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CNN10 2021-05-26

CNN 10

U.S. Secretary Of State Visits The Middle East; Americans Are Warned Not To Visit Japan; Dogs And Bees Are Studied As Potential COVID Testers. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired May 26, 2021 - 04:00:00 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Carl Azuz. We're happy to welcome to your mid-week edition of CNN 10 where Wednesdays are halfway to awesome. We begin today in the Middle East where the U.S. Secretary of State is making a tour of three nations and the Palestinian territory of the West Bank.

Attacks between Israel and the Palestinian territory of Gaza recently went back and forth for 11 days before a ceasefire was announced late last week.

It was the worst violence since 2014 between the Israeli government and Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that controls Gaza. It says at least 248 Palestinians were killed in the conflict. Israeli officials say at least 12 people were killed in Israel.

The United States is a close ally of Israel. The American government has said that Israel has a right to defend itself and that the U.S. will make significant contributions to rebuilding the Palestinian territory of Gaza.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Losses on both sides were profound. Casualties are often reduced to numbers but behind every number is an individual human being. A daughter, a son, a father, a mother, a grandparent, or best friend and as the (inaudible) teaches to lose a life is to lose the whole world whether that life is Palestinian or Israeli.


AZUZ: During the violence between Palestinians and Israelis in the Middle East, there were also tensions on the United States between supporters of the different groups. Pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian marches were held. And in cities across America, there were several attacks on Jewish civilians often by people shouting anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish statements. Some of these are being investigated as hate crimes.

That's something else Secretary Blinken discussed on Tuesday saying the Biden Administration finds these assaults despicable and says they must stop. The U.S. Secretary of State is scheduled to visit Egypt and Jordan before returning to America.

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, it's been more than a year since Americans could visit Japan as tourists. As we reported, no international visitors are allowed to attend the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo but athletes will still be coming in from around the world if they're not in Japan already. And the games are set to go on this July 23rd with the Paralympics beginning on August 24th.

According to Johns Hopkins University, Japan has seen a decrease in new positive COVID tests since its recent high of more than 7,500 cases. That was recorded on May 12th. Overall, Japan's seen only a fraction of the cases and deaths that America has even accounting for the population difference and the Asian country's numbers are relatively low despite the fact that 98 percent of its people have not been vaccinated.

Japan as a whole is more resistant to vaccines than the U.S. is. Still, U.S. officials are telling Americans to stay out of the Asian country and though Olympic officials say Japan's done a good job of managing the risks so far. Some groups are still calling for another postponement or cancellation of the games.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The U.S. State Department is warning Americans to avoid travel to Japan because of a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.

It's issued a Level 4, do not travel advisory the highest cautionary level. The CDC says that even fully vaccinated travelers risk getting and spreading COVID-19 variants in Japan.

The U.S. Olympic Committee says it's confident that its athletes can still safely compete. Japanese officials are downplaying this advisory saying it does not impact U.S. support for the Tokyo games. But the contrast between what Olympic officials are saying and the reality here on the ground is only growing.

Tokyo and large parts of Japan are still under a state of emergency. Only two percent of the Japanese population is fully vaccinated and the medical system is under strain. In Osaka, doctors are warning of a medical system collapse with hospitals running out of bed space and ventilators. At the same time, Olympic organizers are only portraying complete and absolute confidence that these games will go ahead safely.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. A Scottish landowner named Lord Tweedmouth introduced what breed of dog? Golden Retriever, Border Collie, Irish Setter or Labradoodle. In the 1860s', Lord Tweedmouth bred a wavy coated retriever to a Tweed water spaniel to create the Golden Retriever.

The dogs and the bees are coming up next. Both vastly different types of animals are being tested for their ability to detect COVID in humans. When it comes to medical tests that diagnose COVID, there are two main options, the antigen or rapid test and the polymerase test.

Both collect samples by sticking a swab through your nose but one looks for COVID related protein fragments while the other uses enzymes to seek out the genetic material of COVID-19. But what if there's an accurate way to test people without using a swab and without really having to wait at all for test results? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Man's best friend could be a new ally in the fight to contain coronavirus. A new UK study says highly trained dogs in controlled conditions maybe able to sniff out and identify COVID-19 infections in humans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) using dogs showed we were able to detect people (inaudible) by their scent. So we thought, well at the beginning of the pandemic, let's see whether our dogs could detect people with COVID.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The results of an early stage study which hasn't been yet peered reviewed say dogs picked up the scent of COVID-19 on the clothing of infected people, up to 94 percent of the time. And they were even able to detect asymptomatic cases. Standard PCR tests are the best tests for COVID-19 but they can't beat the dogs with the speed of the results. The pups are winning that by a nose.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's really quite very high level of precision. (Inaudible) check people with low viral loads just as readily as they could with people with high viral loads.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Six dogs participated in the study. A group of Labradors, Golden Retrievers and Cocker Spaniels trained for six to eight weeks to recognize the scent of the virus. Researchers say dogs could one day be used in high volume areas like airports and concert arenas to screen for infections.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This could make a huge difference as we start to come out of lockdown and people start to travel. It will hopefully assist in getting us all back to a more normal life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But critics say it could be hard for the dogs to match their success in the lab in the real world. Since some scents in crowded areas quickly disperse. There are pilot projects using COVID-19 sniffer dogs in airports underway in Finland, Germany and Chile.


AZUZ: So that could become one way to do it. Another would be just about as fast but it would involve insects though it might take a microscope to get results. Today I learned that honeybees have tongues and when they stick them out at you, it's not an insult but it could be a way to determine if someone has COVID-19. Here's CNN Contributor Tyler Mauldin.


TYLER MAULDIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Dutch scientists Carl are buzzing over a new way to possibly detect COVID-19. Scientists at labs in the Netherlands say these could be the answer. That's right, bees. Despite not being known for their sense of smell, the scientists were recently able to train bees to stick out their tongue when they detected the infections odor. Odor?

Yes, the coronavirus, like many other viruses and diseases creates a chemical reaction within the body which in turn, releases a smell that our human noses can't detect. But bees can sniff it out. Bees can actually sniff out flowers, one kilometer or more than half a mile away. The scientists are trying to leverage that skill.

So these scientists gathered up 150 bees and exposed them to healthy and COVID positive minks. There have been COVID outbreaks on mink farms. That's why the scientists chose the animal, anyway, when the bees were exposed to minks with the virus they were given a sugary reward.

Much like dogs after a little training, the bees started expecting their sugary reward once exposed to the COVID scent and began sticking out their tongues. The scientists later used humans in the experiment and got similar results. You best "believe" Carl, the scientists are trying to find ways to carry this out on a larger scale. They say it could be very effective in diagnosing positive patients in low-income countries.


AZUZ: It's a bird. It's a plane. It's a UFO? By definition, anything zipping through the air that can't be explained immediately is an unidentified flying object and this fits that definition. This video was taken aboard a U.S. Navy ship and recently leaked to the public.

The U.S. Department of Defense says the footage is real along with some similar clips leaked in the past five to 10 years. So what is it? If we "UFOnly" knew. Of course, we could "float" some theories, "air" out some ideas, "hover" over the subject. "Toss" out some thoughts.

Give "props" to the videographer. "Drone" on with speculation. All that could be pretty "fly" but if it turns out that everything was just an optical illusion, all my "air headed" ideas would "crash and burn".

I'm Carl Azuz for CNN 10. We want to give a shout out today to QSI International School, our viewers watching from Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. We have two shows left to go in our 2021 Spring season.