I'm Carl Azuz and this is CNN Student News! We're back from the long weekend and ready to kick off 10 minutes of commercial-free headlines. We start in the U.S. state of Arizona.
U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords could be released from a hospital there in just days or weeks. Congresswoman Giffords was one of the victims of the shooting attack in Tucson, Arizona earlier this month. On Sunday, doctors upgraded her condition from critical to serious, so that's a step in the right direction. Hundreds of people took to the streets on Sunday to participate in a "Walk for Peace." Organizers said they wanted to honor the victims of the shooting and find a way to help bring the community together.
Some congressional leaders from both parties are trying to come together in their own way, starting with something small: sitting together at the State of the Union address. This is the speech that the president gives to Congress every year. And what you see in these pictures is last year's State of the Union address. You notice that one section is standing, while another is sitting? That's because Republicans and Democrats usually don't sit together during these speeches. This year, though, you might see a different seating arrangement.
This weekend, here in Atlanta, a cast of thousands got together for the Junior Theater Festival. The event celebrates the performing arts. It takes place the same weekend as Martin Luther King Day. In recognition of his dream, students at the festival had the chance to talk about their dreams. Listen to what they had to say.
I have a dream that some day kids will have a bigger voice in their communities. I feel like kids have a lot to say, but it's often not heard by the adults around them.
My dream is to become an endangered species specialist and help save a kind that's dying off slowly.
A few of my dreams are to adopt a child from a foreign country and give them a home, a lot better home than they could've had.
One of my dreams is to possibly design and run lighting for large theatrical productions. Martin Luther King Jr. was a great man and inspired me and many other people for wonderful dreams.
Not the only way that people paid tribute to the civil rights leader this weekend. As Samantha Hayes reported yesterday, Americans all across the country took part in community service projects and honored Dr. King's legacy.
At a Washington, D.C. middle school, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama worked with a mentoring program on a service project, a Martin Luther King Day tradition for the first family.
Michelle and I and the girls are extraordinarily proud that each year on Martin Luther King's birthday, this is how we celebrate, is making sure that we're giving a little something back to the community.
It's been nearly 43 years since the civil rights leader was assassinated at a hotel in Memphis before a protest march. In Atlanta, not far from King's childhood home, family members laid flowers at the gravesite where King and his wife Coretta Scott King are buried. Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Martin Luther King holiday. In 1994, Congress designated it a national day of service. Jesse Jackson, who was with King at the time of his death, says his dream has not been fully realized.
He would be delighted to know we've come to a higher level of socialization enough to vote for each other across lines of race, gender and religion. And so, President Barack Obama is in Washington today as head of state. He would find delight in that. But then on the other hand, the issue of violence, the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, it simply illuminates, we pray to God for her recovery, but it illuminates just how much more violent we've become.
Back in the nation's capital, a memorial honoring Dr. Martin Luther King is scheduled for completion later this year. For CNN Student News, I'm Samantha Hayes.
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