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Tensions in East Asia; Protests in Ukraine

Aired December 4, 2013 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Political protests, shopping statistics and the cacophonous crowds, all coming your way on CNN STUDENT NEWS. But we start with diplomacy and the dispute. The dispute is about a section of sky over part of Asia. China, Japan, South Korea and the U.S. all fly planes through the area. But recently, China said it owns the air space. That`s led to tensions between several Asian governments. Vice President Joe Biden is on a trip to Asia right now. He is hoping to provide some of the diplomacy and to keep the tense situation from turning into something worse.


BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Vice President Joe Biden with one eye towards a possible 2016 bid is getting the chance to flex his international muscle power in Asia.

JOE BIDEN,U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: The United States has an interest in the lowering of tensions in its vital region. As I believe all the countries in Northeast Asia share that same interest with us.

STARR: Biden in crisis manager mode arrived in Tokyo as to reach and confront the power grab by Beijing. China declared it now controls the vast portion of the air space over the East China Sea and remote islands that both China and Japan claim. Biden will bluntly ask the Chinese leaders their military intentions when he stops in China next. U.S. officials worry China`s ultimate aim is a confrontation with Japan.

BIDEN: We, the United States, are deeply concerned by the attempt to unilaterally change the status quo in East China Sea. This action has raised regional tensions and increased the risk of accidents and miscalculation.

STARR: China is demanding aircraft flowing through the zone file flight plans and maintain radio contact. While some U.S. commercial airliners are complying, U.S. military aircraft will not, and the Obama administration is making clear it rejects China`s declaration of the air defense identification zone.

JEN PSAKI, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN: ... no indicates U.S. government`s acceptance of China`s requirements.

STARR: The U.S. insists it will continue flying militarily aircraft through the Chinese zone and has begun a long planned deployment of advanced P.A-ed reconnaissance aircraft to Japan that can carry torpedoes, missiles, bombs and mines. Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s time for "The Shoutout". Which country is highlighted on this map of Eastern Europe? If you think you know it then shout it out! Is it Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania or Ukraine? You`ve got three seconds, go!

That`s Ukraine. One of the largest countries in Europe and home to more than 44 million people. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.

AZUZ: Around 1920, Ukraine was conquered by the former Soviet Union. It became an independent country again in 1991. Today, Ukraine is split. Some people in the eastern part of the country think Ukraine should be more associated with Russia. Some people in the west think it should be more aligned with the European Union. Ukraine was getting ready to sign a political and trade agreement with the European Union, but a couple of weeks ago, Ukraine`s president called off the talks. That`s when protesters turned out demanding changes in their country`s government. Most of the protests have been peaceful, some have turned violent, and there doesn`t seem to be an end of this in sight.


PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is like no revolution I`ve ever seen. This square, Independence Square, is filled with happy, smiling, jumping, dancing people. It is one effective way to keep warm in these freezing temperatures. But it is also, they say, a mark of their peaceful intentions. But for all the talk of peace and for the happiness of the mood here, people here are talking about something pretty serious: and that is revolution. What`s (inaudible) was the anger of people unhappy with the Ukrainian government`s decision not to sign association and free trade agreements with the European Union. These are people who believe the future of Ukraine should be close to Europe. But what has hardened their position, what has led them to occupy this square in these numbers around the clock, was the use of force by Ukrainian police against some of the protesters.

This used to be part of the giant Christmas Tree standing in the center of Independence Square. For all the dancing and the smiling, nothing symbolizes the angry determination of this crowd, the revolutionary feel of the scene like this. They have built barricades across all the streets leading into Independence Square. If the police come, this crowd will not let them in easily. Many of them say they are determined to stay here until they get what they want, which is a new government for Ukraine. Phil Black, CNN, Kiev.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for a "Shoutout Extra Credit." In the business world, what color is often used to represent profit? You know what to do. Is it black, white, green or red? Put another three seconds on the clock and go.

When a company is making a profit, it`s said to be in the black. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout Extra Credit."

AZUZ: And that`s why the day after Thanksgiving is sometimes called Black Friday. It`s the start of the holiday shopping season. And it`s the times when stores are hoping to make enough sales to put themselves in the black. The deals that stores offer on Black Friday, sometimes lead to scenes like this. Shoppers flooding in, sometimes fighting over stuff. But industry analysts say Black Friday sales were lower this year than last year, significantly down more than 13 percent. Some of that might have been because stores opened on Thanksgiving Day, it also might have something to do with Cyber Monday: same idea, but different day, and it`s online. And this year, it was huge. Cyber Monday sales were up more than 20 percent over last year. Shopping on mobile devices made up the biggest part of that. But a big change could be coming the online shopping, thanks to a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Monday was the biggest online shopping day ever. The very same day the Supreme Court decided it would not hear a case regarding something that affects all - everybody shops online - sales taxes and you should be paying those sales taxes. In other words, folks, it was probably the Cyber Monday without sales tax for millions. It`s the biggest issue in retail. States want tax revenue. Online retailers want tax free shopping. Brick and mortar retailers want the online guys to have the same rules as the stores. Shoppers, we were all lured online by no tax in the first place, and now the Supreme Court has punted on this. States lose about 23 billion a year in uncollected sales tax. So, the states want to find ways to get that tax revenue from Web retailers. The Supreme Court decided not to get involved in appeals from and The court let standard ruling from a New York court, requiring that Internet retailers collect sales taxes even if they have no physical presence in the state. This effectively ends tax free online shopping for many people, and it gets other states thinking about how they can bring in more tax dollars to ...


AZUZ: A sea hawk might not sound menacing. Seattle sea hawk certainly sounds smoother than Seattle ospreys, and the team record of 11 and one sounds like Super Ball to some. But nothing sounds like the Seahawk century-linked field. It`s loud. It`s set a Guinness world record for noise earlier this season. Decibel levels here can exceed the volume of thunder. And during the Monday night football faceoff between the Seahawks and the Saints, fans went seismic. Late in the first quarter, there was a Saints fumble. There was a Seahawks` recovery. There was a touchdown by defensive Michael Bennett. And there was an earthquake. The crowd went so wild that at a seismic recording station nearby a tremor measuring between magnitude one and two shook the ground. It`s not the first time this has happened. Marshawn Lynch triggered a tremor with a touchdown back in 2011. And it`s not a major quake. It won`t actually bring a house down when fans bring the house down. But it shows that when you mix an exceptional team with an exceptional fan base in an exceptionally loud stadium, you have a recipe that rocks.

We are heading to three continents for worldwide Wednesday, including our first stop in South America. But we`re starting in Canada with the Falcons from Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School in Ontario. From there, we head south to Brazil, to check in with the Wild Cats from the International School of Curitiba. We started with falcons, we are going to wrap with the falcons. This time, it`s Vilseck High School in Germany.

This show has been stuffed, but hopefully, you left some room for desert or breakfast because Dr. Dan the Pancake Man is taking this home. His griddle greatness is gaining attention because of his pinching for pancake performance art. He does cats, smiley faces. The logo for the local pro- hockey team. He has a whole battery of tools at his disposal. Dr. Dan`s edible art is selling like hot cakes, which makes sense because they are hot cakes. No complaints from customers, so there is no flapjack. And if Dr. Dan keeps making dinos flip, he`ll prove he`s no flash in the pancake. To dine and dash, but it`s time to go. We`ll see you tomorrow.