April 30th, 2008
09:46 PM ET


The economy is one issue you just can't ignore.  It's not something separated from you by a TV screen or hundreds of miles.  It's in your gas tank, your allowance, the places you go and the stuff you buy.

It's never been more expensive to drive, and if you've bought a gallon of milk lately, you probably noticed that it wasn't cheap.  We'd like to know if and how you've been affected.  Tell us whether you've been pinching pennies, noticing price increases, or if economic changes haven't affected you at all.

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Uncategorized
April 29th, 2008
05:37 PM ET

The Rev. Wright Controversy

On Tuesday afternoon, a headline in one of our news wires read, "Whether applauded or reviled, outspoken pastor still an issue for Obama."  The story went on to say that, to those who applaud Rev. Wright, he's a man with the courage to speak out; to those who revile him, he is racist and a "millstone around Sen. Obama's neck."

Despite Obama's statement that he was "outraged" by the Rev. Wright's recent comments, this story is a good example of how a political candidate's association with someone controversial can affect a campaign.  Wright isn't the one running for president, but his charged statements have had an impact on a man who is.

So it gives you a few things to think about, whether or not you're old enough to vote:  How could the Rev. Wright controversy affect Obama's campaign?  Should it?  And does it matter to you?

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Feedback • News Coverage
April 28th, 2008
07:58 PM ET

Relics of the Ancient World

While discussing Tuesday's show, before we settled on a Shoutout concerning China's Great Wall, we debated asking something about Mesopotamia.  Now part of Iraq, this ancient region is known as a "cradle of civilization" because it's where one of the world's first civilizations developed.

So the Arwa Damon report about Iraq's recovered antiques (which included tablets dating back to the second millennium B.C.) was fascinating to me.  Maybe you've been to the Smithsonian; maybe you've been to the Louvre.  Both of these renowned museums contain artifacts that could never be replaced; they're like world family heirlooms.  So you can understand why it's so important to Iraqis and the rest of us that the recovered relics of the ancient world be preserved, even if they can't yet be displayed publicly.

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Behind the scenes • News Coverage
April 24th, 2008
07:16 PM ET

The Price of Prom

I remember that prom night wasn't really cheap for anybody.  What I saved on renting a tux went to pay for dinner and my date's corsage; what she saved from working all winter went to pay for her dress.  In my opinion, it's not something you absolutely must go to – the longer I've been out of school, the less it has mattered that I went to prom.  But I hate the thought of someone not being able to go because he or she couldn't afford to.

That's what made Friday's report on free prom dresses really stand out.  It showed how a good idea to help someone can expand to a major cause.  We'd love to know what you thought of it and what you think of prom in general.

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Feedback • News Coverage
April 22nd, 2008
11:16 PM ET

Celebrity Causes

Personally, I never think it's a bad thing when a celebrity goes public to help someone.  "Publicity stunt" is a phrase some critics use when that happens, but as long as someone in need actually benefits, who cares?  As you hear in Wednesday's report, "Clooney has Darfur, Angelina has refugees, Bono has Africa" and Shakira has Colombia.  Fine with me:  They're using their talents for good causes.

What I'd like to know is if it matters to anyone.  Think about the famous people you look up to - are you more likely to support a cause if they do?  Would you want to find out more about it, or do you not care as long as they keep making hits?

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Feedback • News Coverage
April 21st, 2008
09:11 PM ET

Earth Day 2008

Yep, it's Earth Day! Every April 22 since 1970, we've paused on this day to plant a tree, pick up trash on a riverbank, or something else to keep the planet running a little cleaner. In today's show, we saw a Duke University class that's figuring out ways clean up a polluted creek using a plan created by Mother Nature. It's pretty cool. So, what are you doing this Earth Day? If you or your class is heading out work on a project for Earth Day, don't forget your camera. Document it, and send it to us in an iReport. We may put it on CNN Student News!

Gerald Smith, CNNSN Producer

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Filed under: News Coverage
April 16th, 2008
09:46 PM ET

Virginia Tech Shooting Anniversary

When we covered the Virginia Tech shooting last year, one aspect of the story I found so amazing was some students' responses to it.  A junior at the time said she "could never imagine leaving"; she felt that she owed it "to the students to go back and just finish the year out."  And a freshman talked about how she wanted to finish her classes to have closure. 

Their stories reflected marks of resilience, our Word to the Wise for that day.  And one year later, you could see it rising in the next group of Virginia Tech students, embodied in the decision of Haley Freking to attend the university despite what it went through.  Whether you'd describe this as simple determination or, in the words of CNN reporter Kate Bolduan, "the fighting Hokie spirit," you've got to admit that it's remarkable.

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Uncategorized
April 14th, 2008
07:13 PM ET

Defining a Hero

What's up y'all, I'm Tomeka Jones, the new Associate Producer for CNN Student News.

Let's talk about heroes!

The word hero can be defined in many different ways. My definition of a hero is someone putting their life on the line or going above and beyond the call of duty for someone else.  Just like the story in Tuesday's show about the 17-year-old in Oklahoma who saved his neighbor from a pit bull attack.  That was brave!  So what's your definition of a hero?  And do you know someone you feel is one?  If so, here's your chance to give them a shoutout.

Tomeka Jones, Associate Producer

Filed under: Feedback • News Coverage
April 13th, 2008
07:10 PM ET

Solving a Rubik's Cube

A friend of mine once said there are two kinds of people in the world:  those who can solve a Rubik's Cube and those who can't.  I fall into the second category, at least when I'm honest.  (My friends caught on pretty quickly when they noticed that, whenever I "solved" a Rubik's Cube, half the stickers were crooked and the other half were peeling back at the corners.)

Now cup-stacking is something I can wrap my mind around.  It's not that I'm good – it's just that I can complete, albeit slowly, the basic challenges of the game.  The fascinating thing about the Rubik's competition in Monday's show is how quickly the competitors were able to solve the puzzles, when so many folks (ahem) don't solve them to begin with.  I'd be curious to see how many of you have figured them out and what kinds of skills you think that takes.

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Feedback • News Coverage
April 9th, 2008
10:03 PM ET

Dream Job

The position of president isn't the highest-paying job in the country, but it's probably the most stressful.  Ever notice how much presidents, particularly two-term presidents, age while they're in office?  Even jaunts to Camp David are often working vacations, and, just like what we do at CNN, the president's always needed when there's breaking news.

I love what I do, but as a kid, I never thought I'd be a news anchor.  I remember saying I wanted to be a pilot (something I'd still like to be in my spare time), a fireman, a dentist, and, at one point, a milkman (don't ask).  But Thursday's report on the president's salary and the opportunities a commander-in-chief has after leaving office made me want to do a blog on dream jobs.  What's yours?  And what was it when you were a kid?

Filed under: Uncategorized
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