(CNN Student News) -- November 22, 2010
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MR. WHITE'S LANGUAGE ARTS CLASS: We're Mr. White's 8th grade Language Arts class, and you're watching CNN Student News with Carl Azuz.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Go Carl!
CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: All right, I am back! We are grateful for that introduction, and we're grateful you're checking out CNN Student News today. We have a very short week for you this week -- just two shows -- so let's go ahead and get them started.
AZUZ: First up, figuring out a way forward in Afghanistan: the focus of a NATO meeting this past weekend. NATO stands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's a group of nearly 30 countries; its main goal is to keep those countries safe and free. That is why the alliance is taking part in the Afghanistan war. That conflict seems to be getting more intense. The U.S. is sending a group of battle tanks -- like the ones you see here -- to Afghanistan for the first time since the war started. This is an escalation of the war, and it'll give U.S. troops more firepower in their fight against the Taliban. Suzanne Malveaux covered this NATO meeting. She explains the leaders there weren't focused so much on the present as they are on the future.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It's the closest thing to an exit strategy President Obama could get.
U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We agreed that early 2011 will mark the beginning of a transition to Afghan responsibility, and we adopted the goal of Afghan forces taking the lead for security across the country by the end of 2014.
MALVEAUX: U.S. and NATO troops remaining in Afghanistan would be focused on training Afghan security forces. Afghan leader Hamid Karzai signed the pact earlier with NATO allies, expressing optimism.
AFGHAN PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI: We are confident that the transition will succeed to the Afghan authority, leadership and ownership.
MALVEAUX: But the agreement is, at best, a goal. Privately, there is real skepticism that the Afghan government will be ready to provide security and services to its people. The new NATO agreement bluntly states for the Afghan government, corruption remains a central challenge to be addressed.
U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON: We must be guided by realities, not schedules.
MALVEAUX: Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev also suggested Afghanistan may not be ready.
RUSSIAN PRESIDENT DMITRY MEDVEDEV [TRANSLATED]: Whether it's feasible in the forthcoming future, I don't know. I have some doubts on that.
MALVEAUX: President Obama himself seemed to leave the door open about whether U.S. troops would still be fighting in Afghanistan after 2014. When asked if he'd keep U.S. combat troops there after the proposed deadline, he said...
OBAMA: I will always do what's necessary to keep the American people safe, and maybe that will be the case in 2014.
MALVEAUX: But President Obama is eager to get U.S. forces out of this unpopular war. He has already pledged to start pulling out American troops in July of next year. NATO allies are even less patient.
ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN, NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL: By the end of next year, we have set the goal to have 300,000 Afghan soldiers and Afghan police.
MALVEAUX: Several countries have already said their troops will not remain in combat indefinitely. A senior British official said British Prime Minister David Cameron repeated here that no matter how violent Afghanistan is at the end of 2014, the British will end combat operations by the next year.
AZUZ: Okay, while he was at that NATO meeting in Portugal, President Obama talked about the enhanced security checks at airports in the U.S. we talked about last week The president says these checks are necessary to ensure airline safety. He also says he understands why people are frustrated about them.
Some folks have complained about screening machines used for some travelers that show a person's body through his or her clothing. Travelers can refuse to go through that machine. But if they do, they have to submit to a thorough pat-down that includes a security officer touching private areas. As you can imagine, that's troubled some folks, too.
The head of the Transportation Security Administration, the TSA, says he understands the concerns, and he admits that his agency didn't do the best job of letting people know about these procedures. But he also says they're not going away, at least for now, and that they're the way to make sure that everyone on a flight has been screened properly.
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: See if you can I.D. Me. I'm a global organization that was founded after World War II. Some of my goals include maintaining international peace and helping solve global problems. I'm made up of 192 countries. I'm the United Nations, and my headquarters is in New York City.
AZUZ: The United Nations is playing a big part in trying to fight the cholera outbreak in Haiti, but it says it's not getting enough help from the international community. The U.N. asked for $164 million to help fight the outbreak, but it says only about 10 percent of that money has been pledged. One official from the organization says part of what's frustrating is that cholera is usually pretty easy to cure. But it has to be treated in time. So far, more than 1,100 Haitians have died from the disease.
AZUZ: A team from the U.S. State Department is heading to the Korean Peninsula to follow up on a report about a new nuclear facility in North Korea. A U.S. scientist wrote the report after he visited the facility recently. North Korean officials say it's making low-enriched uranium; they're claiming that it's just making nuclear power. The scientist agrees, but he says it would be fairly easy for the facility to start producing highly-enriched uranium, and that is what gets used in nuclear weapons. One American official says this new plant violates U.N. Security Council resolutions condemning North Korea's nuclear program.
This Day in History
[ON SCREEN GRAPHIC]
November 22, 1718 -- Blackbeard the pirate is killed off the coast of North Carolina
November 22, 1906 -- S-O-S is adopted as an international distress signal
November 22, 1963 -- President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas
November 22, 2005 -- Angela Merkel becomes the first female chancellor of Germany
AZUZ: CNN Heroes is a program that honors ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things to make the world better. A special panel chose this year's top 10 heroes from a group of more than 10,000 nominees. And those top 10 were honored at the CNN Heroes: All-Star Tribute this weekend. Brooke Anderson has more on that event.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: The Chilean miners, the most inspiring story of the year, kicked off an evening dedicated to people from around the world who are changing the world.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360°: They are warriors against injustice doing battle for all of us.
ANDERSON: CNN's 2010 Top 10 heroes include a Cambodian man dedicated to clearing the land mines he was forced to plant as a child soldier, and a Scotsman whose program feeds hundreds of thousands of children in 15 countries.
MAGNUS MACFARLANE-BARROW, TOP 10 CNN HERO: Every child in the world should be able to receive at least one good meal every day.
ANDERSON: An ex-con and former drug addict who helps other women just out of prison stay out and stay clean, and a 74-year-old grandmother whose hospital in Juarez, Mexico is an oasis in that violent city.
GUADALUPE ARIZPE DE LA VEGA, TOP 10 CNN HERO: Do not be afraid, and never, never, never give up.
RENEE ZELLWEGER, ACTRESS: Seeing it through that commitment with no fear.
ANDERSON: A host of celebrities were on hand to pay tribute to each hero.
AARON ECKHART, ACTOR: It's inspiring for our young children and for me and for all those people out there who want to do good for the world.
ANDERSON: Sugarland, John Legend featuring Common and Melanie Fiona, and Bon Jovi provided the music, and nearly two million online votes provided the Hero of the Year.
COOPER: Anuradha Koirala.
ANDERSON: Anuradha was awarded an additional $100,000 for her work in Nepal rescuing thousands of girls from sexual slavery.
ANURADHA KOIRALA, CNN HERO OF THE YEAR: We need to do this for all our daughters.
ANDERSON: All ten heroes received $25,000 each, but the examples they set are priceless. Brooke Anderson, CNN, Los Angeles.
AZUZ: The full CNN Heroes: All-Star Tribute airs this Thursday, Thanksgiving night, at 8 p.m. Eastern, 5 p.m. Pacific on CNN. It is fantastic. You definitely want to check that out. It includes an interview with some of those Chilean miners. Here's a little preview of that for you.
COOPER: That moment when the first drill came through. What was that like?
MARIO SEPULVEDA ESPINACE, CHILEAN MINER [TRANSLATED]: It was exciting. Very exciting. Hope, life, the desire to continue living. It was beautiful, like a party. It was outrageous. It was like a carnival. It was as if Chile played Argentina in a soccer match and Chile won!
Before We Go
AZUZ: All right, before we go today, you might try to skip out on your chores, but I bet you can't do it with this much style. Oh yes, I hate mowing the lawn too, but I don't fly off the handle about it. Although I guess this is one solution when the grass gets too high. This isn't really designed to be a lawnmower. It's just a remote-controlled plane that someone dressed up to look like a lawnmower.
AZUZ: It's definitely an idea that's a cut above the rest, and one that could have some real mow-mentum behind it. We're willing to go a lawn way for a pun, but this one only took a few yards. We are on fire! For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz. We will see you tomorrow. Hope you have a great day. Bye now!