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Is Senator Cruz Eligible for the Presidency?; Why Do Athletes Take Performance Enhancing Drugs?

Aired August 15, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS, bringing stories from around the world right to your classroom. We`re headed to three continents today, and we start in the North African nation of Egypt. On Monday, we reviewed the violence and political crisis that the country went through this summer. Teachers, you can find that report on our home page. The violence in Egypt isn`t over. Yesterday, Egyptian security forces moved into two camps of protesters. These are people who support Mohammed Morsy. He was elected president in 2012, and then removed from power this summer.

The security forces used bulldozers to knock down tents in the camps, and then chaos broke out, with protesters fighting against the Egyptian forces. At least 278 people were reportedly killed, including one photojournalist covering the story. CNN crews in Egypt found themselves in the middle of the fighting.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are neighborhoods in this city that are simply unrecognizable at this hour, because they`ve been turned into war zones. Wow, that was a huge explosion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At the same time, you have the (inaudible). We`re OK.


AZUZ: Egypt declared a month long state of emergency starting yesterday. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the world is watching closely and is deeply concerned.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this legit? You have to be at least 45 years old to be president of the United States.

No, not true. The Constitution sets the presidential age minimum at 35.

AZUZ: That`s not the only requirement that the founding fathers put in the U.S. Constitution. To be eligible as president, you have to be at least 35, have been a resident in the U.S. for at least 14 y ears, and be a natural-born citizen. It might seem pretty straightforward, but it might not be. There is a debate going on right now that involves U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, and what exactly that last presidential requirement, that natural-born citizen line means. Athena Jones breaks it down.


ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He is a potential presidential contender, but he wasn`t born in the U.S. So is he even eligible to run? He says he is. Cruz was born in Canada, to a Cuban father and an American mother.

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS: My mother was born in Wilmington, Delaware. She is a U.S. citizen, so I am a U.S. citizen by birth.

JONES: The Constitution says only a natural-born citizen can be president. But what does natural-born mean?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As long as he qualifies as a citizen of the United States at birth, which he does by law, then that makes him a natural-born citizen.

JONES: This citizenship question isn`t new. Former GOP candidate John McCain was born to American parents in the Panama Canal Zone, raising questions. To try to put the matter to rest, the Senate passed a non- binding resolution in 2008 recognizing McCain as a natural-born citizen, but even that resolution noted that the Constitution does not define the term.

RANDY BARNETT, LAW PROFESSOR: This is an example of an interpretation of the Constitution that was really fleshed out by Congress itself.

JONES: Law professor Randy Barnett is talking about statute, but a 50-page report by the Congressional Research Service provides another clue about how Congress views the issue. That report says natural-born applies to those born abroad to U.S. citizen parents. It does not address those born abroad to one U.S. parent, but the argument goes if Cruz can claim citizenship through his mother at birth, and the scholars we spoke with say he can, then he can claim to be natural-born, but that does not mean it`s the end of the story. In the case of President Obama, even providing a copy of his Hawaiian birth certificate hasn`t quieted so-called birthers like Donald Trump.

DONALD TRUMP, CEO, TRUMP ENTERPRISES: Well, I don`t know. Was there a birth certificate? You tell me. Some people say that was not his birth certificate. I`m saying I don`t know. Nobody knows.

JONES: So would a Cruz candidacy ignite a birther movement of its own? It`s anybody`s guess. Athena Jones, CNN, Washington.


AZUZ: Today`s summer news recap comes from the sports world. Didn`t happen on the field, but it`s keeping some players off it. Major League Baseball suspended 12 players for 50 games each. They are accused of taking performance enhancing drugs. These players have accepted the suspensions. Alex Rodriguez has not. He was suspended too, but for 211 games. Baseball officials say Rodriguez was hit with a longer punishment because of multiple years of alleged PED use. Rodriguez is appealing his suspension.

Another former MVP, Ryan Braun, was also suspended for violating the league`s drug policy. He is sitting out the rest of this season without pay.

Why would athletes take performance enhancing drugs, and what are the potential side effects? Elizabeth Cohen fills us in.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Strength, energy, endurance. Those are three things that athletes are trying to get when they use these performance enhancing drugs. Now, there is some debate as to whether it actually works, but the athletes seem to think that it works, and they often continue using them.

So in some sports, strength is more important. In other sports, like let`s say biking, endurance is also important. So athletes in different sports will take drugs that they think are tailor-made for what they need. And authorities sort of caught on to this in the 1960s, and they`ve been trying to stop the doping, but they haven`t really been able to stop it completely.

Some performance enhancing drugs actually are real medicines, and they are legal if a doctor prescribes them, but they are not legal if a doctor does not prescribe them. And then in addition, governing boards of various sports have told athletes, you cannot use this. It is illegal in our sport for you to use these.

So human growth hormone is a real drug that doctors actually prescribe to patients, but athletes sometimes abuse it, because they think that it increases their muscle mass and they think that it increases their performance. So human growth hormone has legitimate purposes. Doctors give it to children who are very short to help them grow. Sometimes AIDS patients who are having wasting issues, who aren`t gaining enough weight, they are given human growth hormone. But it`s not supposed to be used to enhance athletic performance, and governing boards of sports have made that very clear.

It can be very hard to check for these PEDs, and that`s because the abusers are always several steps ahead of the people who are doing the testing. So people who are doing the testing have figured out, you know what, we`ve got to get better at testing for these drugs. So one of the things that they`ve started to do is in some sports, the minute that you win a medal, they whisk you off and they test you, because they want to see if you have any drugs in your system right at that time.

There are so many downsides to using these PEDs. Now, one that a lot of people know about, roid rage. Using steroids can just completely change your behavior. And then on the other hand, PEDs can make you depressed. They can also give you heart problems, they can give you diabetes, and sometimes athletes in their pursuit of what they think is going to be their best performance, they don`t think about these things, but these side effects can really happen.


AZUZ: CNN STUDENT NEWS character studies. The name of our new segment about positive stories, like this. The rider`s helmet in this YouTube video catches him in an act of kindness.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you stuck? I saw you. Let me give you a full little reverse here.


AZUZ: He spotted a woman having trouble, and pulled over to help her out. Got her wheelchair unstuck and got both of them back on their way.

Now, this second rider rolled up to help a blind man he saw walking in the street. He helped him over to safety on the sidewalk. When he posted the video on YouTube, he said he wanted to inspire other acts of kindness. That`s what we want to hear about from you, ways that you or someone you know helped somebody out. If you`re already on FaceBook, talk to us about it at

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s time for the shoutout. This is the leader of what European country? If you think you know it, then shout it out. Is it Germany, Iceland, Poland or Sweden? You`ve got three seconds, go.

This is Angela Merkel, and she`s been the chancellor of Germany since 2005. That is your answer and that`s your shoutout.

AZUZ: In Germany, the chancellor is the same thing as the U.S. president. So imagine you`re sitting in class, your country`s leader walks in, and the teacher says, here`s today`s sub. That`s exactly what happened for a group of 12th graders on Tuesday. Chancellor Merkel showed up in their school to teach a history lesson about the Berlin Wall. Germany used to be divided into two countries, East and West. And Merkel is the first German leader who grew up in Communist East Germany. Her personal experiences there were part of her lesson.

Angela Merkel wasn`t the only European leader doing a different job this week. The man sliding behind the wheel here isn`t really a taxi driver. He`s Norway prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg. He`s working under cover, but most of his passengers seemed to see through the disguise pretty quickly. The idea was that he could get people`s honest opinions about political issues. None of the passengers were charged for their rides, and since he wasn`t a real driver, that seems fair. So what issue do you think came up most? I`m guessing it was taxis (ph). Either way, we`re sure the information he could share with his cabinet. CNN STUDENT NEWS is back tomorrow to wrap up the week. I`m Carl Azuz.