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Protests in Egypt; Mexican President-Elect Meets With President Obama

Aired November 28, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: You might get in trouble for having a messy room, but some students are helping clean up their country by trashing their school. That`s coming up. I`m Carl Azuz, this is CNN STUDENT NEWS.

We are going to start things off today in Egypt. The country is going through some problems, some political unrest right now. People are angry with Egypt`s president and their protesting against him. If that sounds familiar, it should: nearly two years ago, Egypt was part of what some called the Arab Spring: the series of uprisings across the Middle East and Northern Africa. That led to Egypt`s long time leader being forced out of power. Egypt held its first free elections after that, and Mohamed Morsi was elected president. We reported on Monday that Morsi announced that any decisions he makes can`t be reviewed or overturned. He says he is trying to protect Egypt as it build its new government. The protesters say, President Morsi is grabbing up power, kind of like a dictator. Some of those protests have turned violent. Hundreds of people have been injured, at least one person was killed.

We are going to hop across the Atlantic and head to Washington, D.C, specifically to the White House for a meeting between a president and a president-elect. Enrique Pena Nieto was elected Mexico`s president back in July. Now, he`s officially going to become president, to take office on Saturday. Yesterday, he was in Washington, D.C. for a meeting with U.S. President Obama.

Immigration, security and the drug war in Mexico have been some of the biggest issues for these two countries recently. They were expected to come up in yesterday`s meeting, too, but President Elect P said he wants the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico to go beyond that. He said one of his biggest goals is to strengthen the economic ties between the neighboring nations. The U.S. is Mexico`s biggest trading partner, sharing billions of dollars in imports and exports.

A lot of the action in our next story is happening at the U.S. Capitol. That`s where members of Congress are considering the fiscal cliff and how to avoid going over it. Now, really, what this comes down to, is debt. The U.S. government has it: trillions of dollars worth. It`s got to try to find ways to reduce that debt, and that`s where the fiscal cliff comes in. Now, it`s not an actual cliff, it`s an economic one. And it involves two main things: one, how the government takes in money through taxes and two, how it spends money.

If the country goes over this fiscal cliff, taxes will go up for everyone, plus government spending cuts will automatically go into a fact. That would effect the military, national parks and other government services. If Congress and the president can agree on ways to cut government debt, then the country won`t go over the cliff. They`ve been working on that for a while, both sides have presented ideas, there was even the special super committee in Congress that tried to come up with ways to reduce the debt. So far, though, no deal. And the deadline now is January, First. If a deal is not reached by then, that`s when the U.S. would go over this fiscal cliff.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this legit? Salmonella is a type of virus.

This one is not true. Salmonella are bacteria that can cause food poisoning and other health problems.


AZUZ: Back in June, 41 people in 20 U.S. states got sick because of a salmonella outbreak. Officials with the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration, traced this outbreak to a peanut butter plant in New Mexico. On Monday, regulators shut it down. Back in 2011, new food safety laws gave the FDA the power to shut facilities down. This is the first time it`s done it. And an FDA report found the conditions at the plant might have led to the products there being contaminated with salmonella. A spokeswoman for the company that owns this plant says it`s working with officials to get the proper health and safety procedures in place.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s "Shoutout" goes out to coach Cochran`s, coach Julian`s and Mrs. McClanahan`s classes at Winfield High School in Winfield, West Virginia.

What Central American country is highlighted on this map?

You know what to do. Is it Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras or Nicaragua? You`ve got three seconds, go!

That`s Guatemala, a country that`s home to more than 14 million people. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."


AZUZ: A German fashion designer who lives in Guatemala came up with an idea to help clean up the country: stuff trash inside empty plastic bottles. After a hurricane ripped through her village, she realized her bottles could be used to rebuild. That`s when the ecobrick was born.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m Susanna Heise (ph), I`m the founder of the Pura Vida Movement.

We are here in like Atitlan (ph), and this is in Guatemala in Central America. And this is called the most beautiful lake on earth.

In the `60s, this new material plastic came. That was totally new for them, plastic is also -- it`s not a bad material, it helped them a lot. But nobody told them like, look, this is not a leaf, this is not going to decompose. This is going to stay here for 20, 30, 50, 100, 500 years.

CHRIS BARRY, FMR. PEACE CORP VOLUNTEER: The trash problem is affecting these communities in several ways. Tourism is a big issue. Cyanobacteria blows up in the lake. Tourists are no longer allowed to swim, and that region is very much dependent on tourism.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the Pura Vida, famous Pura Vida wall, built out of 1,000 ecobricks. And these ecobricks have been (inaudible) by many children, kindergarten children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is trash and it is a container for trash. And when it`s filled with trash, it has sufficient integrity to be a building block.

BARRY: And you use those as a basic building material, and you are also -- are able to clean up the community and teach about environment education and importance of maintaining a clean environment around you, trash management, all that kind of good stuff.

GERSON GUITZ, HUG IT FORWARD: We are building a two-classroom school in a community in Pachai (ph). This school serves about 200 kids. As you can see, it takes about 6,000 bottles to finish a whole construction, and this is the last square that we are making right now. And we are tying all the bottles, all the bottles have to be the same height.

BARRY: People are really catching on to the idea. Projects are growing in El Salvador, Guyana, I`ve heard of a similar type building in Thailand.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It makes me so glad that the idea of the (inaudible) is spreading from like Atitlan towards all Guatemala, towards the whole world. That`ll be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem anymore.


AZUZ: All around Indianapolis, people are showing their support for Chuck Pagano. He is the head coach of the NFL`s Indianapolis Colts and he`s fighting cancer. A team cheerleader offered to shave her head if the team`s mascot could raise $10,000 for cancer research. He raised $22,000. The cheerleader says she was happy to lose her locks for the cause.


MEGAN M., COLTS CHEERLEADER: I wasn`t freaked out. I was just so excited and proud of our city for pulling together for a great cause. The cheers were deafening, it was just phenomenal, I was able to have another cheerleader join me at the last minute and be able to hold her hand while we both went through this process. It was just absolutely phenomenal, and, you know, everyone hopes to make an impact in their life, and I was just lucky enough that Blue (ph) came up with this idea and we were able to do something really good.


AZUZ: Yesterday, we told you about the college basketball record set by Jack Taylor. Most of you think, he is a basketball star. On our blog, Haylie wrote, "Taylor deserves the new record because if you have skill, you should be able to shine!"

Brandon says "It`s unusual for anyone to score that many points. Plus, he had the help of his coach and the team to get him the ball to make those shots."

And Ashley argues, "If Taylor`s team members thought of him as a ball hog, they wouldn`t have continuously passed the ball to him."

Brennan believes that scoring 138 points would not make him a hero because he basically embarrassed the other team, and that beat down could turn those other players off to basketball.

Mark says, that while Taylor`s skills are exceptional, "his teammates deserve more credit for things like playing great defense and hustling down the floor."

And from Olivia, "I do think he was a ball hog, but does that term always have to be negative? He did his job and what he was told to do. He is a star and the ball hog, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Remember, when you were a kid, and you would sit in the cart at the grocery store, that was kind of fun, right? This is the grownup version. It`s 12 feet long, 9 feet tall. That guy must need a lot of groceries.

This is just a publicity stunt, the super-sized cart draws lots of lookers and shoppers, or at least that`s the plan. The store`s owner spent two years and tens of thousands of dollars building it. He admits, he`s better with food than four wheelers. So, it`s possible he had to work out some buggies, probably needed a detailed map to figure it all out, that`s when you call on a cartographer.

It`s time for us to hit the road, for CNN STUDENT NEWS, I`m Carl Azuz. See you later.