(CNN Student News) -- April 29, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: When it comes to the stock market, are you smarter than a first grader? Better wait a few minutes before you answer. I'm Carl Azuz. This is CNN Student News!
AZUZ: Authorities around the Gulf of Mexico are in a race against time. They are trying to control an oil spill that's heading toward the Louisiana shore. Yesterday, it was about 23 miles off the coast of Louisiana. It could reach land by Friday. If that happens, officials say it could create an ecological disaster. This is all from the Deepwater Horizon. That's the oil rig that sank in the Gulf last week. The company that owns the rig is trying to stop the leak underwater. Meantime, authorities on shore are trying to block the oil from getting to sensitive areas. Reynolds Wolf takes us over the spill to get a closer look.
REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: From the air, the spill appears massive. You can definitely see it.
LT. CRAIG MURRAY, U.S. COAST GUARD: Those are skimmers and booms trying to recover oil.
WOLF: Even from this height, there's plenty to see. On the surface, there's a little bit of a rainbow-like sheen, and much of that is going to be burned away by the sun's rays. But there's also a thicker layer of crude oil in places, and all of that's going to have to be skimmed away. NOAA scientist Ed Levine says the oil moves with sea currents and winds, both affecting the slick shape and size.
ED LEVINE, NOAA: Probably about 97 percent of the floating oil on the surface is very thin sheen. Sheens, molecules thin, thinner than a coat of paint on the side of your house. The area where the thick oil is is in about that three percent of the surface.
WOLF: Currently, the slick continues to grow. And scientists estimate the well is leaking some 42,000 gallons of oil a day. Failure to contain could be catastrophic to the people, beaches and businesses along the Gulf Coast.
LEVINE: The thing we're trying to minimize is land impacts because of the environmental and socio-economic damage that it can do. One of NOAA's concerns is also guaranteeing the safety and security of the seafood, that no tainted products get to market.
MURRAY: The previous location of Deepwater Horizon is at 11:00.
WOLF: And it's going to take a huge effort as we fly over the location where the Deepwater Horizon was once operational. All that remains is a blanket of oil and boats.
MURRAY: The number of assets on scene each day increase.
WOLF: Working to stop the leak and what Coast Guard officials say might become one of the most significant oil spills in U.S. history. Reynolds Wolf, CNN, over the Gulf of Mexico.
AZUZ: You heard in that report that the sun is going to burn away a lot of the floating oil. Another way to do that: set it on fire! It's called a controlled burn, and it's designed to get rid of a lot of the oil. The Coast Guard was preparing for that yesterday, but they're waiting on right weather conditions to get started.
MATT CHERRY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: See if you can I.D. Me! I'm a desert that covers parts of Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah. I'm home to the Joshua Tree National Park. And I'm named after a group of Native Americans. I'm the Mojave Desert, and I take up more than 25,000 square miles.
AZUZ: The U.S. Supreme Court says that a memorial out in the Mojave Desert does not violate the U.S. Constitution. The memorial is a large cross. It was put up in 1934 to honor fallen soldiers. But it's located in a national park, and some people argue that it's a religious symbol that goes against the concept of separation of church and state. The cross -- which you can see right here -- was boarded up because of the legal battle. Yesterday's Supreme Court decision was close: 5 to 4. Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said that this cross represents "far more than religion." But in opposition, Justice John Paul Stevens argued the government can't lawfully endorse a religious symbol as a way to pay tribute to veterans.
AZUZ: We have a new video up on our Facebook page. It's all about the month of the military child, which is right now! April! We're gonna have more about this on our show later this week. Now, maybe you know someone who's a military child, maybe you are one. Either way, we'd love for you to head to Facebook, check out this new video, share your thoughts. You might see them on a show later on this week.
AZUZ: Both the United States and the United Kingdom are telling people not to travel to Thailand unless it's absolutely necessary. The reason is violent political unrest. It has gripped the Asian country for a while now, and fighting broke out again yesterday. Police forces facing off against protesters who are opposed to the government. A CNN reporter on the scene described it as a "tense and intense standoff." She said police used rubber bullets and live ammo. Thailand's government has actually made rules about this. It says troops can use tear gas if protesters get within about 100 yards and live ammo if the protesters get within 100 feet.
AZUZ: Over in Europe, the financial outlook for a few countries isn't looking too good. The investment ratings for Spain, Portugal and Greece all went down this week. Greece might be the worst situation. Experts are using the word "junk" to describe that nation's investment rating. Basically, they're saying that it's very risky to put your money there. Greece has a massive debt, nearly $400 billion. That's bigger than the country's economy. Greece is developing ways to cut spending, but Greek workers aren't too happy about some of those plans, and they've been protesting about it, like you see here. Greece is also asking for financial help from the European Union: a bailout of more than $50 billion.
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Mr. Naas' social studies classes at Mahaffey Middle School in Fort Campbell, Kentucky! Which word describes a portion of earnings given to someone who owns stock in a company? Is it: A) Dividend, B) Security, C) Bond or D) Interest? You've got three seconds -- GO! When a company makes money, it usually pays its stock holders dividends. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: Okay, here's your next homework assignment: Take $20,000 and invest it in the stock market. Would you know how to make some dividends? What if you were asked to do the same thing when you were just 6 years old?!? It's not a hypothetical. It's actually happening at a school in Chicago with real kids and real money. Christine Romans explains the reasons why.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Meet America's future investment bankers and accountants.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have to look out for the dividends.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like checking the Dow.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My favorite stock would have to be Apple.
ROMANS: At Ariel Academy, students learn how to make money...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The financial ratio, it helps the business, like...
ROMANS: Save money...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think everybody should at least save half of their money.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't forget your decimal.
ROMANS: And invest money, real money, thanks to the school's unique saving and investment curriculum.
CONNIE MORAN, DIRECTOR, ARIEL INVESTMENT CURRICULUM: The incoming first grade class gets a $20,000 endowment. When they get to fifth grade, students will start to choose stocks that they think we should be buying, and we will buy them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stock prices (INAUDIBLE) $67.58, and the dividend is 14 cents per share.
ROMANS: When students graduate from eighth grade, the $20,000 goes back to the incoming first grade. Any profit above that amount gets split; half goes to improving the school or to charity, the other half gets divided among the kids.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not going to invest in that at all.
ROMANS: Of course, some years, like 2009, there's no profit, and the kids learn that investing is no slam dunk. But that doesn't deter kids like Ariel graduates Mario and Miles Gage.
MARIO GAGE, ARIEL ACADEMY GRADUATE: I have my own portfolio and it's just really amazing. I'm able to take everything that I learned at Ariel to the next level.
ROMANS: Miles and Mario weren't the only ones in the family getting an education.
MICHELLE GAGE, MOTHER OF ARIEL ACADEMY GRADUATES: And I started looking over some of the materials that they were bringing home. It was still a little foreign to me, but then they kind of broke it down, like children do, and I started getting a little excited about that, and then the knowledge, and I'm like, wow. You know what? This is fun.
ROMANS: Fun and finance doesn't often appear in the same sentence, but that's not true at Ariel. Christine Romans, CNN.
Before We Go
AZUZ: Before we go, we've got a little bedtime story for you. But it won't make you tired. It's the annual Great Bed Races in Louisville, Kentucky! Now, don't sleep on these guys. They are serious competitors. Although some of the teams need a little practice. Or a lot of practice -- I mean, she's hitting every cone! You're supposed to go between them, not through them. The announcer claims it's a steering problem. Naw, it's not a steering problem. The winning team crushed the competition by more than 2 seconds.
AZUZ: But they took it all in stride. Afterwards, we hear they were as cool as the other side of the pillow. You know, if we ever got tired of this stuff, we'd go ahead and put the puns to bed. But what kind of a wet blanket would want that? They just keep on coming. I some of you out there are groaning, and it's probably time that we quit while we're a-bed. We'll have more tomorrow for you. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.