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Turkey Agrees to Ceasefire In Syria; Large Protests Signal Unrest Around the World; CEO of Facebook Testifies on Capital Hill About Cryptocurrency
Aired October 24, 2019 - 04:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Welcome to CNN 10 on this October 24th. I`m Carl Azuz. First story we`re explaining a ceasefire in northern Syria that
America`s leader believes will last. Here`s what`s happening. Turkey, which borders Syria to the north, has been fighting ethnic Kurds in Syria.
Turkey considers the Kurds to be terrorists but Kurdish forces in Syria have been allies with the United States in its fight against ISIS or
Islamic State terrorists. After U.S. President Donald Trump announced that American troops would leave northern Syria early this month, Turkey moved
in fighting the Kurdish militias.
Critics said moving U.S. troops out the region effectively gave Turkey the green light to target the Kurdish-U.S. allies and that America turned its
back on them. The Trump Administration says Turkey was going to attack the Kurds anyway so U.S. troops needed to be away from the conflict.
Politicians around the world criticized Turkey for its military operation in Syria and on October 14th the U.S. issued sanctions, penalties on
Turkey`s economy for its incursion. Yesterday President Trump said he was removing those sanctions after Turkey agreed to stop its attacks on the
Kurds in Syria.
Part of the Syrian territory that the Kurds used to control will now be controlled by Turkey. Part of it will now be controlled by Syria with
support from Russia, a Syrian ally. International affairs analysts say all of this will lead to increased Russian influence in the Middle East.
President Trump said quote "let someone else fight over this long, blood stained sand" and that the job of America`s military was not to police the
world. The Middle East, of course, isn`t the only unstable part of the world and military action isn`t the only expression of instability.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Across the globe from Lebanon to Iraq, Chile to Haiti and Hong Kong, people are taking to the streets in their thousands. They
start with a spark and so often ignite lengthy protests bringing cities to a standstill, governments to their knees and blood on the streets. In
Lebanon it was a proposal for a 20 cent tax on calls made over the internet. A trigger had been pulled. The protestors became louder. Daily
power outages, water shortages, decaying infrastructure coupled with growing inflation and ballooning debt have all taken their toll on the
country and for protestors the so-called WhatsApp tax was the last straw. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When these protests broke out, people immediately
started chanting the people demand to overthrow the regime which of course is been shown that was earlier in Algeria and Sudan in 2019 but of course
it`s the (inaudible) chant of the (inaudible) uprisings of 2011.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the other side of the globe in Chile, the country`s President Sebastian Pinera declared a state of emergency after violent
protests in the capital.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE TRANSLATED: The spark here was equally surprising. A planned hike in the price of metro tickets.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just like in Lebanon, the plan was reversed and the protests continued.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What we`re seeing now there is a (inaudible) mobilization and in such different places and different context is notable
and I think speaks to both the political and also the economic moment (ph) side. We find ourselves at now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 2019 has been a bumper year for protests across the world and many share the same agenda. Perhaps the biggest protests of 2019
though have been in Hong Kong. Protestors have for months come out especially on weekends protesting the government. The trigger here a
proposed extradition bill allowing suspects to stand trial in mainland China. The bill was shelved but the protestors kept coming. All of this
shows there`s more to these protests than attacks or a fare hike.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When people come out onto the streets in Lebanon right now over a WhatsApp tax, they`re actually complaining about things that
have been upsetting them for decades. These are not signally, spontaneous outbursts that then will pass like ships in the night.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. Which of these companies was founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts? Dunkin` Donuts, Friendly`s, Facebook or
Marshalls. All of these companies began in Massachusetts but only Facebook was launched in Cambridge at Harvard University.
The site upended communication as we know it. Could Facebook upend the financial system as we know it? Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified on
Capitol Hill yesterday. One focus was on something called "Libre". It`s a project by Facebook to develop a cryptocurrency, a virtual form of money
and the company hopes to launch it next year. Libre would be managed by 21 companies including Facebook and more than 2 billion Facebook users around
the world could potentially have access to it. Lawmakers are concerned because Libre could make Facebook even more powerful and the company`s made
several high profile mistakes in handling its user`s privacy. It`s also been under pressure to prevent the spread of fake news and to ensure that
political advertisements on Facebook are truthful.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAXINE WATERS: Let me be clear. You do no fact checking on any ads. Is that correct?
MARK ZUCKERBERG: Chairwoman, what we do is we work with a set of independent fact checkers who - -
WATERS: Somebody fact checks on ads. You - - you contract with someone to do that is that right?
ZUCKERBERG: Chairwoman, yes.
WATERS: And tell me, who is it that they fact check on?
ZUCKERBERG: Chairwoman, what we do is when content is getting a lot of distribution and is flagged by members of our community or by our technical
systems, it can go into a queue to be reviewed by a set of independent fact checkers. They can`t fact check everything but the things that they get to
and - - and - - and if they - -
ZUCKERBERG: - - mark something as false than we - -
WATERS: My time has expired and someone else will continue on this line of questioning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: So add to that questions about Libre. Zuckerberg says it could extend America`s financial leadership and democratic values but lawmakers
could try to block it if they don`t think Facebook will be responsible enough with it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Libre has been called a simple, global currency but it`s actually pretty complex. This is how it`s
going to work. To access it, you need software and this is what Facebook`s version of that looks like. It`s called Calibre and when it launches next
year it will integrate Facebook messenger and WhatsApp. So in theory, you can send money just like you would send an emoji. So that`s what users are
going to see and here`s what`s going on behind the scenes. Essentially Libre is a cryptocurrency, a digital coin that exists on a block chain (ph)
but it`s different from the other cryptocurrencies we know like Bitcoin and here`s why.
It`s reserved back so it`s backed by real world assets. Every Libre coin will be matched by these real world assets. Those are going to be a basket
of bank deposits and short term government securities probably U.S. treasuries. Now that is - - is designed to make it stable, low volatility
assets. Essentially what`s been called a stable coin and that is also different from Bitcoin where we`ve seen these wild swings in the price
really every since that - - that currency started. Now it`s also designed to be low cost, small fees for cross border transfers. Facebook says it
will use the interest from the reserve of those assets to keep fees low for users of Libre.
Now it`s also supposed to be fast. We heard that the system when it comes to Bitcoin became increasingly clunky because it was overloaded. This will
handle this but says 1,000 transactions per second at launch. Now the big concern with all of this is how much power is Facebook going to have? It`s
already under scrutiny for it`s influence over society and its handling of customer data. Now when it comes to the currency Libre, Facebook says it
has no more power than any of the other 27 partners, companies like Rotophone, and like Visa, Lift, Ebay, Uber, all of those companies have an
equal vote. Facebook only controls the subsidiary Calibre and when it comes to data they say that the user data from Facebook will be kept
separate from the financial data from Calibre. Now of course for this whole project to succeed when it launches next year, building trust in this
system will be crucial. Clare Sebastian, CNN, New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: We`re calling time on 10 out of 10 today. There are TV timeouts, replay timeouts, injury timeouts and in Montana there are tumbleweed
timeouts or at least there was at a recent women`s soccer game between Helena High School and Kalispell Flathead. Some of the players posed with
it. A referee eventually grabbed it. Not much else you could do about it other than to let it keep rolling along, drifting along with the tumbling
That`s a musical reference on one will get. But tumbleweeds roll to their own "amaranth hem" really. They`re not "rooted" in anything at least not
anymore. They "branched" out without a place to plant themselves. They blow "a thistle way" and that tumbling as fast as the wind and causing
timeouts in soccer and on CNN 10. I`m Carl Azuz.