CNN Student News with transcript May 27, 2014: Obama Thanks U.S. Troops in Afghanistan; Onboard the USS Cole; Pope Francis`s Visiting Middle East; India Elects New Prime Minister
CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: We hope you had a great Memorial Day holiday. We are happy to see you this Tuesday for CNN STUDENT NEWS. First up, a surprise – presidential trip to Afghanistan. There are about 32,000 U.S. troops there serving in what has become America`s longest running war. Some of them saw a country star Brad Paisley perform on Sunday, and then President Obama spoke, praising the work of the U.S. military in the 12 year old conflict.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: You`re completing the mission. We said that we were going to deny al Qaeda safe haven, and since then we have decimated the al Qaeda`s leadership in the tribal regions, and our troops here at Bagram played a central role in supporting our counter-terrorism operations. Including the one that delivered justice to Osama bin Laden.
OBAMA: So, along with our intelligence personal you`ve helped prevent attacks and save American lives back home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: Executives visits like this are commonly kept secret until the last minute. The president said that Afghanistan is still a very dangerous place, but U.S. involvement is winding down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We are going to stay strong by taking care of our wounded warriors and our veterans.
OBAMA: Because helping our wounded warriors and veterans heel isn`t just a promise. It`s a sacred obligation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: Those comments came as the scandal involving veterans swirled back in the U.S. Dozens of Veterans Affairs hospitals have been accused of delaying treatment for veterans, and the Obama administration has been criticized for not doing enough about it. A U.S. official says the scandal wasn`t a factor in planning this trip. A day later the president was in Virginia for a wreath laying at Arlington National Cemetery. It`s a Memorial Day tradition in the U.S. The commander-in-chief paying respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. That`s a resting place of an unidentified American serviceman who was killed in World War I. Memorial Day ceremonies and events across the country honored U.S. troops who died serving in all of the nation`s conflicts. There`s a ship sailing out of New York today, at the end of Fleet Week that carries Memorials of its own.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I`m Miguel Marquez aboard the USS Cole, and I`m here with Hannah Taylor who`s going to take us on a little tour.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let`s go!
MARQUEZ: It is a sophisticated machine able to project American power around the world. It`s also one of the most famous or infamous ships in the U.S. fleet. October 12, 2000, the Cole was attacked as it ported in Yemen. This suicide mission using a small boat in hundreds of pounds of explosives. 17 sailors died, 39 injured.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As you see here on the floor, there are 17 gold stars, one for each member who perished that day.
MARQUEZ: On board, reminders of that day everywhere.
(on camera): So, everywhere you go around the ship .
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
MARQUEZ: This things exist.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, they do.
MARQUEZ (voice over): Quarters cramped and luxuries lacking, the Cole`s history a source of strength. Its skipper Commander Dennis Farrell:
CMDR. DENNIS FARRELL, USS COLE: We leave on the shoulders of the sailors who came before us. Those 17 sailors who lost their life allows us to sail this mighty warship.
MARQUEZ: The last time the Cole was in New York Fleet Week, May 2000. This picture hanging in Commander Farrell`s cabin captured a moment before any of the history that changed everything.
(on camera): Before the Twin Towers were attacked.
FARRELL: That`s right. 11 months before 911, and we came back resilient, a strong force and the force that`s ready to go back and go into battle and resilient, just like men and women of New York.
MARQUEZ (voice over): The determined warrior, named for Medal of Honor recipient Sergeant Darrell Cole will ship out for another long deployment this summer.
AZUZ: The leader of the Roman Catholic Church has traveled through a region of conflict caring a message of peace. Pope Francis just completed a tour of the Middle East. He met with Muslim, Jewish and political leaders. He stopped in Jordan, Israel, the West Bank, Jerusalem. He visited places that are holy to the three Abrahamic religions, and he pushed for an urgent solution to the civil war in Syria as well as renewed efforts towards peace between Israelis and Palestinians. CNN reporter Delia Gallagher wrapped some of the pope`s events from Sunday.
DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The second day of the pope`s trip to the Holy Land has been one of surprises. It began in Bethlehem, on the West Bank, when the pope spontaneously stopped his pop-mobile heading towards Major Square and approached a concrete wall separating Israeli and Palestinian zones. He touched the wall in prayer, a prayer not just for this wall, but for all the walls in the world that are barriers to peace. And then a surprise invitation extended to Palestinian President Abbas and Israeli President Peres to his house at the Vatican for a day of prayer for peace.
The next surprise was for the Holy Father himself at a meeting with Palestinian refugee children as they greeted him with placards saying they are under occupation. The pope told the kids I have understood your message, the past doesn`t determine your lives, violence is never overcome by violence, it is overcome by peace.
And peace was the pope`s message, reiterating the Vatican`s support for a two state solution to the crisis recognizing both Israel`s right to live in peace and security and the Palestinian right to a sovereign homeland. From Bethlehem to birthplace of Jesus to the Holy Sepulcher where Jesus is said to have been buried. The pope finished the day in a solemn ceremony of historic reconciliation between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, split since the year 1054. Reconciliation and peace for his own church and for the Holy Land. Delia Gallagher, CNN, Jerusalem.
AZUZ: A European leader called Sunday`s election in the European Union a political earthquake. The union was established in 1993. Its goals included closer political and economic cooperation between members. The E.U. works kind of like Congress, but instead of 50 states, it represents 28 European countries. Some voters in those countries want out of the union. They gave significant wins to parties that are very conservative, some that are against immigration and some that are skeptical of the E.U. Mainstream parties still have the majority in the European parliament, but the election showed that confidence in the E.U. was dropping across Europe.
Ukrainians also went to the polls over the weekend. It appeared that a billionaire business owner named Petro Poroshenko would become the next president of Ukraine. He`s known for his pro-European views, and the nation divided over whether to forge closer ties with Europe or Russia. But unrest there continues. There was violence yesterday in the region of eastern Ukraine between fighters who support Russia and Ukrainian government troops.
Finally, election results in what`s called the world`s largest democracy. India`s 15th prime minister was sworn in on Monday.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: India is celebrating with drums, with firecrackers, on the streets and at the stock market. The change in mood is because of this man Narendra Modi, the runaway winner of the world`s biggest elections.
PIYUSH GOYAL, BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY: See a mood of the nation to reinvest in India, to start – kick start the investment cycle. And I thought that was one of the biggest challenges.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s the view from Modi`s camp. But winning is the easy bit. Far great challenges lie ahead. Modi has promised faster growth, more development, better infrastructure. In the coming days, he`ll need to begin delivering.
Modi will present the new budget in weeks, some of his decisions might be unpopular widening the tax base of cutting subsidies, but most of all, he will be judged on whether he can create jobs.
100 million Indians turned 18 in the five years. This was their first election. Once they hit the job market, Modi will need all of those promises and more to come good. And then there are the unknowns, the infamous 3 a.m. calls. On Friday, India`s consulate in Herat, Afghanistan, came under fire. Four men (INAUDIBLE) machine guns and grenades. They were eventually repelled. But for Modi, it was a stock reminder that leading the world`s biggest democracy comes with challenges not just at home, but abroad as well.
AZUZ: We start today`s “Roll Call in the most populated state in the Union. That`s California and it`s Simi Valley High School, the pioneers are on the train in Simi Valley. Across the country, in the Keystone state, it`s the bears who are watching in the Union City area school district. Hello to Union City, Pennsylvania. And one state up, in upstate, New York, the Queensbury Middle School Spartans in Queensbury are watching CNN STUDENT NEWS.
Longest purr on a cat. Largest collection of traffic cones. They are some pretty obscured Guinness World Records out there. How about the most people in one building wearing duct tape? It`s 752, and it was set last Thursday in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Participants had to be wearing something made completely out of duct tape. It was part of an event that encouraged its students to think creatively in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. In the end, they won the record by sticking together, by taping responsibility for their actions and by measuring up to the tale of the tape. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN STUDENT NEWS.
CNN Student News May 28, 2014: About 10,000 U.S. Troops to Stay in Afghanistan; Republicans Want to Change Child Nutrition Law of 2010; Crime Prevention Using Surveillance Plans Can be Controversial
CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to Wednesday`s edition of CNN STUDENT NEWS. You are half way through the week. I`m Carl Azuz, it`s good to see you. First up today, there are about 32,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, plus those of some U.S. allies. President Obama announced yesterday that almost 10,000 American troops would stay in Afghanistan through next year. Their role is changing, though. The president says the U.S. combat mission ends this year, remaining troops will be focused on training Afghan forces and fighting al Qaeda terrorists. Afghanistan`s got to agree to U.S. troops staying, though. It`s current president Hamid Karzai won`t, but the two political candidates competing to succeed him say they will. Some Republican lawmakers say they are glad the U.S. will keep some troops in Afghanistan, but that putting dates on their withdrawal could lead to violence afterward. The U.S. official says U.S. forces in Afghanistan will be reduced to about 1,000 after the year 2016.
Republican lawmakers are considering significant changes to a child nutrition law passed in 2010. The law`s goal was to encourage students to eat healthier school lunches. The government required schools to use less sodium in meals and it required students who qualify for free or reduced price meals, about 30 million students nationwide, to pick up a fruit or vegetable with their lunch. First lady Michelle Obama is a strong supporter of the law.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE OBAMA: Parents have a right to expect that their kids will get decent food in our schools, and we all have a right to expect that our hard-earned taxpayer dollars won`t be spent on junk food for our kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: But an official from the School Nutrition Association says they are not pushing for junk food in lunches, they just want the fruit or vegetable requirement dropped. The group says there is a lot of waste from students picking what they have to get the fee meal, but then immediately throwing it away.
Next story involves planes and law enforcement. Technology that has been around may be a little after the Wright brothers is combining with camera surveillance technology, and it`s getting policy in apprehend and tracking some crime suspects. Not everyone`s on board with the idea of pursuing people using an eye in the sky, but it is having an impact.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From their specially equipped Cessnas Ross McNutt and his firm Persistent Surveillance Systems can monitor large sections of cities. Because they are in the air for hours at a time, they can track back to the moment of a crime and before it. (INAUDIBLE).
ROSS MCNUTT, PERSISTENT SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS: They meet up three to four times prior to the murder, including one time right outside the murder scene.
TODD: In the moments afterward …
MCNUTT: We actually can follow all of the cars, so we are actually going to jump over and follow the car that the shooter got into and see where it goes to.
TODD: They tie in a Google Earth street view image to show police the house where the suspect went to hide. McNutt`s team helped police make arrest in that shooting.
MCNUTT: We`ve actually (INAUDIBLE) 34 murders so far, and we actually have confessions that account for 75.
TODD: McNutt`s team has monitored other high crime cities. Campton, California, Philadelphia, Baltimore. Then can replicate their operation center in Dayton, Ohio – anywhere.
In a typical operation, law enforcement officers will sit in this area monitoring the police scanner. When a call comes in that a crime has been committed, these analysts immediately start to track back when and where it occurred. And sometimes, they can catch up to a suspect in real time.
Dayton, 2012. They get word of a burglary. Track the suspect in the white truck as he`s getting away, and direct police right to him. Dayton`s police chief says the technology`s helped his depleted force.
CHIEF RICHARD BIEHL, DAYTON, OHIO POLICY DEPT.: Allows us to gain data on, criminal offenses, for which there are often or not witnesses and clearly, police officers are not there to prevent.
TODD: But privacy advocates say this smacks of Big Brother.
MARC ROTENBERG, ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER: Then we`ve actually crossed the line. This creates the opportunity after the fact to look at anybody for any reason.
MCNUTT: We are responding in support of law enforcement to reported crimes only.
TODD: And McNutt says, they closely monitor their own analysts to make sure they are only tracking suspects.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for the “Shoutout.” Who made the first solo flight around the world? If you think you know it, shout it out!
Was it Wiley Post, Charles Lindbergh, Eddie Rickenbacker or Chuck Yeager? You might not be familiar with Wiley Post, but he made history in July of 1933 with the first solo flight around the world. That`s you answer and that`s your shoutout.
AZUZ: That was back in the Golden Age of aviation. A time period between World Wars One and Two when tremendous achievements were made in flight. Charles Lindbergh`s trans-Atlantic solo in 1927, Emilia Earhart`s trans- Atlantic solo in 1932. Records were made, then broken, then broken again. And now, a 19-year old is hoping to fly in the history, kind of like Wiley Post did.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On Wednesday, Guthmiller will hop aboard its 1981 beach craft A-36 Bonanza in hopes of becoming the youngest person to fly solo around the world. He says he was inspired after 21-year old Jack Wiegand of Fresno completed the trip last spring. Wiegand currently holds the Guinness world record. The college sophomore says his passion for flying started at a young age.
MATT GUTHMILLER, PILOT: You know, I always played flight simulator games growing up, always wanted to go eat of the airport cafe and watch planes take off and land.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Guthmiller told us that trip should take him about 40 days or 160 hours of flying time. He plans to make about 20 stops on five continents and update his status on social media along the way. The young pilot says, when he shared his interest in flying with his parents, they didn`t think he`d take it this far.
GUTHMILLER: You know, I think at the time, they thought I was just going to do this a little 20 minutes like get it out of my system. And now, three years later, I`m going to go fly solo around the world.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Although Guthmiller has his eyes on earning a spot in the history books, he says he hopes the trip will inspire other young people to follow their dreams.
AZUZ: Roll call. Time to stamp some passports. It`s Worldwide Wednesday. Hello at everyone at the AAS Moscow High School. They are watching CNN STUDENT NEWS from the Russian capital. Spinning the globe now to Vietnam. At the Singapore international school, we`ve got some viewers in Da Nang, and at the Hong Kong Academy, thanks for taking ten minutes for us, it`s good to have you watching in Hong Kong.
There`s a modified form of baseball called beep baseball. It`s for blind or visually impaired people. Some rules are different, and the balls on bases beep, so players no where they are. A woman named Judy Byrd was watching a game one day when she asked, if the same idea could help kids play kickball? Her nonprofit association says beep kickball is now played in more than 50 camps and schools for the blind.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let`s play ball!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Each one of these kids is visually impaired, but it doesn`t stop them from kicking, running and sliding into base. They are playing beep kickball.
JUDY BYRD, FOUNDER BEEP KICKBALL ASSOCIATION: Beep kickball is an adapted sport to kids who are visually impaired one, and it`s played with three pieces of equipment. A kickball, which is two bases for each – and de Blanco. All the kids were blindfold to equalize the differences in Vision.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Beep kickball founder Judy Byrd says the rules are simple.
BYRD: Catch the ball and be run to the (INAUDIBLE) that it`s buzzing. His job is to catch before one of the – now that the field – look at the ball and kick it up.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 11-year old Christopher Abel was born blind, and says he loves everything about beep kickball.
CHRISTPOPHER ABEL, BEEP KICKBALL PLAYER: It`s not even when you go (INAUDIBLE) with the ball, then you know it is going flying and like running – to get one of the times than I just get to run as fast as I can as hard as I can. Like tackling the bases, because it`s just so fun to hit it. I`m not going to – I`m like feel thing. Because it`s always just amazing when you pick up the ball and say I got it before the runner could get the base.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Coach Melissa Allen says the benefits go beyond the physical.
MELISSA ALLEN, CO-FOUNDER COBB COUNTY BEEP KICKBALL: The sport itself, it gives the kids a lot of confidence, a lot of times vision-impaired students are not able to play a lot of athletic team sports.
DAVID ABEL, PARENT: For him it`s just a running. It`s getting used to with him being blind. Run it at an area where he`s not going to run into something, he`s not going to collide with anybody, you know, so he can just run as fast as he wants without worrying about if he`s going to hit a wall or tip over something.
CHRISTPOPHER ABEL: It`s just so exciting: running to the bases, hitting it, knocking it over – there`s nothing bad about it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And for this young team, having fun is exactly what it`s all about.
AZUZ: For Taylor Crofton senior prom came and went without her dad. He`s in the U.S. Air Force and was deployed to Cuba for months. Graduation also started without him, but it didn`t stay that way. Sergeant Chris Crofton was there in more than spirit. He rushed onstage as Taylor was about to receive her diploma. The surprise made the event even more memorable for her whole family. Sergeant Crofton has been away on nine deployments since Taylor was a baby. He says he`s missed birthdays, Christmas celebrations, he wasn`t going to miss this.
TAYLOR KROFTEN: I`m just so happy he`s here. Better than a – than anything. So, yes, that`s all I wanted for graduation.
AZUZ: So, her graduation wasn`t too soon for a reunion. Who knew a hug will be part of our walk? It was a great way to commence spending time with the family and it helps us wrap today`s show with a little class. CNN STUDENT NEWS returns tomorrow.
CNN Student News May 29, 2014: Maya Angelou`s Tough Childhood and Inspiring Life and Poetry; Search for Malaysian Flight MH-370 Comes to a Pause; Life; Towns of the Future Built in Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.
CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN STUDENT NEWS. It`s Thursday, May 29th, I`m Carl Azuz. The first story we are covering – President Obama`s speech yesterday at West Point. It was a graduation speech at the U.S. Military Academy, but it was a foreign policy speech, too. The president wanted to define how his administration has dealt and would deal with other nations. Basically, represent the U.S. on the world stage. He`s being criticized on this issue. Republicans say America has lost influence in the world under President Obama`s leadership. Critics say the U.S. has appeared soft on issues concerning the Syrian civil war and unrest in Ukraine. The president highlighted his administration`s work to end the war in Iraq, wind down the war in Afghanistan. Kill terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. He also said that true leadership isn`t only having the world`s most powerful military, but in doing the right thing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for the “Shoutout.” Who said, “We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated?” If you think you know it, shout it out!
Was it Franklin Roosevelt, Kevin Garnett, Helen Keller or Maya Angelou? You`ve got three seconds, go.
It was poet Maya Angelou who penned these words in addition to many others. That`s you answer and that`s your shoutout.
AZUZ: American writer Maya Angelou or Angelou knew something about defeat. She was sexually abused as a child, she struggled and made mistakes before her rise to renown, her refusal to be defeated led her to victories in literature, dancing, acting. Angelou passed away yesterday morning at age 86. Fredricka Whitfield reviews her life as enduring and preserving as the words Angelou wrote.
MAYA ANGELOU: “The hells we have lived through and live through still have sharpened our senses and toughened our will.” FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Celebrated poet and activist Maya Angelou, may have been speaking about herself on that day in 1995. Born Margaret Annie Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri, April 4, 1928, the hells she lived through began at the age of seven when she was raped by her mother`s boyfriend. After she spoke out against him, he was beaten to death by a mob. Young Margaret blamed herself.
ANGELOU: I was 7.5 and my 7.5-year-old logic deduced that my voice had killed him so I stopped speaking for almost six years.
WHITFIELD: And it was during those years of silence that she discovered poetry and her love of art. WHITFIELD: Her poetry was first physical. Winning a dance and drama scholarship in San Francisco, then later touring Europe in 1954 in “Porgy and Bess.” But her growing love for the written word took her to Egypt and Ghana where they became a newspaper editor. In Ghana, she met Malcolm X and returned to the U.S. in 1964 to join his fight in the civil rights movement. After Malcolm X`s assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, asked her to join him. He was killed on her birthday in 1968. The following year her first memoir was published, “I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings.” More bestsellers would follow.
Blazing trails on the big and small screens, she directed documentaries. Her screen play for 1972`s “Georgia Georgia” was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Maya Angelou was dominated for a Tony Award. She won three Grammys and in 2011 President Barack Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
ANGELOU: I am the hope and the dream of the slave. And so naturally, there I go rising.
AZUZ: Jamesville, Howell and Tuscaloosa are three cities in three states that are on today CNN STUDENT NEWS “Roll Call.” Jamesville`s in Wisconsin, the Craig High School Cougars are there, ticking off today`s segment. Next, to Howell, Michigan. It`s where we`ve got the Highlanders on our list. They are watching from Howell High School. And in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, it`s the Eagles we are talking about. Thank you for watching at Duncanville Middle School.
A great mystery we covered this school year involved the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. It hasn`t been solved. The plane hasn`t been found. No wreckage has been recovered. Malaysian officials released satellite information earlier this week. Experts use this to conclude that the plane crashed somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean. The critics say there are some holes in the data, that it`s not complete and the search itself has been put on hold.
SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wednesday marks the last day for the Bluefin-21 to carry out its underwater search for Flight MH-370, in the Southern Indian Ocean just around 1600 kilometers away from the western coast of Australia. Now, it`s carried out more than 20 missions over the last few weeks, searching an area of around 40 square kilometers at a time. But now that underwater search is going to meet quite a lengthy pause, longer than we were expecting. While The Australian Authorities, Malaysian and Chinese as well, tens of new contractors were faced to. They want to bring this one step up or they want one contractor to provide several underwater search vehicles, sidescan sonars. They want them all map out and check out a wider area in that 60,000 square kilometer searching for any signs of the plane, any kind of debris as well, or the blackboxes which could lead to the answers of what exactly happened onboard Flight MH-370.
AZUZ: This is a dangerous season for young drivers. AAA and organizations that promote safety on the road says the 100 deadliest days for teenage drivers start on Memorial Day. Chances of a fatal crash are 26 percent higher now than they are the rest of the year. So they released a few tips on driving safety. One, drive only when you have somewhere to go, just driving around for the heck of it can increase the risk of a wreck. Two, spend some time driving with a parent. Might not be as fun as with your friends, but they`ve been driving a long time and can explain how to handle different situations. Also, the more friends you have in a car, the more likely you are to crash. Three, drive less at night. AAA says more than half of night time crashes happen between 9 p.m. and midnight.
George Orwell`s book “1984” was published in 1949. Aldous Huxley`s “Brave New World”, 1932. Ray Bradbury`s “Fahrenheit 451”, 1953. They all imagine what the world would be like decades or hundreds of years in the future. Scientists are trying to do that now, but with cities.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What if you could build the perfect city from scratch? What would it look like? Around the globe, developers are trying to answer those questions. In Songdo, South Korea, it`s a $35 billion preplanned smart city that uses pneumatic tubes to transport trash. In a desert of Abu Dhabi, Masdar City is a $19 billion oasis to sustainable energy. That recycles 80 percent of its water and is replacing cars with electric (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your destination .
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And in Japan, a $592 million called Fujisawa will soon have smart streetlights with motion sensors that create an invisible security network. Each house will also be solar-powered and has a capability to stay off the grid for up to three days.
Many of these projects like Masdar have been government-funded. But increasingly, money is coming from commercial and private organizations. A New York-based development firm called Gale International is building Songdo, while Fujisawa is funded by Panasonic. So far, the answer is mixed: 33,000 have moved into Songdo. Fujisawa will only build 1,000 homes, and Masdar currently only has a few thousand residents. To attract more people, Masdar has deliberately quartered academics and scientists teaming with MIT to build a satellite campus. They are hoping that the masses will follow the brains. In each case, these custom-built towns seem to be more laboratory than final product, each is trying to look into the future to see what tomorrow`s generation will need. One thing seems clear, the world`s major cities aren`t going anywhere, but these popup cities may very likely show us all how to live better.
AZUZ: When my producer said today`s “Before We Go” segment was otters playing a keyboard, I knew we had won. Look at this, it`s otters playing the keyboard. Someone at the National Zoo thought it`d be awesome to let otters play a keyboard. They were right. These are Asian small-clawed otters, they are participating in the Zoo program that`s supposed to help animals get creative and stimulate their senses of sight, touch and hearing. Some probably thought that was otter than swimming, maybe they thought the keyboard otherworldly. But even if they thought they ought to stay away, none tried to weasel his way out of it. These creatures are always in the something or otter. I`m Carl Azuz. And we`ll have an otter edition of CNN STUDENT NEWS on Friday.
CNN Student News May 30, 2014: Growing Scandal at the VA Administration; Swarm Robots Inspired by Termites; Harboring Hearts Supporting Families of Heart Patients in New York
CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Fridays are awesome. And this is our penultimate Friday of the school year. We`ll be back next week. First up today on CNN STUDENT NEWS, a Veterans Affairs scandal gets bigger. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has the job of giving medical care and government benefits to people who`ve served in the military. It has a network of hospitals nationwide, dozens of them are under investigation. The problem, veterans have had to wait, sometimes indefinitely, to see a doctor when they needed to. At a VA hospital of Arizona, source told CNN that around 40 patients died waiting. A report released this week found that 1700 veterans waiting to see a doctor, didn`t get an appointment, and they were never put on a waiting list. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki calls the report reprehensible and says he`s waiting to set things right. But the Obama administration is taking heat over this. Republicans and Democrats are calling for Shinseki to resign.
Athletes, coaches and doctors were in Washington D.C. yesterday. President Obama was holding the first White House Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit. He was introduced by a teenage soccer star whose multiple concussions eventually took a tall on her athletic and academic performance. So, the goal of the summit is to find new ways to figure out how serious head injuries are, when they happen and how to treat them more effectively in the days ahead.
The president said that sports are vital to the country, that they are fundamental to American culture. But because, he says, there are no solid numbers on how often concussions happen in football and other contact sports, better research, better equipment and better methods of addressing head injuries are needed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for the “Shoutout.” If you were to spend one dollar every second, how long would it take you to spend one billion dollars?
You know what to do. Is it 29 days, seven months, seven years or 32 years? You`ve got three seconds, go. At the rate of a dollar a second, it would take you about 21 years to spend a billion. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.
AZUZ: Kind of gives you some perspective on our next story. It involves $3 billion and two brands you know. Apple and Beats. Computer Company Apple announced yesterday, it is buying Beats. The price is $3 billion. For that, Apple will get headphones, the speakers, the technology. It will also get the Beats music streaming service, which has about 500,000 customers. That`s not much when you compare it to, say, Pandora, which has 250 million. And the Apple Company has enough money to buy dozens of Pandoras. But Apple CEO says this deal with Beats will help his company make the world`s most innovative music products and services. Beats co- founder Dr. Dre is calling himself the first billionaire in hip hop. He and Jimmy Iovine who also founded Beats will be going to work for Apple.
All right, think for a moment of some of the world`s wonders. The great pyramid of Egypt, the Great Wall of China. These weren`t built by one person. It took teams of people working overtime to get these projects started in the ancient world. Same idea behind swarm robots today. It`s not one machine capable of doing all things. By working together, they are a little more like we are.
KIRSTIN PETERSEN, GRADUATE STUDENT, WYSS INSTITUTE: I mean it`s easy to say why I like (INAUDIBLE). I work with robots. It`s always fun to come in and play around.
DR. JUSTIN WEFFEL, RESEARCH SCIENTIST, WYSS INSTITUTE: So typically when you think of robotics, you think of one humanlike complicated robot. The swarm robotics is the kind of robotics that uses large numbers of simple robots rather than one or small number of sophisticated ones. So, we envision systems like this, some maybe in new roles (ph) and sightings where we want construction done, but we don`t want people to be the ones to do it.
You know, if you want to build underwater, if you want to build like marine research stations (INAUDIBLE) platforms, if you want to build another planets. That`s obviously decades away. Systems like this, I think in the shorter term could be used for things like building levies of sandbags for flood protection and be able to keep the humans who otherwise have to do their work at a harm`s way.
If something happens to some of the robots, if something gets swept away by rising waters, none of the others nearly could take notice. They don`t have to do anything to (INAUDIBLE).
So we were inspired by termites, not the ones around here that destroy buildings, but the ones on other continents that build.
Termites can build mountains more than 40 feet tall.
PETERSEN: The beautiful thing about the termites, right, is that there is really no central front of coordination, it`s not like the green is sitting there telling every one of whom what to do. They sort of react to their local environment and try to figure out what to do in just a net situation. And so we`re trying to do the same with the robots. Beautiful thing about (INAUDIBLE) was actually they don`t have to talk together, there is no central point of coordination. The way they do communicate is through the environment, right. So, if a place a block here, that will make someone in the future come by and notice that that block (INAUDIBL) there and then it`s going to react to that. We are not intending to replace humans, we intending to work in settings where humans can`t work.
AZUZ: I like state nicknames. Those of today`s “Roll Call” schools are the Jam state and the Lone Star state and the Wolverine state. The Jam state is Idaho. The capital is Boise and the school on today`s roll is Boise High School. Go Braves! Everything`s bigger in Texas. It might explain why so many schools there watch our show, including Wilkinson Middle School. Hello to the wild cats in mesquite. And in the Wolverine state of Michigan, Anchor Bay High School is watching in Fair Haven, shoutout to the tars.
We often talk about how driving accidents are a leading cause of death for American teenagers. But if you look at Americans as a whole, the number one killer is heart disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says one in every four deaths is because of heart disease. It`s a physical burden, an emotional burden. It can be a financial one. That`s what inspired of CNN Hero to help.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve been sick for my whole life. I can`t do what most people can do. I can`t go on sleepovers. I can`t play football.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come on, Brandon. You`ll be all right, OK?
Brandon was five weeks old when he got his heart transplant. I`ve been dealing with Brandon heart disease since he is born.
MICHELLE JAVIAN, CNN HERO: Heart disease is the number one killer in America. It can happen in a second and it uproots your life entirely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lily!
JAVIAN: A lot of families travel to New York City for top cardiac care. However, New York City is also one of the most expensive places to live and stay.
My father passed away after battling heart disease for nearly two years. While we were at the hospital, we met countless families that didn`t have a place to stay. They were emotionally drained and financially not in the best situation.
How are you guys doing and feeling, and .
So I cofounded Harboring Hearts. Our organization helps families with emotional and financial support and any other types of emergency needs.
(on camera): Did you get the gift cards and everything?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
JAVIAN: OK. Good.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Brandon needs to have biopsy every few months. Without foundation, we would be able to be close to the hospital because my economical situation.
I want to really thank you (INAUDIBLE) in the time we really need it.
JAVIAN: After my father passed away, I wanted to do something positive and bring happiness and relief and support to the families who need it.
AZUZ: Mr. Gee is a goat who is rescued from someone who wasn`t taking care of him. But he wasn`t happy in his new home at an animal sanctuary. He refused to eat, seem depressed, was just moping around. Then animal control found out he was raised with the burro who`d become his best friend and they`ve gotten separated during the rescue. So, Mr. Gee`s caretakers located the burro, reunited the two and both are living happily ever after.
It seems the burro was donkey (ph) to Mr. Gee`s happiness. Neither was sheepish about the reunion, and as far as the burro`s concerned, well, she got a goat. Not a bad way to go into the weekend. And now we`ve got to hope it, we hope you`ll make a room in it for more CNN STUDENT NEWS on Monday.
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