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Final Farewell to Nelson Mandela; Protests in Ukraine; Chinese Lunar Rover Exploring Moon

Aired December 16, 2013 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: I`m Carl Azuz. Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS. It`s a new week. It`s our last week of 2013, and it starts with Nelson Mandela. The former South African leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner died on December, 5th. When that happened, the country`s current president declared ten days of national mourning. South Africa held a memorial service. Mandela`s body lay in state for three days, and finally, a funeral and burial in the village where Mandela grew up.


ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: On the hills, overlooking Mandela`s childhood home and burial sight, a truly unique moment. Zulus and traditional warrior (inaudible) drove seven hours to bid farewell to the hero that transformed that nation. Chants and dances reserved for a chief.

ENOCK MAGWNYANE: (inaudible) Madiba is a chief. (inaudible) you must do it as our country.

DAMON: This is really quite incredible. It`s almost surreal. Traditional Zulu song and chants, the audio of that blending with the marching band that we can hear from the speakers in front of the screen as Mandela`s coffin is being moved towards its final resting place.

The people gathered somber, silent as they watched. Some choosing to stand alone. And with the final gun salute, the reality that Mandela`s gone, for some overwhelming. Beauty Mkuna traveled 12 hours to be here.

BEAUTY MKUNA: Well, upset to know people where at least even if he was no longer in public whatever, but at least we were happy that he was still alive.

DAMON: Others emotional, but glad he can finally rest in peace. And among all, a profound sense of gratitude for all Mandela sacrificed and stood for.

MKUNA: (inaudible). It means that there is no more. He is gone for good. We don`t know whether South Africa will be the same like it was yesterday. Mandela`s finally returned home. The country united as it says good-bye. And now it must leave up to (inaudible) his legacy. Arwa Damon, CNN, Qunu, South Africa.

(END VIDEOTAPE) AZUZ: We`ve also been talking recently about political protest in Ukraine. Some people in the country think Ukraine should be more relined with Russia, other think it should have closer ties to the European Union. Most of the recent protests have been from people on the pro- European Union side. They`ve been calling for changes in their government. And yesterday, they heard some support from an American lawmaker.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R ) ARIZONA: We`re here to support your just cause. A sovereign live of Ukraine to determine its only destiny freely and independently. To all of Ukrainians, America stands with you.


AZUZ: The other side is out on the streets, too. This rally is to keep the country closer to Russia. Nick Paton Walsh talked with some of the protesters about why they don`t want to be connected to the European Union.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If we have closer ties to the European Union, this woman says, our factories in the east will be closed. We`ll be penniless.


AZUZ: This all started when Ukraine`s president refused to make a trade agreement with the European Union. Last week, he said he would sign the deal. Now, the E.U. says the deal is on hold because they don`t believe Ukraine`s president is showing a clear commitment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s time for the "Shoutout." What country`s flag is this? If you think you know it, then shout it out! Is it the flag of Turkey, Vietnam, Cuba or China? You`ve got three seconds, go!

China`s red flag features one large yellow star and four smaller yellow stars. And this one is on the Moon. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.

AZUZ: It`s on the Moon because that thing that`s attached to in the picture is a lunar rover. It`s called the Jade Rabbit, it has six wheels, four cameras, two legs and as it digs around on the Moon, China`s hoping it will help the country make more of a name for itself. In space, and on earth.


IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: China`s Jade Rabbit, lunar rover is now exploring the Moon. This vehicle detached itself from the larger Chang E-3 Lunar probe in the early hours of Sunday, Beijing time. Now, the probe itself made an historic soft, unmanned landing on the Moon, Saturday night, Beijing time. And it now puts China as the third country to accomplish this technological fit coming after the U.S. and Russia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It landed on the Moon ...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chang E-3 is on the Moon.

WATSON: And we saw scenes of scientists from China`s Space Agency celebrating, embracing each other at the moment that that Lunar probe made its successful landing on the Moon. Now, one of the missions of this Lunar probe, which is partially solar power. It`s the six-wheeled vehicle weighing about 150 kilograms, one of its missions is to explore a part of the Moon known as the Sinus Iridium, or the Bay of Rainbows. It` also tasked with looking beneath the surface of the Moon using ground penetrating radar. In part, to search for possible valuable mineral deposits. Now, some experts tell CNN that they think the Chinese may be looking at the possibility, a future prospecting and mining missions to the Moon. The Chinese acknowledge that their space program is decades behind the U.S. and Russia, for example, but this does seem to be a part of a much bigger strategy that also involves establishing China`s own global positioning system of satellites around the Earth and also building its own manned space station. And that`s very significant. Because if everything goes according to plan, when the international space station is decommissioned in 2020, in the subsequent decade, it will be the Chinese that will have the only manned space station orbiting around the Earth. Ivan Watson, CNN, Beijing.


AZUZ: An incredible story out of Austin, Texas. Elmer Hill and Richard Overton never met before last Friday, but 70 years ago, they were on the same battlefield in World War II. Both men are 107 years old, the oldest known living American veterans of that war. Hill and Overton say that shared experience left them with a lot to talk about, even if it`s sometimes hard to say.

RICHARD OVERTON, WORLD WAR II VETERAN: Something in that (inaudible) what you would do, you would never forget, but you don`t want to tell it. That`s your (inaudible). You just start - you still (inaudible) to tell. You can`t tell it all.


AZUZ: We hear from a lot of you, wild cats out there, and today`s "Roll Call" is full of them. First up, we are heading to Ocallo (ph) Florida, for the wild cats from Forest High. Then it`s over to Oklahoma, and the Piedmont High School wild cats. And California`s are last stop on this wild cats journey. The Brawley Union High School wild cats close out today` roll.

Before the city of La Jolla, California had its annual Christmas parade last week, one group was fighting to change the tradition. Not the fact that there is the parade, but the fact that it`s called a Christmas parade. Howard Singer says the name and the presence of Santa Claus give it religious undertones that he wants removed.


HOWARD SINGER, ACTIVIST: We would like it to be changed to something like, the La Hoya community parade, or the La Hoya festival, and that`s with ALL at the end, so all are welcome.


AZUZ: The event`s cheerwoman, Ann Kerr Bacher says the parade is inclusive. And that most of La Hoya wants to keep it and the Christmas title just as they are.


ANN KERR BACHER, PARADE ORGANIZER: We have people of all religions in it. We do not exclude anybody. We`ve had Muslim webmasters, Islamic floatwinners, Jewish marshals. But we don`t ask what your religion is. It`s a community event, it`s a U.S. government holiday since 1870.


AZUZ: The Christmas Parade was held as scheduled and titled. The man fighting it says he`ll try again next year to get the name changed. What do you think? It`s what we are discussing today on our blog at If you are at least 13, give us your opinion of the La Hoya Christmas Parade debate. And if you`re already on Facebook, you can comment at

In southern California, you don`t see snow or ice too often. So, an igloo sighting is even more rare. Of course, this one isn`t made out of blocks of snow or ice. It`s made out of milk jugs. 1700 milk jugs. The people who built it, collected their empty jug and asked friends and family to do the same thing. They say they still need around 150 more to make that archway for the front. Of course, you know, how they kept all those milk jugs in place. They are all iglooed together. Still 1700 containers is a lot to juggle, but if it works out, the builders will be dairy happy. It`s going to put today`s show on ice. I`m Carl Azuz. Enjoy the rest of your Monday.