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STUDENT NEWS

Elections in Egypt; Painting the Mountains White

Aired November 29, 2011 - 04:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re Ms. Gordon`s (ph) 8th grade history class from (Inaudible) Catholic School in Jacksonville, Florida.

GROUP: Welcome to CNN Student News.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take it away, Carl.

CARL AZUZ, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: I most certainly will. Thank you for that iReport introduction. We started in Jacksonville, but during the next 10 minutes, we`re heading to Africa, Afghanistan and South America. This is CNN Student News. Let`s go.

Leading things off with historic elections in Egypt, a country that was ruled by the same person for 30 years. A political revolt forced Hosni Mubarak out of power back in February.

Now the country`s electing a new parliament, a new government that will write a new constitution. As voters cast their ballots across the nation yesterday, one official said, quote, "The elections will not be successful until everyone who has a right to vote participates.

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AZUZ (voice-over): The polls are closed now, but Ben Wedeman was there yesterday to capture the mood around this election.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): They lined up early on a bright and crisp Cairo morning, calm, solemn, yet hopeful that Egypt`s first post-Mubarak election marked a historic turning point.

RADWAN SALEM, AERONAUTICAL ENGINEER: I`m 63 years old, and this is my first election.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s your first time?

SALEM: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your first time to vote?

SALEM: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And how do you feel?

SALEM: Oh, I feel good. I feel my vote will change Egypt.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): For decades, Egyptian elections were something of a joke, rife with fraud, often violent and always chaotic. Not this time.

WEDEMAN: A year ago when we were covering Egyptian parliamentary elections, we actually had to wait for quite some time to take pictures of anybody casting their ballot. There was that little interest. This time around, it`s the voters who have to wait.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): Significantly, it was the army, not the hated police, who oversaw the vote. They were firm, but polite.

In Cairo`s working class Sayyeda Zeinab neighborhood, members of the Muslim Brotherhood`s Freedom and Justice Party helped people confirm they were at the right voting station. They said it was a public service. But their presence underscores their strong organizational abilities, and suggests their months of preparation before the vote may well pay off.

Interior designer Hind Mohamed came out to cast a ballot against them.

HIND MOHAMED, INTERIOR DESIGNER: They`re just slaves (ph). They don`t do what they say they -- they use religion to convince people to vote for them.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): The voting options are mind-boggling. Dozens of new parties have burst onto the political scene. Finally given a say in their destiny, voters seem aware of their hard-won power.

IBRAHIM ABDEL MANSFF: (Speaking foreign language).

WEDEMAN (voice-over): "We`re all faithful to our country. The proof is that we`re all standing in one line, talking politely to one another, because we all agree that this is the best way to deal with our problems."

A truly revolutionary idea now becoming reality one vote at a time -- Ben Wedeman, CNN, Cairo.

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AZUZ (voice-over): Heading south to another African nation holding elections, the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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AZUZ: . some people wanted the elections delayed because of trouble with planning and organizing them. There was also a lot of violence that took place on Election Day, but the polls did open up yesterday and voters had a lot of choices to make, 11 contenders running for president, more than 18,00 0 candidates for 500 seats in parliament.

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AZUZ (voice-over): This election is important for a lot of reasons. It`s the second one since the end of a war that left millions of people dead, and the country is still rebuilding. Plus, since Congo was such a big nation, what happens there affects the surrounding countries as well.

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AZUZ (voice-over): Afghanistan is getting ready for some transitions. More control of the country is going to be handed over from NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, to Afghan troops. On Sunday, Afghan president Hamid Karzai named the regions that will be part of this transition.

Once it`s finished, about half of the country`s population will be under Afghan control, but there are some concerns about how fast this handover is happening. Some observers are worried the transition will give the Taliban, Afghanistan`s former rulers, a chance to regain ground in Afghanistan.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See if you can ID me. I`m a South American country that was once part of the Inca empire. I`m home to part of the Andes mountain range, but I also have jungle and desert terrain. My capital city is Lima. I`m Peru, and I`m home to more than 29 million people.

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AZUZ: For some of the Peruvians who live near the Andes, life depends on the snow that`s usually on top of the mountains. There`s just one problem these days -- no snow.

Rafael Romo looks at a unique idea to try to solve the problem. It basically boils down to fake it till you make it.

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RAFAEL ROMO, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): High in the Peruvian Andes, where it`s so dry and cold that very little vegetation grows, life depends on one animal, the alpaca. But in recent years, raising alpacas has become a greater challenge. Mountains that used to be covered with ice around the town of Licapa are now barren.

SALOMON PARCO, ALPACA SHEPHERD: (Speaking foreign language).

ROMO (voice-over): Shepherd like Salomon Parco say no ice means no water, and no water means no grass to feed the animals.

PARCO: (Speaking foreign language).

ROMO (voice-over): Eduardo Gold is the is the founder of Peru Glaciers. The organization`s goal is to bring the ice back to the mountains.

Gold`s idea is very simple: if dark mountains absorb more heat from the sun, white mountains will have the opposite effect. The solution is to make them white.

EDUARDO GOLD, PERU GLACIERS: It`s 78 Fahrenheit degrees, so that`s at the very dark rock right here.

Now let`s take a look at what happens when you point it towards the rocks that have been painted.

ROMO (voice-over): An infrared thermometer shows quite a difference in temperature between the white and dark rocks.

GOLD: So it`s a difference of 30 degrees Fahrenheit, about 10 or 12 Celsius.

ROMO (voice-over): A crew of five go around the mountain, splashing a mixture that turns the rocks white. The mixture is not paint, but a combination of water, sand and lime.

And it seems to be working. Gold find ice in a crevice between the rocks, something the locals say wasn`t there before.

So far, the crew has covered an area of roughly 15,000 square meter, almost the size of three football fields, still too small to determine if Gold`s idea will work in the long term. His goal is to cover 3 billion square meters, which would be much more than 500,000 football fields. For that, he would need about $1.5 billion spread over five years -- Rafael Romo, CNN, Licapa, Peru.

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AZUZ: There`s still some time left to vote for the CNN Hero of the Year. You can do that from the Heroes box at cnnstudentnews.com. It`s also where you can learn about this year`s top 10 CNN Heroes, including the person we`re featuring in today`s show, Robin Lim.

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ROBIN LIM, MIDWIFE: The moment that a woman falls pregnant in Indonesia, she is 300 times more likely to die in the next 12 months than if she was not pregnant.

If you have money you can get excellent medical services, but the poorest people don`t always get the services they need.

My name is Robin Lim. I`m a midwife. Most people call me Ibu Robin because ibu means mother. I`ve learned about the dangers of motherhood when my own sister, she died as a complication of her third pregnancy. I was just really crushed. I came to Bali to reinvent my life.

Hi, baby, hi.

I started the clinic run by Indonesian midwives. We offer prenatal care, birth services.

No matter how poor they are, no matter their race or religion, we teach new graduating classes of midwives how to do a more natural, gentle birth. The women can stay as long as they want.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Robin helps poor people. She cares about me very much, like my own mother. I`m extremely grateful.

LIM: Each baby, each adult deserves a clean, healthy, loving environment. Those are our human right.

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AZUZ: Let`s see, chips? Not feeling it. Chocolate bar? Better not. You know one thing that no vending machine has? Pizza.

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AZUZ (voice-over): Or at least no vending machine but this one. Someone has invented pizza from a vending machine. The creator said it took 10 years to develop the technology, and now the "Let`s Pizza" machine can take ingredients that you want and cook your pie to your order in less than three minutes. You can watch all of this happen. You might question just how fresh the pizza is.

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AZUZ: But you can`t blame the company for wanting a piece of the vending machine pie. And this could be a huge success if they`re using upper crust ingredients. Either way, you knew some cheesy puns were coming out of today`s "Before We Go" segment. We`re going to slice our way through 10 more minutes of commercial-free news tomorrow. For CNN Student News, I`m Carl Azuz.

END