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STUDENT NEWS

President Obama Addresses U.N. General Assembly; College Affordability

Aired September 26, 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, CNN ANCHOR: Ten minutes, no commercials, headlines from around the world. I`m Carl Azuz. And this is CNN STUDENT NEWS. We`re taking off in three, two ...

Today, we are talking about the United Nations General Assembly. This is the biggest group within the U.N. It includes all 193 member countries. Right now, the U.N. General Assembly is holding its annual meeting in New York, and it`s discussing some major global issues. Things like Syria`s civil war, and Iran`s controversial nuclear program. Yesterday, President Obama talked about both of those during his speech to the assembly. He also talked about the recent violence and protests in parts of the Arab world. A lot of the anger started because of an anti-Islam film made in America. Some of the protesters wanted the U.S. government to block it, but that would have been against U.S. law.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I know that not all countries in this body share this particular understanding of the protection of free speech. We recognize that. But in 2012 at a time when anyone with a cell phone can spread offensive views around the world with a click of a button, the notion that we can control the flow of information is obsolete.

The question then is how do we respond? And on this, we must agree, there is no speech that justifies mindless violence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s the word? It`s the price you pay for instruction at a college or university. Tuition. That`s the word.

(END VIDEO CLIP

AZUZ: A lot of American families haven`t thought through all of the tuition costs associated with college. This year`s presidential candidates have both talked about ways to make college more affordable.

Christine Romans captures their ideas.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When Jackie Giovanniello graduated from Brown University this year, she put off going straight to medical school. Instead, she took a research job at Sloane Kettering Hospital.

JACKIE GIOVANNIELLO, GRADUATE IN DEBT: It is nice to have a paying job where I can pay back part of my student loans before going to med school and possibly adding on a lot more.

ROMANS: And she had plenty of them, a 100,000 worth. Why? Her family is middle class, her mother works in a school. Her dad owns a bar. She says they`re considered too wealthy to qualify for many grants, but she says, not wealthy enough to have saved the money for the more than 50,000 a year to attend Brown.

GIOVANNIELLO: When you are in the middle class, you are a normal suburban family, you just don`t make an outrageous amount of money, so you can`t pay for these outrageous prices for tuition, you know.

ROMANS: She is not alone. Student loan debt hit a trillion dollars last year. Even tuition for public four-year colleges rose 68 percent over the last decade.

Enter the presidential campaign with college affordability, a key issue for younger voters.

OBAMA: And I want to make college more affordable for every young person who has the initiative and drive to go. And make sure they are not burdened by thousands of dollars worth of debt.

ROMANS: President Obama has expanded Pell Grants and cut out the banks as middlemen for loans, allowing students to borrow directly from the government. Now, Obama proposes to slow tuition growth by increasing state grants. Yet, he`d need Congress to help fund that.

MITT ROMNEY: I`m not going to go out and promise all sorts of free stuff that I know you are going to end up paying for. What I want to do is give you a great job, so you`ll be able to pay back yourself ...

(APPLAUSE)

ROMANS: Mitt Romney`s plan to help students - remove burdens and regulations and get the government out of the student loan business. Romney says the flood of federal dollars just drives up tuition. Molly Corbett Broad of the American Council on Education says the recession`s heavy toll on state budgets is also a factor.

MOLLY CORBETT BROAD, AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EDUCATION: When the state reduces its support, the only other place to turn for most colleges in the public sector is to increase tuition.

ROMANS: Either way, students like Jackie feel left out in the cold.

GIOVANNIELLO: A lot of people who don`t have students in college or don`t have kids my age just think like, oh, you are either wealthy enough to go to college, or you get financial aid from the government, and it`s that simple, but it`s not that simple.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AZUZ: A lot of you, American football fans, have been following what`s been going on between the NFL and the replacement referees. And you might agree that what happened on Monday night in the game between the Seahawks and the Packers could be a game changer. It`s one of the things we are talking about on our Facebook site. If you are on Facebook, come check us out at facebook.com/cnnstudentnews and tell us what you think.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today "Shoutout" goes out to Mr. Gardner`s social studies classes at Indian Valley High School in Gnadenhutten, Ohio. In the Hebrew language, what is the world for "day"? Here we go, is it Tov, Shanah, Yom or Shalom? You`ve got three seconds, go!

The Hebrew word for "day" is Yom. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout!"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: Yom Kippur means Day of Atonement, it`s the most important and sacred holiday in the Jewish religion and it`s happening today. Yom Kippur marks the end of the ten days of repentance, which starts Rosh Hashana. During the holiday, Jews atone from their sins from the past year by asking forgiveness from God and from other people. Yom Kippur services end with the blowing of the Shofar, a ritual instrument made out of a ram`s horn.

Whitney Kropp isn`t part of a popular group in her high school in West Branch, Michigan. She`s described as a free spirit, she dresses a little differently from other students, and she says she`s been picked on in the past. She was shocked and thrilled to hear her name announced as part of the homecoming court, but the 16-year old sophomore broke down when she found out it was all part of a prank. Some students apparently thought it was funny to nominate someone unpopular to the traditionally popular homecoming court. Whitney`s mother encouraged her to go anyway. Her sister helped set up a Facebook page to support her, and the community came together. A friend posted a video about her, local businesses said they`d cover the cost of her dress, her shoes, dinner makeup, anything she wants. And in this Youtube video, Whitney said something good can come out of this and not just for her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WHITNEY KROPP, HIGH SCHOOL SOPHOMORE: People feel like that it`s going to come out pretty good, and I think that`s (inaudible) that people are doing so far, and that it will make a difference to our students who are being bullied or soon will be bullied.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: Whitney`s school district is investigating the incident. The superintendent says any bulling is unacceptable. As for the 16-year old, the Support Whitney Facebook site has more than 61,000 likes. There are only 2100 people in Whitney`s whole community. And Whitney Kropp is looking forward to her homecoming dance this weekend. Our next story isn`t about a community support for one person like Whitney, it`s about one person who`s working to make a difference in his community. And the way he does it, is by using athletics to create opportunities. Robin Meade has details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBIN MEADE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: C.J. Stewart always dreamed to play Major League Baseball, but the odds were stuck against him.

C.J. STEWART, FOUNDER, L.E.A.D.: I grew up in one of the most poverty-stricken communities in Atlanta. For me and my home, it was always a place of hope.

MEADE: Through baseball, Stewart earned a college scholarship and was drafted by the Chicago Cubs!

STEWART: It was so much joy and excitement, because everything that I worked for, was actually happening.

MEADE: Now, Stewart is using baseball to help inner city boys in middle and high school go to college through his L.E.A.D. organization.

STEWART: We are much more than a baseball team. We have an opportunity to not only develop these young men through baseball, but to give them access to college. It worked for me, and so I know it can work for them.

The program is free, as long as they maintain a 2.0 GPA and engage in community service. Since 2007, 33 participants have graduated from high school and enrolled in college.

JASON GRESHAM, HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR: If I weren`t in this program, I don`t know where I will be right now, because I could be in the streets nowhere, just doing the stuff I shouldn`t be doing.

STEWART: God has given me an opportunity to use baseball to have a better life. This is my opportunity to say, thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AZUZ: Before we go, the race for the White House is crumbling, but only when you take a bite out of one of these. Local bakery in Ohio is keeping up its tradition of baking cookies with caricatures of the candidates. The owner keeps track of which cookie sells more. It`s not really a scientific poll, OK, it`s not scientific at all, but it has predicted the right winner each time, and it can`t guarantee one thing for sure, whichever candidate wins, the victory will be sweet! And it`s nice to see something different during an election year. Sometimes these campaigns can just seem so cookie-cutter. That is up all the time we have for a day for CNN STUDEN NEWS. I`m Carl Azuz.

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