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ISIS Loses Its Self-Declared Capital; U.S. Government Travel Ban Blocked; China Prepares for a Major Political Event

Aired October 18, 2017 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Back home in our regular studio. This is CNN 10. And I`m Carl Azuz.

Guitarists in our audience will be familiar with Gibsons and Fenders. We`re going to strum a few chords on a Gallagher today.

First, though, a major advancement in the international fight against the ISIS terrorist group. ISIS stands for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

That`s what they wanted and that`s where most of their territory was.

In 2014, ISIS declared Raqqa, a city in Northern Syria, to be its capital. And since June of this year, an international coalition of fighters

supported by the U.S. had been battling to kick ISIS out. And on Tuesday, they announced that ISIS had lost control of Raqqa.

The battle is not completely over. There are still some pockets of fighting in the city. Thousands of civilians have been left homeless. And

Save the Children, an international rights organization, says refugee camps in the area are stretched beyond their limits. But experts say the defeat

of ISIS in Raqqa is another example of how the terrorists are losing their grip on this region, even if their survivors regroup and reappear somewhere



NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): They once dubbed it "Execution Square". But this is now where ISIS met its end.

Once home to public beheadings now circled slowly by U.S. supplied Humvees, the Kurdish forces who made swift progress kicking ISIS out of Raqqa, their

former self-declared capital.

The fight has been total, ghastly, destructive beyond imagination, as this exclusive drone pictures filmed Monday show. This is where ISIS used to

plot attacks on the West, but now made their very final, last stand, some of its last foreign fighters likely dying and its bombed out skeleton.

ISIS late Monday lost this, the national hospital, where a few dozen surrendered. The civilian human shields they held there also rescued. The

U.S.-backed fighters declared major operations over here late Tuesday, the last time that ISIS`s name was writ large over a major city.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN.


AZUZ: On our September 26th show, which you can find our archives at, we detailed the Trump administration`s new rules that restrict

people from eight countries from entering the U.S. Yesterday, a federal judge in Hawaii blocked the new travel ban a day before it was scheduled to

take effect. The judge wrote that the executive order, quote, discriminates based on nationality.

The White House said the ban was based on, quote, grave national security concerns. The Justice Department plans to appeal the ruling.

A CNN legal analyst says it`s almost certain that this case will be reviewed soon by the U.S. Supreme Court.

A major political event is getting started Wednesday in China. It`s called the National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. That`s the ruling

party in the world`s most populated country. This event is held every five years. It will involve more than 2,200 handpicked members of the Communist


And with their leader, Xi Jinping, expected to serve a second term as China`s president, many analysts are predicting that he`ll utilize this

Congress to increase his power and influence in the country.


SUBTITLE: China`s strongman leader Xi Jinping.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: An emerging global statesman or a ruthless authoritarian? Protector of the every man or the

enemy of human rights?

Xi Jinping, China`s president, inspires many in opinion as he sets up to begin his second five-year term.

The 64-year-old spent decades rising through party ranks, a so-called princeling son of a politician who fought alongside Mao Zedong during

China`s communist revolution. During his rise to power, he honed what many experts call a fierce dedication to the orthodox ideology of the communist

party, often called one of China`s last true believers, he has sought to cement the party`s grip on control since taking office in 2012.

He`s done that in a number of ways: a popular anti-corruption campaign targeted draft among government officials, a move also widely seen as a way

for Xi to purge political enemies. He`s also cracked on dissent, targeting anyone publicly critical of the government.

Regime critics have been imprisoned. Some alleged they`ve been tortured, though the government denies that. Meanwhile, online censorship and state

control of all domestic media have strengthened.

But not everything is under Xi`s control. North Korea`s nuclear ambition, a slowing economy and looming trade disputes with the U.S. will all test

the president`s mettle.

But the cult of Xi as it`s called remain strong in China. His face is everywhere across the country and the growth of his own personal power has

mirrored the rise of China worldwide, a trend Xi Jinping will do his best to continue.



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

What is the term for a person who makes stringed instruments?

Luthier, bard, milliner or haberdasher?

Makers of instruments like banjos, cellos, guitars and violins are known as luthiers.


AZUZ: And while luthiers have been around for thousands of years, the lyre for instance is ancient. It`s not exactly certain when or where they began

making the modern guitar, as we know it. Encyclopedia Britannica gives credit to 16th century Spain. Other historians say guitars came from other

parts of the world much earlier than that.

One thing we do know for certain is that there are some folks out there who still make guitars the old world way.


BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There is a company in Asia that can crank out 60 guitars a minute. Meanwhile, in a little corner of

America, there is still a place that makes 60 a year.

(on camera): That`s incredible.

(voice-over): This is the story of Gallagher Guitars.

Wartrace, Tennessee, population: 651. Half a century back, this shop was home to a talented cabinet maker named J.W. But he was inching for a new

way to show off his skills with wood.

(on camera): You only get so much mass enjoyment out of a really nice dresser, right?


Because a musical instrument has a soul to it.

WEIR (voice-over): So, as his son Don tells it, J.W. switched to guitars. And a couple of years later, he built two. One of them cracked. But Don

still convinced his dad to drive to a music festival and display from the trunk of their car.

D. GALLAGHER: It was raining. It was muddy. Continuously uphill (ph) angels came tolling in. There were five (INAUDIBLE) all over the place.

I`ve heard some ticking under a sag (ph) tree.

WEIR: It was Doc Watson, the blind virtuoso of blue grass, inventor of the flat-picking style.

J.W. screwed up his courage, walked over to the master and offered up his rookie creation.

D. GALLAGHER: It really lacked the sound of the guitar and dad says, well, you know, it`s -- I`m sorry, it`s got a crack in it. We can`t really sell


And Doc`s response was, shucks, son, it`s the sound I`m interested in, I can`t see the crack anyhow.


WEIR: That guitar became "Ole Hoss", toured the world and put Gallagher on the map. But despite the buzz, they`ve only made a few thousand since --

same spot, same method.

(on camera): The sweat of your brows literally in every in --

STEPHEN GALLAGHER, GALLAGHER GUITARS: Absolutely, yes. Yes, sometimes blood as you slip up.


WEIR (voice-over): And yet their basic model sells around 3,000 bucks, cheaper than some comparable factory guitars. Their marketing plan: word

of mouth. Their booking software, an actual book.

They have survived knock-off counterfeiters and takeover bids and exotic wood shortages, and when the EPA forced the industry to use a safer but

inferior lacquer, Don nearly went out of business, because he honored his warranty by refinishing a year`s worth of guitars himself.

(on camera): Being principled is really lousy for business.

D. GALLAGHER: It really is, but it`s rough. To have integrity, I don`t know, but --

WEIR: But what kept you going? Why stay with this?

D. GALLAGHER: Determination. I mean, there`s something about a family business, something about your name on the product that you`re going to

make it as well as you can.


AZUZ: Burritos don`t grow on trees, but they could soon be falling from the sky. That`s the plan anyway, and part of Australia where a company

that`s affiliated with Google is testing a drone delivery service. It would use unmanned aerial vehicles to bring food from a taqueria chain and

items from a drugstore company to people who live in a rural community near the Australian capital.

If all goes well, the goods would land gently in people`s yards. If it doesn`t, at least some dogs will eat well.

Some burrito aficionados will un-burri-doubtedly be burrito bold over by the idea. Local papers may run an extra, so folks can burrit-all about it.

But a bad weather, the food could wind up all burrit-over the place and that could wreck the whole enchilada y`all.

I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10.