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STUDENT NEWS

Boko Haram Militants Destroying School Site; Referendum for More Independence from Kiev Taking Place in Ukrainian City of Donetsk; Controversial Invention of Fighting Robots; Restoring Washington Monument after Earthquake in 2011

Aired May 13, 2014 - 04:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: From Africa to Europe and from killer robots to an iconic obelisk, CNN STUDENT NEWS is bringing the world to your classroom. I`m Carl Azuz. First up today, a hopeful sign for the families of more than 200 kidnapped girls in Nigeria. The terrorist group that abducted them has mentioned a trade. Yesterday, Boko Haram released video that it says shows the kidnapped girls. If that`s true, this is the first time they`ve been since they were taken on April 14. Boko Haram says they`ve all converted to Islam and that they`ll only be released if the Nigerian government release members of Boko Haram that it`s holding prisoner.

Nigeria says it will consider all options for the girls release and safe return home.

Meantime, the CNN reporter visited the school where the kidnappings happened and spoke to a girl who escaped from the terrorists.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is a road few are now willing to travel.

It`s been one checkpoint after another as we have traveled north from the Nigerian capital Abuja. We`ve definitely seen evidence of the security reinforcements that the government has been talking about, but as we go farther north, as we got deeper into the Boko Haram countryside, where there`ve been striking terror into the hearts of villages, much of that presence seems to have evaporated.

Attacks for the militant Islamist group Boko Haram are constant in this part of Nigeria. But what happened in Chibok put the world on notice.

In here, in these rooms is where the girls were sleeping when armed men in what they describe as military uniforms came to their dormitory gate and told them that they come to protect them. The girls started to assemble in the yard as ordered to. They didn`t realize who the men really were until it was too late.

Over 200 girls dragged from their beds to be sold off as bounty, a message that the militant group`s edicts on female education: "Must be heeded". But avail yourself of big men with guns to make money off terrified girls.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If it`s in Chibok, I`ll never go back again.

ELBAGIR: You never go back to school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

ELBAGIR: Because they made you afraid.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

ELBAGIR: Before the militants left, they destroyed everything they could. Textbooks, the library, the laboratory, their attempt to forever shutter this school.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AZUZ: About 3,000 miles northeast of Nigeria, in the nation of Ukraine, some parts of the country are holding controversial votes. We`ve told you how Ukraine is divided. Some people, including Ukraine`s new government want closer ties with Western Europe. Some others want to secede from Ukraine and possibly join Russia. That`s what a vote indicated in Donetsk, a region of eastern Ukraine. An election official said Monday that 90 percent of voters there support secession from Ukraine. But there were no international election monitors there for Sunday`s vote. And officials from Europe and the U.S. say, it doesn`t count.

Russia annexed Crimea, another region of Ukraine after it held a similar vote in March. Russia says it`s not interested in annexing other parts of Ukraine, but that it wants Ukraine to give its Russian speaking population more power in the government.

The United Nations charter discusses preventing war, having faith in human rights, maintaining international peace and security. It says nothing about protecting people against killer robots.

But at an upcoming U.N. meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, experts do plan to talk about autonomous weapons systems. Basically, robots that can choose and attack a target without any human intervention. These don`t[ exist yet, but .

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED GIRLS: No! No!

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A futuristic danger in Hollywood films like "The Terminator" now a big enough threat to warrant a United Nations debate. Robotic Technology has already advanced to levels that wouldn`t look out of place in a sci-fi blockbuster.

These robots developed by the Pentagon can climb stairs, detect and avoid obstacles. And even correct themselves if you push them around.

Robots are getting close to being able to do the physical task that we can do and more. It`s only a matter of time before they appear on the battlefield.

Machine technology is already being used to kill.

We`ve seen that in drone strikes against the Taliban and other terrorist groups, but behind the drone technology, there is still a human being calling the shots. Giving robots the power to make those life or death decisions themselves is what the U.N. is discussing.

A computer`s ability to analyze and think is improving all the time, Google has been experimenting with neural networks, a kind of artificial brain, capable of teaching itself independently from human programmers. And that raises a scary question: will the artificial intelligences that power our robots, one day decide to push back.

Atika Shubert, CNN, London.

(END VDIEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIFED FEMALE: Time for the Shoutout. Which of these objects is an obelisk? If you think you know it, shout it out.

Is it the space needle, Liberty bell, leaning tower of Pisa or Washington Monument?

An obelisk has four sides and ends in a pyramid shape like the Washington Monument.

That`s your answer and that`s your Shoutout.

AZUZ: And it`s a tall one. When the monument honoring America`s first president was finished in 1884, it was the tallest building the world. It`s made of granite and marble, stone that doesn`t have much flex or give when the ground shakes. That`s why it`s been close to the public for three years. And yesterday was its grand reopening.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For three years, crews have been restoring the Washington Monument to its original glory: hard work, stone by stone - that`s come to a long awaited end. Now that the 555 foot obelisk reopens to the public.

BOB VOGEL, SUPERINTENDENT, NATIONAL MALL AND MEMORIAL PARKS: And we have one the most spectacular views in America, and certainly the best view in Washington D.C. and we aver very excited to allow visitors back up at this level.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s been closed since August 23 2011 when a 5.8 magnitude earthquake shook the marble and granite, sending debris flying.

SGT. DAVID SCHLOSSER, U.S. PARK POLICE: We had some initial reports that there may have been some (INAUDIBLE) or even some stones that become loose.

The white crack pictured in this National Park Service video caused rain to poor inside, and down the stairs.

VOGEL: We had to do a careful analysis of over 20,000 stones at the monument before we could figure it out exactly what we needed to do to repair it.

In the first couple of weeks we have people who actually repelling down. They were doing photo documentation and analysis of each of these stones to determine the significance of the damage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The worst damage was at the top.

VOGEL: Many people who have lived here for many years suddenly have a renewed interest in going to the top of the Washington Monument. So, we are very excited. That`s what we are here four as to have this site open to the public.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The $15 million restoration project for a while lit up Washington skyline. Until the most soaring site in the nation`s capital was back to the way it should be.

Erin McPike, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AZUZ: Rolling across the American South and the CNN STUDENT NEWS "Roll Call" from the southwestern state of Arizona, the Bulldogs are on line. We found them at Bogle Junior High School in Chandler. Good to see you all in the Grand Canyon state. Now, to Betsy Layne, Kentucky. The bobcats are making roll in the blue grass state. Thank you for watching at Betsy Lane High School.

And in the pitch state, the Jonesboro High School cardinals are here. It`s great to be part of your day in Jonesboro, Georgia.

At Florida Atlantic University there`s a program that allows talented high school students to earn college credit for some of their courses. Grace Bush saw an opportunity and went for it. She earned her bachelors just before she got her high school diploma, so while her friends are graduating high school, she`s practically graduated college.

She started the program at age 13 and worked through summers. Her parents encouraged her, in part because they have nine children and can`t afford college tuition for all of them. Grace got a degree in criminal justice with the GPA OF 3.8. Next steps - she wants masters` degree, a law degree and eventually a job as Chief Justice of the United States.

Crayfish, crawfish, crawdads (ph), mud bugs. Call them whatever you want because there were plenty to go around at what`s known as the world`s largest crawfish ball. It happened Saturday in New Orleans - where else? It was part of a fund-raiser, bringing in $40,000 to help the hungry. It was also a restaurant celebration of is 125 anniversary. They boiled up 27,000 pounds of crustaceans and they sold out. You could call that cray - cray - you could call that the craw daddy of fundraisers. Even if you don`t like feeding on bottom feeders. If the thought makes your skin crawl, when folks cook up an idea to help others, there`s just nothing crawfishy about it. I`m Crawl Azuz for CNN STUDENT NEWS.

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