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Bin Laden Documents Posted Online; Junior Seau`s Suicide

Aired May 4, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET



CARL AZUZ, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: First up, it`s being called the largest collection of high-level terrorist information that the U.S. government has ever gotten hold of. U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden when they raided his compound a year ago. They also took this huge collection of documents from computers, hard drives and storage devices that were there.


AZUZ (voice-over): Now some of those documents have been posted online. We don`t know how much of the material is being made public by the U.S. government. But we know that what is online offers some clues about what bin Laden was focused on.

The documents show that he wanted to see another major attack in the United States. He had big ideas for his Al Qaeda terrorist organization. But he was also worried that he couldn`t control the Al Qaeda affiliate groups around the world. In fact, he told some of those groups not to say that they were part of Al Qaeda.


AZUZ: A couple headlines for you now concerning the National Football League. First, more than 100 former players are suing the NFL over the issue of concussions, and they`re not the first ones to do it.


AZUZ (voice-over): The players involved in the lawsuit filed last week are joining more than 1,500 other players who`ve done the same thing. Their argument is that the NFL hid how dangerous concussions are and didn`t take enough steps to protect players from severe head injuries. The league says player safety is a priority. League officials also say that any claim about intentionally misleading players is false.

The other headline has to do with this man, former NFL great Junior Seau. He was found dead on Wednesday. Officials said it appeared that he died after shooting himself in the chest. Seau`s apparent suicide has raised questions about the condition of his brain. Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains why.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we don`t know for sure if Junior Seau has what a lot of people are talking about, CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and it`s tough to talk about, but the only way to really know for sure is to examine someone`s brain after someone has died.

That`s when they know for sure if, in fact, this dementia-like symptoms -- these dementia-like syndrome affected Junior Seau.

But there`s a lot of similarities between him and a player named Dave Duerson, you may remember last year. Dave Duerson also shot himself in the chest, as did Junior, and this is, again, an unusual thing to do. In Duerson`s case, he left a note saying he wanted his brain examined for evidence of CTE. That examination revealed that Duerson, in fact, did have chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

This dementia-like disease is characterized by people having memory problems, cognitive problems, depression, anger issues and you know, we`re seeing this more and more. In fact, I visited a lab in Boston, where they examined brains for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and the numbers are quite striking.

Eighteen out of 19 NFL players who had their brains examined there after their death showed evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, 18 out of 19. And the youngest brain overall where this was seen in a high school football player was 17 years old. So this process does seem to start quite early in life.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s Shoutout goes out to the social studies classes at Hunters Creek Middle School in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

Which of these geographic terms best describes the Philippines? You know what to do. Is it strait, peninsula, archipelago or fjord? You`ve got three seconds, go.

The Philippines is an archipelago, a large group or chain of islands. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.


AZUZ: Our next report today is about a ballet school in the Philippines capital city, Manila. The students who study there are trained in classical dance style, learning their jetes and plies. For some of them attending the school means more than just dance lessons. They`re also getting food and shelter. Kyung Lah has their story.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Grace, precision and strength, 14-year-old Jessa Balote has all the makings of a future prima ballerina, the beauty of ballet a world away from her home.

LAH: Where is your home?

LAH (voice-over): "The squatters` area," she says.

LAH: It`s very different from the school, isn`t it?


LAH (voice-over): "If I wasn`t at this dance studio," she explained, "I wouldn`t be able to eat every day."

Eating, living is a struggle for Jessa and her family in the slums of Manila. Houses are shanties. There`s no running water. Her parents make a living off of selling trash. In this despair, Lisa Macuja-Elizalde saw potential.

LISA MACUJA-ELIZALDE, PRIMA BALLERINA: The kind of motivation that these kids have to succeed, you can see in their faces.

LAH (voice-over): Macuja-Elizalde understands what it takes to succeed. She is the Philippines` most celebrated prima ballerina and has danced in Russia`s prestigious Kirov Ballet. This may be a rich world art, but Macuja-Elizalde sees it as a poor child`s chance out of the slums.

Macuja-Elizalde: They want to earn money to be able to survive. They`re not afraid of pain. They`re not afraid of pushing themselves, pushing their bodies to the limit, and that`s the kind of students that you like to have in your ballet school. You know, you don`t like the spoiled brats who are afraid of pain and afraid of sweat.

LAH (voice-over): She believes that personally paying for the 54 children she has recruited through a local charity to be students at her school.

LAH: It`s not enough just to get the kids here to dance. We`re talking about poverty-stricken children. They need to be fed, and in some cases, given shelter. And they`re constantly fighting the pull of the slums.

LAH (voice-over): Seventeen-year-old Jamil Montibon began the scholarship program four years ago, but dropped out to take care of his younger siblings. His teachers pulled him out of a shanty and moved him into Ballet Manila`s dormitories. His work here at the ballet barre, allowing him to break the barrier between poverty and possibility.

LAH: Are you determined to not end up like that?

"I don`t want to live like that. The other kids, they`ll be stuck there." He recognizes, he says, that this is his audition for a new kind of life, dancing out of the world he came from and into another -- Kyung Lah, CNN, Manila.

AZUZ (voice-over): On this day in 1886, eight police officers were killed when a riot broke out during a labor protest in Chicago`s Haymarket Square.

In 1961, a group known as the Freedom Riders set out from Washington, D.C. Their goal was to desegregate public transportation in the southern U.S.

In 1970, four students were killed at Kent State University when National Guardsmen fired into a group of anti-war protesters.

And in 1979, Margaret Thatcher was sworn in as the new British prime minister, becoming the first woman ever to hold that position.


AZUZ: There was a small protest in New York City this week. It happened in front of the headquarters of the company that publishes "Seventeen" magazine. And the protest was organized by a reader.


AZUZ (voice-over): Julia Bluhm is in the middle here in the light jacket. The 14-year old and some of her friends staged this fake photo shoot as a protest. They`ve started a petition to get "Seventeen" to cut down on its practice of airbrushing pictures. Julia had the chance to meet with the magazine`s editor. She talked about that meeting later on and explained why she wants "Seventeen" to cut down on touching up photos.

JULIA BLUHM, STUDENT ACTIVIST: Well, I know how Photoshop pictures in the media can affect girls. And it can really lower their self-esteem and lead to some bad things. And I`m a teenage girl, so I know how it affects people my age, and I wanted to do something to help.

I`m pretty confident and I`m pretty happy with my body, but I know it does affect a lot of girls all over the place.

It was very positive talking to them and we talked about how important it is for girls to be represented in magazines, like real girls, like authentic girls. And so it was good.


AZUZ: Before we go, they say a picture`s worth a thousand words.


AZUZ (voice-over): But this one`s worth more than $100 million. At least the person who bought it thought so. It`s a pastel version of "The Scream" by Edvard Munch. And on Wednesday, it set a new world record, $119.9 million. That is the most that has ever been paid at an auction for a work of art. The previous record for a piece from Munch, just over $38 million.


AZUZ: From 38 to 120, that is some serious art appreciation. We assume the buyer celebrated after his winning bid. He probably went out and painted the town red. These puns are always a scream, but we`re about to get the brush-off, because we`re out of time, so we`re going to canvas for headlines over the weekend and see you back here on Monday. Have a great day.