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Bolivia Endures a Political Crisis; Borneo Sees Its Rainforest Shrink
Aired November 12, 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: Welcome one, welcome all to CNN 10. This is your objective explanation of world events. And I`m your anchor, Carl
Azuz, hoping your week is going well so far.
Bolivia is the scene of today`s first story. The South American country is in a middle of a political crisis following a resignation of its president
early this week. And leaders around South America are trying to help Bolivia chart a path toward new elections.
Former President Evo Morales was first elected in 2005. He was reelected in 2009 and 2014, and his political party, the Movement Toward Socialism
Party, kept control of the government`s legislature as well. That helped former President Morales pushed through the laws he wanted.
In October of this year, he ran again for president, and while it looked like he was ahead of his opponent in the early results, there were problems
with the vote count. Opposition parties said it had been changed to benefit the incumbent president. And on Sunday, election monitors
published a report saying there were serious irregularities with the vote count that had an impact on the results.
The former leader and its allies in Latin America say a coup forced him out of power. There have been numerous coups and counter coups in Bolivian
history. But the nation`s opposition parties say this is a fight for democracy and peace.
It`s not clear yet who be the next person to lead Bolivia. Everyone who is next in line to the presidency has resigned.
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A political earthquake is rocking Bolivia after the country`s long-serving staunching leftist president, Evo
Morales, was forced to step down. It`s been weeks of violent protests and allegations that Morales had stolen an election to become president for a
fourth term. Morales had denied that and said that he was facing a coup. But after a report came out showing widespread fraud, Morales finally, on
Sunday, offered to hold new elections.
The offer came too late though for the country`s opposition, for the military and the police, many of whom had risen up against Morales. The
head of the military said on Sunday, it was time for Morales to leave office. And within hours, Morales did just that, shocking Bolivia and much
of Latin America.
He said that it was coup that was forcing him for power but that he recognized that if he didn`t leave, there will be bloodshed and he wanted
to avoid that.
Many of Morales` critics said that he`d become too authoritarian, that he was never planning on leaving the presidency and that he was essentially
becoming a dictator.
So, other countries have offered Evo Morales asylum, he says he`s not going anywhere. He may be out of power but he`s remaining in Bolivia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:
What is the third-largest island in the world behind Greenland and New Guinea?
Borneo, Madagascar, Great Britain or Cuba?
Borneo, which is divided between Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia is the world`s third largest island.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: Seventy-five percent of the island used to be covered by rainforest, according to the Smithsonian, but a significant chunk of that, experts say
as much as half of the remaining rainforest has been lost. Parts had been developed. Earlier this season, we told you how Indonesia plans to build
its new capital there. Parts have been cleared by logging. Parts had been burned and replaced by palm plantations.
Ivan Watson takes us to Indonesian Borneo, the largest part of the island, to explore some of the many reasons why it`s changing.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A grinding battle deep in the jungle. Firefighters on the Indonesian island
of Borneo struggled to control a forest fire that threatens a national park.
(on camera): This is just brutal, brutal work they`re doing here.
(voice-over): Toxic smoke in the tropical heat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have been fighting here for almost two weeks already in here. Stay in here. Sleep in here.
WATSON (on camera): The rainforests in Indonesia are burning. Firefighters have been battling this blaze for weeks. And at its peak this
summer, there were thousands of similar fires in other parts of the country.
(voice-over): The fighting on the ground and in the air.
(on camera): These are aerial firefighters. Right now, we`re on a water- bombing mission.
(voice-over): Helicopters dump giant buckets full of water on the flames.
(on camera): Bombs away.
(voice-over): Firefighters say this crisis was ignited by man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the fire coming, I think, from human, yes.
WATSON (on camera): You think humans started this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, of course.
WATSON (voice-over): An unusually dry summer fuels this inferno, visible from space. The haze engulfed cities in neighboring countries like
Singapore and Malaysia. While in Indonesia, the smog closed airports and schools, creating apocalyptic skies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes it feels like science fiction.
WATSON: This doctor saw panicked civilians flood his hospital. Indonesian authorities estimate about a million people suffered respiratory problems.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be grateful for the air that we have that is not toxic like this. Because not everyone can enjoy a fresh air.
WATSON: The forest fires also threatening one of Asia`s last great rainforests, home to orangutans, symbols of an entire ecosystem under
(on camera): This is Poppy and she`s a 1-year-old example of one of the world`s most endangered species. Right now, she`s attending a class in
(voice-over): Activists from the Centre for Orangutan Protection take orphaned animals and teach them to survive and hopefully, one day return
them to the wild.
As Borneo`s rainforests shrink, the orangutan population has plummeted.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The threat is deforestation maybe because of illegal logging or like conversion of the forest to make building or something by
human and also for the forest burning.
WATSON: These activists also rescue and relocate orangutans stranded by mass deforestation. The clash between man and nature on display when an
ape confronts the heavy machinery ripping down its home.
And this is what`s replacing much of Borneo`s jungle -- sprawling plantations of palm trees, Indonesia`s most lucrative cash crop.
Palm fruit like this makes a vegetable oil used in around half of all household products sold in your neighborhood grocery store. As palm oil
exports ballooned over the last 20 years, so did the Indonesian territory used to grow palms. It`s now bigger than entire countries, like England or
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s now way out of our control in Indonesia.
WATSON: Even this industry insider is calling for a stricter government regulation of the palm oil industry.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If we just do it halfway, we should always expect this forest and land fire in the future.
WATSON: But this cash crop has also lifted millions of Indonesians out of poverty -- people like this farmer.
Before I grew palms, I couldn`t even afford to feed my children chicken, he tells me. Farming palm, I`ve been able to buy a TV and a refrigerator.
The cheapest way to clear land for farming is to burn it. The government says it`s trying to crack down on these manmade fires.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For us, forest fire is a serious crime.
WATSON: Officials show me how they use thermal satellite imagery to detect fires to then prosecute palm oil companies. They say they`ve opened cases
against 21 companies in the last four years, but some activists fear it`s too little too late.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need the forest to live. So please protect the forest.
WATSON (voice-over): Ramadhani (ph) is trying to reintroduce a rescued orangutan named Michelle to the wild. But the island halfway house where
she now lives is in the shadow of a growing coal mine -- yet another industry, yet another threat.
Michelle`s protectors fear that in 20 years` time, there may be no forests left for these incredible animals.
Ivan Watson, CNN, Indonesian Borneo.
AZUZ: Not sure I agree with my colleagues who say these things are adorable. But they are remarkable.
You`re looking at what are called mini cheetahs. They`re frolicking around the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Students are
manipulating their every move with remote controllers. And while they`re not as fast as real cheetahs, these only run about nine miles per hour,
they re hoped to help with deliveries one day or maybe emergency response.
Want one? You may need to shell out around $10,000.
But wail (ph) you`re spotted walking your cheetah, some will say it`s one cool cat, while others will call you a cheetah because your pet might have
cat-like reflexes but run down with batteries, requiring a remote location and a recharge before it`s ready to get back of its own four feet. Yes,
cheetah puns. You knew that have to be fast.
And that`s all we`re feline like saying on CNN 10.