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CNN 10 - May 21, 2019

CNN 10

CNN Investigation Indicates Humanitarian Aid is Being Misused in Yemen; New Study Contrasts the Effects of Ultraprocessed and Unprocessed Foods; World Record Teddy Bear

Aired May 21, 2019 - 04:00:00 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: For CNN 10, I`m Carl Azuz. Thank you for watching today. Last year the United Nations found that 1 percent of the aid that it was sending to the nation of Yemen had gone missing, but a CNN undercover investigation indicates the problem could be far bigger. Since 2004 a militant group called the Houthis has been fighting the Yemeni government. The Middle Eastern country civil war heated up in 2015 and the U.N. says that at least 7,000 civilians have been killed since then with thousands more injured. Though estimates from other international groups say the actual death toll is many times that.

Because of war, disease and widespread poverty, aid workers say 80 percent of Yemenis are in need of help and protection. The U.N. considers Yemen to be the site of the world`s largest humanitarian crisis but even as civilians suffer there appears to be no end in sight for the fighting. The Houthi rebels are a part of a Shiite Muslim minority in a country that`s mostly Sunni Muslim. That`s significant because this war goes beyond Yemen`s borders. The nation of Iran, who`s population is mostly Shiite Muslim is supporting the Houthi rebels who are fighting Yemen`s government.

The nation of Saudi Arabia who`s population is mostly Sunni Muslim supports Yemen`s government. Saudi Arabia has led a coalition of several countries in a military campaign against the Houthis. Now, there are signs that in Yemen when millions of people are starving, food may have become a weapon.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is warrior country. An ancient land that seems designed for conflict and now Yemen is being torn apart again. The U.N. says it`s one step away from famine because of war. But on a 4,000 kilometer journey through the worst hit areas, we found innocent people close to death by a rebel Houthi government that`s manipulating aid while U.N. officials try to stop them. We found evidence of this throughout northern Yemen. First in Bunikiste (ph), five hours drive from the capital. How are you surviving for food? How do you get food?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE TRANSLATED: My husband goes to work. He gets 500 or 1,000 rials and he buys food for us and goes home. But there is no money for clothes, diapers for the children or medicine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And why do you think you - - you`re not getting aid here? To - - to people why - - why - - why are people not getting help?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE TRANSLATED: They don`t reach us here. They used to give us grains and flour but then they refused to give it to anyone. They don`t give us anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Already dirt poor, people here relied on U.N. handouts but they stopped when the World Food Program discovered that supplies were going missing. So in this village there`s some malnutrition and people are saying that they`re not getting any aid. Why - - why is that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE TRANSLATED: They used to give parents a bag of grains, oil and other stuff every month. This stopped two months ago. We don`t know why. There are people higher up who know why.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a problem that`s been raised at the highest levels.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`ve certainly in several situations had to say to local authorities, you don`t let us in there. We can`t continue these programs and that`s why we`ve been forced into situations where we`ve said. If you don`t let us in, if you don`t let us do our jobs properly, then we`re not going to be able to continue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Aslam. The U.N. has been denied access to this area and has stopped food distributions because they cannot be monitored.

It`s only a few miles from the front line. Ten thousand people have poured into camps like this in a few weeks. They`re victims of a war being waged by a Saudi led coalition armed by the U.S. and others against the Iranian backed Houthi rebels.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE TRANSLATED: What we have (inaudible) others. When we get our rations from the World Food Program, I give back people what I owe but we haven`t had anything from the World Food Program for two months. We have nothing now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So again, vulnerable people are being denied aid by the U.N. because the Houthi government won`t allow access and independent monitoring. In the Yemen now, nearly everyone is short of food.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE TRANSLATED: Malnutrition isn`t only a problem among the displaced and the host (ph) community. We have it too, even us the employees. Our children back home are malnourished.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Houthis are under siege. Their access to the outside cut by coalition attacks on this the main Port of Hodeidah. Since the Saudi led coalition imposed a blockade on this port and attacked it from the air, its done about $800 million worth of damage is half the amount of food and other materials coming into the port and its destroyed about 60 percent of its capacity. The idea of course is to try to strangle the capacity of the Houthi regime to survive. The irony of course is from the Houthi perspective, a control over a limited amount of supply particularly when it comes to food means you have control over everything.

The Houthis have now relinquished control over the port but their control over aid distribution remains absolute. In the capital Sana`a, the Houthi government denies this. Essentially they`re saying that you`re very controlling and that you`re using this for - - to - - to win friends politically around the country. Using foreign aid to win friends, to win political influence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE TRANSLATED: What you said, you described is inaccurate. Mistakes happen sometimes but that doesn`t mean or doesn`t represent a policy on our side. We are happy with whatever aid reaches citizens because these citizens are our strength and support. They are our capital in this war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But here aid officials insist that food has been weaponized. Without free food from the outside world, the Houthi government would struggle to survive. The U.N. plans to feed 12 million this year mostly in the Houthi areas. You`re not worried by being here you could be prolonging the war?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Certainly humanitarians are not political. We`re here to keep people alive. The responsibility for ending the conflict is in the hands of the people who are driving that conflict.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. Unmixable ingredients like oil and water can be blended and held together by what? Hydrogenation, emulsifiers, lactose, or pasteurization. Emulsifiers help keep food mixes together when and after they`re processed.

Emulsifiers are common in ultraprocessed foods. In a new study in the journal Sell Metabolism says those kinds of foods can cause people to gain more weight than unprocessed foods. Ultraprocessed, refers to food that have emulsifiers, high fructose corn syrup, flavoring agents and hydrogenated oils. In the study, 10 healthy adults ate an ultraprocessed diet for 14 days. It included foods like baked potato chips, turkey bacon and bagels with cream cheese. Ten others ate an unprocessed diet including oatmeal, bananas, meat and walnuts. Then the two groups switched diets for another 14 days.

The meals all had the same amount of calories, fat and carbohydrates but participants were allowed to eat as much or as little as they wanted. They also exercised about the same amount each day. The results, on the ultra processed diet, people ate faster and took more helping consuming about 500 more calories per day than those on the unprocessed diet. With the ultraprocessed foods, they tended to gain about two pounds. With the unprocessed foods, they tended to lose about two pounds. So one big conclusion was that limiting the ultraprocessed foods we eat can help prevent obesity but that`s not always easy. Researchers say it takes less time to prepare the ultraprocessed foods and they cost less. A week of processed meals was estimated to be around $106. A week of more natural meals $151. That may be why another study found that majority of the foods that Americans, Britains and Canadians eat is ultraprocessed.

This is the kind of giant bear you wouldn`t mind stumbling on but honestly what would you do with it? It`s not going to fit in your room. It may not fit in your house. The new Guinness World Record holder for biggest teddy bear is more than 65 feet long. It weighs more than 4 tons. It took more than 3 months to sew together and more than 5 hours just to measure. It`s meant to attract tourists to a town near Mexico City.

And while a lot of people all can share it and others travel there just to stare, it`s not going to fit hardly anywhere. It just sits there if few rooms could bare it. Want one? Well your home ware better be a gigantic "bear housing, warehouse". Santa can`t bring it. You`ll need a quote from a "shipping group" that needs a bigger boat. If it stays a float and "seas" ain`t too heavy, you might just see your record setting "teddy".

I`m Carl Azuz. "Stitchin` up another addition of CNN.