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Afghan Raid Agreement; US Jobs Report

Aired April 9, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


BEN TINKER, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Hey there, everyone. I`m Ben Tinker, filling in today for Carl Azuz. We hope you had a great weekend. We are all rested up and ready to kick off a brand new weeks of CNN Student News.

And we`re going to start today in Afghanistan. Officials from that country and the United States have agreed on a deal concerning military raids that happen at night. American commanders say these raids are an important part of the operation in Afghanistan, but many Afghan people are angry about non-Afghan forces entering their homes.


TINKER (voice-over): Yesterday`s deal is aimed at finding a solution. It says from now on these night raids will not happen unless they`ve been approved by Afghan authorities. They`ll also be run according to Afghan law, and only Afghan special forces will go into the homes. U.S. troops will not enter unless they`re asked to. Nick Paton Walsh has more on the agreement from Kabul.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Raids at night by special forces here in Afghanistan have been a long issue of contention. American officials say they`re vital for the campaign here, but Afghan officials expressed in broad felt Afghan popular distaste towards them because of the intrusion they cause into Afghan homes. Today`s deal should hopefully see the back of some of that.

Certainly Afghan official anger towards this NATO policy. This deal effectively formalizing a system of Afghan officials reviewing a raid before it happens. They effectively grant approval for it and some kind of legal authority here in Afghan for the raid to happen, a key demand of Afghan officials. This does effectively give Afghan government some kind of veto over which operations can and can`t occur.

ISAF say they don`t really have a problem with that because they`ve normally agreed with the review decisions of these Afghan groups before. It remains to be seen exactly how Afghan people will react to this new procedure, despite many of the Afghan government`s grievances being met by this official document -- Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Kabul.

TINKER (voice-over): On this day in history back in 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered at the Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia, officially ending the U.S. Civil War. In 1959, NASA introduced the first American astronauts. That prestigious group was made up of seven men who were all U.S. military test pilots.

And in 2003, Iraqi civilians and U.S. troops toppled a statue of former dictator Saddam Hussein. The man himself was captured later that year.

Now when you see a video like this iReport, showing a huge cloud of smoke, the first word you think of might be something other than miracle, but that`s exactly the word that one U.S. Navy admiral used to describe the situation. You see, last Friday, a Navy fighter jet crashed into an apartment complex in Virginia Beach.

The jet had, quote, "catastrophic mechanical malfunction" during takeoff. It crashed less than three miles from the runway and sparked a fire in five apartment buildings. The reason the admiral called it a miracle is that no one was killed.

Can you believe it? Look at that video. At least seven people, though, were injured, and that includes the two pilots who ejected from the plane before impact. The Navy says it could take weeks to find out exactly what happened.


TINKER: Next up, the U.S. government`s latest jobs report show the country added about 120,000 jobs in March. The unemployment rate also dipped from 8.3 percent to 8.2, but CNN business correspondent Christine Romans explains why some economic analysts consider that news somewhat disappointing.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: And since when a drop in the unemployment rate a negative? Disappointing? Well, when you only create 120,000 jobs in the month, and you had been creating 200,000-plus for the prior three months. This is the disappointment here.

And some economists are telling us the reason the unemployment rate fell a little bit is because about 164,000 people, many of them white women, by the way, dropped out of the workforce. And so that`s why the unemployment rate fell.

Let`s take a look at where the jobs are or where we started to lose jobs in the month. Retail jobs -- this is kind of interesting, 34,000 retail jobs were lost in the month of March. We`ve seen retail sales pretty strong in this country, so this caught some people by surprise.

Probably the only place you saw strength at retail was home and garden stores because of the good weather. So a lot of people are watching this to see if it`s some sort of a harbinger of weakness coming for the consumer. And as you know, the consumer drives two-thirds of economic activity in this country, whether we like it or not.

Let`s look at the politics of it, because here is the trend overall. This is that -- wow, that big, big job loss at the end of the Bush administration and into the early months of the Obama administration, hundreds of thousands of jobs lost every single month.

And then here is this very painful period, this is stimulus by the way and also census hiring, where you saw job creation here. Then this painful period of wondering whether we were going to have a double-dip recession.

And this is the trend since then. And a lot of economists would have liked to have seen this getting bigger and bigger. But you`ve got a little bit of a slowdown in hiring here. It`s something that bears watching. Seven more of these jobs reports until the election.


TINKER: Fascinating stuff. Christine, thanks.

Around the world yesterday, people celebrated Easter. The observance commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and it`s considered the most important holiday on the Christian calendar.


TINKER (voice-over): A large crowd of worshippers gathered at the Vatican, where Pope Benedict XVI led mass and gave his traditional Easter message. In that speech, the pope sometimes addresses current events, and this year he called for an end to the violence in Syria and push for peace in the Middle East.

Arlington National Cemetery, outside Washington, D.C., hosted its annual Easter sunrise ceremony. The service provides spiritual support to military members and their families, and it is also open to the general public as well.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s Shoutout goes out to Mr. Hendricks` classes at North High School in Torrance, California. Which of these U.S. presidents held that office first? You know what to do.

Was it Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower or Ronald Reagan? You`ve got three seconds, go.

We gave them to you in order. Roosevelt was the first to be president among that group. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.


TINKER: One thing all of those presidents have in common: they all took part in what`s called a whistle stop tour. That`s when a political candidate travels to cities by train to make personal appearances. And believe it or not, it still happens today. But why would a president want to campaign by train when he has his own airplane and his own helicopter? Sandra Endo explores the tradition.


JACK HEARD, OWNER, GEORGIA 300: Welcome to the Georgia 300 and it`s a nice car that I`ve owned for, oh, about 30 years.

SANDRA ENDO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Step aboard Jack Heard`s private railcar, and it takes you back to a different era.

HEARD: Here we go.

ENDO: Look at that.

HEARD: Private cars are mainly focused on the long distance leisurely travel with scenery. And here, again, it`s not so much the getting, you know, getting there on time. It`s the enjoyment of getting there.

ENDO (voice-over): The historically restored car has been keeping political tradition alive.

HEARD: So we haven`t had many whistle stops over the last 20 or 30 years, and I think the campaign of 1992 sort of brought that back.

ENDO: This is kind of like the presidential train.

HEARD: I guess it is. It is.

ENDO: The presidential car.

HEARD: It`s been used by several, several campaigns.

ENDO (voice-over): This rare look inside the Georgia 300 shows the original details preserved from when it was built in 1930. The car caught the eye of presidential candidate George H.W. Bush in 1992.

HEARD: They wanted to use it for the presidential -- the POTUS train. And I was very excited -- and, of course, I could go along.

ENDO: And the trip showed traditional whistle stop campaigning was not a thing of the past.

HEARD: It`s the way to bring the candidates to the people much more so than probably any other way, because it`s the grassroots. They step out to the platform at the end of the car, and they speak. It just brings back the image of Roosevelt, Truman.

ENDO (voice-over): In 1996, incumbent Bill Clinton, and later, the Kerry-Edwards team, got on board the Georgia 300 for their campaigns.

President-elect Barack Obama chose the Georgia 300 to mimic Abraham Lincoln, riding into Washington, D.C. from Philadelphia for his inauguration.

HEARD: So I`m very honored that it`s -- that it plays a part of American history there.

ENDO (voice-over): As for the presidential contest gearing up now, Heard says the Georgia 300`s gears are greased and ready to roll.

HEARD: Always ready for them.


HEARD: It`s always ready, and we`ll see what happens there.

ENDO (voice-over): Sandra Endo, CNN, Washington.


TINKER: And before we go, one New Hampshire city has an interesting obsession.


TINKER (voice-over): Newport, New Hampshire, is all about the Peeps. But they`re not interested actually in eating the marshmallow treats. Instead, they`re putting them on display in the state`s first-ever Peeps diorama contest. I think I did something like this back in elementary school.

You see homes. You see a train. Someone even built an ice skating rink. And on the menu, spaghetti and Peep-balls. We did not make that one up. A panel of judges picked the winners, but we think they should have let the public hand out the trophies.


TINKER: It only seems fair, after all, for this to be the "Peep-le`s" Choice Awards, right? And look, some people might say it`s odd to make art out of candy instead of eating it, but you won`t hear a peep out of us. It`s time for us to run, but we hope you`ll "chick" out more CNN Student News tomorrow. I`m Ben Tinker. Thanks for joining us.