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Shooting Rampage in D.C.`s Navy Yard; U.N. Releases Report on Syria`s Chemical Weapons

Aired September 17, 2013 - 04:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: We, the people of the United States,

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: ... in order to form a more perfect union.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: To establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: And provide for the common defense ...

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Promote the general welfare.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: And to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our prosperity.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: To ordain and establish this Constitution

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: For the United State of America.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: We constitutionally ...



CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Well, to those students in Michigan at St. John, the Evangelist Catholic School. They added a perfect preamble to today`s show. We`re going to have more on the Constitution in just a few minutes.

First of all, we`re reporting on the shooting in Washington. At 8:20 yesterday morning, shots were fired inside the Washington Navy Yard. This is the U.S. Navy`s oldest land establishment, and its largest system command facility. It`s also a workplace for 3,000 members of the military and civilian contractors. As the story unfolded yesterday, authority said a suspected shooter was dead, he was identified as Aaron Alexis, a 34-year old Lt. military contractor. Police said one other gunman could be on the loose. It was unclear why the shooting happened.

Emergency personnel, the FBI, U.S. Capitol Police and D.C. Police, all responded to the attack. A team of special agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was also sent to the scene, that`s the same group that helped capture the Boston Marathon Bombing suspect. Nearby government buildings went in the lockdown, so did several schools in the area.

Official said at least 12 people were killed in the shooting, another 12 were injured. A spokeswoman at a Washington hospital said three victims who were taken to that facility are expected to make full recoveries.

Next story today is out in Colorado. The city of Boulder just set a new record for annual precipitation. The thing is, there are still 3.5 months left in the year. The flooding in Colorado has been devastating. Yesterday, more than 1,000 people who`d been cut off were waiting to be rescued.

Authorities were talking about dropping in food and water to keep them going. One person said, there are no rivers where there have never been rivers or even water before. He described the situation as surreal.


ROSEMARY KLEMM, EVACUEE: What to grab, where to go - total chaos and confusion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve never seen anything like this. This is just mind-boggling.

JOANNE KAUFMAN, EVACUEE: We have lost all accessibility to getting out of our homes as the roads have collapsed.

MELINDA VILLA, EVACUEE: It fell like I was in a literally, a horror movie. I felt like there was no way out.



ANNOUNCER: Is this legit?

Sarin is a chemical compound.

It`s true. Sarin can be used as a chemical weapon. The word comes from the names of scientists who invented it.


AZUZ: The United Nations says it has clear and convincing evidence that sarin gas was used in Syria last month. And it was used on a relatively large scale. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gave the results of an investigation yesterday. He called the use of chemical weapons a war crime. And said whoever is responsible, should be held accountable. The report didn`t assign blame for the attack. We`ve also been reporting on a deal between the U.S. and Russia for Syria to hand over control of its chemical weapons.

Yesterday, we mentioned that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made a statement that the threat of force against Syria is still an option, to make sure Syria follows through.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov disagrees. He says Secretary Kerry is misunderstanding the deal, if he thinks force is still an option.

It was a one-two punch for Mexico. Hurricane Ingrid made landfall in the country`s east coast Monday, not long after tropical storm Manuel hit the West over the weekend. The results - flooding, rivers spilling all over their banks, mudslides, roads washing out. At least 21 people have been killed across Mexico, and even though these storm systems have weakened, the rain continued to fall. Despite Mexico`s position between the Pacific and the Caribbean, its national weather service says it`s very unusual for Mexico to get hit by a tropical storm and a hurricane at the same time.

Another natural disaster erupted in Indonesia over the weekend. Mount Sinabung showered nearby buildings and cars and ashes, and forced the evacuation of thousands. Some folks had to go to the hospital after inhaling volcanic ash.

Mount Sinabung is located on the western Indonesian island of Sumatra, it`s the tallest mountain there, and it last erupted in 2010.

Don`t forget about your chance to meet Malala Yousafzai, the girl who was shot by the Taliban, because she wanted to go to school. Students 13 to 18 in the 48 contiguous states can submit an essay explaining how they`ve been inspired by Malala`s work. Full rules for the contest can be found at the url you see below, and the entry form at But don`t wait - the deadline to submit essay is 8 P.M. Eastern tomorrow night.


ANNOUNCER: It`s time for "The Shoutout." In what city was the U.S. Constitution signed? If you think, you know it, then shout it out!

Was it in Washington, New York, Boston or Philadelphia? You`ve got three seconds, go.

The Constitution was signed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout." Now, as for win that happened, check this out.


AZUZ: It`s Constitution Day. On this day in 1787, 39 delegates to the Constitutional convention signed the document that today is the oldest written Constitution, still in use by any government. We`re finding out how much you know about the U.S. Constitution. Starting with some fun, true or false questions.

All right, number one - the world "democracy" appears in article one of the U.S. Constitution. Answer - false. The world "democracy" doesn`t actually appears anywhere in the document.

Next, Benjamin Franklin was the oldest person to sign the Constitution. This is true. He was 81 and in declining health, so he needed someone to help him sign it, and it`s said that as he did, tears were streaming down his face.

Three, some delegates to the convention refused to sign the Constitution. Answer - true. Of the six delegates who didn`t sign, three of them, Edmund Randolph and George Mason of Virginia and Elbert Jerry of Massachusetts refused to do so. Party, because the Constitution didn`t have a bill of rights. Those amendments guaranteeing individual liberties were proposed two years later.

Moving on, two future U.S. presidents signed the Constitution. One was George Washington. Who was the other? We`ll give you some options on this one. Was it John Adams? Thomas Jefferson? James Madison or James Monroe. The answer - C, James Madison. Madison`s also called the father of the Constitution, because he contributed so much to it.

Since the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791, how many additional amendments have been added to the Constitution? Is the answer seven, ten, 12 or 17? If you said D, 17, you got it. That last amendment, the 27th, says that a pay raise for members of Congress cannot take effect until after an election.

Now, which branch of the U.S. government is mentioned first in the Constitution? Is it the legislative, judicial or executive? Answer - a, the legislative branches powers are laid out in Article One of the Constitution. This is the branch that includes the House of Representatives and the Senate and it`s charged with making the laws that govern the country.

Finally, where can you find the original copy of the Constitution? Is it in Fort Knox, Kentucky, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution or the National Archives. Answer - D, the National Archives building in Washington D.C.

To preserve the quality of the document, it is kept at 67 degrees Fahrenheit and 40 percent humidity. And you can say that fascinating fact constitutes our Constitution Day Quiz.

All right, and today`s "Roll Call," the I`s have it: Iowa, Indiana and Illinois. Let`s go to the map. First up, Laurens, Iowa and the charges from Lauren`s marathon. Thanks for watching, everyone.

Over in Indiana, we`re checking in with (inaudible), the King School in Evansville, glad to see you. And the Red Skins at Morris Community High in Morri, Illinois, they round out today`s roll.

Joe Chestnut is wrapping up the competitive eating season with six contests in six weeks. This was number one. A pie eating contest in Ohio. Chestnut took home the title because he gobbled up 13 pies in 8 minutes. For those of you who do the math, that`s one pie every 37 seconds. He said his strategy includes getting into a rhythm, drinking water and not overstuffing his mouth. Whatever you say, Joey.

After the event, he said he even had room for another pie.

I guess there wasn`t enough feeling about the first 13. So, can Chestnut meet his goal and go six for six? Some people may think that`s pie in the sky. The whole plan is have baked. But based on his track record, it could be easy as pie. After all, he has the strategy down, so it`s just all emotive technique. Why do we serve up so many pie puns? Just be crust, that`s all we happen today, so we`ll see you tomorrow. For CNN STUDENT NEWS, I`m Carl Azuz.