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Tough Job Market for Recent Graduates; Violent Face Off in Odessa, Ukraine; All about Cinco de Mayo; CNN Hero Ned Norton

Aired May 5, 2014 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS on Cinco de Mayo, 2014. We`ll have a report on that in a couple of minutes. I`m Carl Azuz. First up today, U.S. jobs numbers. The latest report is out from the federal government. It has figures for the month of April. On one hand, things seem pretty good, 288,000 jobs added in the U.S. April was the best month for job growth in two years. And the unemployment rate, it was 6.7 percent in March, it dropped to 6.3 percent in April. One analyst says with warmer weather we are seeing the economy hit up.

On the other hand, things seem not so good. One reason the unemployment rate fell is because fewer people entered the workforce. It`s possible more young workers are sitting on the sidelines. And another analyst says that`s not a good sign.


ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Class of 2014, you`re looking at a tough job market. It`s been five years since the recession ended, but the effects are still being felt, especially among young people.

A new report by the economic policy institute, a liberal think tank, shows one in five high school graduates and one in ten college grads aren`t working and they are not in school either. Even those simply approaching graduation don`t face great prospects. The institute says those young people will join the sizeable backlog of unemployed college graduates from the last five graduating classes, and then an extremely difficult job market. And once they actually get hired, the problems aren`t over either. Recent high school grads making average of $9.82 cents an hour, 11 percent lower than what they would have in 2000. College grads are making more, about $16.99 an hour, but again, that`s quite a bit lower than their predecessors.

Plus, employees overall aren`t being as generous with benefits as they once were. The report warns that it is possible to overcome these setbacks, but that it could take ten to 15 years.


AZUZ: The nation of Ukraine is on shaky ground. Divisions are deepening, violence is breaking out between those who want a closer alliance with Russia and those who want a closer alliance with Western Europe. What`s been happening in the Ukrainian city of Odessa reflects the tension of the whole country. Yesterday, protesters who support Russia stormed a police headquarters. They demanded the release of dozens of people who`d been arrested two days earlier for allegedly participating in violent protests. 67 detainees were released Sunday without a shot being fired or a life lost. But that wasn`t the case Friday when 46 people died in a riot that ended in a building fire.


PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The emotions are powerful here. Fury, confusion, grief. These are the senses of people who were trying to understand how, why Ukraine`s ethnic and political divide suddenly flared here in Odessa, taking so many lives. It started on the streets, pro- Russian and pro-Ukrainian forces throwing what they could at each other. Guns were used, too. The pro- Russians were outnumbered. And they retreated into the Trade Union Building. Witnesses say, there were hundreds inside when it caught fire.

It`s unclear how the fire started, whether it`s because of Molotov cocktails thrown at the building or whether it`s because they were mishandled by those seeking shelter here, but the fire took hold quickly and in the moments that followed, dozens were killed, most overcome by smoke. But some trying desperately to escape.

Odessa is a city with rich historic and cultural links to Russia. There have been disturbances here in recent weeks, but nothing like this. This isn`t like Ukraine`s East, these people are a long way from the Russian border, but the flames of political and cultural hatred now burn strongly here as well. Phil Black, CNN, Odessa, southern Ukraine.


AZUZ: We are heading back to North America to report on a holiday associated with Mexico. The nation declared its independence from Spain in 1810, in September. Spain recognized that independence in 1821, in September. So, if someone comes up to you today and says, happy Cinco de Mayo, it`s Mexican Independence Day, you can say nah-ah, here are a few useful facts you can point out.


GABRIELA FRIAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Attention and for the last time, please, help me spread out the word: Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico`s Independence Day, OK? It`s not. Cinco de Mayo we celebrate le Batailla de Puebla (ph), the battle of Puebla. Puebla is a state, you know, 85 miles away from Mexico City. It`s just basically the victory of the Mexican Army against a French army.

Napoleon`s army. But it is important because the French army had not been defeated in 15 years, and they came over to Mexico to collect a debt. So that`s why we celebrate it.

No, no, Cinco de Mayo is not as big as it is in America, so thank you very much for celebrating Cinco de Mayo for us. I`ve been here 14 years, I have never seen such a big celebration on Cinco de Mayo, (INAUDIBLE) on the street, we don`t celebrate it that much.

Don`t say happy Cinco de Mayo in Mexico, because they`ll know you are not from Mexico. We don`t say that. May be we say have a nice day. But we don`t say happy Cinco de Mayo at all. So, please don`t confuse our Independence Day. Mexico`s Independence Day is on the 16th of September. But we start celebrating it on the 15, so don`t confuse it and I`ll tell you in September why.


AZUZ: Carl Azuz? Present. It`s time for the CNN STUDENT NEWS Roll Call. First, to the Empire State. We are happy to have the Patriots watching at the Martin Luther King Jr. School. They are in (INAUDIBLE), New York. Go Hawks! That`s the mascot - to go hawks. They are checking us out at Waverly-Shell Rock High School. That`s in Waverly, Iowa. And in the Grand Canyon state of Arizona, there are mountain lions stalking us. We found them at Mountain View School in Woodall (ph). It`s teacher appreciation week. If you`re on Facebook, we are at looking for your thoughts about your favorite teacher.

For Sara, that`s Ms. Wilcox, she`s Sara`s history teacher who`s good at teaching the subject and making it fun. Michael mentioned Ms. Silliger at Louisville High School, an A.P. world history teacher who shares her experiences in traveling and serving in the Peace Corps. Nicholas praised Mr. McGrew (ph) for being there for him and his classmates and helping solve problems that came up. Dale said if it weren`t for Ms. Latshott, Dear Valley High School, he wouldn`t know where he`d be today. And Theo - said her drama teacher, Mr. Joseph, inspired her to follow her dreams.

And our next story is an appreciation of another sort of teacher. His name is Ned Norton. He opened a specially designed gym. It allows people to exercise and build strength like any other gym, but it`s not for profit. And his clients have spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome. The strength that Norton`s helping them find is why he`s a CNN hero.


NED NORTON, CNN HERO: When I`m running, I feel limitless. Being in motion makes me feel free.

When you are really pushing yourself, that`s when you really feel alive. But there are millions of people around the world that are facing severe physical limitations. They can`t be independent, they can`t live their lives. I spent years training Olympic athletes, football players, body builders.

One day, a young guy, Nuli (ph), spinal cord injured, came to the gym asking for help. At first, I didn`t know what to do, but we just worked together. He made tremendous progress.

Take a breath! Reach up! Reach up! Bring it back!

Before you knew it, my phone ran off the hook. With people asking for help .

Bring it up.

So, I opened a gym designed to fit their needs.

Now you go to work?


NORTON: For the past 25 years, I`ve provided strength and conditioning training for people with disabilities .

Stretch up! Nice job.

People come to me when they are at their lowest.

Up! Up! Up! Hold it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel much better now!

NORTON: You come to the gym and all of a sudden, you have a natural support network.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In 1971, I broke my back and I`ve been in the wheelchair ever since.

NORTON: That`s it, Tom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks to Ned, I keep my upper body`s strength at a maximum. I`ve been able to live a full life.

NORTON: I never worry about what they can`t do. I worry about what they can do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can go right now.

NORTON: Yes, you can. Good job.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did up the ten!

NORTON: I`m building them up, building them stronger, so they can - and live life like they are supposed to.


AZUZ: At a softball game, you might expect to hear things like keep your eye on the ball, make sure no one steals. In this game, you`ve got to keep your eye on the glove, because someone (INAUDIBLE) nose, and he`s not likely to give them bark. This dog is a maniac. A kleptomaniac. Running some serious interference from the in-field to the outfield. No one desires that he`s way off base before his owner finally calls him out.

Umpires will be chewing over ways to prevent that. After all, the clubs are off. You can say that pit bull against ball. It was certainly a foul play, though he makes some great grabs before going home. I`m Carl Azuz. We are out of time, and that`s a doggone shame. See you tomorrow on CNN STUDENT NEWS.