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Benghazi Hearings Get Under Way

Aired May 9, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: I`m Carl Azuz. Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS. First up, a hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives. This is about an attack on an American facility that happened last year in Libya. It was September 11, 2012, the terror attack targeted the U.S. consulate building, a government building in the city of Benghazi. Four Americans were killed including ambassador Chris Stevens, America`s top representative in Libya. Some members of Congress have criticized President Obama and his administration for the response to that attack. What was done, what was said. At first, the administration officials said the attack developed out of a protest over an anti-Islamic film made in the U.S. Later they said, it was a planned terrorist attack. During yesterday`s hearing, congressmen talked to former government officials about what information was known and when.


REP. PATRICK MCHENRY, (R ), NORTH CAROLINA: Was there any evidence when you were there in Libya on that day that this was a protest?

GREGORY HICKS, FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER: No, there was none. And I`m confident that Ambassador Stevens would have reported a protest immediately if one appeared on his door. The protocol, of course, was for us to evacuate immediately the - from the consulate and move to the annex.

MCHENRY: Did you report to anyone in Washington within the first couple of days that there was anything in connection? The protest in connection to a Youtube video.

HICKS: No, the only report that our mission made through every channel was that there had been an attack on a consulate.

MCHENRY: Not a protest?

HICKS: No protest.


AZUZ: The chairman of the committee said the goal of this hearings is to get answers, because the victims` families deserve them.

The British government`s legislative branch, its Congress, is called Parliament. And its new session started yesterday with a long standing tradition: the Queen`s speech, (inaudible) by the British government and then ceremonially read by the British monarch. The speech includes some of the big issues that Parliament expects to face during its new session. In yesterday`s speech, Queen Elizabeth II said this:


QUEEN ELIZABETH, UNITED KINGDOM: My government will continue to make the case for Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom.


AZUZ: OK, here`s the deal with that: the United Kingdom is made up of four places: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Next year, Scots are set to vote on whether they want to stay in the U.K or to become an independent country.

Amanda Berry, Georgina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, three women from the Cleveland, Ohio area; they disappeared in 2002, 2003 and 2004 and then Monday this call came in the 911.


911 OPERATOR: Cleveland 911, do you need ....

BERRY: Hello, police, help me, I am Amanda Berry.

911 OPERATOR: Do you need police, fire or ambulance?

BERRY: I need police.

911 OPERATOR: OK, and what`s going on there?

BERRY: I`ve been kidnapped and I`ve been missing for then years, and I`m here, I`m free now.


AZUZ: The women were found alive on Monday, all in the same Cleveland house. Berry was able to escape and make that 911 call after neighbors kicked in the door when they heard screaming from inside the house.

The owner of the house was arrested, he was charged yesterday with four counts of kidnapping. The three women are believed to have been abducted when they were 14, 16 and 21. We don`t know all of the circumstances, we`re not telling the story to scare anyone. No matter how old you are, there are things you can do to avoid becoming a victim of crime. We`re going to bring in Mike Brooks now, a law enforcement expert to talk about that. Mike.

MIKE BROOKS, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Carl, it`s good to be with you. I tell you, when something like this happens, we hear about these three girls being found alive, you know it`s not something we really like to talk about, but it`s something we have to talk about. Because no matter where you are, whether you`re in school, and I know school is getting ready to get out, so everybody`s going to be up for the summer time, you have to be aware of your surroundings. Now, I don`t care how old you are. If somebody comes up to you, and you feel it in your gut that you know, you know what, something just seems wrong here, let somebody know about it. Or somebody tried to get you to a car, somebody tries to grab you, run, scream, kick, do whatever you can to get away, because the stats prove that if you do fight, most likely you`re going to get away.

But the other thing: if someone you see going to school, from school, at the mall, anywhere at all kind of gives you the creeps, and you just say to yourself, you know what? This person really creeps me out, let somebody know. If you are not with your parents, let somebody - and authority, let a security officer at the mall, anywhere you are, know about it. Don`t worry about being a snitch, it`s not about being a snitch, it`s about keeping yourself safe. And also, Carl, there`s some other great programs: if you want more information and everybody wants to know a little bit more about this, you can go to a Web site for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and also for Red Kids. It will help empower you to know what to do, should you get at a bad situation.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s "Shoutout" goes out to the Seniors at South Lake High School in St. Clair Shores, Michigan.

Who was the first U.S. Treasury secretary? You know what to do. Was it Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Jackson or Thomas Jefferson. You`ve got three seconds, go.

If you get Alexander Hamilton, that`s money in the bank. Ka-ching!

The country`s first Treasury Secretary at the face on the $10 bill. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."


AZUZ: Well, it`s not all about the Hamiltons, but you can find the signature of the U.S. Treasury Secretary in the front of American currency. It`s required for cash to have value. On the right hand side of any bill, you might find the name of Timothy Geithner or Henry Paulson or John Snow. They are all former U.S. Treasury Secretaries. But there was a little bit of an issue when it came to this man`s signature: his name is Jacob Lew, he is the new U.S. Treasury Secretary, and as you can see by the top line here the signature of Lew appeared loopy. Too loopy. You couldn`t make out the name. So, he was asked to submit a new signature, the one below, and that`s the one the government thought was worse money. Or at least worthy of appearing on money. A rare lesson in good penmanship.

Next up today, friends and family of a Missouri student who died last year, were looking for ways to honor him. They designed a shirt that included things that were important to him, but one of the pictures on the shirt violated a school policy. Mary Moloney of affiliate KSPR explains the controversy caused by the image.


MARY MOLONEY, KCPR CORRESPONDENT: One year ago, Colby Snider lost his life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He did debate, was very outgoing young man.

MOLONEY: To memorialize the 17-year old, family and friends created a shirt:

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We wanted something that kind of captured a little bit of everything of Colby.

MOLONEY: But the commemoration turned to controversy because of the Confederate battle flag.

ZAC RANTZ, NIXA SCHOOLS: It caused us some racial tension in the community, and because of that we have a school policy that this - the Confederate battle flag is not allowed along with the swastika is not allowed, on clothing or any items in the school district.

MOLONEY: School officials implemented the policy nearly 20 years ago.

RANTZ: We had the harassment of some minority families, some suits (ph) driving around with a Confederate flag in the back of their truck, threatening and harassing families, we`ve had lockers defaced, we had a noose hung from the bridge with an effigy on it, we had nooses hung from rear view mirrors.

MOLONEY: The race-related harassment also happened in 2013.

RANTZ: It`s been used in the threatening manner against our students, and it`s still used in that manner up until this very school year.

JODIE SNIDER, COLBY`S MOTHER: And we put heritage on -- on the shirt for a reason: it just means simply we don`t hate anyone, it`s about being Southern and having pride in who you are and standing up for what you believe in. I`ve seen kids wear "It`s OK to be gay" shirts. So I don`t understand how that`s not a target, but the rebel flag is.


AZUZ: Friends and family trying to pay tribute to a lost loved one, a school system with a policy designed to avoid racial tension. What do you think about this story? If you`re on Facebook, come talk to us at




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And for Teacher Appreciation Week ...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is the great leadership and history teacher.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The teacher does a lot of great life lessons.



AZUZ: You are welcome. Teacher Appreciation Week is rolling along, you`ve been talking about your favorite teachers on our Facebook page. Now, you can give them a shoutout on our blog, too. The teacher appreciation post is up at

Or we wrap things out today in the Pacific Northwest: Oakridge, Oregon. Typical small town. Life moves along at a leisurely pace: but not recently. Some Oakridge residents notice things speeding up, specifically their clocks. Look at that. The second hand is flying. At least it`s going faster than usual. The explanation has to do with electrical cycles and the feed from the local power company.

But considering the towns cuckoo clocks, no one really has the time. We`ve reached the end of our time, before we clock out, teachers, remember you can tell us what you think about today`s show at CNNSTUDENTNEWS.COM. We hope you`ll all watch us again tomorrow on CNN STUDENT NEWS.