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President Obama Talks About the Economy in SOTU; Doggy Bad Hair Day

Aired February 14, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS. I`m Carl Azuz. It`s Thursday, but the political world is still buzzing about President Obama`s State of the Union address. These speeches can give an idea of what issues a president wants to focus on. Tuesday night, he talked a lot about the economy, specifically creating job for the American middle class. It`s something that Senator Marco Rubio discussed in the Republican response, too. Why is there so much attention on this?

In 2009, when he took the oath for the first time, about 133 million Americans were employed, and that number was already dropping dramatically as we came out of the Bush years, and it kept dropping until February of 2010 when it hit its lowest point. Then we began this long slow grind backup to where we are today. Right now we have 1.2 million more jobs than we did when President Obama first took office. That`s not nearly as robust as people would like to see. But more importantly, think about this: the jobs we lost over here simply weren`t as good as the jobs we gained back over here. I`m going to explain what I`m talking about. Rutgers University did a study where they talked to a lot of people who`d lost jobs and then regained other jobs. They found that 22 percent of those people said the jobs that they have now pay about the same as the job they lost before. Beyond that, another 24 percent said, they`re being paid more than they were before, but now look at this number: because it`s the big one: more than half the people say, their new job pays less than their old job. These are the people who really are struggling out there. They are working as hard as they can and they just cannot move ahead in any way, shape or form.

Next story today: remember that massive blizzard that hit the north- eastern U.S. last weekend? Look at this video from Connecticut and watch how much snow is building up around this clock post. This is just one night. Some parts of the state got up to three feet of snow. In the city of Waterbury, all of the schools have been closed since the blizzard hit. You might think that sounds all right, but when the city asked for help shoveling the snow, a lot of the students showed up to pitch in.


FRANCHESA VILLAR, STUDENT: Because this is our community, everybody needs to help out, and we`re all a family.

MAYOR NEIL O`LEARY, WATERBURY, CONNECTICUT: You`ve got teachers here, you`ve got adults here, as you can see. You`ve got a bunch of students here. So, you know, this is, you know - I`m amazed at the turnout, to be honest with you.

ARIANNA MCDONALD, STUDENT: Like if you had been staying in the house for like four days straight without school, so we just wanted to come help, especially elementary schools.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s "Shoutout" goes out to Ms. Krueger`s world geography class at Orr Middle class in Las Vegas, Nevada. What religious observance marks the start of Lent? You know what to do. Is it Palm Sunday, Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday or Good Friday? You`ve got three seconds, go!

Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, and ends six and a half weeks later on Easter. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."


AZUZ: Those six and a half weeks start this week. Yesterday, it was Ash Wednesday, religious ceremonies around the world marked the observance. In Vatican City, the home of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI led an Ash Wednesday mass. This is the last one he`ll lead as pope. On Monday, he announced his resigning at the end of this month. So with Ash Wednesday, Lent has officially started, here`s a look at what that`s all about.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For Christians, Lent is a season of prayer, of paying penance for sins and for sacrifice. That`s the one act we all associate with Lent, giving something up.

Lent is for Christians, the period leading up to Easter. The period lasts for 40 days and corresponds to the 40 days that Jesus is said to have fasted in the desert before beginning his life of ministry.

Most of us associate Lent with Catholicism, but the truth is, there are many different kinds of Christians that celebrate Lent. Eastern Orthodox Christians, various mainline Protestant denominations, Presbyterians and Methodists, among them. And in recent years, we`ve seen a trend toward Evangelical churches, which have traditionally avoided Lent, expressing interest in it and beginning to celebrate it or observe it in some fashion.

Some give up chocolate. In recent years, there have been Christians that have given up Facebook, or social networking for 40 straight days, which is, you know, impossible for some of us to imagine. It really varies widely what people choose to give up for Lent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m planning on giving up any kind of sweets, chocolate, cake, gummies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For a Lent, I`m going to be giving up meat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going to give up fat food. Fat burgers, in particular.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I really want to try to be a healthier person. I want to start working out and eating right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s always some time during Lent that you think about you wish you didn`t give it up. But when you get to the end you always feel good about it.


AZUZ: So, what would you give up? Whether or not you observe Lent, what`s something you enjoy that you`d try giving up for 40 days? Vegetables don`t count. Check out our blog at


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this legit? The word "valentine" comes from the Latin word for heart.

Nope. It comes from St. Valentine, the patron saint of love.


AZUZ: You don`t need to live in Lovejoy, Georgia, Romance, Arkansas or Valentine, Texas to feel the love this Valentine`s Day. 62 percent of adults say they celebrate it. And let me count the ways how. Many people buy stuff, candy stuff, gifty stuff, cards, jewelry, flowers. Those little hearts that say "I do." The average person will likely drop $130 bucks on Valentine`s Day and men are the bigger spenders. They`ll shell out between $150 and $175, about twice what women will spend. Many of those who procrastinate might find themselves in flower shops. The application FourSquare (ph) says they are the most popular spot for last minute Valentine shoppers, and afterward, likely a French restaurant or a cupcake shop. Two popular places to celebrate love. Of course, here is another way: sustained smooching, liplocked lovers in Thailand are going for the Guinness world record. It`s currently set at 50 hours and 25 minutes. Yes, two people actually kiss that long. Will their romantic record be broken up? Until we know for sure, our lips are sealed.

Finally today, we`re going from smooches to pooches. And one in particular, that`s getting a lot of love. His name is Banana Joe, he is the top dog at this year`s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Joe is an affenpinscher. That means monkey terrier in German. He is the first of his breed to take home top honors. At Westminster, winning the title is hard enough, but when good dogs face off against bad hair, that`s when the fir really flies.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Who hasn`t had an important occasion when you want to look your very best, and then you venture outside, only to discover it`s a dreaded bad hair day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, it is. It was. We had to buy an umbrella and a poncho outside of the hotel to get him here.

MOOS (on camera): You put the poncho on him or on you?


MOOS (voice over): Day one of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York was rainy, foggy, slushy, enough to curl even a showdog`s hair.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They can curl, they can go frizzy on you, just like, you ladies, they can have a bad hair day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And his hair going, and soaking this up.

MOOS: Rain left this long haired dachshund with ridges. They blow- dried him, then used a special comb to try and smooth him out.

(on camera): Whose hair got it worse? His or yours?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mine doesn`t count.

MOOS (voice over): Sure, there are worse things that could happen than getting rained on. You dog carrier could crash. But rainy weather is a big deal to a dog with dreadlocks.

(on camera): So they are naturally occurring dreadlocks?


MOOS (voice over): Or a bearded collie?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you look good coming out of the shower, then come out of the shower, but if you don`t ...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then dry your hair.

MOOS: Danny, the cavalier King Charles spaniel, required flat ironing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything wants to go the wrong direction.

MOOS (on camera): I just came from makeup and they just did that to me.

(voice over): But if rain makes for a bad dog hair day, this looks counterintuitive.


MOOS (on camera): What is this thing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s actually a fog machine, but it gets him soaking wet, sorry.

MOOS (voice over): First, she soaked Beowulf, then she blow dried and fluffed him, to give him more volume. And then there are dogs like Violet (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A curl and then the tail--

MOOS (on camera): The rain didn`t do this?


MOOS (voice over): Violet never left the indoors.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s having a good hair day.

MOOS: When it`s a bad dog hair day, you can always get rid of the bad hair.

(on camera): Can I have this?


Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


AZUZ: If you can keep your cool in that kind of harried situation, you definitely deserve a round of a paws. Teachers, don`t forget to tail us your thoughts on today`s show. The feedback links on our home page. Have a very happy Valentine`s Day, everyone.