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Murdered Girl Becomes Part of Discussion About Gun Control; Rosa Parks` 100th Birthday

Aired February 4, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: First on CNN STUDENT NEWS today, this is Hadiya Pendleton, 15 years old and honor student at her school in Chicago. This was Hadiya performing with her school`s majorette team during President Obama`s inauguration in Washington. And one week later this is where Hadiya Pendleton was killed, she was shot by a gunman at the park in Chicago. Police say she probably was not the intended target. Hadiya`s name has become part of the discussion over guns in America. And her father says, he`s OK with that. The president`s scheduled to talk about the issue of guns today when he meets with law enforcement officials in Minnesota. Right now there is also a lot of talk about this photo of the president firing a gun. The White House says this was taken last August when the president went skeet shooting. The White House released this picture on Saturday. Some critics argue, that was a political move. But the president has said, there is a difference between hunting and target shooting and gun violence. He has been pushing for stricter gun laws, his belief is that it will help reduce gun violence. Other people argue that guns help offer protection.


GAYLE TROTTER, ATTORNEY& SR. FELLOW, INDEPENDENT WOMEN`S FORUNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guns make women safer. Over 90 percent of violent crimes occur without a firearm, which makes guns the great equalizer for women. The vast majority of violent criminals use their size and their physical strength to prey on women who are at severe disadvantage.


AZUZ: We`re hearing many different voices in this discussion about guns in America. We want to hear your voice, too. Go to our blog at Talk to us about what you think.

Today is World Cancer Day. And that word cancer can really hit home, especially if you or someone you know has ever dealt directly with it. The goal of World Cancer Day is to help people get a better understanding of this disease, and that`s what we are working to do right now.

For starters, what is cancer? It`s not just one disease, there are more than 200 different types of cancer, and they can affect different parts of the body. This diseases are caused by changes to the DNA inside a person`s cells. Those changes cause the cells to grow uncontrollably. In the U.S., more than a million people are diagnosed with cancer every year. Experts say that one third of American women and one half of American men can expect to develop some form of cancer. It`s the second leading cause of death in the Untied States, but being diagnosed with cancer is not a death sentence, a lot of these diseases that used to be considered fatal, can now be treated, many can be cured. In fact, more than 12 million Americans are living with cancer today.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See if you can I.D. me. I was born in Alabama in 1913. I`m known as the mother of the Civil Rights Movement. I inspired the Montgomery bus boycott after refusing to give up my bus seat to a white man.

I`m Rosa Parks, and today would have been my 100th birthday.


AZUZ: Rosa Parks helped pave the way in the fight for equal rights. And as we continue our coverage of black history month, we are going to introduce you to a woman who`s giving up to take on the world of Nascar, maybe break some barriers when she gets there. George Howell has details on this.


NICOLE LYONS, RACE CAR DRIVER: It`s exciting time for me, and a very just - crazy time in my life I`m going from NHRA drag racing to attempting - to transition to Nascar.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nicole Lyons was born to race. She`s already made a name for herself in professional drag racing with the National Hot Rod Association or NHRA. She`s now gaining traction in her effort to become a household name in NASCAR. When she starts racing, she`ll be one of the few women in the sport.

LYONS: I think I`ve done so well on NHRA and I`ve committed so much time to my craft that I think now is the time for me to do that transition and showcase myself in Nascar.

HOWELL: She recently tested for Nascar. The challenges, she says, are different.

LYONS: In drag racing, you want to go straight. You don`t want to make a left turn to save your life. In - in terms of Nascar racing, it`s completely different, you ride the wall, you make left turns, you know, you`d have a breaking system that`s completely different, in drag racing break is not our friend, the wall is not our friend, we don`t want to get near it.

HOWELL: Not only is Lyons racing cars, but she`s an award-winning engine builder, and owns a Muscle Car restoration shop in Los Angeles where she employs female mechanics.

LYONS: I just really wanted to show female empowerment, and I knew that, you know, we can turn wrenches just as well as any other guy.

HOWELL: When she makes the transition, many will identify Lyons primarily as one of the first African-American females to race in Nascar. But to her, winning is what`s most important.

LYONS: I`m a racer who understands the fact that wins mean everything. So, regardless of the fact if I get out there, and it so happens that I win, I`m the first African-American woman to do so - great. But I`m going to tell you that at the end of the day, what makes me most happy about the situation, is that I won.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s "Shoutout" goes out to Mandera`s social studies class at Lincoln Middle School in Rockford, Illinois.

What is another name for a woodchuck? You know what to do, is it a beaver, a groundhog, nutria or termite? You`ve got three seconds, go!

Woodchucks are also called groundhogs. And they are part of the squirrel family. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."


AZUZ: If a groundhog could ever be famous, the most famous one would be up in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. A couple of days ago famous Phil made his annual prognostication.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And so you`re faithful there is no shadow to see and early spring for you and me!


AZUZ: The groundhog - well, a groundhog has been making this annual prediction for 127 years. The idea goes back to medieval times. There was this superstition that hibernating animals pop their heads out of their caves to check the weather around this time of year. In order of Saturday`s shadowy celebration, CNN`s "I-Reporters" sent him pictures of their shadows. Take a look at this.


AZUZ: We`re now standing outside the Georgia Dome here in Atlanta, Georgia. This building has hosted two Super Bowls. Of course, last night`s game was down in New Orleans. And you know what happened there. What you might not know is how many of these were made specifically for the game: 120. Now, that`s just for the Super Bowl. Another thing you might not know is what exactly goes in to making one of these. But you`re about to find out.


KEVIN MURPHY, GENERAL MANAGER, WILSON SPORTING GOODS CO.: When we`re making an NFL game ball, it`s about 90 percent hands on. It starts with four panels of leather that are cut from the best possible hide you can find in North American hides, and from there, we then stamp the panels, those panels are then weighed, skived (ph), so that every single set of four panels weighs exactly the same. Once we do that, we`re still aligning to the panels, then they go to the sewer who would then sews the four panels together, and they`re sewed inside out. Not a lot of people know that. After the panels are sewn together, they are passed on to a turner. He takes that football that`s inside out and turns it right side out. Very difficult and highly skilled job. The turner then passes the ball back to the sewer, who closes the opening just a little bit, and from there, it goes to our lacer, who inserts a bladder into the ball, then they close the ball, they lace it, and then they pass it on to our molding process.

We open up the mold and put the ball out and it should be a perfectly shaped football at that point.


AZUZ: Well, some real beasts took the field for yesterday`s game, but not the game you`re thinking of. We are talking about the Puppy Bowl, an alternative athletic arena for anyone enamored with adorable animals. This game isn`t just for the dogs, you had hamsters up in the blimp, cats performing the half-time show. Cheerleader hedgehogs on the side line, and, of course, the game was covered on social media. What kind of animal did they get to tweet?

A bird, but all the other players were hounding him for attention, too.

There have been eight other puppy bowls before this. So, this one makes K- 9, and during the game, they don`t call it time out, they`re just take a pause. And that`s what we are going to do. CNN STUDENT NEWS will kick off, again, tomorrow. I hope to see you then.