(CNN Student News) -- May 5, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: We are CNN Student News, and this is Teacher Appreciation Week. So of course, we're going to have some of your tributes to teachers later in today's show. I'm Carl Azuz, welcoming everyone!
AZUZ: First up, officials have arrested a suspect in connection with a failed bombing plot in New York City. Authorities say that Faisal Shahzad has admitted he was involved with the incident. They're now calling that a "terrorist plot." Shahzad is a naturalized U.S. citizen. That means he was born in another country -- in this case, Pakistan -- but he became a U.S. citizen about a year ago. Officials said that they plan to charge Shahzad, whom you see in these pictures from Orkut.com, with an act of terrorism and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. Those charges filed in court yesterday. Attorney General Eric Holder said that since he's been in custody, authorities have been questioning Shahzad and that he's been giving them "useful information."
But we're gonna back up for you right now and go through the timeline to show you how we got to where we are right now. Saturday night, someone leaves an SUV in Times Square. A couple of street vendors notice it, tell police. Police find a makeshift bomb inside and disarm it. Now, we're into the search for a suspect. The SUV helps with that. Authorities figure out whom it belonged to, they contact that person, find out that he had sold the vehicle to Shahzad. So, where is Shahzad? He's trying to get out of the country. In fact, when police arrested him, he was on a plane that was about to head to the United Arab Emirates and then on to Pakistan. A couple things helped tip off authorities here. One: Shahzad was on the no-fly list. That helped officials track him down. Two: He paid for his ticket in cash at the counter; no reservation. That raised a red flag for the airline, which told airport security. Hours after Shahzad was arrested Monday night, security forces in Pakistan conducted a raid and took two or three people into custody. Pakistani officials say that raid was in connection to the Times Square plot.
AZUZ: Well, over in Tennessee, the Cumberland River is going back down and the weather forecast is looking better. But it's going to take a while to recover from this week's severe floods. Experts say the river topped out at nearly 12 feet above flood stage. It left homes underwater, destroyed roads. Officials are blaming the severe weather for more than two dozen deaths, including ten in the Nashville area. That city's mayor declared a state of emergency on Sunday. That lets Nashville ask for help from state officials, and it helps make it easier to get and give out supplies and services. More than a thousand people were rescued from the water over the weekend.
Downtown Nashville, hit hard by the storms. Here, you can see some of the flooding in the city's football stadium. In addition to being Tennessee's capital, Nashville is also known as the "country music capital of the world." It's home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry. The lower levels of both of those landmarks were flooded, too.
AZUZ: Florida's governor has also declared a state of emergency for 13 counties in his state. This is a response to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, every Gulf Coast state, from Louisiana to Florida, has asked the National Guard to help fight the spill. Meantime, BP -- that's the company that owns the well that this oil is gushing out of -- is trying to stop the leak at the source. Plan A -- use remotely operated subs to close a valve -- hasn't worked. Plan B? Brian Todd tells us about that.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON, D.C.: I'm Brian Todd in Port Fourchon, Louisiana, where we have access to something that you've never really seen before because they haven't really tried it before. This large, box-like structure right here is called the "pollution containment chamber."
It looks like a huge rusty box. But after so much futility, this might be the device that stops the massive oil flow in the Gulf. Forty feet high and weighing nearly a hundred tons, the pollution containment chamber is almost ready to be lowered on top of the leaking wellhead from the destroyed rig.
They've been working on this device for about a week now, and they're essentially cutting it to specs to fit this particular pipe that's leaking. We can't go up to the top there where those guys are welding because of the dangers, the hazards here. But here's how it's going to work: These two openings are going to be lowered on top of the leaking well. The leaking end of it's going to come out that window right there. There's another part of the well that's jutting out that will come out that opening right over there. This will be lowered and those flaps there in the middle will be sitting on the ocean floor to prevent this from sinking any further.
The idea is for this to plant down, clamp, then channel the oil to waiting surface containers. This is what they call the "top hat," the cap to the dome. It's going to be placed on top of it, essentially acting as the top of the funnel that's going to siphon the oil to the surface. A riser's attached to the other side, almost like a straw going to the surface to a ship that will carry the oil out.
Smaller versions of this have been successful before. Officials say this dome may be able to capture as much as 85 percent of the oil spewing from those pipes.
Is this the last, best hope to contain this spill?
JASON HOLVEY, WILD WELL CONTROL: I don't believe that's the case. If for some reason this did not work, there are a lot of brilliant minds working for BP right now. I'm sure there are multiple efforts going on parallel to ours.
TODD: But at the moment, those other efforts either aren't working or won't be ready as quickly. They're also building a smaller version of the pollution containment chamber. You see it going on right there, with this guy welding here. That's not going to be ready quite as quickly as the larger one. Now, the timetable for that larger one: they hope to finish that here in the yard by Wednesday. Then they've got to do some quality controls, get it onto a ship to transport it out there. They hope to lower that onto the leaking well by the end of this week. Brian Todd, CNN, Port Fourchon, Louisiana.
MATT CHERRY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Mr. Edwards' history classes at Niobrara County High School in Lusk, Wyoming! This is a picture of Timothy Geithner. What's his job? You know what to do! Is he the: A) NFL Commissioner, B) President of Harvard, C) Treasury Secretary or D) U.S. Poet Laureate? You've got three seconds -- GO! Timothy Geithner is the 75th secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
Tax on Banks?
AZUZ: Because that's his job, one of Secretary Geithner's responsibilities is to try and keep the U.S. economy stable. He thinks one way to do that is through a tax on banks. He talked about this on Capitol Hill yesterday. Specifically, the tax would be aimed at large banks that might have gotten help from the government during the financial crisis. Secretary Geithner says more than 99 percent of the country's banks won't be affected. But some people who are opposed to this tax argue it could cause problems for small businesses because it might be harder for them to get loans. A big part of all of this is risk. Banks sometimes make risky investments and loans. And under the proposed tax, the banks that take more risks would have to pay more.
AZUZ: Another part of the financial crisis is job cuts. You know that by now. A new survey looks at how many might be coming up where you are right now, in school. According to the report, more than 80 percent of U.S. school districts expect to cut jobs in the 2010-2011 school year. The survey interviewed administrators from 49 states. They're predicting that more than a quarter million positions will be let go. We're talking about teachers, nurses, administrators, cafeteria workers. Districts that don't cut jobs will probably put a freeze on hiring. The head of the group that took this survey says that while there are some signs that the U.S. economy is getting better, so far, it's just not happening in schools.
Teacher Appreciation Week
AZUZ: A few months ago, Anastasia wrote that the economy was forcing her school to cut back, but that it made everyone proud to see teachers trying to cheer students up, even though the teachers were losing their jobs. She appreciates the work teachers do, and so do these folks: Jared says, "Mr. McBurrows doesn't just teach; he makes the lesson fun and interactive." Mrs. Yribe -- I might not be saying it right -- but has helped Allison better understand science. Lyn writes that "Mr. Chmil changed her mind about history and cultures." Moses sends a shoutout to Mrs. Herman, saying "she's the awesomest teacher ever." Cameron says, "Mr. Langhorst always finds a way to make class fun." Thanks to Mr. Sumner, Quinton says he can play multiple instruments and wants to be a musician. And Gracie and Ellie thank their mother for homeschooling them and being the best teacher they could ask for. Thank your teacher at CNNStudentNews.com!
Before We Go
AZUZ: And before we go, we like to end the show with something light hearted. For example, this YouTube video of a nice, warm campfire... no, it's the top of a birthday cake! And check this out, watch what happens next. There it is! Blowing this sucker out is gonna be tough. But you gotta admit it looks really cool. But the candle creators did miss one detail, though: They forgot to disconnect the smoke detector, and they heard all about it. They'll definitely know better for next time.
AZUZ: But it definitely makes this a truly enlightening experience. I guess they can't be all crazy animals and eating contests, however much I love them. All right: Facebook comment of the day comes from James, who asks if I could have any color hair, what would it be? James, would be the color of thunder. We'd love for you to write on our wall at Facebook.com/cnnstudentnews. If you have a random question or comment about the show, you know where to find us. Have a wonderful day. We'll see you soon.