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(CNN Student News) -- February 21, 2007
Al Qaeda Comeback? - Find out where U.S. officials believe al Qaeda may be rebuilding its network.
Lightbulb Ban - Illuminate your knowledge about Australia's plan to phase out incandescent bulbs.
Black History Month - Meet Chris Gardner, whose struggles through adversity have a Hollywood ending.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MONICA LLOYD, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hope your Wednesday is going well! From CNN Center, I'm Monica Lloyd and this is CNN Student News. In the remote mountains of Pakistan, signs appear suggesting al Qaeda is trying to rebuild. What can be done about the threat? In the houses and businesses down under, the government is turning off the lights. What will replace the bulbs Australians grew up with? And in the lives of some New Orleans students, parades become as symbolic, as they are celebratory. See a centuries-old city through their eyes.
LLOYD: The world's most infamous terrorist group may be trying to rebuild. Here's a bit of history: In October 2001, the U.S. accused Afghanistan of giving Osama bin Laden a safe place to operate al Qaeda. They're the group behind the September 11th attacks. When Afghanistan's ruling Taliban refused to turn over bin Laden, the U.S. led an attack against them and al Qaeda. Some members of the terrorist organization then scattered. Brian Todd tells us where they may be reassembling today.
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BRIAN TODD, CNN REPORTER: Is Osama bin Laden rebuilding his network inside Pakistan? U.S. officials tell CNN of more al Qaeda training-compounds there, that Pakistan's tribal region near the Afghan border has become a safe-haven for senior al Qaeda leaders. I asked CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen if bin Laden and his top lieutenant are directing operations there.
PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well clearly Ayman al-Zawahiri is in this area. According to other intelligence officials I've spoken to, bin Laden is in an area further north rather than right in this area of Waziristan, where kind of a lot of the central al Qaeda operation is going on.
TODD: What goes on there? Bergen says bomb-making instruction, more tactical cooperation with the Taliban...evidenced, he says, by more cross-border raids and suicide-bombings inside Afghanistan. But Bergen, and a U.S. official, tell CNN -- al Qaeda's operations in Pakistan have reached even further. Training plotters involved in the July, 2005 London bombings, and the thwarted attempt to bring down U.S. airliners over the Atlantic last summer. What could they do in the future?
BERGEN: One is do a radiological bomb in a major European city because it's quite within their capabilities, that's not a Chicken-Little scenario. Also they could bring down a commercial jet with a rocket-propelled grenade or a surface-to-air missile.
TODD: We asked Pakistan's ambassador to the United States: Are there al Qaeda training camps inside his country's borders?
MAHMUD DURRANI, PAKISTANI AMBASSADOR TO U.S: There may be an odd place, and when we find out we take it out. We have done recently. But to say they have re-established themselves, and that there are a lot of compounds and they have rejuvenated, that is incorrect.
TODD: The ambassador also disputes U.S. officials, who say a recent agreement between the Pakistani government and tribal-elders in that border-region -- some of them Taliban-sympathizers -- has led Pakistan's army to withdraw from there, and al Qaeda to regroup. He says the army is still conducting operations there, and the rejects any notion of American forces crossing into Pakistan to go after al Qaeda, even though U.S. forces have targeted al Qaeda militants there, from the air. Brian Todd, CNN Washington.
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Fast Facts: Pakistan
CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for some Fast Facts! Located in Southeast Asia between India and Afghanistan is the nation of Pakistan. A federal republic headed up by President General Pervez Musharraf governs the country's 165 million people. Ninty-seven percent of this population is Muslim. An estimated 24 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, though conditions have improved in recent years. Just under 50 percent of Pakistanis over age 15 can read and write, according to the CIA.
LLOYD: Australia's government is shutting off the country's lights. At least, all the incandescent ones. It's not a blackout: Research shows that regular light bulbs use more energy, and emit more greenhouse gases which are believed to be hurting the environment. The solution? Fluorescent bulbs-- like the ones that probably light your classroom. Gemma Haines brings us an illuminating report from down under.
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GEMMA HAINES, SEVEN NEWS: It's brightened up our lives for more than a century. But for these kids, the humble light globe is about to become history.
MALCOLM TURNBULL, ENVIRONMENT MINISTER: We want to phase these light bulbs out.
HAINES: Keen to prove its green credentials, the government wants to phase out the globes by 2009. Ditching them in favor of less energy hungry devices, like fluorescent lights.
TURNBULL: We'll be putting four million tones less carbon into the atmosphere than we are today.
HAINES: The traditional light bulb accounts for around 12 per cent of household greenhouse gas emissions. Building and environmental groups believe it's a step in the right direction.
DAVID HALLETT, ARCHICENTRE, MELBOURNE: People are very keen to do what they can. They may not be able to do much but every little bit is going to help.
DON HENRY, AUSTRALIAN CONSERVATION FOUNDATION
SUNRISE: The old incandescent light bulbs are really inefficient in fact they waste 95 per cent of the electricity going into them it goes off as heat.
HAINES: But some retailers warn it'll be a nightmare to implement.
ALAN FRASER, LIGHTING RETAILER, PERTH: If you want to put a larger wattage in this particular fitting like so, it will not fit into the fitting.
HAINES: They're more expensive to buy up front, but fluorescent globes like these - over the longer term - can actually cut your power bill by up to $10 a year for every light.
TURNBULL: This is a win win. A win for the environment and a win for household budgets.
HAINES: In Canberra, Gemma Haines, Seven News.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Black History Month: Clarence Thomas
KALEN, 6TH GRADE, NEWPORT, NC: Clarence Thomas was born in Pinpoint, Georgia on June 23, 1948. In 1974, he graduated from Yale University. In 1990, Thomas was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals by President Bush, Sr. In 1991, Clarence Thomas was promoted to the U.S. Supreme Court justice, replacing the retired Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. He still resides on the bench as a Supreme Court justice. Remembering Clarence Thomas, this Black History Month.
LLOYD: We thank Mr. Koczot's class in Newport, North Carolina for that submission. Our Black History Month coverage continues now with a story so good, they made a movie out of it. "Rags to riches" may be a common Hollywood theme, but Christopher Gardner's success comes much more from hard work, than luck. Tony Harris describes a pursuit that brought Gardner, much more than happiness.
THANDIE NEWTON: What are you going to do for money?
WILL SMITH: I got an interview with Dean Witter for an internship. And I got it. So, I am going to stand out in my program.
NEWTON: Salesman to intern is backwards.
SMITH: No it's not.
TONY HARRIS, CNN REPORTER: As depicted in the 2006 film, Pursuit of Happyness, Chris Gardner's life had its share of disappointments. Soon after his marriage fell apart in the early 1980's, he was forced to raise his son on the streets of San Francisco as he desperately attempted to make a living. Despite his many challenges, Gardner never allowed hopelessness to fester. His spirit, although sometimes close, was never broken. These moments were recaptured by this year's Oscar nominee, Will Smith during his heartfelt performance.
CHRIS GARDNER: In your darkest days when it's all on the line, the only person you can count on is you.
HARRIS: And that he did. Today, Gardner is a business powerhouse. But more importantly he is a committed philanthropist who sponsors charitable organizations that target youth and homelessness.
GARDNER: Money is the least significant aspect of wealth. You do get to a point in you life that what's important to all of us is our health, our children and some degree of happiness.
LLOYD: We've assembled not one, but two learning activities to help your students explore Black History Month in more detail. Head to CNN.com/education for a free exercise that will help your students better understand the significance of this occasion... By designing their own museum dedicated to black history! They'll also take a historian's view of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior's written works.
Kids of the Storm
LLOYD: CNN took on a pretty cool project recently in New Orleans. Along with film director Spike Lee, we gave cameras to 11 students and asked them to document their lives. The reason: The city's continued struggle to rebuild from Hurricane Katrina. The time: What better time than Mardi Gras? The result: This report from three young correspondents in their own words.
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CORNELL: Hi,my name is Cornell. I'm am 16 years old. I live in New Orleans. I am from Chalmette, Louisiana. I go to a school in New Orleans called Opair Walker High School.
BRITNEY RUAZ: Hi, my name is Britney Ruaz. I am a tenth grader at Chalmette High School. Before the hurricane, you just went to the parades just to have fun. Now, to actually meet with family, meet with long friends you haven't seen in a while, and to show that we are here. We are standing strong for a place that we love to live.
JERRELL EDISON: I am Jerrell Edison. I am 16 years old. Live in New Orleans, Louisiana and I attend McDonough 35 Senior High School. This is my school marching.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LLOYD: We hope you enjoyed today's program...And we'll have an all-new edition for you first thing tomorrow. Meantime, more Headline News is coming your way!
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