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NATO And Russia Face Off Over Events Concerning Ukraine; Uncertainty And Controversy Precede he Upcoming Olympics; America`s Pastime Sees A Lockout. Aired 4-4:10a ET
Aired December 03, 2021 - 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: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz and Fridays are awesome. Facts. We`re happy to have you as we get rolling on our last show of the
week. It begins in eastern Europe where trouble`s been brewing between members of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the nation of
Russia. NATO was formed in 1949 as a guard against the influence of the Soviet Union.
Its 30 member nations include the United States, many countries in Europe and several countries that used to be part of the Soviet Union. The stand-
off between NATO and Russia centers on what`s happening in Ukraine. This is a divided nation. Some people there want closer ties to Europe, others
want closer ties to Russia. An armed conflict over this has been taking place in Ukraine since 2014.
The side that wants independence from Ukraine has Russian support, and because Russia`s been building up its troops along its western border with
Ukraine, NATO has concerns that Russia may be planning to invade the eastern European country. The U.S. has called for Russia to pull troops
out of the area and return to its normal peace time position. Russia has repeatedly said it will not invade Ukraine, and its government says it`s
concerned about NATO expanding its influence eastward towards Russia.
It wants NATO to promise that it won`t build up military or weapons anywhere close to the Russian border, what happens next is anyone`s guess.
U.S. and Russian officials have held meetings to discuss the problem and a direct conversation between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President
Vladimir Putin is reportedly in the works. Even if their countries exchange threats over the situation in Ukraine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned Russia on Wednesday that they would face severe consequences
if Russia decides to invade Ukraine. Those consequences, Blinken said, would include what he called high-impact economic measures that have never
before been used against Russia.
He did not detail those measures, though the secretary general of NATO went a little bit farther telling CNN that the alliance has a wide range of
economic, financial and political tools that could be used against Russia. The alliance, including Secretary Blinken, clearly hoping that this threat
of severe consequences will get Russia to deescalate after massing tens of thousands of troops along the border with Ukraine.
Blinken said it is not yet clear whether Russia has made the decision to invade Ukraine or not, only saying that they have put in place the capacity
to do so in short order. What the U.S. and the rest of NATO is seeing right now Blinken said, is very similar to what they saw right before the
Russian invasion of Ukraine back in 2014 when they annexed Crimea. That is not just tens of thousands of troops along Ukraine`s border. It`s also a
In fact, Blinken said, that over the past 24 hours there has been a 10-fold spike in social media anti-Ukrainian propaganda that paints Ukraine as the
aggressors. Blinken making clear today that despite the threat of severe consequences, there is still what he called a diplomatic off ramp for
Russia to take in order to deescalate the situation. Alex Marquardt, CNN, in Stockholm.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: It`s been seven months after the start of the Summer Olympics, which were delayed because of the COVID pandemic, but Winter Games are set to
kick off in Beijing, China on February 4th. There is some uncertainty about these Olympics. Just like there was about the last games. Concerns
about corona virus factor in, and at least two countries, the U.S. and Britain are considering a diplomatic boycott of the games.
That means their athletes would still be allowed to compete, but American and/or British government officials would not go to the event. The reason
for that is China`s alleged human rights abuses. The communist government`s reported mistreatment of different individuals and groups.
Despite the controversy swirling around these Olympics though, it looks like the games will go on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Two months before the start of the Winter Olympic Games, a new COVID variant is surfacing globally, but Beijing is
hoping its strict COVID defenses will keep Omicron away. It won`t be easy.
CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I do think it is cause for concern. This is the last thing that organizers would want. This is just not the
big question mark that anyone would want at this moment.
CULVER: While the new variant has not yet been reported within mainland China, there are several confirmed cases in neighboring Hong Kong. A
foreign ministry spokesperson saying that the Omicron variant will pose some challenges but their confident the Winter Olympics will be held
smoothly and successfully as scheduled.
China already has some of the toughest containment measures in place. Mass testing by the tens of millions, strict digital contact tracing and
targeted community lockdowns, all part of our daily lives here. This is close as we can get to some of the iconic Olympic structures from 2008,
repurposed for the Winter Olympics, but now sealed off in a COVID bubble of sorts.
On top of the health concerns, growing calls for Olympic boycotts as Beijing continues to deny widespread allegations of human rights abuses.
The Women`s Tennis Association suspending tournaments within China, as it reiterates calls for Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai to be able to speak
freely and openly.
SIMON CHADWICK, DIRECTOR, CENTRE FOR EURASIAN SPORT INDUSTRY: What we now in the early stages of what I think is a full scale, ideological battle,
that ultimately could culminate in the United States under the western nations engaging in a full boycott of the Beijing Winter Games in 2022.
CULVER: But it seems here within China most folks are unaware of the controversies surrounding these Olympic games. (Inaudible) to get stores
like this filled with Olympic merchandise. And folks here shopping, seemingly filled with a lot of excitement and joy, even national pride.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE TRANSLATED: We are very excited. Beijing just hosted the 2008 Olympic games and now it`s the Winter games again. This is truly
CULVER: Even with mounting uncertainties, much like 2008 China is expected to put on a spectacular show. Question is, will folks watching from the
outside be wow`d or see it all as a fancy facade, covering up an increasingly authoritarian state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. What event made baseball history in 1903? First Interleague Game, First night game, First World Series or First perfect
game. (Inaudible) Boston Americans defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first ever World Series.
For the first time since the 1994 and 1995 seasons, there`s been an official work stoppage in Major League Baseball, What did that mean with
this year`s season already over? Well for one thing, players can`t use team facilities for training or rehabbing injuries and free agents can`t
sign new contracts for the time being, also trades aren`t allowed. What is this about? Players and owners have failed to reach a new collective
bargaining agreement, a set of conditions for training and games to take place.
Players` salaries, schedules, free agency rules, post- season rules, they`re all part of this. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said owners were
forced to institute a quote, "defensive lockout" because the Players Association wanted changes that could keep most teams from being
competitive. The Players Union says the lockout, which isn`t required by law, was designed by owners to pressure players to give up important rights
and benefits. This is the ninth time there`s been a work stoppage in Major League Baseball. If it continues into the new year, it could affect the
2022 season. Spring training is scheduled to begin in February.
If you`ve always dreamed of spending Christmas "Home Alone" style and I don`t mean without people. I mean in the Chicago area house whose halls
are decked with 1990 movie glory, here`s your chance. The home that "Home Alone" was filmed in is available for rent. It`s not expensive. Twenty-
five bucks gets you through the front door, but you`ll probably have to beat out thousands of phones (ph) fans during booking as it`s only
available for one overnight stay, one time.
We`re guessing the burglars are not included, though plenty of wallpaper is. And Air B&B says the tarantula will be there, though it`s not
"arachneeded". Of course, you`ll have to "Chic-a-go" there "ya filthy animal" if you win, but just beating out the competition for that "Home
Alone" will be a close "after shave". And for the winning fan of the movie and the nostalgia, you "Caulkan Macaulay" it home sweet home. I`m Carl
Azuz. Skyview High School gets today`s shout out. It`s great to see our viewers in Billings, Montana and we`re grateful to all of you for watching