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NY Officials Arrest Man Planning Terror Attack; Protests in Egypt

Aired November 22, 2011 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: It`s Tuesday. I`m Carl Azuz, and this is CNN Student News. This is our last show this week, but we have a lot of ground to cover before the Thanksgiving break, so let`s go ahead and get to it.

First up, New York officials arrest a man they say was planning a terrorist attack. Mayor Michael Bloomberg described Jose Pimentel as a lone wolf. That means he was allegedly operating on his own. Pimentel is reportedly inspired by Al Qaida, not believed to be actually part of the terrorist organization. Pimentel was arrested on Sunday on bomb-related charges.


AZUZ (voice-over): Surveillance video showed him drilling holes in pipes that authorities say were going to be used as pipe bombs. Pimentel reportedly told police he was about an hour away from finishing his first bomb when he was arrested.

According to officials in New York, Pimentel was planning to attack police officers, patrol cars and U.S. military troops who were coming home from serving overseas. Pimentel`s attorney says the case against his client isn`t as strong as authorities say it is.



AZUZ (voice-over): Some American veterans could be getting some help in the job market. President Obama signed a bill into law yesterday that gives tax credits to companies that hire veterans who might have been out of work for a while. This is the only part of the president`s jobs proposal that has been approved. Both the U.S. House and the Senate voted unanimously to pass this bill.


AZUZ: Republicans and Democrats agree on helping veterans. They don`t seem to agree on a plan to reduce the government`s deficit. Yesterday we reported on Congress` super committee. You can check out Monday`s show for details on how the committee was formed and its efforts to come up with ways to cut the deficit.

The deadline was Monday for the committee to form a plan. But late yesterday afternoon, it announced it couldn`t reach a deal. For the latest developments and reactions to that announcement, go to


AZUZ (voice-over): Some significant events that happened on this day in history: in 1906, the Morse code signal SOS was adopted as the international distress signal.

In 1917, the National Hockey League was created. It`s the second oldest of the four major team sports leagues in North America.

And in 1963, President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas. President Kennedy was 46 years old.


AZUZ: Turning to Egypt now, where the members of the country`s cabinet have all quit. We reported yesterday on the anger and new protests happening in the North African nation. The civilian government reacted to that by offering to step down. The protests in Egypt right now are against the military leaders who are currently running the country`s government.


AZUZ (voice-over): Some people are worried that the military has too much control, and they want the military to step down. More than 20 people have been killed in the fighting between protesters and security forces.

The military took control in Egypt after an uprising earlier this year forced the country`s long-time president out of power. The military says it will hand over control to a civilian government once it`s been elected. But that election process takes a while ,maybe even a year.


AZUZ: On December 11th, CNN will name the Hero of the Year during a special tribute program. We`ve been featuring this year`s Top 10 CNN Heroes on our show, and at Today you`ll meet Richard St. Dennis. He`s spent decades fighting for the rights of disabled Americans. Now, he`s taken his efforts south of the border.


RICHARD ST. DENNIS, CNN HERO: In Mexico, people with disabilities who can`t get around have no options. Their world is the four walls of their house.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through interpreter): It`s really hard for me to go very far with my crutches.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through interpreter): It makes me really sad to see my son this way. He is 19.

ST. DENNIS: When someone has a disability, the whole family has to pitch in to help them if they don`t have the money, the care that they provide for them is the very basic care.

My name is Richard St. Dennis. I take wheelchairs to people in Mexico who can`t afford them, but really need them.

In 1976, I broke my back skiing and severed my spinal cord. I see what happened to me as an opportunity to help other people with disabilities.

We collect used wheelchairs from the United States to help us distribute the wheelchairs, a lot of people with disabilities work with us.

I think this chair we have for him might be perfect.

We make sure the wheelchairs meet the needs of the person who receives them.

I`m a race car, (inaudible), hot rod.

We teach them how to use it.

Adelante por ti. Yeah, muy bien.

Mobility means being independent and more active.

(Speaking foreign language).

Someone said, "Richard, I want to thank you for giving up your legs so we could have a better quality of life." When I see them happy, seeing their self-confidence, I know people`s lives are getting better.


AZUZ: Some high school students in Texas showed their support for one teacher this weekend. Mr. Love had a rough week. He`d actually been bullied by a couple of students. So 50 or 60 others..


AZUZ (voice-over): . decided to, well, show him some him some love. They gathered outside his house Sunday evening and brought Mr. Love out so they could share their musical message.

GROUP (singing): All you need is love. All you need is love, love, love is all you need.

AZUZ (voice-over): The students planned this entirely on their own, a great way to show some appreciation and pick up someone`s spirits.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s Shoutout goes out to Mr. Pechtl`s social studies classes at Scobey High School in Scobey, Montana. Who established Thanksgiving as a national U.S. holiday? You know what to do. Was it Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt? You`ve got three seconds, go.

President Lincoln`s Thanksgiving Day proclamation in 1863 established it as a national annual event. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.


AZUZ: President Lincoln might have made the first annual Thanksgiving proclamation. He would have been a little late celebrating the first Thanksgiving meal -- 242 years late. The tradition goes all the way back to 1621, when Pilgrims and Native Americans sat down to dine together and celebrate the harvest.

But the holiday has changed a little over the years. Feast your eyes on this.


AZUZ (voice-over): Oh, sure, it might have started with a cornucopia and a big feast, but not a turkey. There is no proof that turkey was on the first Thanksgiving table in 1621. The fact that it is today isn`t the only unexplained tradition of Thanksgiving.

First, take football. What would the Pilgrims and Native Americans say about this? They came together in a spirit of harmony. That`s not what the teams do. Then there`s shopping -- severe shopping, Black Friday shopping, with specials getting earlier and closer to Thanksgiving dinner every year. But why save room for dessert when you can save money on a 3D TV?

And what this has to do with giving thanks is as mysterious as stuffing. What is stuffing? For better or for weirder, this is just how we celebrate Thanksgiving. It`s just not the same without this stuff-ing.

And even if the turkey didn`t win a place at the founding feast, it did win a place in the heart of Founding Father Ben Franklin. He didn`t want the bald eagle to be our national symbol. He wanted the turkey. He said unlike the eagle, the turkey was a more respectable bird, a bird of courage -- sometimes too much courage.


AZUZ: But just as turkey attacks are often pardoned -- or "tabled" -- heh, heh -- the president pardons one lucky turkey every year in a tradition dating back to 1989. Is this an unusual tradition for the Thanksgiving season? Maybe. But it`s not the only one. After all, at the end of dinner, we are what we eat.


AZUZ: Yeah, turkeys. We all have some pretty unusual Thanksgiving traditions.


AZUZ (voice-over): In Marice`s family, they go to the petting zoo the day before Thanksgiving to pet the turkeys in a show of appreciation.

Julia and her cousins reenact the first Thanksgiving, and Julia`s always the turkey.

Mikeal or Mikeal`s family makes turducken, a chicken stuffed into a duck stuffed into a turkey. It may sound disgusting, but it really tastes good.

Kirsten`s family watches Filipino soap operas. Every Thanksgiving, there is a marathon of soap operas.

Ally`s family heads to their cabin and cuts down Christmas trees. They get enough trees for half the neighborhood, deliver them, and then set up their own Christmas stuff.

At Ela`s house, they have a turkey that they always name Pablo. Then throughout dinner, her grandfather sings songs about Pablo that he made up while eating.

Madison and Brittain have a "Thanksgiving Bowl" in their back yard. They use ripped-up pieces of cloth and play flag football.

And Sarah says it shouldn`t matter if you have a wacky tradition. It only matters that you spend the holidays with people you love.


AZUZ: Well, that, my friends, will gobble up all our time for today. We are certainly thankful for all of you who watch CNN Student News. We`ll be back next Monday. Have a very happy Thanksgiving.