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Negotiating for Peace in Syria; Previewing the Russia Election

Aired February 27, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, we`re students from Morehouse College.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you`re watching CNN Student News.

CARL AZUZ, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz, and I`m glad to be back hosting CNN Student News. I want to thank those Morehouse students for getting the week started. They were part of our report from last Friday on historically black colleges and universities. You can check out an extended version of that report on our website. Right now, this Monday, February 27th, we are starting off in Syria.

You know about the violence happening in the Middle Eastern nation. The International Red Cross has been trying to negotiate a temporary cease- fire. They`re urging everyone to stop fighting for two hours each day so that aid can be delivered into different cities.

A spokesperson says the negotiations haven`t gotten anywhere so far, but they are planning to keep trying.


AZUZ (voice-over): Voting, meanwhile, started Sunday on possible changes to Syria`s constitution. Syrian officials say it`s one way they`re working to reform their government. That`s something that have protesters have demanded. But those protesters and many analysts say the voting is purely superficial. They argue it`s only designed to quiet critics and that it really won`t change anything.



AZUZ (voice-over): On this day in history, back in 1951, the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It limited U.S. presidents to two terms in office.

In 1973, a group of 200 Native Americans took over the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota. They were demanding better treatment from the U.S. government.

And in 1991, President George H.W. Bush ordered a cease-fire, officially ending the Persian Gulf War, and declaring that Iraq`s army had been defeated.


AZUZ: Vladimir Putin served two terms as Russia`s president from 2000-2008. He`s been the country`s prime minister since then, but he`s looking to return to the presidency when elections are held next week.


AZUZ (voice-over): He definitely has his supporters. You can see the size of this crowd at a rally for Prime Minister Putin. His reelection win in 2004 was a landslide, and he`s predicted to win big this year as well.

But not everybody in Russia is as happy with the idea of Putin regaining the presidency. Phil Black now reports on a peaceful protest in Moscow.


PHIL BLACK, CNN REPORTER: One week out from Russia`s presidential election, and this is the latest protest action by people who want that vote to be free and fair and don`t want the candidate, the current prime minister, Vladimir Putin, to ultimately win that election.

This protest action is a little bit different from what we`ve seen in Moscow in recent months, a sort of rally in one place with tens of thousands of people. Instead, the goal here is to form a human chain, all the way around one of Moscow`s ring roads, known as the Garden Ring.

You can see lots of people wearing white ribbons, the symbol of this protest movement. Cars are honking their horns in support as they drive by. There`s lots of smiling, lots of waving. It is a very happy event, despite the fact that these people know Vladimir Putin is very likely to return to the presidency for a third term.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We know it`s for sure.

BLACK: And what happens then?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that he need to have a modernization of this year, because people is decide he don`t -- something is going on, to give us some rights, to make decisions, to know who is the decision maker between us. So I know that he knows it, and I think that it changed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s definitely clear that civil society is getting together, and is ready to say it clearly, to state as clearly, yes, that we are ready to fight for our freedom and for our right to vote for parties we like.

BLACK: The Garden Ring`s about 15 kilometers long, a little under 10 miles. Organizers estimated they needed about 34,000 people to complete the human chain. They didn`t get that. There are some pretty big gaps along the road. But either way, this is another example of a political demonstration that was unimaginable in this country just a few months ago - - Phil Black, CNN, Moscow.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s Shoutout goes out to Mr. Enloe`s U.S. history class at South Milwaukee Middle School in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

What does a cobbler do for a living? You know what to do. Does a cobbler make barrels, hats, shoes or pastries? You`ve got three seconds, go.

Believe it or not, a cobbler makes and repairs shoes. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.


AZUZ: All right, no one`s waiting in line for hours to get a pair of wing tips or loafers. Well, maybe me. But sneakers, tennis shoes, athletic shoes, whatever you call them, they can be a very different story. And when Nike comes out with its latest shoe, sometimes it`s more like an event than it is a sale.

But that event turned into chaos at some stores over the weekend. Martin Savidge reports on the frenzy surrounding one particular shoe.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): This is what all the foot fuss is about, the Nike Foamposite 1. The shoe retails for $220, if you can find it, and it`s finding the shoe that has led to problems.

In Orlando, home to this weekend`s NBA All-Star game, more than 100 sheriff`s deputies wearing helmets and holding riot shields stood guard outside the Florida Mall as a crowd waited for the shoe to go on sale there. They eventually had to move in after authorities say shoe fans became disorderly.

Outside a mall in suburban Washington, D.C., the crowd began growing Thursday for the shoe to go on sale Friday. When the number of people got to a thousand, the shoe store canceled the release out of safety concerns.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Huge disappointment. I mean, I was out here at least seven hours waiting on the shoes. And no shoes. So it`s pretty sad.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Elsewhere, in other cities, there were reports of long lines, but no real problems. Nike issued a statement calling for calm, saying, "We encourage anyone wishing to purchase our product to do so in a respectful and safe manner." In Miami, they resorted to name calling --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going to say it one -- two more times, Michael Bradshaw!

SAVIDGE (voice-over): -- as in a lottery system, to keep things orderly. This guy managed to get his hands on a pair, but they aren`t for his feet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you go right now online, they`re going to be worth, like, $1,000, $2,000.

SAVIDGE: We decided to look online, see what the shoe was going for. This is eBay. And pretty hefty prices -- $1,700, $1,200. Take a look at this one. I don`t know if this person`s a capitalist or just an optimist. If you want to buy the shoe right now, $10,000. That`s Canadian, by the way; even more in the U.S.

AZUZ (voice-over): Ten thousand, they`re worth almost as much as my feet. Now we want you to forget about the money for a second. Even the shoes themselves, what would you camp out to buy?

I mean, sleep outside a building, in the cold, on a chair with a blanket, just to have the chance to buy it at retail price? It`s what we`re talking about on our blog today at Please leave your comment, along with your first name only, no school or class, just your first name.


AZUZ: From our last blog posts, some would be surprised that most of you don`t think it`s a good idea to pay students to attend school.

AZUZ (voice-over): "Telling students that all they have to do is show up and they`ll get paid is not teaching them responsibility or self- governing skills they`ll need in the real world," that comment from Malia.

Alvyn writes that students do need to attend school. "It`s a privilege to be taught for free, and we shouldn`t expect money in return."

Now Tony says, "Paying students is a good way to get them to attend and to save money for college. It`s like killing two birds with one stone."

Emma asks, "When can I move to that school?"

And Nate says people tell him all the time, "It`s your job to go to school." Why not get paid?

Jeffra understands that adults get paid for their work, but argues that a student earns credit and education for attending school.

And from Benjamin, "There are thousands of kids around the world that would give anything to attend school in this noble nation. It is wrong to pay kids to come and learn."


AZUZ: And before we go today, you might occasionally get frustrated by technology.


AZUZ (voice-over): We all do, but it`s causing a downright "cat- astrophe" for these furry felines. In this YouTube video, they`re messing with an app that uses a virtual mouse. There`s nothing virtual for the cats. For them, this fight is all too real -- and pretty much impossible. You think they might figure it out after a while, but the back-and-forth battle just rages on.


AZUZ: Every near capture foiled by an elusive escape, like a true game of cat-and-mouse. But, hey, if you`re looking to keep your cat endlessly entertained, this seems like "purr-fect app-ortunity."

I want to give a quick hello to my friends at Teasley (ph) Middle School. Thank you for stopping by the CNN Center yesterday. Thanks for all of you for putting up with the puns. We`ll be back for more global headlines tomorrow. Look forward to seeing you then.