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CNN 10

United States Imposes new sanctions on Russia; A CNN Hero Works to Help Fellow Amputees.

Aired April 16, 2021 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: This week, we`ll be featuring a sale on Friday. They`re BOGA -- buy one, get awesome!

I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10. I hope your Friday is going well.

Tensions between the United States and Russia start things off for us.

On Thursday, U.S. President Joe Biden placed new sanctions, penalties on dozens of Russian organizations and several Russian individuals. These

sanctions prevent U.S. banks from doing business with certain Russian banks. They kicked out at least 10 Russian diplomats from the country`s

mission in Washington, D.C.


The Biden administration says there are several reasons. As far as the diplomats go, U.S. officials say some of them work for Russian

intelligence. That`s according to The Hill Media Company.

Last year, there was a cyber attack at an American software company called SolarWinds. That attack resulted in spying on U.S. government agencies and

private companies. The Biden administration says Russia is behind that. The Asian country calls the accusation nonsense.

American intelligence officials released a report last month that accused Russia of interfering in the 2020 U.S. presidential election and there have

been reports that Russia has been encouraging people in Afghanistan to kill American troops and their allies there. President Biden says all of this

constitutes an extraordinary threat to national security, foreign policy and the economy of the United States. Before the sanctions were announced,

he and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke over the phone on Thursday, and the U.S. leader said that while he was going to respond to Russia`s

actions, he was not looking to escalate tensions with Russia that he believes that`s in both nations` interest to find a stable and predictable

path forward in their relationship.

For its part, Russia`s government says it hasn`t been involved in what the U.S. government accuses it of doing and the nation`s foreign ministry

spokeswoman says her country will respond to the new U.S. sanctions in the coming days.

Almost exactly eight days ago, there was a terrorist attack near the finish line of the Boston marathon. Three people were killed and more than 250

others were injured.

Heather Abbott was one of the survivors, but her injury was permanent. And she was faced with a difficult choice, to live in pain possibly for the

rest of her life or take the advice of doctors and amputees and have her leg remove below the knee. What she went through opened her eyes to a

problem faced by other amputees and what she did in response to her nonprofit organization is the reason why Abbott is a CNN hero.


HEATHER ABBOTT, CNN HERO: Typically, insurance will pay for one prosthesis, so something that`s basic, like a metal walking prosthesis. Any

other prostheses like those defined for running or anything that looks realistic, they consider pragmatic and not medically necessary.

At the time, I was really concerned with not having any of my normal life taken away.

These are my many different legs. This one is my running legs. I have a little Boston Strong logo on it.

And for me, having those multiple prostheses I think kept my sanity intact to a certain degree.

This one is what I call my house legs. It has a sleeper on all the time.

Being able to do the things that I did before, being able to have some privacy about being an amputee.

And this is my high heel legs. I can paint the toenails. I can use toenail polish remover.

I need to carry (INAUDIBLE) in there with high heels.

And had my injury not happened in such a public way where there was so much assistance available, I never would have been able to afford to pay for all

those multiple prostheses.

Some of my recent beneficiaries.

So, I decided to start the Heather Abbott Foundation in order to do what I could to help people get those devices that simply couldn`t get them

because they were out of reach.

I met Corie (ph) quite a few years ago. She was one of our first beneficiaries. And Corie, lost her leg in a lawnmower accident when she was

2 years old. She was very active little girl at the time who wanted a running leg.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a good job with great insurance, I`m lucky. But it only covers the one leg a year because she`s growing, we`ve already

probably had eight or ten legs.

So, running leg would cost between $20,000 and $50,000. We would not be able to get a running leg with Heather`s help.

UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Some things I like to do are playing volleyball, basketball, bike, really just like stuff like it`s moving. The walking legs

only has flex angle. If I use a walking prosthetic, it`s a lot harder to run because there`s not as much spring as there is in the running leg.

Before, I`d always feel a little bit behind. Right now, I`m feeling like I`m catching up to everybody. So --

ABBOTT: She hasn`t let anything stopped her. Her mom sent me a video of her recently snowboarding and she looked amazing.

It is frustrating to see people that can`t have what they need to live up like they want just because money is an obstacle. It seems like that

shouldn`t be a question.

We helped around 42 people, which doesn`t sound like much, but because of the cost of these devices has been a big endeavor. We`ve been able to raise

a million and a half dollars over the last six years.

It has been life-changing for them and a lot of them remind me of that. They keep in touch and tell me about what they`re doing in their lives.

This whole experience just showed me a whole different part of life that I otherwise wouldn`t have known. And I do try to focus on all the positive

things that have resulted from that terrible day.



AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

Which of these organisms has the most known species?

Birds, spiders, grass or cockroaches?

Scientists believe there are more than 45,000 species of spiders out there.


AZUZ: What does a spider web sound like? We don`t know. But to help understand the creatures better, how they build their webs, how they

communicate, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently conducted an experiment. They scan spider webs with a laser. They

use the scans to create a 3D computer model of the web. Then they used artificial intelligence to assign musical note to the strands of the web.

When those virtual notes were played together, here`s what they sounded like.


AZUZ: An MIT engineering professor calls it unusual and eerie and scary but ultimately beautiful. He adds, researchers maybe learning to speak the

language of the spider and hopes this will lead to better communication with arachnids.


AZUZ: For a dozen Magellanic penguins in Argentina, it was big day. They were headed back out to sea. These animals were found in bad shape a while

back. Conservationists say they were malnourished and dehydrated and that caused some of them to lose their feathers that protect them from the cold.

After biologists said a rescue center nursed them back to health, the animals were released recently with conservationists, visitors and kids

looking on. All the penguins were dressed up for the occasion wearing their tuxedos.

Which was easy tuxedo. It looked like they were pengrinning from ear to ear, that they took one look at the ocean and wanted to flip, that they

were glad to be beak. Once they got penguin to the fact that they were back home, those animals took flight -- well, actually, they didn`t. But I don`t

think life less of them, after all, they got right back into the swim with no need to magel-panic.

I`m Carl Azuz with the news.

Newport News, that`s the city in Virginia where we heard from Woodside High School.

Have a great weekend y`all.