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STUDENT NEWS

Gun Control and the Budget are Hot Topics in U.S. Politics Today; The "Zero TV" Generation; All About the Masters Golf Tournament

Aired April 11, 2013 - 00:00:00   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: I`m Carl Azuz and welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS. It`s Thursday, and today the U.S. Senate could start debating the issue of guns. Two senators, Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Pat Toomey, have come up with a compromise on background checks. The current law requires background checks for people who buy guns from licensed dealers. This new plan would expand the checks to include sales at gun shows and sales online. Private sales, like those from one person to another would not require a background check.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. PAT TOOMEY, R-PENNSYLVANIA: The common ground rests on a simple proposition and that is that criminals and the dangerously mentally ill shouldn`t have guns.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN, D-WEST VIRGINIA: This is common sense. This is gun sense.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: The NRA, the National Rifle Association, describes Senators Toomey and Manchin as strong supporters of gun rights. But it says their proposal would not affect the core problems of gun violence.

First Lady Michelle Obama was also talking about guns yesterday. She was in Chicago, a city that`s been affected by a wave of gun violence. Five- hundred thirty-five people were killed by gun violence last year. That`s about 100 more people than the year before. Mrs. Obama visited a school yesterday where 29 current and former students had been shot in the past year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m not talking about something that`s happening in a war zone halfway around the world. I am talking about what`s happening in the city that we call home. If our kids keep waking up in neighborhoods where they don`t feel safe on their own front porches, if they`re still attending schools with crumbling ceilings and ripped-up text books, if there`s nowhere safe for them to go when that afternoon bell rings, then nothing speaks louder than that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: The first lady`s husband, President Obama, was speaking yesterday too, talking about his proposal for the U.S. government`s budget. It includes the president`s suggestions for how the country would spend and save money. And it`s getting some criticism from Republicans and Democrats. The president`s plan is just one proposal in just one part of the federal budget process. Most years, it starts from the president`s proposal. This year, there are three budget proposals - one from the White House, one from the U.S. Senate, and one from the U.S. House of Representatives. The House and Senate released their proposals about a month ago.

Once the proposal, or this year proposals, come out, then the House and Senate budget committees work on figuring out what`s in and what`s out. Those committees are responsible for coming up with a single budget resolution. If the full House and Senate both pass that resolution, and the president agrees, then the budget goes into effect. If the resolution doesn`t pass, and that`s not unusual, then the government can use a continuing resolution - basically the budget numbers from the past year continue into the new year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this legit? Neilsen ratings measure television viewership. It`s true. Television networks use those ratings when deciding how much to charge advertisers.

AZUZ: Most Americans watch their TV shows here. There`s a new study out that suggests a growing number of Americans who are watching here, or here. The study shows that 5 million Americans don`t actually watch TV on TV, and those viewers aren`t being counted as part of the Neilsen ratings. Zain Asher now looks at how the way we watch TV can affect the way that companies make money on TV.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It wasn`t so long ago that almost every household had a landline, connected to the world through plugs and wires. But the rotary soon came and went, the phone became mobile, and now the television is doing the same. Neilsen, a consumer research group, says more of us are watching TV without a TV - on laptops, tablets, phones, anywhere but here. And often, at a fraction of the cost.

PROF. ROBERT THOMPSON, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY: The old idea of waiting till something is on to watch it is something that many simply don`t feel the need to tolerate anymore.

ASHER: Five percent of Americans are now disconnected. Two and a half times the number five years ago.

DHIYA KURIAKOSE, COLUMBIA STUDENT: I`m graduating (ph) in broadcast television journalism and I don`t own a TV, so that`s saying something.

ASHER: What Neilsen calls "The Zero TV Generation," seems to be younger and more comfortable with content on the go. As more Americans disconnect, experts say it`s the cable companies who could be left holding the bag.

THOMPSON: These operations are going to have to come up with ways to get their material available in some way that`s going to make them money on all kinds of different devices.

JOHN BERGMAYER, ATTORNEY PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE: They make their living delivering content to people, and if people are getting their content another way, they might find themselves cut out.

ASHER: For decades family, friends, coworkers, would watch the same programs on TV`s schedule. And then talk about it at work, at home, and on the phone.

JOHN MCKINNEY, ASHE AVENUE: I mean the thing that happens now is like if you watch, say, the new episode of "Game of Thrones," then you`re going to go on Facebook and talk about it or tweet about it or something,

ASHER: A new and different social conversation.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AZUZ: All right, are you part of the zero TV generation, or could you be? Join the conversation on our blog about whether you could do without cable and satellite TV. Teachers also, please sound of on today`s show. It`s all on the same site, CNNstudentnews.com.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s shout out goes out to Mrs. Raugust`s class at Davenport Middle School in Davenport, Washington.

What sports event is associated with the "green jacket?" You know what to do here. Is it the Kentucky Derby, Indianapolis 500, Tour de France, or Masters Tournament? You`ve got three seconds, go.

The winner of the Masters golf tournament gets the green jacket. That`s your answer, and that`s your shout out.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEVE EUBANKS, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, PGA.COM: The Masters is the first major golf event of the year, and it`s the unofficial start of spring.

The Masters is much different than anything else because it`s held at the same golf course every year, Augusta National. The reason the tournament is so exclusive is it`s still an invitational. It`s very much like getting invited to the member guest at your local club. They bring in people from all over the world to play in this thing and it`s the greatest invitation that you can get in the game.

Course changes almost every year. The course that they played in the 1930`s bares no resemblance to the course they`re playing today. Every year something is tweaked, something is changed. President Eisenhower was one of the most famous members of Augusta National, and he always had difficulty with the big pine tree to the left of the 17th fairway. Ike was a slicer, and he started that ball right at the tree, and most of the time, it got hung up in there. He threatened to shop it down, and Clifford Roberts told him that be might have freed the world, but that tree was remaining.

The Masters is the most sought-after ticket in sports, because there`s no place to go buy it. The tickets that have been around, people have had them for decades and, in some instances, for generations. You can get on the lottery program for either practice rounds or the par three tournament, but to get in it`s a very very special treat.

Perhaps the two most significant events in golf were Jack Nicklaus` win in 1986. Still considered perhaps the greatest golf tournament of all time when the Golden Bear came charging back and became the oldest Masters winner. The other was in 1997 when Tiger Woods burst on the scene as an amateur and became the youngest Masters winner, setting a record for margin of victory in the event.

The green jacket was established originally so that people would know who the members were at the club. They wanted the members to all be wearing something distinctive so that if a spectator, or as they called them, patrons at the Masters had a question, they would know who to walk up to and ask. The first winner to receive a green jacket was Sam Sneed in 1949. It was an idea that Bob Jones thought would make the tournament a little more special and set it apart.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AZUZ: Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice isn`t a Masters winner. She is a member of August National Golf Club, which is why she is wearing one of those famed green jackets. Rice is one of the first female members admitted to the traditionally all male club. She played a practice round on the Augusta course earlier this week.

Guan Tianliang will be on the course today when the Masters tournament officially begins. On Monday, he played a practice round with Tiger Woods. In 1997 Woods became the youngest Masters winner. Today, Tianliang becomes the youngest Masters player. He`s 14 years, five months, and 14 days old. He wasn`t even born when Woods won his first green jacket.

Before we go. Why did the chicken cross the road? Who cares! We`re more curious about why this raccoon crossed these utility wires, or really how it got across them. A woman in Toronto looked out her window and saw the critter creeping its way across - one set of paws on the bottom wire, the other hanging on top. It traversed between trees that were about a football field apart. Can you imagine going that far on utility wires? You`d get a real charge out of making it across safely. The raccoon didn`t cause any problems, it was an upstanding citizen. You know, his friends asked something like why are you doing this? The answer, I`m just high strung.

Our puns are always a bit of a tightrope act, but I think we`ve found the right balance. Back tomorrow, see you then.

END