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  • Parts of Southeastern Asia are reeling from a natural disaster

  • that struck over the weekend.

  • It`s where we start this Monday on CNN STUDENT NEWS.

  • A magnitude 7.8 earthquake violently shook the region on Saturday.

  • Its epicenter, the point on the ground directly above the quake,

  • was 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal,

  • and it was relatively shallow, which made it more damaging.

  • Journalists say there`s rubble everywhere in Kathmandu.

  • Landscapes, cityscapes have been altered.

  • The quake and a strong 6.7 magnitude aftershock that hit on Sunday,

  • killed at least 2,500 people.

  • Most of the victims were in Nepal,

  • though dozens also died in India and Tibet.

  • The tremors shook boulders and snow on Mount Everest,

  • causing avalanches,

  • killing at least 17 climbers there and stranding some others.

  • Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world.

  • International aid and rescuers were headed there

  • from neighboring China and India

  • and from as far away as Australia and the US.

  • CNN`s Impact Your World site has a list

  • of some of the organizations that are helping.

  • A link to that is at CNNStudentNews.com.

  • As rescue and recovery efforts continue in Nepal,

  • some terrified survivors are spending their nights outside,

  • as officials find victims in the rubble of businesses

  • and homes old and new.

  • I`m from Kathmandu. I have a lot of family members there,

  • a lot of friends. Kathmandu is a very congested city.

  • There is officially the number is about a million people live there,

  • but unofficially, many government officials

  • will tell you about four to five million people

  • live in the Kathmandu Valley area.

  • A lot of the buildings are built very close to each other.

  • In Nepal, people always talk about this impending earthquake.

  • So the experts had always warned that every 60 to 70 years,

  • there will be a major earthquake in Kathmandu.

  • Now, the last major one, a magnitude about 8.4 on the Richter scale,

  • that was about -- that was back in 1934.

  • So an earthquake was almost overdue.

  • In terms of preparation, when you talk about the hospitals,

  • when you talk about the military,when you talk about just people in general,

  • I`m not sure that many people were prepared.

  • Now, the government the past two years said that most of the buildings,

  • new constructions have to be earthquake-proof.

  • But those building codes are not followed very strictly.

  • And a lot of people in Kathmandu don`t even realize

  • how many people have died right now.

  • They`re just, you know, trying to fend for themselves.

  • What really stood out to me, you know,

  • when I saw those pictures, is the -- the historical buildings.

  • These are buildings that have withstood so many earthquakes.

  • They`re sort of the cultural symbols of Nepal.

  • You talk about Dharahara, which is the -- the long,

  • the tall white tower nine stories high.

  • This was an iconic building in Kathmandu.

  • It`s, you know, it`s like the Eiffel Tower of Nepal.

  • The loss to the cultural heritage is huge.

  • There are these four UNESCO national heritage sites completely demolished.

  • CNNStudentNews.com is the place

  • to request a mention on our daily Roll Call.

  • From Beaufort, South Carolina, please welcome The Eagles.

  • Beaufort High School is on the Roll.

  • From Newburgh, Indiana, The Hoosier State,

  • The Dragons are up next from Castle South Middle School.

  • And at the high school affiliated with Renmin University of China,

  • a warm welcome to our viewers in the Chinese capital of Beijing.

  • Armenia is in Southwestern Asia, between Turkey and Azerbaijan.

  • On Friday, it held memorial services along with Armenians

  • in other cities around the world to remember

  • what many refer to as the Armenian Genocide.

  • During World War I, more than a million Armenians

  • died at the hands of The Ottoman Empire.

  • Some members of the international community openly blame Turkey.

  • But Turkey says there was no genocide

  • and that fewer Armenians died than historians say.

  • Whether or not a leader uses the term genocide

  • brings significant international scrutiny.

  • The 100th anniversary of what historians call the Armenian Genocide,

  • a genocide perpetrated against the Armenian people

  • by the Ottoman Empire or the Turks,

  • 1.5 million Armenians were said to have been killed.

  • The seventh anniversary of President Obama breaking his promise

  • to the Armenian community to use the word genocide

  • when describing what happened.

  • Now, this is no small thing.

  • Using the word genocide is a -- a moral position.

  • The pope called it a genocide.

  • George Clooney called it a genocide.

  • Part of this is acknowledging when it happened before.

  • We can`t just ignore history.

  • Even the Kardashians call it a genocide.

  • and this was a moral position taken by then Senator Obama

  • when he as running for president and trying to

  • get the Armenian-American community to support him.

  • He said he would use the word genocide.

  • He said this was an example of how he is the --

  • the truth-telling candidate that America needs.

  • In fact, in 2006,

  • when the then U.S. ambassador to Armenia was forced to resign

  • after using the term genocide to describe this atrocity,

  • then Senator Obama hammered the Bush administration,

  • hammered then secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

  • He said, quote, "The Armenian genocide is not an allegation,

  • a personal opinion or a point of view, but rather,

  • a widely documented fact supported

  • by an overwhelming body of historical evidence."

  • Here`s Obama in 2007 speaking at a breakfast in Washington, DC.

  • There was a -- a genocide that did take place against the Armenian people.

  • It is one of these situations where we have seen a constant denial

  • on the part of the Turkish government and others that this occurred.

  • But that was then and now he`s president and,

  • like other presidents before him, Obama,

  • like Bush, like Reagan, like Clinton,

  • regards Turkey as a much more important ally than Armenia.

  • Turkey has the second largest military in NATO.

  • It is the only Muslim majority country in NATO.

  • It`s a key ally when it comes to Iran and Iraq and fighting ISIS.

  • We cannot define what happened in 1915 as a genocide.

  • And Turkey refuses to acknowledge this genocide,

  • the G word shall not be used.

  • Basketball is not the most popular sport in Cuba.

  • Baseball gets top honors there.

  • But some of the NBA`s biggest stars

  • recently traveled to the Caribbean nation,

  • shooting for a little basketball diplomacy.

  • The U.S. and Cuban governments are moving toward better relations

  • following decades of cold war rivalry.

  • Political divisions remain.

  • In January, Cuba warned the U.S. not to

  • interfere with its communist government.

  • But as far as sports go,

  • the NBA is helping build a bridge between the U.S.

  • and its southeastern neighbor.

  • Hoop dreams come to Havana,

  • along with some of basketball`s living legends.

  • As U.S.-Cuba relations slowly thaw, for the first time,

  • the NBA hosts a basketball training camp in Cuba.

  • Towering legends of the game came out of retirement

  • to practice a little basketball diplomacy.

  • Following the Cuban Revolution,

  • sports became part of the ideological struggle with capitalism,

  • as Fidel Castro declared Cubans would play for the love of the game,

  • not the sky high salaries that he said corrupted American athletes.

  • Politics couldn`t stop Cubans, though,

  • from adoring U.S. sports stars.

  • The visiting players were given awards by the Cuban government

  • and serenaded by a tune not often heard in communist-run Cuba, the U.S. national anthem.

  • Cuba, they say, has the potential to be a basketball powerhouse.

  • Cuba has a great history of producing phenomenal athletes.

  • You know, it`s -- it`s a -- the -- what they

  • -- what I think what Cuba needs is exposure.

  • The U.S. economic embargo

  • and Cuban government restrictions make it difficult

  • for a Cuban player to compete in the NBA.

  • Many of Cuba`s top athletes still defect in order to play in the US.

  • But becoming the best, the visiting players say,

  • is all about overcoming the odds.

  • I think it helps the young women and the young men

  • to know that anything is possible.

  • And if it happened to me, it can happen to them.

  • If you`ve been to an NBA or NFL or MLB game,

  • you`ve seen the folks who shoot t-shirts out of a cannon.

  • This guy got the idea to do that with tacos.

  • Yes, a taco cannon. Even though we`re still a day away from Taco Tuesday.

  • Grannon (ph), the owner,

  • says they might not be restaurant quality by the time

  • they crash into hungry hands, but they`re still edible

  • and they`ll be part of the fun at a new arena

  • at the University of Nebraska Omaha.

  • Of course, if it hits the ground, beef won`t be the same.

  • Some might be too chicken to catch them.

  • And if you`re expecting a t-shirt,

  • rocket tacos might tortilla off.

  • But the stun is all in good taste.

  • And while you don`t need the taco time to tell me our puns are corny,

  • you`ve got to admit, they add flour when folded into our show.

  • I`m Carl Azuz for CNN STUDENT NEWS.

Parts of Southeastern Asia are reeling from a natural disaster

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April 27, 2015 - CNN Student News with subtitle

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