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Four American Diplomats Killed in Libya

Aired September 13, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: I`m Carl Azuz. Today, on CNN STUDENT NEWS, we are going to be talking about a teachers` strike and a new case of a disease that`s usually associated with the Middle Ages.

But we start in Northern Africa. Violence and anger in Egypt and Libya, directed at American citizens and American facilities. This happened on Tuesday night, in the Egyptian capital city of Cairo, protesters attacked the U.S. embassy. That`s the building where an ambassador, the diplomat who represents the United States and other countries and his or her staff work. In Egypt, the protesters tore down the American flag at the embassy. But the situation was much more violent at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Consulates are like embassies, but they are not located in capital cities. In Benghazi, four Americans including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, were killed. There was a protest outside the consulate. U.S. sources told CNN that the people who attacked the building used that protest as a diversion. The United States promised to track down whoever is behind the killings. The violence left many Americans and many American leaders with questions.


HILLARY CLINTON, THE UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: How could this happen? How could this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction? This question reflects just how complicated and at times how confounding the world can be. But we must be clear -eyed, even in our grief. This was an attack, by a small and savage group. Not the people or government of Libya.

AZUZ: Libya`s government spoke out against that violence as well. Libyan officials apologize for the attack, and called it a cowardly criminal act. Elise Labott who coves foreign affairs for CNN, talked with us about why this event is so significant.


ELISE LABOTT, FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: An attack on a U.S. consulate or facilities is such a traumatic event, because these are U.S. diplomats that are putting their lives on the line to help further U.S. policy and to help reach out to a country, you know. Secretary Clinton, though, she says that U.S. diplomats are on the frontlines of U.S. diplomacy. And so when you attack a U.S. facility and you attack U.S. personnel, it`s almost like you are attacking America. In fact, it is like you are attacking America. And so it`s really -- everyone is obviously very sad about the loss of life and the danger to U.S. personnel, but it really is an affront to what America`s trying to do in any various (ph) countries.


AZUZ: The protests in both countries, Libya and Egypt, were linked to an online film that was considered offensive to Islam. American religious leaders from several faiths including Muslim leaders spoke out yesterday to condemn the movie and the violence in northern Africa. Meanwhile, the U.S. sent about 50 Marines to Libya to help secure American facilities there, and U.S. embassies around the world have been ordered to increase their security as well.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See if you can I.D. me. I`m an American city that was established in 1837. I`m sometimes known as the second city, but I`m actually the third largest city in the U.S. I`m home to Bulls, Bears and Blackhawks.

I`m Chicago. And I also have the country`s third largest school district.


AZUZ: There are at least 350,000 students in the Chicago public school district, but they haven`t been in class this week, and it`s because their teachers are on strike. We talked about this on our show on Tuesday. The union that represents 30,000 teachers and support staff hasn`t been able to work out a new contract with the school board. One of big sticking points is teacher evaluations, and on Wednesday, the two sides still seen to be pretty far apart. Some parents were talking about the academic impact of the strike. While it`s going on, classes are not, that means students could be in danger of falling behind. Chris Welch looks at how the strike is having an effect on extra-curricular activities as well.


CHRIS WELCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These are the Simeon Career Academy (ph) Wolverines. And thanks to the strike, this public high school football team is not officially allowed to hold practice. So, the students are doing it on their own, without coaches.

Clearly, not something they are used to.

Since their coach, Dante Culbreath is not allowed to work with them in any way, we caught up with him earlier in the day.

DANTE CULBREATH, COACH: There is our practice field, empty practice field right now. We just got the lines put on the field, goal posts just went up.

WELCH (on camera): And no players?

CULBREATH: And no players at all. This is an eerie feeling right now. I`m used to being out here this -- at this time, just working with my young, young man, trying to motivate him and get them -- get them opportunities to go to college. And we are unable to do it.

WELCH (voice over): He has just one thing to say to the Chicago public school system and the teachers union.

CULBREATH: I just hope that the powers that be will get it together, and get us back in school so these young men can have an opportunity to go to school for free.

WELCH: Chris Welch, CNN, Chicago.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this legit? In the 1300s, the plague killed about a third of Europe`s population? This is true! An estimated 25 million Europeans died from the plague, which was also known as the Black Death.


AZUZ: There are three forms of plague, the most common is bubonic. People who have it, get these swollen lymph nodes in their bodies in places like their necks. And it`s not just part of your history textbooks. The plague is still around today, but it`s rare. There are an average of seven cases per year in the U.S. This girl is one of them. Her name is Sierra Jane Downing, and she is seven years old. And thankfully, she is on her way out of that hospital. Sierra was camping with her family last month, when she came in a contact with a dead squirrel. Humans can get the plague from flees on infected animals like squirrels or rabbits. Sierra`s parents rushed her to the hospital, after she started vomiting and had a seizure. Doctors figured out what was wrong and treated the disease. Now Sierra is home and says she`s feeling much better.

Well, election day is less than two months away now, we`ve got a lot of resources to help breakdown different parts of the process. You can find them on our home page CNN STUDENT NEWS.COM. Head there, look for the election resources bin, and check back, because we`re going to be adding more to it, all the way up to election day.

AZUZ: Home owners can make all kinds of upgrading to their houses, to make them little more environmentally friendly. Low energy light bulbs, low flow toilets, energy saver appliances. When it comes to greenhouses, there is one outside of Washington. In Gaithersburg, Maryland, that`s the top of the line. The only thing is, nobody lives in it, and no one ever will. The reason why in this report by Sandra Endo.


SANDRA ENDO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Live under this roof, and utility bills will be a thing of the past. The solar panels son this house are the most obvious energy generator, but look in between the walls, and in the basement, and there is so much more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We added four inches of insulation to the exterior surface of the--

Two tanks here to store the hot water that we make from the solar--

We have three different geothermal heating loops in this round (inaudible).

ENDO: What does all that mean? It means this stylish 2700 square foot house produces as much energy as it consumes. The house was designed by NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology as a laboratory to develop tests for energy-efficient materials and technology. Soon, a virtual family of four will move in, and scientists will replicate the impact of the fictional family on the home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every movement of their life has been scripted, lights will go on and off. Showers will take place, the appliances will be turned on and turned off, just as the regular family of four would use it.

The reason they are not real people, is that we want to have control. With real people, we all live randomly. So it`s very difficult to have this control in place.

ENDO: The government used about $2.5 million in federal stimulus money to build the house and say they expect decades of energy tests to be conducted there. The institute hopes to establish energy standards that will help homebuyers in the future.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Buildings will have an energy label on them, much as cars have a mile per gallon label on today.


AZUZ: Before we go, we want to visit a school in Syracuse, New York. On Tuesday, Americans found different ways to mark the 9/11 anniversary. Syracuse Academy of Science came up with this idea after some class discussions about the event. The students became a living American flag. You can see them filling in the stars and stripes right here. It took some color coordination with all the shirts, but the end result, was a banner accomplishment. That`s all the time we have for CNN STUDENT NEWS. We`ll flag you down for more headlines tomorrow. I`m Carl Azuz.