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CNN 10 - April 19, 2018

CNN 10

The Upcoming Talks Between the U.S. and North Korea; Tributes Being Paid to Former First Lady Barbara Bush; The Challenges Posed By Plastics

Aired April 19, 2018 - 04:00 ET

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


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Never before has a sitting U.S. president met with the sitting leader of North Korea. But with plans for a meeting in the works, CNN 10 starts today by explaining how it could come together and what`s changed between the two rival countries to make it possible.

First, U.S. President Donald Trump said earlier this week that discussions about the meeting had been happening at, quote, very high levels. The White House says the president hasn`t directly spoken to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, but President Trump says CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who`s also the president`s pick to be the next secretary of state, met with Kim in North Korea on Easter weekend.

So, the ground works are being laid for a face-to-face meeting of the two countries` leaders, and that could be held in late May or early June. But where?

President Trump said five places are being considered. He didn`t give specifics, but other U.S. government officials have suggested several possibilities, including the nations of Mongolia, Singapore, or Malaysia, a natural European country, a South Korean island, the demilitarized zone between North Korea and South Korea, or even a ship at sea.

Wherever the meeting may be, the big goal for the U.S. is to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program, which is illegal as far as the United Nations is concerned. The goals for North Korea could include international recognition and relief from the sanctions put on the country for its nuclear program. But there`s still doubt about how sincere the Asian country is.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REPORTER: There`s been a lot of change happening between North Korea and the world recently. So, how did we get here?

It started with a speech. New Year`s Day 2018, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un signaled he`d be willing to send athletes to the Winter Olympics in the South. Just six weeks later, they were there, competing, in some cases, as one thing, marching under one flag.

Then, there were talks between the North and the South, the highest profile in years. And then this --

CHUNG EUI-YONG:, SOUTH KOREAN NATIONAL SECURITY CHIEF: President Trump officiated the briefing and said he would meet Kim Jong-un by May.

REPORTER: Putting in motion a potential meeting between Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

So, what changed?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): This would have been unthinkable last year, when North Korea was launching missiles and testing nuclear devices.

REPORTER: That`s Will Ripley, an international correspondent with CNN who`s reported from North Korea more than a dozen times.

RIPLEY: Now, there`s been this breathtaking about-face. Kim Jong-un wants to stay in power for many decades to come and in order to do that, he feels that right now, the best course of action is diplomacy and that`s what we`re seeing him do.

REPORTER: Sanctions impacting trade also seemed to be playing a big role, especially with China on board.

LISA COLLINS, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES (via telephone): According to reports coming out of China, and the border between China and North Korea, the trade between the two countries has been decreasing over the last several months and most people attribute that to sanctions.

REPORTER: Lisa Collins is a political analyst specializing in Korean relations. Perhaps that explains this, an unprecedented visit by Kim Jong-un to Beijing, his first known trip out of North Korea since becoming leader in 2011.

RIPLEY: As quickly as things have changed in this direction, we always to keep in mind, they can change any other direction as well. We have seen this movie play out in the past, when North Korea has opened up after time (INAUDIBLE) tension, diplomacy has looked very promising and then the situation has spiraled back downward.

REPORTER: Does Kim want more bargaining or more money flowing into North Korea? It`s hard to say. Maybe both.

One thing that there`s no question about is that North Korean relations have changed. The next question is, whether they will last?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AZUZ: Across the U.S., people are remembering and honoring a former first lady. Barbara Bush passed away Tuesday at age 92. She was the wife of the 41 president, George H.W. Bush, and the mother of the 43rd president, George W. Bush. She`d been fighting COPD, a lung disease, as well as congestive heart failure.

But despite, Mrs. Bush stayed active in her last years, raising money for charity and continuing her legacy of promoting literacy.

Current and former elected officials laid politics aside to praise Mrs. Bush. President Donald Trump, a Republican, and former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, recognized the Republican first lady for her work and her character.

Abigail Adams, who died in 1818, was the only other woman to have been both the first lady and the mother of a president.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUBTITLE: Barbara Bush: "The Enforcer".

Barbara Bush was the second woman in history to be both a wife and a mother to a U.S. president.

BARBARA BUSH, FORMER FIRST LADY: If anyone can beat, I want to see it.

SUBTITLE: She met her husband, future President George H.W. Bush, at a dance in 1941. They married in 1945.

BUSH: I married the first man I ever kissed. You talk about a bore, I am the world`s worst.

SUBTITLE: She gave birth to future President George W. Bush shortly after.

While her husband built his career, she raised five children.

In 1966, George H.W. Bush was elected to his first political position.

Twenty-three years later, Barbara Bush became first lady of the United States.

INTERVIEWER: You`ve been speaking out a bit more than you did in the past. I notice (INAUDIBLE). You talked about Saddam Hussein as a dreadful man.

BUSH: Well, he`s a dreadful man. I don`t feel that`s controversial.

SUBTITLE: While she was first lady, she founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.

BUSH: They were lima beans for dinner and I hate limas.

SUBTITLE: She was also an advocate for women`s health issues.

Her children nicknamed her "The Enforcer" for her tough responsibility.

BUSH: Instead of complaining about the problems we have, why not get in and try to solve some of them?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

Polyethylene terephthalate is a form of what?

Glass, amino acid, artificial flavor or plastic?

Also known as PET, polyethylene terephthalate is a widely used form of plastic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: PET, because I don`t want to say that whole term again, is used to make everything from clothing and tennis balls to shampoo bottles and especially water bottles. It`s inexpensive and lightweight. It`s strong and it doesn`t shutter. But it also doesn`t break down quickly in the environment. Scientists believe that can take centuries.

In 2016, researchers found the type of bacterium that does eat PET and they utilize it to make an enzyme that breaks down plastic even faster. This could help engineers better recycle plastics or get rid of them altogether before they become trash. In the meantime, we`re looking at the effects plastics have when they are thrown away and what we can do to use less of them.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REPORTER: Plastic is big business and it`s a big threat to our environment. We produce about 300 million tons of it every year. The most popular things we make are things like these.

But of all the plastic ever created only 9 percent has been recycled, which means a lot of it ended up in a dump and our natural environment. In fact, eight millions tons of plastics is dumped into our oceans every year. By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in our waters.

But the same durability that makes plastic so useful also makes it a danger to our marine environment. This stuff takes years to break down, and as it does, it can end up in the food chain where it releases harmful toxins contaminating fish that we ourselves eat, though at this point, scientists don`t know exactly what eating contaminated fish does to human body. What we do know is that there are ways to help keep plastic from ending up in the dumps and our oceans in the first place.

Here are five things you can do to use less plastic:

Cut out plastic straws. Use stainless steel or card ones instead.

Bring a reusable carry bag with you, instead of relying on plastic ones.

Packed meals in reusable containers.

Invest in reusable bottles for drinks, instead of using plastic bottles or takeaway cups.

And here`s the surprising one, stop chewing gum. It`s made of synthetic rubber, which is a type of plastic.

So, remember, your plastic picks can make a change.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AZUZ: Tumbleweeds, dried up parts of plants that detached and roll over wind swept landscapes are iconic elements of the American West. But this is ridiculous y`all. Victorville, California, has become a real life tumbleweed town. Powerful winds blew them in by the hundreds, stocking tumbleweeds so high in some places that residents called city officials to ask for help in getting rid of them. Someone even reportedly got trapped at home until the tumbleweeds were removed.

It`s nothing to chafe at. People looking to branch out from the city, put down roots near the desert, thinking thistle be a place to call home. But if some folks amaranth like the wind from the tumbleweed takeover, planting the plant themselves or somewhere else, you can see why it`s certainly no desert rose.

I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10.

END