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Iranian Foreign Minister, U.S. Secretary of State Meet; What Will Happen in a Government Shutdown?

Aired September 27, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: It is Friday, and that is awesome. Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS. We talked earlier this week about the tense relationship between the United States and Iran. In recent years, Iran`s controversial nuclear program has added to that tension. Iran says the program is for peaceful purpose, the U.S. and other countries believe Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons.

One way the U.S. and other countries have reacted to Iran`s nuclear program is with sanctions. Now, these are punishments, penalties that restrict Iran`s economic activities. Sanctions are designed to pressure Iran into talking with the international community. Yesterday, Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Jawad Zurif and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met in New York about Iran`s nuclear program. Here`s why that`s significant. It`s the first meeting between high level U.S. and Iranian officials in more than 30 years.


ANNOUNCER: Is this legit? Ben Franklin was the first person to run the U.S. Postal Service. It`s true. In 1775 the continental congress appointed Franklin as the first U.S. postmaster general.


AZUZ: Back in the 18 century, the good old days, it cost six cents to send the letter through the mail. In 1975, 200 years after Ben Franklin became the postmaster general, it cost ten cents.

Today, a first class stamp cost 46 cents, but the postal service wants to increase that to 49 cents staring next January. Then you might say, who cares, I don`t send anything through the mail. That`s part of the issue. Every year the amount of mail the postal service handles drops by hundreds of millions of pieces. The postal service lost $16 billion in 2012, another 1740 million from April through June of this year. One of the ways to make up those losses is by increasing stand prices. The postal service board of governors describes that move as the last resort, this three cent increase could raise $2 billion for the postal service, but the board of governors has to approve it first.

The postal service isn`t the only part of the U.S. government that`s facing some serious economic questions. Congress and President Obama have to consider something called the debt ceiling. This is a limit on the total amount of money the U.S. government can borrow, the ceiling, $16.7 trillion of debt is in sight and heeding it could have some consequences.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR: The shutdown maybe more imminent, but the administration`s officials I`m speaking to are more concerned about the debt ceiling, which happens after that. Why? Well, during a shutdown, mandatory spending wouldn`t be affected. That means seniors, for example, could still get their Social Security payments, but that`s not the case if the debt ceiling is not raised. There would be no spending once the government runs out of cash on hand. And what day is that? October 17th. That`s the day when the U.S. will have less than $50 billion. Maybe $30 billion on hand, and the government can`t borrow any more money. That means, just like when your bank account is empty, and you can`t find any extra source of cash, the government will have to stop paying some of its bills, bills like our interest payments on some of our debt, right? We wouldn`t be able to pay interest to China on massive loans. What about Social Security? There could be people who wouldn`t get Social Security checks. Medicare and Medicaid. When the money runs out, how do you pay for that? 110 million people are on one of those programs. And what could be worse here, what really could be worse here, is we don`t know the reaction from the markets. How many hundreds of billions of dollars could we owe in borrowing costs if interest rates rise. We don`t know until we get there, and by then, the damage is done.


AZUZ: U.S. government debating what to do with its money -- how do you handle yours? The amounts are probably smaller, but you still have to decide how much to spend, how much to save. So, for today`s CNN "Viewfinder" we asked some high school juniors and seniors for their best monetary advice.


MYKEL SKINNER, HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR: Don`t spend it all in one place, because you`re going to need it. You know, it`s easy to spend money and it`s hard to make it back. So, I would say save your money, like especially as a girl, like when you go shopping, and there is a sale, you want to -- you just want to go crazy a little. But you need to really learn to restrain yourself and don`t spend it all.

ROMA PARIKH, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: It`s not just flips of paper, even a credit card. It`s a lot of work that goes into it, and that`s something I`ve learned by having a part time job and needing to get funds for a vacation school trip that I want to go to is that it`s not easy. You think, it is. Because you kind of grow up having you parents pay for things, but when you get to it, when you get down to it, there is a lot more to getting money and spending it.

AMAYA CARR, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: So, budget and to write everything down. I`ve recently got my first job, and I can estimate how much money I make, but I know I have to spend, and I know what I need to save, like for college, so I`ll write everything down, and it makes it easier.

BENJAMIN GOLDFEIN, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: Well, I`ve always been taught in my household that whatever I made regardless, even if it`s a birthday gift, if I`ve worked at a job, at least 50 percent of it goes in the savings.

MARILYN PRIMOVIC, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: The most valuable lesson I learned about money is to save. Save, save, save. Especially in this economy. As a kid, I always grew up -- and whenever I got birthday money, I would stick in the bank and at the time interesting rate was really good. So, I would just get excited every month to get a little bill in the mail and see how my interest did, or whatever and so, just encourage kids save money and put it away and -- oh, and don`t buy sodas when you`re at restaurants, because that`s expensive.


AZUZ: Our "Roll Call" map is filling up. Today, we`re adding three more states we haven`t mentioned until now. Let`s start out western Montana. That`s where you`ll find the Renegades from the Rapelje High School. We`d been to South Dakota, now we have the North. The Devils Lake Firebirds from Devils Lake, North Dakota and the Averill Park Warriors from Averill Park, New York, round out today`s "Roll Call." Thanks to all of you for watching.

Football players at Utah`s Union High School played the game last Friday. Afterward, the coach kicked them off the team, all of them. Administrator said they haven`t gotten a single complaint from parents about this.


GEOFF LIESIK, KSL REPORTER: This isn`t your typical football practice, especially during homecoming week.

Neither is this, but it`s exactly what Union High head coach Matt Labrum wants to see.

MATT LABRUM, HEAD COACH: We`re still practicing, but we`re practicing on some different skills.

LIESIK: The Cougars have had a few academic issues this season, as well as some attitude problems. And last week, the coach has learned that a player or two might have been involved in the anonymous cyber bullying of another student.

LABRUM: This felt like everything was -- was going in a direction that we didn`t want. Our young man going and so we felt like we needed to make a stand.

LIESIK: So, after Friday`s home game against judge, the coaches made all their players hand in their jerseys.

KARTER ROOK, FOOTBALL PLAYER: I was definitely said, because I love playing, and I always want to play.

JORDAN GURR, FOOTBALL PLAYER: I figured we`ve just been cut (inaudible) we`ve done. I`ve figured there is no more games.

LIESIK: Players left the locker room in tears, telling their parents the team had been disbanded, but their season wasn`t over, they were being given the option to play again under some very specific terms, outlined in a letter signed by the entire coaching stuff, but called for the election of new tea captains, two days of community service instead of practice, mandatory attendance and a character education class and at a study hall session.

LABRUM: And I think it`s going to bring our team closer, I think we`re going to be more accountable, not only for ourselves, but for our buddy next to us.

LIESIK: We got (ph) to a number of coaches around the states. Some fear this punishment might be too extreme while others say coach Labrum knows his players and what`s best for them. As for this school district and the school, they said they`ve had nothing but support from parents.


AZUZ: All but a handful of the Union High players met their coach`s requirements. They got their jerseys back on Wednesday night. And they played their homecoming game tonight.

On our blog, we`ve been talking about the NCAA`s rules concerning the amateur status of college athletes. Many responded like this, "one thing that makes college football so powerful is the fact that these students are playing a game they love, and not doing it for the money. However, I believe that policies should be put into place to provide for all medical expenses that result from playing." Abby thought so, too. They bring in a lot of money for the school when they play, so the school should at least cover it if they get injured." Joshua writes, "If they players are getting a scholarship, they are saving money that would go to college expenses. Doesn`t that mean they are getting paid?" From Tyler, "They are in college to learn and college is a good way for scouts to see your capability to play in the NFL or any other pro sports. Kobe or Kobe writes, "If the NCAA is making money off students athletes, they are, in a way, being taken advantage off, which isn`t fair towards them."

But Jenna says, "They are playing in college and not the NFL. If they want to further their career then need to graduate in time and move forwards with their sport."

The University of Wisconsin`s Camp Randall Stadium can hold more than 80,000 people. For one moment last Saturday, all eye were on two. This is Captain J.R. Lund. She`s been serving in Afghanistan for six months. This is Lund`s daughter Bella. The 13-year old had no idea that her mom was standing 50 yards behind her until this moment. YouTube video captured Captain Lund and Bella sharing a personal moment in front of the badger faithful.

Even in the midst of tens of thousands of Wisconsin fans we`re guessing (ph) they enjoyed their reunion without anyone badgering them. It`s time for us to go, we will reunite with you after the weekend. Have a great one.