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CNN 10 - April 4, 2019


NATO Secretary General Addresses the U.S. Congress; India Launches the World`s Largest Democratic Exercise; Indonesia Plans to Close Komodo Island

Aired April 4, 2019 - 04:00 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: It`s been 70 years since NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, was formed. The world`s changed a lot since then. The NATO alliance has grown a lot since then, and yesterday`s visit by its leader to the U.S. capital is our first subject on today`s show.

Even though the United States was a founding member of NATO in 1949, Wednesday was the first time that a NATO secretary general ever addressed the U.S. House and Senate.

During a speech that promoted the organization itself and the unity of its members, Jens Stoltenberg acknowledged that NATO countries have their disagreements but he said they`d overcome them in the past and they`ll have to do it again because the challenges that NATO faces can`t be addressed by one country alone.


JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: Questions are being asked on both sides of Atlantic about the strength of our partnership. And yes, there are differences, this is democracy. Open discussions and different views is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength.



NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: What is NATO? Why is it important? And what`s its future?

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a political and military alliance established in 1949 that seeks to promote stability in the North Atlantic area.

HARRY TRUMAN, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: It is the will of the people of the world for our freedom and for our peace.

ROBERTSON: Led my Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, there are 29 member countries, and its HQ is in Brussels. NATO doesn`t have its own troops, but relies on contributions of forces from its member countries.

At NATO`s core is Article 5, which states, an attack on one member is an attack on all NATO allies.

The collective defense principle was to protect Western European nations against the Soviet Union, but when the Soviet Union collapsed, NATO`s new tasks ranged from being a bulwark against Al-Qaeda and Afghanistan to fighting human trafficking, and intercepting refuges in the Mediterranean.

NATO is still extremely active, with some 4,000 U.S. troops in Poland and the Baltic states, and tens of thousands on 48-hour standby, bolstering NATO`s allies and sending a clear message to Russia.


AZUZ: Secretary General Stoltenberg`s speech on Wednesday came a day after he met with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House. And Stoltenberg referred to the American leader in his speech. President Trump has been skeptical of NATO in the past.

The defense alliance recommends its members spend at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense. Only seven out of 29 actually do that. The U.S. does and Stoltenberg credits President Trump with getting other members to spend more.

Despite that and other international disagreements over its policies, NATO has lasted longer than any other defense alliance in recorded history and several international analysts say it`s the most successful alliance too.

Next story, India has kicked off what`s been called the world`s largest democratic exercise. That exercise is voting, and with the government that is a federal parliamentary republic and a population of 1.3 billion people, India is considered the world`s largest democracy.

In this election, about 900 million people are eligible to vote. To give you a sense of that number, it`s almost three times the entire population of the United States.

In order to give that many people a chance to cast ballots, India plans to open about 1 million polling stations across the country and more than 10 million officials will be working to manage them. The election will take more than a month.

So, what exactly will voters be choosing?

Five hundred forty-five seats have to be filled in India`s lower house of parliament and all but two of them are elected by a simple majority vote.

The others are appointed by the president.

The party that wins the majority in this election forms the government that will rule for the next five years. But India has hundreds of political parties, so if as single one doesn`t win enough seats, then a coalition or alliance can form to choose the nation`s prime minister.

During the last general election in 2014, 464 political parties took part. And if that sounds like a lot, consider a number of candidates. There were more than 8,250 of them.

Lawmakers help determine what happens in India and in space.


AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): India is riding high after a successful anti-satellite missile test last week. But new concerns may bring them back down to earth. Last Wednesday, India destroyed one of its own satellites, operating in a low orbit, using a ground to space missile,

an accomplishment hailed by India.

NARENDRA MODI, INDIAN PRIME MINISTER: India has registered its name as a space power.

WALKER: Only the U.S., Russia and China have successfully carried out anti-satellite missile tests. But India`s move has been strongly criticized by NASA`s top official, who says debris from the test is a threat to the International Space Station.

JIM BRIDENSTINE, NASA ADMINISTRATOR: That is a terrible, terrible thing to create an event that sends debris at an apogee that goes above the International Space Station, and that kind of activity is not compatible with the future of human space life.

WALKER: NASA says they have identified 400 pieces of space debris from the test and the chances of small particles hitting the ISS have increased by 44 percent over the next few days. But they also point out they have everything under control.

BRIDENSTINE: While the risk went up 44 percent, our astronauts are still safe. The International Space Station is still safe. If we need to maneuver it, we will.

WALKER: India says it expects the objects to burn up soon and conducted the test at lower altitudes, so the debris would dissipate quickly into the atmosphere.

ARUN JAITLEY, INDIAN FINANCE MINISTER: In this case, our scientists have taken all precautions and in a matter of three weeks, the whole environment will be debris-free.

WALKER: NASA says the process takes time. In 2007, China conducted a similar test at higher altitude, creating one of the largest debris clouds in history, much of which is still circling overhead.

Amara Walker, CNN.



SUBTITLE: This is "Handle". It`s a newly-redesigned robot from Boston Dynamics.

Handle is made for the warehouse. It can lift boxes up to 33 pounds.

It comes equipped with an on-board vision system. This system can track pallets and find boxes.

Boston Dynamics` family of robots can jump, run, and even balance on rocks.

Its SpotMini can open and walk through doors.

Handle isn`t the only robot designed for warehouse work. Amazon uses porter bots that carry shelves of boxes. London-based Automata offers "Eva", a robotic arm that can learn movements by example.

For now, these robots are used primarily to assist workers. But a recent study found 25 percent of U.S. jobs are at high risk of being automated.


AZUZ: If you`re hoping to see a komodo dragon in its native habitat anytime soon, you better do it before next January. The government of Indonesia where Komodo Island is located reportedly plans to close it to tourists for the year 2020. It`s a popular destination, but komodo dragons are considered to be a vulnerable species, and several people were arrested last month and accused of smuggling them.

Authorities say 41 komodo lizards were illegally taken from the island and sold in other countries for $35,000 each. They don`t make good pets.

Komodos can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh more than 150 pounds. They`re the largest lizards in the world and their bite is so venomous that it can kill someone.

During the island closure, Indonesian officials hope to preserve the lizards` habitat and help their population grow.


AZUZ: At first, it may look like a flock of birds, a really bright, colorful, artificially lighted flock. But surprise, it`s drones.

The technology company Intel put on the show to kick off a summit. You`re looking at 500 shooting star drones. They are lightweight and have LEDs you can see. Intel says all they can really do is light up the sky, but that they do that really well.

The display took place recently over Phoenix, Arizona.

As long as they all work, it`s a bright idea, a reflection of illuminating technology that plays like a semi-conducted light orchestra. But no one would give them props if they were to get their wires crossed and go boom. Raining drones make for a bad forecast, or worse, spin class (ph), and a generally cathodeous (ph) experience. We`re glad no one crash the party.

I`m Carl Azuz and that`s CNN 10.