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62 Killed, 200 Injured in Iraq Attacks; Mediocre U.S. Jobs Report

Aired September 10, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: We`re back from the weekend and ready to go with 10 minutes of commercial-free headlines from around the world. I am Carl Azuz, and this is CNN STUDENT NEWS.

First up, we`re reporting on a wave of violence across the Middle Eastern nation of Iraq yesterday. Officials say at least 62 people were killed and almost 200 others were wounded in these attacks, and many of them seemed to be aimed at members of Iraq`s military and police forces. In this one, a car bomb and a roadside bomb targeted Iraqi security forces. These kinds of explosive devices caused a lot of violence on Sunday. Car bombs on a busy street in the Iraqi city of Amarra, another in an outdoor market in Basra. In Tikrit, gunmen targeted an army checkpoint at a military base.

The violence in Iraq has decreased from what it was during the war, but it has been getting worse in recent months.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: After losing 800,000 jobs a month when I took office, businesses added jobs for the 30th month in a row. We`ve added more than 4.6 million jobs.

But we know that that`s not good enough. We can do better. We need to create jobs even faster.

MITT ROMNEY, GOP PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: There were four times as many people who dropped out of the workforce as the net new jobs created under this president. And it`s not just a one-month figure. The White House has I think now for 31 straight months said, well, just don`t look at the monthly numbers, monthly numbers aren`t that critical. Well, if you take 30 months and put them together, that`s pretty critical.


AZUZ: The latest U.S. jobs numbers being discussed on the campaign trail. The report for August came out on Friday, and it wasn`t good. The Labor Department says 96,000 jobs were added in August. Now, that might sound like good news, but at least 150,000 jobs need to be added each month just to keep up with the growing U.S. population. The August numbers were lower than economists expected, and a sharp decrease from the month before. Also, the unemployment rate, it went down from 8.3 percent in July to 8.1 percent in August, but that was because more Americans quit looking for work. In fact, for every person who found a job, almost 4 people gave up looking for one.

You just recently wrapped up your summer vacations and so did the U.S. Congress. Yesterday, lawmakers from the Senate and House of Representatives got back to work after a five-week recess. They are facing a lot of issues, and they`re facing some questions about how much they can get done. Athena Jones gives us a preview of this congressional session.


ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As election season enters the home stretch, lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill this week, facing big issues. But given their recent of accomplishment or lack thereof, the question is whether any of it will get done.

JENNIFER DUFFY, THE COOK POLITICAL REPORT: The voters want to know when Congress is going to stop kicking the can down the road. I mean, they are sort of out of road.

JONES: The only must-pass item is a short-term measure to keep the government running and avoid the kind of costly shutdowns we saw twice in the 1900s. It`s expected to pass.

Congress could also pass measures to help people hit hard by the drought and by Hurricane Isaac.

But perhaps the biggest challenge -- the so-called fiscal cliff. A series of tax increases and spending cuts that experts warn taken together could plunge the economy back into a recession.

JEANNE SAHADI, SR. WRITER, CNNMONEY: They`ll have about four weeks after the election to deal with some of the largest tax increases and spending cuts that the country has ever seen at one time.

JONES: $110 billion in cuts to everything from defense to education to food inspections next year alone, will take effect in January unless lawmakers reach agreement on reducing the deficit.

One problem -- Republicans and Democrats disagree on the Bush tax cuts due to expire at the end of this year. Republicans want them extended for everyone.

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO, R-WYOMING: Americans know what works. Low taxes, reasonable regulations, and living within our means.

JONES: Democrats, led by President Obama, support extending them just for people making less than $200,000 a year.

OBAMA: I don`t believe and you don`t believe that another round of tax breaks for millionaires is going to bring good jobs back to our shores or pay down our deficit.

JONES: Uncertainty about just what Congress will do is already weighing on the economy.

SAHADI: It`s just going to be a very bumpy ride. Businesses are slower to hire, government agencies are slower to give out contracts. So it is sort of creeping into the economy now, and that will just get worse the longer Congress waits to deal with this.

JONES: But wait is what Congress is almost certain to do.

Both parties are hoping the election in November will put them in a better negotiating position. Whether that will bring them closer to a deal is anybody`s guess.

Athena Jones, CNN, Washington.


AZUZ: Last week on CNN STUDENT NEWS, we talked about FAMU, Florida A&M University. The school has been involved in a scandal since last year when a member of the marching band died in an apparent hazing incident. There have been more recent accusations about another hazing incident involving a FAMU dance team. The school has a new policy for all students. If you want to register for classes there, you have to sign an anti-hazing pledge. FAMU officials announced the new requirement on Friday at the start of the new school year. It will go into effect next spring. And when students sign it, they promise not to participate, quote, in any hazing activities, either as a hazer or hazee, on or off campus. Under the anti-hazing pledge, students also are required to report any information about hazing to campus authorities.

So will this have an impact on hazing? It`s against the rules in a lot of places, but it goes on anyway. Do you think that signing a pledge will cut down on hazing at FAMU? We`re looking for your comments on our blog today at Please remember, it`s first names only, so if you include a last initial or the name of your class, it won`t be published.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s time for the Shoutout. Which of the following has been clocked moving at 27 miles per hour? If you think you know it, then shout it out. Is it Usain Bolt, gray squirrel, Michael Phelps, or roadrunner? You`ve got 3 seconds, go.

The fastest of these options is Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt, who`s reached speeds of just over 27 miles per hour. That`s your answer and that`s your Shoutout.

AZUZ: If Usain Bolt wants to keep an eye on his competition, he usually has to glance back over his shoulder. But one challenger recently surpassed the sprinter`s spectacular speed. Who is this new racing rival? The question isn`t who, but what. Jonathan Mann runs the details.


JONATHAN MANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Usain Bolt may be the fastest man on the planet, but he`s been passed by a man-made marvel. This four-legged robot just broke its own land speed record, blowing past Bolt. The Olympic gold medalist peaked at 27.78 miles an hour when he set the world record in the 100-meter sprint back in 2009. The cheetah clocks in at 28.3 miles per hour. The robot was built by Boston Dynamics and funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency -- DARPA.

ALFRED RIZZL, CHIEF ROBOTICS SCIENTIST, BOSTON DYNAMICS: So the real challenge is one of coordinating the motion of the robot, so how it sues its back and its legs to make its feet to make contact with the ground and control the posture and pitch of the body while it`s running so it can actually propel itself forward at rather high speeds.

MANN: Boston Dynamics is developing a number of robots with amazing mobility. Some walk on two legs. Another may look like a toy, but it can leap 30 feet in the air. And the big dog scrambles over rough terrain on four legs. What it lacks in speed, it makes up for in agility. Give it a kick and it won`t fall over. Put it on ice, and the robot slips but still manages to stay upright.

Scientists say eventually, these robots could be used for military, search & rescue, and humanitarian missions.

RIZZL: The hope is that in the longer term, they will be able to develop systems that can gain access to a lot of terrain that`s you know, inaccessible by air vehicles or tractor-wheeled vehicles.

MANN: As far as the cheetah robot, there`s still a way to go before it will come close to the real thing. Experts say the world`s fastest land mammal could go from zero to 60 in less than 3 seconds, with a top speed of up to 70 miles per hour. But scientists say they plan to take the next version of the robot off the treadmill for an untethered, outdoor test next year.


AZUZ: The old saying goes, curiosity killed the cat, but it also might get the little guy adopted. The cameras around this play room at a Los Angeles Humane Society are connected to these remote-controlled toys. And the toys are controlled by basically anyone who wants to go online and play with the cats. The idea is that people can watch the cats play and then decide whether or not they want to bring them home.

If the virtual play room gets good results, it`s possible other humane societies might adopt the idea. We just hope the curious kitties don`t go after the cameras, because that would be a catastrophe.

That`s the whole kit and caboodle for today`s show. We`ll be back tomorrow with more CNN STUDENT NEWS.