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Continuing Protests in Ukraine; Pope Francis is "Time`s" Person of the Year; Software Developer Teaches New York Homeless Man to Code

Aired December 12, 2013 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS. I`m Carl Azuz. It`s a country of nearly 45 million people, one of the largest nations in Europe. And right now it`s in a struggle with itself. We`re talking about Ukraine. Kind of a crossroads, Western Europe to one side, and Russia to the other. The tension happening in Ukraine right now is over which side the country should be closer to. Ukraine`s president and many of its people prefer to be aligned with Russia. Ukrainians who want to move toward Western Europe have been protesting. They`ve taken over parts of the capital city, Kiev, and put up barricades around their gathering spots. That is until late Tuesday night.


DIANA MAGNAY, KIEV, UKRAINE: It`s 2:00 in the morning, and it would appear that the riot police have decided that this is the time to go into the square in full force. I don`t know how we`re going to get in, this is the only way down, and there are police three deep (ph), but we`ll try.


MAGNAY: (INAUDIBLE) How are they going to push through these barricades, which have been up there for a long time. You can see the protesters manning the barricades and there are hundreds of riot police here, but no easy access for them through into this square, which is exactly the way the protesters want it.


MAGNAY: So, the police have moved on here with chainsaws to try and saw through these barricades and also use brute force to pull them back. And it does look as though in that corner it is giving way.



MAGNAY: Now, you have the sea of helmets, the red helmets of the protesters against the black helmets of the riot police, head on head. And we`ll see what happens next.



AZUZ: On Wednesday, protesters in Kiev started rebuilding those barricades that were torn down overnight.

Catching up on a few other stories now, starting with Merrill Newman. The 85-yar old American is home after being held in North Korea for weeks. That country`s government released a video, in which Newman read a supposed apology for things he did during the Korean War. Newman says that apology was given under duress. "Anyone who has read the text of it knows that the words were not mine, and were not delivered voluntarily."

Next up, a lawsuit involving human rights for non-humans. The Non- Human Rights Project was suing to get chimpanzees some of the same rights as the legal person. Their goal was to get some animals move from private owners to sanctuaries. Three courts of New York have rejected the lawsuits. The Non-Human Rights Project says it will appeal those decisions.

And finally, a follow up about outbreak of meningitis, which involves inflammation around the brain and spinal cord. After several cases of the disease at Princeton University, school officials decided to offer students there vaccine. This particular vaccine is approved in other countries, but not in the United States. Princeton says it will cover the cost of the vaccine and only offer it to students and certain members of the university community.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s time for the "Shoutout." What did Queen Elizabeth II, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mark Zuckerberg have in common? If you think you know it then shout it out. Have they all been Nobel Prize winners? "Time`s" Person of the Year? Awarded the Medal of Freedom? Or Harvard Graduates? You`ve got three seconds, go!

The Queen, MLK and Zuckerberg have all been "Time`s" Person of the Year. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.

AZUZ: When picking a person of the year, the editors of "Time" magazine consider who affected the news and people`s lives the most? Good or bad? And who embodied what was most important about the year. "Time`s" pick for 2013, Pope Francis. He was elected to lead the Roman Catholic Church in March of this year. One of "Time" magazine`s editors says that since he became pope, Francis has changed he church`s image and its substance, focusing on service and helping the poor.

Some people thought "Time`s" Person of the Year should have been the runner up (ph) Edward Snowden. The former U.S. National Security Agency contractor leaked information about government surveillance programs. People pushing for Snowden to be person of the year say he had a bigger impact on the world than the new pope.

This next story is kind of about technology, it`s kind of about the environment, it`s kind of about business. But it`s mostly about perceptions, and that old advice not to judge a book by its cover. Think about the aps that people use on smartphones. Now, try to picture what the people who design those aps look like, and now watch.


BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is Patrick, the kind of driven computer wiz who starts companies in college. He came to New York hoping to meet someone in tech that would buy his ideas and change his life. He just didn`t know it would be the homeless guy on the walk to work.

PATRICK MCCONLOGUE, SOFTWARE ENGINEER: He just has something about him. And the first time I remember thinking of him ahead like - you know, who is this guy?

WEIR: This is Leo. As a kid, he was obsessed with science, astronomy, chemistry, physics, but then he fell in with the wrong crowd, became a father too soon. And two years ago first lost his job, and then his home.

(on camera): What did you think he wanted?

LEO GRAND, SOFTWARE DEVELOPER: I didn`t do anything.


GRAND: You got the wrong guy.


GRAND: No, he just said, hey, I`m just - it may sounds strange, but I`ll put you an offer. I`ll either give you $100 and you spend it however you want to or I (inaudible) with this brand new laptop and teach you how to code. And instantly, I just said, in my mind, number two.

WEIR (voice over): He would write code for hours, for days, on the banks of the Hudson or in the corner nook in Patrick`s office. At night, Patrick would go home, and Leo would go back outside. Shelters just aren`t his thing. Which all seemed fine, until winter blew in.

(on camera): How do you stay warm on those really bitter nights?

GRAND: I can go to train station or bungalow (ph) like tons of blankets.

MCCONLOGUE: It`s getting really cold, and I keep telling this, and he, you know, he`s like, I`m good, man, let`s keep going.

WEIR (voice over): See, Patrick just wanted to get him employed and housed ASAP, but Leo had other priorities.

(on camera): What is it you wanted to do with this information he was teaching you?

GRAND: Make the world a better place.

WEIR (voice over): See, he is a passionate environmentalist. His heroes are scientists who brave the rugged outdoors.

GRAND: This is what life is supposed to be like, you know.

WEIR (on camera): Going outside?

GRAND: Yeah. I want to be around plants and I want to breathe as much oxygen as possible.

WEIR (voice over): Since he`s really worried about a changing climate, he decided to use his new skills to create a carbon cutting ride sharing app, called Trees for Cars.

GRAND: These would be riders in the same area who want to ride with you.

WEIR (on camera): OK.

If you make money off of this app.

GRAND: Right.

WEIR: Are you going to go get an apartment? What are you going to do?

GRAND: Oh, yes, of course! Trump (inaudible) Hotel.



AZUZ: Central Florida, western Pennsylvania, southern Indiana. That`s where we are heading for today`s "Roll Call." In Florida, we are checking in with the Hawks from Lake Minneola High School. From there it`s up to Pennsylvania and the Warren Area High School Dragons. And finally, we`ll make our way over to Clarksville, Indiana, where the Providence Pioneers close out today`s roll call journey.

Going to the gym is always a little easier when you`ve got a workout buddy. And who better than men`s best friend? In fact, this gym is designed more for the pooches than their personable pals. The owner says it`s designed for dogs to relax and have fun, apparently get a serious workout, too. There are programs for athletic dogs, for older dogs. Treadmills, waterobics. Presumably, it`s open to groups who want to lose some weight because after all, gym is a perfect place to deal with dog pounds. Of course, there`s only one way to describe how these pounds come off: shedding. It`s a weighty subject, but we still like to have a little pun in every show. We`ll work out some more and meet you bark here tomorrow to close at the week.