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S&P 500 Drops into Bear Market Territory; Denmark Taxes Fatty Foods

Aired October 5, 2011 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: It`s Wednesday, I`m Carl Azuz, and this is CNN Student News. We`re about to hang 10 minutes of commercial-free headlines out for you, plus we just gave you a clue to today`s shoutout answer.

First up, though, there are two animals that you hear about in connection with the U.S. stock market. They`re the bear and the bull. The bull is the good one. If you hear that investors are bullish, it means they`re excited. Money`s getting invested, things are going well.

But the bear is just the opposite.


AZUZ (voice-over): And yesterday, at least for a little while, the S&P 500 did drop into bear market territory. The S&P 500, kind of like the Dow Jones Industrial Average, it`s a group of stocks that experts keep a close eye on to determine how the whole stock market is doing.

It was considered to be in a bear market yesterday because it went down 20 percent from its recent high point back in April. By the end of the day, the S&P and the rest of the market had bounced back a little bit.


AZUZ: That`s what`s happening inside Wall Street. Outside, crowds of protesters are growing, even if they don`t all agree on what exactly they`re protesting against. The "Occupy Wall Street" campaign is now on its third week. The movement has spread to other cities. But there`s no real leader of it.


AZUZ (voice-over): And on Monday, some protesters showed up dressed as zombies. They said they were speaking out against the ghoulish nature of the U.S. financial system. That`s certainly been a big target of these demonstrations.

But other protesters said they`re speaking out against corporate greed, high gas prices, a lack of health insurance coverage. The one thing these folks seem to agree on is that the protests won`t end any time soon.


AZUZ: Things are heating up for one NASA project. The agency launched its Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, back in February of 2010. Now the plan is to spend five years orbiting the sun.


AZUZ (voice-over): And it`s sending back some very detailed images, like this one. Look at that. What you just saw -- what you`re seeing right here is a solar flare. It`s this plume of plasma that shoots off the sun.

Flares like this one can have an impact here on Earth, and that`s part of what the SDO is designed to help scientists understand. The SDO is taking x-rays and ultraviolet pictures, giving researchers views of the sun they`d never seen before. But the project is not cheap. The observatory comes with a price tag of $865 million.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See if you can ID me. I`m a European country that`s located between the North and Baltic Seas. I share a border with only one other nation, Germany. And the more than 5 million people who call me home are known as Danes.

I`m Denmark, and my capital city is Copenhagen.


AZUZ: Denmark`s making history right now in a pretty unusual way. It`s got a tax that forces fans of fatty foods to put their money where their mouth is. Critics of the idea may think there`s something rotten in the state of Denmark. But the Danish government is hoping the tax will make its citizens healthier. Ralitsa Vassileva weighs both sides of the debate.


RALITSA VASSILEVA, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Shelves stripped bare of butter, margarine and cream as Danes stocked up on their favorite fatty foods ahead of a fat tax that went into effect this past weekend.

RENE STUHR, SHOP MANAGER (through translator): A customer bought 30 packets of margarine. Another customer had 10 to 12 packets of butter in his basket. These are goods that can be frozen down, so those are hoarded right now.

VASSILEVA (voice-over): Foods containing more than 2.3 percent of saturated fat now cost more in Denmark. A small package of butter about 50 cents more, half a kilo of cheese about 40 cents extra, and a bag of potato chips, 12 cents more.

STUHR (through translator): We have not been able to follow up with deliveries. Arla (ph) has not been able to deliver butter to us the last two days. We have not received butter until today, now that the tax has been put into effect.

VASSILEVA (voice-over): Danes love their butter and bacon, but fewer than 10 percent are obese, a good bit lower than the 15 percent European average. But Danish research shows that excessive consumption of saturated fats causes about 4 percent of the nation`s premature deaths.

This is the world`s first fat tax, and scientists can`t wait to find out if paying more for fatty foods will actually curb people`s appetite for them -- Ralitsa Vassileva, CNN, Atlanta.


AZUZ: Blog report: your responses on a story we aired yesterday, there are a lot of mixed feelings out there about a rule that limits the number of touchdowns that Demias Jimerson, a 6th grader, is allowed to score.

DJ starts us off, saying this "just means everyone else needs practice because you can`t give one player the bench for being great. That is completely unfair."

Lilly agrees. She doesn`t think anybody is "too good to play. If they are scoring a whole bunch of points, then they need some harder people to play with. After all, practice makes perfect."

Brandon has our first counterpoint today. When he played football at his school, the same person kept scoring. Brandon thinks it`s fair to limit Demias, because everyone else would get the chance to score.

Rosalie turned the question on me, asking, "Carl, if they told you that you couldn`t have as much screen time because other reporters aren`t getting enough, then what would you do?" That`s a good question. She says, "It is like telling a teacher not to teach. What are they supposed to do?"

Ryan says the rule is OK, "because other kids need to play, too. If they are playing at that young of an age, it is good to make sure everyone plays."

Andrew believes, "Students should be allowed to play no matter how good they are and they should not be discriminated against because of their abilities."

Kaitlyn calls the rule unfair to Demias. He`s "only in sixth grade," she writes. "They should veto the rule or send him up to seventh grade football."

And some interesting perspective from Liam. "It should be the coach`s responsibility to call plays that may not always focus on this particular player. It shouldn`t be a rule, just common sense."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today`s Shoutout goes out to Ms. Brister`s Social Studies classes at Arden Cahill Academy in Gretna, Louisiana.

Kelly Slater, Laird Hamilton and Bethany Hamilton are known for their accomplishments in what sport? You know what to do. Is it surfing, skateboarding, gymnastics or tennis? You`ve got three seconds, go.

These three are all famous surfers. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.


AZUZ: You might be able to guess that surfing got its start in Hawaii. But what you probably don`t know is that for a while, the activity was actually banned on the Hawaiian Islands. Not any more. In fact, pretty soon, students will be able to get a varsity letter in surfing.

Dick Allgire of affiliate KITV reports on the wave of support that led to this decision.


DICK ALLGIRE, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Many have long argued that since Hawaii is the birthplace of surfing, and since so many high school kids in Hawaii surf, the Department of Education should sanction surfing as an official sport.

They got their wish. The governor, world champion surfer Carissa Moore, and education officials joined to announce it will become a part of high school athletics.

KATHRYN MATAYOSHI, SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT: Surfing is just part of Hawaii, and it`s wonderful that it will become part of our public school sports.

ALLGIRE (voice-over): The Board of Education approved surfing in 2004, but there was no money to incorporate it. Now private funding and community partners will make it a reality.

GOV. NEIL ABERCROMBIE, (D) HAWAII: We`re telling young people that they have another avenue now. They have another venue to express themselves and to commit themselves in terms of discipline and in terms of commitment to themselves and to their education, and that surfing is not just a part of Hawaii, but a part of their lives.

ALLGIRE (voice-over): Education officials say there will be both team and individual events.

CARISSA MOORE, ASP CHAMPION: Surfing and riding the wave is so much like life. You fall down over and over again, but you keep picking yourself back up. And eventually you`ll ride one all the way to the beach.



AZUZ (voice-over): Well, it is October, which means `tis the season to be carving. Halloween`s just a few weeks away. We want to see your best Carl-o-lanterns. You don`t have to feature my face. You just get extra credit if you do.

If you`re 13 or older, you can send us an iReport of your creative pumpkin projects. Go to to find out how.


AZUZ: And before we go, one man`s toy tribute to his favorite team.


AZUZ (voice-over): This is the Shoe, the Stadium of the Ohio State Buckeyes. It`s actually built to scale. The guy made the entire thing out of Legos. It`s one way to get a front-row seat. It took him four years to gather all the pieces, and around a thousand hours to actually put it together.

He might love Legos, but he`s also a professor in physiology, biology and medicine. So one thing you can`t call him is a "blockhead."

Are there any more miniature masterpieces on the way? You might be "toying" around with the idea. But it`s time for us to "Lego" your attention, at least for the next 23 hours and 50 minutes. Then it`ll be time for more CNN Student News. Hope to see you then.