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CNN 10

Political Instability in Zimbabwe; Potential Uses for Vantablack Substance; Characteristics of a Master Mochi Maker

Aired November 16, 2017 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Politically upheaval in Zimbabwe is the first story we`re covering today on CNN 10. I`m Carl Azuz. It`s good to see


Our show begins in Southern Africa. Zimbabwe got its independence from the United Kingdom in 1980, and since then, it`s been ruled by Robert Mugabe,

who was its first prime ministers and he became Zimbabwe`s president in 1987. At 93 years old, he`s the oldest president on the planet and

Africa`s longest serving leader. Since he took over, Zimbabwe has seen a number of struggles, some natural, some manmade.

Starting in 1997, President Mugabe implemented a controversial program that took land away from Zimbabwe`s white farmers and redistributed it to

others. According to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, that crippled Zimbabwe`s economy and led to shortages of basic goods. Inflation, when

prices rise and money buys less followed, and it was severe.

In 2002, the CIA says President Mugabe rigged the presidential election to make sure he`d win. And in recent years, a drought set in, making things

worse and leading the food shortages for millions for people. Seventy-two percent of Zimbabweans live below the poverty line.

Now, Mugabe`s rule could be coming to an end. The country`s military has taken control of the capital, Harare. Witnesses there saying military

vehicles are everywhere, but that the atmosphere is generally calm. Mugabe himself is under house arrest.

Ten days ago, he fired his vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa. He was expected to become the country`s next leader, but President Mugabe accused

Vice President Mnangagwa of, quote, disloyalty, disrespect, deceitfulness and unreliability. Zimbabwe has an election scheduled next year and many

people there think that firing the vice president, Mr. Mugabe is trying to clear the way for his wife, Grace Mugabe, to take over when the current

leader either dies or retires.

But the first lady and the vice president are controversial. But while Grace Mugabe has the support of many young people, in Robert Mugabe`s

political party, Emmerson Mnangagwa like has the support of the military. It says this is not a coup. That it`s not taking control of the

government, but that it`s, quote, targeting criminals around Mugabe. But experts say this maybe intended to prevent Grace Mugabe from becoming

Zimbabwe`s next leader.


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

Which element of the Periodic Table forms more compounds than any other?

Hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, or oxygen?

When it comes to forming compounds, no element comes close to carbon, which comes from a Latin word for coal.


AZUZ: Vantablack is made from carbon. Scientists say there are about one billion carbon nanotubes in a square centimeter of Vantablack. It`s one of

the darkest manmade substances in existence.

And though it was originally designed to help with space engineering, it found other uses, from proving a bottomless looking background on a $95,000

watch, to cloaking a building in South Korea`s 2018 Winter Olympic park.

Vantablack absorbs 99.96 percent of the light that hits it. It makes 3D objects look flat. So, how is it possible that Vantablack could eventually

help us see things we can`t see now?


KASSIA ST. CLAIR, AUTHOR & DESIGN JOURNALIST: It is so black, it looks like a mistake.

REPORTER: All these things might look black and we might even call them black, but they`re not actually true black. But this, this is closer to

true black and it`s revolutionizing everything, from space exploration to architecture.

ST. CLAIR: It`s very hard to comprehend that black is black in the world. I mean, you hear it, it makes sense, you think you can conceptualize it,

but seeing it is something very, very different.

SUBTITLE: The material absorbs 99.98 percent of all light.

BEN JENSEN, CTO, SURREY NANOSYSTEMS: So black that it changes the dimensionality of an object. It`s not a color. It`s the absence of color.

So, it`s what happens when you have no light reflected back to the viewer. You see nothing. So, your brain paints it as black.

REPORTER: It might look like paint, but it`s actually made up of microscopic carbon nanotubes, which are grown in a lab just outside of


SUBTITLE: Vantablack is more expensive per weight than diamonds or gold.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s made from individual carbon nanotubes and those carbon nanotubes are like very, very long blades of grass. And you imagine

if you were a human walking around in grass a thousand feet tall, how little light get down to you. It`s kind of like that, but on a very, very

tiny scale.

ST. CLAIR: It`s pretty much like a black hole.

REPORTER: That`s an interesting comparison, because this material is helping scientists peer deeper into the heavens than ever before. Acting a

bit like a lens for a camera, Vantablack basically prevents lens glass in powerful telescope, reducing that stray light allows us to see some of the

faintest, and most distant objects in the universe.

So, the close we get to achieving absolute black, the more we are able to explore the blackness above.

But space isn`t the only frontier. Artists, designers and musicians want to get their hands on Vantablack.

Asif Khan is covering a building in Vantablack for the 2018 Olympics.

ASIF KHAN, ARCHITECT: When people look at this building, they will see a sort of schism in space. It will be like you`re looking into the night

sky. In fact, we create kind of star field within its blackness. It will look like the Milky Way, but you`ll be seeing it in broad daylight.

ST. CLAIR: The ability of Vantablack is to really make us think more about the light that we have access to. It`s got the ability to make us realize

what a precious resource it is.


AZUZ: We`ve got a great big story for you about a great big treat in Japan. It`s called mochi. It`s made from rice and it`s popular for its

texture as it is for its taste.

Mochi is describe as sticky, it`s chewy, it`s squeezy, and to get it that way requires a bit of muscle, something one of Japan`s mochi masters has

mastered when making mochi.


SUBTITLE: Quick hands, high stakes, the dangerous art of mochi.

MITSUO NAKATANI, MOCHI MASTER (translated): My name is Mitsuo Nakatani. I have been running Nakatanidou for 23 years.

Mochi is part of traditional Japanese culture and it is always a part of any celebration.

Delicious mochi is soft, smooth and chewy.

Mochi is made from sticky rice called "mochigome".

We pound the sticky rice very fast for about two minutes. That`s how we make it.

The style of mochi pounding in my town I use is a high speed mochi-tsuki.

There are many styles of mochi pounding but the most traditional one is one person pounds and the other mixes by hand.

There is no formal training of mochi pounding. It`s something you acquire from experience over time.

My average is about three poundings per second.

The key to be good at mixing is all about timing and trust in the guy that is pounding.

We use our shouting as away to coordinate with each other and create a rhythm.

To me, making mochi is like a battle.

Anyone can pound mochi as long as you have a will.

I live my life for mochi pounding.

I think everyone makes a certain face when you eat something delicious. It`s different for everyone.

That is the happiest moment for me though, getting to see all those faces.


AZUZ: A Harlem Globetrotter recently set a Guinness World Record -- well, another one. That`s not really a first for the basketball team. But it is

the first time someone made an upward shot to this height. He had to shoot it at least 32.8 feet high, but he sank one at 50 feet, one inch high.

The man who did is Thunder Law. He says he has four Guinness World Records, not including the one he should get for most awesome name.

It`s like thunder laying the law for laying up the crane shot heard around the world. He is a Globetrotter after all, and made all the hoop law, the

shot comes at the height of his popularity, and both nets him a new record and sinks his name deeper in the books.

I`m Carl Azuz, making all these points on behalf of CNN 10.