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14-Year-Old Activist Shot in the Head; Preview of VP Debate

Aired October 11, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Big debate tonight, we`ve got the breakdown of the candidates coming up. Plus, a couple of your thoughts on a question being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court. It all starts right now.

First up today, we are heading to the halls of Congress. Technically, Congress is in recess until after next month`s elections. But yesterday, one House Committee held a hearing on last month`s terrorist attack against the U.S. facility in Libya. On September 11th, the American consulate building in the Libyan city of Benghazi was attacked. Four Americans including the U.S. ambassador to Libya were killed in a violence. American facilities in other countries are under the responsibility of the U.S. State Department. And a lot of yesterday`s hearing focused on whether the State Department was prepared for this kind of attack. House members wanted to know if there were enough security agents in Benghazi. We`ll stay in D.C. for our next story, which takes us from Congress and the Capitol building over to a different branch of the U.S. government -- the U.S. Supreme Court. Yesterday the court heard a case about affirmative action, specifically should race be a factor in college admissions? You can check out our show from Tuesday for details on the case. We asked for your opinions on our blog. Olivia said, I think that affirmative action is one of the best ways to give minority groups equal opportunities, but Brian disagreed, saying college admission should be based on ability, not appearance. He believes affirmative action keeps the idea that there is a difference between people. Our quick poll results were pretty definitive. 94 percent of you said race should not be a factor in college admissions.

With still Hispanic heritage month, so today we are talking about some words with Spanish origins. Did you know, some words we use actually have Spanish ties, like Cafeteria. You might be thinking about the one in school, but in Spanish it`s pronounced cafeteria, and in that language it means coffee house.

Gator sounds pretty American, but alligator dates back to the 1500s and the Spanish word el lagarto, which means "the lizard." We have one more for you, key, not like the one in your pocket, we mean like a reef or an island like the Florida Keys. The word is a noun, and it comes from the Spanish word for key, which is cayo.

Today is October 11th, which is the International Day of the Girl. The United Nations started the observance in order to raise awareness about the struggles that girls face around the world. That`s the same thing a Pakistani girl named Malala was doing when she wrote in her blog. Malala is the same age as some of you, she is 14. The area where she lives, had experienced a lot of violence from the Taliban, it`s a militant group, and one of its goals is to stop girls from going to school. Malala blogged about her struggle to get an education. This week Malala was targeted and attacked. Shot by the Taliban while she was riding home from school. Doctors worked for hours to remove a bullet from her neck, and yesterday they said Malala was slowly recovering. One Pakistani official described Malala as an icon of courage and hope. Reza Sayah has more on this remarkable young woman.


REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Many here in Pakistan know Malala, but if you lived outside the region, you may not have heard of her. We happen to interview this pine-sized activist late last year, she was incredibly articulate and confident. The best way to understand why she inspired so many people is just to listen to her speak. Here is a look at the interview.

(on camera): So why do you risk your life to raise your voice?

MALALA YOUSUFZAI, EDUCATION ACTIVIST: Because I thought that my people need me, and I shall raise my voice, because -- because if I didn`t raise my voice now, so when will I raise my voice?

SAYAH: Some people might say you are 14. You don`t have any rights, you just have to listen to mom and dad.

YOUSUFZAI: No, I have rights, I have the right of education, I have the right to play, I have the right to sing, I have the right to talk, I have the right to go to market, I have the right to speak up.

SAYAH: But what if you give that advice to a girl who may not be as courageous as you, and she says, Malala, I`m afraid, I just want to stay in my room.

YOUSUFZAI: So I`ll tell her then don`t stay in your room, because God will ask you on the day of judgment that where were you when you people were asking you, when your school fellows were asking you, and when your school was asking you that I am being blown up, when your people need you, you should come up, you should come, and you should stand up for their rights.

SAYAH: If you were the president of this country, how would you handle the Taliban?

YOUSUFZAI: First of all, I would like to build so many schools in this country, because education is the must thing. If you have -- if you don`t have educated people, so the Taliban will come to your area, but if you have educated people, they will not come.


SAYAH: That was Malala Yousufzai when we first met her, never backing down to any of our questions, fearlessly determined and confident. That`s why many say, she represents the best of Pakistan.

Reza Sayah, CNN, Islamabad.


AZUZ: Officials in Pakistan say they`ve identified the people involved in Malala shooting, and surgeons from across the world have offered to fly to Pakistan to help our with her medical treatment. In that interview, you heard Malala talk about the importance of education, and her belief that you should speak out for what you believe in. That`s the same message that a global campaign is spreading to promote girls` education around the world. You can be part of this. Go to the spotlight section of our home page, and look for the "I Report" assignment called "Girls Plus Education." It`s where you`ll find all the details.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this legit? Originally, the U.S. vice president was the runner-up in the presidential election.

Totally true! It wasn`t until later that candidates specifically ran for the office of vice president.


AZUZ: Well, vice president may be the under card on the presidential ticket. But this week, the two candidates are the main event, as they step into the ring for their one and only debate. So let`s breakdown these two contenders in our vice presidential tale of the tape.

In the blue corner, originally from Scranton, Pennsylvania, checking in at 69 years old, Vice President Joseph Biden. And in the red corner, from Janesville, Wisconsin, at 42 years old, Congressman Paul Ryan. There are some interesting similarities between these two family men. Vice President Biden was first elected to Congress when he was 29, Congressman Ryan was first elected to Congress when he was 28. And each man was elected seven times. Biden to the Senate, and Ryan to the House of Representatives. Both hold powerful positions in Congress, too. Biden served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Ryan is chairman of the House Budget Committee and a senior member on the House Ways and Means Committee. The similarities even go back to college where both men were double majors. At the University of Delaware, Joe Biden got his degree in history and political science. And at Miami University in Ohio, Paul Ryan got a degree in economics and political science. A lot of similarities on paper, but in Thursday night`s debate we are likely to hear more about their differences. Vice President Joe Biden, Congressman Paul Ryan, let`s get ready to debate.

It all happens tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern, you can watch it live on CNN or you could check it out online at

Now, Athena Jones gives us a preview of what to look for.


ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: While presidential debates can affect the outcome of an election, vice presidential debates like this upcoming matchup between Vice President Biden and his GOP challenger Paul Ryan, are a different animal.

MARGARET HOOVER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: You need to be able to see that each vice presidential candidate has hit the standard of readiness, that they will be ready in an emergency, in a national crisis to be able to step into the Oval Office and to take the reins of the presidency. But beyond that, in terms of the actual debate itself, unless there is a star killing or star catching moment, it rarely changes the course of the debate.

JONES: Democratic strategist Donna Brazile says the first rule here, is to do no harm.

DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: In terms of substance, try not to break any new ground, this is not an audition for 2016. This is about 2012 and the top of the ticket.

JOE BIDEN, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: I don`t know a thing about him. I -- know, I`m ...

JONES: Biden, who participated in more than 20 debates and forms in the 2008 campaign, says the contests are never easy.

So, what are the candidates` biggest strength? Analysts say for Ryan it`s his ability to speak in detail about policy issues. For Biden, his ease in talking about how national policies affect ordinary people. When it comes to advice for the candidates ...

BRAZILE: Try to be comfortable in your skin, be rested, look into the camera, smile from time to time.

JONES: Athena Jones, CNN, Washington.


AZUZ: Before we go, you ever see that board game Mouse Trap? This is what it looks like, and this is the life size version. I don`t know if it`s a better mousetrap, but it`s certainly a bigger one. It took the guy who came up with the idea 13 years and 50,000 pounds of stuff to build it. You might think this whole idea sounds silly, but come on, he`s super- sizing a board game that tell about trapping a mouse. Of course, it`s going to be a little bit cheesy. Yeah, I know, I know. We are out of time, so we`ll hit the road and see you tomorrow when CNN STUDENT NEWS returns. Have a great day.