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CNN 10

Coup in Myanmar Led By The Country`s Military; Protecting The Endangered Whale Shark; Pandas Play At the National Zoo

Aired February 02, 2021 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: The south Asian country of Myanmar also known as Burma is where we begin today`s show. I`m Carl Azuz. We`re glad to have

you watching. The troubled country is located between Bangladesh and Thailand. We say troubled because it`s in the middle of a military coup, a

takeover, and that military announced yesterday it had removed and replaced Myanmar`s civilian leader and 24 members of her government. The Burmese

military has taken over before in 1962. It ruled the country for decades after that and when it didn`t like the results of an election in 1990, it

put an elected party leader under house arrest.

To complicate matters further, the nation`s government has fought conflicts with ethnic groups who want their independence from Myanmar. A militant

group linked to the nation`s Rohingya muslims attacked government forces in 2016 and 2017 and the military responded by cracking down on Rohingyas

causing hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee to neighboring Bangladesh. So the instability in Myanmar deepens.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a textbook example of a military coup.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Troops showing up before dawn at the homes of elected lawmakers in Myanmar arresting them in the dark.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An announcement read out on the military owned TV channel declaring that this man, military chief Min Aung Hlang is assuming

control of the government.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE TRANSLATED: The state of emergency is in effect nationwide and the duration of the state of emergency is set to one year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now detained and held incommunicado the country`s defacto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, along with the president and a growing

number of other top government officials from her National League for Democracy Party.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`ve also heard that, you know, activists and some student leaders, politicians from around the country, not just in Naypitaw

and Yangon. They`ve been taken and, you know, there`s just no way to verify with a hour of what they`re doing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For many in Myanmar, the military shocking power play is a traumatic reminder of what up until 2015, had been more than a half

century of military dictatorship where any public descent was brutally crushed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s devastating because now people are wondering, are we doing to live under another five to seven decades of this shadow

over us?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: During military rules, Suu Kyi became an international symbol of Myanmar`s pro-democracy movement. Winning a Nobel Peace Prize

while under house arrest in Yangon for some 15 years. That changed in 2015 when the military finally allowed the country`s first modern democratic


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The people who have decided that they must be involved in the political process of this country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People celebrated in the streets after Suu Kyi and her party won by a landslide. She entered an uneasy power sharing agreement

with the military. But excitement over Myanmar`s transition to civilian rule faded in 2017, amid disturbing scenes of hundreds of thousands of

members of the Rohungya Muslim Ethnic Minority fleeing across the border to Bangladesh to escape a brutal military crackdown.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aung San Suu Kyi was their ethnic cleansing in Rakhine State.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Nobel Peace Prize winner defended the military rejecting accusations of genocide. On November 8, 2020, the people of

Myanmar went back to the ballot box in another national election. Despite the threat of COVID-19, they voted in huge numbers expanding Suu Kyi`s

mandate and all but crushing military backed candidates at the polls. Without providing evidence, the military claimed electoral fraud and has

now used these claims to justify its overthrow of the government.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Burmese military has proven themselves very capable of slaughtering its own people. So we have a -- an extremely, you know,

troubling situation from here on because the pretense of civility in politics, pretense of democratization is finished.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A country with a long, violent history now headed into a new period of deep uncertainty.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. What is the only animal species in the Genus Rhincodon? Whale Shark, Meerkat, Gray Parrot or Lemur. Answer here is the

biggest fish in the sea. The Whale Shark which can weigh more than 40,000 pounds.

Despite that and the fact that there as big as school buses, whale sharks are a pretty good choice if you`re going to be swimming with sharks.

They`re found around the world in warm waters. They`ve been an endangered species since 2016. Two of the biggest threat they face are habitat loss

and fishing including times they`ve been caught by accident. But there are people working to protect and study this enormous fish.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love jumping in with whale sharks but it can be intimidating. They`re the biggest fish in the sea. There as big as a bus

and to have such a huge creature come at you out of the deep blue, it sort of does take your breath away. I`ve swam with whale sharks on thousands of

occasions but I still get a buzz every time I go out. Broadest Island (ph) has a long history in my life. We used to come here on our school holidays

and it was here I got to swim and snorkel in this beautiful environment and that really encouraged me to want to go down the path of being a marine

biologist. Where we`re starting to find out areas of critical importance to whale sharks, where they`re traveling to for (inaudible) aspects of

their life.

Whale sharks are covered in a beautiful pattern of -- of lines and spots but how do we compare one pattern of the spots against another. So we

adapted an algorithm that NASA scientists use in their Hubble Space Telescope to map stars in the night sky. We mapped the pattern of spots on

the skin of a whale shark and then like fingerprint recognition scan that photo against the thousands of other photos and if it`s a match, it`s the

same shark. The wild book for whale shark is an online database that encourages members of the public to be citizen scientists. If they get to

see a whale shark and they swim with one to take a photo of the area, the special ID area which is behind the gills.

Take a photo of that area, send it into the wild book but as we find more about these animals it`s going to help us work out systems and ways to

protect them in the long term. Over the last few years, the -- the numbers of -- of sightings have been coming in is -- is increasing all the time.

It`s so important to have members of the public assisting with our project by taking a photograph and helping us with our research. We can all work

together to save this species.


AZUZ: As forecasters predicted, several inches of snow have fallen on Washington, D.C. this week and it ain`t just people who`ve noticed and

taken advantage. The Smithsonian released this video of two pandas at play at the National Zoo. Doesn`t look like they need a sled and it doesn`t

matter that these two animals are in their early 20s. They`re a couple of cubs in the snow.

Well there`s "snowthing" wrong with taking a day to "chill". They "havebelowzero" reasons not to fancy a "flurry" of frolicking fun and

that`s "icactly" the kind of "ice to see" to give us all a little "bamboost". We`re glad they didn`t "flake" out. Hey, we here it`s also

snowy in Elkins, West Virginia. Shout out to Elkin`s Mountain School. We hope you`re having fun and staying warm. I`m Carl "Iczuz" for CNN.