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CNN 10 - August 13, 2018

CNN 10

NASA Launches Mission to the Sun; A Contested Body of Water on Earth; The Dark Origins of The Game Called Life

Aired August 13, 2018 - 04:00 ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, zero. Lift off of the mighty Delta IV Heavy rocket with NASA`s Parker Solar Probe, a daring mission to shed light on the mysteries our closest star, the sun.

(EN VIDEO CLIP)

CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: What perfect way to launch a new season of CNN 10. Hello to everyone watching worldwide and welcome. My name is Carl Azuz.

I`m the host of CNN 10, a 10-minute news show that objectively explains events happening around the world and beyond.

And that, of course, is where this comes in. Our first report of the 2018- 2019 season concerns NASA`s first ever mission to the sun. It needed a powerful rocket to get off the ground.

A scientist with Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory says it takes 55 times more launch energy to reach the sun than it does to get a vehicle to Mars. And the vehicle that`s headed to our nearest star is named the Parker Solar Probe.

No one`s on board. It`s a robot that`s about the size of a compact car it`s set to fly closer to the sun than any other spacecraft ever has, but it all still keep its distance.

The sun is hot, and even though the probe has heat shields that are five inches thick, designed to help it withstand temperatures of more than 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit, it won`t get much closer than 3.9 million miles away from the sun`s surface. That might sound like it`s still pretty far, but that distance is still closer than the orbit of the sun`s nearest planet, Mercury, and scientists say it`s like sitting on the 4-yard line of football field with the sun as the end zone.

All this comes at a cost of $1.5 billion. So what has NASA hoped to get out of it?

Well, the agency`s wish upon a star -- get it? -- is to better understand the sun`s mysterious corona, its magnetic fields, its solar wind, and to help improve researchers` ability to forecast space weather events that can affect satellites, airline flights and power grids here on earth.

Where the Parkers Solar Probe is going, there`s not any contested territory by different countries. That is not the case in the South China Sea. This is a Pacific body of water off the coast of Southeast Asia.

The United Nations estimates that one-third of all the shipping on earth passes through and it`s contested. Several countries in the region claim that overlapping parts of it belong to them. But China makes the biggest territorial claims to the South China Sea. Most other countries don`t accept China`s claims, but it`s been building islands there for years, and militarizing some of them, despite promising in 2015 that it wouldn`t.

That`s why the tensions in this region stretched across the ocean.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It`s been incredibly difficult and to some degrees dangerous for journalists to get a close up look at China`s manmade island projects in the South China Sea. But the U.S. Navy issued CNN a rare invitation to travel along with this U.S. Navy reconnaissance plane to get a rare look at this massive land reclamation project being carried by Beijing.

(voice-over): This is what China`s attempt to conquer the South China Sea looks like, small cities springing up on manmade islands in the middle of the Pacific, filmed by a CNN journalist onboard a U.S. Navy reconnaissance plane.

(on camera): Here`s the thing: this is originally a Boeing 737. So, that`s the kind of plane that you typically associate with civilian commercial travel, but it`s been outfitted, modified by the military and now, it`s got the kind of equipment that allows it to conduct missions involving surveillance and reconnaissance.

(voice-over): It takes more than an hour to reach the South China Sea, one of the world`s busiest trade routes. China claims almost all of this body of water for itself, dismissing competing claims from countries like the Philippines and Vietnam.

(on camera): The powerful cameras on board this plane demonstrate how China staked its territorial claims. It`s simply built entire islands that didn`t exist a decade ago.

(voice-over): The Chinese took coral reefs and atolls like this and embarked on a massive land reclamation project.

In 2015, CNN flew with the U.S. Navy over Fiery Cross Reef which was already a man-made island. And this is what it looks like today -- airstrips, radar towers, four and five-story concrete buildings.

Lieutenant Lauren Callen is the commander of this flight crew.

LT. LAUREN CALLEN, U.S. NAVY: It was very surprising to see airports in the middle of the ocean.

WATSON (on camera): You`re also scrutinizing these man-made islands, what are you on the look out for?

CALLEN: We`re really just trying to see the change that has occurred over the last several years, observing any new buildings that might be coming up.

WATSON (voice-over): At least six times during our flight, the Chinese military radios the plane, making it clear the U.S. Navy is not welcome here.

CHINESE MILITARY: U.S. military aircraft, this is Chinese military. China has a sovereignty of the Nansha islands, including the reef and its adjacent waters. Leave immediately and keep off to avoid any misunderstanding.

U.S. NAVY PILOT: United States Naval aircraft conducting lawful military activity beyond the national airspace of any coastal states and exercising these rights guaranteed by international law. I am operating with due regards to the right of duties of all states.

WATSON: The U.S. continues to challenge Beijing`s territorial claims by routinely sending warships and planes through the South China Sea. But that`s done little to stop China`s extraordinary land grab.

On Friday, the Navy counted at least 85 ships in the man-made harbor of Subi Reef.

(on camera): It doesn`t look like anybody`s leaving any time soon.

CALLEN: Probably not.

WATSON: China`s man-made archipelago appears to be here to stay.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

Which of these board games was originally introduced in the 1800s, making it the oldest on this list?

The Game of Life, Monopoly, Clue, or Scrabble?

Known originally as the "Checkered Game of Life", the family favorite was invented in 1860.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: Milton Bradley was a printer, a businessman and inventor and a publisher of books on kindergarten. But he`s probably best known now as the namesake of what became a famous American toy brand and that might have never gotten off the ground if a famous American president hadn`t decided to stop shaving.

Our friends at "Great Big Story" are about to make sense of all this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NARRATOR: Without Abraham Lincoln and really his beard, Milton Bradley, the godfather of board games, would have never existed. Bold statement, I know, but let me explain.

The game of life, the spinner, the cars, the choices, college or career, kids or no kids, lawyer or farmer, this family game night staple was once a pretty morbid game.

Back in the 1800s, Milton Bradley was in the lithograph business. Following the Republican National Convention of 1860, Bradley printed thousands of images of Abraham Lincoln who was clean-shaven at the time. Shortly thereafter, Lincoln debuted his iconic beard, rendering all of Bradley`s prints worthless.

His lithograph business went belly-up. So, Bradley was forced to try something new. He came up with a board game, a seemingly dark and twisted board game appropriately named the "Checkered Game of Life".

The game functioned in a similar way to how it does now. There was a spinner, colored circles that moved around the board and, of course, squares that could either make you or break you. The squares on the original game were overwhelmingly grim, boasting actions like disgrace, poverty, ruin, crime, prison.

Regardless, the game flew off the shelves. Kids loved it and Milton Bradley went on to own family game night. Fast forward to about 100 years later, they revamped the game, trading Bradley`s morbid squares for the more delightful ones like payday or graduation, which we have all come to know and love.

And so, there you have it, the story of the game called life. Thanks, Lincoln.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(MUSIC)

AZUZ: The flying saucer-shaped tower known as the Space Needle helps define the skyline of Seattle, Washington. Now, it has an unforgettable view from inside, a rotating floor made of 10 layers of glass that lets you see just how much space is between your feet and the ground below. It`s said to be the only revolving glass floor on the planet. It`s actually 50 stories above the planet, and it`s meant to make you feel like you`re floating.

Now, acrophobics would probably perform acrobatics to avoid ascending these such heights, only to look down on the space beneath the Space Needle, probably best not to float the idea by them, even if others are floored by it. It`s crystal clear why staring at ground 540 feet beneath your feet could make anyone glassy-eyed.

For CNN 10, I`m Carl Azuz. We hope to see you tomorrow.

END