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CNN Student News Transcript: November 16, 2009

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CNN Student News - 11/16/2009

(CNN Student News) -- November 16, 2009

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New York City, New York
Shanghai, China
Union, South Carolina



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hi. Welcome to CNN Student News! We have been getting great comments on our blog about last week's question: "historically correct or politically correct." There's another story we think you'll wanna talk about coming up today!

First Up: 9/11 Suspect Trials

ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: After eight years of delay, those allegedly responsible for the attacks of September the 11th will finally face justice. They will be brought to New York -- to New York -- to answer for their alleged crimes in a courthouse just blocks away from where the Twin Towers once stood.

AZUZ: Okay, that announcement stirring a lot of debate. The attorney general was talking about five suspected 9/11 terrorists, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who said he planned the 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. Mohammed and four others now scheduled to be tried in civilian court. That is different from a military tribunal, which is the other kind of trial they could've gotten. In civilian court, the suspects will get more rights under the U.S. constitution. And that, some critics argue, could help them get shorter sentences.

Independent Senator Joe Lieberman says the suspected terrorists aren't American citizens or common criminals, but war criminals who should be tried in military court. But New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who supports the government plan, says it makes sense that the suspects face trial near the place where so many Americans were killed. The man who was New York's mayor when the attacks took place says the civilian trial would be dangerous and expensive.

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER MAYOR, NEW YORK CITY: So, anyone that tells you that this doesn't create additional security problems, of course, isn't telling you the truth. And the best indication of it is, just look at the additional security that's going to be employed when this happens. That also happens to cost millions and millions and millions of dollars.

AZUZ: Susan Candiotti asked some other New Yorkers what they had to say about all this.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Eight years of waiting is eight years too long for retired firefighter Jim Riches. He wants the alleged 9/11 conspirators tried in New York. The attack killed his son, a fellow firefighter.

JIM RICHES, RETIRED FIREFIGHTER, 9/11 VICTIM'S FATHER: I just want to get this moving, you know. Justice delayed is justice denied.

CANDIOTTI: Riches is one of a handful of civilians who got a close-up look at suspected terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others in a Guantanamo courtroom last January. That's when KSM told a military judge he was the mastermind of 9/11. "We don't care about capital punishment or a life sentence," he said. "We are doing jihad for the cause of God."

RICHES: They call for jihad against America. They were proud of what they did. And here I am sitting there, the man who murdered my son is standing there saying he's proud that he killed my son.

CANDIOTTI: But another relative who met us at the World Trade Center site says bringing the terror suspects back to the scene of the crime will bring unbearable pain. He lost his son in the attack.

LEE IELPI, 9/11 VICTIM'S FATHER: To bring it back here for me, my feelings, it's tasteless, it's insensitive, and those scars which have never been healed are just going to be opened again. So, I am not comfortable one iota with this call.

CANDIOTTI: Kristen Breitweiser, who helped push for the independent 9/11 Commission, says New York is ready. She plans to attend the trial as often as she can.

KRISTEN BREITWEISER, 9/11 VICTIM'S WIFE: I think New Yorkers are certainly more than capable of handling it, and I think again it speaks to the very heart of who we are, not only as New Yorkers, but as American citizens. You know, if a crime is committed on our soil, you are going to be given a trial. You will be given access to an attorney. You will be innocent until proven guilty.

CANDIOTTI: Some worry about massive security needs with worldwide focus on five accused terrorists a few blocks from Ground Zero.

RAY KELLY, NYPD COMMISSIONER: We are certainly prepared for any eventuality. We handle a lot of high-profile events here. We had the blind sheikh's trial here, other high-profile trials and events. That's what we do. So, I think we're in excellent shape to handle it.


Is this Legit?

TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this legit? Beijing is the most populated city in China. Not legit! Though Beijing is the capital, Shanghai is China's most populated city.

Asia Trip

AZUZ: And Shanghai is where President Obama is scheduled to spend part of his day today. He's holding a town hall meeting with some of China's young people, and then he's going to head to Beijing later on. This is all part of his first trip to Asia since being elected, we were telling you about. Over the weekend, the president took part in an economic conference in Singapore. Ed Henry looks at how it went.


ED HENRY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: At President Obama's first Asian Pacific economic summit, the leaders did what they do best at these events: a lot of talk, but not a lot of concrete action, especially on climate change. The leaders revealing they do not expect any major breakthroughs next month in Copenhagen. Instead, they hope to make a little bit of progress, and then they plan to hold more meetings down the road.

That's why the most dramatic moments here at this summit for Mr. Obama came on the sidelines during a one-on-one with the Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. Both leaders expressing confidence that they'll be able to agree on a new START treaty by the end of the year that will reduce both countries' nuclear stockpiles. And Mr. Obama was talking tough about Iran, saying they need to come clean about their nuclear program on a diplomatic track, or they'll face tough new sanctions on a second track.

U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We are now running out of time with respect to that approach. And so I discussed with President Medvedev the fact that we have to continue to maintain urgency and that our previous discussions confirming the need for a dual-track approach are still the right approach to take.

HENRY: To get tough new sanctions against Iran, Mr. Obama will need support at the U.N. from both the Russian president and Chinese President Hu Jintao, one reason why the next stop on this journey is China. Mr. Obama will have extensive discussions with the Chinese president in Beijing later this week. But first, it's a stop in Shanghai, where he'll have a town hall meeting with Chinese students. Ed Henry, CNN, Singapore.


Storm Aftermath

AZUZ: Back in the U.S., some east coast residents are starting to clean up after heavy storms caused flooding late last week. In New Jersey, Governor Jon Corzine declared a state of emergency in several counties that were hammered by strong winds and rain. In parts of Maryland, high tides combined with heavy downpours to create flooding. This severe weather was caused by a big storm that was made stronger by what remained of Tropical Storm Ida. In this iReport you see now from Virginia, you can see just how powerful the winds were. That gazebo looks like it's about to blow away. And these iReporters actually kayaked out their front door after flooding left cars and a lot of houses underwater.

Wall Collapse

AZUZ: Officials think rain from that same storm system might have been the reason for this scary moment at a high school football game in South Carolina. A wall in the student section of the stadium just collapsed Friday night. Several students were leaning or sitting on the wall and more were standing below it when it came down. 28 people were injured in the accident. A dozen of them were taken to a nearby hospital. Officials say none of the injuries are life-threatening.

Water Found on Moon

AZUZ: And NASA says it's starting "a new chapter" that might lead to the creation of a lunar space station. You might remember last month, when the agency intentionally crashed a spacecraft into the moon trying to search for water there? Well, they found it. That's based on data from the $79 million LCROSS project. Scientists say the discovery will add to our understanding of our nearest neighbor. It'll also help NASA plan future missions, including possible human missions to the moon.


BRENDAN GAGE, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! What kind of animal is a Bengal? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it a: A) Lion, B) Tiger, C) Bear or D) Monkey? You've got three seconds -- GO! Bengals make up about half of the world's tiger population. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Haircut Suspension

AZUZ: When Dustin Reader had Bengal stripes shaved into his head, he wasn't showing support for the tiger. He was showing his support for the team: the Cincinnati Bengals! But the shave, which also included the team's logo, landed the Ohio eighth grader in in-school suspension. The school's code of conduct prohibits distracting haircuts. But some people, including Dustin's father and barber, say the design isn't distracting and shouldn't be a problem. However, school administrators say they've given Dustin warnings in the past about his hair, and his designs do violate the rule.


AZUZ: So, what do you think? Did Dustin's devotion to his team deserve a suspension, or should the school cut his hairstyle some slack? Head to our blog at and weigh in with your opinions and only your first names, please.

Before We Go

AZUZ: Okay, before we go, a wild scene from a bus stop in Washington. Nothing strange about these guys. It's who's in line behind them that's the problem: a couple goats. The free-loading farm animals tried to sneak onto a city bus. Sure, they waited politely in line, but they didn't pay! No fare, no ride! The driver and passengers tried to herd them back onto the street. It's possible this whole thing was some sort of prank.


AZUZ: Because after all, goats do like to kid around. You guys have a great day. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.