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U.S. Has Evidence of Use of Chemical Weapons in Syrian Civil War; George W. Bush Library Opens

Aired April 26, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: We are (inaudible) school from Olympia (ph), Kansas. And ...


UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Take it away, Carl.



CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: That was awesome. Big thanks to the Mission Trail (ph) Timberwolves, I hope you enjoy the popcorn, guys, and right back at you.

First of today, the U.S. government says it has new information about the civil war in Syria, specifically about the kind of weapons being used in that war. The conflict started back in 2011, protesters spoke out against Syria`s government and its president. These people eventually took up arms in a fighting against Syrian military forces. Yesterday, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that America has evidence of a chemical weapon called Sarin being used in Syria. There is still a lot of questions including which side is using this weapon. U.S. intelligence groups say there`s a good chance it came from the Syrian government. That government says it`s rebels, who are using chemical weapons. President Obama is asking the United Nations to investigate and find out more details.

The president and first lady Michelle Obama were in Texas yesterday. They were in the city of Waco, along with hundreds of other people for memorial ceremony. Last week 20 miles away in the town of West, there was a fire and explosion at a fertilizer plant. The impact of this was devastating. 14 people were killed, homes were damaged or destroyed. Officials estimate more than $100 million in damages. Many of the people who lost their lives were firefighters and other first responders. Their colleagues from across the country came to Waco for yesterday`s ceremony. Some of them lining the streets for this processional beforehand. Investigators are trying to figure out the cause of the fire and explosion.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See, if you can I.D. me. I`m one of two U.S. presidents whose father was also a president. I`m the last president who was a state governor. I`m sometimes referred to as 43, or by my middle initial.

I`m President George W. Bush, the 43 rd President of the United States.


HAMMER: The 43rd president is the 13th to have a presidential library. Former President George W. Bush`s library opened with a dedication ceremony in Dallas, Texas yesterday` All five living American presidents were there. President George W. Bush, of course, along with Presidents Obama, Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Carter. Inside the library, there is a replica of the Oval Office, and actual items from the defining moment of George W. Bush`s presidency, the terrorists attacks of September, 11th, 2001. Included were beams from the wreckage of the World Trade Center and the bullhorn that President Bush used when he spoke to workers at Ground Zero. During yesterday`s ceremony, the former president talked about his presidency and his legacy.


GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT, 2001-2009: A free society thrives when neighbors help neighbors. And the strong protect the weak. And public policies promote private compassion. As president, I tried to act on these principles every day. One always easy, and certainly, one always popular. One of the benefits of freedom is that people can disagree. It`s fair to say I created plenty of opportunities to exercise that right.

But when future generations come to this library and study this administration, they`re going to find out that we stayed true to out convictions.


AZUZ: So, where does the idea for presidential libraries come from? What kinds of things were in these buildings? Have a look with Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A presidential library is kind of a library, and kind of a museum, and kind of an archive, but mainly it`s a living memorial to the chief executives of our own country.

The first one came around in the late 1930s. Franklin Roosevelt has been steaming along as president. He looked around his office, and he said, I got a lot of papers here. We`ve been dealing with the Great Depression. We need to do something with this record, so people can it later on. Eventually, Congress got on board and said, what we need to do is have a rule here: basically, the rule is that the president who is going out, raises the money to build his presidential library and museum, or whatever he wants to call it, and then the taxpayers take over and basically pay for running it.

It`s not a library in the sense that you wouldn`t go and check out a copy of "Black Beauty". The courts decided a long time ago, we gave him a nice house, we gave him a nice job, we gave him a nice office. That stuff belongs to us, we get to see it. So, with a few restrictions, most of the official business of the White House that a president does: the people he meets, conversations he has, everything that`s recorded there, winds up in these archives.

Presidential libraries do allow you to have a really upclose personal look at these presidents in some ways. The way you can`t really see it through the news. For example, I walked through Jimmy Carter`s library once with Jimmy Carter and he stopped and talked about his Nobel Prize and how he felt when he got it. Another time, I walked with the elder President Bush through his library, down in College Station, Texas, and we stopped at a replica of his office from Camp David and he stood there and shook his head, he said it`s exactly the way it was.

Presidential libraries are tourist attractions and that every town that has one, advertises it, but they`re also serving a more serious purpose: think about this: There are hundreds of millions of documents and papers buried in these libraries, and those are poured over on a weekly basis by historians and researches who every now and then come pup with new information that shed new light on how a decision was made, or how a president thought.

If you get a chance to go to the White House and talk to the president, be careful what you say, because one day, it could wind up in the presidential library with everybody looking.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s the word? It`s an estimate of someone`s income, spending and saving for the future.

Budget, that`s the word.


AZUZ: Governments have budgets, companies have them, families and folks by themselves, maybe you`ve held of on making one for yourself, but this month, financial literacy month, is a good time to start. Zain Asher where do we begin?

ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Carl. Some of you might have a part time job and some of you might rely on your parents for monthly or weekly allowance. Either way, learning how to save and budget is an important lesson when it comes to your finances. First of all, try writing down everything you spend, even down to the smallest expense. That way you can see where your money is going. And you can track where you need to cut back. Once you have a better idea of your spending habits, write down a Wish-list of the things you want to buy, but you can`t afford to. Tally up the total, and set aside a small amount of your paycheck each week until you`ve saved up enough. You might have to learn creative ways to cut back, for example you might want to pack a lunch for school instead of relying on wending machines, share rides so you can cut back on gas, or wait for sales instead of buying clothes or video games on impulse. There are also various Web sites out there that help you budget. For example, helps you track where you`re overspending, and helps you make the most of the money you do have. Once you`ve cut back on spending a bit, try opening a savings account, so your money can grow. Some savings accounts pay you back up to one percent a year, so if you put in $500 today, you`ll end up with $505 this time next year. It doesn`t sound like a lot, but it`s more money than what you started with, and as your parents have probably said, pennies do make dollars. Carl.

AZUZ: Thanks, Zain.

What`s promises in the U.S. and whether or not it tops the list of things you want to do this spring, it`s becoming more likely to land at the top of your budget.

$1139 according to a new survey by Visa, that`s what American families are spending on average for a dressed up high school dance. Well, maybe it`s a little more than that, especially if you pull out all the stops: the tux rental, the designer dress, hair, shoes, makeup, a limo, a spray tan? Oh, you`ve got to buy the prom ticket, though it costs a lot less than all that. Where people live may indicate what they spend. Families in the North East average the most, more than $1500, those in the Midwest spend the least, it`s just over 700. If you don`t want to spend that, though, you can always share a ride with friends, have a home-cooked meal or picnic, and ran a dress online. Some places offer designer gowns for less than you`d spend buying a dress. And even after the prom of your dreams, you`re never going to wear that dress again.

Well, you`re not. So, is prom worth that price? If you`re on Facebook, so are we. is where you can tell us what you think.

Before we go, we`re going to check out an odd couple. You might think felines and owl don`t mix, but the owl and can in this Youtube video seem to get along just fine. No rough housing, you too, someone`s going to get their feathers ruffled.

Some people may question this inter-species friendship, but as for the pair themselves, one thing it`s perfectly normal, the other just doesn`t give a hoot. Teachers, don`t forget to share your feedback on our homepage. Students, don`t forget to send us your Teacher Appreciation Week I Reports. Everyone, have an awesome weekend.