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Situation in Ukraine Affecting World Markets; Iranian Supreme Leader Calls for Iranians to Have More Children; Kessler Syndrome and Cascade Effect of Debris in Space; Iditarod Starting in Alaska
Aired March 4, 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: CNN STUDENT NEWS starts right now. I`m Carl Azuz. Things are changing rapidly in Ukraine. Yesterday, more Russian troops reportedly entered Crimea, it`s a southern region of Ukraine where there is a lot of support for Russia. A Crimean official said things there were quiet last night, there were no signs of fighting. Ukraine`s ousted President Viktor Yanukovych said he asked Russia to send in its military to establish peace and to defend the people of Ukraine. The United States is considering sanctions, economic punishments against Russia. It says Russia broke international law by sending troops to Ukraine. It`s also offering money to support Ukraine`s new government.
Some of the ripple effects - Russia`s stock market was down, Europe`s were down, America`s was down. Corn, wheat and oil prices were up. Ukraine`s a top grain producer for Europe, so a conflict there could disrupt that. And Russia supplies about 25 percent of Europe`s natural gas, much of that flows through pipelines in Ukraine. It shows you how the global economy is connected and affected by events in the nation that`s about the size of Texas.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There`s been a lot of questions about Russia`s interests in Ukraine as well as the West`s interests. So, we could look at the map and we`re going to get a much better sense. First of all, a reminder here: Ukraine is in Europe, it`s not a million miles away, the capital just a few hundred miles from cities that Americans travel to all the time: Rome, Paris, London. And look here, on its western border, four key American allies: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania. All members of NATO and under NATO, the U.S. has an obligation, a treaty obligation to defend them, if they come under threat.
Now, Ukraine not a member of NATO, but in recent years there`s been a lot of talk about bringing them in to a closer relationship.
Let`s get a better sense now of Russia`s interests there. You look at Crimea, on the tip of that peninsula, the Sevastopol Military Naval Base, this is the headquarters of Russia`s Black Sea Fleet. It`s their only warm water port, all the ports up north, they are frozen in winter. Access to the Black Sea, to the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, essential for Russia, and that`s the first place that many of those 6,000 and even more Russian troops went when they crossed the border from Russia into Crimea. I remind you, sovereign Ukrainian territory. But let`s look inside the country as well, because there`s a real split between east and west there.
Western part of the country here leans towards Europe, only five percent of the population in this part speaks Russian, ethnic Russians. Eastern part of the country, 75 percent here, they speak Russian. They are ethnic, they feel the pull towards Russia. This part of the country feels the pull towards the West and Europe. Jim Sciutto, CNN, New York.
AZUZ: From Ukraine we are moving to Iran, the Middle Eastern nation of about 80 million people. Its Muslim leaders want that number to go up and fast. Iran`s Supreme Leader says if people have four or five children, and they able to find jobs, they`ll contribute to Iran`s development. That jobs part may be the tough part. More than 18 percent of Iran`s population is estimated to be living below the poverty line. And that`s made some folks hesitant to have kids.
REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Iran`s population is still young, roughly 45 percent under 25, including these munchkins. But under an effective government family planning campaign designed to counter a baby boom during the 1980s, family size dropped drastically, from seven children to two today.
SAEED LAYLAZ, POLITICAL ANALYST: They are worried about it.
SAYAH: Analyst Saeed Laylaz says 40 years from now, Iran may not have enough young workers to drive the economy. Doctors and nurses to care for the elderly, and soldiers to bolster the military. Authorities have already set plans this year to extend military duty from 21 month to 24.
LAYLAZ: There had been too young ten years ago, 15 years ago. We are too middle aged people, and we will be too old people 20, 30 years or later. This is very bad trends.
SAYAH: Many here say the campaign to get Iranians to have more babies won`t work, because in a failing economy they are choosing to stay single.
HOSSEIN MIRZANEJAD, BACHELOR: It is very difficult to get married, let alone having a lot of babies.
BEHROUZ MIRZAJANI, BACHELOR: You mean in addition to me and a five being poor, we should drag children into this, too? Asks bachelor Behrouz Mirzajani.
25 -year old Pejman Rowshan and his wife say they do plan to add to the family.
"An only job isn`t good," says Rowshan. I don`t want my society to be old. It keeps the economy from growing. For the Rowshan`s the biggest challenge is convincing their son, do you want brothers and sisters, asks dad. "No," - clocks Ali.
Reza Sayah, CNN, Tehran.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for "The Shoutout." Which of these events occurred in 1957? If you think you know it, shout it out! Was it when the first satellite launched, Korean War ended, color TV was introduced or Disneyland opened? You`ve got three seconds, go!
The only one of these events that happened in 1957 concerned a satellite named Sputnik One. The first manmade satellite in orbit. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.
Sputnik One lasted about a year before it reentered Earth`s atmosphere and burned up. The thousands of other objects we`ve launched in the space don`t do that. They just hang out in orbit, spinning around the Earth until they possibly hit something. A lot of you saw the Oscar-winning movie "Gravity". Is it only a matter of time before space junk threatens space travelers?
DON KESSLER, SPACE DEBRIS SCIENTIST: There`s about 5,000 objects in - large objects in Earth`s orbit, and there`s only about 1,000 that are functioning. You have bunch of electronics up there, you`ve got rocket engines that have to be used to put the object in orbit. I published my paper in 1978, which led to this Kessler Syndrome name. It`s a cascading phenomenon in the sense that when things break up, they produce both a very large distribution of small fragments and a smaller number of larger fragments. And those larger fragments are still large enough to go on and get a satellite and totally break it up. And so it cascades into - in increasing number of collisions as - with time. It`s a slow process, it`s not something that would normally happen as quickly as demonstrated in the movie "Gravity," but it`s still a real process.
The film illustrated the larger fragments breaking things up, but at the same time there would have been a lot more small fragments doing things like penetrating suits and causing leaks or penetrating the capsules that the astronauts were in causing leaks, making them uninhabitable. So, and that would be a much more probably thing to happen, actually, than the cascading that (INAUDIBLE).
The space station was one of the first vehicles to be designed to be protected against orbital debris, and consequently, they had - in order to get the safety that they wanted, they had to add shielding to the older habitation modules. And that shielding is to protect them against roughly marble size objects traveling at about ten kilometer per second.
They also had to worry about the larger stuff that would totally break up the space station - by satellite. And so they do collision avoidance in order to avoid that. But there`s a region between the one centimeter and a roughly ten centimeter, which is the largest thing that they can track where the space station is totally vulnerable, there is nothing they can do. They can`t see it coming. They can`t maneuver to get out of the way, and it were to hit a module, it would be catastrophic to the people inside that module.
AZUZ: It`s time for the CNN STUDENT NEWS "Roll Call." It seems today`s themes about green. In Henderson, Nevada, we`ve got the Gators of Green valley High School. In East Grand Forks, Minnesota, we`ve got the green wave, of the East Grand Forks senior high. And finally, the hornets. What`s green about that? They are watching from Greenville Weston High School in Greenville, Mississippi.
Alaska, they are not very green this time of year, but the snow, ice and unexpected obstacles are all part of the Iditarod, what`s known as the last great race. It started Sunday with this ceremonial truck through Anchorage. It will cover about 1100 miles crossing two mountain ranges on a winding path to Nome. The modern version of this began in 1973, but its roots are in the early 1900s when sled dogs helped people get mail and supplies to mining camps in northwest Alaska. Today`s dog teams are supervises by the mushers (ph) and race veterinarians to make sure they get through safely and healthily.
It`s spring training for the boys this summer, and the Milwaukee Brewers have a team member who`s a serious publicity hound. Meet Hank. He`s probably around two years old, but no one knows for sure, because he`s a stray. He just wondered into the team`s training camp one day. When they weren`t able to find his owner, well, the Brewers just adopted him. Hasn`t had one - yet but Hanks is already a star. The number on his jersey - one. He came out of Lakefield, caught the team of base, but seems to be having a ball. If the Brewers do well, we`ll know what dog their opponents, what made them panned, what got Milwaukee into the howl of fame. He`s a regular yogi barker. A Steven Strosspark, a babe Ruff! He`s an instant hit as long as he avoids the catcher for all K) innies. I`m Carl Azuz, and I`m out.