CNN news 2014-05-16

From Africa to Europe and from killer robots to an iconic obelisk, CNN STUDENT NEWS is bringing the world to your classroom. I'm Carl Azuz. First up today, a hopeful sign for the families of more than 200 kidnapped girls in Nigeria. The terrorist group that abducted them has mentioned a trade. Yesterday, Boko Haram released video that it says shows the kidnapped girls. If that's true, this is the first time they've been since they were taken on April 14. Boko Haram says they've all converted to Islam and that they'll only be released if the Nigerian government release members of Boko Haram that it's holding prisoner.

Nigeria says it will consider all options for the girls release and safe return home.

Meantime, the CNN reporter visited the school where the kidnappings happened and spoke to a girl who escaped from the terrorists.

This is a road few are now willing to travel.

It's been one checkpoint after another as we have traveled north from the Nigerian capital Abuja. We've definitely seen evidence of the security reinforcements that the government has been talking about, but as we go farther north, as we got deeper into the Boko Haram countryside, where there've been striking terror into the hearts of villages, much of that presence seems to have evaporated.

Attacks for the militant Islamist group Boko Haram are constant in this part of Nigeria. But what happened in Chibok put the world on notice.

In here, in these rooms is where the girls were sleeping when armed men in what they describe as military uniforms came to their dormitory gate and told them that they come to protect them. The girls started to assemble in the yard as ordered to. They didn't realize who the men really were until it was too late.

Over 200 girls dragged from their beds to be sold off as bounty, a message that the militant group's edicts on female education: "Must be heeded". But avail yourself of big men with guns to make money off terrified girls.

If it's in Chibok, I'll never go back again.

You never go back to school.


Because they made you afraid.


Before the militants left, they destroyed everything they could. Textbooks, the library, the laboratory, their attempt to forever shutter this school.

About 3,000 miles northeast of Nigeria, in the nation of Ukraine, some parts of the country are holding controversial votes. We've told you how Ukraine is divided. Some people, including Ukraine's new government want closer ties with Western Europe. Some others want to secede from Ukraine and possibly join Russia. That's what a vote indicated in Donetsk, a region of eastern Ukraine. An election official said Monday that 90 percent of voters there support secession from Ukraine. But there were no international election monitors there for Sunday's vote. And officials from Europe and the U.S. say, it doesn't count.

Russia annexed Crimea, another region of Ukraine after it held a similar vote in March. Russia says it's not interested in annexing other parts of Ukraine, but that it wants Ukraine to give its Russian speaking population more power in the government.

The United Nations charter discusses preventing war, having faith in human rights, maintaining international peace and security. It says nothing about protecting people against killer robots.

But at an upcoming U.N. meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, experts do plan to talk about autonomous weapons systems. Basically, robots that can choose and attack a target without any human intervention. These don't[ exist yet, but .

No! No!

A futuristic danger in Hollywood films like "The Terminator" now a big enough threat to warrant a United Nations debate. Robotic Technology has already advanced to levels that wouldn't look out of place in a sci-fi blockbuster.

These robots developed by the Pentagon can climb stairs, detect and avoid obstacles. And even correct themselves if you push them around.

Robots are getting close to being able to do the physical task that we can do and more. It's only a matter of time before they appear on the battlefield.

Machine technology is already being used to kill.

We've seen that in drone strikes against the Taliban and other terrorist groups, but behind the drone technology, there is still a human being calling the shots. Giving robots the power to make those life or death decisions themselves is what the U.N. is discussing.

A computer's ability to analyze and think is improving all the time, Google has been experimenting with neural networks, a kind of artificial brain, capable of teaching itself independently from human programmers. And that raises a scary question: will the artificial intelligences that power our robots, one day decide to push back.

Atika Shubert, CNN, London.