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Mystery on Brazil`s Coast; Japanese Emperor Proclaims His Status to the World
Aired October 25, 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 ANCHOR: Nine out of ten dentists agree Fridays are awesome, the tenth one just wasn`t telling the tooth. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10.
It`s great to see you today.
First story takes us to the largest country in South America, where a mystery is washing up along Brazil`s coast. Crude oil, hundreds of tons of
it, has appeared on Brazil`s northeast beaches. This has been going on since early September.
Roughly 1,200 miles of shoreline have been polluted. The mystery here is where it came from, no one knows yet.
Brazil`s government has tested the oil and officials say it did not come from Brazil. They believe it`s from Venezuela but they didn`t directly
blame Venezuela for the spill.
Brazil`s environmental minister says it might or might not have been an accident. It could have come from another country`s ship, for instance,
that was carrying Venezuelan oil. Venezuela says it`s not responsible.
Natural oil spills, when the substance simply seeps out of the ocean floor, are possible. But Brazil`s president thinks this could have been a
criminal act. Whoever or whatever is to blame, thousands of volunteers and government workers have been doing what they can to clean up the coast.
Environmentalists are concerned about the oil`s effects on the coral reefs in the area, and officials say a number of birds and sea turtles have been
found dead in the slick.
Critics of Brazil`s government say it hasn`t done enough to address the spill. Earlier this week, it said it was sending 5,000 more members of the
military to help out. Because people there don`t know here the oil`s coming from, they can`t say for sure whether the spill is getting worse or
Officially, the Pacific nation of Japan has had a new emperor since May, shortly after Emperor Akihito abdicated, or gave up, his throne. But it
wasn`t until this week that his son, Naruhito made his enthronement and that of his wife official.
This is the ceremony in which a new Japanese emperor proclaims his status to the world. It`s a centuries-old tradition filled with rituals and
attended by more than 100 high-ranking officials from around the globe. And it`s all for a position that`s mostly ceremonial.
Japan is officially a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Though its emperor is a symbol of the country and the unity of the Japanese people,
its decision-making power is in the hands of elected politicians. Of course, some of them were also at the ceremony.
Will Ripley explains the event.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The curtain opens on Japan`s Reiwa, the era of beautiful harmony. From atop a pavilion in Pine Hall, the most
prestigious place in Tokyo`s Imperial Palace, Emperor Naruhito officially declares his enthronement.
HIRONOMIYA NARUHITO, EMPEROR OF JAPAN (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Always wishing for the happiness of the people and the peace of the world.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The visuals are very impressive today; the taking of the throne, 1,000 year tradition. But it`s what they will do going forward
with this message of promoting peace, promoting happiness. This is the Reiwa era that we have anticipated and that they are going to fulfill.
RIPLEY: Adorned in 30-pound robes, styled centuries ago, the new emperor and Empress Masako are a surprisingly modern couple. He went to Oxford,
she went to Harvard. Both speak English, perfect for hobnobbing with dignitaries from 174 countries, including Britain`s Prince Charles, who
also attended the enthronement of Emperor Emeritus Akihito in 1990. Akihito abdicated more than five months ago and did not attend today`s
enthronement, keeping the spotlight on his son.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe briefly put politics aside. Shouting --
SHINZO ABE, PRIME MINISTER OF JAPAN: (Speaking in Japanese).
RIPLEY: -- long live the emperor before resuming an exhausting schedule of at least 50 bilateral meetings, with leaders from nearly every corner of
This is perhaps Japan`s biggest moment in the global spotlight until next summer`s 2020 Olympics. Will Ripley, CNN, Tokyo.
AZUZ: Ten-second trivia. Which of these historical figures might not have actually existed, King Arthur, Saint Patrick, Alexander the Great, or Joan
Everyone here is historically well documented except Britain`s legendary King Arthur.
Legend has it that only Arthur, as a boy, was able to draw the magical sword from the stone, indicating he would be king. And a real-life sword
in a stone was recently located in a river in the European country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It`s been called Excalibur, like a weapon from the
No one knows how it got stuck in a rock about 36 feet below the water`s surface. It was reportedly found while archaeologists were investigating a
medieval castle nearby. Because they believe it dates back to the 1300s and because it was stuck in a stone, it wasn`t easy for them to separate it
and bring it to dry land.
There aren`t a lot of medieval swords found in this part of the world. The last one was located 90 years ago. So researchers are hoping to learn more
about the region`s history from the modern discovery.
We have an update for you today on the work of a CNN Hero named Amanda Boxtel. In the 1990s she was paralyzed in a skiing accident and told she
wouldn`t walk again. But in the decades that followed, Boxtel`s been able to go skiing, mountain biking and parasailing, thanks in part to technology
and physical therapy.
The thing is, high-tech therapy like this is expensive. She says some of it can cost $90,000. So Boxtel started a non-profit organization called
Bridging Bionics to help people with mobility issues get treatment they otherwise might not be able to afford. Here`s an example of how it`s
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: For so many people, jumping rope is a regular part of their workout routine.
But for Nate White (ph), jumping rope is a stunning achievement. Three years ago, Nate (ph) compressed his spine and broke his vertebrae in a
kayaking accident. He was told he`d never walk again.
But then, he met CNN Hero Amanda Boxtel. She and her non-profit Bridging Bionics helped get Nate (ph) back on his feet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am a robot.
COOPER: Their (ph) free or low-cost therapeutic sessions and access to cutting-edge technology was a game-changer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This type of technology, it`s not easily accessible. It`s not affordable. Why not?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I got out of the hospital, my insurance company gave me 10 hour-long physical therapy sessions for the year. I do 10
physical therapy sessions in a week and I need to, to keep making progress. And as a teacher, that just wasn`t financially possible for me.
It`s about a year behind in my right (ph).
COOPER: Nate (ph) regained function in his right leg first, followed by his left. Today, he`s not just walking, but running, mountain biking,
playing basketball and, yes, even kayaking.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amanda took me under her wing. She always believed that I was going to be walking again.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s living the miracle of what we all want and what we all aspire for. Yet, it`s not just with Nate (ph). This is the power
of technology that everybody should have access to. That`s my goal.
AZUZ: Last month, we told you how scientists said they`d taught rats to play hide and seek. Can rats be taught to drive?
They can`t reach the pedals in a Ford pickup, but in a University of Richmond study they were taught to dive these ROVs -- that`s rat-operated
vehicles. Their reward was Fruit Loops.
And they were found to be better drivers if they`d been raised in a more stimulating environment, like a cage with toys opposed to a boring lab cage
without them. The lab cage rats reportedly failed their driving course.
They were accused of breaking the law by tailgating. They had squeaky breaks. They never yielded the rat-of-way. They always drove over the
mouseimum speed limit and they struggled making rat turns.
Seems the researchers ratted them out and now they`ll never pass the driver`s pest.
I`m Carl Azuz. Have a great weekend, from all of us here at CNN.