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North Korean Ballistic Missile Tests New Trump Administration; BAFTA Awards Recap; Northern California Residents Evacuated As Dam Spillover Threatens to Fail; Trump National Security Adviser Under Fire. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired February 13, 2017 - 08:00   ET


[08:00:18] HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, HOST: Hello there. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones in London. And welcome to News Stream.

North Korea faces widespread condemnation after testing a ballistic missile, the first since President Trump took office in the United States.

Trump's national security adviser is accused of not telling the truth about his conversations with Russia's ambassador. Now the Kremlin has weighed in

on those allegations.

And a pregnant Beyonce wows at the Grammys. We'll go through all of the night's big winners.

Well, welcome again. The UN Security Council is set to hold an urgent meeting after North Korea test fired a ballistic missile over the weekend.

It was the country's first missile test since U.S. President Donald Trump took office.

Pyongyang says country's first test since President Trump took office. And that leader Kim Jong un personally supervised the launch. Well, North

Korea's closest ally, China, is condemning that test.

Let's get more now from our correspondents who are covering this. Paula Hancocks is in Seoul for us. David McKenzie is in Shanghai.

Paula, to you first. And what kind of reaction are we getting there from the south, to its neighbor's test, particularly in light of this seemingly

inaction or slow action from Donald Trump?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: Well, certainly, we have seen condemnation in South Korea and across Asia. We have also heard from the joint chief of staff giving a few more details about that

intermediate missile launch. The fact that it is new and improved, the fact that the fueling of the engine in the past has always been liquid

fuel, now it's solid fuel. And the JCS says that is significance, because it means that this missile can be launched faster. There's less

preparation time for it. And also that it can be more mobile.

So, certainly that is concerning people in the region.

It had been relatively quiet from North Korea over recent months. It's almost been four months since we saw the last missile launch. And you

compare that to 2016 there was an intense amount of missile testing, the likes of which we haven't seen in North Korean history, including two

nuclear tests.

But certainly since the U.S. election there had been no missile tests until this one on Sunday. So clearly it's being seen as the first test for the

new U.S. administration - Hannah.

JONES: David McKenzie live for us in Shanghai as well. China is, of course, Pyongyang's only real ally in terms of global affairs. Is there a

sense that China has been particularly slow to come down on the regime in Pyongang, or is this a chance for it to actually really put it to test?

DAVID MCKENZIE, Well, Hannah, I think -- I mean, certainly compared to Japan, South Korea and the U.S., China was a lot more deliberate. I think

it's potentially unfair to say they were slow. They did come to the first briefing to the press which happened on Monday and condemned

this ballistic style test and they said it's against the sanctions and the regulations on North Korea.

But you're right, Beijing is the only ally of Pyongyang. It's not, I would say, as strong as an ally as it had been in the past, but certainly it

doesn't want to see the collapse of the regime. Take a listen to a message from the ministry.


GENG SHUANG, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN (through translator): China opposes North Korea's launch activities that are in violation of

relevant UN Security Council resolutions. Under current circumstances, relevant sides should not

provoke each other or take actions that would escalate tensions on the Korean peninsula.


MCKENZIE: Well, China pointedly said that this is a disagreement between North Korea and South Korea and between North Korea and the U.S. sort of

pulling itself out of that equation somewhat.

But everyone knows that China is, in terms of trade and relations, one of the few countries that

helped that very isolated North Korea tick over and so many are asking China to do more.

JONES: Let's go now to Paula Hancock who is live for us in Seoul. Paula, North Korea obviously saying that this test was successful. Can we

actually evaluate how successful it really was in terms of how far it got or how far they are down the line of nuclear production in the north?

[08:05:09] HANCOCK: Well, certainly from the defense ministry's point of view here in South Korea, we have an idea - and also from U.S. officials of

how far it went. 500 kilometers is the estimate, that's about 310 miles.

Now, it's much less than an actual intermediate range missile can go. They usually have a range of up to 5,000 kilometers. But the fact is, this was

a different type of missile, this wasn't the standard intermediate range missile they were testing. They appear to be testing different aspects of

it, so as far as North Korea was concerned, it was a success. And certainly experts are saying it's clear they're learning something with

each test, it's clear that they are moving forward.

And also, it's significant that it was this kind of missile launch and not the one that Kim Jong-un had threatened at the beginning of the year, which

was that ICBM, the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, which could potentially hit in mainland United States in its full capacity. Now, this

clearly was not that launch, which would be far more worrying to Washington, but of course that threat still does remain - Hannah.

JONES: Final word on this from David McKenzie in Shanghai for us. David, China has a different calculation when it comes to North Korea than Japan

does, than South Korea does. Just remind our viewers why.

MCKENZIE: Well, there's a long history tying North Korea and China together, stretching back maybe decades. The Chinese have often wanted

North Korea to be there, many experts say, as a buffer between it and the South Korea, which has a really strong presence of U.S.troops in Seoul and

on the DMZ.

So should there be a collapse of the regime, those troops, or at least the sphere of influence in

the U.S. could come right up against China's border.

But again, it's changed somewhat in recent years, both with the belligerence of North Korea and

its continued nuclear testing as well as launching of these missiles which has been really a thumb in the eye of the Chinese leadership, particularly

Xi Jinping. Those relationships are far more frosty than they used to be with North Korea, but China has a much more delicate balancing act to go

through as opposed to the U.S. or Korea and Japan.

JONES: Well, we thank you both for your reporting on this. David there for us in Shanghai, Paula as well in Seoul for us. Thank you.

Now, when he was a candidate, Donald Trump had no shortage of criticism for Japan, South Korea and indeed China, but now he appears to be somewhat

softening his tone.

Our Matt Rivers has more now on the U.S. president's change of tune.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hannah, before Donald Trump became president his rhetoric frankly made America's historic allies in this part

of the world, specifically Japan and South Korea, quite nervous. But a recent sort of shift in tone has certainly made both countries I think

breathe a sigh of relief at least for now.

When it came to issues in east Asia, candidate and president-elect Donald Trump said things like this.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We can't continue to allow China to rape our country - and that's what they're doing.

South Korea should pay us and pay us, and pay us very substantially, for protecting them.

Take a look at the imbalance in trade between Japan and the United States. They send us millions of cars, we send them beef.

Lowering the end, lowering the end. They're killing us. We can't let it continue.

I don't know why we have to be bound by a One China policy unless we make a deal with China.

RIVERS: But just weeks after being sworn in to office, President Trump appears to be changing his tune in more ways than one. First, he sent his

defense chief to assure South Korea and Japan the U.S. is committed to those alliances and will continue to defend them.

Then he assured his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, that the U.S. will stick to the longstanding One China policy. And over the

weekend, President Trump embraced Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, despite previously accusing the country of being a currency manipulator.

So why the apparent 180 by the U.s. president when it comes to how he dealswith east Asia?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now that he's president, he's dealing with other international actors in real life.

RIVERS: Situations like China's staunch objection to Trump's phone call with Taiwan's president in December and continued calls for Trump to

reaffirm the One China policy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They often say that the military, the enemy gets a vote. I don't suggests that China is the enemy, but it gets a vote in

terms of the bilateral relationship. And suddenly, when Trump became president, he had to factor that in.

RIVERS: Trump's softened stance appears to be resonating well in this part of the world.

His meeting with Shinzo Abe made the front page of Japan's major newspapers on the weekend. Their 19 second handshake, perhaps awkwardly long, but

also a possible sign that both leaders are ready to work together.

But there are still many areas where the U.S. does not see eye-to-eye with Asian nations - economic concerns about currency manipulation and trade

imbalances Trump expressed during his campaign still remain. As one of his first executive orders, President Trump took the U.S. out of the

Transpacific Partnership, seen as a blow to man east Asian nations, but perhaps a boon to China.

And then there's the territorial dispute over the South China Sea. For now, though, Trump has turned on the charm.

[08:10:36] UNIDENTIFIED MALE : All of that effort would not have had to have been made had Trump not used such negative language about these

countries on the campaign trail. So he has had to do a lot of work just to get back to starting line.

RIVERS: And the ability of the Trump administration to work with the likes of South Korea and Japan and China will quickly be put to the test. The

latest missile test from Pyongyang will merit a response and serves as the stark reminder of the high stakes in a tense region.

And speaking there of this latest North Korean provocation, this will be a significant test for the

brand-new administration. How will the Trump administration work with not only historic allies like Japan and South Korea, but also countries that

tend to be more adversarial in nature, countries like China and Russia when it comes to their relationship with the United States. What will the

collective response be?

Without a doubt, this will be our first real glimpse into crisis diplomacy under a brand new Trump administration - Hannah.


JONES: Matt Rivers with that report there.

Now, a senior adviser says the White House is considering a new executive action to enact President Trump's travel ban.

Stephen Miller argues the original order was entirely within the president's power, because it deals with national security and immigration.

But that argument didn't persuade a court of appeals to reinstate it.

Miller says it's just a matter of time.


STEPHEN MILLER, WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: I think that it's been an important reminder to all Americans that we have a judiciary that has taken far too

much power and become in many cases a supreme branch of government. The end result of this, though, is

that our opponents, the media, and the whole world will soon see as we begin to take further actions that the powers of the

president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.


JONES: Well, CNN senior Washington correspondent Joe Johns joins me now live from outside the White House.

Joe, great to have you on the program.

So the White House is saying that President Trump's authority's unquestionable. But perhaps something of a lesson in the limitation of his

authority for President Trump this week.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's certainly true. And there are a lot of limitations to this job, some of which Donald Trump I don't believe was

willing to acknowledge, at least at first, including this issue of his national security adviser, a bit of unsure footing, if you will , here at

the White House as they try to slog through various controversies, including the questions of confidence and trust involving someone who

should be one of his most trusted a advisers.


JOHNS (voice-over): President Trump's national security advisor, General Michael Flynn, under fire. The White House sidestepping questions about

Flynn's future.

CHUCK TODD, HOST, "MEET THE PRESS": Does the president still has confidence in his natural security adviser.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a question that I think you should ask the president.

JOHNS: A U.S. official confirming that General Flynn did discuss U.S. sanctions with a Russian ambassador before Trump was sworn in.

Contradicting denials made by Flynn himself and Vice President Mike Pence.

PENCE: They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States decision to expel diplomats or impose a sanction against Russia.

JOHNS: General Flynn on thin ice, despite Trump's refusal to address the firestorm.

TRUMP: I don't know about it. I haven't seen it. What report is that?

JOHNS: A senior administration official telling CNN Flynn has no plans to resign, nor does he expect to be fired.

President Trump facing another big test over the weekend: North Korea firing a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan, as the president met with

Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, both leaders addressing the launch late Saturday night.

TRUMP: The United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent.

JOHNS: Meantime, the Trump administration is weighing their options on his suspended travel ban, which could include writing a new executive order.

STEPHEN MILLER, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ADVISOR: We can appeal the emergency stay to the Supreme Court. We can take our case on bond to the next

circuit. We can continue our appeal with the panel or we can return to the district court and have a trial on the merits. All options are on the


JOHNS: As fears grow in immigrant communities after hundreds of people in 11 states were arrested last week. This as a White House advisor reignites

a conspiracy theory about voter fraud that has been repeatedly debunked without providing any evidence.

MILLER: There are massive numbers of non-citizens in this country who are registered to vote. That's the story we should be talking about, and I am

prepared to go on any show, anywhere, any time and repeat it and say the president of the United States is correct 100 percent.



JOHNS: As they work through the various controversies, this new administration has no choice

than to try to plug forward on today's agenda that will include the president of the United States meeting with the Canadian prime minister, a

whole list of issues on tap there including the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Donald Trump says he wants to renegotiate - Hannah.

JONES: One to watch. Joe Johns, live for us there in Washington. Thank you.

Now, a senior White House official tells CNN that there is a lot of unhappiness about Michael

Flynn right now. Mr. Trump's national security adviser has been accused of not telling the truth about a

conversation with a Russian ambassador about the sanctions currently in place on Russia. Weanwhile, the Kremlin denies there were any discussions

about it with the White House.

CNN's Matthew Chance joins us now live from Moscow. And Matthew, we understand that these transcripts of conversations could indeed exist and

be released at some point, but in the meantime what exactly is the Kremlin saying about sanctions or no sanctions and the discussion about them?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they\have been quite categorical about it, whether there's some concern, or confusion

rather, on the side of Michael Flynn, as to what was actually discussed. I think he said that he can't recall whether he discussed sanctions or not.

On the Kremlin's side of it, and remember it was their ambassador to Washington that Michael Flynn had a conversation with in December, and

that's been acknowledged by all sides, they're saying there were no talk in that conversation about sanctions and the lifting of those sanctions by the

United States imposed on Russia because of its annexation of Crimea in 2014 and

its ongoing alleged military operations inside Ukraine.

And so, you know, it's not clear whether those transcripts if indeed they exist, and if indeed they're released, will prove that the Kremlin is

telling the truth or demonstrating that the Kremlin is mistaken.

But certainly the whole issue has raised concerns and a certain amount of confusion, of course, as to the mixed messages that are being sent from the

United States at the moment with regard to sanctions against the United States. Trump, you remember -- against Russia - Trump, you remember in his

campaign said that he would look again at the possibility of recognizing Crimea as being a legitimate part of Russia. That was something that the

new UN Ambassador Nikki Haley of the United States indicated wasn't on the agenda. Crimea related sanctions, she told the security council a couple

of weeks ago, will remain in place until Russia returns control of the Crimean peninsula to Ukraine.

And so there's some confusion as to what policy the Trump administration is going to pursue with Russia when it comes to sanctions.

JONES: And one wonders, though, why the Kremlin has found it necessary to deny that these discussions about sanctions took place at all. I mean,

what's in it for the Russian government and the Russian authorities in terms of talking about it with two administrations at one time or not

talking about it at all? Why would they care?

CHANCE: Well, I think we have to reserve the possibility that the Kremlin aren't lying on this issue, that in fact sanctions weren't discussed.

Indeed, that hasn't been a categorical statement from the Michael Flynn side as to whether sanctions were or were not discussed. He says aid he

can't recall whether that issue came up.

But certainly if there are transcripts of the conversation, if it does emerge that the issue of sanctions was discussed despite what the Kremlin

have now repeatedly said about the conversation between Michael Flynn and their ambassador to Sergey Kislyak to Washington. It is going to be really

embarrassing for them and will underline the shortcomings in their explanation of the truth.

And so it's going to be interesting to see what happens.

Certainly will be interesting to see if those transcripts come out as well, so we can find out

for sure exactly what was said or not said. Matthew Chance, in Moscow, thank you.

Now, while relations between the U.S. and Russia seem to be improving, the same that can't be said about Iran. But away from the rhetoric of the

politicians, what do Iranians think of President Trump? Our Frederik Pleitgen has been finding out.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Internationally, not many people know that Iran has a wealth of ski areas. Looking at the crowd

here you could almost think you're in a European or American resort. Fewer religious conservatives and more moderates. And many of those moderates

fears President Donald Trump's harsh stance on Iran could lead to renewed conflict.

[08:20:07] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Iranian people, you know, they showed a relation -- a good relationship to Americans but I don't think that Trump

shows a good faith. Yes, he's against us.

"We're not happy with what Trump is saying us, this man says." But the Iranian people and the government will show the world that it's not true."

PLEITGEN: After some easing of tensions during the Obama years U.S./Iranian relations have taken nose dive since President Trump assumed office. The

administration hitting Iran with sanctions after Tehran conducted a ballistic missile test in late January.

Iran hitting back. Its President Hassan Rouhani calling Trump a political new comer and emphasizing that Iran will not back down from its positions.

Many Iranians now fearing escalating tensions could harm the nuclear agreement between Iran, the U.S. and several other nations that curb Iran's

nuclear ambitions in return for sanctions relief. Especially moderate Iranians were very excited about the nuclear agreement, thinking it would

bring this country big economic benefits.

Now many of them worry that Donald Trump's tough stance on Iran could destroy the deal.

Tourism is one of the sectors Iranians hope will blossom after decades of stagnation, and many here still hope souring U.S./Iranian relations won't

derail the fledging upswing.

"We're happy when the relationship is going well," he says. "We need good relations not conflict."

The new Trump administration has caused a feeling of uncertainty for many Iranians concerned about the deteriorating ties between the two nations

hoping the down work trajectory doesn't become even steeper.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Darbansar (ph), Iran.


JONES: Russia says ISIS is preparing to cause even more destruction to the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra.

New drone footage released by the Russian defense ministry shows how much has already been devastated. The ministry says it has picked up increased

ISIS truck activity near Palmyra suggesting that the terrorist group is delivering more explosives.

Well, Russia is one of the organizers of talks on the Syrian crisis that take place later this week in Kazakhstan. The Kazakh foreign ministry says

it has invited U.S. representatives as observers to those talks.

Now, residents in Northern California are scrambling to get to safety. They're worried about this giant hole in the Oroville Dam spillway. We'll

have the very latest on that ahead.

Plus, some famous stars of film walked the red carpet at the BAFTA Awards, a look at last night's big winners.


JONES: Welcome back to News Stream. Nearly 200,000 people have been forced from their homes in northern California over concerns about the

Oroville Dam, and worries that communities downstream could face flooding.

Well, the evacuation order was issued on Sunday after damage was found in both the primary

and emergency spillways at the dam.

Well, teams are going to be assessing all of the damage Monday morning. Now Paul Vercammen joins me now from Oroville, California for more on this.

Paul, we have to talk first of all about the hundreds of thousands of people affected by this situation. What is the latest on where they are

and how they are?

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now, Hannah, they're under mandatory evacuation so great was the fear that perhaps these backup

spillway would breach. So, they're waiting, as you said, for the sun to come up so they can further examine this and see if it's safe enough for

them to return to their homes. They need the water behind the dam to drop. And if you look right behind me, one of the strategies now is to break up

rocks, put them in bags with all this heavy equipment behind me and then toss those bags of rocks into the hole in the backup spillway. That's the

strategy right now.

And as we said, we don't know when these evacuation orders are going to be lifted for cities such as Oroville itself and Youba City (ph), the smaller

city of Live Oak (ph).

But it was a frantic moment last night, and talking to patrol officers on the ground. They said at times it just seemed to be utter chaos as they

got these people out of here. They were extremely concerned. You can imagine with the breach in that backup spillway, Hannah.

JONES: Yeah, a frantic evacuation order, but was this damage at all foreseen and can anyone be held responsible for it?

VERCAMMEN: Oh, I think that this is one of those instances where they're all just shaking their head. An unusual amount of rain here in northern

California, quite a bit, 200 percent in some spots, near Oroville.

And so they're blaming mother nature. And here's something that they're keeping a very close eye on, another storm headed through here on

Wednesday. They're hoping it will be a cold storm, because going back to mother nature, what had happened last time was the storm -- the rain was

rather warm. So it was double jeopardy, not only do they get tremendous rainwater runoff, but the rainwater, because it was so warm, melted the

snow. They had snow melt and that all came right into this dam and they had been letting out as much water as they possibly can. It goes into the

Feather River, but it just hasn't been enough, Hannah.

JONES: All right. Paul Vercammen reporting there live from the scene for us in Oroville, California. Thank you, Paul.

Now, Donald Trump is facing his first major test on North Korea. Up next, what his response to

Pyongyang's new missile launch may mean for stability on the Korean peninsula. All that and more after this break.



[08:31:29] JONES: Let's turn back to our top news and North Korea's missile test.

In early January, Donald Trump tweeted that he would never let North Korea develop a nuclera weapon that could reach the United States.

Well, now after Pyongyang test-fired its first ballistic missile in months, Paula Hancocks looks at Mr. Trump's response and what it could mean for

U.S. allies in Asia.


HANCOCKS: A new and improved intermediate range missile, hailed as a success by North Korea, personally directed by a clearly delighted Kim


South Korea's joint chiefs of staff saying Monday the way it was fueled is different. In the past, a liquid fuel; this time, solid fuel, meaning it's

more mobile and can be launched faster.

The first missile in close to four months and the first North Korean test for U.S. President

Ddonald Trump.

JOHN DELURY, TONSEI UNIVERSITY: By North Korean standards, this is a pretty muted

provocation. There are other things they could have done that really would have put Trump in a corner and not given him much room for any sort of

diplomatic maneuver.

HANCOCKS: Mr. Trump was hosting Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe at the time of the launch while Mr. Abe called it absolutely intolerable, the U.S.

president was far more restrained, merely stating his full support for Japan.

The Trump administration's North Korean policy is still unknown, adding to regional concerns about potential instability.

OH JOON, FORMER SOUTH KOREAN AMBASSADOR TO UN: Because we have changes in power in the U.S. and in South Korea as well, how these two countries will

respond is in a way is not very predictable as well.

HANCOCKS: This missile launch isn't unexpected, and it could have been far more worrying for Washington. Kim Jong-un on January 1 warned that he was

close to testing launching an ICBM, an intercontinental ballistic missile, capable of hitting mainland United States. This isn't it, but that threat


Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.


JONES: Still ahead on News Stream, film stars from around the world gathered in London for the BAFTAs. We look at who won.


[08:35:13] JONES: It's that time of the year, and the award season is in full swing. Here in London, stars gathered for the British Film Awards

with La La Land emerging as the night's big winner. Isa Soares has the highlights.


ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The fans were out in force and on a bitterly cold night in London. It was the stars that turned up the



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Under statement of the century.

NAOMIE HARRIS, ACTRESS: I'm really excited. It was my mom and my step dad and my best friend come with me as well.

SOARES: It was a night where Hollywood royalty met British royalty rubbing with the duchess of Cambridge and Prince William on the red carpet. The

Baftas often seen as one of the most unpredictable award ceremonies. Tonight offered few surprise.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the Bafta is award to "La La Land."

SOARES: With "La La Land" taking five gongs including best director, best film and best actress for Emma Stone.

EMMA STONE, ACTRESS: Thank you so much. This is one of the greatest working experiences of my life. It was such joy.

SOARES: The other favorite "Manchester by the Sea" took home two awards.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the Bafta Kenneth Lonergan "Manchester by the Sea."

SOARES: Best original screenplay and best actor for Casey Affleck. CASEY AFFLECK, ACTOR: But the reason I'm here right now tonight is because of

Kenneth Lonergan and his sublime screenplay that really signifies, I think, the everyday lives and their struggles with great compassion.

SOARES: But before the event there were concerns. There will be more tensions on the politics that the performances. It is one of the biggest

nights in the British film calendar but expect politics to steal the limelight.

There is certainly were strong messages on the night.

KEN LOACH, DIRECTOR: The world is in a dark and dangerous place, being able to make films contribute to the public discourse that people have things to


VIOLA DAVIS, ACTRESS: My message would just be a message just congruent with August Wilson's life legacy which is honoring that every man, honoring

that janitor, that maid, that garbage collector, those people who were in the grave whose lives never mattered, uplifting their lives.

VIGGO MONTERSEN, ACTOR: More than ever now not just in the United States but in Great Britain and the rest of the Europe. I think people need to do

a lot more listening than speaking and shouting.

SOARES: A called to action by some of the most talented people in the industry proving that Hollywood and the Baftas's are not just about glitz

and glamour.

Isa Soares, CNN, London.


JONES: Glitz and glamour. In America, though, stars also gathered in Los Angeles for another big award show: the Grammys.


CELINE DION, SINGER: And the Grammy goes to -- "Hello."


JONES: Adele was the night's big winner. The singer swept the top Grammy awards winning song and record of the year for her hit single Hello. And

album of the year for 25.

Well, Chance the Rapper won best new artist and made history as the first musician with a streaming only album to win a Grammy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the winner is -- Black Star, David Bowie.


JONES: David Bowie's 25th and final album Black Star picked up five Grammy Awards, including best rock song and rock performance. The music legend of

course died in January of last year.

Now, traditionally food vendors in Thailand have wrapped their goods in banana leaves. Now plastic and Styrofoam are the norm, but some clever

companies are creating environmentally friendly alternatives.

Universal Biopack (ph) uses a unique technology to create packaging with absolutely no waste. Our Saima Mohsin reports now.


SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If you're not familiar with cassava starch, you might know it as tapioca flour instead, and it's the

main ingredient in Universal Biopack's recipe for a remarkable material.

The company says its products are 100 percent natural and biodegradable. They will dissolve in room temperature water within a week, leaving zero

waste behind.

[08:40:05] SUTHEP VICHAKYOTHIN, FOUNDER, UNIVERSAL BIOPACK: The cassava starch, we use the same as they do the noodle, so is the food crate. But

for the bamboo fabric, we use the waste from the chopstick. We have to bring the bamboo, clean it up. This bamboo fabric is helping to make the

product more strong and rigid.

MOHSIN: Suthep Vichakyothin wasn't always in this business. For roughly two decades, this factory turned out compact discs, but with little demand for

CDs, he decided to devote the entire facility to disposable dishware and eco-friendly packaging. Suthep hopes to have a semi-automated assembly line

up and running next year.

VICHAKYOTHIN: We love it. That's why we not give up. And we believe we might find a way to match between the economy and production scale.

MOHSIN: Getting to this point has been a labor of love for Suthep and his daughter, Vara-Anong Vichakyothin. She's the company's managing director.

Vara-Anong says she was inspired by a scuba diving trip when she noticed the damage being done by pollution.

VARA-ANONG VICHAKYOTHIN, MANAGING DIRECTOR, UNIVERSAL BIOPACK: I think everyday we create a lot of waste already from our daily lifestyle. So if

there's anything that we can do to give back and help the earth, I think this is the most of what we can do.

MOHSIN: Asian nations contribute the majority of plastic pollution, clogging waterways. Plastic does not biodegrade.

Bangkok dubbed as Venice of the east is crisscrossed by rivers and canals. The city faces an everyday struggles to keep its waterways clean. And one

holiday in particular poses an extra challenge. Loy Krathong is celebrated in November by floating an offering traditionally out of banana leaves, but

increasingly made from plastic or Styrofoam.

VICHAKYOTHIN: it become ugly, the biodegradable Krathong that use of material and we come up with the design to make it more like a lotus. So

it's not only beautiful, but it's eco-friendly.

MOHSIN: Vara-Anong says she hopes to find more innovative uses for UB packs materials to expand its use and contribute to a cleaner future.


JONES: And that is it for News Stream. I'm Hannah Vaughn Jones. But don't go anywhere, World Sport with Alex Thomas is up next.