dispenses something a lot sweeter -- cupcakes. A bakery in Beverly Hills came up with the machine, which is the first of its kind. And just like a lot of ATMs, it`s open to customers 24hours a day. So let`s say it`s 2:00 am and you`re craving a cupcake?

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AZUZ: You could just hit up this ATM to deal with your withdrawal. It could definitely help that bakery batter the competition. It`s a great story. The pun`s just the icing on the cupcake. Back tomorrow to close out the week. We`ll see y`all then.

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