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Presidents of China and Taiwan Meet in Singapore; Obama Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline; MAVEN Examines Mars` Atmosphere

Aired November 09, 2015 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hope you had a great weekend or that your five days away from one. I`m Carl Azuz.

First up, a gap was bridged on Saturday between two sides that have been separated since 1949. The bridge was a handshake. The two sides are China

and Taiwan.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou met in Singapore. It was seen as neutral ground for two areas that have been

rivals for decades. Both Asian leaders sounded positive in the public statements they made about their meeting. They both say they want to

improve their relationship.

But there`s a complication. Some Taiwanese protested against President Ma`s meeting with the Chinese rival. Taiwan has an election coming up

between one candidate who supports the meeting between the two sides and one who opposes it. So, what happens in the January vote could affect

China and Taiwan for years to come.


SUBTITLE: Taiwan and China: One China.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This island of 23 million people is a vibrant democracy and a U.S. ally, that sits just across the sea from the

one world`s largest one-party state.

I`m Matt Rivers in Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China.

STEVEN JIANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I`m Steven Jiang in Beijing, the capital of what`s officially known as the People`s Republic of China.

It`s been called that since 1949 when the communists here won a civil war, forcing the previous government to flee to the island of Taiwan.

RIVERS: Both sides set up their own governments, each claiming to be the only legitimate rulers of the entire Chinese territory. Decades of

hostility ensued. There was no travel, no trade or communications between two and the threat of military action was a constant presence. But those

tensions begin to ease in 1990s, that`s when Beijing and Taipei came to an agreement on the so-called "One China Policy".

JIANG: Both sides acknowledged despite the existence of two governments, there was only one nation of China, and that paved the way for economic and

cultural cooperation. Businesses in Taiwan had invested billions of dollars here on the mainland, home to 1.3 billion people and the world`s

second largest economy. And millions of mainland tourists have flocked to Taiwan after direct flights resumed.

RIVERS: Taiwan`s next presidential election is in January of 2016. And that could pose a problem for China because the candidate leading the polls

at the moment is from an opposition party that favors Taiwan to become an independent state.

JIANG: That`s something Beijing simply will not tolerate. China insists Taiwan as a renegade province that must be reunited with the mainland by

force if necessary. Both the governments say that`s all the more reason to strengthen communication and build mutual trust.

RIVERS: But whether that trust can be built in Taiwan remains to be seen. Many people here are wary of the growing influence of their massive

neighbor just across the straits, fearful that their unique way of life cultivated over the last six decades may be under threat.


AZUZ: For seven years and most of Barack Obama`s presidency, there`s been a lot of back and forth over something called the Keystone XL Pipeline. It

would have been an oil pipeline carrying more than 800,000 barrels of petroleum every day from Canada to oil refineries in the U.S. gulf coast.

But President Obama announced on Friday that it won`t be built, unless not under his watch.

Republicans spoke out against the decision, saying it prevents thousands of jobs from being created and eliminates a boost to the U.S. economy.

Democrats support the decision, saying it won`t create many permanent jobs and that it could hurt the environment. They see oil as a dirty fuel.

The U.S. State Department doesn`t think the pipeline would have been bad for the environment. But the president named the climate as part of the

reason for his decision.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Obama rejected the Keystone pipeline, saying the Canadian project would have sent the

wrong message to the world on the issue of climate change. The president accepted the recommendation of Secretary of State John Kerry whose

department analyzed the project for nearly seven years.

Mr. Obama acknowledged Keystone had become embroiled in politics as Republicans said the project would have created U.S. jobs. While Democrats

argued an approval from the White House would have been a damaging defeat in the battle against global warming. In the past, the president had said

he would turn down the pipeline if it could contribute climate change, something his own State Department concluded would not occur.

Not surprisingly, though, the president sided with his own party. Here`s what he had to say.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: America`s now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change.

And, frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership. And that`s the biggest risk we face -- not acting.

ACOSTA: The president will now take that message to the upcoming global climate summit in Paris in a few weeks. White House officials say it would

have been very difficult for President Obama to go to that summit having approved the Keystone Pipeline project. Both the company behind Keystone,

TransCanada, and the Canadian government, expressed disappointment in the president`s decision.

Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.


AZUZ: Some of our viewers in Southern California saw it on Saturday night, a bright white light streaming across the sky. Some folks alerted police.

Others speculated it was a meteor or aliens.

Nope. The U.S. Navy says it was testing out a missile. According to the military, it had been planned in advance. It was a test missile flight

launched from a submarine named the USS Kentucky. The weapon itself was not armed, so it couldn`t blow up even if it had hit something.

Los Angeles International Airport was aware of the test and says it will be keeping flights away from the area until Thursday when these military tests

wrap up.


AZUZ: My old school dream job would have been town crier. It`d start up every "Roll Call" saying, "Hear ye, hear ye".

Now presenting the Knights. Redding Middle School is in Middletown, Delaware. Thank thee for watching.

We`re posting a notice about Underwood Public School. The Comets are soaring across Underwood, North Dakota.

And we hereby proclaim our viewers in Wetaskiwin, Alberta. Queen Elizabeth Junior High School represents part of our Canadian viewership.

At the moment, it`s not possible to get someone to Mars and back alive. One of NASA`s five active missions called MAVEN involves a satellite

orbiting Mars that took more than ten months to get there from earth. Still, because NASA hopes to put someone on Mars one day, they`re getting

all the information they can from MAVEN and its $672 million mission.


RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks to the space probe MAVEN, we now have clues in the mystery of Mars` shift from a warmer, wetter environment

to the cold, dry desert it is today.

MAVEN has been exploring Mars` atmosphere since 2014. One of its main goals is to figure out how and why it got so thin. This low high pressure

atmosphere is comprised mostly of carbon dioxide will prevent fresh water from being present, because it will boil at 10 degrees Celsius or 50

degrees Fahrenheit. On Earth, it boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

And now, NASA scientists think they know the culprit -- solar winds. They observed a massive amount of ions and gases escaping during solar bursts

like coronal mass ejections. Since the sun would have been incredibly active in its infancy, the prevalence and strength of these bursts could

have had a tremendous influence in the evolution of the Martian environment and the thinning of the atmosphere.

Scientists also observed a unique type of aurora called the diffuse aurora in the planet`s northern hemisphere. Auroras occur when particles collide

with a planetary atmosphere along electromagnetic fields. They`re not uncommon. In fact, they`ve been observed above all planets with a

substantial atmosphere, even some moons.

But the aurora seen on Mars was at the lowest altitude observed on any planet. The unique characteristics of this aurora versus those observed on

Earth may be determined by the very different magnetic field configurations of the two planets.

As NASA gears up to send astronauts to Mars in the 2030s, they hope to gain further insights into the Red Planet`s past, so we can better prepare

ourselves for these future missions.


AZUZ: We might have visited a corn maze last month. It`s kind of a fall tradition in many parts of the U.S.

This expands on the idea -- it`s a balloon maze, almost 6,500 square feet of inflatable misdirection. More than 80,000 balloons, the builder say it

took three days to inflate them and arrange them. And that this is the biggest maze of its kind. It`s part of an international balloon conference

in Belgium.

You really have to see it to know it`s not balloony. And even when you do, it looks like a stretch that someone would get such an inflated idea to

float such an airy possibility and not be full of hot air.

Whenever anyone gets lost, though, you better hope they`re not on pins and needles. Their escape could sound a lot like pop music.

CNN STUDENT NEWS hopes to see you Tuesday.