Thursday, December 8, 2016



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Hi, I`m Carl Azuz.

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First up today on CNN STUDENT NEWS: the passing
of an historic American. John Herschel Glenn

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Jr. popularly known as John Glenn died yesterday
at the

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age of 95. A large part of his life was spent
in the air. Glenn flew 149 combat missions

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in World War II and the Korean War.

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He became a national hero, was one of America`s
first astronauts. And in 1962, John Glenn

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became the first American to orbit the earth.
He

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reportedly wasn`t allowed on the moon mission,
though, because President John F. Kennedy

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said he`d become too valuable as a national
figure to go on

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the flight.

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On the ground, Glenn served in politics. He
was U.S. Democratic senator representing Ohio

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for 24 years. He tried but failed early in
his quest for

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the presidency in 1984, but 14 years after
that, Glenn returned to the sky at the age

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of 77, becoming the oldest person to fly into
space.

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Next in the Middle East. Aleppo used to be
the most populated city in the nation of Syria.

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A large part of it has been abandoned and
destroyed by

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years of civil war. Rebels who`ve been fighting
the Syrian government currently control part

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of Eastern Aleppo.

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Syrian troops with the support of Russia`s
military had been battling to get Aleppo back

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and they`ve made advances against the rebels
in recent

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weeks. Syria says its targeting terrorists
there. The nation`s president says recapturing

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Aleppo would be a significant step toward
bringing Syria`s

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five-year-old civil war to an end.

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But a British intelligence leader says that
Syria and Russia are trying to eliminate opposition

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in Aleppo at any price, and that that`s created
a,

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quote, "human tragedy".

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Thousands of civilians have been trapped in
eastern Aleppo. There aren`t enough medical

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supplies to treat the wounded. Yesterday,
Russia`s foreign

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minister said Syria had suspended combat in
Aleppo, so that civilians could get out. He

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called it the largest ever evacuation for
residents of eastern

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Aleppo.

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Why is Aleppo so important in Syria?

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Aleppo is the commercial hub of Syria, symbolically
unparalleled. This is which rebel

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forces piled in summer 2012, taking large
part of it, holding back to a better equipped

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Syrian military, showing that they could get
popular

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support in urban areas. It`s also where so
much of the gross slaughter of this war occurred,

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where Syrian jets or helicopters just dropping
the most

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crude devices known as barrel bombs would
repeatedly kill children, doctors, target

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hospitals. And if it finds itself again in
Syrian

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government hands, that is an enormous propaganda
coup for the Syrian regime itself, after its

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Russia and Iranian support, it now has control
on pretty

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much of all the major population centers of
Syria itself.

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Secondly, the Syrian moderate forces themselves,
they`re moving to that city in summer of 2012

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showed they could be militarily effective.
But if

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they get kicked out, they don`t really have
anywhere else at this point to go. If these

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moderate forces move in to Idlib, they could
well be being

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seen by the Americans particularly as too
close to al Qaeda, a described terrorist group.

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If east Aleppo falls, we simply don`t know
how many civilians could get caught in this

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crossfire killed, injured (INAUDIBLE). Most
importantly, if

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it does fall as well, it marks a turning point
in this civil war, one from which it can be

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pretty hard for those forces, for everyone
used to call a

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Syrian revolution to recover from.

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Every year since 1927, U.S. publication "TIME"
Magazine has named a Person of the Year, someone

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its editors say had the, quote, "greatest

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influence, for better or worse on the events
of the year.

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Most U.S. presidents have been named since
the tradition started. So as some other prominent

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world leaders, from the widely popular, to
the highly

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controversial, movers and shakers, doctors
who helped Ebola victims, protesters and popes

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have all received the title. And this week,
U.S.

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President-elect Donald Trump was named "TIME`s"
Person of the Year.

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The magazine`s editor called the choice one
of the more straightforward ones. She described

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Mr. Trump`s appeal as, quote, "part hope,
part snarl."

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She said he framed tomorrow`s political culture
by demolishing yesterday`s, and said 2017

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would bring in the chance to fulfill promises
and defy

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expectations like all newly elected leaders.

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CNN STUDENT NEWS is changing, January 2017.

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An extraordinary display by a flock of starlings,
a so-called murmuration, a pulsating, palpitating

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example of swarm or group behavior. It`s something
we see in lots of specifies, fish, bees, ants.

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Each individual, both one and the many at
the

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same time.

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Scientists have long been fascinated by it
and now convinced we can learn from it for

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our own devices.

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Dr. Sabine Hauert is a Swiss American scientist.
She describes herself as a swarm engineer.

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Her aim, to imitate nature.
If you look at birds and ants, they can do

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these beautiful, complex behaviors and I take
inspiration from these to

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engineer solutions for real world applications.
So, we`re designing swarms of robots that

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could be used for outdoor applications and
nano particles

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that work in the trillions for cancer research.

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An arena in a robotic lab in Bristol in the
west of England, how its research group are

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rallying their army of so-called killer bots.

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Arranged at one end, a phalanx of them are
ready for the order to move.

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The thing I like about this is instantly,
I recognize the sound of the swarm.

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It definitely sounds like a swarm. It really
bugged me.

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So, what`s the purpose of all this?

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Robots are wonderful way to visualize swarm
dynamics. And so, we use this as a proxy for

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the nano particles. Our nano particle robots
are

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released from the vessel here on the side
of the arena and then they move randomly and

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they can go and they can stick to cancer cells,
which we

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projected on this arena. And once they`ve
been in by the cell, they turn blue.

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And so, we use this to show that although
these particles are great at accumulating

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within these cancer cells, they`re for penetrating
into this

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robotic tissue. So, the group behavior is
not great, even though the individual behavior

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is actually quite smart.

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Have you learned much from this already?

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I learned tremendously just programming them
and seeing how they behave.

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Back in the arena, the killer bots form up
again, ready to showcase that other swarm

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behaviors. The army is preparing to

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show its colors.

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The bots demonstrate decision making by changing
from red to blue as a group, repetiting (ph)

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how swarms might choose a nesting site.

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This time, it`s all about synchronization,
mimicking how fireflies can coordinate their

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glow. And here, like ants, creating a trail
from a so-

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called source, transferring information back
to their nests. The bots stopping once the

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link has been made.

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And Hauert is hoping her research can find
uses in the outside world -- a human-engineered

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robotic swarm to rival those created by nature.

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I love to see these swarms of robots do things
like monitor water sources, do things like

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explore a building that`s collapsed, do things
like

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potentially clean up an oil spill. We can`t
engineer systems like this yet, so I think,

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why not look at nature for some of these solutions?

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Before we go, you probably haven`t thought
about asking for a penguin for Christmas?

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But this will probably change that. Santa
Penguin

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just slipped some fresh squid under the tree.

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These little helpers are part of the fun in
what`s known as Bird Park in Japan. It`s not

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unusual for the local penguin family to don
soccer jerseys

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when the World Cup is being played and Santa
suits in December. The rest of the time, they

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just wear tuxedos.

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Now, some might be a little flippant about
this, to say something`s fishy about suiting

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up penguins. Maybe they`d call the idea north
polarizing or

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say Santa`s reindeer don`t include Ramon,
Nestor, Raul or Lombardo. But this could be

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a penguining of a new tradition and what better
time to start

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than the most punderful time of the year.

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I`m Carl Azuz. Fridays are awesome.

CNN Student News - December 9, 2016 - English Sub

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