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A Woman Escapes Captivity and Climbs Mount Everest; People Around the World Remember Billy Graham; An Ancient Chinese Statue is Damaged at a U.S. Museum

Aired February 22, 2018 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Today, CNN 10 starts with the account of the woman who climbed out of modern day slavery and didn`t stop until she

reached the peak of the world`s tallest mountain.

I`m Carl Azuz and we`re taking you to Nepal.

Home to Mount Everest, Nepal is also a place of widespread poverty. About one-fourth of its 29 million people live below the poverty line and that

can make them vulnerable to the trap of human trafficking. We`ve reported on how there are believed to be more slaves today than at anytime in human

history. This includes people who are forced to leave their homes, forced to work, people who are abused, taken advantage of or confined to one


And 28-year-old Kanchhi Maya Tamang says she was one of them. But her story didn`t end with the people who once threatened to kill her if she

tried to get away. Her journey took her from the depths of captivity to the height of Mount Everest.


RAVI AGRAWAL, CNN INTERNATIONAL NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Kanchhi Maya Tamang is going home a hero. It`s been seven long months

away, and in that time, she conquered the greatest human challenge of all. She climbed Mount Everest. It`s an unlikely turn-around.

Until just last year, she says she was trapped in what is knows as modern day slavery. She tells us she was a maid for a rich Arab family in Cairo.

She was exploited, she says, abused, a prisoner. Tamang says she was never allowed to leave the house without minders. She even says her passport was


The power dynamic was clear. She says she was enslaved. And it lasted for six years.

Tamang tells CNN she begged and pleaded that she needed to return home to see her ailing mother. As sometimes happen in these cases, her employers

eventually relented and she was free.

Now, Tamang was a woman on a mission. She wanted to raise awareness about modern day slavery to make sure what happened to her don`t happen to


If you speak out normally, it`s difficult to get attention, she says. But when you speak out from the top of the world, people sit up and notice.

And for Tamang, the top of the world was Mount Everest.

KANCHHI MAYA TAMANG, SURVIVOR (translated): After climbing Everest, I want to work towards the empowerment of women and children who are victims of

human trafficking.

AGRAWAL: Nepal government says it believes Tamang is the first survivor of modern day slavery to have scaled the world`s tallest peak. And now she is

coming home.

Sindhupalchok district is the major hub of human trafficking in Nepal. Young girls from here are often lured to work as maids abroad. Tamang

wants to stop that from happening.

Women here are illiterate, she says. They can`t get jobs. They`re susceptible to being trafficked. That`s why I want to encourage them to

join the mountaineering business.

A massive earthquake in 2015 has made a bad situation worse. More than 3,500 people died in Tamang`s district alone. Tens of thousands off their

homes, again, making them more vulnerable to jobs like the one Tamang escaped from.

This is Tamang`s childhood school. Here, her story is already legend.

We have to start raising awareness against this crime from the school level, she says, as the students listen intently.

The school was on her way home, all the way up the hill. Tamang stops again. Other schools knew she was headed this way on the long journey


Her story has spread. She wants the children to avoid her fate.

Finally, she makes it to her parents. They are excited, proud. They`ve gathered friends from around the village to welcome her. A traditional

ritual and then it is time to settle in.

The family is poor, but Tamang hopes she will win supporters to fund her anti-slavery campaign.

She is now planning to climb other top peaks with this message: We are people, not property.

I am a victim of modern day slavery, she says. I want everyone who has been in my situation to not feel defeated because together, we can achieve

big things in life.

It`s a tall order, but Tamang says she can make a difference, one mountain at a time.

Ravi Agrawal, CNN.


AZUZ: People around the world are remembering a man known as America`s pastor. Evangelist Billy Graham passed away yesterday at the age of 99.

He was one of the most influential Christian preachers of the age. Over six decades, Graham prayed with U.S. presidents, hosted massive rivalry

events and preached to more than 200 million people worldwide.

Condolences poured in from every corner, from foreign leaders and all living U.S. presidents, for a man who came from simple beginnings.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Born November 7, 1918, Billy Graham was raised on a dairy farm in Charlotte, North Carolina. When he

was 15, he attended a revival, it changed his life.

WILLIAM MARTIN, GRAHAM BIOGRAPHER: Billy went forward and publicly made his commitment to Jesus Christ.

NOBLES: Graham became a Baptist minister and in 1943, he graduated from Wheaton College. That`s where he also found the love of his life, Ruth.

Billy and Ruth Graham were married for more than 60 years.

Graham became a traveling evangelist, with Youth for Christ, an organization that ministered to youth and servicemen during World War II.

BILLY GRAHAM, TELEVANGELIST: I do not believe that any man, that any man can solve the problems of life without Jesus Christ.

NOBLES: Graham`s message resonated with post-war America and changed how mainstream America viewed God and country.

CLIFF BARROWS, PASTOR: Billy preached against communism. He preached a strong moral message.

NOBLES: That moral message included civil rights. Graham became friends with Martin Luther King Jr. and in towns where whites wanted crusades

segregated, Graham took a stand.

MARTIN: Billy himself took the rope down and said we don`t have segregated meetings. And he took a stand for his belief that every man is equal

before Christ.

NOBLES: In 1950, Billy Graham made his first visit to the White House. He met and prayed with Harry Truman. Over the years, he was close to nearly

every U.S. president. His friendship with Richard Nixon led to controversy. A recorded conversation from 1972 made public 30 years later

revealed Graham making what many considered anti-Semitic remarks in the Oval Office. Graham later apologized.

Billy Graham visited more than 185 countries and territories, building bridges and breaking cultural barriers. He remained popular to the end of

his life and his message never waivered.

GRAHAM: Jesus said I`m the way, the truth and the life. And then he said an interesting thing, no man comes to the father except through me.

NOBLES: I`m Ryan Nobles, reporting.



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

In what country was an army of terracotta warriors built more than 2,000 years ago to guard the tomb of an emperor?

China, Egypt, India, or Thailand?

In 1974, a Chinese farmer discovered thousands of life-size figures meant to protect the tomb of China`s first emperor.



SUBTITLE: A 2,000-year-old terra-cotta warrior is missing a thumb after officials said it was stolen.

The theft took place at Philadelphia`s Franklin Institute, where the statue is on display.

Police say a Delaware man broke off the thumb while taking a selfie with one of the warriors.

He then pocketed the thumb and took it home, according to authorities.

The FBI began investigating after a museum worker noticed the missing thumb.

The suspect handed it over while being interviewed by an agent.

Among the man`s charges are theft of an object of cultural heritage from a museum.

The damage to the statue, which is valued at $4.5 million, has angered Chinese authorities.

"We call on the United States to severely punish those how have done this," Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relic Exchange Center`s director told the

Beijing Youth Daily, a state-run Chinese newspaper.

The terra-cotta warriors were made for Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huang to guard his tomb in death.

The statues, dating back to 209 B.C., were discovered by a Chinese farmer while digging a well in 1974.

China plans to send two experts to fix the statue, according to China`s state news agency Xinhua.



AZUZ: Not everyone wants to spend a few minutes reading to a dog, and that was the problem for a reading therapy dog named Sting. Usually, kids read

to him at a Minnesota Library, but one day, no one came. So, his owner posted a picture of him in the reading room, all alone, and let folks know

when he`d be back.

Well, it went viral. People from across the country called, offering to read to Sting. And now, he has more young readers than he has time for.

So, the dog who had no one to read for him is now all booked up. For some kids, it takes the sting out of reading to put Sting in it and now that

he`s bound for many hours of page-turning, Sting is at a lost for words. But I wouldn`t read too much into it.

I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10.