(CNN Student News) -- March 9, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: This Tuesday, March 9th, CNN Student News is going global; we have a lot of headlines to tell you about from around the world. Our first story today takes us to Turkey.
AZUZ: Some residents there are dealing with the effects of an earthquake that killed more than 50 people. More than 70 others were injured by the quake. It struck early Monday morning. It had a magnitude of 5.9, so not as powerful as some of the tremors recently we've seen from Haiti and from Chile, but like those earthquakes, this one was followed by dozens of aftershocks. It happened in the southeastern part of Turkey.
The Middle Eastern country, it's a little bit bigger than the U.S. state of Texas. It's located between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. The quake hit in Turkey's Elazig province. It's located in a mountain region. In some of the cities there, many homes are made out of mud, instead of concrete. Turkish authorities say most of those were destroyed, although other buildings, like schools, are still standing. Relief efforts are already getting going. One official said residents "are sad, but they are calm." He added that the country is meeting the victims' needs.
Just to give you some background, Turkey was established as a country in 1923 from part of what remained of the Ottoman Empire. It's home to about 77 million people. It's also no stranger to powerful earthquakes. In 1999, two quakes hit near Istanbul, Turkey's largest city. Those killed at least 20,000 people. Monday's tremor hit near the point where two major fault lines meet. It's an area that some scientists describe as unstable.
Is this Legit?
MATT CHERRY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this legit? Pakistan is east of Afghanistan. Legit! The two countries share a border that's more than 1,500 miles long.
AZUZ: The Taliban, a militant, Islamic group you've heard a lot about lately has caused violence in both of those countries, and it says it's responsible for this suicide bombing in Pakistan. The attack happened in Lahore, Pakistan's second-largest city. It's located on the opposite side of the country from Afghanistan. The blast targeted a law enforcement agency. It killed at least a dozen people, injured more than a hundred others. Many of those victims were being treated at nearby hospitals. A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban said the attack was a response to what he called U.S. aggression against Muslims around the world. A Pakistani official says the Taliban is trying to destabilize the country. But the government, he says, will not let them succeed.
AZUZ: Hopping back over that border to Afghanistan, where U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates made an unscheduled visit yesterday. Secretary Gates said part of the reason he was there was to get an update on Operation Moshtarak. We've told you a lot about that in recent weeks. Moshtarak is a military offensive against the Taliban; it's focused on the city of Marjah. Gates arrived in the capital city of Kabul on Monday. He was scheduled to meet with Afghan president Hamid Karzai as well as General Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. During the visit, the defense secretary said Marjah is just part of the fight.
U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY ROBERT GATES: Of course, the operation in Marjah is only one of many battles to come in a much longer campaign focused on protecting the people of Afghanistan.
AZUZ: The day before Secretary Gates arrived in Afghanistan, President Karzai, along with General McChrystal, went to Marjah to talk to the people there about the fight against the Taliban. Phil Black has more on that.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: President Hamid Karzai traveled to Marjah to tell its population the Taliban would not be coming back. Hundreds filled a mosque to hear him speak and to tell him what they thought. They didn't hold back. They demanded schools, roads, hospitals and an honest police force. The president promised to rebuild their town.
HAMID KARZAI, AFGHANISTAN PRESIDENT: I heard them. They heard me. They had some very legitimate complaints. Very, very legitimate. They felt as if they were abandoned which, in many cases, is true.
GEN. STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL, COMMANDER, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY ASSISTANCE FORCE: What I heard today is frustrations with things that people are going to be frustrated with war. But there's always frustration with the costs of war and how we operate.
BLACK: General McChrystal's strategy is at work here: push the Taliban out, then stay and hold the ground while local government, police and services are established. But the population is skeptical. The Taliban have been cleared out before and allowed to return.
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! What is this activity better known as? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it called: A) Clogging, B) Krumping, C) Popping or D) Stepping? You've got three seconds -- GO! What you just saw was an example of stepping! That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: Stepping's been part of African-American culture for decades, especially on college campuses. Around 16 years ago, one sorority at a university in Arkansas taught the members of another sorority how to step. But when that second sorority took the title at a national competition last month, it stepped into the middle of controversy. Don Lemon explains why and what happened afterward.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: This is stepping, a proud mix of tribal dance infusing military drills and popular culture. Dominated by African American fraternities and sororities for decades, until the ladies of Arkansas's Zeta Tau Alpha, an all-white team, stepped into a national competition and nailed it.
RYAN CAMERON, EMCEE, RADIO PERSONALITY: Who do you all think it is? That's right. It is the Zetas. Zetas, Zetas, Zetas, first place.
LEMON: Their win stunned the crowd of nearly 5,000 people. The emcee told the audience, don't be so surprised.
CAMERON: I saw you. I saw you. You're like... Stepping is for everybody. If you can step, you can step.
LEMON: Then came YouTube and worldwide reaction. Some said it was cultural theft: "I wish you white people would stop stealing everything from us. Can we just have one thing for ourselves?" "Stepping is for us, not them." Others saw it differently, writing "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." "Black, white, green, purple, who cares? This is good stuff by young people who have worked hard."
Deandre Clark, a former stepper, was at the show and understands why people are so passionate.
DEANDRE CLARK, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY, AFRICAN-AMERICAN MALE INITIATIVE MENTORING PROGRAM: A lot of people might feel as though someone who didn't, does not have this background, how could they truly understand what it means to be out there stepping? At the same time, it could, on the other hand, it can make you happy to see that stepping is starting to go further than just African-Americans.
LEMON: Now adding to the intrigue, nearly a week after the competition, organizers said there was a scoring discrepancy. So, first place that originally went to the Zetas, will now be shared with the Alpha Kappa Alphas from Indiana University. They share the title, but not the money. They both get $100,000 in scholarships. Don Lemon, CNN, Atlanta.
AZUZ: This is the kind of story we love to hear your opinions on. We want you to head to our Web page, CNNStudentNews.com. Scroll down. Click on our blog, From A to Z, to share your thoughts. Should stepping be exclusive? Should everyone be able to take part? We want to know what you think. And remember, we only want to see your first names on our blog.
Legos for Haiti
AZUZ: In Pella, Iowa, dozens of young people are involved in a contest that's all about building something out of Legos. Every participant has to pay an entry fee, but the winners don't get any money for a very good reason.
TITUS HOPKINS, LEGO CONTEST ORGANIZER: We were trying to find a way to raise money for Haiti.
AZUZ: And so far they've raised more than $1,700! The little guy you saw there, Titus Hopkins, he's the one who came up with the idea for a Lego contest. And it's inspiring similar events in California and New York, the money going to help feed young Haitians.
Before We Go
AZUZ: All right, we never like to leave you without something kind of off the wall, so before we go today, our last story: We want you to brace yourselves, 'cause this is gonna get ugly. That is what Rascal does best. The rough-looking rover won this ugly dog contest in California. But it's not all about repelling pooches. There were prizes for best costume. We assume he battered the competition. And if this guy didn't take home the title for coolest canine, we're gonna ask for a recount. Of course, all of this is for a good cause; it's to raise money for local animal charities.
AZUZ: ...because, I mean, we gotta face it, it's a dog-eat-dog world out there. Doggone it, we're out of time. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz. We will look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Have a great day!