Return to Transcripts main page


Sanctions for Syria; US Troops Leaving Iraq; Flying without Fuel

Aired November 28, 2011 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: CNN Student News is back. We want to say hello to the 8th graders at Pinckneyville Middle School in Norcross, Georgia. We hope you and all of our viewers out there had a great Thanksgiving holiday and that you`re ready to dig into some global headlines.

First up, the Arab League votes for sanctions, a form of punishment against the Middle Eastern nation of Syria. Citizens there have been protesting against their government for months now, and Syrian military forces have cracked down on the protesters.

There are estimates that thousands of people have died and one Arab League official said, quote, "We have responsibilities, not only as Arabs, but as human beings to stop the bloodshed in Syria."


AZUZ (voice-over): One way the Arab League is trying to do that is with these economic sanctions. Nineteen countries voted for them. Iraq and Lebanon did not. Those are two of Syria`s biggest economic partners.

So there`s some debate now about how effective these sanctions are going to be if those countries don`t participate. Arab League officials say they`re trying to resolve this situation before other countries get involved.



AZUZ (voice-over): Next up, Egypt: the country has a new prime minister, but he might just be a temporary one.


AZUZ: Parliamentary elections are scheduled to start today, and the new parliament will decide whether to keep the new prime minister or not.


AZUZ (voice-over): Egypt`s current military rulers are fighting with protesters who are angry about how the military has been running things. There has been violence. But on Sunday, Ivan Watson said the mood seemed to be shifting.

IVAN WATSON, CNN REPORTER: The crowds are back here in Tahrir Square, a sea of humanity, really. And instead of selling gas masks like they were just a few days ago, when the bloody street battles were underway, now trinkets in patriotic Egyptian colors for sale.

Many people are calling this an extension of the previous revolution that brought down Hosni Mubarak, those protests in January and February that helped force out the former president. But part of the anger here is directed against the ruling military council that replaced him.


AZUZ: Our final stop in this part of the world today is in Kuwait. That is where thousands of American troops are going as they head home from serving in Iraq, which is right next door to Kuwait.

The U.S. is scheduled to pull all of its troops out of Iraq by the end of this year.


AZUZ (voice-over): Martin Savidge is in Kuwait. He`s going to explain the process that those men and women will go through on their way home.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN REPORTER: This is the main staging area for the convoys that have been coming out of Iraq and are in the process of going home. Most of these soldiers should spend about five to eight days here as they wait for the flights to return to the States, time to decompress, time to do the paperwork and time to do a lot of packing.

Remember, the president said that he wants all U.S. troops out of Iraq by December 31st. Well, just three months ago there were 50,000 troops that were in Iraq. Right now we`re told that number is down to about 11,000. But what it really means is that over the next two weeks it`s really going to be crunch time, not only at this base, but at a number of other bases in Kuwait.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s Shoutout goes out to Ms. Payne`s classes at L.H. Rather Junior High in Bonham, Texas. What does it mean when a company is "in the black"? You know what to do. Is the company going bankrupt, making a profit, part of a merger or opening new stores? You`ve got three seconds, go.

A company is said to be "in the black" when it starts making a profit. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.


AZUZ: That`s why the day after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday. It`s the start of the holiday shopping season and a time when a lot of companies hope to make enough sales to get in the black.


AZUZ (voice-over): These folks are racing to be a part of it. A lot of stores offer deals to bring in the crowds. It might have worked, though there was some fighting among customers. According to a company that tracks shoppers, Black Friday brought in estimated sales of around $11.4 billion. That`s a big jump from last year.

But the experts also said it`s just one day. There`s no guarantee that the strong sales will last through the holiday shopping season. But they are expected to continue online today. It`s Cyber Monday, when companies start offering big holiday deals on their websites. Analysts are expecting another billion dollars or so in sales online today.


AZUZ: The NBA`s lockout is over. Players and owners announced over the weekend that they did reach a tentative deal to end the labor dispute, still has to be approved by both sides. This whole thing, as you might remember, started back in July. Owners and players couldn`t agree on how to split up the money that the NBA makes.


AZUZ (voice-over): The last time we reported on this story, NBA Commissioner David Stern warned the entire season could get canceled. Now it looks like it`ll just be shorter, 66 games instead of the usual 82. It`ll all start on Christmas Day. This lockout lasted more than 140 days. That`s shorter than the last time the NBA went through this in 1998. That lockout lasted for more than 200 days.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this legit? Yawning is a voluntary action.

Not legit. Yawning is involuntary, which means you can`t decide when it happens.


AZUZ: There`s a new report out by a couple of university researchers that says you don`t actually yawn because you`re tired or bored or when you need oxygen. They say you yawn to cool your brain.


AZUZ (voice-over): A University of Maryland news release said brains are like computers: they work best when they`re cool, and that yawning opens up part of your sinuses to push cool air to your brain.

Is this debatable? Of course it is. The National Institutes of Health says drowsiness is usually the reason why we yawn. But this new study can give doctors something new to research and give you a new excuse when you yawn in class.


AZUZ: But of course, never during CNN Student News, and certainly not when you see the airplane that is the focus of our next report from Ayesha Durgahee. This thing is the first of its kind, and its creators have an ambitious goal for it, to fly around the world without using a single drop of fuel.


AYESHA DURGAHEE, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): With the same wingspan as a jumbo jet, the weight of a family car and the power of a scooter, the Solar Impulse is one of a kind.

ANDRE BORSCHBERG, PILOT AND COFOUNDER, SOLAR IMPULSE: The airplane has no fuel, makes no pollution and creates no soot.

DURGAHEE (voice-over): It has 12,000 solar cells across its wings, four electric propeller engines, each with a battery pack, with room for just one passenger, the pilot. It is the first aircraft in the world that can fly without fuel during the day and night.

BORSCHBERG (voice-over): People just want to fly. I mean, we want to show what can be done with these technologies.

DURGAHEE (voice-over): And the idea of Solar Impulse also came from outside the aviation industry. Bertrand Piccard made the first balloon flight around the world in 1999, but only just. He nearly ran out of propane.

BERTRAND PICCARD, PILOT AND COFOUNDER, SOLAR IMPULSE: We almost failed because of lack of fuel. And on that moment, I made the promise that the next time I would fly around the world, it would be with no fuel at all, independent from fossil energy. And this is really how the vision of Solar Impulse was born.

DURGAHEE (voice-over): It was not until Bertrand met Andre Borschberg seven years ago that he could begin to fulfill that promise. Now both pilots are getting as much experience as possible handling the solar- powered aircraft.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t feel vulnerable. But I feel that it`s a big responsibility to fly the plane when you know how many people worked to build it during the last seven years.

DURGAHEE (voice-over): With a budget of $134 million over 10 years, Solar Impulse has the sponsors and the support to realize the goal of flying around the world without fuel in 2014.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An airplane like this has never been done before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the Wright Brothers did the first flight in 1903, it took 25 years for Charles Lindbergh to cross the Atlantic. He did it alone. Another 25 years to have 100 passengers flying over the Atlantic.

DURGAHEE (voice-over): As the Solar Impulse takes flight, Andre and Bertrand also want their place in history as pioneers in flight -- Ayesha Durgahee, CNN, Payerne, Switzerland.


AZUZ: And before we go, we have a little mystery for you.


AZUZ (voice-over): This is a ram. That`s not the mystery. What no one knows is where it came from or how it ended up running around Miami over the weekend. I guess it just wanted to do some "ram-bling." Maybe it was feeling a little "ram-bunctious." One thing`s for sure, it definitely wasn`t "sheep-ish." Officials were eventually able to corral the creature without any kind of confrontation.


AZUZ: Luckily, they caught up with him before he reached "ram-ming" speed.

While he was running around Miami, I was running through the streets of Marietta, Georgia, and ran into a teacher and some students from Wheeler High School and Marietta Middle School. It was great seeing you guys at the Gobble Jog on Thanksgiving Day, and we`ll see all of you again tomorrow for more CNN Student News.