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Running on the Moon; Unemployment Remains High; Dealing with Bullying

Aired October 10, 2011 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz. This is CNN Student News. Today we`re going to talk about an athlete who wants to run a mile. But it`ll take him more than 200,000 miles to get to the starting line. That story`s coming up.

First up, though, the U.S. unemployment rate, which has stayed just about the same since April, it`s high and that`s bad. According to a government report, the rate for September was 9.1 percent, which means 14 million Americans are out of work. And many experts don`t think this is going to get much better for the rest of this year.

In a recent CNN ORC International poll.


AZUZ (voice-over): . 90 percent of the people who were asked described current U.S. economic conditions as poor. Dan Lothian looks at how Washington is reacting to the latest unemployment numbers, and what it might mean for next year`s presidential election.

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): On a beautiful fall day in the nation`s capital, nothing but blue skies and sunshine.

But a dark cloud continues to linger over the nation`s economy.

TIG GILLIAM, ADECCO CEO: The reason we`re not seeing the hiring we want is because we`re not seeing the economic growth we need.

LOTHIAN (voice-over): The latest numbers bear that out. Unemployment remains unchanged at 9.1 percent, what the White House called "unacceptably high." While employers added 103,000 jobs in September, stronger than expected, the overall report was considered relatively weak.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: As we said, and others have said already this morning, it is far from good enough.

LOTHIAN (voice-over): White House aides say this underscores the need for quick action on the president`s jobs bill, what Mr. Obama himself described as an insurance policy against a possible double-dip recession.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: At a time when so many people are having such a hard time, we have to have an approach -- we have to take action that is big enough to meet the moment.

LOTHIAN (voice-over): But there`s resistance on Capitol Hill, where the Jobs Act, as one piece of legislation, seems unlikely to pass. And Republicans were quick to point to the unemployment numbers as yet another sign of failed leadership.

JOHN BOEHNER, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: And after three years of false hopes and broken promises, Americans continue to be left asking the question, where are the jobs?

LOTHIAN (voice-over): With success in the 2012 elections expected to hinge on the health of the U.S. economy, and Republican presidential hopefuls taking shots at the president, there`s mounting pressure on the Obama administration to turn things around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can he get reelected if the economy is not significantly improved, and does he deserve to?

CARNEY: Yes, and here`s why, because what the election will be about is whose vision for America`s future is best.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s Shoutout goes out to Ms. Sawyer`s classes at Dixie High School in St. George, Utah. Spain paid for which explorer`s famous transatlantic voyage? You know what to do. Was it Francis Drake, Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus or Leif Erikson? You`ve got three seconds, go.

When Columbus set sail in 1492, the journey was sponsored by Spain. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.


AZUZ: About 10 weeks after he set sail, Columbus and his crew landed in the Bahamas. Today the United States is honoring that voyage with the annual holiday of Columbus Day. The explorer actually landed in the Bahamas on October 12th. Spain and many Latin American countries celebrate on that day with a holiday called Dia de la Raza. But in the United States.


AZUZ (voice-over): . Columbus Day is always held on the second Monday in October. Ceremonies in different parts of the U.S. include parades, like this one from New York last year -- nice Ferrari. The first Columbus Day celebration happened in 1792. That one was also held in New York. It`s been celebrated annually since 1920, and it became a federal holiday in 1971.


AZUZ: During National Anti-Bullying Awareness month, there`s a lot of advice that experts give on how to deal with bullying. For instance: tell someone. Get students involved in stopping bullying. Stand up for the person being bullied.

This summer at a leadership conference, we asked some high school juniors and seniors their advice on stopping bullying, and in a lot of ways, it`s like what the experts say. Take a listen.


ERIC PERRY, DEKALB SCHOOL OF THE ARTS: Don`t keep it to yourself. Find a friend, find a family member or somebody that you really trust, and really tell them what`s going on and get other people`s advice, because you can`t handle it on your own.

JEBRIL REEVES, WESTLAKE HIGH SCHOOL: Have a teacher or administrator, someone they can go talk to when they`re getting bullied, then we will stop a lot of the problems that`s happening now, and students won`t feel so alone.

SOPHIA BAUR-WAISBORD, LAKESIDE HIGH SCHOOL: I really think more people should report it, because I see at school so many times where kids are being bullied and everyone sees it, but no one does anything about it. They just keep walking. They`re like, oh, they`ll get over it. Nothing serious is going to happen.

ERICA MAYBAUM, ROSWELL HIGH SCHOOL: Even if it`s a simple compliment in the hallway, like, "I like your shoes," that still -- that simple comment can make somebody`s day so much brighter. And by doing that, I think that can kind of cancel out the negativity.

QUINTON CUMMINGS, JEFFERSON COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL: Start like a protest, you know, make people feel bad for bullying, you know, you know, make them feel real bad, and I believe that they`ll stop it.

BAUR-WAISBORD: And also I think social media sites should be more filtered for this kind of stuff, like Facebook and Twitter and that kind of stuff, because people are posting stuff, and no one -- people see it, and they don`t really do anything about it. But it`s there, and the truth is, people see that, and they take those things to heart.

GRACE LITTLE, FANNIN COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL: It`s really important to educate people about the lasting effects of bullying. Knowing the consequences and the things that happen to kids who are bullied through high school can really make those kids stop and think before they do bully someone.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See if you can ID me. I was born in Ohio in 1930. I was part of NASA`s second-ever group of astronauts. I`m the first man to set foot on the moon.

I`m Neil Armstrong, and I made that giant leap for mankind in 1969.


AZUZ: When Neil Armstrong planted his foot on the moon, he famously called it "one small step for man." It`s a step that only 11 other people have ever taken. But the athlete Jason Carroll is going to introduce in this next report hopes to join that elite group. And if he gets up there, he doesn`t just want to walk, he wants to run.


JASON CARROLL, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Skeptics said it couldn`t be done.

NEIL ARMSTRONG, ASTRONAUT: That`s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

CARROLL (voice-over): But not only did astronauts take that giant leap, they took a history-making golf swing.

ALAN SHEPART, ASTRONAUT: I`m going to try a little sand trap shot here.

CARROLL (voice-over): That was more than 40 years ago. Now one earthbound athlete is driving toward making another lunar milestone.

JONATHON PRINCE, DISTANCE RUNNER: It feels like a dream, but it feels like living the dream.

CARROLL (voice-over): Jonathon Prince`s dream? Run a mile on the moon.

PRINCE: You can`t help but stargaze at night. And I just wondered about the possibility of running the first mile on the moon.

CARROLL (voice-over): Prince has finished ambitious runs in the past. In 2005, he ran from Los Angeles to New Orleans, raising more than 100,000 dollars for victims of Hurricane Katrina. His new goal? Raise awareness in space travel while inspiring students to excel in science.

PRINCE: It`s the demonstration for the current generations, and the generations not yet born, you know, to go beyond.

CARROLL (voice-over): The question is how to get there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The final liftoff of Atlantis.

CARROLL (voice-over): NASA retired its space shuttle program this year. So Prince will go the private route, flying on board a rocket being developed by Space Exploration Technologies, SpaceX for short.

PRINCE: Private companies are now able to build rockets, fund it on their own, and sell trips.

CARROLL (voice-over): But first, for Prince, there`s training.

PRINCE: Typically, I reach around 100 to 120 miles a week.

CARROLL: You have me beat by probably 120 miles.

CARROLL (voice-over): And that`s just the beginning.

PRINCE: The gravity pressures, the buoyancy, everything, I have to reprogram everything I thought I knew about running.

CARROLL (voice-over): Over the next few years, he`ll learn about space travel at a private facility called NASTAR, the National Aerospace Training and Research Center in Pennsylvania.

BRIENNA HENWOOD, NASTAR: We are currently training the generation of folks that are not the astronauts. Jonathon is at the forefront of leading this new industry.

CARROLL (voice-over): Prince has received funding he needs from donors and sponsors, and hopes to blast off by 2016. Until then, the 31- year old continues training.

CARROLL: I know you must have heard from the -- from the people who say, that`s a nice thing to say, nice goal that you`ve got there, but there`s no possible way you`re going to be able to.

PRINCE: Absolutely. And, you know, skepticism is just -- is just part of human nature. But at the same time, Kennedy had the dream to, you know, go to Apollo, go to the moon with Apollo missions. So it`s important to put massive action behind your dream.

CARROLL (voice-over): Jason Carroll, CNN, Los Angeles.


AZUZ: And finally today, one TV producer stares into the face of danger.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No! God, no, go away!

AZUZ (voice-over): The producer went to check out reports that wild turkeys were terrorizing a neighborhood. She found out first-hand what that feels like. Nearby mail truck tried to come to her rescue and drive the bird away from its producer prey. But that strategy didn`t work for very long. You really can`t blame her for running away.


AZUZ: I think if any of us were facing off against a wild turkey, we`d probably turn tail, too. And while the turkey might have won the battle, the war ends on Thanksgiving.

That "gobbles" up all our time for today. For CNN Student News, I`m Carl Azuz.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No! God, no, go away!