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Changes in Libya; Obama`s Jobs Plan Remains In Progress

Aired August 23, 2011 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: A country that has been ruled by the same person for more than 40 years could be changing hands. That`s our top story today. I`m Carl Azuz, and you`re watching CNN Student News!

The war that has raged across Libya since February appears to be coming to a conclusion. Now, when we put today`s show together, the fighting was not over. There were reports of gunfire and explosions in parts of the Libyan capital of Tripoli. But most of that city was controlled by the rebels who have been fighting the forces of longtime leader Colonel Moammar Gadhafi.

This was how things looked in other parts of the country: people celebrating the news that Colonel Gadhafi`s rule might be almost over. There were celebrations in Tripoli, as well, despite the clashes happening between rebels and Gadhafi`s supporters. Several significant events helped give momentum to the rebels. They gained control of a main square where Moammar Gadhafi`s troops had gathered previously. They took over the state- run television. And they arrested three of Colonel Gadhafi`s sons. It wasn`t clear what may happen to these men. but the International Criminal Court does have a warrant out for the arrest of one of the sons who was captured.

Reacting to the news out of Libya yesterday, President Obama described the situation as fluid, meaning uncertain and changing. But he said it`s clear that "the Gadhafi regime is coming to an end and the future of Libya is in the hands of its people." So, what about Colonel Gadhafi himself? As of Monday afternoon, he hadn`t been arrested. The rebels weren`t sure where he was. But rebel officials said Gadhafi`s capture would be the real moment of victory in this.

Moammar Gadhafi -- whom you see in this file video -- was 27 years old when he led a group of Libyan army officers in overthrowing the country`s king. That was in September of 1969. Colonel Gadhafi has ruled Libya ever since. In the 1970s and `80s, he was known for supporting terrorism and terrorist groups. Starting in the late 1990s, he began working to re-establish connections with Western countries, like the U.S. But now, his 42-year reign looks to be ending. Early in the day Monday, Sara Sidner was in Tripoli reporting on the events there as the rebels advanced. Here`s what she had to say.


SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: From the coastal road to Green Square, what we are seeing are rebels that are filling the streets. They are celebrating. They are very, very jubilant that they`ve been able to come into this city so easily. Everybody seems to have guns, but we have [GUNFIRE], we have seen some families, for the first time, seen some families out. They are yelling Allah al Akbar, God is great. A happy scene that the Gadhafi regime did not show much resistance. And they feel like they are finally able to speak their minds about this regime they are very unhappy with.

Just a few residents. We see a little boy [GUNFIRE] that`s here. There is some gunfire, not as much as what we`ve seen in the past when the rebels go forward. But certainly this city is a whole different place than it was just a day ago. Sara Sidner, CNN, Tripoli.


AZUZ: We remind you that what`s happening in Libya is a developing story. The situation is changing; we have new details coming in all the time. In order to stay up on the most recent events, you can always go to or to check out our home page,

STAN CASE, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! Which U.S. president helped establish Labor Day as a national holiday? If you think you know it, shout it out! Was it: A) Franklin Roosevelt, B) William Taft, C) Theodore Roosevelt or D) Grover Cleveland? You`ve got three seconds -- GO! In 1894, President Grover Cleveland helped make Labor Day a national holiday to honor American workers. That`s your answer and that`s your Shoutout!

AZUZ: After that holiday honoring American workers, President Obama is planning to push Congress to pass a new jobs plan. He`s scheduled to give a speech outlining his ideas after Labor Day. But this could turn into a tough political fight, because as Barbara Hall explains, different people have different ideas about the best ways to create jobs.


BARBARA HALL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Will politics get in the way of creating more jobs? President Obama`s jobs plan remains a work in progress, even during his summer vacation.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A lot of folks are still looking for work. So, we need folks in Washington -- the people whose job it is to deal with the country`s problems, the people who you elected to serve -- we need them to put aside their differences to get things done. There are things we can do right now that will mean more customers for businesses and more jobs across the country.

HALL: During last week`s bus tour, the president was criticized by some for not stopping in communities who need jobs the most.

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, (D) MARYLAND: We want the president to go to Iowa, but we also want him to come to Detroit. We want him to come to Los Angeles, and we want him to stick with a jobs agenda.

HALL: A jobs plan is expected to be introduced after Labor Day. Lawmakers from both parties are saying the economy needs help, though their prescriptions are different.

GOV. MARTIN O`MALLEY, (D) MARYLAND: For a modern economy to create jobs, a modern economy requires investments.

GOV. BOB MCDONNELL, (R) VIRGINIA, CHAIR, REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION: The Tea Party says we want the same thing middle class America wants: We want less spending; we want a balanced budget; and we want to keep taxes where they are. That`s a reasonable message.

HALL: And some GOP presidential candidates are making political capital out of jobs

GOV. RICK PERRY, (R) TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, there`s not anybody else in the race, including the president, that has created as many jobs as I have.

HALL: I`m Barbara Hall, reporting from Atlanta.



It`s the fee that someone pays for instruction, like you`d get at a college or university.

AZUZ: Around the U.S., more of those tuition costs are being passed on to students and their families, especially at public universities. That`s because the states -- who help pay part of the costs of public schools -- are struggling financially. And it`s not just the U.S. People are raising concerns about the cost of college in spots all over the world.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT, LONDON: I`m Atika Shubert at one of the many university campuses here in London. And the big concern here is tuition fees. They have more than tripled as a result of budget cuts. What used to be $5,000 now costs more than $15,000. And when you graduate, the job prospects are looking very slim. In fact, here in the UK, graduate unemployment is at an all-time high of 20 percent.

EUNICE YOON, CNN ASIA BUSINESS EDITOR, HONG KONG: I`m Eunice Yoon in Beijing. Here in China, students worry that a college diploma just isn`t as prestigious as it used to be. In the past, anyone with a university degree was virtually guaranteed a stable job. But that just isn`t the case anymore, with over two million graduates joining the work force every single year. China`s universities, on the whole, are less competitive than America`s. The school system is evolving, but for the most part it`s still largely controlled by the government. Some people argue that it`s still too rigid for creative thinkers. So parents, teachers, as well as students alike have all been lobbying for higher education reform. They see a lot of students who can afford it choosing to study overseas. In fact, last year alone over 100,000 Chinese students decided to attend American universities, and that trend sparked public concerns here that perhaps if China doesn`t reform its universities faster, it could risk losing their best and brightest.

KEVIN FLOWER, CNN JERUSALEM BUREAU CHIEF AND CORRESPONDENT: I`m Kevin Flower in Jerusalem, where a public university education is heavily subsidized by the Israeli government. So, students here at Hebrew University could expect to pay about $3,000 a year in annual tuition. Now, that might sound like a bargain, but it does not include the price of housing, which can be both scarce and extremely expensive, especially in big university cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. And that and a generally high cost of living has led many Israeli students to participate in a nationwide social protest movement that has thousands taking up residence in tents throughout the country. And of course, another complaint heard here and across the region is that there are too few job opportunities for too many college graduates.


AZUZ: A story we`ll continue to follow. Now, before we go today, you`ve heard of catfish. These are fishing cats! The three kittens were born recently at a zoo in Ohio. You know how your cat hates the water? Not true here! The fishing cats -- that is the species name -- are actually great swimmers. They even have webbing between their toes to help them move through the water. They look cute now, but full-grown fishing cats are powerful enough to take down some wild pigs or young deer.

That is one tough tabby. But it would probably make a purr-fect bodyguard, even if the sight might be a little a-meow-sing. For CNN Student News, I`m Carl Azuz.