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High Voters` Turnout in Afghanistan Presidential Election; Unprecedented Scope of Search for Flight 370; Worldwide Celebration of Shakespeare`s Anniversary

Aired April 7, 2014 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: CNN STUDENT NEWS starts now. Hi, I`m Carl Azuz for CNN STUDENT NEWS. We are happy to see you. It`s Monday, April 7 and we are going all over the world today starting in Afghanistan. There was a big election there on Saturday. One that would determine the country`s next president. Afghanistan`s been led by President Hamid Karzai since 2001. That`s when the U.S.-led coalition kicked out Afghanistan`s former rulers, the Taliban who were protecting terrorists. The Taliban threatened voters in the run up to this election with violence. At least 20 people were killed by insurgent attacks across the country, but that combined with bad weather couldn`t keep people from the voting booths. There were a couple frontrunners for the title of president. Preliminary results will be announced at the end of the month, but some say that no matter who wins, the people will.


ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Standing in the rain, some waiting for hours, the people of Afghanistan lined up, each holding their voting card, their ticket to democracy.

Um: We vote for him to win the future, we want to build the future for this man.

COREN: It was hope for the President Karzai would provide that future during his 12 years in office. But it`s now his successor who this Afghans are banking on.

(on camera): How does it feel to be here tonight?

SHUKRIA BARAKZAI, AFGHANISTAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER: Fantastic. Proud. Happy. Successful. I feel really good because I believe today is my day. Today is the day, which is people of Afghanistan can go and vote it freely.

COREN (voice over): Following weeks of high profile attacks and Taliban threats to disrupt this elections, the capital was unlocked down. Every man, woman and child searched before entering the polling station. Inside voters queued again, this time to deep their forefinger into the ink, before being given the ballot papers.

UM: Today I came here to select my next president and I hope to be a good person and to help the people and to survive the people and to bring change in Afghanistan.

COREN: Voter turned out exceeded expectations. Well and 50 percent of eligible voters cast their ballot. Remarkably, one third of them were women.

Several polling stations ran out of ballots and voting hours were extended by an hour, due to heavy turnouts.

The resilience of these people is truly inspiring. Despite all the attacks and threats of violence, Afghans have turned out in encouraging numbers to cast their vote in polling stations around the country. They strongly believe that after so many years of war, they too deserve a peaceful and brighter future.


AZUZ: Democratic elections are also taking place in what`s known as the world`s largest democracy. India is officially a federal republic. Its population is 1.2 billion people, the second highest population in the world. And because more than 814 million of them are eligible to vote, the election that starting in India today is being called the biggest election the world`s ever seen.

Opinion polls show that the political party that`s led India for the last ten years could be in trouble. The economy has slowed down, there`ve been some high profile scandals involving corruptions. And about 30 percent of the population leaves in poverty, so change is in the air. But with so many people voting this election happens in phases. The last one of those ends on May 12, and the results should be in by May 16.

The plane hasn`t been found, but the mystery about what happened to Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 has gotten deeper. A Malaysian government official says after the plane`s transponders stopped sending tracking information, the jet flew a wayward path around Indonesian airspace. Was it taken this way intentionally to avoid radar? As investigators consider that, two search ships might have picked up a signal over the weekend. They were in two different search areas in the Indian Ocean. What they heard might have been the ping that flight data recorders sent off after a plane goes down.

The ships can`t confirm, this is what they picked up and the batteries powering the signal only last a month or so. The flight disappeared on March 8. More ships are headed to this area`s west of Australia to listen in. The search has been massive, the cost of doing it massive.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The search for Flight 370 will likely rank as the most expensive in history. Think about it. The scope unprecedented. 21 nations, 80 ships, 61 aircrafts. Now, most of the money coming from military training budget. Think about it, that makes sense. You`ve got all of these countries usually spending money doing mock exercises. This is something real. So money are coming from those training budgets. Also, some from humanitarian budgets. And for the U.S., the money is now shifted, it`s coming from Navy operations in some cases. So, the Pentagon originally allocated $4 million for the search. 3.2 million spent between the 2nd of March and the 24. One source the military telling us, this general rule cost about $100,000 a day, this operation. Some of these aircrafts, think about it, cost $10,000 an hour to operate.

Now, other countries are pitching. And these are the big Seven. The big seven here: the Australians taking the lead, officially taking the lead of the investigation ending the week. The prime minister there saying, everyone paying their own cost right now. They are not keeping track, quite frankly. They are really trying to get out there and solve this mystery. So, if you do the back of the envelope math, based on what the U.S. is spending, we can estimate the search probably costing more than $21 million per month. So, how does that compare with other aviation disasters? Air France Flight 447 two years search after that crash in 2009. That was about $50 million. TWA Flight 800, that was about 40 million, 1996, one of the longest investigations the NTSB ever conducted. Swiss Air 111. This went down off the coast of Nova Scotia, in 1998. Search recovery investigation took four years and cost $39 million.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for "The Shoutout." In which Shakespearean play would you find the famous quote "All the world is stage, and all the men and women merely players." If though knowst it, shout it out! Is it, "As You Like It," "Much Ado about Nothing?", "Twelfth Night" or "All`s Well That Ends Well." You`ve got three seconds, go.

This is a tough one, but the quote is from Shakespeare`s comedy "As You Like It." That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."

AZUZ: Quick look at William Shakespeare by the numbers. We just named four of his 37 plays. He wrote more than a million words and made up more than 1000 of them. He was born 450 years ago this month, and his work has been translated into more than 80 languages. It`s been performed in places and in front of audiences far beyond the globe theater in London.


FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR: This month marks William Shakespeare`s 450th birthday and people around the world are celebrating from Stratfordians to Syrians. Yes, Syrians. 100 Syrian children have just performed an adaptation of King Lear in one of the world`s largest refugee camps located in Jordan. The Zaatari Camp is home to over 100,000 Syrian refugees over half of whom are under the age of 18. Many of the children are not educated and have never read or seen any of Shakespeare`s work, but they are no strangers, of course, to the tragedy of the human condition. And this particular play, a story of exile, a land divided by rival groups, a tale of human cruelty seems especially relevant. While the refugee camp may seem like the unlikeliest of places to discover Shakespeare, the playwright himself might not have thought so. After all, mentioning faraway places was common in his place. In both Macbeth and Otello, in fact, Shakespeare mentions the Syrian city of Aleppo. Another reminder that Syria is one of the oldest centers of human civilization, which makes the current violence there seem even more tragic.


AZUZ: North, south and east - it`s a tridirectional roll call today. In the land of 10,000 lakes we`ve got the Spartans on the roll. They are watching at Rocori High School in Cold Spring, Minnesota. In the South, right near Mobile Bay, Alabama, great to see the trodgents (ph) of Daphne High School in Daphne. And northeastern New Jersey at Schalick High School, hello the Cougars watching in Pitts Grove.

When the game of Tetris came out in 1984, no one had a 65-inch HDLCDTV to play it on. But even if someone did, this is better: a Drexel University Associate professor worked with the Tetris company to make this happen in Philadelphia over the weekend. People played the game from half a mile away. LED lights were placed on the glass facade of a 29 stories skyscraper to make it possible to game on. Don`t know yet if they broke their record, but when all the pieces fall together like this, the sky scrapers the limit. There`s no question it was a blockbuster, it brought delight with delights and made for one fine Gameboy. That`s our show for today, I hope the rest of yours is a great one. I`m Carl Azuz.