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Government Shutdown Possible; Update on Terror Attack on Kenyan Mall; College Athletes Protesting NCAA Rules

Aired September 25, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET





UNIDENTIFIED GIL: Back to you, Carl.


AZUZ: Big thanks to Big Blue and to those students at Hamilton High for getting a starter today. Yesterday, we explained a little bit about the United Nations General Assembly, it`s annual meeting that`s happening this week in New York City. Leaders and representatives from around the world have come to the United Nations headquarters. They all get to make speeches to the General Assembly about issues they think deserve the U.N.`s attention. President Obama spoke yesterday morning. This is part of a president`s role as America`s chief diplomat, speaking on behalf of the country about international issues. President Obama talked about the civil war in Syria, the recent economic struggles in the U.S. and overseas. He also focused on Iran. In yesterday`s show we discussed the decades of tension between the U.S. and Iran. In his speech, President Obama talked about the possibility of the countries finding common ground.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The roadblocks may prove to be too great. But I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested.

From all the status quo we`ll only deepen Iran` isolation. Iran`s genuine commitment to go down a different path will be good for the region and the world. And we`ll help the Iranian people meet their extraordinary potential in commerce, in culture, in science and education.


AZUZ: Here are five things to know about a possible U.S. government shutdown. Number one, it`s up to Congress and the president to work this out. Congress has the job of passing spending bills that fund the U.S. government. And the president signs those bills in the law. The government`s financial year starts now next week, that`s why the deadline is October 1st.

Two, President Obama`s health care reform law: the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare factors in. Recent polls indicate public support for Obamacare is weakening. The Republican-led House of Representatives has voted to fund the government, but only if the health law is defunded, effectively killed. Neither the Democratic-led Senate nor the president will go for that. So, someone will have to compromise on Obamacare to avoid a shutdown.

Three, this wouldn`t be the first time the government has shut down. The last two times were in the 1990s, one of them lasting 21 days. It was the longest shutdown in American history.

Four, many Americans, though, maybe not everyone would notice. Some government workers would be furloughed, forced to take time off without pay. Vacation plans for millions would change because national parks and museums like the Smithsonian would be closed, and Americans wouldn`t be able to get passports or certain government loans until the shutdown ended. The government workers considered essential, the military, the FBI, air traffic control, the TSA, they`ll all stay on duty. Government medical coverage, Medicare or Medicaid would still be there for those who need it. And you`ll still get snail mail. Postal delivery wouldn`t change.

Five, the economic impact. It really depends on how long a shutdown would last: a few days likely wouldn`t have much impact. But a few weeks could make a dent in gross domestic product, and in a fragile economy, that could hurt.

An update for you now from Kenya. We`ve been reporting on a terrorist attack at the shopping mall in the nation`s capital city of Nairobi. Yesterday, Kenya`s president said security forces had "ashamed and defeated the gunmen." This all started on Saturday with the attack on the Westgate shopping mall. Al Shabab said it was responsible. This is a terrorist group based in Somalia, one of Kenya`s neighboring countries. The attack turned into a standoff. Then yesterday, security forces said they were making final sweeps through the mall. Kenya`s president said three floors inside had collapsed, although he didn`t explain what caused that. He described the country as bloodied, but unbowed.


ANNOUNCER: See if you can I.D. me. I`m an American organization that was founded in the early 1900. I have more than 1,000 members, mostly colleges and universities. My president is Mark Emmert, and my headquarters is in Indianapolis.

I`m the NCAA, and I`m responsible for creating and enforcing rules for college athletics.


AZUZ: One set of rules the NCAA focuses on is the eligibility of student athletes, specifically their amateur status. Many colleges athletes get scholarships, so playing sports can offset the cost of their education. But they don`t actually get paid to play. The group started by a former college players pushing for change. Last weekend, it organized an on-field demonstration.


SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Companies pay millions to advertise on athletes, so some college players thought, why not send out our own message? They grabbed sharpie Saturday and scribbled this on their armbands, towels and athletic tape. The letters A, P, U. All players united. 28 college football athletes from at least three major division one teams staged a polite unauthorized protest for NCAA reform.

RAMOGI HUMA, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL COLLEGE PLAYERS ASSOCIATION. Players really wanted to find a way to be more visible and vocal and to show unity.

GANIM: Ramogi Huma, a former UCLA linebacker and voice for reform, said it was the athletes` idea.

HUMA: The money is going to go to the places that always goes, and we`re talking about salaries for coaches, athletic directors conference commissioners, NSAA headquarters luxury boxes, you know, in the stadiums, but they are not being directed to take care of players` medical expenses, to invest in concussion research, brain trauma research to help protect the players that are generating the money. And even education.

GANIM: We here all the time the argument: the college athletes should be paid, since so many others cash in on what they do, but that`s not their only complain. They also say that if they get injured on the field, there is no guarantee their medical expenses will be paid. If they don`t graduate in four years, there is no guarantee they can still stay and get a degree.

Players at Northwestern, Georgia and Georgia Tech (inaudible) the All Players United pledge. The NCAA seemed surprisingly understanding, saying "As a higher education association, the NCAA supports open and civil debate regarding all aspects of college athletics. But it didn`t seem like they were open to talking about it after the Georgia Tech game, where about ten players participated.


GANIM: This was head coach Paul Johnson`s response.

JOHNSON: Heck (inaudible) you do. That now (inaudible), we`ll talk to them about it.

GANIM: Two players from two different schools have said they wanted to talk to CNN about the pledge later pulled out of the interviews.

We caught up with one player who participated, even though Tim Handler tried to discourage us from talking about it.

JEREMIAH ATTAOCHU, DEFENSIVE END, GEORGIA TECH: I might get in some trouble -- I know the guys out there (inaudible) to Georgia Tech and, you know, and don`t have (inaudible) and things like that. So, you know, just, you know, looking out very ...

GANIM: Huma later told CNN that as far as he knows, no players have been disciplined for participating.


AZUZ: We`re talking about this on our blog, and if you`re 13 or older, we hope you will too. There are benefits to being a student athlete, there are also potential risks. Do you think college players should get paid? The blog is up at

Also, if you`re already on Facebook, come find us and like us. We`re getting close to 100,000 likes, may be yours will put us over the top.

We had a bunch of states represented on our "Roll Call" so far this school year. Today, we are adding three more to the map -- starting in the Northeast, where we`ve got the Torrington High radars from Torrington, Connecticut. We also have our first school from the Dakotas, Rapid City High School and the Eagles from Rapid City, South Dakota and the Mackay minors from Mackay, Idaho round out today`s roll call.

George Dennehy was born with a disability. His birth parents gave him up for adoption, because they wanted him to have a better life.


GEORGE DENNEHY, MUSICIAN: I`d like to go around and tell people that anything`s possible, and I don`t want to hear the words "I can`t."

AZUZ: George Dennehy found that better life through music. He was born without arms, but as mom signed him up for music lessons when he was eight, George eventually found his way to play the guitar, playing as you can see, with his feet.

Now, Dennehy travels the world sharing his music and his message of perseverance.


AZUZ: I`m Carl Azuz, and here`s a moose on the lose: it`s running wild through the streets of one Colorado neighborhood. Well, it actually doesn`t look that wild and it`s not really in the street, it`s definitely not running.

But there is no denying, this is a moose, and this is not where it`s supposed to be. Authorities are making, too, bigger deal out of it. They`re hoping it`ll take off without causing any problems. I guess, in the meantime, the local residents will just have to make the moost of it.

As we hope for that here, we`re going to check out some more music from George Dennehy. So, please enjoy that, enjoy the rest of your day.