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CNN 10

North Korea Faces Food Shortage; India Fights Misinformation As Its Election Winds Down; Scientists Say There`s Evidence the Moon is Shrinking

Aired May 15, 2019 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Welcome to your midweek edition of CNN 10. I`m your host Carl Azuz. We`re traveling all over Asia today and our first

story concerns a food shortage in North Korea. The countries population is just over 25 million people and about 40 percent of them, we`re talking

about 10 million people could be going hungry in the months ahead if they`re not already. The United Nations says North Korea has just had its

worst harvest in 10 years. There are a number of reasons why.

The U.N. blames drought, flooding and heat waves a combination of the three and the government of the United States blames North Korea`s leadership as

well saying that if the communist country stops spending so much on its nuclear and missile programs, its people wouldn`t be as starved and

neglected as they are. Is the current food shortage the beginning of a famine? The U.N. isn`t calling it at this point. North Korea did suffer a

widespread famine in the mid 1990s` and it was a time when anywhere from several 100 thousand to several million people died. This year experts say

there are a number of troubling signs concerning food in North Korea but there are aid agencies and countries willing to help.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: North Korean farmers prepare the land for rice planting, a staple food in the country. This footage was filmed

last month by the United Nations World Food Program, one of the few aid groups allowed to operate in North Korea. It is warning that recent

climate conditions mean 40 percent of the population are now in need of urgent food assistance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is clear is that the (inaudible) drought, heat wave and floods this year is badly impacting the crop production.

HANCOCKS: The report from WUFP and the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization says those most at risk are young children and pregnant women.

They warn of families being forced to cut meals or eat less. It`s a warning that`s being heard at the highest levels. President Trump spoke by

phone to South Korean President Moon Jae-In last week and supported the South`s desire to send humanitarian aide.

PRESIDENT MOON JAE-IN TRANSLATED: It would have the effect of cracking open the door from the current stalemate in talks. President Trump

expressed the total support in that regard.

HANCOCKS: This despite North Korea`s suspected short range ballistic missile tests earlier this month, a violation of U.N. resolutions. South

Korea`s Unification Ministry says they are working on a plan to send aid but no specifics yet. For some experts concerns of food insecurity maybe

valid but the extent of the crisis is unclear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something bad is definitely happening. However we should also keep in mind that food prices at free market, free food prices

are stable and its sort of does not agree with the idea of famine just about to erupt.

HANCOCKS: WFP has 11 supported food factories in North Korea and provides nutritional assistance to some 770,000 malnourished women and children.

Its report is based on information gathered during the assessment in country last month and in late 2018 but WFP does acknowledge some data is

provided by North Korea itself. Experts fear that could be open to manipulation. The U.S. has been skeptical of humanitarian aid for North

Korea in the past because they say that Kim Jong-Un is perfectly capable of feeding his own people he just chooses to divert millions of dollars into

his nuclear and missile program. But Trump`s softening of that stance could signal a return to aid shipments as an incentive for Pyongyang to

come back to the negotiating table. Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. What is the only nation in the world that borders both Bangladesh and Pakistan? Afghanistan, China, India, or Nepal.

Northwestern India borders Pakistan and Northeastern India borders Bangladesh.

The end is in sight for India`s marathon election. It began in early April and lasts more than five weeks. Its carried out in several phases across

the world`s largest democracy and that`s why this is said to be the worlds largest democratic exercise. The seventh and final stage of voting begins

on Sunday. Results are expected to be announced on May 23rd and that`s when the nations 1.3 billion people will know whether the incumbent prime

minister will remain in power or if India`s leadership will change.

India is a densely populated country. In land area, it`s a little over a third the size of the United States but India`s eligible voters alone

number 900 million people. That`s almost three times the size of the U.S. population. In addition to the challenges posed by an ongoing multi-phase

election, there are issues of misinformation in the information age that are causing confusion and violence in the south Asian country.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As India votes, a typical village scene in northern (inaudible). A post lunch huddle about who might win. These men are

discussing the latest political news. Their main source, messages and posts on Facebook and Whatapp.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE TRANSLATED: We only use Whatsapp and Facebook. That`s the internet for us and with the election my phone is flooded with

political messages.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Almost everyone we`ve spoken to in this village has a phone and they`re often relying on the messages they see there. The

politically themed videos and memes to decide who gets their vote. It`s their main source of news. The electoral battleground, it`s in their hands

but the terrain is murky. Littered with fake news that can sometimes prove fatal. Authorities here say fake rumors spread on Whatsapp which is owned

by Facebook triggered mob attacks that claimed more than a dozen lives in 2018.

Experts of Indian politics are worried during the elections, social media could be used to divide communities or worse trigger political violence.

Facebook already under scrutiny after the 2016 U.S. presidential election, has set up this election war room in California. Sitting in Silicon

Valley, these Facebook staffers are keeping a close eye on posts being seen by hundreds of millions of Indian voters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re certain to see a wide variety of different tactics that people might be using to interfere with the elections. One of

those that we`ve been investing a lot in our capabilities around is video or audio that might be altered, to not be truthful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Indian police are also worried. This is just one of the many special units set up to monitor social media around the clock.

And Whatsapp has launched a massive campaign to warn Indians about the threat of fake news. With more than 200 million users, this is the apps

single biggest market. Back in (inaudible), the problem is clear. Voters say its often hard to figure out which political message on social media is

real and which is fake.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible). We can`t trust every message. We get a lot of fake messages. We just don`t know what`s true.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Social media has become more than just a tool for mobilizing support, its become a weapon for peddlers of misinformation and

voters like these often don`t know what to believe. (inaudible), CNN, (inaudible), India.


AZUZ: As we approach the 50th anniversary of when astronauts first walked on the moon, U.S. President Donald Trump says he`s adding $1.6 billion to

NASA`s budget in addition to the $21 billion the agency`s already requested. The goal, to get people back to the moon by 2024. If that

happens they could have less surface to stand on because the moon may be shrinking. Scientists have been studying pictures of the moon`s surface

from NASA`s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, part of a half billion dollar mission that was launched in 2009. Researchers say they`ve seen thousands

of cliffs scattered across the moons surface and that`s led them to believe that it`s slowly been shrinking over time like the skin of a grape as it

shrinks into a raisin.

Scientists say this causes the moon`s crust to break and form the cliffs and that it also causes moonquakes which aren`t called earthquakes because

moon. This has made the moon more than 160 feet skinnier according to scientists than it was when someone last set foot there in 1972.

Some people think Starbucks is expensive. It ain`t got nothing on this cup of coffee that`s being sold in a coffee house in San Francisco, California.

The place got hold of a coffee called "Aleida Geisha 803", a brew so illusive that only 100 pounds of it were recently sold at auction. A

single cup costs $75. A pound costs $800, it is the most expensive coffee in the world and its said to taste smooth and like fruit. Of course you

could just eat fruit and avoid paying the "coffee".

Even some of the most fervent "caffeines" would lack the "caffunds" or feel like they`ve been "roasted" when "dripping" a "robustive sum" of "alotte"

dollars. All "ariba" because the "beans" were too "arareacono" to be spilled. Some may be pressed to "macchiato" more money and "filter" the

funds through the coffee shop. Others would "cappacinoway" for that to "mocha sense". I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10.