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Shooting at LAX; Violence in Iraq

Aired November 4, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz. Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS. So as this new week begins, members of Congress are calling for better security at America`s airports. This comes after a shooting at one late last week. LAX, Los Angeles International Airport, is one of the busiest in the U.S. Last Friday, it was shut down after shots were fired inside the airport`s terminal three. Law enforcement officials say a gunman walked up to a security checkpoint and shot a TSA officer, killing him. Authorities say the gunman continued through the terminal, wounding two other TSA officers and one passenger. The alleged gunman was eventually shot by airport police and is now in the hospital.

The TSA officer who was killed was Gerardo Hernandez. He was working as a travel document checker. He is the first TSA officer to die in the line of duty since the agency was created in 2001. The TSA is the Transportation Security Administration. It was established after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in order to help make the nation`s airports and transportation systems more secure.

Our next story takes us to Iraq. The last U.S. combat troops left that country nearly two years ago, but the fighting never stopped. More than 6,000 people have been killed this year, including hundreds of people in the month of October. A lot of the violence comes from the conflict between Iraq`s Sunni and Shia populations. Those are the two largest sects of Islam. The civil war happening in Syria is also having an effect on what`s going on in Iraq.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The violence never really ended in Iraq. Much of the recent increase in attacks is blamed on the al Qaeda-led group, the Islamic State of Iraq. The U.S. military used to boast of the success of having broken the terrorist organization`s back, but now, nearly two years after the Americans fully withdrew, al Qaeda has undeniably resurrected itself. The country`s security forces were never really capable of stabilizing the nation, especially without U.S. support and technology. And let`s not forget that this is a nation where violence and politics go hand in hand.

The actions of the Shia-led government have made it easy for al Qaeda and other Sunni extremists to capitalize on the growing discontent, spread their influence, and increase their attacks. There have also been retaliatory attacks by the Shia against the Sunnis. And in recent months, the death toll has reached levels not seen in years.

The U.N. envoy to Iraq called it an accelerated surge in violence, an acceleration the Syrian civil war has helped fuel, blurring battle lines as Al Qaeda expanded its Iraq operation into Syria over the summer.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this legit? A deductible is what someone has to pay before insurance helps with costs.

It`s true. A deductible is an out-of-pocket payment that comes before insurance pays.

AZUZ: Different insurance plans have different deductibles, so it`s one factor that folks consider when they are buying insurance. Millions of Americans may have to get new health insurance. That`s because some of the requirements in the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, will force them to lose their current insurance. White House officials say that for most people, the new coverage is better coverage, but how do the costs measure up?


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Why are these people losing their plans or being forced to pay more? Most of the time it`s because they have plans that now don`t meet the minimum standards of the Affordable Care Act. That Affordable Care Act requires everyone get mental health, maternity care, and medication coverage. And out-of-pocket costs are now limited to $6,350 a year. That`s supposed to stop people from going bankrupt because of an accident of an illness.

Now, with a few exceptions, plans that don`t meet those minimum standards will be gone, and the new plans offered that follow Obamacare requirements, usually more expensive, because they have to cover all of those items. Now, this data so far mostly is anecdotal, right? But for example, we`re going to give you this example. Our Elizabeth Cohen spoke to a 34-year-old man who buys his own insurance. He`s now paying $173 a month with a $5,000 deductible. His new plan would cost $244 a month, with a deductible of more than $6,000. That costs more, but his old plan did not cover those things that are required by law. Maternity care, brand-name drugs, mental health care, and some routine illnesses like hernias and ear infections. Now, the administration says the expansion of coverage is necessary because you could face an accident or illness at any time, but some people feel they are too healthy to have to pay for all this coverage, coverage that they won`t use.

Christine Romans, CNN, New York.


AZUZ: This past Saturday, the city of Boston celebrated the Red Sox World Series championship. The victory parade made a symbolic and significant stop at the finish line of the Boston marathon. Red Sox players placed the World Series trophy on the line and draped a jersey with the words "Boston Strong" over it. That was the slogan that the city and team adopted as Boston recovered from the terrorist attack at the marathon finish line in April. That attack had an impact on another race that was run yesterday, the New York marathon. Security was a major priority for race organizers there, as you would imagine. At least 1,500 cameras were set up along the route. The race went off without a problem, but last year, it did not happen at all, and it wasn`t because of security issues. It was because of Super Storm Sandy. This year, runners and organizers were determined to get back on the road.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: On the streets of Baltimore, Karina Christiansen (ph) spent months preparing for the New York City marathon, adding up the miles and pushing down the memories of what happened to her home town.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had cousins in Long Island with four feet of water in their house.

FOREMAN: Last year, when Sandy washed over the city, it swept away the great race. City officials tried valiantly to run it as scheduled, but the massive property loss and human suffering proved too much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The best way to help New York City at this time is to say that we will not be conducting the 2012 ING New York City marathon.

FOREMAN: Now its return is being heralded as symbolic of the city itself. Back are 48,000 runners, pouring more than $300 million into the economy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s an important issue because of what happened last year.

FOREMAN: Back are the elite athletes like Olympian Meb Keflezighi. In 2009, he became the first American to win New York in more than two decades, and he`s brought some perspective.

MEB KEFLEZIGHI, NEW YORK MARATHON CHAMPION: You know, winning is not about first place. It`s about getting the best out of yourself.

FOREMAN: Back too are the millions raised for charity. Even with the cancellation last year, runners raised more than $30 million for groups like Back on My Feet, which helps the homeless. Karina is running for them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It shows the spirit of the marathon. It`s incredible, what people can overcome.

FOREMAN: In short that`s what`s the marathon`s return has been all about, a whole city overcoming the worst and getting back to its best, one step at a time.

Tom Foreman, CNN.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s time for the shoutout. What is the largest religion in India? If you think you know it, then shout it out. Is it Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism or Islam? You`ve got 3 seconds, go.

India is the world`s second most populated country, and around 80 percent of that population is Hindu. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.

AZUZ: Hinduism is the world`s third largest religion, and right now Hindus in India and in other countries around the world are celebrating Diwali, one of the religion`s major festivals. The word "Diwali" comes from a Sanskrit term that means row of lights. That`s exactly what you`ll see during the festival. Candles, bulbs, fireworks, lanterns. Traditionally, Diwali marks the victory of light over darkness. The lights are also meant to attract Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth. Diwali lasts for five days. This year, it started on November 3, and Hindus aren`t the only ones who celebrate it. Diwali is a tradition in the Sikh and Jain religions as well.

Today`s roll call is filled with lions, tigers, and bears, minus the lions and the bears. Yes, it`s just an all-tigers kind of day. Our first ones are up in Ohio at the Horizon Science Academy, Dayton downtown. Then we`ll catch up with the tigers from Timberlake Junior High out in Spirit Lake, Idaho. And over in Greensboro, North Carolina, we have the Triad Math and Science Academy Tigers.

The Statue of Liberty, the fumbleruski (ph), the hook and ladder. Football has its fair share of trick plays, but the one in this YouTube video has a new wrinkle. The holder hopping around like a monkey. I guess it`s supposed to be a distraction, and it works. The kicker lobs (ph) a pass into the end zone, and makes a 2-point conversion. The coaches at this high school team included the direct snap and jump pass when they drew up the play. As far as the holder`s simian show, I guess he was just monkeying around. And hey, a point after attempt is a perfect chance to try something that your teammates will get a kick out of. We`ll kick it back to your teachers and hope to see you again tomorrow for more CNN STUDENT NEWS.