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President Obama Speaks at Nelson Mandela`s Memorial Service; Coldest Temperature Ever Recorded on Earth?

Aired December 11, 2013 - 04:00   ET



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: It took a man like Madiba to free not just the prisoner, but the jailer as well.


OBAMA: To show that you must trust others so they may trust you to teach that reconciliation is not a matter of ignoring a cruel past, but a means of confronting it with inclusion and generosity and truth.


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS. You just heard President Obama speaking in Johannesburg yesterday. The event honoring former South African President Nelson Mandela. Three things to know about Mandela`s memorial service: one, it was huge. It was held in the soccer stadium and attended by tens of thousands of people, street sweepers, actors, religious leaders, Mandela family members who spoke in between the cheers.

Two, it was symbolic. This is the same stadium where Mandela himself spoke 23 years ago after he was released from prison. He`d been serving a life sentence for fighting South Africa`s apartheid government. Mandela later became a symbol and advocate of human rights, and Tuesday`s events coincided with U.N. Human Rights Day.

Three, it was historic: 91 heads of states were there. A crowd of world leaders echoing attendance of Winston Churchill`s funeral in 1965 or Pope John Paul II in 2005. President Obama, former president George W. Bush, and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton all traveled to South Africa on the same plane.


DAVID GERGEN, SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Air Force One is a very intimate setting. So, that`s place where you can have quitter conversation. Once you get to one these massive events, it`s very hard to have real conversations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These long flights, believe it or not, can forge friendships. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan couldn`t attend the funeral of Egypt`s Anwar Sadat. So, he enlisted Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter to attend instead. The flight was said to be initially awkward and very long. But one notable friendships emerged. Evident at Ford`s funeral more than 25 years later, when Jimmy Carter eulogized his longtime friend.

JIMMY CARTER: For myself and for our nation I want to thank my predecessor.

GERGEN: Fast forward to 1992, Bill Clinton and President George H.W. Bush were fighting a bitter presidential contest, but seven years later when they traveled together to attend the funeral of Jordan`s King Hussein in 1999, that ice began to thaw, and now there are partners in philanthropy all over the world. Such a gathering of most or all living presidents is typically reserved only for monumental, usually sad events. But journey itself holds the potential for conflict and resolution on the first class scale.

GERGEN: It`s going to make a big, big difference and the atmospherics on Air Force One, with George W. Bush there with his successor. That President Bush has been so reserved in making any negative comments, he is not second guessing his successor. And I think that the Obama people really appreciate that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This gang has seen more of each other than usual. In April the group suited up to attend the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Texas. Then, in August, Clinton, Obama and Carter joined forces to honor the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

GERGEN: No former president likes to be marginalized. They`ve always been the center of attention, and here we are going to have three formers and a current president. Four centers of attention, that`s a lot to juggle.


AZUZ: You are now looking at pictures Mary Barra. She`ll make history next year. On January 15th she`ll take over as the CEO of General Motors. Barra will be the first woman ever to lead an American carmaker. It`s an industry dominated by men, women make up 21 percent of its total workforce. Barra has been part of it since she was 18 years old, working her way up over the past three decades. She was paid almost $5 million last year, as an executive focused on design, engineering and quality. A car research official says choosing a female CEO is a smart idea because most car buying decision in the U.S. are made by women. GM`s been profitable for several years, but has aggressive competition in the U.S. and challenges selling cars in Europe.

At a place near the South Pole, satellites recorded a measurement of 135.8 degrees below zero. This happened in 2010, but was recently made public. It could be the coldest temperature ever recorded. But some scientists say, it doesn`t count because it was measured remotely by satellite, and not by instruments on the ground. But what makes it so cold?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Here`s the Antarctica story. There`s the dome we are talking about. The middle of the South Pole right here, not that far from it. 135.8 negative Fahrenheit. How does it all happen? Well, if you have clouds, it acts like a blanket. And that cloud cover keeps that temperatures warmer. Antarctica didn`t have a cloud cover that day. It cleared, and all of the heat went away. Just like taking the blanket off you at night when you are sleeping, you get cold. So, heat is released to space. All of the colder that was on top of the mountain has to go somewhere. It drains because of gravity, and it drained down onto the hill, and as a satellite flew over it, took that measurement, it measured 135.

AZUZ: Well, you see it just about everywhere in public. What`s often called the handicap symbol in parking lots, businesses, restaurants and movie theaters. Is it time to change what`s known around the world as the international symbol of accessibility?


HOLLY FIRFER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It`s the symbol that`s been around since the late `60s. And many people recognize it right away. But Brian Glenney, a professor of philosophy feels that times have changed, and so should the international symbol of accessibility, or ISA. That ubiquitous blue and white handicap icon.

BRIAN GLENNEY, CO-FOUNDER, ACCESSIBLE ICON PROJECT: We started to ask ourselves. If we could bring about real change into how people perceive others with disabilities? Sarah heard about the project, and she saw a more active symbol of what people (inaudible) handicap symbol. And I`m like, why isn`t that everywhere? And we looked at each other and we`re like let`s just do it. Let`s just make our own.

FIRFER: And with that, Glenney, a former graffiti artist and Sarah Hendren, a Harvard art student, came up with the new symbol, one they feel is more progressive.

GLENNEY: This has been a real large complaint in the disability community that if you are in a chair you get looked at as if you are not a person. She used a symbol that was leaning forward to represent kind of how active people are that use these accessible spots. There needed to be a change in the way that we symbolize people with disabilities, but also the way that we perceive them as people who are active and - in body and upwardly mobile in society.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good afternoon!

FIRFER: The redesign implements ideas that separate the person from the chair.

GLENNEY: That figure is leaning forward. One arm is back, and that`s supposed to symbolically represent that that is the future, that people with disabilities are just going to be moving forward into the job arena, into the school arena. There is going to be inclusion and secondary education and elementary school.

FIRFER: For many who active in wheelchairs, like members of Quad Rugby team the New York Warriors, the change is long overdue.

JARRETT DREYER, NY WARRIORS QUAD RUGBY: Past symbol wasn`t really anything good to look at, it`s just kind of showed somebody who is in the chair, who, you know, they are not doing anything. And, you know, that`s one of the stereotypes that needs to be broken.

GEORGE TABORSKY, CO-CAPTAIN, NY WARRIORS QUAD RUGBY: To show that we are more just people sitting around doing nothing in wheelchair. The new emblem just shows someone active, active, pushing forward, if not pushing forward in the chair itself, it`s pushing forward in society.

GLENNEY: It`s just amazing how we`ve evolved from a public art project to what might be an international advocacy project in support of people with disabilities. Our symbols need to evolve in the same way that our words need to evolve.

FIRFER: Holly Firfer, CNN.


AZUZ: Well, the new design is gaining acceptance. Some critics say it`s still showing a stick figure instead of a person, and still showing a wheelchair when many people with disabilities don`t use.

Celebrating our viewers from around the globe, it`s World Wide Wednesday on the CNN STUDENT NEWS "Roll Call." We are staring in Wiesbaden Middle School where the wildcats are watching from Wiesbaden, Germany. Then we are heading East to Songlim High School in Seongnam City South Korea. Their mascot it the pine. And we wrap up our "Roll Call" in Japan with our viewers from Tokyo Metropolitan Kokusai High School. Thank you all for watching.

It`s one of the sounds of the season. Bells ringing in the air, outside churches, houses, stores and malls. Three members of the Salvation Army, on in Texas, one in California and one in Minnesota decided they`d try to reign in a record, standing and chiming for 105 hours. For each of them, it meant going without sleep for four days. But on the plus side, it meant bringing in thousands of dollars for charity. An accomplishment they might not call unbelievable, but to say it took a lot of effort certainly rings true, and though people might not have showed up everywhere to clapper, there is just no disputing, this was a good chime. We`ll be bell tomorrow to ring in another edition of CNN STUDENT NEWS.