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Paying Tribute to Victims of 9/11; Disappearing Animals

Aired September 12, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: What do a gibbon, a sloth, and a newt have in common? One, you are going to see them in today`s show. Two, researchers are concerned they might never be seen again. This is CNN`s STUDENT NEWS.

A moment of silence in New York City, part of a day at memorials paying tribute to the victims of the 9/11 terrorists` attacks. Across the country yesterday, Americans paused to remember and reflect on the impact of that day in the country and the world. In New York, family members and others read the names of the more than 2700 people who were killed when two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center. A new high rise building is under construction at the site. This large American flag was displayed at the Pentagon, 184 people died there 11 years ago when another hijacked plane crashed into the building. And a ceremony in Shanksville, Pennsylvania were a fourth plane crashed after passengers fought back against the hijackers. On the 11th anniversary of this devastating attack, politics were set aside, leaders talked about the country`s determination and honored the victims and their loved ones.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: No matter how many years pass, no matter how many times we come together on this hallowed ground, know this: that you will never be alone. Your loved ones will never be forgotten. They will endure in the hearts of our nation, because through their sacrifice, they helped us make the America we are today.

MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: More than a decade has now passed since that day of tragedy. But divisions, and the events are seared in the memory of every American. We remember those who died. We marvel at the courage of those who stormed the cockpit when they became aware of the malevolent purpose of the hijackers. We hold up and prayer the families and friends who`ve lived in the shadow cast by grief.


AZUZ: Lot of changes happened after the 9/11 attacks, like security checks at airports. Shoes off, laptops out, hands up for a body scan. It`s led the longer lines, but one organization is working on ways to speed things back up without decreasing the amount of security. The ideas for this, a futuristic checkpoint is a passenger walks through, technology runs a security scan. The goal is for better security and fewer lines, but some experts say, it`ll take time and testing before this technology can be relied on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "Just the Facts." A recession is a significant decline in economic activity. In the United States, the National Bureau of Economic Research or NBER is the group that officially declares when the country`s in a recession.

That announcement usually happens months after the recession starts. The NBER declared that most recent recession ended in June 2009.

AZUZ: The effects of that recession, obviously, still being felt today, and there are fears about the possibility of another recession if America goes off this thing called a fiscal cliff. And that refers to some tax increases and government spending cuts, that are scheduled to happen at the end of this year, unless Congress agrees on how to stop it. Recessions are usually followed by periods of recovery. This time, that recovery has been weak. Maggie Lake explores this mystery.


MAGGIE LAKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In this off-Broadway production, the race is on to find the cold-blooded killer of W. Harrison Brant (ph) who lives in Connecticut in his wife. In real life, another mystery has been unfolding for months, the case of who or what killed the U.S. economic recovery. Just like in this show, there is no shortage of suspects for what`s slowing economic growth. Suspect number one, Europe.

OBAMA: The biggest headwind the American economy is facing right now is uncertainty about Europe.

LAKE: American firms have seen European sales plummet amid fears that a Greek default could spark another global banking crisis.

Suspect number two, congressional gridlock.

JACK LEW, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: If Congress had passed the proposals the president submitted, there`d be a million more jobs today.

LAKE: New stimulus that Democrats say could have created jobs, has been shut down amid Beltway bickering.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R ), ARIZONA: They believe that government creates and spending creates jobs, we believe business and growth creates jobs.

LAKE: Suspect number three, runaway national debt.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R ),HOUSE SPEAKER: This $16 trillion with a debt, serves like a wet blanket over our economy, scaring employees of all size.

LAKE: Fiscal uncertainty is a key reason why companies aren`t hiring. And the fiscal cliff of automatic spending cuts and tax increases that could hit next year is terrifying firms. And suspect number four, energy prices.

PROFESSOR MICHAEL GREENBERGER, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: The ever accelerating gasoline prices. This will break the back of the recovery.

LAKE: High gas and heating bills act like a direct tax on consumers, taking away money that would otherwise be spent at restaurants and stores.

But one thing is certain, U.S. growth has fallen from over four percent last year to under two percent today. Amid one of the weakest post-war recoveries on record.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s time for "The Shoutout." Which of these words describe something whose existence is threatened? If you think you know it, then shout it out! Is it extinct, existential, endangered or enumerated? You`ve got three seconds, go!

Something that`s endangered still exists, but is threatened with disappearing entirely. That`s your answer, and that`s your shoutout.


AZUZ: You probably read up on certain types of endangered species, like some rhinos, tigers or gorillas. A group of scientists has put together a list that`s the first of its kind, because it names the 100 most endangered species on the planet. That includes the pygmy three-toed sloth, they are only found in Panama, and there are less than 500 of them.

This type of newt is only found in part of Iran, there are less than 1000 of those left in the wild, because they`d been collected illegally as pets. And experts think there are less than 20 of these gibbons left alive. Gibbons are a type of ape. The scientists who put together this list, though, are even more worried about certain species of plants and fungi. The concern is that they are less likely to be saved, because they don`t benefit humans.

All right, we`ve talked about the economy, we`ve talked about animals. This next story combines the two.

Marlo Manning started an organization that helps dog owners who were struggling financially to take care of their pets. That`s the reason why she is one of this year`s CNN Heroes.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good boy. Charlie means everything to us. He was diagnosed with cancer about two years ago. We went with the amputation, and he`s been doing great. But a couple of days ago, he had this other growth on his chest.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Given the fact that he had an aggressive type of tumor, things like this should really come off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I recently got laid off, and we`re expecting our first baby. We were faced with this huge vet bill and we were just at a loss.

MARLO MANNING: II think we definitely will be able to help you out. I know how much you love your dog.

With the economy being what it is, people are faced with the choice of having to give up their dogs because they just can`t afford them anymore. They`re doing their best to get back on track. And then a crisis happens with their dog. And it`s just one more thing.

I`m Marlo Manning, and I lost a beloved puppy named Ladybug. Now I provide temporary aid to dog owners, keeping dogs healthy, out of shelters, and with loving families.

Dogs live in the moment. They bring you to their place of happiness no matter where you are in your life.

(on camera): Here you go, Mary.

(voice over): If we can help with food, medical visits, or even surgery to keep this family together, they`re able to take that burden away.

(on camera): Hey, sweetie.

We`re going to put our maximum amount on Charlie, which is $800.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was just such a blessing, and we`ll be forever grateful that Charlie gets this second chance. It means so much to us.

MANNING: What we do is a tribute to Ladybug. If I had to get through the grief to find this path, then we were meant to lose her so that we can be inspired to help others.


AZUZ: We`ve been sharing stories of CNN Heroes all year. We are about to find out who the top ten are. The announcement is coming next week, and then you can vote for the hero of the year. Keep up with the latest details by clicking the CNN "Heroes" link in the spotlight section on our home page.

Right now, this newsroom behind me is fairly calm, but at any moment, any newsroom can turn into a flurry of activity, especially if you are trying to escape an unwanted winged visitor, a bat that had been hanging around the building for weeks decided it wanted some camera time in the KETV news studio. Animal control, that`s them running by right there, came out to corral the critter, but it was a graphics expert from the news station who landed the knockout blow. He grabbed the top of a box and just batted that thing down.

When the experts are having trouble, I guess you just got to wing it. We can`t imagine how the bat got there in the first place. It must have been sonarly (ph). That`s all the time we have for today, though. We`ll see you tomorrow, same bat time, same bat channel.