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CNN 10 - August 31, 2018

CNN 10

Venezuela`s Economy Crumbling; Senator John McCain Memorial Services; Vietnam After the War; Natural Enemies Seal and Butterfly Have Unique Relationship

Aired August 31, 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: Knock, Knock. Who`s there? Friday`s are awesome. I`m Carl Azuz. Hope your day is going well as we wrap up the week here on CNN 10. Our coverage starts in the South American country of Venezuela. It`s economy is crumbling and thousands of people there are flooding out into neighboring nations like Brazil and Columbia, who are trying to figure out what to do about the refugees. Venezuela`s economy is based on oil. The nation has more proven oil reserves than any other country on Earth. And when oil prices were high, the government`s main source of income was bringing in billions of dollars.

But the global recession that started in 2007 caused oil prices to freefall. They recovered for a few years after that but oil prices dropped again in 2014 for various reasons. Global production of crude oil has been falling more than two years and Venezuela now produces less than half the oil it did in the late 1990`s. Salaries for oil workers there are increasingly worthless. Some of them are taking second jobs to make ends meet. Others are selling the pants, boots and gloves from their work kits to buy food. And because Venezuela`s economy as a whole is so heavily dependent on oil, the ripple effects from this are spreading all over the country. The government has tremendous debt and studies suggest that more than 80 percent of all Venezuelans are now living in poverty.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Venezuela has shattered some stunning economic records in the last five years. Inflation here is almost incalculable but it will easily run into the thousands in terms of a percentage this year. And what does that mean? It means that people are lacking the bare necessities. Things like food and medicine and the fact remains that 2/3 of people here report that they have lost significant amounts of weight because they can barely scrape together one or two meals a day.

Venezuelan politics have always been complicated and temperamental. Even more so now as the crumbling economy has plunged this country into a very dangerous political stalemate. In 1999, Hugo Chavez was elected President and he turned to his very specific and personal brand of socialism Chavismo. He gave out free flats, television sets, refrigerators, fixed prices for basic things like flour and eggs and that made many people in Venezuela happy. It totally brought up the standard of living in the middle class.

The problem was there was no way to pay for these things. When Hugo Chavez died in 2013 his hand picked successor Nicolas Maduro was elected President. He continued with Chavismo. The problem was that the price of oil collapse from $100 a barrel to less than $50. The economy has never recovered.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARL AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. What is the capitol of Vietnam and the second largest city in the country? Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Manila, or Da Nang. Those Vietnam`s largest city is Ho Chi Minh City the nation`s capitol is Hanoi.

It`s where the late U.S. Senator John McCain spent his time as a prisoner of war. He was a decorated Navy pilot when he was shot down there. His political work in the U.S. Congress started in the early 1980`s and lasted 35 years. That`s part of the reason why politicians, former Presidents, officials, family and friends are remembering the Arizona Republican throughout the week. A memorial service at North Phoenix Baptist Church was held yesterday in the Arizona capitol.

Ceremonies and services in the U.S. Capitol are scheduled for Friday and Saturday and a final memorial, a private one will be held Sunday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. From the time he served in the Navy until now, the relationship between the U.S. and Vietnam has changed dramatically. Examples of that are clear throughout Hanoi where a man remembered as an enemy is now being honored as a friend.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On a rainy morning in the Vietnamese capitol, it`s hard to imagine anything disturbing the serenity of Truc Bach Lake. But this is where Lieutenant Commander John McCain splashed down terribly wounded after a surface to air missile hit his plane during a bombing run in 1967. The Vietnamese erected a monument to celebrate his capture. Buttah people responded to Senator McCain`s passing. They took this trophy celebrating the day he was shot down and turned it into a makeshift shrine with flowers honoring a former enemy who became this country`s friend.

The day Lutron Lua (ph) first saw McCain, he says he wanted to kill him.

(LUTRON LUA) (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I wanted to stab him with the knife but people near by shouted stop. I thought this was an invader who was trying to destroy our city.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fifty-one years after he helped capture McCain, (Lua) laments the death of the U.S. pilot.

(LUTRON LUA) (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I`m sad because I never got to meet him again (Lua) tells me. McCain came back to Vietnam and did good things here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After his capture, McCain was brought here to Hoa Lo Prison better known by the nickname Hanoi Hilton. It`s a museum now. But during the war, McCain spent much of his harrowing five and 1/2 year experience as a prisoner within this building`s walls. Enduring torture which he describes in his memoirs.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: One guard would hold me while the others pounded away. Most blows were directed at my shoulders, chest and stomach.

Occasionally when I had fallen to the floor, they kicked me in the head. They cracked several of my ribs and broke a couple of teeth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tran Trong Duyet, the former warden of the prison, first met McCain in 1967.

TRAN TRONG DUYET, THROUGH TRANSLATOR: He was a tough and strong man. He was loyal to his ideology.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He denies that U.S. prisoners were tortured here.

TRAN TRONG DUYET, THROUGH TRANSLATOR: McCain told a lie in his book.

DANIEL KRITENBRINK, AMBASSADOR TO VIETNAM: I think it`s absolutely clear and undisputable the torture that - - that many of our veterans suffered.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: The U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam opened the Embassy to the public allowing well wishers to sign a book of condolences.

KRITENBRINK: Great patriot. Great warrior who fought and suffered here for years then becomes a Senator, a statesman and I would argue a peacemaker. He was one of the - - the leaders in the United States again who brought our countries back together.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the decades after his release, McCain visited Vietnam more than 20 times.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: Oh I put the Vietnam War behind me a long time ago. I harbor no anger, no arrancar (ph), I`m a better man for my experience and I`m grateful for having the opportunity of serving.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In another Hanoi lake lies the wreckage of a downed U.S. B-52 Bomber. It`s a testament to the extraordinary legacy of John McCain that the Vietnamese now admire and mourn a man who was once sent to bomb their cities.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARL AZUZ: For 10 out of 10, usually where there are seals there aren`t a lot of butterflies. But an unlikely meeting between the two vastly different species took place recently at the Oregon Zoo. And though they`re separated by glass, the Pacific Harbor Seal doesn`t let that keep her from making a new friend. Now you might be asking if they`re playing or if the seal is looking for a snack. It appears the answer is here when the seal uses her flippers instead of her mouth to try to get the butterfly to continue it`s meandering course.

The seal seemed anything but "pinnipedestrian" about the encounter and maybe the butterfly wanted the seal to "Lepidoptera" but one animal might have wanted to "seal" the friendship, the other was kind of "flighty". After all as far as differences go, there`s an ocean between them ya`ll.

I`m Carl Azuz. We will be off the air Monday for the Labor Day Holiday. We look forward to seeing you next Tuesday when CNN 10 resumes it`s objective overage of world events.

END