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President Obama`s Visit to Asia; Vatican Seeing Canonization of Two Popes; Oldest Stadium in USA Turns 100

Aired April 24, 2014 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS. Ten minutes of commercial free news for middle and high school classrooms. I`m Carl Azuz. We appreciate you watching.

First story is about a trip across the Pacific. President Obama is headed to four countries over the next week. He started in Japan. From there he`ll fly west to South Korea. The third leg of the trip will take him near the Equator to Malaysia and then he`ll visit the Philippines before heading back home to the U.S.

The president arrived in the Japanese capital of Tokyo yesterday. Japan`s prime minister took him to dinner at a world famous sushi restaurant. There`s a formal state dinner scheduled for today and throughout this trip, President Obama has some formal diplomatic challenges on his plate. One includes questions of how the U.S. can shift attention to Asia when it`s been so focused on Syria, Ukraine and the Middle East.


MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That`s interesting. Right in the midst of the Ukraine crisis, in which the U.S. has tried to take the lead in finding a diplomatic solution there, here comes this very important Asian trip where some of the countries to be visited have very similar territorial worries, even dispute with China. That`s not easy to espouse the values of national sovereignty and territorial integrity in one part of the world and then not address it at another. In fact, one Japanese newspaper asked President Obama about it even before he landed. About these disputed islands between Japan and China in the East China Sea, and the president didn`t try to walk some middle ground, he definitively said he sides with Japan on this, as the rightful administrator of those islands. And said that U.S. opposes efforts to undermine that. Then you look at the Philippines and Malaysia. They have their own issues with China. So, this is sure to be a topic that comes up again and at times it is a sensitive one as this trip progresses. Michelle Kosinski, CNN, Tokyo.


AZUZ: For the first time in history, two popes, leaders of the Catholic Church are being canonized at the same time. Canonization is when someone is declared a saint. It`s a formal recognition by the Catholic Church that says someone lived a holy life, is in heaven and that he or she deserves to be honored and imitated by the Catholic faithful. There`ve been 266 popes in all, 83 of them have been canonized. That includes Pope John XXIII who led the Catholic Church between 1958 and 1963 and Pope John Paul II who led between 1978 and 2005. They are being declared Saints this Sunday.

And there`s an air of expectation and excitement in Vatican City, (INAUDIBLE) of the Roman Catholic Church.


JIM BITTERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Overnight, it seems that tourists` shops around Vatican Square are packing a new lines of (INAUDIBLE) and books. Their focus two former popes. And sales are booming.

CLAUDIA CAMICIA, BOOKSELLER: Usually we sell more small images, cards with the prayer or also the rosaries with the images. They are sold very well.

BITTERMANN: Never before have two popes been turned into Saints on the same day, and Catholics and non- Catholics alike are curious, not only about Pope John XXIII and John Paul II themselves, but also why they should become saints, and why the unprecedented double canonization.

Part of it goes back 50 years to the Second Vatican Council called by John XXIII to modernize the church. They young bishop Karol Wojtyla who was to become John Paul II was a part of those meetings, too. But in the end, the council left the church divided between those who wanted more reform and those who wanted to stick with tradition.

Those who knew both men will tell you that Pope Francis is now trying to heal that riff by canonizing two council participants who have come to represent those opposing views.

CARDINAL PAUL POUPARD: The pope is going to bring together in one ceremony the father of the council and the son who put it into action.

BITTERMANN (voice over): Others will tell you that the reason for creating two new saints is because they share Catholic values that makes them apt role models for our times.

But there`s another, perhaps less spiritual reason- (INAUDIBLE) reflected glory in the most literal sense of the term. But Pope Francis who`s already become more than most popular popes in modern church history to associate himself with two of his predecessors who are also admired can only enhance his reputation. Perhaps, strengthen the church.

In fact, Francis, John XXIII and John Paul II are three church superstars coming together for a one conanicomono (ph) certain to unite Catholics and perhaps, renew their faith. So, although Catholic Church already has thousands of Saints and adding two more might not seem like such a big deal, but that canonization of two popes takes on a historical, theological and popular significance, many church fathers hope will give new energy to a most ancient organization. Jim Bittermann, CNN, Rome.


AZUZ: The base day leads things off for today CNN STUDENT NEWS "Roll Call." Mansfield, Massachusetts, the Hornets are watching. They are honed in at Mansfield High School. Whether you call Illinois, the prairie state or the land of Lincoln, Danville High School is where you`ll find the Vikings. They are online in Danville. And North Dakota has a few state nicknames, the city of Belcourt is home of the Braves. They are watching from Turtle Mountain Middle School. Good to see you.

UF: Time for the "Shoutout." Which of these professional sports venues was the last to have lights installed. If you think you know it, shout it out!

Was it, Lambeau Field, Wrigley Field, Fenway Park or Soldier Field? You`ve got three seconds, go!

Night games couldn`t be played at Wrigley Field until 1988 when lights were finally installed. That`s your answer and that`s our "Shoutout."

AZUZ: Why did it take so long? Well, for one thing, the Chicagoans who lived around the stadium simply didn`t want it lit up at night. When it was, on August 8, 1988, the Chicago Cubs with home field advantage were leading Philadelphia Phillies three to one. But it rained so hard in the fourth inning that the game was called. The next night, though, the cubs beat the New York Mets six to four, all part of the storied history of America`s oldest stadium. Wrigley is turning 100.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And now we take you to beautiful Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From Babe Ruth`s legendary called shot homerun to Steve Bartman .

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s closed to fan interference right there.

ROWLANDS: And, of course, Billy Goat. For the last 100 years millions have experienced the joy .


ROWLANDS: And heartbreak of Wrigley Field.

CHRIS KIRKOS, CUBS FAN: The ball landed a few feet away from me at my right.

ROWLANDS: Chris Kirkos was in the left Field Bleachers. 44 years ago, when Mr. Cub Ernie Banks hit his 500 homerun.

KIRKOS: It was one of the most beautiful and remarkable days in my life. I love baseball.


ROWLANDS: History is everywhere here, from the Ivy on the outfield wall to the center field scoreboard built in the 1930s and still manually operated by guys like Darryl Wilson who`s been working here for almost 30 years.

DARRYL WILSON, SCOREBOARD OPERATOR: Anytime you come to Wrigley, you know, you are going to - you are going to have a good time, no matter if they win or lose.

TOM RICKETTS, CUBS OWNER: Did you catch a baseball yet?

ROWLANDS: Plenty of people have also found love at Wrigley. , Tom Ricketts met his wife Cecilia as a fan in this Centerfield Bleachers 23 years ago.

RICKETTS: So you guys be good. Take care.

ROWLANDS: Now, he`s the team owner.

RICKETTS: The beauty of 100-year old ball park is, this is the Ball Park that your dad took you to. This is the ball park that his dad brought him to. And this is the ball park that your great grandfather you`re your grandfather to. So, it`s got that history.

ROWLANDS: Legendary Cubs announcer Harry Caray spend 16 years with the Cubs singing "Take me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh inning stretch. Ted Rowlands, CNN, Chicago.



AZUZ: Most grocery stores advertise that they are about low prices and high quality. This one is raising the bar, and customers are leaping with joy. OK, not exactly. But the high jumping going on at the Hy-Vee grocery store, the Hy-Vee high jump, if you will, is part of an Iowans effort to get track and field events out of Drake Stadium in Des Moines and into the community. Nearly 1000 onlookers jumped at the chance to watch.

It was high excitement at the trek meet department. We can`t say any records were produced. That`d be kind of a leap, and someone would have had the market. But the event gave the store a leg up on the competition, brought people running down the aisle, and it was shoe funding. Check out. I`m Carl Azuz, and that`s another show in the bag you all.