Return to Transcripts main page


European Union Representatives Meet in Belgium

Aired October 27, 2011 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Some awesome things have happened on October 27th: 153 years ago, former President Teddy Roosevelt was born; 107 years ago, the New York City Subway opened; seven years ago, the Red Sox won their first World Series since 1918; and about 15 seconds ago, you started watching CNN Student News.

First up, representatives from around the European Union are meeting again in Belgium. They`re trying to come up with a plan to deal with the debt crisis facing the Eurozone. The Eurozone covers the 17 nations that use the euro as their currency.


AZUZ (voice-over): Leaders from all 27 E.U. countries met in Brussels last weekend to talk about possible solutions to this. They`re focused on three main challenges: making Europe`s banks stronger, making a bailout fund more effective, and restructuring Greece`s massive debt.


AZUZ: Fionnuala Sweeney helps us dig a little deeper into this European debt crisis and how it could affect a lot more than just Europe.


FIONNUALA SWEENEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Who`s in crisis? Well, everyone`s in crisis because it`s not just the Eurozone countries, it`s the European Union, and if the European economy down south, then the rest of the world economy goes south, and it`s already in trouble.

It began with really the increase of level of debt of countries, of individuals in countries, of borrowers, from banks and, in Greece`s case, into the countries in the European Union and the Eurozone, the debt became too high to sustain.

Essentially it`s all about Greece at the moment, and it`s flailing debt. There are other countries that are in trouble, too, but really the main architects of the euro and the euro`s recovery are France and Germany, and, of course, the real difficulty here is that they have been deemed to be seen as being slow in trying to get a rescue package for the future for the European Union and the Eurozone specifically.

And the markets haven`t been liking what they`ve seen so far. They say they want an agreement. They say they`re working on it, particularly when it comes to shoring up their capitalization fund for the banks. But the markets have yet to be convinced.

The difficulty for the Eurozone countries is that in order to continue to rail against debt and bail their countries out and have a successful currency, it looks as though there might have to be greater tax and fiscal monetary policy agreement.

And that is something that might not go down with member states, who already believe they`re suffering. And, of course, the other issue is many taxpayers in Germany, for example, are extremely skeptical about putting their hands in their wallets again to bail out any other countries.

The buzzword here is globalization. All our economies are tied and, you know, the subprime mortgage crisis obviously was something that was an international issue. And essentially through globalization, we`re all tied and connected together, and we`re connected together in the common of issue of debt.

It`s essentially all about strengthening the banks and strengthening the European stability funds in order to avert potential future crises like the ones we`ve seen, and that really is where a lot of the discussion and the debate domestically, within individual countries is centered on right now, for example, Germany.

And really it is a question of political will versus the reaction of the markets and whether the markets agree with what the governments finally decide to come up with.



AZUZ (voice-over): The Middle Eastern nation of Yemen is next up today. It`s had the same leader since 1990.


AZUZ: But a lot of people there want President Ali Abdullah Saleh out. They`ve been protesting for months. But there was a demonstration yesterday that was significant.



AZUZ (voice-over): These protesters you see here are Yemeni women. They`re burning their traditional veils and headscarves. That`s very symbolic in a conservative Islamic country like Yemen. The women were speaking out against government forces who have reportedly attacked protesters.

Yemen`s government says it`s not responsible for the violence. Officials blame people who want the president to quit.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s the word? It`s the additional fee that you`re charged for borrowing money.

Interest: that`s the word.


AZUZ: If you take out a student loan to help pay for college, you`re going to have to pay back the money you borrow plus the interest. And with college getting more expensive, more people are turning to loans to help pay for it.


AZUZ (voice-over): President Obama has a couple plans that he thinks will help students manage their student loan debt. He talked about them during a speech in Denver, Colorado, yesterday. The first plan deals with how loans get repaid, specifically how much you pay and for how long.

Congress already passed this. It`s scheduled to start in 2014. But the president wants it sooner.

The other plan would let students who have multiple loans combine them into one repayment program. That way, they might be able to get a break on the loans` interest rates.

Some things to keep in mind: we`re only talking about government loans. A lot of students have gotten loans from private companies, and those students wouldn`t benefit from this.

Also, this covers new loans. If you`ve already borrowed money, nothing will change. And if you`re behind on your loan repayments, you won`t be able to be part of this program.

The bad news: college costs thousands of dollars a year. The good news: many student get scholarships or grants to help pay for it. We`re asking about this on our blog today. If you`re planning to go to college, how do you plan to cover the costs? Will you work your way through, get a student loan or is your family saving up? Tell us at



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s Shoutout goes out to Mr. Burns` world geography class at Morris Middle School in Houston, Texas.

What part of the human body makes red blood cells? You know what to do. Is it the heart, lungs, pancreas or bone marrow? You`ve got three seconds, go.

Your red blood cells are made of marrow, which is the tissue inside your bones. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.


AZUZ: Now when marrow has problems making those red blood cells, it can lead to some serious health issues. You can get a bone marrow transplant, but that means finding a donor who matches.

This next report from Soledad O`Brien is about the Cornelius family. They`re waiting to find a donor for their daughter. But their search is more difficult.


IMANI CORNELIUS: One of my birthdays at Chuck E. Cheese.

SOLEDAD O`BRIEN, CNN REPORTER: Yes, your mom was telling me you love birthdays at Chuck E. Cheese still.


O`BRIEN (voice-over): Imani Cornelius just wants a normal childhood.

O`BRIEN: You look like the perfectly healthy 11-year-old girl.


O`BRIEN: Do you feel OK?

I. CORNELIUS: Yes, OK. Sometimes I get my ups and downs. You have aches and pains everywhere but it still hurts.

O`BRIEN (voice-over): Imani has myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS, which means her bone marrow doesn`t produce enough blood cells. It could lead to leukemia if she doesn`t get a bone marrow transplant.

O`BRIEN: How did you feel when they first diagnosed her?

IMANI`S DAD: I mean, as a -- as a dad, it took everything out of me.

O`BRIEN (voice-over): Finding a donor match is always difficult, but it`s more difficult for Imani, because she`s biracial.

LELIA JONES, MANAGER, NMDP REPOSITORY: Now with mixed-race people, why it`s so difficult is that there`s so many possible combinations. So just tissue type is very complex. That`s one level. And then if you match that with half of one ethnicity, half of another ethnicity, the number of possible combinations just explodes into the millions.

O`BRIEN (voice-over): Outreach groups like Mixed Marrow are trying to lower those odds.

ATHENA ASKLIPIADIS, MIXED MARROW: Me being mixed-race myself, I know this -- there wasn`t any current organization or outreach specifically targeting the mixed-race community.

We do community events. We also do college events and then do the donor drives there.

JONES: If you`re of a mixed-race background, you know, consider joining. It`s really a.


O`BRIEN: All right. I`m in. You talked me into it.


JONES: Perfect.

O`BRIEN: That wasn`t that hard.

JONES: Perfect.

O`BRIEN (voice-over): The cheek swab is easy. Waiting for a match is the hard part.

O`BRIEN: How does that make you feel?

I. CORNELIUS: Feels like you`re cut off from the rest of the world, what they get to do and what you can`t do.

TAMMY BERNDT, IMANI`S MOM: We don`t want a pity party. We don`t want to have, you know, any sympathy case. We want a cure.

O`BRIEN: And that`s a bone marrow transplant?

BERNDT: That`s the only cure is a bone marrow transplant.

IMANI`S DAD: So we need a donor.

O`BRIEN (voice-over): Reporting for "In America," Soledad O`Brien, CNN, Minneapolis.


AZUZ: Last story today: things you`d expect to find on a beach. Sand? Uh-huh. Umbrella? Check. Waves? Sure.


AZUZ (voice-over): What? Something tells me an 8-foot tall Lego man wasn`t on your list, but it was on a Florida beach Tuesday morning. The building blocks of good grammar are missing, but the 8-foot-tall Fiberglas work of a Dutch artist was completely intact as it was when authorities came and took the thing away.

Police say this puzzling character`s in protective custody.


AZUZ: Not sure if that means he`s in a cell block, but if no one claims the blockhead after 90 days, the person who found it can take it home for a $25 fee. That`s the same price as a set of Legos.

CNN Student News will build a new show for you tomorrow, brick by brick, my citizens.