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CNN 10

Obama Visits Afghanistan; May Day Protests

Aired May 02, 2012 - 04:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED STUDENTS: Hey, y`all, welcome to East Rutherford High School.

Take it away, Carl.

CARL AZUZ, HOST: Thanks to the Cavaliers and Mrs. Danner`s class for that amazing introduction.

In just a few minutes, we explain an airline`s unique idea to cut costs.

First up, though, we`re heading to Afghanistan. That`s where President Obama was yesterday, making a surprise visit to the country. It happened on the one year anniversary of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The terrorist leader was once in Afghanistan as a guest of the group that ruled most of the country, the Taliban.

And it`s the Taliban whom U.S., Afghan and international forces have been fighting during the war in Afghanistan.

Plans for U.S. troops to leave the country are moving forward. President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed a deal yesterday that outlines how the countries will work together after most of those troops have left.

The FBI says five men are in custody after allegedly planning to blow up a bridge in Ohio. The suspects were arrested Monday evening, as part of a sting operation run by the FBI. They`ve been charged with conspiracy and attempted use of explosives.

Authorities say the men`s plan targeted this bridge. It`s in the Cuyahoga County National Park, about 15 miles south of Cleveland, Ohio. Officials say the men planned to detonate explosives that would bring down the bridge.

These are the five suspects. They range in age from 20 to 35 years old. The FBI says the men never posed any real danger to the public. The explosives they were planning to use were fake. The suspects got them from an undercover FBI agent.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just the Facts -- May Day takes place every year on May 1st. The event is a celebration of spring. It`s also used to celebrate working people. That`s why it`s known in some countries as International Workers Day. May Day is celebrated around the globe and it`s often used as a day of protest.

AZUZ: You remember the Occupy movement that got a lot of attention last fall?

It was based around protesters gathering in different U.S. cities, especially in New York at Wall Street. On Tuesday, some of the members tried to launch Occupy May Day rallies across the country. Those were just some of the events that happened yesterday.

Michael Holmes gives us a global rundown on May Day.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In London and across much of Europe, May Day marches served as a rallying cry against severe austerity measures, high unemployment and deep wage cuts.

In Greece, thousands of workers, pensioners and students marched peacefully to the parliament building in Athens.

In Spain, union workers railing against their failing economy shut down much of the country with a general strike.

In France, many of the protesters were young people unhappy with their high levels of unemployment and increasing college costs.

HABIB GNLENGUE, FRANCE`S NATIONAL STUDENT UNION: There are less and less people now who can afford education and more and more graduate students who cannot find a job.

AZUZ: But it was a celebratory mood in Moscow, as Russia`s president elect, Vladimir Putin, and the outgoing head of state, Dmitry Medvedev, joined more than 100,000 people in a march through the capital.

In the United States, the Occupy movement looked to regain its relevancy and turn the holiday into a day of disruption, with protests planned in more than 100 cities.

Occupy Wall Street members in New York called for a day without the 99 percent, referring to its slogan that a wealthy 1 percent rules over an increasingly powerless majority.

A much different scene in Cuba, where a massive crowd paraded through the streets of Havana, ending up in a celebration in Revolution Square.

In Indonesia, thousands of workers marching in Asia`s biggest May Day rally demanding better pay and job security.

Flag carrying activists also marched in Hong Kong, as well as in Tokyo.

And in Manila, several thousand Filipinos marched on the presidential palace, carrying banners with slogans like, "Raise our pay now!" and "Fight for socialism!"

Michael Holmes, CNN, Atlanta.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See if you can I.D. me. I am a type of facility that was first opened in the 1800s. Originally, I was designed to process crude oil into kerosene. Now, I can be used to process a variety of products, the most important of which is gasoline.

I`m a refinery and I use processes like distillation, conversion and blending.

AZUZ: Delta Airlines is planning to buy its own oil refinery. The head of the company said it`s a creative approach to mentioning Delta`s largest expense, fuel costs.

Normally, an airline like Delta would buy fuel for its jets from the company that owns the refinery. That could mean paying additional costs for Delta and for its passengers. Fuel costs are factored into how much fliers pay for their tickets, so if fuel costs go up, everyone pays more.

Delta says that its plan to buy this refinery will save the company $300 million a year. The airline will spend about $100 million to upgrade the facility so it can focus more on jet fuel production.

One analyst called Delta`s decision "a gamble." He said, quote, "It could be a brilliant move or it could be an absolute disaster."

There`s a government report scheduled to come out on Friday. It happens every month. And it breaks down the latest U.S. unemployment statistics. Some analysts are expecting this month`s report to give some solid signs about whether the U.S. economy is getting better or if it`s slipping backward.

Mary Snow looks at the state of American jobs before that report comes out.


MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): No sign of an improving economy here in Queens, New York. More than 500 people applying for a shot at 50 slots at a local ironworkers union. Many of these people have been camped out for days, hoping for the promise of a steady job with health care. And it`s not just men.

IMANI CLARK, BRONX RESIDENT: I have two degrees in business and I`m here. You know, so I graduated from Monroe in 2010, Monroe College. And I haven`t been able to find a job in my field.

ANDY LYNAM, JOB SEEKER: I have a company in Arizona. And I`m shutting it down because I can`t afford the insurance on it anymore.

WARREN COMBS, JOB SEEKER: The economy is rough. Times is hard, you know. So, you know, people are just taking their chance.

SNOW: Despite the long wait, some see a silver lining in the jobs picture. Rich Milgram is one of them. He`s the CEO of the Career Network site, He says while the economy still has a long way to go to recover, the fact that it`s slow and steady is a good thing.

RICH MILGRAM, CEO, BEYOND.COM: We`re seeing a lot of job growth. And in construction, we`re seeing it normally higher than other areas, which is good news from a construction front.

SNOW: Electricians, plumbers and roofers, according to Milgram, have been in demand as the housing market improves. But there`s still a big divide when it comes to education.

The unemployment rate for college graduates is 4.2 percent. That rate nearly doubles for those without a college degree and it`s close to percent for high school dropouts.

The pace of job growth sputtered in March and the economy grew slower than expected in the first quarter. It`s raised questions about whether the recovery is for real or whether it`s backsliding. And that`s why economists will be closely watching April`s jobs report, out Friday.

ADOLFO LAURENTI, ECONOMIST: This is going to be critical, both for the health of our recovery and for political reasons. So all the eyes will be on the job report on Friday.

SNOW: Whether that report shows strong growth or not, only 50 out of the hundreds here will get a job.


AZUZ: Sometimes it pays to be a little on the shorter side. In fact, that`s why one firefighter was able to rescue a 1 -year-old child in Atlanta last weekend. The toddler was sitting on a storm drain cover. He stood up, lost his footing and slipped, dropping at least 20 feet to the bottom of the drain.

Firefighters raced to the scene to help get him out. But the only one who could do it was Rosa Tulles (ph). She`s the smallest person in the fire department, at 4`11" tall. She squeezed into a one foot opening and was lowered down to reach the child.


ROSA TULLA, RESCUED CHILD FROM STORM DRAIN: It was kind of hard to manipulate him, because he was afraid and he was just grabbing me. So I couldn`t bring him up. I had to push him up over my head.

I have boys so it`s kind of personal. And it just makes it all worth, you know, coming to work and being dropped down a hole to be able to hand them their baby back.


AZUZ: Before we go, we`ve got a sea creature with a can-do attitude.

It just looks like a can underwater, right?

But check out what`s hanging out of the end. It`s a little octopus that`s made this can its home. We mentioned the Occupy movement earlier, this is the Octopi movement. And apparently it`s moving day.

A CNN iReporter spent 45 minutes shooting video of this sucker off the coast of the Philippines. He described the octopus as smart, but shy.

It`s going to be tough to barricade itself away from the camera, though. I mean it took eight legs to open the can. It will take 10 to close it.

Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday.

For CNN STUDENT NEWS, I`m Carl Azuz.