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U.S. Embassies Closed Due to Terrorist Threat; Egypt in Turmoil

Aired August 12, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We hope you had a .

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A great summer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A great summer.





CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: CNN STUDENT NEWS is back. I`m Carl Azuz. It`s great to be kicking off a new school with you. We have, as you just saw, a new show beginning. We`ve got some new segments, new graphics, and a new look here in the CNN International Newsroom at CNN Global Headquarters. So we`re up and running. And so are some U.S. embassies after they were closed for a week. That`s our first story of this new school year. There are 19 locations labeled on this map. In countries across parts of Africa and around the Middle East, on August 4th, the U.S. closed its embassies in all of them. Yesterday, it reopened 18 of them. Now, an embassy is a country`s official place for government business inside another country. The people who work there like ambassadors interact with the local government and other groups. And embassies have a special status. An American embassy may be located outside the United States, but the facility is considered U.S. soil. So, the questions: why did the U.S. closed these 19 embassies. U.S. intelligence organizations intercepted some communications from the al Qaeda terrorists group. That group is behind attacks around the globe including the 911 terrorist attacks in 2001. This communication was a threatening message being sent between senior al Qaeda members. U.S. officials responded by closing those embassies and issuing worldwide travel alert for Americans.

The one embassy that didn`t reopen yesterday is in Yemen. That country is home to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. U.S. officials kept this embassy closed because of continuing concerns about a possible attack.

One of the embassies that reopened was in Egypt. That country`s been in the news a lot this summer for a different reason: the North African nation is going through a political crisis. Protests, violence, a forced change in government, and it`s not over. All this week, we`re going to be recapping some of the big stories that happen while we were off for the summer. Today, we are looking at the tension in Egypt over the past few months.

Egypt has spent this summer in turmoil. Images of civil unrest and violence are all over the news. What`s behind it all - if you a regular STUDENT NEWS viewer, you may remember that in May and June of 2012 the country held elections and Mohamed Morsy became Egypt`s first democratically elected president. Before Morsy, President Hosni Mubarak had ruled Egypt for almost 30 years. He was forced out of office in 2011. But a year into his term, many Egyptians wanted Morsy out, too. His party, the Muslim Brotherhood, is Egypt`s oldest and largest Muslim organization. Its ideology is based on the teachings in the Koran, Islam`s holy book. Some say, Morsy rushed adoption of a constitution that did not guarantee freedom of religion. Some say he was trying to force the Muslim Brotherhood strict Islamic code into national laws. And other Egyptians opposed Morsy because they saw no improvement to the struggling national economy and crime situation.

When Morsy issued an edict declaring that the country`s courts could not overturn his decisions, his opponents began taking to the streets again.

Eventually, the Egyptian military, which sided with the opposition, gave Morsy an ultimatum: step aside or we will force you out. Morsy refused to go. On July 3rd of this year, after days of angry protests, the military removed Morsy from office. Although Egyptian military has a lot of influence in the government, it didn`t hold on to power. Government control went to an interim civilian government led by Adly Mansour, who also leads the country`s supreme court.

The deposed Morsy is being held in an undisclosed military location. He faces several criminal charges. Since Morsy`s removal, there`ve been protests and sittings in support of him by the Muslim Brotherhood as well as protests supporting his ouster. Those who support Morsy say he was legally elected and should remain as president. They called his removal from power an illegal coup. And they refused to accept it. Those who support Morsy`s removal say it was a correction, a continuation of the revolution that started with Mubarak`s removal more than two years ago.

This months, President Obama sent Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham to Egypt to try to talk to both sides, but the protests and violence continue. In recent weeks, hundreds have been killed and thousand injured in Egypt and many worry about the long term survival of democracy in the country.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See if you can I.D. me. I`m a planet with two moons. Their names come from Greek words, for "fear" and "terror." A year for me lasts roughly 687 days. I`m one of Earth`s closest neighbors.

I`m Mars, and depending on our orbits, I can be anywhere from 35 million to 250 million miles away from the Earth.


AZUZ: A trip to Mars wouldn`t exactly be a vacation. It would be a one way ticket. Some people say they are ready to take it. And we`re not just talking about a handful of folks. More than 100,000 people have applied to go. We talked about this last school year, we`re going to back up and fill in a couple of details. A project called Mars One is planning manned missions to the Red Planet. The group wants to send its first four astronauts in 2022. The idea would be to colonize Mars, taking supplies like food and solar panels and then using the local Martian environment to produce water and oxygen. There are some downsides to consider. Increased exposure to radiation in space and oh, year, that whole thing about how you could never come home again. But with volunteers signing up, the Mars One project might, just might get off the ground.

We`re here at CNN STUDENT NEWS. We want to hear your views on different subjects. And we`re going to be sharing them in the news segment called "CNN STUDENT NEWS Viewfunder." For this first edition, we caught up with some rising juniors and seniors at a leadership conference in Georgia. We asked what advice they have for high school freshmen. Check it out.


ROMA PARIKH, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: I would say, definitely take it seriously. You know, you think freshman year is going to be the easiest year, and you don`t always think about that or care for your classes, but I would definitely do it, because it`s just sets a good standard for the rest of the year, which will get harder.

MYKEL SKINNER, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: Freshman year, it is serious and it does count.

GARLAND JONES, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: Not slack off freshman year. They would need to take a good core schedule and to just enjoy their four years.

BENJAMIN GOLDFEIN, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: Not just stress out. When I came in the high school, I was so stressed and so nervous, but it really isn`t that nerve-raking once you get the hang of things.

ROSHIN KOOPLICAT, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: Make sure to get good grades, it`s important, and just enjoy the experience.

MARILYN PRIMOVIC, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: That first semester start is where it all takes off. That`s where your GPA can skyrocket or it can tank.

GRACE RYBACK, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: Just focus on academics and keep a good balance between academics and a social life.

GORDON CLARK, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: Work for the future, but live for today. Not get too caught up in the schoolwork, but still make sure you have a plan B. And don`t party too hard.

NICK MUSEY, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: You know, just never - never procrastinate, because I would procrastinate a lot. I mean I would get the work done. But just - I have a lot of, you know, sleep was nice.

BROOKE JOHNSON, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: I say to make a lot of friends and maybe find someone who`s like in a leadership position that you know, will be a good role model.

AMAYA CARR, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: Schedule your time. It`s high school, yeah, it`s so fun, but when that test is Thursday, and you study in fourth block Thursday morning, and the test is on fifth block, you have a problem.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for the first "Shout Out" of the school year. Which of these sounds measures around 120 decibels? If you think you know it, then shout it out!

Is it a vacuum cleaner, siren, alarm clock or whisper. You`ve got three seconds, go!

Sirens like a fire engine or police car are around 120 decibels. That`s your answer and that`s your shout out.


AZUZ: So, imagine how loud a siren is and then consider that a group in Wisconsin was trying to hit that same decibel level. These guys were just animals.

Of course, they had to be, they were aiming to beat the world record for loudest bark by a group of dogs. Topping that would be rough. Apparently, too rough. The current record, 124 decibels, this canine competitors couldn`t quite crack 115. But there is no need to bowwow their heads in shame. Organizers say, they are going to try again next year.

Well, finally, don`t think we`re forgetting our feline friends. Maybe you`ve heard of a pool shark, this YouTube video features a pool cat. Oh, if you have cat to be, kitten, meow. It`s not necessarily a natural talent, but it`s good to see him stick with it, even though he might need some queues. I`m just waiting for him to show his true stripes or solids. I guess you could chalk his persistence up to his curious nature, better be careful up on that table, though. There is a decent chance he might scratch. Afterwards, he probably felt really bad. Either way, it`s claws for concern. Oh yeah, the puns are back, too. Speaking of which, it`s time for us to pause, but we`ll be back tomorrow with more CNN STUDENT NEWS, and we hope to see you then. Thanks for joining us.