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Accusations and Speculation Between U.S. and North Korea; T-Minus 100 Days Til Start of 2012 Summer Olympics; On This Day in History

Aired April 19, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, HOST: The world`s tallest building is in Dubai. The question we have for you today is where is the second tallest building located?

If you keep watching, you will find out.

I`m Carl Azuz.


Let`s get to the headlines.

Accusations and speculation -- that`s what`s first up today. And it involves the U.S. and North Korea.

Back in February, these two nations made a deal. The U.S. offered to send food aid to North Korea if the Asian countries suspended nuclear weapon and long range missile tests. The deal is over. The U.S. called off the food aid after North Korea launched a rocket recently. North Korea says the deal is done, too, and here`s where the accusations come in.

North Korea says it attempted to launch a satellite for peaceful purposes and it blames the U.S. for breaking the agreement.

But American officials say North Korea has only itself to blame. The speculation is about whether North Korea will break the other part of the deal and carry out a nuclear test. One U.S. official says it seems likely that will happen. But he also said there are no definitive indications that North Korea is getting ready for a nuclear test.

The countdown to London is on. We are less than 100 days away from the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Is the British capital ready for the global sports spotlight?

Well, the head of the London organizing committee says yes. The venues being built for the Games are on schedule and within budget.

Now, that second point, being within budget, that`s a big one. London found out that it would be hosting these Olympics back in 2005. That was before the global financial crisis hit.

It`s meant some challenges for the organizing committee.

But nothing like what London dealt with when it last hosted the Summer Games. That was back in 1948, right after World War II. In order to cut down on costs then, no new venues were built. The athletes stayed in army camps. They stayed in colleges. They were even asked to bring their own towels. Imagine that.

What will be the case for the more than 10,000 athletes who are heading to London this summer?

Tokyo, Japan is where we find our next headline. It`s also the answer to the question we asked at the beginning of today`s show. What you are looking at here is the world`s second tallest building, Tokyo`s Sky Tree Tower -- 2,080 feet straight up. There are two observation decks, assuming you don`t get scared by the view. Officials are hoping the building generates tourism, which was affected by last year`s devastating earthquake in Japan.

The Sky Tree Tower has specifically been designed to withstand earthquakes. Journalists were given a sneak preview this week. The Tower opens to the public next month.

On this day in history, back in 1775, the so-called shot heard round the world marked the beginning of the American Revolution.

In 1943, Jews who had been forced to live in a ghetto in Warsaw, Poland, rose up against Nazi forces. The revolt lasted for nearly a month.

And in 1993, after a 51-day stand-off, federal agents assaulted the Branch Davidian compound in Texas. Around 80 members of the armed religious cult were killed in the raid.

Timothy McVeigh claimed that he was avenging that raid in Waco when he launched a terrorist attack in Oklahoma exactly two years later. One hundred and sixty-eight people were killed and more than 500 others were injured when a bomb went off at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Emergency crews raced there from all over the country. McVeigh and Terry Nichols, Americans who were connected to extreme militant groups, were convicted for their roles in the attack. McVeigh was executed in federal prison six years later.

The remains of the Federal Building were eventually torn down and a park and memorial were built on the site. The memorial includes 168 stone and glass chairs, one for each victim who was killed in the bombing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just the Facts. Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder. People who have the disorder have an extra chromosome in their cells. Down Syndrome causes developmental delays and intellectual disability, though the symptoms can vary from mild to severe.

AZUZ: Our next report is about a high school student in Michigan who has Down Syndrome. He`s a junior this year and he`s been playing sports with other kids since he was in elementary school. He goes to every practice, works out with his teammates. But his athletic career may be over before his time in high school ends.

Ted Rowlands explains why.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Spend a few minutes with Eric Dompierre and you`ll see why his teammates love him.

(on camera): Do you practice a lot?

ERIC DOMPIERRE, HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE: I practice a lot. So, you know, it like payoffs when I am on the field with my team.

ROWLANDS (voice-over): Eric is on the high school basketball and football team in Ishpeming, a small mining town on Michigan`s Upper Peninsula.

Eric`s coaches put him in near the end if a game`s been decided. Last year, he brought the house down when he made this three point shot against Ishpeming`s rival, Negaunee.

DOMPIERRE: And I remember that I shot it and I made it. And then I heard fans and my mom crying.

DEAN DOMPIERRE, ERIC`S FATHER: I videotaped the crowd on the other side. And it was made up mostly of Negaunee fans, including their student section. And they were all on their feet cheering for Eric.

ROWLANDS: The same thing happened when Eric made his first extra point kicking for the football team.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Watching the kids react, they carried him off the field and it was just one of the best moments.

ROWLANDS: Eric will be a senior in the fall, but unless something changes, he won`t be able to play sports because, with Down Syndrome, he was held back in elementary school. So he turned 19 in January. He`s too old.

(on camera): Eric`s high school is trying to get the rules changed so that he can keep playing. But a committee with the Michigan High School Athletic Association has denied two of the school`s petitions.

JAMES DEROCHER, PRESIDENT, MHSAA: Members have to change the constitution. At this point in time, they`ve told us not to.

ROWLANDS (on camera): Eric`s cause is getting a lot of attention and support. A online petition has more than 80,000 signatures. A local t-shirt shop in Ishpeming is selling this shirt that says, "let him play."

NICK JOSEPH, ISHPEMING, MICHIGAN RESIDENT: It`s one of those positive things we just don`t see too much in our society anymore, you know?

ROWLANDS: As a last attempt, Eric`s school has submitted a third petition to the Athletic Association.

Eric says he`ll continue to practice to get ready for next season, even though he knows he may not be able to play.

Ted Rowlands, CNN, Ishpeming, Michigan.


AZUZ: All right, check this out. If you`ve got a question you`ve always wanted to ask me -- and you know you do -- the deadline to do it has been extended. Now this is really easy. You just record your question in 15 seconds or less, no music. Go to the spotlight section at and click on iReport.

Carl Azuz wants to hear from you, because I do. Wait to hear back from us. Everybody wins. Your new deadline, should you choose to accept it, April 30th.

Wannetta Elliot is giving nature a helping hand and it`s earned her a nickname, "the owl whisperer." Every November for the last 18 years, jell has gone out into a forest preserve in Illinois, where she has her owl tree. She climbs up there with a basket filled with nesting materials. She makes sure the basket is secure and waits.

Jell took Frank Mathie, a reporter from affiliate WLS, out to her owl tree recently for a look at how her work pays off.

Here`s what he saw.


FRANK MATHIE, WLS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After waiting for more than half an hour, the owlet starts to emerge. And this is what we`ve been waiting for -- a good look at a beautiful little bird.

WANNETTA ELLIOT: We`re seeing a little bit more. It`s gotten a little braver and it`s come up a little higher.

MATHIE: Mom, who has a four foot wing span, isn`t far away. She`s found in a nearby tree, watching us watch her baby.

Dad was not seen today but does help with feedings.

Wannetta has done it again. She has gotten one more owlet off to a healthy start. It`s over 30 now in 18 years.


AZUZ: All right, we`re going to stick with birds for today`s Before We Go segment. But this is more about the flightless variety. Makena the penguin has a penchant for painting.

You remember finger paints when you were a kid?

This is the penguin version. Her work is on display as part of a fundraiser for the zoo where Makena lives. It`s called Art for and By the Animals. There`s no way of knowing how much one of the penguin Picasso`s pieces would cost. But since Makena isn`t an Emperor Penguin, we assume she won`t charge a king`s ransom, although if someone shells out a bunch of money for one, there`s just no telling what`ll happen. She might just flip her wig.

I like those two.

We`re back tomorrow to close out the week.

We`re looking forward to seeing you on Friday, because Fridays are awesome.

For CNN STUDENT NEWS, I`m Carl Azuz.