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U.N. Votes to Grant Palestine Non-Member Observer Status; Einstein`s Brain

Aired November 30, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: It is Friday, which is awesome. It`s the end of the week, end of the month and the start of a new day of CNN STUDENT NEWS. Hello, everyone. My name is Carl Azuz. Let`s go in and get started.

Permanent observer -- or non-member observer state -- now they might not sound like much of a difference between those two terms, but if you ask some Palestinian officials, the difference is huge. Yesterday, the United Nations voted to upgrade the status of the Palestinian Authority. Palestinian officials had been pushing for this. They think it will give them some leverage in negotiating with Israel, but Israel and the United States have been against this upgrade, they argue that it won`t have much of an effect on efforts to create a Middle East peace deal.

When you hear about drones, unmanned aircraft you might think about them flying over Afghanistan. These are remote controlled vehicles, and they are used a lot by the U.S. military in the fight against terrorism. But drones could start popping up in the skies over the United States. Lisa Sylvester looks at the capabilities and the concerns that might come along for the ride.


LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right now, only groups with special FAA permission, like the U.S. Customs and Border Protection can operate drones in the United States, but that is going to change: Congress has asked the Federal Aviation Administration to find a safe way to expand the use of drones, or unmanned aerial systems domestically.

BEN WIITTES, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: The bottom line is that by 2015, the FAA has to have a comprehensive plan to open the air space to both public and private UAS.

SYLVESTER: Think of the potential from crop dusting to news traffic reports to surveilling land to monitoring forest fires.

There is a big industry pushing the federal government to open up the skies arguing these unmanned air craft systems are safer and less expensive.

SYLVESTER: Unmanned aerial vehicles or drones can be as large as a fighter jet or only just a couple of feet long, and people have actually been flying unmanned vehicles or even model airplanes for years, but with certain restrictions. They can`t fly them above 400 feet, or in certain areas like airports without running into problems with FAA.

That brings us to one of the problems the FAA is trying to solve: how to ensure safety if the sky suddenly become a lot more crowded.

KEVIN HIATT, FIGHT SAFETY FOUNDATION: Some of the larger concerns are the construction of the aircraft. Who`s piloting them? The actual bandwidth. Also, taking a look at some of those social issues, which we`ve all started to look into as far as privacy.

SYLVESTER: It`s the privacy peace that Representative Edward Markey is most concerned about: could prying paparazzi hound celebrities? When can drones be used by law enforcement to gather evidence? And what about the information gathered by the drones?

REP. EDWARD MARKEY, (D ), MASSACHUSETTS: Is it possible that this is just going to be a rampant, eyes in the sky gathering information about Americans with no rules, whatsoever.


AZUZ: During the 2012 U.S. presidential election, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney only came face to face four times: they had their three debates and a fundraising dinner. On election night, President Obama suggested another get together:


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.




AZUZ: That meeting happened yesterday. The former opponents got together for lunch at the White House. Now, we don`t know exactly what was sad, there were no news media allowed. But a White House statement said President Obama and Governor Romney talked about America`s role in the world. And they promised to stay in touch with each other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See, if you can I.D. me.

I was born in Germany in 1879. In my early life, I worked in the Swiss patent office. But I`m known as a famous physicist. And in 1921 I won the Nobel Prize for physics.

I`m Albert Einstein. And you`ve probably heard about my theory of relativity.

AZUZ: When a Nobel prize came up with the theory of relativity, it`s no wonder that a lot of people think of Einstein as a genius. And that`s why there is a lot interest in the organ that did Einstein`s thinking: his brain. Some photographs were published recently that show Einstein`s brain after he died. Scientists were eager to get a look and see if there were any clues to the famous Germans genius. Doctor Sanjay Gupta has more on this.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Let me just say as a starting point. You know, for the last nearly half century now, people have been fascinated with trying to figure out what it was about Einstein brain that might be different. And let`s take a look at these images. Here, it`s a good place to start, specifically looking at all those ridges and valleys on the brain. These convolutions that are sort of -- they develop as the brain is developing as someone ages.

What do we know about his brain is that he had more of these ridges and valleys. And the reason that`s significant is you just think about that -- as the result of those increased ridges and valleys and convolutions, you get more surface area. You get more neurons and you have more capacity for different parts of the brain to talk to each other.

It doesn`t necessarily means someone`s going to be more intelligent, I think it`s best to say that they have the capacity for higher intelligence because of that increased surface area neurons.

There is also a couple of other things that people really honed in on, again, in terms of differences. Take a look at this image over here. That`s frontal lobe area, and in most people whose brains have been examined that area of the brain is fused, but if you look at that red line there, that`s an area of the brain of Albert Einstein where it was actually split. This is an executive area of the brain. This is where you implement things, get things done. He had a higher executive sort of capability there.

Again, it doesn`t necessarily correlate directly with intelligence, but it does correlate with this idea that if you have significant thoughts, to be able to do something with those could be -- you could have a greater capacity for that.

A lot of people ask, you know, what does it mean for us? Could my brain be like Einstein? There is more (inaudible) things that he was born with. There are certain areas of the brain like look at this area over here that`s sort of upside down a horse shoe. That`s an area of the brain that`s responsible typically for motor control of the hand. In this case, the left hand. And now you`d look at that area and you realize it, because it`s bigger like that, it`s typically associated with someone who`s very good with their hands. In this case, Einstein was a musician, played the violin.

But that is not something that people are born with. That is something that develops. And that gives us a little bit of an insight into other parts of his brain as well that may have increased in size, may have increased in capacity as a result of all the work that he was doing. It`s fascinating stuff. Back to you.



HIILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Make no mistake about it - - HIV may well be with us into the future, but the disease that it causes, need not be.

We can reach a point where virtually no children are born with the virus and as these children become teenagers and adults, they are at a far lower risk of becoming infected than they are today.


AZUZ: You heard Secretary Clinton mention the disease that HIV causes. She`s talking about AIDS, which stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Tomorrow, December First is world AIDS day. It`s the time to support the millions of people living with these disease and honor those who have lost their lives to it.

Around 34 million people around the world have AIDS. New cases are recorded every year. But the number of new cases is decreasing. And yesterday, Secretary Clinton announced a plan that aims to get rid of AIDS, but focuses on preventing the spread of the disease and improving treatment for people who have it.


CLINTON: Thank you all very much.


AZUZ: "CNN Heroes": ordinary people doing extraordinary things to make a difference in their communities. We know who this year`s top ten are on Sunday night and all-star tribute honors them and announces the hero of the year. A special program starts at 8 p.m. Eastern on CNN. Then the CNN "Heroes " tribute as it 9 Eastern, 6 central. It`s this Sunday, so check it out.

When you step off an airplane you might hope to be greeted by a friendly face. Not this one. It`s what visitors to Wellington, New Zealand are coming face to face with for a few months, though. Gollum can be a larger than life character in the "Lord of the Rings" and the "Hobbit" movies. And at this airport, he`s just larger than a life. The 43 foot sculpture -- it`s 43 feet high, and it`s part of a publicity campaign, but it`s only going to be up for a while. So we don`t think this kind of thing is going to be habitual. Now, I don`t think anybody is going to make the mistake of calling it cute, although some might see it as precious. Calling it that, though, would take some Gollum. We know these puns will get a ringing endorsement for some of you , but we really only have two options: more, door -- we`re just going to baggins them. Those of you who follow the "Lord of the Rings" are like OK, OK, the rest of you like. So we`re just going to end in there. We`ll see you next Monday with more news and more puns. Bye now.