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Allegations of Civilians Being Shot in Afghanistan; Space Shuttle Endeavour Going to a Museum

Aired March 12, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: You might have lost an hour over the weekend. I know I lost an hour of sleep. Fortunately, though, we are all right on time for the start of a new week of CNN Student News. Hello, everyone, from the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia, I`m Carl Azuz.

First up, officials from NATO, the U.S. and Afghanistan are investigating a shooting that took place in Afghanistan over the weekend. An American soldier allegedly left his base and killed more than a dozen Afghan civilians, including women and children, in two villages. He then went back to the base and turned himself in.


AZUZ (voice-over): Officials say the alleged shooter was acting on his own. They don`t have any possible motives for the attack. One NATO commander said that the, quote, "appalling incident in no way represents the values of coalition troops or the abiding respect we feel for the Afghan people."

The U.S. ambassador assured the people of Afghanistan that whoever is responsible will be brought to justice.


AZUZ: Tears, prayers and a moment of silence: those were some of the ways in which Japan marked the tragic anniversary of last year`s devastating earthquake and tsunami.


AZUZ (voice-over): Extraordinary images like these show you how powerful and destructive these natural disasters were. More than 15,000 people were killed by the quake and tsunami.


AZUZ: And last year, right after it happened, we asked you to share your thoughts and words of encouragement for the victims of these disasters. We asked you to put those on our blog, and here`s what some of you had to say at that time.


AZUZ (voice-over): From Libby, "The devastation is just so mind- blowing. My prayers go to those affected by this disaster."

Guffey said, "We should show our support for the people of Japan, perhaps by donating money or supplies."

Elizabeth said that, "despite all the chaos, there are people who struggle to live and have hope that things will work out. There is hope in every living witness of this disaster."

And Toyo said, "I`m reading these messages in Japan. Thank you everybody in the world."


AZUZ: Kyung Lah now has more on yesterday`s anniversary and the memorial ceremonies in one city.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A year after the tsunami, this is downtown Ishinomaki, still bearing all the scars of when the tsunami roared ashore a year ago. There is so much work and rebuilding to be done.

But for just this moment, this city paused to remember all the victims who had died in the tsunami, people stopping here to lay flowers, to remember the dead. Monks walk through Ishinomaki, chanting for the souls of the dead so that they may rest in peace. But many of the remembrances here in Ishinomaki were on a small scale.

Jie Kozutzumi (ph) laid flowers for two friends, who today are still missing.

"All I can do is keep going," she says, "and live in the best way I can," one foot in front of the other as a matter of fact Japan continues to recover -- Kyung Lah, CNN, Ishinomaki, Japan.


AZUZ: It`s time to take a look back with a special Women`s History Month edition of this day in history.


AZUZ (voice-over): On March 12th, 1912, 18 girls attended the first- ever meeting of the Girl Scouts. Today the organization has more than 3 million members.

In 1993, Janet Reno was sworn in as the first female attorney general in the United States history. She served in that role for eight years.

And in 1994, after considering the issue for decades, the Church of England ordained female priests for the first time.


AZUZ: The latest report on the employment situation in America came out last Friday. There is a great breakdown of the numbers at our website. We want to walk you through part of them right now.


AZUZ (voice-over): The big numbers are right at the top. During the month of February, 227,000 jobs were created, and the unemployment rate was 8.3 percent. That`s the same as it was the month before.

It doesn`t include people who are underemployed, but we have that number for you, too. It`s 2.6 million, and those are folks who have either stopped looking for a job or who are working but not as much as they`d want or in the jobs they`d want to work in. Lots of great information here. Check it out at


AZUZ: The race for the Republican presidential nomination rolls on, some U.S. territories held events this weekend. Guam, the Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands. Governor Romney won those.


AZUZ (voice-over): Also, focus on the caucuses in Kansas. On Saturday, there were 40 delegates up for grabs in that state, and when the votes came in, the majority of them went to former Senator Rick Santorum. Senator Santorum on the right here picked up 33 of those delegates. The rest went to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Governor Romney also getting some good news out of Wyoming. That state`s caucuses happened back in February, but the delegates were just awarded this weekend, and Governor Romney ended up with half of those.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s Shoutout goes out to Ms. Currier`s sixth grade reading enrichment class at Loranger Middle School in Loranger, Louisiana.

What was the last NASA space shuttle to be built? You know what to do. Was it Atlantis, Endeavour, Enterprise or Discovery? You`ve got three seconds, go.

Endeavour was the last shuttle added to NASA`s fleet. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.


AZUZ: Endeavour carried its first crew into space in May of 1992, and it made its final journey almost exactly 19 years later, coming in for its last landing last year. All of NASA`s space shuttles have been retired now. They`re going to be displayed at different museums around the country. But before that, John Zarrella got the chance to go inside a shuttle.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Encased in steel scaffolding, you can`t see much of the shuttle Endeavour from the outside. A bit of the nose, of course, the underbelly with all those thousands of heat shielding tiles. The engines are gone. But you know what they say. It`s what`s on the inside that counts. And that`s where we went for a rare look.

ZARRELLA: It`s bigger than a breadbox, but not much.


ZARRELLA (voice-over): On launch days, Travis Thompson was the closeout crew lead. He got 100 shuttle crews in and ready to fly.

THOMPSON: This is their living quarters, you know, we`re in the middeck now, flight deck`s above us. So middeck`s where they eat, sleep, potty, you know, do their normal --

ZARRELLA: And you could have five, six, seven people down here all at once.

THOMPSON: Definitely. And there`s not as much equipment in here now as there would be on launch days. So, I mean, there would be lockers out to here about 18 inches.

ZARRELLA (voice-over): To sleep, the astronauts would literally hang in sleeping bags against the wall, like a caterpillar in a cocoon. Now if you think this is a tight squeeze --

ZARRELLA: This is the airlock that leads to the cargo bay -- cargo bay right there. Imagine the astronauts in their full space suits, suited up and ready to exit right out here into the cargo bay.

ZARRELLA (voice-over): It`s absolutely massive, and it`s all controlled from up here, the flight deck.

ZARRELLA: I`m sitting over here in the commander`s seat, and on, of course, the final flight, this is where Mark Kelly sat on liftoff and when he brought her in for that final landing.

ZARRELLA (voice-over): There`s still months of work before Endeavour`s ready to be shipped to its permanent museum, the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

JENNIFER STILSON, NASA FLOW DIRECTOR: The thing that we`ve been trying to focus on is how fortunate we are to continue to work with these vehicles until the very end. There`s a lot of our coworkers and friends that didn`t get that opportunity. So there`s a small group of us that have been very fortunate to be a part of this. And we`re shuttle-huggers. We`re holding on to the very end.

ZARRELLA (voice-over): The end should come by the fall. All three vehicles -- Endeavour, Atlantis and Discovery -- will be gone by then -- John Zarrella, CNN, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.


AZUZ: All right. We`re shifting now from the youngest shuttle in NASA`s fleet to the oldest active duty ship in the U.S. Navy`s fleet. It`s the U.S.S. Enterprise, and it already has a place in the history books, even though its service isn`t over.


AZUZ (voice-over): This is the Enterprise. It is the world`s first nuclear powered aircraft carrier. It`s been part of the Navy for more than 50 years. That means this ship is more than twice the age of most of the sailors who serve on board.

The Enterprise just left harbor on what is scheduled to be its last deployment. It set sail from Virginia yesterday, and it`s heading toward the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf. The deployment is set to last seven months.


AZUZ: Before we go, we want you to say hello to L.A.`s newest rock star --


AZUZ (voice-over): -- really exciting stuff. OK, it`s actually just a big ol` rock, a really big ol` rock. It`s so big, it needed all of this to transport it. The thing weighs in at 340 tons. It`s the centerpiece of a new art exhibit in Los Angeles, and it certainly arrived in rock star fashion.

Thousands of people showed up for a festival in honor of the rock. Maybe they just wanted to show their appreciation for such a rare event, because after all --


AZUZ: -- you just don`t want to take this kind of thing for "granite." Ack! Saw that coming. We just hope the museum doesn`t try to top itself, because that would require something much "boulder" than we could imagine. That`s all we have for today. CNN Student News rocks! I`m Carl Azuz.