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  • CNN STUDENT NEWS, the current events you count on,

  • the puns you put up with, and the sweater vest you love.

  • I`m Carl Azuz. Here we go.

  • Hong Kong, we talk a lot about this part of Southeast Asia a year ago

  • when thousands of protesters shut down parts of its business district.

  • Today, we're following up on what`s happened since then.

  • Officially, Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China.

  • The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency says

  • Hong Kong is not an independent country,

  • but people there have certain freedoms,

  • like freedom of the press, freedom of assembly

  • and expression that the communist Chinese government

  • does not allow in other places.

  • Hong Kong's government type is listed as a limited democracy.

  • Over the past year, those limits have been tested.

  • When Britain handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997,

  • it was agreed the city would operate under a principle called

  • "one country, two systems".

  • That means it's officially a Chinese territory

  • but it still maintains its own currency, government, and laws.

  • For example, residents can protest,

  • they can criticize the government and the press is not censored.

  • Britain and China also agreed Hong Kong`s high degree

  • of autonomy would last for 50 years,

  • with the aim of eventually establishing an election system

  • based on universally suffrage, that means "one man, one vote".

  • Hong Kong has a population of 7 million.

  • But currently, only an elite committee of just 1,200 people

  • have any say in deciding the city's top leadership,

  • many of whom are Beijing loyalists.

  • A lot of people here say they're ready change.

  • They've been pushing for one man, one vote for years.

  • But China has been stalling.

  • In August 2014, China finally unveiled its plan for democratic reform,

  • ruling Hong Kongers could only vote for their next chief executive

  • from a list of candidates that had to be pre-approved by Beijing.

  • That sparked widespread outrage,

  • fueling Hong Kong's occupy or umbrella movement,

  • a mostly student-led protests against the Beijing plan.

  • Thousands of people filled the streets for months,

  • pitching tents, shutting off key parts of the city,

  • creating works of art all in the name of democracy.

  • It was unlike anything the city has ever seen before.

  • Hong Kong lawmakers later voted down Beijing`s proposal,

  • with some saying they would never accept a, quote, "fake democracy".

  • So, what happens next?

  • For now, the status quo remains, with no clear plan forward.

  • The only thing certain in Hong Kong's future

  • is a return to full Chinese control in 2047.

  • Students at the University of Mississippi in Oxford,

  • also known as Ole Miss, are having a vote this afternoon.

  • They'll be deciding to whether or not

  • to remove the Mississippi state flag from campus.

  • Its design features the Confederate battle flag,

  • which represented Confederate states during the U.S. Civil War.

  • In recent decades, there`s been a lot of controversy over the Confederate flag.

  • A number of groups in the South have pushed for its removal

  • from public buildings and state capitals. They see it as a symbol of racism.

  • This summer, South Carolina`s government voted

  • to remove the Confederate battle flag from its capital,

  • after a racially motivated shooting in the state.

  • Yesterday, Green County, Tennessee,

  • was considering the flag over its court house.

  • Supporters see it as a symbol of wartime sacrifice,

  • history and Southern heritage. Several U.S. states

  • including Mississippi still maintains

  • some form of Confederate design in their state flags.

  • In the charming southern city of Oxford, Mississippi,

  • relics of the Confederacy are pervasive.

  • This week, the university of Mississippi associated student body

  • senate will vote on a resolution to try and remove one of those symbols,

  • the Mississippi state flag.

  • The explanation of why lies largely in the past.

  • Twenty-year-old sophomore Senator Allen Coon

  • introduced the proposal to take down the flag.

  • We've flown this symbol of oppression, we defended it,

  • we fought for it and it's time to recognize that that was a mistake.

  • Over the years, Dr. Jennifer Stollman with the Winter Institute

  • for Racial Reconciliation has chronicled the complex on-campus history.

  • They`re creating the best and most inclusive campus

  • that they can and they're navigating some old narratives with new expectations.

  • Last year, a spasm of race-related episodes

  • dragged painful memories here on campus,

  • including a noose that was hung from the statue of James Meredith.

  • He`s the first black student to attend the university here,

  • desegregating it in 1962.

  • Even still, at least one student senator

  • says there's more to be proud of here than not,

  • which is why he's opposing the resolution to

  • bring down the Mississippi state flag.

  • Student Senator Andrew Soper wrote in a change.org petition,

  • "Removing symbols, flags and monuments will do nothing

  • to change the way people feel in their hearts.

  • Ole Miss students and my fellow Mississippians,

  • rise up and push back on political correctness and support the state flag."

  • The school is deeply rooted in tradition, a vestige of Southern history and pride.

  • It`s not Instagram. It`s not Twitter. It`s not Facebook.

  • It`s CNNStudentNews.com, where our producers look for "Roll Call" requests.

  • We`ve got one yesterday from Chengdu, China.

  • It`s in the central part of the world`s most populous country

  • and it`s where you'll find Chengdu International School.

  • Falcon Ridge Middle School is next.

  • The Falcons are flying over Apple Valley, Minnesota.

  • And rounding out our roll, American Christian Academy in Tuscaloosa,

  • Alabama. We`re saluting the Patriots.

  • Think about the energy given off by a nuclear bomb.

  • Scientists worldwide are trying to figure out

  • how to control and contain that same reaction to a process called nuclear fusion.

  • It could yield clean energy with no pollution

  • It could bring power to the world with a relatively low cost,

  • but it`s very hard to do.

  • The energy it could take to achieve nuclear fusion

  • could be greater than the energy the fusion yields,

  • and critics say the investment of billions

  • could better be spent on researching renewal resources instead.

  • We`re hungry for power and we're constantly looking for more.

  • What if there was a way to get all the energy we could ever dream off,

  • a way that wouldn't pollute the planet and would never run out?

  • This is the world's largest, most powerful laser.

  • My role here at the NIF is to lead and execute

  • experiments primarily in pursuit of achieving thermonuclear ignition, fusion.

  • Our stars power themselves through a process called nuclear fusion,

  • something that`s been nearly impossible for us to recreate on Earth,

  • but many believe that we're on the brink of cracking that code.

  • And investors and governments around the world

  • are spending billions to make sure we do.

  • The NIF is, in fact, 192 separate lasers

  • and we're taking a huge amount of energy,

  • megajoules of energy and we're going to focus

  • all of it down on air filled capsule,

  • which consists of deuterium and tritium, which are isotopes of hydrogen.

  • And so, what we're trying to do is get that fill up to

  • such high temperatures and densities

  • that those hydrogen atoms actually fuse, and as I do so,

  • the remaining atoms will weigh a little bit less

  • and that liberate in mass gets converted into energy

  • and that's the fusion energy we're working to harness.

  • Thousands of miles away in France,

  • the world's most ambitious attempt at fusion is being built.

  • This is ITER, a multinational project to make fusion a reality.

  • Construction should be completed by 2020,

  • with a price tag of an estimated $20 billion.

  • Unlike NIF, which is experimenting with lasers and x-rays

  • to achieve a fusion reaction,

  • ITER will use something called Tokamak,

  • to activate hydrogen isotopes with powerful magnetic fields,

  • electricity and extreme heat to try and achieve fusion.

  • The reaction could reach temperatures 10 times greater than the sun`s core.

  • We get a good portion of our energy on earth from the sun.

  • It is the lifeblood of humankind and everything living on earth.

  • So, if we can harness that within the laboratory,

  • if we can figure out how to make this a viable energy source, that`s huge.

  • Before we go, something you`d never expect

  • a Swiffer Sweeper to pick up, an owl, in a guy's kitchen.

  • He came home one night to find the uninvited visitor

  • and thankfully he had a camera as well as a sweeper.

  • Slowly, slowly and begging the owl not to fly at him, after all,

  • it was giving him a pretty intense stare.

  • The man lowered the animal through the opening in the window,

  • flick it from the broom and celebrated.

  • Of course, he could have tried soothing the savage beast

  • with music like owl, fly away.

  • Could have also offered it food if he had any owl pellets.

  • It was a glaring challenge the man hopes won't come beck.

  • A staring contest the owl won, though we doubt it gave a hoot.

  • We sure hope you'll swoop by tomorrow for more CNN student hoos.

CNN STUDENT NEWS, the current events you count on,

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October 20, 2015 - CNN Student News with subtitle

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