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CNN10 2021-04-22

CNN 10

Controversial Water Treatment Plan In Japan; Instability In Chad; Investigation Into Tesla; Advent Of "Travel Bubbles." Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired April 22, 2021 - 04:00:00 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Carl Azuz. We've got news from Asia, Africa and Australia in today's show. So let's get to it. Starting in Japan, there's a difficult decision and a controversy ahead of the Asian country.

It needs to get rid of contaminated radioactive water, more than 1 million metric tons of it. Japan plans to treat this water and release it into the Pacific Ocean. The water was used at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. It was damaged back in 2011 when a powerful earthquake and tsunami swept over this part of Japan.

The disaster cut off the nuclear plants power and cooling systems. So to prevent it's damaged nuclear reactors from melting down, Japanese officials had to pump in tons of cooling water. This water became radioactive, contaminated in the process and some of it seeped into damaged tunnels and basements and mixed in with ground water.

Massive tanks were built to store the contaminated liquid and they're expected to be completely filled up late next year. What Japan plans to do is remove most of the radioactive material from it and release it gradually into the sea. A radioactive isotope called tritium will remain in the waste water.

Japan's government says it has very low impact on people's health and that the concentration released will be lower than international standards. A United Nation's official says this has been done before and that there's no harm to the environment but local fishermen strongly opposed the idea.

And China and South Korea, two of Japan's closest neighbors, have voiced quote "grave concerns" about it. They say Japan first needs to make full use of safe disposal methods and then needs to consult with them before emptying the water into the sea.

The United States, a close ally of Japan, says the Asian country appears to have found an approach in line with global standards. If all stays on schedule, Japan will start releasing the water in two years.

From Eastern Asia, we're taking you to central Africa where there are a lot of questions about the leadership and the future of the nation of Chad.

This landlocked country of more than 17 million people has its share of challenges. The U.S. government estimates that more than 42 percent of Chad's population lives below the poverty line.

It's struggled with terrorist uprisings and rebel groups that want to takeover the Chadian government. And that government, a presidential republic has just lost its president under mysterious circumstances. Apparently, he was killed while fighting with his Army against a rebel group north of Chad's capital. What's happening here isn't confined strictly to central Africa.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The death of President Idriss Deby, a strong man of Chad for more than 30 years will send shockwaves through capitals in the region and in the west, and it's a death in bizarre circumstances. Right after he was announced the winner of a disputed election for a sixth term, former general and military tactician traveled north to the front line to visit troops battling a rebel push on the capital.

On state TV an army spokesman saying he'd died of his injuries. His son is now in charge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE TRANSLATED: The transitional military council reassure the Chadian people that all positions have been taken to assure that peace, the security and the republic in order. Long live the republic. Long live Chad. The president of the transitional military council will be General Mahamat Idriss Deby.

MCKENZIE: For years Deby has been a steady if not controversial ally to Paris and Washington. The U.S. military has trained Chadian special forces and depended on its highly regarded but ruthless military to take the lead in the fight against terror groups in the Sahel and Lake Chad region.

But Deby's closest ally was always France. It's where he got his own military training before seizing power in 1990. France uses Chad as a base for Operation Barkhane. Thousands of troop strong, it's key to fighting Al- Qaida and insurgencies in the region.

France's military has twice stepped in to stop attempted rebel takeovers of the capital during Deby's rule. Even as the president's reputation faulted domestically, accused of corruption and political oppression. On Tuesday, the French president said France had lost a brave friend.

A journalist in N'Djamena told us that the situation in the capital is largely calm. But the power vacuum created by the death of Deby could provide new impetus to rebel groups that are trying to take over. David McKenzie, CNN, Johannesburg.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. Which of these historic automakers was founded first? Auburn, DeSoto, Richter Electric or Stutz. The oldest car maker on this list is the only one founded in the 1800s' was Richter Electric.

Next, a crash and a controversy involving electric car maker Tesla. Investigators are trying to figure out what caused the fatal wreck of a 2019 Tesla model S last Saturday in Texas. Both of its passengers were killed when the car apparently failed to drive around a curve. It went off the road and hit some trees. Police say neither of the people inside was in the driver's seat.

One was sitting in the back and one was in the front passenger seat. One question is whether Tesla's autopilot feature was turned on. The company's CEO Elon Musk says it wasn't based on information gathered so far and that the street the car was driving on didn't have the lane lines needed to turn on standard autopilot.

But if it wasn't turned on, what drove the car at what police called a high rate of speed? Tesla's autopilot feature has been blamed as a factor in several deaths since it was introduced in 2015. The company's website says autopilot does not make its cars autonomous and still requires active driver supervision.

But hours before the accident, Musk had tweeted that autopilot was several times safer than human drivers. Federal investigators are examining the cars operations and the long lasting fire that followed the crash.

During the closures of COVID-19, Australia and New Zealand came up with the concept of a travel bubble. An international agreement that would allow people to go to certain selected countries without having to quarantine. This would help nations that are heavily dependent on tourism.

Ones that have been hit especially had by coronavirus restrictions to get some of the money they badly need. Different country in Asia like Thailand and Indonesia were thinking about forming travel bubbles last year but because outbreaks kept popping up in different places at different times the bubbles didn't materialize. But one has been established in the first two countries to propose it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A travel bubble are opening between Australia and New Zealand on Monday with the first of 140 flights planned this week across the Tasman Sea with no passengers having to quarantine on arrival. That offer previously was available to New Zealand as traveling into Australia.

Now New Zealand returns the favor making that one-way travel corridor into a two-way travel bubble. New Zealand says that will mean billions for its economy with Australian tourist dollar targeted. And of course families split by these border closures for over a year will be reunited again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's really important we're going to back to (inaudible) and we are taking this little guy to meet his family for the first time. (Inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no replacing the -- the -- the human touch and those human relationships. So we're looking forward to getting over to New Zealand, speaking to our people, making sure that their welfare's great but also that our business continues to prosper.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Both countries entering into this agreement tentatively, each say that they're willing to pop this travel bubble if there is an outbreak of COVID-19 on either side of the Tasman Strait. Both countries have success with that, sort of, strictness when it comes to COVID-19.

Just around 2,500 places in New Zealand since the pandemic began and just under 30,000 in Australia. That platform means the country's want to extend these travel bubbles further into the region. New Zealand wants to incorporate Pacific islanders into its travel bubble. Australia has earmarked Singapore as a potential country that it could have a travel bubble with.


AZUZ: A new theory suggests it might have been easy for a human to keep pace with a Tyrannosaurus Rex, like you could out walk it. Dutch paleontologists recently worked up some new calculations that took into account the T-Rex's large tail. They say that because animals prefer walking at speeds that minimize the energy they spend, the speed the T-Rex would have walked with a 2,20-pound tail behind it would have been at just under three miles per hour.

Why does this matter? Well, it could help scientists better estimate the amount of food the animal would have needed to eat to keep its energy up and how far it might have walked in search of that food. Their research did not estimate the animal's maximum speed but maybe this can help us visualize what that might have looked like. So you wouldn't have died if you took all in stride.

With some speed applied, there's no need for ride. You could "sneaker" away by taking one step at a time. It's got to drag its tail. You could turn upon a dime. Just don't drag your feet or you could meet "defeet".

It needs to eat meat to survive the drive. So don't be what's next, just outrun the T-Rex. Putting one foot in front of the other to stay alive.

Wait, don't leave just yet. We've got to give a shout out to our viewers at Tekamah Herman High School watching today from Tekamah, Nebraska. I'm Carl Azuz for CNN.