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CNN 10 - February 11, 2019

CNN 10

Iranian Revolution Marks It`s 40th Anniversary; Blockade Keeps Aid From Entering Venezuela; Illegal Gold Mining Cuts South American Rainforest; Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City

Aired February 11, 2019 - 04:00:00 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: CNN 10 is taking you from the Middle East to South America today and exploring subjects from international relations to gold mining. I`m Carl Azuz at the CNN Center. Thank you for starting off your week with us. First story concerns Iran, the nation that was known as Persia until 1979. It used to be a monarchy governed by a Shah, a Persian king but 40 years ago that Shah was overthrown and forced into exile. And as a result of the Iranian Revolution, the nation became a theocratic republic with Islam as its official religion. One major reason why Iran has been a rival of the United States since around that time is because the U.S. supported the Shah who was overthrown.

But there are other reasons, including the fact that the U.S., the United Nations and the European Union say Iran is an official sponsor of terrorism. That`s why they`ve imposed sanctions or penalties on Iran`s economy. As the Middle Eastern country celebrates a revolution milestone this year, it`s military is showing off a new ballistic missile. A weapon that is said to be capable of traveling more than 600 miles. An Iranian military official called the missile`s development an achievement but the country`s missile program concerns other nations around the world including the U.S. because Iran`s supreme leader has called for the destruction of Israel, a U.S. ally in the region.


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The return of exile of Ayatollah Khomeini in February in 1979 and the overthrow of the U.S. backed Shah marked the culmination of the Islamic revolution. Businessman Abdul Kasem Shafe (ph) says he organized opposition groups in those days.

Forty years later, he believes the revolution produced mixed results.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE TRANSLATED: Religiously and ideologically the revolution achieved it`s goal, he says. But economically due to sanctions and domestic mismanagement we have not yet reached those goals.

PLEITGEN: The Islamic revolution also an uprising against America`s support for the Shah. In late 1979, Iranian students stormed the U.S.

Embassy in Tehran capturing and holding hostage more than 50 Americans for more than 400 days. U.S.-Iranian relations have never recovered.

Hardliners still chanting death to America at Friday prayers, even though Iran`s supreme leader recently tried to tone down the rhetoric.

ALI KHAMENEI TRANSLATED: Let me make something clear for U.S. leaders, he said. Death to America, it means death to American rulers we have no problems with the American people.

PLEITGEN: The Trump White House is cracking down on Iran, pulling the U.S. out of the Nuclear Deal signed by Obama Administration and hitting the country with sanctions that are crippling it`s economy and causing it`s currency to plummet. The U.S. says, Iran is a threat to Israel and America`s allies in the Middle East and lashed out at Iran`s ballistic missile program. Iran`s answer, a defense expo praising the rockets.

Iran shows no signs of bowing to American and international pressure. The country says it will continue to develop it`s ballistic missile program which it says is solely for defense purposes. For the first time, Iran recently released video of one of it`s underground missile assembly facilities. Forty years after the beginning of the Islamic revolution, the confrontation between the U.S. and Iran continues. Fred Pleitgen, CNN Tehran.


CARL AZUZ: Second stop this Tuesday (sic) is in South America. We`ve told you how a collapsing economy is leaving many people in Venezuela hungry and unable to get the hygienic and medical supplies they need. Well help is flowing to Venezuela from nations around the world, but some of it at least has been stopped at the country`s western border with Columbia. Beginning last Friday, two truckloads of food and medicine from the United States were prevented from rolling onto Venezuelan soil.

The country`s President Nicolas Maduro said quote, "We are not beggars." and he added that the humanitarian aid is intended to humiliate Venezuela and justify military aggressions. Analysts say it`s possible that the government`s afraid that the supplies could be used as a cover for an invasion of Venezuela but Juan Guiado who declared himself the new Venezuelan president in January, said the aid would be let in because it`s about saving lives. And that the officials who block it are keeping medicine and food from people in need.

As in inflation in Venezuela spins out of control with prices for everyday items soaring beyond what residents can pay, countries like Canada and Germany have pledged millions of dollars to help. What`s unclear is whether the Maduro administration will accept it.

10 Second Trivia. Which of these countries uses a currency called the Nuevo sol? Chile, Peru, Argentina, or Brazil. The Nuevo sol is the currency of the South American nation of Peru.

The Nuevo sol has also been a relatively stable currency over the past 10 years. It`s a reflection of Peru`s strong economy, one of the best in Latin America. But though the country`s poverty rate has decreased substantially, it`s still around 22 percent meaning over a fifth of the nation`s 31 million people live below the poverty line. That`s part of the reason why illegal gold mining has skyrocketed. Peru is a major producer of gold and a lot of the mining there is allowed by the government. But the kind that`s not allowed takes only a few hours for someone to learn how to do. It can bring them cash quickly. It`s made gold Peru`s most valuable, illegal export and the rainforest is paying the price.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are listed two wheeled taxi service is known as Los Tigres. My driver, one of the thousands of young men who have come from all over Peru lured by an operation that could net $100 a day or get them killed. We ride for 20 minutes before the lush green begins to thin.

The jungle floor turns to sand. A half mile further, and the rainforest is gone. It`s like we`ve entered a completely different ecosystem, from jungle to desert in a matter of feet. All this didn`t exist. These lakes didn`t exist. Nothing did. It was just flat forest like we went through.

This is all man made. Wow, oh my god. Oh my god. And these are all toxic, toxic pools now. This is all mining pits that are filled in after it`s been abandoned with rainwater. They use an old brutal method, merciless on the land. Cutting down trees, blasting riverbanks with diesel powered fire hoses creating a slurry that gets sifted until "Eureka", a tiny flake of gold. Since this land only holds two grams of precious metal per ton of mud, mercury is needed to pull the gold from the sludge. And what effect does that mercury have on the living things here, including the people?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it`s magic for the mining process but it`s poison for everything else.


CARL AZUZ: The Kentucky Derby is said to be the oldest, continuously held major sporting event in the U.S. The first race was run in 1875. For the second oldest sporting event, you have to trade in your horse for a dog. CNN recently visited the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show which started over the weekend in New York City.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every February the dogs descend upon Manhattan and it`s for the 142nd Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. We have over 3,200 dogs coming this year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the meet the breeds?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is Papachewdavos.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a fun time. You know, just to get out and teach - - teach people about the breed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We really like learning about different breeds of dogs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a Boxer kissing booth because why not?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have the 5th Annual Masters Agility Championship going on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is my first time I`ve ever been here. I`ve been watching them on TV and it`s just so exciting to see them in person.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This show is the second longest, continuously held sporting event in the United States and the reason it`s been able to maintain that is the fact that it`s about dogs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, man`s best friend. What can`t you not like about them?


CARL AZUZ: So who will win Best In Show? Will a Doberman "Pinch" the lead or will judges be brought to their "Perriknees"? Are spotted dogs worth a "Dalmention" or does it take a toy to "Chihuawalk" away with victory? You can "Greyhound" us about this all you want but if you`re wondering why "Marraren`t" we telling you? It`s because results haven`t been "Pointered" out yet. Those will be "Satured" on Tuesday. Just didn`t want you to think we were being "Malamute" on the subject. I`m "Corgil" Azuz and we`ll "Springer" back with more for you tomorrow.