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At Least 68 Killed, 175 Injured in Terror Attack on a Kenyan Mall; 13 Wounded by Shots Fired in Chicago Park
Aired September 23, 2013 - 04:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz. This is CNN STUDENT NEWS. We`re starting this week with a terrorist attack at a shopping mall that turned into a hostage situation. This happened in the East African nation of Kenya, and the capital city of Nairobi. The Westgate Shopping Mall is a popular place for Kenyans and people from other countries. On Saturday, people were desperate to get out of the mall, some hid in stores, bathrooms or stairwells. Kenyan soldiers and police officers responded after gunman stormed the building and started shooting. At least 68 people were killed, at least the 175 others were injured.
On Sunday evening, the Kenyan military said most of the hostages inside the Westgate mall had been rescued. And they were making every effort to end the situation.
An extremist Islamic group called al Shabab says it`s responsible for this attack. It`s based in Somalia, a country that borders Kenya. And it`s affiliated with al Qaeda, the terrorist organization that`s responsible for attacks around the world. The Westgate Mall in Nairobi is what security expert consider a soft target: it`s a place that might have less security, where terrorist could potentially cause more damage. Margaret Conley examined safety managers at these types of locations.
MARGARET CONLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It may be more than 7,000 miles from Nairobi, Kenya to the United States, but the mall massacre halfway around the world couldn`t bring a tragedy any closer to home. Washington D.C. resident Sara Head was inside the mall when shots were fired. She kept hidden in the stairwell with dozens of others as the chaos unfolded.
SARA HEAD, WITNESS: So, we just waited in the stairwell for about an hour and a half, there were two individuals with me who had superficial gunshot wounds, well, individuals in the stairwell with me, they were not with me, but there was about probably - I don`t know, 60 of us. There were a few floors worth of people.
CONLEY: The attack on this so-called soft targets raises the question about mall security on U.S. soil. Could what happened overseas, happen here?
LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Soft targets are always attractive to terrorists because they are usually not defended. It`s very effective way of causing a lot of panic, a lot of damage very quickly and achieving objective of terrorizing people.
CONLEY: Back in this country, one more that puts its security front and center, is Minnesota`s Mall of America. One of the largest enclosed shopping centers in the country visited by 42 million people a year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that if you are looking for 100 percent safety, you should probably wrap yourself in bubble wrap and never leave home.
CONLEY: It even has something many government facilities do not.
ANNOUNCER: This is a drill. Mall of America is now going into lockdown.
CONLEY: Twice a month without fail its tenants and its customers participate in a lockdown drill, practicing how to shelter in backrooms of stores to try to prevent casualties in an attack.
DOUG REYNOLDS, MALL OF AMERICA: Yes, if something bad should happen here, we don`t want our response to start with - and law enforcement will be here and they will protect you. We want to know what can be done until law enforcement gets here.
CONLEY: Even with heightened security an awareness of your surroundings may end up being your best defense.
TOM FUENTES, LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: For the average American citizen, you go to the grocery store, you go to the gas station, and you go to the shopping mall, and you go to a movie theater, you take walks in your neighborhood, anyone of those situations could make you vulnerable if other people or another person is out there determined to conduct an attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: See, if you can I.D. me. I`m a form of severe weather. I occur in the Western North Pacific Ocean around China, Japan and the Philippines. I`m the same type of storm as the hurricane or a cyclone. I`m a typhoon, and my name can be traced back to a Greek word that means "violent storm."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: This is what we mean by violent: Typhoon Usagi blew in the China`s Guandong Province Sunday night. That`s in the southeast part of the country. It`s been the world`s most powerful storm of the year. And Usagi had already brought death and destruction to the Philippines and Taiwan before it approached mainland China. At one point before it hit China, Usagi was classified as a super typhoon, the equivalent of the category five hurricane. You can see here why forecasters were saying, flooding would be a problem. Usagi shut down a major shipping lane, forced hundreds of flights to be canceled and evacuations were in the tens of thousands. It is common for this region to see major storms at this time of year, though.
Officials in Chicago, Illinois, are trying to find ways to reduce violence in their city. Last year, there were 500 homicides in Chicago, that`s more than any other American city. The spotlight is back in Chicago, after another shooting incident last week: 13 people were wounded by shots fired in a park. One of the victims was three years old.
Officials said he was in stable condition last Fridays, and none of the victims suffered life-threatening injuries. Chicago`s police superintendent called that a miracle. He also said, the shooting appeared to be gang-related. Some people in Chicago are trying to bring local gangs there together, in an effort to stop the violence. Mike Puccinelli from affiliate WBBN has more on this weekend`s "Peace Tournament."
MIKE PUCCINELLI, WBBN REPORTER: It looks like an ordinary basketball game, but this court is made up of teams of rivals: gang bangers and ex-gang bangers who`ve come together to play ball.
DUAN HILL, FORMER GANG MEMBER: Like bring everybody together, like we are (inaudible) the same, accomplish (inaudible) and move on.
And leave all the shooting and gang bangers off the streets.
PUCCINELLI: It`s the second annual Peace Tournament put on by Father Michael Pfleger and about a dozen of his NBA friends. NBA Hall of Fame and Chicago native Isiah Thomas was there, cajoling two rivals to hug before the game.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can kill him. And I can kill you, man.
PUCCINELLI: And it appeared to work.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got to be better than this.
PUCCINELLI: The tournament comes at a time when Chicago was again in the headlines after 13 people were shot in Cornell Square Park Thursday night. It`s an embarrassment for the city and the mayor who leads it.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
PUCCINELLI: And Rahm Emanuel was booed when he entered the gym today.
PUCCINELLI: The same can`t be said of Derek Rose who received cheers worthy of an NBA MVP. Rose and many of the other NBA players have come from the same hard-scrabbled neighborhoods as those playing today. So, when expo Ben Gordon speaks, the at risk boys and men listen.
BEN GORDON, NBA PLAYER: Whoever is in this community, you`ve got to come together as a people, you`ve got to try to unite, try to realize that when we (inaudible), this is digging ourselves to deeper (inaudible)
PUCCINELLI: And it`s hope that today`s game can help those who want a climb out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are no longer enemies to me.
AZUZ: All right. If you saw a $20 bill just lying on the ground, you might just pick it up and keep it. What if you saw someone drop a 20 and then you saw someone else pocket it. That happened to Joey Prusak. WCCO`s Susan Elizabeth Littlefield tells us what happened next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOEY PRUSAK, MANAGER, DAIRY QUEEN MANAGER: I bet you I had 20 some phone calls and like Yahoo! News called.
SUSAN ELIZABETH LITTLEFIELD, WCCO CORRESPONDENT: What happened last week has people talking and wanting to speak to him. A six-summer veteran worker, he was doing a (inaudible) when a visually impaired customer walked in the door.
PRUSAK: When he went to put everything back in his pocket, because he put it in his front pocket, that`s when it happened - he dropped $20 bill on the ground.
LITTLEFIELD: Another customer stepped in for all the wrong reasons.
PRUSAK: The lady behind him picked it up so quickly that I figured - oh, she is just going to hand it right back to him when she went and put it in her purse. She goes - it`s my money. And I go, "All right, I`m going to ask you to leave the store politely right now." And then she made a big scene, started swearing, and then she stormed out.
LITTLEFIELD: After serving the people in line, he approached the blind man who`d been listening to what had happened to his money.
PRUSAK: And I told him, you dropped $20, I would like to give you $20 on behalf of myself and Dairy Queen, just trying to make things right.
LITTLEFIELD: But it didn`t come from his cash register, it came from his pocket.
PRUSAK: About two hours pay.
LITTLEFIELD: Someone who is watching from afar, wrote to corporate. While dozens called, some came.
(on camera): WCCO radio, and that`s - I heard about it. And it just touched my heart, and I said I have to come meet - I have to just bring a card, so I brought a card to say thank you to Joey.
PRUSAK: They think what I did was so extremely nice, when all I was doing was really the right thing to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: We`re going to start on the East Coast and work our way West for today`s "Roll Call." First up, "Ocean Township New Jersey and the Spartans of Ocean Township High. Next, it`s over to Mt. Lebanon High School, that`s in Pittsburgh (ph), Pennsylvania, and it`s the home of the Blue Devils. And our last stoop is with the Eagles from Hudsonville High School in Hudsonville. Michigan. Thanks to all of you for watching.
Hockey fan was tired of waiting to see if his team would get a new arena so he built one himself out of Legos. Even gave his home team the Stanley Cup. We`re not just talking about some simple toy construction project. This is a full-scale arena with announcers, cameramen, hallways, restrooms. There are advertisements on the board, there is even a statue out front. Building something like this was no piece of cake, but adding all of the little hockey details was definitely the icing.
The builder says, he`s planning to tear it down and start a new project soon, so I guess this one was just ad hockey. You can make a mega Lego creation, too, you just need to block out enough time. We are out of time. We`ll be back tomorrow with more building blocks of news on CNN STUDENT NEWS.