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Supreme Court to Decide Constitutionality of Health Care Reform; Occupy Movement

Aired November 15, 2011 - 04:00:00   ET


SHELLEY (PH) AND DALA (PH): Welcome to CNN Student News.

DALA (PH): Coming to you from South (ph) Middle School.

SHELLEY (PH): . in Salina, Kansas, I`m Shelley (ph).

DALA (PH): . and I`m Dala (ph).

SHELLEY (PH): . and you`re hanging out with Carl Azuz.


CARL AZUZ, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Y`all say goodbye, I say hello, and welcome to CNN Student News. Thank you, ladies, for the introduction. Now let`s get you the headlines.

First up, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether President Obama`s health care reform law is constitutional.

A lot of political analysts consider this law to be the biggest legislative accomplishment during the president`s first two years in office. Congress passed it in 2010. President Obama signed it in March of that year. But it`s the Supreme Court`s responsibility to rule on any legal questions.


AZUZ (voice-over): And there are some. Before it was passed there was a huge debate around this health care law. The president and other supporters said it would give health coverage to millions of Americans who didn`t already have it. And they argued it would be good for the economy.


AZUZ: Critics said the law would raise health care costs and give Americans fewer choices about what kind of insurance they could get. A lot of the debate focused on a key part of the law called the individual mandate. That would require most Americans to either buy health insurance by 2014 or face some kind of penalty.

The court cases against this law say people can`t be forced to buy something they may not want or may not need. Obama administration officials argue that since every American needs medical care at some point in life, no one really chooses to participate in the health care market. Three federal appeals courts say the mandate is constitutional; another one says it`s not.


AZUZ (voice-over): Now it`s going to be up to the U.S. Supreme Court to decide. The justices will actually look at two questions here: is the individual mandate constitutional; and if it`s not, does that mean the entire law has to be tossed out? The arguments will probably happen in February or March of next year. A ruling will probably come in June.


AZUZ: Back in September, it was called Occupy Wall Street. Now it`s being called the Occupy Movement because it spread from New York to cities in other parts of the United States. Protesters camping out in parks and other public areas are speaking out against a lot of different things. One of them is the U.S. financial industry. As Greg Black explains, some cities are now pushing back.


GREG BLACK, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): A police standoff with protesters went on for hours in Portland, Oregon. Police arrested more than a dozen people and cleared city parks of camps. Portland`s mayor tells CNN there have been no serious injuries during the four or five times police have taken action.

SAM ADAMS, MAYOR OF PORTLAND, OREGON (voice-over): We worked really hard, even in passionate moments like you`re seeing now, to make sure that, you know, the coolest heads prevailed.

BLACK (voice-over): But a protester says the mayor is doing the wrong thing.

KARI KOCH, OCCUPY PORTLAND (voice-over): But I feel like I am extremely disappointed that the mayor chose to crack down on these parks when the outpouring of support from the committee was so strong. It`s been clearly in favor of Occupy Portland.

BLACK (voice-over): In Denver, police in riot gear arrested 17 people as they cleared furniture, tents and personal belongings from a camp. And in Philadelphia, the mayor said he`s putting more police near the Occupy Philly camp.

PHILADELPHIA MAYOR MICHAEL NUTTER: Occupy Philly has changed. We`re seeing serious health and safety issues playing out on almost a daily basis. Occupy Philly is fractured, with internal disagreement and disputes.

BLACK (voice-over): I`m Greg Black reporting.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this legit? Soyuz rockets and spacecraft are launched by China`s space agency. Not legit. It`s Russia that uses the Soyuz spacecraft, and has been using them since the 1960s.


AZUZ: We`re launching into our next couple stories from the CNN Control Room here. Now the Soyuz is the longest-running manned spacecraft design that`s still in use. And since NASA`s space shuttle program ended earlier this year, the Soyuz is the only way that people can get to the international space station. And that`s where this craft is heading right now.


AZUZ (voice-over): It took off from the nation of Kazakhstan on Monday, during what looks like it`s a snowstorm. Two Russians and one American are on board and heading to the ISS. They`re scheduled to arrive on Wednesday, and there`s one other traveler along for the ride.

Check it out. There`s an Angry Bird hanging out there in the capsule with them. Maybe they thought they needed some extra entertainment during the trip.


AZUZ: The folks who got stuck on some American Eagle flights might have wanted some extra entertainment. Instead, they got refunds and vouchers. American Eagle is an airline. It`s now the first airline to get fined for excessive tarmac delays. This rule went into effect last year, that says flights can`t stay on the tarmac for more than three hours.


AZUZ (voice-over): But U.S. Transportation Department says 15 American Eagle flights were delayed on the ground, four more than three hours, at Chicago`s O`Hare Airport.

More than 600 passengers were affected by these delays. American Eagle will have to pay $900,000 in fines. Airline officials apologized for the inconvenience to customers. They say they`re working on ways to prevent this in the future.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s Shoutout goes out to Ms. Allen`s students at Bridge Valley in Furlong, Pennsylvania. What is a group of rhinoceroses called? You know what to do. Is it a pod, crash, gaggle or bloat? You`ve got three seconds, go.

If you ever run across a group of rhinos, they`ll be in a crash. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.


AZUZ: Rhinos: definitely easier to say rhinoceroses. Your odds of running into a crash of rhinos aren`t too likely. Part of the reason for that is that the animals -- all five species -- are endangered.

Last Friday, we reported on an airlift that moved some black rhinos to spaces that will hopefully keep them safe from poachers. Robyn Curnow is in South Africa. She has this report on other efforts to protect these animals.


ROBYN CURNOW, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Hidden in the shadows of the African bush veldt, South Africa`s military patrols the border, tracking rhino poachers who slip into the Kruger Park at night from neighboring Mozambique. A record number of rhinos have been poached this year in South Africa. One is killed every 21 hours.

CURNOW: Many people here in the Kruger Park fear that if rhinos keep on getting poached at the rate they`re being hunted, that very soon you won`t see rhinos in the wild like this.

CURNOW (voice-over): Public and private game reserves are trying to fight that. This anti-poaching team patrols the bush around the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, looking for tracks that might lead them to poachers.

CURNOW: So what you`re looking for is spoor. You`re trying to track humans rather than animals.

CURNOW (voice-over): Just local men, trained trackers, hired to camp out in the wild night after night.

CURNOW: You guys are on the front line, literally, of this war against rhino poaching.


CURNOW: Do you feel like soldiers?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m feel more than soldier.

CURNOW: What do you feel like? A warrior?


CURNOW (voice-over): Other teams have also been deployed here -- mounted police and a dog unit.

CURNOW: What`s the advantage of having a dog in your arsenal of weapons against rhino poachers?

OOSIE OSTERHUIZEN, SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE: It is one of the best tools that we can use. Like the dog scent, it`s much, much better than a man can ever think (ph).

CURNOW (voice-over): The command center of this war, a small bush outpost where Andrew Parker is planning a more high-tech response.

ANDREW PARKER, CEO, SABI SAND PRIVATE GAME RESERVE: Two things that we`re really excited about at the moment. The one is radar, which would -- which would provide us with a great advance hauling capability in terms of being able to monitor our periphery. And the drones, obviously, if there is any breach, if there is any incident, to have an aerial capability is absolutely invaluable.

CURNOW (voice-over): But until the demand is stopped, the South Africans say they are only delaying, not stopping, the inevitable extinction of one of Africa`s big five animals.


AZUZ: Before we go, we`re going to throw some cold water on a major achievement.


AZUZ (voice-over): This is a YouTube video of a 90-foot-tall wave. Look at this thing. The guy in the middle is Garrett McNamara. Surf`s up -- way up. McNamara is a pro at big wave surfing. This might be the tallest one anyone has ever ridden. He caught the monster wave off the coast of Portugal.

When you`re trying to surf something like this, you have to have a watercraft tow you into the thing. And after that, you just ride the wave of momentum into shore.


AZUZ: . and hope you don`t "surfer" any injuries, which McNamara didn`t. We`re sure he was "wiped out" by the time he hit dry land, even if his ego did "swell" with pride. We just hope he doesn`t get "board" of smaller waves now. And we hope you`ll join us again tomorrow when we "hang 10" more minutes of commercial-free news on you.