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STUDENT NEWS

Michigan to Become a Right-to-Work State; Interview with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Aired December 12, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, my name is Carl Azuz. Today is December 12th, 2012, and you are watching CNN STUDENT NEWS.

This is the state Capitol, building in Lansing, Michigan. There`s a crowd gathered in front, and this is what that crowd looked like a close. Protesters, thousands of them, holding up signs and chanting. At least three schools around the state were closed, because teachers went to Lansing to be part of this. The chants were going on inside the capitol, too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALES AND FEMALES: Veto! Veto! Veto! Veto!

AZUZ: They are saying, veto, because they are protesting against legislation, that was up for a vote yesterday. That legislation passed, and it was headed to the governor`s desk next. He said he`ll sign it, and when he does, Michigan will become the 24th U.S state with Right-to-Work laws. Now, what that means is that workers in Michigan won`t have to join a labor union or to pay union dues in order to get or keep a job. People who support these laws say they give workers more choice and can attract more business. Critics say that right-to-work laws make unions weaker and keep wages lower.

Nelson Mandela, political activist, world leader, Nobel Peace Prize winner, here`s Mandela at the U.S. Capitol building in 1990 and this is where Mandela was yesterday, a hospital in his home country of South Africa, checked in there over the weekend. Authorities say doctors were treating the 94-year old for a lung infection. Mandela had abdominal surgery earlier this year and had a serious respiratory infection last year. Nelson Mandela was once called the world`s most famous political prisoner. He spent 27 years in jail, fighting for equality for black South Africans. After he was released in 1990, he continued his efforts to unite his country. His work earned him that Nobel Peace Prize and in 1994, he won South Africa`s first open election, becoming the country`s first black president.

Is this legit? "Zwolf, doce and dvenadzat` all represent the number twelve.

Yep, in order, those are the German, Spanish and Russian words for 12.

Well, considering today`s date, 12/12/12, we thought we`d get in on the fun, so with the year winding down, we are going to take a look back at 12 newsmakers from the past 12 months.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CROWD (chanting): Huria! Huria!

AUNG SAN SUU KYI, ACTIVIST AND POLITICAL LEADER: We hope that this will be the beginning of new era where there will be more emphasis on the role of the people in the everyday politics of our country.

MICHAEL PHELPS, AMERICAN SWIMMING CHAMPION: I finished my career how I wanted to. Now, looking back, I can (inaudible) everything I`ve ever wanted to.

MALALA YOUSUFZAI, PAKISTANI TEENAGER: I thought that I must stand up for my rights, the right of education, the right for peace.

FELIX BAUMGARTNER, AUSTRIAN SKYDIVER: (inaudible)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 725. (cheering and applause)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... the world record holder.

MITT ROMNEY, FORMER GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS: This is the time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation.

BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: With your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead.

(applause)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s "Shoutout" goes out to Mrs. Marx`s social studies classes in Freeland, Michigan. Which of these professional sports leagues plays an 82-game season? You know what to do, is it Major League Soccer, National Football League, Major League Baseball or National Hockey League? You`ve got three seconds, go.

In a standard NHL season, teams plays 82 games. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: But so far this season, NHL teams haven`t played any games, and they are not going to for at least a few more weeks. All those games have been canceled through the end of the year, the all star game scrapped. This year`s outdoor winter classic game, gone, all because of a labor dispute between the league and its players. And two sides are trying to work out a new deal. It would include things like how players contracts are set up, and how long those contracts can last. Eight years ago, a similar dispute led to the entire NHL season being canceled.

Kareem Abdul Jabbar set a lot of records in the basketball court. But the Hall of Famer has also said, quote, "I can do more than stuff a ball through a hoop. My greatest asset is my mind." He is hoping his new foundation will send the same message to young people.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, NBA PLAYER 1969-89: We are trying to get the Skyhoop Foundation off the ground and set up to give kids a shot that can`t be blocked, and that has to do with their education, no matter what happens to a young person, if they have good educational foundation, they can do what they want to do with their lives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Education, it`s very important to you.

ABDUL-JABBAR: Yes, it is. Too many young people think that the only thing that they can do is be LeBron James or Denzel Washington or Jay-Z, and if they can`t do that, they are lost. That`s not it.

Any kid that wants to grow up and be me is facing incredible odds, there are only 450 NBA jobs available for athletes. That`s it. We live in a country of many millions of people and there are 450 jobs of that type. So, most kids are not going to make it. Because if they just do the math, it would become very obvious to them, but they all use the exception as a rule. We need to flip that around and give them an idea of what they want to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s kids watching right now that think I`m going to be the next Kareem Abdul Jabbar. I`m going to be the greatest basketball player ever. Your advice to them is what?

ABDUL-JABBAR: Dream your dreams, pursue your dreams, but don`t have that to be the only thing that you pursue. I`m going to still a quote from the United Negro College Fund, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste," don`t let your intellectual development suffer because you want to play sports. You can do the both.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AZUZ: Well, finally today sometimes it`s all about the details: This man from Washington State decided to go big when it came time to propose to his girlfriend. No simple down on one knee and ask business. This guy used his tractor to plow his proposal into a 200 acre field. Then he flew his intended fiancee Jody over it in an airplane. There was just one problem: the Jay in Jody was facing the wrong way, so, you could give him an A for romance and F for handwriting. His little slip up didn`t distract her from the question at hand, and she said, yes. There are a lot of ways to propose, you could go with type A, or type B, that guy went with type O. Still, they decide to write their own vows. He might want to leave that to his bride. We`ve plowed through all our time for today, more stories and more puns cropping up tomorrow on CNN STUDENT NEWS. See you then.

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