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CNN10 2021-03-08

CNN 10

Different U.S. States Take Different Approaches Concerning COVID-19; Pope Francis Makes A Historic Visit To Iraq; A Japanese Centenarian Prepares To Carry The Olympic Torch. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired March 8, 2021 - 04:00:00 ET



CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Delivering your Monday, March 8th edition of CNN 10. I'm Carl Azuz. It's great to see you.

We've talked about how there hasn't been a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to dealing with coronavirus cases. Different countries have had different levels of restrictions and this has played out the same way in different American states.

Nationwide, the U.S. has seen a decrease in new daily infections since mid- January. At that time, experts said there were more than 270,000 positive tests recorded each day. The latest estimate is that roughly 64,000 positive tests are now recorded daily.

But some health officials are concerned that number has plateaued, meaning the improvement might have stalled. According to Johns Hopkins University, some states are holding steady in their numbers of new cases. Some are seeing decreases continue others are seeing new cases increase.

And what their state governments are requiring varies as well. In Mississippi, for instance, Governor Tate Reeves is allowing businesses to operate at full capacity this week and he's eliminating Mississippi's requirement that people wear masks in public. But in California, where a mask mandate remains, Governor Gavin Newsom is encouraging people to wear two face coverings at the same time.


GOV. TATE REEVES (R), MISSISSIPPI: The numbers in Mississippi simply no longer justify government overreach. Mississippians can make their own decisions.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D), CALIFORNIA: Please continue to wear a mask. What some other states are doing is reckless.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R), TEXAS: It is now time to open Texas 100 percent.

NEWSOM: You can't safely reopen your economy until we get this disease behind us.


AZUZ: Despite that divide, several states regardless of whether they're led by Republicans or Democrats are taking some steps to ease their restrictions. Health officials say variants, new mutations of coronavirus may increasingly threaten the U.S., as they have other countries. The Infectious Diseases Society of America says people should continue to wear masks keep their distance from one another avoid large gatherings and frequently wash their hands.


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

Who is the longest serving pope in the history of the Catholic Church?

St. Peter, Pius IX, John Paul II, or Leo XIII?

St. Peter the Apostle, who's regarded by Catholics as the first pope, served at least 34 years.


AZUZ: Pope Francis, the current pontiff, is considered the 266th leader of the Catholic Church. But on Friday, he became the first pope ever to visit the Middle Eastern nation of Iraq. Several locations in this ancient part of the world are mentioned in the bible's Old Testament.

Today, Iraq is officially a Muslim country with significance to the world's Jews Christians and Muslims, the three Abrahamic religions.

As part of his trip, Pope Francis visited what's believed to be the birthplace of Abraham, in addition to a number of Christian sites, and he met with Christian leaders Muslim leaders and political leaders. For decades, Iraq has struggled with war instability and terrorism.

Standing in the rubble of Mosul, a city destroyed during the defeat of the ISIS terrorist group, Pope Francis said on Saturday that hope is more powerful than hatred and peace is more powerful than war. The pontiff is scheduled to return home to the Vatican on Monday.

We are 17 days away from the start of the Olympic torch relay, a tradition of the modern Olympics that dates back 85 years. In 1936, a group of runners carried a burning torch from Olympia, Greece, to Berlin where the Summer Games were hosted that year by Nazi, Germany. The nation used the relay and the Olympics themselves as a propaganda tool.

What's fascinating is that the woman you're about to meet who's set to carry the torch for this year's games in Japan was in her 30s when the games took place.


BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Olympic torch relay starts March 25th, and over the course of 121 days, about 10,000 torch bearers will carry the Olympic flame across Japan, including one very special woman.

Konichiwa, Tanaka-san, how are you feeling?

Meet 118-year-old Kane Tanaka.

She's asleep.

Hey, at 118 years old, you got to take your naps where you can get them.

Sure, she might have been a bit tired while talking with me, but that's probably because she's conserving energy. After all, in just a couple months, this super centenarian will become the oldest person ever to carry the Olympic flame as a torchbearer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We thought it was a great thing. It's great that people of all generations can take part in the torch relay.

ESSIG: Tanaka is almost as old as the modern Olympics itself, first held in Athens, Greece, 1896, just seven years before she was born. She was 61 years old when Tokyo held its first Olympics in 1964, and he's already lived through 49 summer and winter games.

But this is the first where she'll participate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We think she'll be in her wheelchair for the designated relay distance, whether that's meters or so.

ESSIG: Born in 1903, Tanaka has lived nearly her entire life in what's now known as Fukuoka. Married at 19, she and her husband had five kids. She survived cancer twice, endured two pandemics, ran a rice cake shop until she was 103 years old, is currently listed by Guinness World Records as the oldest living person on the planet, and she has her very own Twitter account.

Despite her advanced age, family says the 118 year old has the heart and mind of a woman at least half her age.

The avid board game aficionado still practices math and studies the writing form kanji, focused on activities that keep her mind sharp. She tells people it's her secret to longevity.

For more than a year, as a result of the pandemic, this is as close as Tanaka's family is able to get to her. But they say COVID-19 concerns won't stop Tanaka from participating as a torchbearer instead her family says her involvement depends on how she's feeling on the day of the relay and if all goes to plan, she might even have a little something special planned.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If she can walk for the last few meters, because she can still walk, it would be great. She could walk over and hand the torch to the next relay runner and we could be by her side as she does that.

ESSIG: A historic opportunity in an already extraordinary life one which proves monumental memories can be made at any age.


ESSIG (on camera): As it stands now, Tanaka will carry the torch on May 11th in Fukuoka, and she's currently listed by Guinness as the third oldest person to ever live but her family says she has her sights set on breaking that world record which currently stands at 122 years and 164 days old.

Blake Essig, CNN, Tokyo.


AZUZ: Fleets of six-wheeled robots are appearing in some communities and carrying food with them they can cost an estimated $5,500 each and somebody has to run them so they require some upfront investment. They could take delivery drivers jobs and there have been instances when they've been kicked over by passersby, but when everything goes right.


REPORTER: A Friday afternoon at Bridgewater State University, and it's not just students roaming through campus. At the lunchtime hour, more than a dozen robots are hard at work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are doing about 750 deliveries a week.

REPORTER: Sodexo teamed up with Starship Technologies at more than a dozen colleges to bring robots onto campus that operate almost entirely autonomously. A contact list delivery that starts with ordering off the app, a delivery fee included. The food is then loaded and locked, one robot per customer with tracking capability.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can get that accuracy down to a couple centimeters around the bar as opposed to GPS which could sometimes be a few meters.

AUTOMATED VOICE: Here's your delivery.

REPORTER: The order unlocked through the push of a button on the app.


REPORTER: From Starbucks to a slew of lunch options --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I usually order from Beers Den (ph), it's like probably a -15-minute walk from my dorm room, so having it delivered especially when it's cold like this is just super convenient.

REPORTER: The robots have ten cameras, are water-resistant and can make their way through six inches of snow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At certain crossings and areas where the robot may need a little help which is designated beforehand, you know, if we notice that there's a certain busy intersection, we can have some intervention by someone who's remote on a computer at one of these campuses.

REPORTER: Anyone on campus not just students can order.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Looking to expand even more as time goes on to bring them to other campuses.

REPORTER: Ten more robots will be added this fall, the delivery options could extend well beyond food.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I could see, yeah, textbooks for sure, convenience like C store items.


AZUZ: At four miles per hour, it's not exactly fast food. But it would be fun to order to go and then watch it go as long as no one takes out your takeout, if it can keep rolling while you get your steps in, you'll be eating on the run and it serves up a perfect example of meals on wheels.

All right.

I'm Carl Azuz.

Pioneer High School is in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is the recipient of today's shout-out. Its request came from Youtube.com/CNN. Maybe we'll announce your school tomorrow.