(CNN Student News) -- March 12, 2009
Today's Headlines - Learn about some of the stories making headlines from Alabama to Ireland.
Seeking Asylum - Discover how violence is leading many Mexicans to seek asylum in the U.S.
Female Force Comics - Read up on a new comic book series that features famous female politicians.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
Teachers: Please preview Today's Headlines segment. It addresses multiple, deadly shootings.
CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: I'm Carl Azuz and this is CNN Student News. We begin today with a look at the headlines. And teachers, we ask that you please preview this segment.
AZUZ: Officials in Samson, Alabama, say that their community is in shock following the deadliest crime in the state's history. On Tuesday, authorities say an alleged gunman went on a shooting rampage in two small towns, killing ten people, many of whom were members of his family. The suspect was later involved in a shoot-out with police, before taking his own life. Officials say the attacker had no known criminal record before carrying out Tuesday's assault and they have no idea of a motive behind the incident.
Tragic news from Germany as well, where 15 people were killed by a gunman near the town of Stuttgart. The violence erupted yesterday morning, when the suspected shooter opened fire at a school, killing 12 people and wounding seven others. He fled after police arrived, continuing his rampage for several hours before he was tracked down. Authorities are investigating how the attacker died. They say it appears that he took his own life after being injured when he exchanged fire with officers. A CNN reporter on the scene yesterday said police have no explanation for why the attack happened.
Hundreds of people are protesting against recent violence in Northern Ireland following the separate shootings of a police officer and two British soldiers there. Different militant groups have claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Ireland's prime minister says that the perpetrators "cannot and will not succeed." Many believe the shootings are related to a long-running conflict over whether Northern Ireland should remain part of Great Britain or become part of Ireland. On Tuesday, police arrested two men in connection with one of the attacks.
And the capital of Saudi Arabia is taking on an orange glow thanks to a massive sand-storm that struck the city of Riyadh. The storm blocked out the sun and caused more than 70 traffic accidents, according to local media. Some said it was the worst sand-storm they had ever seen in the Middle Eastern nation. The orange cloud forced all flights in and out of Riyadh to shut down, and it caused a temporary halt in oil exports at three ports in the nearby country of Kuwait.
Word to the Wise
GEORGE RAMSAY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: A Word to the Wise...
asylum (noun) a place offering safety, shelter or protection
AZUZ: The number of Mexicans seeking asylum in the U.S. is on the rise and many are looking to flee their country's increasing drug violence. More than 6,000 people died in Mexican drug wars last year and some U.S. law-makers are warning that the situation is threatening the stability of Mexico. Ed Lavandera explores the issue from both sides of the border.
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ED LAVANDERA, CNN REPORTER: From a tiny restaurant in El Paso, Texas, Jorge Aguirre and Emilio Gutierrez agreed to meet with us, two Mexican reporters in hiding. They say their articles criticizing Mexican government officials were met with death threats.
EMILIO GUTIERREZ SOTO, MEXICAN JOURNALIST [TRANSLATED]: The fear never ends. I had become a source of frustration for them.
LAVANDERA: Aguirre runs a website called "LaPolaka.com" He was on his way to a friend's funeral last November in Juarez, a fellow reporter who was assassinated, when his cell phone rang.
JORGE LUIS AGUIRRE, MEXICAN JOURNALIST [TRANSLATED]: They called and told me I was next.I went into shock. I thought I was going to die right there on the street corner.
LAVANDERA: Aguirre says he knows where the threat came from. He rushed his family into El Paso and hasn't been home since. Gutierrez has already requested asylum. Both men say politicians controlled by drug traffickers want them killed, Mexican government officials have denied this.
AGUIRRE [TRANSLATED]: If i go back they will kill me.
LAVANDERA: The number of Mexican citizens asking for asylum in the U.S. because they fear the violence in their home country has been going up. In 2003, there were 54 cases; that number jumped to 312 last year. But asylum isn't a sure bet. Less than half of those cases were approved last year. Applicants must show they're being persecuted for social or political reasons. There are business owners, even law enforcement agents, including three Mexican police chiefs, who refused the bribes of drug cartels. One of those worked in the small town of Palomas, on the border with New Mexico.
SHERIFF RAYMOND COBOS, LUNA CO., NEW MEXICO: It's pretty hard to fight that type of situation by yourself.
LAVANDERA: Sheriff Raymond Cobos knew the Palomas chief; he heard the chief was denied asylum and is hiding somewhere in Mexico.
COBOS: If I was interested in surviving and living another day and taking care of my family, protecting my family, I would have to give up my post because I wouldn't have anybody else to rely on.
LAVANDERA: And now we've learned the American attorney for the two Mexican reporters, says he's being threatened for taking their case. He says he's been followed on the U.S. side.
Do you view this as a threat on your life?
CARLOS SPECTOR, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: Yes, I've taken it very seriously. I've grown up in Mexico, I've lived in Mexico, I've lived on the border my entire life; I know how they function. It was clearly a threat that if I don't stop, something will happen.
LAVANDERA: Another reason for Emilio Gutierrez and Jorge Aguirre to remain hiding. Ed Lavandera, CNN, El Paso.
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RAMSAY: Time for the Shoutout! William Moulton Marston is credited with creating what comic super hero? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A) Batman, B) Wonder Woman, C) Superman or D) Catwoman? You've got three seconds -- GO! Wonder Woman is the creation of Mr. Marston. He also invented the lie detector test. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: Wonder Woman is arguably the most famous female comic book character, although she's certainly not the only one. And the Amazon Princess is about to get some company on the shelves from a few females who are a force to be reckoned with in the political world! Jason Carroll examines the story behind this new animated adventure.
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JASON CARROLL, CNN REPORTER: Supermodels cried foul when celebrities took over coveted fashion covers. Now superheros are taking a back seat as two new comic books are released featuring Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton and Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin.
DARREN DAVIS, PRESIDENT BLUEWATER PRODUCTIONS: It's kind of insane because right now the Hillary Clinton comic and the Sarah Palin comic have sold out through our distributor.
CARROLL: Darren Davis and Jason Schultz are the masterminds behind the new comicbooks, both represent Bluewater Productions, the company publishing the creations. They say its all part of their Female Force series.
JASON SCHULTZ, BLUEWATER PRODUCTIONS: These are very strong, independent, women that people want to know more about and what better to teach younger kids about these role models then through comic books.
CARROLL: Bluewater Productions hopes their comics will rival others put out by another company featuring President Barack Obama and Senator John McCain.
MAN IN COMIC BOOK STORE #1: It shows that comic books aren't just about guys in tights beating each other up. Its about information, it's about understanding people a little better.
MAN IN COMIC BOOK STORE #2: I think it just says like that women are important and it just shows people what they're all about.
CARROLL: Its no secret many comic book readers are young men. And much of the imagery in comics of women glorifies the female form. Bluewater Productions first cover version featuring Secretary of State Clinton was deemed "inappropriate" by some who saw a preview.
DARREN DAVIS, BLUEWATER PRODUCTIONS: We did an early rendition of the cover for Hillary Clinton that just really didn't, it was almost too comical, so we ended up changing it.
CARROLL: But will these new comics change readership by bringing in more young women?
LATOYA PETERSON, EDITOR, RACIALICIOUS.COM: Say there's a young student who is not motivated by reading a biography of Hillary Clinton, they would definitely be motivated by reading the comic book version or the graphic novel version of that.
CARROLL; Bluewater Productions is banking on that. They're also rolling out a comic for First Lady Michelle Obama, and Caroline Kennedy.
RICHARD LAERMER, CEO, RLM PUBLIC RELATIONS : Well, this is America if it sells it will do really well and if not it will always be thought of as a classic.
CARROLL: Next from Bluewater Productions comes a comic featuring Princess Diana, and then get ready for the Female Force media series. That will feature Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters. Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.
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AZUZ: Alright. We've been asking you guys to send us iReports with your thoughts on the recession. And just to prove how easy that is to do, we're going to explain the process in less than 30 seconds. First, and most important, get your parents' permission. Then, turn on a camera: video camera, digital camera, cell phone, any camera and record your thoughts about how the recession is affecting you, and how you're working through it. Then, go to the spotlight section at CNNStudentNews.com, find the link to submit your iReports. Log in, upload your video, and you might see yourself on our show! It's that easy, so get to it!
Before We Go
AZUZ: Before we go today, a shopping run that really gets the fur flying. Did your mom ever tell you not to leave the door wide open? Well, this is why! These devious deer darted inside a convenience store in Pennsylvania and went wild on the place! The clerks ran for cover and gave the animals free reign to roam about. In this kind of economy, you can't afford to turn away any customers.
AZUZ: Even if they're completely deer-ranged. D'oh! You guys have a great day. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.