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CNN Student News Transcript: December 7, 2007

  • Story Highlights
  • Discover some of the security measures in place at a mall in Israel
  • Examine the role of religion in the current U.S. presidential campaign
  • Mark the anniversary of the Japanese attack on the U.S. base at Pearl Harbor
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(CNN Student News) -- December 7, 2007

Quick Guide

Mall Tragedy - Discover some of the security measures in place at a mall in Israel.

Religion & Politics - Examine the role of religion in the current U.S. presidential campaign.

Day of Infamy - Mark the anniversary of the Japanese attack on the U.S. base at Pearl Harbor.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: You've made it to Friday with CNN Student News, and we're glad to have you with us as we wrap up the week. Hi, everyone. I'm Carl Azuz.

First Up: Mall Tragedy

AZUZ: First up, residents in Omaha, Nebraska, are still coming to grips with Wednesday's shooting at the Westroads shopping mall. Police are working to gather information on the gunman, who authorities say opened fire in a department store, killing eight people before then turning the gun on himself. Five others were wounded in the attack. The incident is raising questions about security at malls in America. Kelli Arena tells us about a shopping center in Israel and the safety measures being taken there to prevent a similar kind of attack.


KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: This mall in Jerusalem may look like many in the United States, but just try getting inside.

GIDEON AVRAMI, MALL SECURITY DIRECTOR: The major check is done here. And in the case something goes wrong, it will be out of the mall and not inside.

ARENA: The security is intense. Gideon Avrami, who is in charge of keeping shoppers safe, says there are armed guards patrolling the perimeter.

AVRAMI: One of the guys puts a binocular, watches the mountains around, the buildings around, mostly to be seen.

ARENA: Cars coming in to the parking lot are searched and shoppers go through metal detectors. Gil Kerlikowski, Seattle's police chief, and the group of U.S. law enforcement officials that he traveled to Israel with got an up-close look at the security measures. Here, the private sector works hand-in-hand with Israeli police, a relationship Kerlikowski says should be emulated with businesses in his area.

CHIEF GIL KERLIKOWSKI, SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT: I think I need to do a much better job embracing them and going out to them, not waiting for them to knock on my door.

ARENA: Heavy security is just part of the offensive; intelligence gathering is equally important.

AVRAMI: Once there is knowledge or intelligence about suicide bombing, it goes from the Israeli security services immediately to the police. From the police, it goes immediately to the private sector. When I am saying about immediately, I am saying about minutes.

ARENA: The fight against terrorism encompasses nearly every facet of Israeli life, something experts here do not believe the U.S. is ready for. Kelli Arena, CNN, Jerusalem.


Religion & Politics

AZUZ: Shifting gears a bit now, there's a saying that if you don't want to start an argument, don't talk about religion and politics. There is one presidential candidate who is doing just that though, Mitt Romney, hoping to become the first Mormon president of the United States. Yesterday, he gave a speech at former President George H.W. Bush's presidential library in Texas. Romney talked about his view on the role of religion in America and the role that he thinks it should play in picking a presidential candidate.


MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A person should not be elected because of his faith, nor should he be rejected because of his faith. Let me assure you that no authorities of my church, or of any other church for that matter, will ever exert influence on presidential decisions.


AZUZ: The U.S. has never had a Mormon president. But there have been 11 Episcopalians elected to lead the country. It's one of ten different denominations that have been represented in the White House, and three presidents didn't practice any specific denomination. So, what does this matter? How important is a candidate's faith to voters? Jill Dougherty looks at the role of religion in today's politics.


JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN REPORTER: If Mitt Romney is elected President, he would be the first Mormon in U.S. history to hold that post. Some Americans say, "Who cares?"

PERSON ON THE STREET: I don't think religion has a place in politics. Separation of church and state is a founding principle, I believe.

DOUGHERTY: The Constitution of the United States enshrines separation of church and state: no government-established religion; freedom for everyone to practice their own brand of faith, or no faith. But in today's America, even presidential debates feature question on the Bible.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Does that mean you believe every word?

ROMNEY: You know... yes, I believe it's the word of God; the Bible is the word of God.

DOUGHERTY: Up to now, Mitt Romney has tried to avoid direct comment on his Mormon religion, even though more than any other candidate -- Republican or Democrat -- he's viewed as very religious, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.

PERSON ON THE STREET: I think the fact that he has a faith, and he has a faith-actioned life, is even more salient to me that his values are important for this country.

DOUGHERTY: That usually is a big plus among the crucial voting block of evangelical Christians, who comprise 30% of all Republican voters and have particular strength in election primary states. The problem for Romney, according to the poll, is that more than one-in-three evangelical Republicans have reservations about voting for a Mormon, a much higher level than voters overall.

The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints, as it's formally called, was founded in rural New York in 1830, when Joseph Smith, believed by the church to be a prophet of God, said he found golden plates buried by ancient Israelites who once lived in America. Early practices now long forbidden, like polygamy, still affect the church's image. Yet it's now the sixth largest denomination in the U.S. and is growing internationally. Some evangelicals, however, consider the Mormon church a cult.

DOUGHERTY: As Mitt Romney delivered his speech on faith, he followed in the footsteps of another presidential candidate: John F. Kennedy.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, U.S. PRESIDENT, SEPTEMBER 12, 1960: I am not the Catholic candidate for President. I am the Democratic party's candidate for president who happens also to be a Catholic.

DOUGHERTY: Kennedy said he "believed in a president whose religious views were his own private affair." But the political landscape in the U.S. has shifted dramatically since 1960. Now, even Democrats must walk a fine line, trying to avoid alienating the so-called "values" voters.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think your faith guides you every day; certainly mine does.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Faith can inform what we do.

DOUGHERTY: Romney claims he is not running for "pastor in chief." But this is the election primary season, where the faithful play a crucial role. And Mitt Romney is on a crusade for every faith voter he can find. Jill Dougherty, CNN, Washington.



AZUZ: James Brown, once called "the Hardest Working Man in Show Business." But many people never knew the complicated person behind the legendary on-stage performer. CNN Special Investigations Unit looks at the life and legacy of the musical icon. This program airs on CNN this coming Monday, and you can find our free curriculum guide at


GEORGE RAMSAY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Mr. Larson's History classes at Grace-St. Luke's Episcopal School in Memphis, Tennessee! In what year did Hawaii become a U.S. state? If you think you know it, shout it out. Was it: A) 1867, B) 1903, C) 1959 or D) 1976? You've got three seconds -- GO! Hawaii became the 50th U.S. state on August 21, 1959! That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Day of Infamy

AZUZ: Hawaii is also home to the U.S. Pacific Fleet. The Navy group's headquarters have actually been located there since 1941, more than 15 years before Hawaii even became a state! The fleet consists of about 200 ships and nearly a quarter-million sailors and Marines. It moved into its base at Pearl Harbor in February of '41. And 10 months later, the base became the site of a turning point in the history of America and the world.


UNIVERSAL NEWSREEL: Our great Pacific outpost in the Hawaiian islands is ruthlessly bombed.

AZUZ: Walk up to any American who was alive that day, say "December 7th, 1941," and there's a good chance you'll hear the reply: "a date which will live in infamy," President Franklin D. Roosevelt's words after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. The next day, only one congressman dissented when the U.S. declared war.

UNIVERSAL NEWSREEL: Our loss in warships and planes was high.

AZUZ: The assault came as a complete surprise, and that was part of the Japanese plan executed just before 8 o'clock that Sunday morning. The bombing killed more than 2,300 Americans, sank several U.S. battleships and destroyed more than 180 aircraft. A Japanese admiral hoped the attack would make the U.S. want peace, allowing Japan to expand in the Pacific. The effect was the opposite.

UNIVERSAL NEWSREEL: Overnight, this nation was united in an all-out determination to avenge the hideous assault on American lives and property.

AZUZ: The battle cry at the time: Remember Pearl Harbor. 66 years later, Americans still remember.




AZUZ: And as we say goodbye for today, we leave you with images of the National Christmas Tree lighting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Have a great weekend, everyone. I'm Carl Azuz. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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