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Ripple Effects Spread from a Deadly Mine Collapse in Brazil, Former China`s One-Child Policy Threatens an Economic Toll, Making Music with Treasured Violins
Aired February 8, 2019 - 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: Wrapping up the week for CNN 10. I`m Carl Azuz.
We`re starting today`s show in the South American nation of Brazil, which is trying to come to grips with the worse mining disaster in its history.
We told you on January 28, how the collapse of a dam at an iron mine sent a flood of mining debris and mud into the city of Brumadinho. The number of
people who died from the incident has risen to 150, and Brazil`s government says at least 182 others are still missing.
Rescue officials do not think they`re going to find any more survivors, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation. It also reports that
Vale, the company that owns the mine, says it followed recommended safety procedures. But this is the second mine owned by Vale where a damn has
collapsed. The other incident happened in the same region in 2015, killing 19 people and polluting the environment.
And as the "Reuters" news organization reports, a Brazilian state official recently blamed the same problem for both disasters. Parts of the dam
which was made of dried mud and sand turned into liquid, causing the structure to fail. In addition to the lives lost, the collapse
contaminated a river downstream with mining debris, waste and toxins. And observers say the resulting pollution from that could indirectly impact
There`s a growing challenge facing China, specifically the future of its economy, and it`s a consequence of the communist government`s controversial
one-child policy. In the late 1970s, the world`s most populated country wanted to slow down the growth of that population. So, it instituted a
policy in 1980 that limited families to one child. In some cases, it forced couples to stop having children.
The program ended in 2016. Chinese families are now allowed to have two children. But the results of the limit mean fewer children are alive to
support the country`s aging population.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is brutal trudge for a healthy person. But for 68-year-old Qin Taixiao, stricken with emphysema
and cancer, it`s near torture. He keeps warm by burning firewood. It`s cheaper than coal.
What can I say, he says, life is all right. There`s no other way.
That`s daily stoicism is common in China`s rural villages, where life has only gotten tougher. Young people have been largely swept away by the
relentless current of China`s urban migration.
Qin`s children left for work years ago. He and his wife Sun Sherong carry on alone.
It`s difficult for our children to care for us, she says. We don`t want to become a burden.
A hundred and fifty miles away in Beijing, it`s a burden that 32-year-old Fan Meng knows well. She and her husband financially support both their
parents, the four grandparents of their 5-year-old daughter Xi Shunru (ph).
She likes to ski and she enjoys diving, Fan says. If those are her interests, we have to support her, and that all cost money.
The village couple and their city counterpart are a microcosm of China`s aging problem. Simply put, there are a lot more older people in China than
younger ones. And an aging population, along with greater life expectancy can have drastic consequences.
(on camera): Less working age people might limit the government`s ability to pay for the benefits needed by its aging population. National economic
priorities will shift more towards health care and pension obligations. And it might also hurt consumer spending, with the combined effect of
slowing China`s economic growth potential way down.
(voice-over): The obvious solution here is to have more babies. But that`s not happening. There were 2 million fewer births in 2018, and most
studies agree that China`s population will soon begin to shrink.
The government knows this, and in 2016 changed the notorious one-child policy. Couples are now allowed to have two babies per family and there
are speculation the communist party could erase any restrictions as soon as this year. But for families like Fan Meng`s, that doesn`t matter.
She says, one baby is enough. One baby is what I can afford in terms of both energy and money.
Not wanting more kids is a nationwide trend. That`s unlikely to change, with higher costs and more opportunities for women as two reasons why.
Back in the village, Qin Taixiao and his wife survive on about $1,500 per year selling corn. At some point though, hauling 50 kilos of wood twice a
day will be too much and his meager not enough. They`ll need help, just like all of China`s older citizens. Whether there will be enough young
people to support them is one of Chinese society`s great questions.
Matt Rivers, CNN, Beijing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:
Nicolo Amati, like Antonio Stradivari, became famous for his work with what?
Paintings, fountains, instruments or bridges?
Some of the greatest violins ever made are associated with the Amati and Stradivari families.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: Some of their violins are said to be acoustically perfect. But it`s not known what makes them that way. Encyclopedia Britannica says some
believe it`s in the instrument`s mysterious varnish. Others say it`s a combination of that plus the thickness and condition of the wood.
There`s a project going on that uses modern technology to carefully document their historic tones.
BARBIE LATZA NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR (voice-over): Few things compare to the sound of a virtuoso playing. But this is no ordinary instrument. It`s
an Amati viola from the 17th century and it`s being played here in Cremona where music making is an art form.
These instruments are displayed in the town`s renowned violin museum. Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces made by legendary artisans like
Stradivari and Amati who created many of the first violins, violas, and cellos as we know them today.
No one makes string instruments like these anymore which were created to delight the royal courts of Europe. And the unique sound they create can`t
be replicated either.
Maestro Fausto Cacciatori is in charge of taking these precious instruments out of their museum cases and down to the auditorium where their sound can
"My dream is that these instruments that we`re conserving will be played in two or three hundred years` time and that the sound is just like we hear
today," he says.
Two tech companies have teamed up to immortalize the notes of these centuries` old instruments and through sound banks to do just that.
THOMAS KORITKE, SOUND ENGINEER, E INSTRUMENTS: We record everything you can perform on the violin, but not as part of a musical performance, but
basically bit by bit, one by one. So we`re recording long notes, short notes, just broken down into very tiny pieces and elements of their
NADEAU: Once the recordings are finished, software developers will be able to use the notes and tones for their own composition.
(on camera): But it takes complete silence in order to carry out these recordings. The town has had to cooperate. They`ve closed the street with
cobblestones to traffic in order to try to limit the vibrations and reverberations inside the recording studio.
(voice-over): The project creators believe these sacrifices will pay off.
LEONARDO TEDESCHI, SOUND DESIGNER, AUDIOZONES STUDIOS: It will be something that will help the digital composer to make music. And it will
be a very practical tool. But it will never be like having a live musician.
NADEAU: Barbie Latza Nadeau for CNN, Cremona.
AZUZ: Family reunion gets a "10 Out of 10" today, but it`s a family that`s a little otter than you`re used to, literally. A little otter. It was
found earlier this week by a commercial fisherman after the pup became separated from its mother.
Officials recorded the pup`s cries and then played them over a speaker so the mother could hear. After they located her, they tossed the pup in and
after a few moments, she pops up to get her baby.
Her baby is like no otter, so you can`t say she forgot her. Though a fisherman caught her mama otter had begot her and it`s clear that she had
sought her, so that when the men had brought her, it turned any otter day to a special mother`s day.
So, if you can catch one, don`t play possum. Find the mom and then just toss them. It`s a sample and example of how Fridays are awesome.
I`m Carl Azuz and that`s CNN 10.