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Kenya Building Wall Against Somalia Border; Panama Canal to See Expansion; Hillary Clinton Runs for President; Iris I.D. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired April 13, 2015 - 04:00:00   ET



CARL AZUZ, CNN HOST: Hope you had a great weekend. If not, there`s always next weekend. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN STUDENT NEWS.

First up this April 13, Kenya is building a wall. It`ll stretch 435 miles, roughly the span of the country`s border with Somalia. Kenya`s also

reportedly telling the United Nations to relocate the world`s largest refugee camp. It`s in Kenya; it contains 600,000 Somalis. Kenyan

officials want it moved to Somalia, though the U.N. says it hasn`t gotten an official request.

All this has to do with security. Kenya says it has to change the way the U.S. did after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The Al Shabaab

terrorist group is based in Somalia. Kenya believes its operatives cross the border into Kenya, possibly filtering through the refugee camp, before

targeting Christians and killing 147 people at a Kenyan university earlier this month.

Al Shabaab also claimed responsibility for an attack in 2013 that killed 67 people in Kenya`s Westgate shopping mall.

Here`s a look at how porous the border is between Kenya and Somalia.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the border between Kenya and Somalia. Now, we can`t show you this for security reasons, but either side of this border

is a pretty substantial security set up and that has only grown up in size and scrutiny in the aftermath of the Westgate attack in Nairobi.

But this isn`t the only route into Somalia. Hacked out the undergrowth, this is where traffic flows. The Panya routes, so-called rat routes, used

by smugglers to cross back and forth undetected. Branching brazenly out from the government roads, they`re certainly a smoother ride in spite of

the Kenyan government`s efforts to beef up border security.

Up through these smugglers` routes, we`ve managed to enter Somalia from Kenya without any checkpoints, without being asked for ID, without seeing

any sort of government presence.

Night falls and it`s rush hour on the Panya routes. People and goods ferry back and forth. Everyone is too afraid to stop for long here, even to help

the stranded families we see along the way. Many are escaping the uncertainty back home in Somalia, but some are seeking to enter Kenya

undetected for their own ends.

The Panya routes end in the Dadaab refugee camp. Authorities believe that during the build-up to Westgate, Al Shabaab operatives traveled from

Somalia, through the Panya routes, and hid among the refugees in the camp. And it`s from there, the Kenya authorities say, that they and other

undocumented people made their way through government checkpoints and deeper into Kenya.


AZUZ: For the first time in 50 years, the leaders of Cuba and the U.S. sat down together for meaningful talks on Saturday. The two governments are

working toward normalizing relations that have been largely cut off since the Cold War. President Obama says it`s time to try something new, though

some U.S. lawmakers criticize for engaging what they see as a corrupt government.

On the Cuban side, President Raul Castro said there could be some stumbling blocks in repairing ties, but that they could be overcome. One

complication: Venezuela. It`s an ally of Cuba but a rival of the U.S. And Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro said he respected but didn`t trust

President Obama.

All of this happened at the Summit of the Americas, a meeting of Western hemisphere leaders. The location for this year`s event was Panama.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Panama Canal is an engineering marvel that connects the world through a series of gates and locks. It`s been bringing

in about $2 billion worth of revenue since 2010 and profits are expected to double with the addition of a deeper, wider, bigger third lane of traffic.

As it stands today, about 14,000 ships cross through the canal every year. And hear this: about 60 percent of that traffic either starts or ends at

U.S. ports. Ships are loaded with about 4,500 20-foot containers. Now, fully loaded container vessels take about 8-10 hours to cross the 50 mile

canal. And hear this: they pay about $450,000.

The expansion is set to be completed in 2016, accommodating post-Panamax ships. Now these vessels hold about 13,000 containers. It will take those

vessels about 14 hours to cross the canal. No word yet on the additional cost, but here`s what we do know. Before those post-Panamax ships can

cross a canal, a lot of work needs to be completed. Creating a new 6.1 kilometer Pacific access channel, deepening of the Pacific and Atlantic

entrances, and perhaps what has captivated most people is the new system of locks and gates requiring more than 4 million cubic meters of concrete,

which is poured by thousands of workers. And 16 gates, those were built in Italy. The tallest of those -- 11 stories high.

The expansion will cost more than $5 billion and it will take more than eight years to complete. An engineering wonder that makes the world a

smaller place.


AZUZ: We`ve reported on two Republican candidates who`ve entered the 2016 presidential race so far. Yesterday, a candidate for the Democrats made it

official. Former Senator and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who`s widely seen as the frontrunner for the Democratic Party. All of the

candidates will be campaigning heavily in Iowa. Its caucuses are usually the first major event in the nominations process for U.S. presidential



AZUZ: Time for the Roll Call. Three requests from Friday`s transcript pages, Number 1, the American International School of

Johannesburg. It`s in the city of Johannesburg in eastern South Africa. Two, Kahuku High and Intermediate School. It`s in Kahuku, Hawaii. The Red

Raiders watching from the island of Oahu. And in Moran, Kansas, the Sunflower State, we`ve got the Wildcats of Marmaton Valley Junior/Senior

High School.

When you look into someone`s eyes and you see blue or green or brown, you`re actually looking at the pigment in their irises. The iris expands

and contracts, controlling the amount of light that hits your pupils. And it`s a unique identifier of who you are, kind of like your fingerprint.

Researchers say new technology could help identify people by their eyes from up to 40 feet away.

You`ve seen eye scanners in movies like Charlie`s Angels, but even in real life in order for eye scanners to work, they have to get up close and


New technology is beginning to mimic another movie, Minority Report, where long-range devices are able to scan entire crowds from a distance, which

has critics worried.

Every person`s iris, that colored circle around the pupil of the eye, is different. That`s why police have started using them to build I.D.

databases, like the FBI has done with fingerprints. Carnegie Mellon University`s college of engineering is testing a new system that it says

can accurately read each iris` unique signature from as far away as 12 meters.

Professor Mario Savvides says it could offer a safer way to I.D. dangerous criminals during police stops.


MARIO SAVVIDES, PROFESSOR, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY: That`s our long- range iris system at the back, and what it`s doing is, as I`m looking at the mirror right now, it`s actually finding my face, detecting my eyes,

extracting features, and then matching them, running through the database to come up with the identity of who I am. It can really save the officer`s

life by making sure that, you know, he keeps far away and safe.


AZUZ: The American Civil Liberties Union fears police may use long-range iris scanners to track people in large, public crowds. They say using

scanners in that way might violate privacy rights.

When spring time springs up in the U.S. capitol, one plant that blooms stands as a symbol of history and friendship. The cherry blossom trees

aren`t just at the National Mall to look pretty. They were a gift from Japan in 1912 that continue to bring color to the District of Columbia

every year.

Locals and tourists the world over can see them near the Washington Monument, by the tidal basin, and in East Potomac Park. And following the

doldrums of winter, they`re sure to cherry you up with blossom of the most flowerful leafings that would never leave you and your buds disappointed.

CNN STUDENT NEWS branches out with more news and puns tomorrow.