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U.S. Conducts Two Anti-Terror Raids on Same Day; Federal Government Still Shut Down; Upcoming Fight Over Debt Ceiling

Aired October 7, 2013 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Hi. I`m Carl Azuz. Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS. On September, 20th 2001 President George W. Bush declared the U.S. war on terror. It`s something you`ve grown up with. Two U.S. military operations that happened this weekend show it`s not over. The operations were both in Africa, in countries that are 3,000 miles apart. The first was in the Libyan capital of Tripoli. This is Abu Anas al Libi. He is the member of the al Qaeda terrorist organization. Early Saturday morning, a group of ten men surprised him on his way back to his home. The men were U.S. Special Operations Forces. A terrorism expert says that in a very precise operation the men snatched al Libi and were gone. He was one of the FBI`s most wanted terrorists because of his alleged role in two bombings in 1998. More than 200 people were killed and another 5,000 wounded when the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were attacked by al Qaeda.

Libya`s interim government called the U.S. capture of al Libi a kidnapping. It wants an explanation from Washington. An American officials said the Libyan government knew about the operation.

The other weekend operation happened just a few hours earlier. This was in the nation of Somalia, at a compound controlled by al Shabaab. Now, that`s the terrorist group that was responsible for last month deadly attack in the shopping mall in Kenya. Al Shabaab is also affiliated with al Qaeda.

On Saturday, a group of U.S. Navy SEALs raided the compound in Somalia. A firefight broke out and the SEALS eventually withdrew. They couldn`t confirm whether their target was killed, but no Americans were hurt in the raid.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the two raids should send a clear message that the United States will never stop in its effort to hold those accountable who conduct acts of terror.


ANNOUNCER: It`s time for "The Shoutout." Which of these states is part of Tornado Alley? If you think you know it, then shout it out.

Is it West Virginia? Nebraska? Nevada? Or Tennessee? You`ve got three seconds, go. Nebraska is part of the region known as Tornado Alley. The state sees around 50 twisters per year. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.

AZUZ: At least one tornado touched down in Nebraska last Friday. This storm flipped cars, raptured a gas line in the city of Wayne, Nebraska. You can see some of the damage that it left behind right here. The mayor of Wayne said luckily no one was killed. Tornadoes usually hit in the spring and early summer, so the timing of this one was a little unusual.

That wasn`t the only severe weather around U.S. this weekend. A strong winter storm slammed parts of South Dakota and Wyoming. National Weather Service said reports of 20 inches of snow or more are pretty common throughout the region, some spots got up to four feet of snow.

And in Louisville, Kentucky, residents waded through knee-high water when heavy rains led to flooding there. More than 80 people were evacuated from their homes, rescue crews had to use boats to get some of them to shelter.

One severe weather threat turned out not to make much of an impact. Tropical Storm Karen was degraded to a tropical depression before it fizzled out over the Gulf of Mexico Sunday. It broke out before it reached land.

Much of the U.S. government is still shut down. National parks are closed, certain government services and reports were delayed. But there are two bright spots for many government workers who have been furloughed, forced to take time off without pay.

One, the House passed a bill Saturday that promised they would be paid eventually. The White House says the president would sign it, but we don`t know yet when the Senate will vote on it, that has to happen first. Two, about half of those federal workers sent home are being called back into work starting tomorrow. We`re talking about 400,000 people who are employees of the U.S. defense department. More than 3 million government workers were not affected by the shutdown.

Has it affected you? Have you noticed effects from the partial shutdown? If you`re at least 13 you can comment on our blog at If you`re already on Facebook, you can find us and like us at Student News. And if you`re on Twitter, we are #cnnstudentnews and #carlazuzcnn.

The debate over the shutdown is about how the U.S. government spends money. The debt ceiling is the limit on how much the government is allowed to owe for a spending it`s committed to. It`s a separate debate, but it`s one that`s heating up because the country is getting close to that ceiling.

The treasury secretary says if the U.S. hits it, the consequences would be unthinkable.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Take a look right over there. October, 17th. That is the red letter date according to the Treasury, that is the date, upon which the government will have $30 billion to pay its debts, and that`s a lot of money, but not compared to the money we owe. About $60 billion on that day. So, what are they going to do? Same thing you do if you had this kind of problem in your house? They`re going to look at everything they can spend money on and pick some priorities.

For example, they might put money into Social Security, because that`s an important group a lot of people count on, maybe some money into the interest on the debt, to keep it from getting any worse. How about some money into Medicare and then maybe something into veterans and the military, and perhaps some money into Supplemental Security Income, and then there is the problem: the money is all gone, and yet hundreds of thousands of federal workers are now being unpaid, all sorts of agencies are not being serviced, the FBI, the FAA, and many others. So, what can they do?

Well, first of all, they can realize that revenue keeps coming in, and because a little bit comes in every few days, they could try to fund everybody to sort of a subsistence level, not really making them healthy, but keeping them from closing down. But that`s not really the solution, is it? No, everybody here seems to agree the real solution is getting the debt ceiling solved, so there is enough money to pay for everything fully, but that`s a whole different fight. And until it`s solved, that red letter date just keeps looming.



ANNOUNCER: See, if you can I.D. me. I`m part of the U.S. government. My annual term starts on the first Monday in October. I was established by Article 3 of the U.S. Constitution. My members have included John Jay, Thurgood Marshall and Sandra Day O`Connor.

I`m the U.S. Supreme Court, the highest court in the land.


AZUZ: You know the Supreme Court is the highest court in the U.S. Here are five things you might not know about it.

Number one, it`s made up of nine justices. Not judges, justices. And those nine include the chief justice of the United States. The Constitution gives Congress the power to determine the number of justices, but it doesn`t say they have to be lawyers or judges first. It also doesn`t` say how old they have to be to serve on the court. The president nominates the justices, it`s up to the Senate to confirm them and once that`s done, they can serve as long as they want, unless they are impeached.

Two, Supreme Court justices decide what cases they`ll hear. Every year about 7,000 petitions or cases are brought before the court. 70 percent of them are turned away. The court usually hears two arguments per day on the cases it chooses. Its terms start in October, and they end whenever the court has heard all the cases it said it would.

Third thing, this is a different kind of courtroom. There`s no jury, there are no witnesses. Justices review each case in the form of a printed record. Then they throw questions to attorneys on each side of the case. Sometimes things get emotional, sometimes there`s laughter.

Fourth, no cameras are currently allowed in the Supreme Court, but that could change. This has been debated in recent years with some justices saying it would make the court more open to the public; others saying they might have a negative impact on the arguments. The court does allow audio recordings to be played after proceedings are finished, but as far as visuals go, you can only see sketches of what happens inside.

Number five, only one U.S. president has also been a Supreme Court justice. William Howard Taft served as president of the United States from 1909 to 1913, and then as chief justice of the United States from 1921 to 1930.

Check it, we`re adding three more states to our roll call map, and to do it, we`re leaving the contiguous and continental United States. But we start in Nevada, with the Las Vegas Wild Cats from Las Vegas High School. Thank you for watching. Next we`re going to hop over to Alaska and check in with the Colony High School Knights. Hello, everyone. Finally, the Chargers from Pearl City High School in Hawaii put the 50th state on our roll call map.

Wrapping things up now with a tale out of Canada. Here it is. It`s a tail, dinosaur tail, or at least a fossil of one. A construction crew accidentally dug it up last week when its equipment hit a rock with the tail inside. The crew immediately stopped working, which is good news for fossil fanatics. It turns out the rock is pretty fragile, and if the crew had kept digging, the fossil would have fallen apart. If that had robbed scientists of the chance to check out this dino, you can bet it would have been a sore subject. Thankfully, that`s not how the tale ended, but we have reached the tail end of today`s show, so we hope you have a great day. We`ll see you tomorrow.