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CNN Student News Transcript: March 31, 2010

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CNN Student News - 3/31/2010

(CNN Student News) -- March 31, 2010

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South Korea
Moscow, Russia




CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: March is just about over, but today's edition of CNN Student News is just getting started! Hello, everyone. I'm Carl Azuz.

First Up: Fixes

AZUZ: First up, the health care bill is law, and now, the changes are as well. We're talking about the so-called "fixes" bill. It was a second part of the president's health care reform legislation that was approved by Congress last week. This one costs $65 billion; brings the total price tag for health care reform over the next 10 years to $940 billion.

President Obama signed the "fixes" bill into law yesterday at a community college in Virginia. Part of the reason for that is because the fixes bill includes some major changes to the college student loan system. Previously, the government would give money to banks, and those banks would give loans to students. Under the new law, the government will give loans directly. The president says this will free up more money for loans. Critics argue it could cost employees at banks their jobs.

Back to the main topic of this legislation, though: health care reform. A lot of people, like Misty on Facebook, have a lot of questions. You can find some of the answers at our Web site. Head to the Spotlight section at We've put a couple articles up there that can help make sense of all this.

Northeast Flooding

AZUZ: Up in the northeastern U.S., major rainstorms are driving up river levels, threatening dangerous floods and leaving lots of people without power. New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts: All these states, feeling the effects of severe weather. Authorities in some areas are closing roads, getting sandbags ready to fight the floods. Some people are being told to get out of their homes. The governor of Massachusetts has declared a state of emergency in order to help free up money for the relief efforts. Weather officials say one river in Rhode Island could see the worst flooding in half a century.


AZUZ: The H1N1 virus: still out there, still getting people sick. That is the warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC. H1N1, sometimes called "swine flu," first showed up about a year ago. The CDC says right now, it's going through a sort of comeback, especially in the Southeast. Nearly a dozen states are reporting some flu activity. The CDC says the situation in Georgia is critical. That state has had the most confirmed cases of H1N1 for three weeks in a row. The best way to fight the disease? Vaccination. Health officials say there are more than 100 million vaccinations available. So far, an estimated 60 million Americans -- almost one-fifth the population -- have gotten H1N1.

Rescue Mission

AZUZ: Moving over to the waters off South Korea. U.S. divers are expected to get involved in a rescue mission today. South Korean divers have been trying to find survivors after a military ship sank last weekend near the North Korean border. 58 sailors had been rescued by yesterday; there were 46 others still missing. South Korean officials say an apparent explosion sank the ship, although they're still trying to figure out what caused the explosion. The country's defense minister said it might have been a sea mine that was left over from the Korean War in the 1950s.

Day of Mourning

AZUZ: Investigators in the Russian capital of Moscow are looking into Monday's terrorist attack on the city's subway system. It left 39 people dead. Yesterday, Russians paused to mourn for the victims. Flags were lowered to half staff, and mourners put up memorials at the subway stations where the attacks were made. Here, you can see Russian President Dmitry Medvedev laying flowers at one of those memorials. Both of the stations reopened Monday afternoon, hundreds of thousands of people back riding the subway yesterday. There were a lot more police officers around the stations, though. Matthew Chance takes us inside the Russian subway to show us how the city is slowly recovering and how people there are paying respect to those who died.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, MOSCOW: It is incredible how this city has recovered from the devastating attacks this week by suicide bombers. We're here at the Park Kultury metro station. You can see these commuter trains that were bombed on Monday morning are now filled with passengers once again, commuting their way to work, getting off as if nothing was happening. But of course, it doesn't mean that the people who died on this platform and at the Lubyanka metro station a short distance away have been forgotten. Take a look at this. Well, this is a makeshift memorial for the more than three dozen people who died in the twin suicide bombings. You can see people have come, ordinary commuters, to pay their last respects, to lay flowers and to say a prayer.

Bullying Charges

AZUZ: Teachers, please preview this next segment; it deals with a young person's suicide. Bullying, whether it's done through words or actions, is something a lot of people have dealt with, especially at school. In the situation we're talking about today, it might have led one teen to take her own life. And now, the district attorney, a high-level lawyer who's in charge of the case, is looking at who might be responsible. It's an issue that started in school and could end up in court.


AZUZ: Nine Massachusetts teenagers are accused of being involved in bullying, harassment that preceded a 15-year-old girl's death. Phoebe Prince's family had recently moved to Massachusetts from Ireland. The district attorney in the case said Prince briefly dated a male student at South Hadley High School, and that appeared to anger a group of students, leading to the harassment. And this seems to have gone way beyond normal teenage arguments: It apparently included verbal abuse, physical abuse and threats of physical harm.

ELIZABETH D. SCHEIBEL, DISTRICT ATTORNEY: The investigation revealed relentless activity directed toward Phoebe, designed to humiliate her and to make it impossible for her to remain at school.

AZUZ: On January 14th, after what prosecutors say was almost three months of abuse, Prince committed suicide. It happened on what was described as a "torturous day" for her, when she was harassed on her walk home and before that at school.

SCHEIBEL: The harassment reported to have occurred that day in the school's library appears to have been conducted in the presence of a faculty member and several students, but went unreported to school administrators until after Phoebe's death. The actions or inactions of some adults at the school are troublesome.

AZUZ: Some people had tried to stop the harassment, according to the D.A. At least four students and faculty members had intervened at some point, but Scheibel says the school's code of conduct wasn't enforced well enough. She also said the harassment against Prince was common knowledge, and that the student's mother had complained to school officials twice. Since Prince's death, Massachusetts lawmakers have worked on an anti-bullying law, and officials at South Hadley High School have formed a task force aimed at stopping bullying.


Blog Promo

AZUZ: So, what can be done to stop bullying? Not just in Phoebe's case, in any instance of bullying? We'd like to hear your ideas. Weigh in on our blog at We look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Fast Facts

TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for some Fast Facts. The Large Hadron Collider is, essentially, a giant science experiment. It's located near Geneva, Switzerland, about 330 feet underground. It was built to help scientists study the smallest known particles. The collider costs about $6.6 billion, and it's had a few setbacks since it began its work in September of 2008.


AZUZ: Scientists hope that the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, will reveal some of secrets of the universe. The way to do that: smash particles together at the speed of light! Yesterday, they did it. It releases a lot of energy. Some were worried that releasing that much energy might cause the end of the world. So far, so good. Science expert Bill Nye gives us some more information on this kind of work.

BILL NYE, THE SCIENCE GUY: And the idea is the only way to find out what's inside these things, as far as we can figure so far, is to try to knock them open. If you want to know what's inside an egg, you crack it. So, we're trying to get these things to smash apart. And the deal is we're about three times the energy in this particle accelerator in Switzerland and France that we've ever had before. And so, this magnetic field that you need to hold it all in is about a million, billion times stronger than the earth's magnetic field.

Before We Go

AZUZ: Before we go, baby chickens: so cute, so delicious... when they're made out of marshmallow! We're talking about Peeps, the popular Easter candy. The query of this contest: How many Peeps can you plow through in one minute? The winner took down eight and a half; that's one every seven seconds. But after you come down from that sugar rush, you might wonder why someone would want to bite through that much marshmallow.


AZUZ: We're gonna need some time to chew over the answer. And one thing's for sure: We don't wanna hear a peep out of anyone about the puns. If you want more, you'll have to chick out tomorrow's show. Whoo! I'm Carl Azuz for CNN Student News.