Return to Transcripts main page


U.S. Supreme Courts Begins Hearing Arguments Over Health Care Law; Pope Benedict Visits Mexico

Aired March 27, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: From the highest court in the United States to the lowest point on the planet, we`ve got it covered in today`s edition of CNN Student News. I`m Carl Azuz. Let`s go.

First up, the first arguments about President Obama`s health care reform law. The U.S. Supreme Court started hearing the case yesterday.


AZUZ (voice-over): While the legal discussion was going on inside, protests were happening outside. Supporters and critics gathered right in front of the U.S. Supreme Court and expressed their views for and against the health care law.


AZUZ: Cameras aren`t allowed inside the Supreme Court. But CNN`s senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, was inside the courtroom. He talked yesterday about what was specifically argued in front of the justices.


JEFFREY TOOBIN, SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: The issue to be discussed today was actually very discrete, very limited. It was is this whole case premature at this point? And as many people know, the Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare, if you prefer, doesn`t go fully into effect until 2014.

And a couple of the judges who`ve reviewed it have said, look, because the law doesn`t go into effect for a couple years, we don`t think we should deal with the issue. That`s the question that was before the court. And I think through the justices` questions, we could see clearly that they were not buying that argument.

They felt that now is the time to deal with the law, now is the time to weigh the constitutionality. So I think that much about the argument is clear. That just raises the stakes for tomorrow, when they will hear arguments on whether the law is, in fact, constitutional.


AZUZ (voice-over): While the highest part of the judicial branch of government is hearing that case in Washington, the head of the executive branch is in South Korea. President Obama`s there for the Nuclear Safety Conference we told you about yesterday. But he`s also been talking about North Korea`s plan to test-fire a rocket next month.

That rocket moved onto the launch pad Monday. President Obama has warned North Korea not to launch it. The issue came up during the president`s meeting with other world leaders, like Chinese President Hu Jintao, who`s sitting across from President Obama here.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See if you can ID me. My title has been given to only 265 people. I`m a religious leader who is elected for life. I`m the head of the Roman Catholic Church, and the world`s smallest independent country, Vatican City.

I`m the pope, and the current pope, Benedict XVI, was elected to the office in 2005.


AZUZ (voice-over): This week, Pope Benedict XVI is visiting a country that was officially atheist for a long time: Cuba.


AZUZ: A majority of Cuba`s population is Roman Catholic, but the country`s Communist government restricted religious freedom there for decades. It`s something that Pope Benedict mentioned before his visit.

Some analysts are wondering if it`ll be part of his message when he speaks directly to the Cuban people.


AZUZ (voice-over): Cuba is actually the second stop on the pope`s trip, though. First, he spent time in Mexico, another country with a large Catholic population. Rafael Romo was there for Pope Benedict`s visit, and he filed this report.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): They came from the north and from the south, waving the Mexican colors along with the Vatican flag. It`s not every day that you get to attend a mass celebrated by a pope, and they didn`t want to miss the opportunity.

DAVID GUTIRREZ, MEXICO CITY RESIDENT: Looking around all the people, it`s amazing how they come to visit the pope and to hear his message. I`m very, very happy.

ROMO (voice-over): David Gutirrez came from Mexico City to greet Pope Benedict XVI. He and his girlfriend, Blanca Lopez (ph), were among the thousands who spent the night waiting at this park.

ROMO: And this is the moment millions of Mexican Catholics have been waiting for, Pope Benedict XVI is finally here at Guanajuato`s Bicentennial Park. And as you can imagine, the level of excitement is very, very high.

ROMO (voice-over): The pope, sometimes perceived as distant, wore a broad-brimmed sombrero, a tradition in Mexico. In his sermon, he urged Mexicans to rely on their faith in the battle to get rid of poverty and the violence caused by drug trafficking, violence blamed for more than 47,000 deaths in the past five years.

POPE BENEDICT XVI (through translator): It helps us as well to look inside the human heart, especially at this moment of sorrow and also hope that the Mexican people and other Latin American nations are going through.

ROMO (voice-over): Church officials estimate as many as half a million people attended the pope`s mass -- Rafael Romo, CNN, Silao, Mexico.


AZUZ: Two hours and 36 minutes -- that`s how long it took award- winning movie director James Cameron to reach the deepest point on Earth.


AZUZ (voice-over): We`re talking about the Challenger Deep. It`s part of the Mariana Trench out in the Pacific Ocean. And Cameron is the first person to go there alone. Now there were a couple problems he had with the machinery, and he was unable to bring back samples from the bottom of the ocean, but what you see here is file footage of Cameron and the one- man sub he traveled in.

He described Challenger Deep as, quote, "a completely alien world, devoid of sunlight." But Cameron also said he`s already making plan to go back.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for the Shoutout. How do you spell mnemonic, which means related to memory? Here we go. Is it A, B, C or D? You`ve got three seconds, go.

The correct spelling is M-N-E-M-O-N-I-C. It comes from a Greek word that means "to remember." That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.


AZUZ: Nelson Dellis knows his way around some serious mnemonic tricks. He`s won the USA Memory Championships for the past two years. And one of this year`s events -- memorizing the order of two decks of cards in just five minutes. Dellis got every single one of them. And in our next video, he explains some of his mnemonic strategies and shares the inspiration for his memory mastery.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five, zero, three, seven, nine, five, three, four, five, zero.

NELSON DELLIS, MEMORY CHAMP: When I tell people about what I do, I get such a big shock. "Oh, you must be some savant or something like that," and that`s not the case. It`s just a technique that`s kind of died out because the need is not there.

I`m Nelson Dellis, and I memorize things as a profession.

One thing that kind of pushed me along this path is my grandmother, who had been suffering from Alzheimer`s disease, and that`s part of the reason why I was so concerned for myself and why I got into all of this memory training, is because I didn`t want that to happen to me. You know, I saw what it was doing to her and our -- what it was doing to our family. It`s tough to deal with.

One of the events I train is focan (ph) numbers. So I`m closing my eyes, and I`m hearing these numbers come at me one digit at a second. And what I do is I`m turning those into pictures. I receive a few digits at a time, and I turn that into a picture, and then receive another two and kind of make a little story, and store that along a place.

When I`m writing it down, all I`m doing is walking back through that place, picturing who was there and then translating that back to the numbers that those pictures represent.

I can`t help it anymore. I look at these numbers and they are people to me. When I see three-zero, it`s Conan O`Brien. Same with my grandmother. She`s 175. That`s her number. So when she pops up, it`s awesome.

Any distraction can be detrimental to, you know, an event that you`re trying to get a good score on. So we try to minimize those distractions. You know, I`ll go to a public place and train or, you know, I`ll train at a high altitude in the mountains.

In my first kind of big fundraising project was to climb Mt. Everest, and I thought it would be a great way to kind of bring Alzheimer`s to the top of the world.

For the competition, I actually train about four to five hours a day. That`s because I`m trying actively hard to win these competitions. I train my brain in the same sense that, you know, you go to the gym more to make your body stronger. I do that for my mind, to try and develop that memory and make it stronger.



AZUZ (voice-over): So what are your methods for memorization? You can read about mine and tell us about your own on our blog. You`ll find that at Maybe you make mental images, like Nelson Dellis, or maybe you have some other mnemonic tricks. Log on, share your strategies and only your first names.


AZUZ: The March Madness tournament lasts for nearly three weeks, but those guys take days off.


AZUZ (voice-over): Not so for these hardwood heroes. They wanted to raise money for tornado victims in Missouri. They figured a marathon basketball game might do the trick. They tipped off at 5:00 am last Wednesday and didn`t stop until 9:00 p.m. Sunday night. That is 112 straight hours of basketball. They`ve raised more than $100,000 probably set some sort of world record.


AZUZ: So this event, you could say, was a slam dunk, and it sounds like the net results were all positive. It`s enough to make anyone "hoop" and holler. Enjoy the rest of your day. For CNN Student News, I`m Carl Azuz.