(CNN Student News) -- September 10, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: It's Friday, the best day of the school week and CNN Student News has a lot of stories planned for you today, so get ready for 10 minutes of commercial-free content for the classroom!
AZUZ: Tomorrow, September 11th, 2010 will mark nine years to the day, that the worst terrorist attack occurred on American soil. There are a lot of events planned around this: A memorial service at the pentagon that President Obama is scheduled to attend. Tributes and ceremonies in New York, where Vice President Biden will be. And an event in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where you'll find first lady Michelle Obama and former first lady Laura Bush. These three locations could be considered the most significant of the 9/11 anniversary because they're where the attacks happened. 19 hijackers took control of four planes that day. They flew one of them into the Pentagon, two of them into New York's Twin Towers and another crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. More than 2,900 people were killed -- more than in the World War II attack on Pearl Harbor. The al Qaeda terrorist group said it was responsible for the attacks. And in the days that followed, President Bush declared a "war on terrorism", he later designated September 11th as Patriots Day.
Proposed Islamic Center
AZUZ: Hundreds of you have been talking on our blog about a story involving ground zero -- the place in New York where the Twin Towers fell on September 11th. Some developers are planning to build an Islamic center, including a mosque, a few blocks away. The Muslim religious leader, the Imam who's behind these plans, had a recent interview with CNN's Soledad O'Brien. He acknowledged the anger this plan has caused:
IMAM FEISAL ABDUL RAUF: If I knew this would happen, this would cause this kind of pain, I wouldn't have done it. My life has been devoted to peacemaking.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: There are so many people who say, so if you're saying it was a mistake, then why can't you get out of it and not do it?
RAUF: Because we have to now make sure that whatever we do actually results in greater peace, not in greater conflict.
AZUZ: The imam also said America's national security depends on this issue -- that if the location is changed, some Muslims will feel their religion's under attack. Now some critics saw that as a sort of threat -- that the imam is saying "if we don't build here, there will be consequences." The imam says talks are still going on, and that moving the site of the Islamic center is still a possibility.
AZUZ: Meanwhile, the pastor of a small Florida church says he's calling off his plans to burn 200 copies of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, on September 11th. The Reverend Terry Jones had said the Quran was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. But we had some breaking news last night when Reverend Jones said no Qurans would be burned -- Jones says instead, he'll travel to New York, to meet with the imam who'd planned the Islamic center near ground zero. This was a breaking story yesterday, so we encourage you to go to CNN.com for all of the latest developments on this. The announcement about the Qurans came after protests, like this one you see here in Pakistan. These protests had been going on for days. Interpol -- the International Police Agency -- had warned law enforcement in 188 countries, that if Qurans were burned in Florida, there could be violent attacks worldwide.
AZUZ: We asked for your opinions on this and you have answered. Dozens of you telling us what Kandace did: "Burning the Quran would be like burning the Bible." Benjamin writes, "[Pastor Jones] Is not understanding that the religion of Islam did not kill people on 9/11, but Islamic terrorists did. Dustio feels that burning the Quran would endanger our troops and even our nation. And Tanasha believes that "burning the Quran is highly disrespectful because it's an insult to someone's religion." But Clifford argues that "burning the Quran is just an expression of our freedom. We have our rights and we should exercise them." And Hailey tells us: "I believe that Pastor Jones has every right to burn the Quran, just as Muslims have a right to burn the Bible or build a mosque near ground zero. But that doesn't mean it's wise. It is not right to burn a sacred book, even if you have a right to do so." You can keep this conversation going at CNNStudentNews.com. It's first names only; we only read comments from first names.
Is This Legit?
CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is This Legit? Federal law requires U.S. drivers to wear seat belts. Not legit! Safety belt laws are determined by individual states.
AZUZ: There's some good news for all of us on the roads: Traffic deaths are down in America. They've hit their lowest level since 1950, when officials started keeping track. They're still happening: Almost 34,000 people were killed in car crashes in 2009. But that was almost a 10 percent drop from '08! There are a few reasons for this: Cars are getting safer. More drivers are wearing seatbelts, about 85 percent of them, according to the U.S. Transportation Secretary. And this is interesting: The recession may actually be a factor in all of this because with less money to spend, people are driving less for entertainment and fun, and it's those trips that can be more deadly.
AZUZ: 33 Chilean miners are still 2,300 feet under the Earth's surface. Rescuers are trying to drill a hole wide enough for the miners to be rescued, one by one, in a small cage that could be lowered down through the hole and then lift them each out. But while that work goes on, for their families, like the miners themselves, this is a long waiting game. Patrick Oppmann shows you what it's like.
PATRICK OPPMAN, CNN ALL-PLATFORM JOURNALIST: Dawn breaks at the San Jose mine for everyone but the 33 miners trapped in their own underground purgatory. Milton Avalos meets the day sitting in the chair he slept in. A fire barely wards off the frigid desert night. A miner himself, he keeps vigil, that's all he can do.
MILTON AVALOS, UNCLE OF TRAPPED MINER: [IN SPANISH] Nada, nada. [TRANSLATED]: There is nothing you can do, so many times we have offered to help with the rescue, but they won't let us.
OPPMAN: In the morning, Miguel Valenzuela cleans to pass time. He lights candles to the saints for a successful rescue. It's his routine and he says it keeps him sane.
MIGUEL VALENZUELA, FRIEND OF TRAPPED MINERS [TRANSLATED]: I walk around, I go to the meetings, I play cards and cook and clean for the families. You have to keep yourself entertained.
OPPMAN: The barren Atacama desert is not an easy place to live. Everything has to be trucked in. Including the food that goes to Urgina Gallejillos' kitchen.
URGINA GALLEJILLOS, FAMILY OF TRAPPED MINER [TRANSLATED]: We have received a lot of donations, both pantries are full.
OPPMAN: Which is a good thing since she cooks lunch for 250 people. The camp started because family members wanted to wait on the same earth holding their miners. But it has become its own kind of community. Life at Campo Esperanza has its own rhythms, families wile away the hours, workers clock in for their shifts and hope hangs in the air that word will come today from the trapped miners. All to the backdrop of constant drilling. Maria Segovia spends her afternoon delivering the letter that will soon journey deep underground to her brother Dario. Then she returns to the tent she shares with her sister. Bread warms and water boils on the fire nearby. Until her brother is freed this will be home.
OPPMAN: Day becomes night again and different rituals begin. A pick up soccer game. Police flown in from the capital walk a new beat. Prayers are said. And the miners families hope the long wait is now one day less.
CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! Which symbol is most often associated with lifeguarding? You know what's next. So is it A, B, C or D? You've got three seconds -- GO! The Red Cross is both an organization that trains lifeguards AND a symbol of lifeguarding! That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
Before We Go
AZUZ: There's a new kind of lifeguard out there -- one that combines the technology of a remote-controlled boat, with the mission of keeping swimmers safer. After seeing this report by Gary Tuchman, you're probably gonna want one, whether you've got your lifeguard certification or not!
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This lifeguard might be the best on the beach. Her name? EMILY, which stands for Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard.
BOB LAUTRUP, HYDRONALIX: It doesn't replace the lifeguard, but may enable the lifeguards to get to an individual that they would not have been able to get to in the past.
TUCHMAN: EMILY speeds through high waves and rip tides in seconds, directed from shore by a remote control. When she reaches swimmers in distress, they can hold on to her until more help arrives. Her creators are also working on a setup that would let lifeguards talk to swimmers through an on-board P.A. system.
LAUTRUP: We have worked on having a radio to send EMILY out to say, "Stand away from this. You're in danger of going into a rip tide."
TUCHMAN: And that's not all this bay-watching bot might do. Her designers say EMILY could be equipped with sonar and cameras to monitor erosion, detect pollution in remote areas, or be used for military surveillance. EMILY is still being tested, so it could be a while before you can check her out at a beach near you. Gary Tuchman, CNN.
AZUZ: That was cool. I want one of those. You know some RC fanatic totally floated that idea. On the other hand, if it helps save lives, you know it's a-boat to make a big splash in lifeguarding. Go dive into the weekend! I'll see you next week.