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A False Alarm Sets Off Fear in Hawaii; Residents Fear the Future in a Battle-Torn Province of Syria; Americans Honor Martin Luther King Jr.
Aired January 16, 2018 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: CNN 10 returning to its daily events coverage after the Martin Luther King holiday. We`ll have a little more on that
later on today and we`re happy you`re watching. I`m Carl Azuz.
North Korea is planning to send an orchestra to South Korea for the Winter Olympic Games that start next month. The 140-member group will be part of
the North Korean delegation that also includes athletes, artists, cheerleaders and news reporters. There`s been a breakthrough between the
two rival countries since they started holding talks earlier this month. But it was just last year that North Korea was threatening to strike South
Korea, as well as the U.S., an ally of South Korea. And America was threatening North Korea as well.
So, the U.S. territory of Guam, the state of Hawaii, and other parts of the U.S., which could be possible targets of the communist country, have been
making preparations to defend themselves. One of them, an emergency missile alert system in Hawaii, mistakenly sent out a warning on Saturday
to everyone in the state.
To be clear, no missile was actually launched. There was no threat. But the false alarm terrified many residents of the 50th U.S. state because of
heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, and because Hawaii is located between the two mainland countries.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The U.S. Pacific Command has detected a missile threat to Hawaii.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At 8:07, the warning message went out on television, on radio and via text message, saying: Ballistic
missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek shelter. This is not a drill.
State Representative Matt LoPresti`s family was enjoying a relaxed Saturday morning. Suddenly, they were worrying about nuclear annihilation. The
family gathered in the bathroom and began praying.
STATE REP. MATT LOPRESTI, HAWAII: We all just got down, got in the tub, waiting for a flash and I was going to cover the kids with my body.
SIDNER (on camera): What are you children saying to you?
LOPRESTI: Well, my 8-year-old is praying, she stopped and she looked at me and said, daddy, are we at war? And I had to say yes. And she just looked
at me and said why. And all I could do was hug her.
SIDNER (voice-over): Panic ensued, students ran for cover on campus. For 38 minutes, citizens had no idea the message was sent by mistake.
(on camera): Inside Diamond Head Crater in this bunker where the state warning point is. This is where the mistake originated. An officer
brought the wrong template up on the computer and then the computer asked whether or not you want to send out the message and someone clicked yes.
(voice-over): It all happened during what was supposed to be a routine drill. The officer who sent the erroneous message to the public has been
reassigned during an investigation.
Retired Army Major General Vern Meotti (ph) is the head of the team.
(on camera): What would you like to say to those who are angry, who were terrified, whose children were afraid?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From my side, I want to apologize for this. It should not have happened. We`re taking steps to fix so it never happens again.
SIDNER (voice-over): So, why did it stay so long to send a false alarm message?
Well, that message hadn`t been created.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One thing that we`ve done is that there`s a cancellation button right now. That if we trigger this again, a false
alarm, there`s a button there to cancel it immediately.
SIDNER: In the months leading up to the mistake, Hawaii had become the first state in the nation to test its attack alert sirens.
It hadn`t done so since the end of the Cold War. The red hot rhetoric between America and North Korea certainly played a role in the renewed
effort to prepare the public. The false alarm though officials say was never part of that plan.
LOPRESTI: The biggest problem now, Sara, is that are people going to believe the system next time?
AZUZ: People in the Middle Eastern country of Syria have been suffering the horrors of war for years. Since Syria`s civil war started in 2011, the
United Nations estimates that 400,000 Syrians have been killed, more than 6 million have lost their homes and more than 5 million have left the
country. The war involves government forces fighting to stay in power. Rebel groups that want that government overthrown, terrorists organizations
and other countries, like the U.S. and Russia, whose militaries have also been involved.
Idlib is a province in northwestern Syria, near the country`s border with Turkey. It`s the largest area that still control by rebels. And in recent
days, fighting between them and Syrian government forces has gotten worse. The consequences are borne by civilians.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It feels like one is peering into a macabre dollhouse of broken lives. Bits of
concrete tumble down as people try to clean up or salvage what they can amid the horrors that they can`t escape.
(on camera): Five of his relatives were in that building, three children among them.
(voice-over): Images like this are familiar a year ago from the siege of Aleppo, but this is Idlib City. This is where families were supposed to be
safe. This was meant to be a refuge, one of the last remaining ones, part of a so-called de-escalation zone that lately has become anything but.
The four strikes that hit here happened five days before we arrived and many of those we met had actually fled from Aleppo.
(on camera): So lucky they were in that back room.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
DAMON (voice-over): Mohammad Hacomachi (ph) is haunted by all he has lost. His wife was killed in Aleppo six years ago. He`s raising his two sons on
We head south where some towns already feel deserted. In (INAUDIBLE), closer to the frontlines of the fighting, children rummaged through the
aftermath of bombs to look for plastic to sell.
We do get scared, we hide from the bombs, they say.
The Syrian regime and its foreign backers` latest push seems aimed at eliminating or at the very least sophisticating the last major rebel
Hundreds of thousands of people have been on the move the last few weeks. Many fleeing ahead of what they know is coming or as soon as the first
Some live in makeshift camps along the road to Turkey, bringing everything they can, including their livestock.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia.
When he was born, Martin Luther King Jr. was named what?
Martin King, Michael King, Luther King, or Michael Williams?
On January 15 1929, Michael King Jr. was born to Michael King Sr. and Alberta Williams King.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: Michael King Sr. later changed his name to Martin Luther King after the German religious leader Martin Luther. And Michael King Jr., who
became the renowned U.S. civil rights leader whose holiday is celebrated every January eventually changed his name as well.
Yesterday, on what would have been the 89th birthday of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., hundreds of thousands marched in his honor in San Antonio
Texas. Parades were held across the country, speeches paid tribute to Dr. King`s legacy and volunteer events offered Americans the chance to answer
the call for a day of service.
The Martin Luther King holiday is the only federal holiday described as a day on, not a day off. It`s in the spirit of famous quote by Dr. King in
which he said life`s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?
AZUZ: Tennis is believed to have its roots in the medieval European sport dating back to the 1200. Table tennis on the other hand is a little
younger. It first appeared in England in the late 1800s.
Also known as ping-pong, whiff-whaff and flim flam, the sport hasn`t known many robotic champions, but one could be on the way.
RAMY ZABARAH, CNN TECH MULTIPLATFORM EDITOR: Tripping up I see.
This is Forpheus, the world`s first robotic ping pong tutor. It`s made by a company named Omron, that specialized in artificial intelligence and
robotics. I think I`m pretty good at ping pong. But let`s see if Forpheus thinks I need some help.
So, it`s using a combination of AI, a 3D camera system and robotics to follow the ball, return the shot and improve my game all in a fraction of a
But don`t expect to be playing against Forpheus in your basement anytime soon. This is really just a proof of concept, to show off Omron`s
technologies, the same technology that makes Forpheus good at ping-pong has other applications, like in factory automation, hospitality and driver
Forpheus isn`t perfect. I managed to get a couple of shots across. But Omron says it`s learning from its mistakes, using AI to get better.
Ah, the student has become the teacher.
AZUZ: Could take that as a backhand compliment. Would it be smash hit or cause an open racket to spin the loaded suggestion that robots could one
day rate or receive a long shot in a whiff-whaff championship? I guess the ball is in their court, y`all.
I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10.