Return to Transcripts main page


Venezuela Divided; Banning Unhealthy Food and Drink Adds from Schools; Google Glass Banned in Several States; Lake Superior in Cave Frozen; Dome Built for School in Beijing to Protect Kids from Polluted Air

Aired February 26, 2014 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: This is the CNN STUDENT NEWS. Welcome to Wednesday show. I`m Carl Azuz, reporting from Atlanta. Venezuela is one of three divided countries we`ve told you about recently. It`s seeing protests against its president, rallies in support of him and violence in the upheaval. Its current leader like its previous one has been controversial. He`s moved the country further towards socialism, expending the government`s control over things like businesses, the economy, the media. In fact, the government`s been pressuring Venezuelan media to downplay the violence in the country. But word of instability is getting out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More wreckage to fortify opposition lines. Caracas`s wealthier east side was blockaded Monday. Antigovernment activists responding to the twitter #day of the barricades.

"I don`t want to wait in food lines. I don`t want to be kidnapped. I`m a hostage in my own home," she says.

Scores of picket lines sprang up. The opposition seems to be beefing up its bid to topple Venezuela`s socialist government. Outrage at soaring crime and a tanking economy triggered the protests. But across on the city`s poor west side, there are few signs government loyalists are deserting on mass. Pro-regime motorcycle clubs, just the latest call group to show public support for President Nicolas Maduro. The president insists the opposition is trying to stage a U.S. -funded coup attempt.

"The right wing extremists are being marginalized in Venezuela, and it`s us, the revolutionaries who were getting support from other countries, the president said. No rule opposition protesters agree on the changing tactics, especially since the barricades are in the opposition`s own neighborhoods.

"The pro-government loyalists are armed, and we aren`t," so we are shielding behind barricades and wait for them to arrive, he says. As the day wore on, there was no word of serious clashes, but the battle lines have been drawn.


AZUZ: It`s Worldwide Wednesday on CNN STUDENT NEWS, and we`re going to stay in South America for the first part of today`s roll call. In the nation of Ecuador, we are glad to be part of your day at Academia Cotopaxi. This school is in Ecuadorian capital of Quito. Moving north now to Canada, thank you for watching at Philemon Wright High School. It`s located in Gatineau, Quebec. And across the Atlantic Ocean, the Italy - hello to the students and teachers of ITCS Leon Battista Alberti. Glad to see you in Veneto.

For the first time, the U.S. government is getting involved in how food is marketed in public schools. The Obama administration wants schools to eliminate ads for foods that are high in sugar, fat and salt. Critics say it shouldn`t be up to the government to decide what kids eat, and some school districts think the latest rules might mean lost revenue from ads.


MICHELLE OBAMA: Our classrooms should be healthy places where kids are not bombarded with ads for junk food.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New rules proposed by First Lady Michelle Obama and the U.S. Department of Agriculture would eliminate advertisements for unhealthy food and drinks in schools.

MICHELLE OBAMA: Parents should be in control of their kids` health. And their good efforts at home shouldn`t be undermined when they send their kids off to school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It would mean hallways and score boards with coke or Pepsi advertisements would have to be changed. The new push comes on the fourth anniversary of the first lady`s let`s move initiative. It`s fighting childhood obesity by promoting healthy eating and exercise while encouraging healthy choices.

MICHELLE OBAMA: And water just surpassed soda as the most commonly consumed beverage in America. Yeah! Go on! Drink up!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She says the program is showing results.

MICHELLE OBAMA: Children born today will be accustomed to eating healthy food during the school day. So for them the norm will be fruits and vegetables and not chips and candy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She says, for schools healthy students are not the only benefit.

MICHELLE OBAMA: Although they are not changing - charging any more for their lunches, they are actually making more money because more kids are participating in the school lunch programs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The American Beverage Association, which represents brands like Coke, Pepsi and Dr. Pepper, came out in favor of the new proposed measures. I`m Alisa Reiny (ph) reporting.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for "The Shoutout." Which of these adjectives relates to the sense of sight? If you think you know it, shout it out. Is it: ocular, obstruent, gustatory or haptic? You`ve got three seconds, go!

The adjective "ocular" has to do with eyes or eyesight, so that`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."

AZUZ: A piece of ocular technology has Internet giant Google getting more involved in politics. We`ve talked about Google glass before. It`s eyewear with the small camera and TV screen. The camera lets you take pictures of whatever you see. The screen lets you read email, see texts and get directions and other info.

Lawmakers in several states are considering banning Google Glass for drivers. They are concerned the eyewear will create another distraction, and that people will pay more attention to what`s on Google Glass than what`s on the road. Google says laws against its product aren`t necessary. It`s lobbying politicians in several states to keep Google Glass legal. The company argues that Glass isn`t widely available enough to justify a ban. But an Illinois state senator who wants a ban says the wearable technology will be widely available in the future. Another lawmaker in Maryland says if someone`s pulled over with Google Glass, it will be difficult for police to prove whether the device was operating. The solution, he said, ban it altogether.

Our next story today is about Braille. It`s a universal system of writing for and by blind people. And users raised dots that are read when fingers are passed over them. Braille printers can run thousands of dollars, but not this one - it cost a seventh grader in California 350 bucks for the Lego Minestorms kit. Plus, the few extra dollars for some materials from the Home Depot. Shubham Banerjee hopes his invention will help people in poor countries who may not be able to afford a commercial Braille printer. His invention isn`t perfect. It`s slow and it needs improvements to print out full pages of text. Banerjee is working on those. And he`s putting a complete how to on the Internet. So anyone could build one of their one at a relatively low cost.

Yesterday we told you about incredibly high pollution in the Chinese capital and showed you some seriously foggy pictures. That show is available on our archive section at

Until the cold front comes this week, the air is unsafe for anyone to spend time outside, even for recess. So, what`s a school to do?


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Recess at the International School of Beijing. So where are all the students? All 1900 of them banned from going outside, because the air is so bad.

So bad so often, the school built an enormous dome to scrub out the pollution.

The dome cost $5 million to build and took nine months. It has a soft Teflon coated roof and the entire thing is pressurized. Also, that these children can play in Beijing.

Housing a soccer field and basketball courts, it`s their strange reality of growing up in China.

Tiny pollution particles threaten health the most. So they seal the air inside and clean it with three giant filters. Monitoring air quality levels twice a day at 25 spots around the school. In the past ten days alone, the pollution levels outside have been up to 12 times the World Health Organization acceptable rates.


On Lake Superior South Shore there are sea caves that people can typically explore by kayak or canoe. Or you can just stroll right in. One upside to a brutally cold winter, the ice on the lake is thick enough to walk to, then walk inside the caves. Water sipping through the ground was crystallized by the cold. The movie "Frozen" comes to life. More than 75,000 people have gotten these views on foot over the past month. We are guessing those who hesitated finally caved. After subfreezing temperatures, they needed to see what was a foot, what iceactly what this was all about (ph). They certainly got a superior view after all. What`s not to lake about it? Sad, isn`t it? We`ll see you tomorrow when CNN STUDENT NEWS returns.