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International Crisis in Crimea Continues; Passenger Plane Nearly Shot by North Koreans; Switching to Daylight Saving Time; Russian-Born Paralympian Goes to Sochi to Compete.

Aired March 7, 2014 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Fridays are awesome. I`m Carl Azuz. Welcome to the week`s last edition of CNN STUDENT NEWS. Could part of Ukraine secede from the rest of the country and become part of Russia? That is the question. The protests in the capital that led to the ouster of Ukraine`s president were by Ukrainians who wanted closer ties with Europe. But in Crimea, a region of southern Ukraine, many people identify more with Russia, and its local government has decided to hold a vote later this month to let Crimeans decide whether they want to be part of Ukraine or Russia. Ukraine`s government says this is an illegitimate decision, and President Obama who supports the pro-Europe Ukrainians says borders can`t be redrawn without approval from democratically elected leaders. But Russia says Ukraine`s government broke the law when it kicked out its democratically elected president. And Crimea is important to Russia. It gives Russia`s Navy access to the Black Sea. The standoff has international diplomats working around the clock to find the peaceful solution.

Next up today, the U.S. and South Korea have been allies since the Korean War. Every year, the two nations team up for a series of military exercises, and every year it makes North Korea mad.

North Korea has been launching rockets into the ocean. They are not aimed at anything or anyone in particular, but one rocket came uncomfortably close to a Chinese passenger jet.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: South Korea is calling it a very dangerous situation. The Defense Ministry says that a Chinese passenger jet, which had more than 200 people on board, flew through the trajectory of a North Korean rocket, which had been fired just seven minutes earlier. The Chinese Southern Airlines plane was flying on Tuesday from Narita in Japan to Shenyang in China. Airline officials did not respond to CNN calls for comment. The rocket was just one of seven that Pyongyang fired that day. China said they would seek verification from relevant parties and express their concern.

QIN GANG, CHINA FOREIGN MINISTRY (through translator): When a relevant country conducts military drills or training, I should take measures to ensure safety of civilian aircraft or ships in the relevant era of marathon space. According to international norms.

HANCOCKS: South Korean says the North hadn`t given any navigational warning for the rockets. Pyongyang says that their recent rocket tests have "not affected international navigational order, although it made no mention of the Chinese plane.

North Korean claims that these rocket tests are justified and they are in self-defense, saying that the U.S.-South Korean joint military drills, in fact, are a provocation, but on Monday the U.S. said that these rocket tests do violate U.N. Security Council resolutions. Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What civil time is currently being observed throughout the U.S.? If you think you know it, shout it out!

Is it: Standard time, Daylight-savings time, Central time or Atlantic Standard time? You`ve got three seconds, go.

The civil time is the official time of a local region and the U.S is currently observing standard time. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.

AZUZ: That all changes this Sunday when most U.S. states spring forward moving their clocks ahead one hour to daylight saving time. This year, it runs from March 9 to November 2. So it will actually spend more time in daylight saving time then we will in standard time. And we`re unlikely to get our standard amount of sleep unless we all suck out earlier on Saturday.


AZUZ: It puzzles the day lights out of some people: Why have daylight saving time if daylight is just going to get longer any way, as the northern hemisphere approaches summer. Well, for one thing, it`s the law. Before 1966, states had different times and dates for springing forward and falling back. The Uniform Time Act was passed to get them all synched up. But unlike many other laws, if states don`t want to participate, they don`t have to. Most of the state of Arizona as well as Hawaii, don`t. So, if you go there, they`ll tell you what time it is. The idea is a lot older than the `60s, though. Ben Franklin apparently had enough time on his hands to propose saving daylight. And several countries took him up on it. Well, they did about 130 years later. World War One was on, so daylight saving time was used to help save electricity. With the sun up later, people didn`t need to turn lights till later.

It stopped nationally after the war and stayed that way until Congress got around to setting times for it. But today, daylight saving time is sleepy time for many Americans, especially Monday morning after springing ahead. The Better Sleep Council says people struggle and slog around in bad moods. says America loses hundreds of millions of dollars because workers aren`t as productive until they get used to it. They are not saying we should get rid of daylight saving time, but this sheds light on why some sleepy people might want to.

The Winter Olympics are over for another four years. But the Paralympics start today in Sochi, Russia. They`ll run for the next nine days. Just like the February games we saw, this is an international competition. It`s for physically disabled athletes. It will include five sports from skiing and biathlon to hockey and curling, and it will feature almost 700 athletes from 47 countries. All of them are exceptional. They are Olympians. And one from the U.S. will have competed in both the summer and winter games.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Overcoming obstacles is nothing new for Tatiana McFadden. She was born with spina bifida. That`s a birth defect that prevents the spinal court from properly closing while the baby is still in the womb. As an unwanted disabled child in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tatiana was immediately sent to an orphanage after her surgery.

TATYANA MCFADDEN, 2014 PARALYMPIAN: I didn`t have a wheelchair, so my legs were atrophied behind my back, and I walked around on my hands all the time.

GUPTA: Six years later, a chance visit by an American to the orphanage changed her life.

MCFADDEN: I immediately knew that she was my mom.

GUPTA: Adoption gave Tatyana an instant family. Her mom pushed Tatyana to participate in sports.

MCFADDEN: Getting involved with sports, you know, saved my life. I wrote down my goals and I said I really want to be a Paralympic athlete and (INAUDIBLE)

GUPTA: At 15 year old, became the youngest member of the USA track and field theme. At the Athens Paralympic Games. McFadden won four more medals in Beijing. And in London, she finally won gold. In 2013, McFadden won the Grand Slam title for marathon wheelchair racing, and then traded her wheelchair for a sitski.

Now, McFadden is back in Russia where she`s competing in the Sochi Paralympic cross country Nordic skiing event. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN reporting.


AZUZ: Poland is not the capital of Oregon, but it is the largest city in the state. Of course, the Scotts already knew that. We are talking about the Scotts, the Mascot of David Douglas High School. They are watching in Portland. In New Mexico, there are some warriors on today`s roll. They are in Gallup in the northwest part of their state at Kennedy Middle School. And over in the northeast, we are roaring for the Lions of Bassick High School. Glad to see you in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Finally today, this is one challenging workout, baby. I mean the workout baby on the left. She`s actually the instructor here, showing her dad some superman crunchies. Then grabbing a quick nap. Millions YouTube video has gotten more than a million wraps. Her credentials include a lifetime of experience, almost seven months of it. One reviewer, a fitness enthusiast, no doubt, says this will strengthen you all muscles. It might not include everything in your core routine after all. It`s just toddler robbics. It`s not a heavy lift. But baby pushups can work your criceps and no one is going to argue when you change it up. It`s OK to carry baby fat, to wear your formula, to drink your post-workout shape from a bottle. You may have to stay near your crib, but you can bench on it being fun even if it`s just child`s play. I`m Carl Azuz. I`m glad we can work this out. Hope you have a great weekend.