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CNN 10

NATO Announces New Initiatives Concerning Ukraine; A Conservationist Works To Help Pakistani Farmers Whose Livestock Is Threatened By Snow Leopards. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired March 25, 2022 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: We have made it to Friday. Awesome. I`m Carl Azuz. I`m your anchor here at CNN.

And we start today in the European nation of Belgium. At a news conference yesterday at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, U.S. President Joe Biden

said America had sent $2 billion worth of military equipment to help Ukrainian forces fight Russia. He announced the U.S. would spend more than

a billion dollars on humanitarian aid for Ukrainian civilians and hundreds of millions on pro-democracy and human rights efforts in Ukraine and other


Analysts say the conflict in Ukraine has created the worst refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. The United Nations estimates that three and a

half million Ukrainians have left their country mostly for other European nations, though more than 270,000 are believed to have gone into Russia.

President Biden said yesterday that America would allow 100,000 Ukrainians to move to the United States.

The U.S. is a member and the biggest contributor to the NATO alliance of North American and European countries, and though Ukraine is not a member

of that alliance, the U.S. president said it was standing together in opposing Russia`s invasion.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Putin was banking on NATO being split. My early conversation with him in December in early January, it was

clear to me he didn`t think we could sustain this cohesion. NATO has never, never been more united than it is today. Putin is getting exactly the

opposite what he intended to have as a consequence of going into Ukraine.


AZUZ: The Russian government said yesterday that NATO`s decision to support Ukraine proves the alliance wants the conflict there to continue

and it said the weapons that NATO is sending to Ukraine`s military are, quote, reaping terrible results.

Meantime, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskyy asked NATO for more weapons, including tanks, defenses against air attacks and fighter jets.

But that`s one thing the U.S. has resisted sending to Ukraine. It`s concerned that Russia would see the fighter jets as going too far, that

they`d be viewed as an American expansion of the conflict.

At this point, there`s no end in sight to it. Extensive destruction can be seen in Ukrainian cities and both Ukraine and Russia have lost thousands of

troops in the war. NATO leaders are trying to figure out what to do if Russia changes its tactics and uses more deadly weapons like chemical or

nuclear weapons.

President Biden said America would respond if Russia made a chemical attack, but that how the U.S. responds would depend on how the weapons were


In the past, Russia has promised not to make or use chemical arms, and officials say there`s no evidence they`ve been used in this conflict.


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

Which of these animals is not considered endangered?

Snow leopard, slender-snouted crocodile, basking shark or giant otter?

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature classifies all these animals as endangered, except the snow leopard.


AZUZ: The snow leopard used to be on the IUCN`s red list of endangered species, and the animal is still considered vulnerable. Encyclopedia

Britannica says there are between 2,500 and 10,000 snow leopards left in the wild, though other estimates put the number much lower. Their

population is reportedly decreasing though and there are several possible reasons why.

One is that they may be hunted for their use in traditional Chinese medicine. Disease may play a factor, as might loss of their natural

habitat. But snow leopards are also known to attack the livestock of nearby farmers. So, a conservationist is taking action to protect their livelihood

while also protecting the snow leopards themselves.


SHAFQAT HUSSAIN, PROFESSOR OF ANTHROPOLOGY, TRINITY COLLEGE, CONNECTICUT: It is really a spectacular area of the world and especially in winter. It`s

so beautiful. The sense of remoteness the sense of isolation is very acute and when you go further higher up or deeper into the heart of the

mountains, there is a very good chance that a snow leopard might walk right in front of me.

The first time I heard a snow leopard roar, I still remember a long time ago. Suddenly, I heard this roaring call. I mean, if anything it was just

sheer wildness.

My name is Shafqat Hussain. I`m a professor of anthropology at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. I work on a snow leopard conservation

project in northern Pakistan that has been running for the last 20 years.

I have never seen a snow leopard in the wild. You`re dealing with an animal that is very, very elusive and its habitat is very difficult to study. Many

times, I have told my colleagues when you know we are setting up camera traps or doing surveys. That I`m sure that a snow leopard is watching me

from somewhere up there.

The snow leopards are incessant communicators. I wonder what they would do if they had, you know, all this new social media technology, right, because

just like we human beings, we are always connecting. And you can see the snow leopard you know doing the same by leaving all these marks in their

territory, whether it`s a spray or leaving their cheek hair, as if these cats are trying to communicate with other cats in this big, vast and empty


We have been working in close to 25 villages in the region of Baltistan. Ninety-five percent of these people keep livestock and they also have small

agricultural fields and every now and then, their livestock gets attacked by predators such as snow leopard that really brings a huge economic loss

for these people. So, then they retaliate by attacking and killing these predators.

We have set up close to 20 small micro insurance programs, where local people get compensated for their losses. The other strategy is to construct

predator-proof corrals because that is very impactful in the long run-in reducing mortality from snow leopard attacks. We are also implementing a

conservation education program, unless we get the human equation side right. It`s very difficult to sustain any conservation effort in the long


We think that in our area we can claim that snow rapid population is stable. There`s also a threat from climate change and global warming with

receding ice line but I think snow leopards will definitely be around for a long, long time. I hope that in the years to come, snow leopard sighting

will become an everyday phenomenon.



AZUZ: Doug was thought to be a potato. It smelled like a potato. It tasted like a potato. It didn`t really look like a potato. And sadly, for the New

Zealand couple that dug up Doug, it`s not a potato.

After finding Doug in their garden, they thought they`d stumbled across a record-sized spud. Doug weighed 17.4 pounds. But after extensive research

and DNA analysis, experts concluded that Doug is a tuber of a type of gourd that might have come from a choko.

Even if they were grounded, they weren`t potatotally disappointed they still had something tuber, and they could always put on their nightshades

and starch looking to spud the roots of another side for their vegetable. All they got to do at this point is to keep their eyes peeled. All right.

I`m Carl Azuz. Today`s shout-out takes us to Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania, where we are happy to see you, the students of Boiling Springs High School.

We hope all y`all have a great weekend.