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IAEA Inspectors Go to Iran; FBI Foils Terrorist Plot

Aired February 21, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


NATISHA LANCE, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Hi, everyone, I`m Natisha Lance, sitting in for Carl Azuz today. We hope that you enjoyed the long weekend, and you are ready for a new week of headlines from CNN Student News.

First up, international inspectors are looking at Iran`s controversial nuclear program. Representatives from the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency, are in Iran right now.


LANCE (voice-over): Now they`re responsible for making sure that countries aren`t secretly developing nuclear weapons, and that`s what some countries have accused Iran of doing. But the Middle Eastern nation says its nuclear program only has peaceful purposes.

The country of Israel says that if Iran does have nuclear weapons, then Israel will consider that as a direct threat against itself. Israel`s government has also indicated that it`s considering an attack against Iran nuclear facilities. U.S. officials say that they understand Israel`s concerns, but they advise against any kind of attacks, saying it could make the situation worse.


LANCE: In Washington, D.C., authorities say they`ve stopped a planned terror attack. They`ve been watching the suspect for a while as part of a long-term investigation.


LANCE (voice-over): He was arrested Friday at this parking garage, and he allegedly went there to get what he thought was a vest with explosives. The people he met with were actually law enforcement officers.

Now the suspect has been charged with attempting to bomb the U.S. Capitol building in a suicide attack. Here`s what we know about him. He`s 29 years old and from Morocco. Authorities say he was (ph) acting alone, and wasn`t connected to any terrorist organization. They also say the public was never in any danger.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just the facts. An avalanche refers to a collection of material that moves quickly down a slope. Avalanches kill about 150 people in North America and Europe every year. There are different kinds of avalanches, including rock, ice, debris and snow.

Snow avalanches can be triggered by certain weather conditions, skiers or explosive blasts.


LANCE: Part of the reason why avalanches are so dangerous is that they can pick up speed pretty quickly. Sometimes that snow is rushing downhill at up to 80 miles per hour. Now, a dozen people were caught in avalanche in Washington State over the weekend. Three of them were killed. Elizabeth Dinh of affiliate KOMO has the details for us on what happened.


ELIZABETH DINH, STEVEN`S PASS, WASHINGTON: Here`s what I can tell you. We understand 12 very experienced skiers were in an area that is way back there when this avalanche happened. And unfortunately, we know that the three men who did not make it, we`re learning now, their ages are 30, 35 and 45.

Take a look at this video. We understand four of the 12 got caught up in the worst of it, and this avalanche took them down 1,500 feet. According to the King County Sheriff`s Office, that included the three men I just mentioned, as well as one woman. We understand she survived because she had a special jacket. It`s like an avalanche safety jacket.

If you think of what you would wear in water, like a life jacket, this jacket -- an avalanche can puff up with air, as it did for her, and it gave her a pocket of air, which officials say helped her survive.

Right after this happened, the other eight in this big group of 12 were able to dig themselves out pretty quickly, and they got their cell phones and called for help. But they realized the other four were still underneath all the snow.

SGT. KATY LARSON, KING COUNTY SHERIFF`S OFFICE: They`re skiing, the avalanche happens. At this point, almost all of them, probably up to 12 at some point, are buried in the snow. They managed to dig themselves out of the snow. At that point, then they look and they find that three of these skiers are suffering from medical issues. They begin CPR. And, unfortunately, they were not able to resuscitate the victims.

DINH: And officials tell me that these experienced skiers were in an area that was blocked off. And it`s not an area that is closed off, it`s just a lot of people consider this back country skiing. And so it`s an area that basically you would ski at your own risk. They tell me that these skiers had all the right gear, and this is, unfortunately, just Mother Nature and just, unfortunately, the conditions were that bad.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s Shoutout goes out to Mr. Fitzgerald`s social studies classes at Tisbury School in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts. Who is the oldest person to travel into space? You know what to do. Is it Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Yuri Gagarin or Dennis Tito? Start the countdown at three seconds, and go.

John Glenn holds that title. He was 77 when he traveled into space in 1998. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.


LANCE: And that wasn`t his first time in space. John Glenn was one of NASA`s original astronauts. He`s been the center of a lot of attention right now, because 50 years ago yesterday he made history.


JOHN GLENN, ASTRONAUT: The (inaudible) light (ph) is on. (Inaudible) a miracle.

SCOTT CARPENTER, ASTRONAUT: Godspeed, John Glenn. Five --

LANCE (voice-over): As that rocket launched into the sky, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. In fact, he circled the globe three times during the five-hour mission. It may have happened half a century ago, but Glenn says that famous flight is one he`ll never forget.

GLENN: I guess I`ve recalled it quite often over the past 50 years, and that`s kept it fresh, but it was such an impressive thing at the time, that it`s indelibly imprinted on my memory, and I can recall those days very, very well.


LANCE: Today is Tuesday. You already knew that, but did you know that it`s Fat Tuesday? That means it`s also Mardi Gras, which means Fat Tuesday in French. And no matter what you call it, it falls on the day before the religious observance of Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday.


LANCE (voice-over): And in cities like New Orleans, Mardi Gras is a huge celebration. You`ll see parades with floats, marching bands and people in costume. New Orleans hosted its first Mardi Gras parade in 1837. The floats started showing up about 20 years later, and typically more than a million people come out to attend the city`s Mardi Gras celebrations.


LANCE: Next up, the bright lights of the big city -- you might have seen the neon displays in New York or maybe even Las Vegas, but in this case, we`re talking about Hong Kong. Now some residents say all that light from businesses and advertisements can boost a city`s image or even make the streets safer. But not everyone thinks brighter is better. Richard Quest has this illuminating report.


RICHARD QUEST, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS (voice-over): there are lights bigger lights and then there`s Hong Kong. The world`s big cities offer culture, convenience and a cosmopolitan way of life.

Living in a city, especially like this, can be anything but easy. Property prices are some of the highest in the world. The city`s battle with air pollution is well known. With so much development, there`s also the noise pollution. Now an entirely different problem -- it`s trying to live in a city of lights, lots of lights.

QUEST: Bustling with business in the heart of Hong Kong (ph), night becomes day when the lights get switched on. This is about as bad as it gets. And remember, there are people living up there, trying to sleep, if they can.

QUEST (voice-over): Professor Henry Chung has been studying light pollution for more than a decade, and says not only is excessive light a real nuisance, it`s a waste of energy.

QUEST: So what would you do? Would you switch them all off?

HENRY CHUNG, CITY UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG: It is a good idea. But, of course, we have to strike a balance. That`s why I think the government has to do something. The legislation tried to control the maximum brightness produced by all these lights and check the brightness around the area. That is the best way to control light pollution.

QUEST (voice-over): Well, there`s been debate. There`s currently no regulations in place to curb light pollution. While the city`s glistening skyline`s been a draw for tourists for years, now even Hong Kong`s chief executive recognizes action needs to be taken.

DONALD TSANG, HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE: We realize that we have to do something about it. You look at the commercial areas, it`s really bright. I think it become offensive at times, and we are now introducing virtually regulation restriction to make sure people do have a quiet night and not be disturbed too brightly in lights.


LANCE (voice-over): And, finally, if you like bacon, you`re going to love today`s "Before We Go" segment --


LANCE (voice-over): -- because that`s the main course of this annual Iowa event that attracts thousands of people. It`s Baconfest. Now where the popular product isn`t just for breakfast. There`s bacon for lunch, bacon for dinner. And for dessert, you bet your bacon. Cupcakes and brownies with bacon baked right in. They even offer life-size bacon. OK, that actually may be just a guy in a costume.


LANCE: He was probably trying to ham it up or hog all of the attention, but the true star was the bacon, and the "skillet" takes to prepare it in such interesting ways. We`re just a little surprised an event like this was held on Saturday. You`d think the best time for Baconfest would be on a "Fryday." All right. We`re done pigging out on puns. Enjoy the rest of your day. For CNN, I`m Natisha Lance.