In this CNN Student News: Boston Bombings; North Korea Marks Kim Il-Sung`s Birthday; Jackie Robinson`s Legacy
CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Getting right to our first story. Explosions in Boston, Massachusetts yesterday as the city celebrated Patriot`s Day. It`s a state holiday in Massachusetts. Schools are closed, people take the day off of work to go to sporting events like the Boston Marathon. The race`s held every year on Patriot`s Day. There was violence at this year`s race. The latest information from officials when we produced this program yesterday evening was that at least two people have been killed and at least 69 more had been wounded. Earlier reports indicated that there were two explosions. They happened around 2:45 PM near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. A CNN producer was there.
MATT FRUCCI, CNN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: So, I was on Boylston Avenue, which is sort of a final stretch of the Boston Marathon, maybe a final mile or two. It was packed with thousands of spectators on either side, it was packed with thousands of runners making their final sprint to the finish. And about 100 yards from me, closer to the finish line I heard an explosion turned into a big plume of smoke, rising out of what looked like a sidewalk or a parking lot. I`m not entirely sure. It wasn`t on the street. It was off the street. That much I could tell. Everyone sort of paused. Wondered what the heck that was, and about 10 seconds later, about 20 yards from me, on the other side of the avenue, another big explosion.
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AZUZ: Nearly 27,000 runners were participating in this year`s Boston Marathon. Some were still out in the course when this apparent bombing happened. The race was stopped immediately. Emergency workers, police officers and Massachusetts National Guard members responded, rushing to the scene to help victims.
Some of the people who were injured in the blasts were taken to local hospitals, others were treated in medical tents. They were near the finish line to treat exhausted runners. Law enforcement officials said investigators found, and we`re working to dismantle other explosive devices in Boston. A state government official said, there were no credible security threats heading into yesterday`s marathon. And this information was still coming in yesterday evening. You can get the latest details and updates at cnnstudentnews.com
Next, these events from yesterday in North Korea. They were part of one of the biggest dates on the calendar for the country, but as North Koreans celebrated, the rest of the world watched closely.
Yesterday, the country marked the Day of the Sung. It`s the birthday of Kim Il-sung. He`s North Korea`s founder, considered the nation`s eternal president and he`s the grandfather of its current leaders.
Ceremonies yesterday paid tribute to Kim Il-sung. Other countries were keeping a close eye on North Korea because of concerns about the nation launching a missile attack. That`s something it has threatened to do recently.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry just got back from a trip to that part of the world. He says the U.S. is willing to try diplomacy to talk with North Korea, but before that happens, Secretary Kerry says North Korea has to stop making threats and to ditch its controversial nuclear program.
Our next story takes us to the state of Virginia. We`re heading to Blacksburg and the campus of Virginia Tech.
On this day six years ago it was the site of the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history. The victims were teachers and students, the gunman also a student, eventually took his own life.
Every year since them April 16th has been a day of remembrance for the Virginia Tech community. People come together for candlelight ceremonies like this one from last year, also other ceremonies and events take place, the names of the victims are read out loud. The entire state of Virginia holds a moment of silence in their memories.
This week, also an anniversary for Major League Baseball. On April 15th 1947, Jackie Robinson made his Major League debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. When he did, he broke baseball`s so called color barrier becoming the first African-American to play in the Major Leagues. Around the Majors, April 15th is now Jackie Robinson day. Every player on every team wore the number 42, Robinson`s number.
Back in 1997, on the 50th anniversary of Robinson`s first game with the Dodgers, Major League Baseball retired his number for the entire league.
Jackie Robinson opened the door for African-Americans to play professional baseball, but few African-Americans are following in his footsteps. Jason Carroll examines this trend.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He endured insults, threats, pressure at every turn, but Jackie Robinson would not be denied his place in history.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want a player who doesn`t have the guts to fight back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I want a player who`s got the guts not to fight back.
CARROLL: A new movie called “42” , Robinson`s uniform number winning praise from players like Robinson Cano, the Yankee named for the trailblazing Brooklyn Dodger.
ROBINSON CANO, NEW YORK YANKEE: He`s the guy that we`re here for. And if it wasn`t for him, I wouldn`t be here and now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s go! Let`s go! Let`s go!
CARROLL: Accolades not just from the prose:
JAYLEN JUNIOUS, HIGH SCHOOL FRESHMAN: He was the inspiration to my African-American coach to start playing baseball.
CARROLL: The appreciation is there for Robinson breaking the color barrier 66 years ago, and opening the door for generations to follow. But the reality is, few African-Americans are choosing to do so.
WENDY LEWIS, MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL: And he would be very disappointed that the group that he so well represented and fought so hard for isn`t represented at the levels that it used to be.
CARROLL: Why is Major League Baseball so disappointed? In 1986, African- Americans made up 19 percent of players in the majors. Now, that number is down to just about 8.5 percent.
Robinson`s daughter says her father would have been worried about other statistics, beyond the sport.
SHARON ROBINSON, JACKIE ROBINSON`S DAUGHTER: I think he would be very concerned that black kids are not graduating from the high school or they`re not going to college. And that would be more of a concern to him.
CARROLL: But there were still the question of why fewer black kids are playing baseball?
(on camera): Do any of you play baseball?
MARCELIS HILL: Basketball is my sport, because I love the fundamentals.
CARROLL: Not just that, but the perception there is a quicker pass to the pros.
TROY JONES: I think the people who switched to basketball because it`s more easier to make it like – make it to the NBA. And then there`s the Jordan factor.
HILL: Everybody thought that if they can be like Michael it would be a great thing, so everybody started picking basketball instead of baseball.
CARROLL: Sounds about right to center fielder Jaylen Junios.
JUNIOS: They will see a lot of African inspirations to play baseball, they are not going to feel it, they want to play baseball too.
CARROLL: Major League Baseball has created a diversity task force, to recruit more African-Americans. Cano says it`s equally important to remind the young of the legend.
CANO: It`s been (inaudible), and it`s a privilege and bless (ph) to wear the number 42.
CARROLL: 42, a number that will forever stand for a man who transcended ethnicity and race. Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.
AZUZ: Cnnstudentnews.com is where we love to hear from teachers about how we are doing. Questions, comments, suggestions or compliments – we welcome all of it at our Web site. Just scroll down to the resources box and click the “Let us know what you think” link.
I used a keyboard to write these words before I said them: a copy editor used the keyboard in reviewing them, a producer used the keyboard to line up the script in today`s show. They are all parts of the job that we don`t really think about: there are some folks thinking about how those who can`t use traditional keyboards, and they`ve come up with this.
SANDY HANEBRINK, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, TOUCH THE FUTURE: Anybody that has limited upper extremity function, so someone who can`t use their hands, whether they are in quadriplegia from a spinal cord injury, have ALS, maybe they`re just a bilateral amputee. Anyone who can`t use the typical keyboard could use this device.
The Lucy 4 is an external keyboard that can be accessed by laser control. This keyboard is specific for the Lucy. And it limits the amount someone`s head has to move versus if you had a QWERTE keyboard, your I would be over here and your S over here, which will require you to move your head. It provides somebody with limited ability to access a computer a way to access the world via the Web, and also enables them to have a communication device and enables them to text message and use the phone – to do anything that anyone would do with the computer. Whereas before, someone that had a significant disability that had that much limited access to a computer, it really restricted them from getting jobs, it restricted them from going to school because it was fatigue. That`s was assisting technology is all about. Leveling the playing field, it enables people to be out to adept to their environment. If there`s a job that you want to do, if there`s a sport – any activity you want to do, assisting technology is what – makes that possible.
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AZUZ: Our last story today follows the theme of David and Goliath. Goliath is played by a gorilla at a Kansas Zoo. David is the goose at the bottom of your screen and here he`s messing around. A flutter of wings and two quick Web feed, are all it takes to make an ape retreat. The best part is when the gorilla backpedals on its hind legs. Clearly didn`t expect this. It was a beak attack.
I think it just wanted to look at the birds, but it quickly learned that what`s good for the goose is not good for a gander. Interesting that a bird could frighten a gorilla. I didn`t think they were easily intimidaping. I`d like to have more pun with this, but I goose we`re out of time for that. See you tomorrow.
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