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CNN 10

A Blackout In Puerto Rico; The Confirmation Of A U.S. Supreme Court Justice; Alleged War Crimes By Russia. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired April 08, 2022 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi. I`m Carl Azuz.

Before I was on air, I said that if I ever got that shot, I would begin every week-ending show with the words "Fridays are awesome". Promise kept.

Here are a trio of headlines to kick things off this Friday:

First, on the island of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory about a thousand miles southeast of Florida, the lights went out Wednesday night.

Electricity to the whole island of more than 3 million people was lost after a fire at a power plant. Firefighters were able to douse the flames

but most Puerto Ricans still didn`t have electricity Thursday morning.

School was cancelled, part of a hospital temporarily lost power after it had problems with its backup generator, and water service was stopped to

about a hundred thousand homes and businesses. Utility officials expected things to be back up and running Thursday night. They think the island-wide

blackout might have been caused by a circuit breaker failure and they`ve ordered replacement parts for the damaged plant.

Second, the U.S. Supreme Court is getting a new justice. On Thursday, the Senate voted 53-47 to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson as an associate

justice. President Joe Biden nominated her to the position in late February after Associate Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement.

Following the Senate vote in which three Republicans joined all 50 Democrats in supporting the nomination, Jackson will become the first Black

woman to serve in the Supreme Court. She`s scheduled to be sworn in this summer after Justice Breyer`s retirement takes effect.

Supreme Court appointments are highly important to America`s two major political parties. They each want justices who will interpret the law in a

way the parties agree with. Currently, three members of the court were appointed by Democrats, six were appointed by Republicans.

That won`t change when Jackson is seated. She was nominated by a Democratic president. She`s replacing a justice who is nominated by a Democrat. So

what`s referred to as the court`s ideological balance is expected to stay the same.

Third, another U.S. congressional vote, this one concerns the nation of Russia. The Senate and House of Representatives have overwhelmingly

approved legislation that economically punishes Russia for invading Ukraine. The law suspends normal trade relations between America and

Russia, and it bans the import of Russian oil, coal and natural gas to the U.S. The bill is now headed to President Biden`s desk for signature.

This is another step in the American government`s efforts to penalize Russia and support Ukraine without sending U.S. troops to fight on

Ukraine`s side.

Separately, the United Nations General Assembly voted Thursday to suspend Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council. The United States which pushed

for Russia`s suspension says it shouldn`t be part of a group that promotes respect for human rights.

Russia called the vote politically motivated and said it decided to voluntarily end its own membership. This all happened after Russia was

accused of committing war crimes in Ukraine.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: War criminal. This is the tag being slapped on Russian President Vladimir Putin by U.S. President Joe Biden.


FOREMAN: The term covers a range of offenses and deliberately targeting civilians as chief among them. Russia has repeatedly denied it`s going

after civilian targets, but there`s vast evidence to the contrary.

Remember that maternity hospital that was bombed, the theater where people were hiding, the family killed by a Russian strike on an evacuation route,

just look at the bombed-out center of Mariupol -- the Kremlin claims with no proof that the maternity hospital was being used as a Ukrainian combat

position and all patients and medical staff had left. They also deny hitting the theater, claiming a Ukrainian army battalion blew up that


But even then, to avoid being labeled as possible war crimes, attacks on civilian sites must be proportional enough to counter the military threat

but not to unduly endanger the civilian population, which brings us to other actions that may be considered war crimes.

Some of the weapons the Russians are reportedly using in Ukraine are indiscriminate these weapons can kill at random. Cluster bombs which human

rights groups say have been used by Russia are released in the air by a missile and can scatter smaller bomblets over a wide area injuring or

killing anyone near including civilians. The same goes for thermo baric or vacuum bombs, which fill the air with fuel vapor then ignite it with

catastrophic effect.

The International Criminal Court is already investigating allegations of war crimes committed at Putin`s command. So if they find evidence, what

next? The International Criminal Court in the Netherlands located in and often referred to as The Hague is a judicial body supported by the vast

majority of the world`s nations.

It could pursue charges against Putin while he is in Russia but this is where huge stumbling blocks appear. It can be incredibly challenging and

take years to gather evidence to prove the intent behind the attacks and that someone as high up as Putin is responsible and convictions are rare.

What`s more? The court does not try people in absentia. Russia would need to hand Putin over and that seems unlikely considering Russia, Ukraine and

the United States are among the few nations that do not recognize the court`s jurisdiction, even though the U.S. may more generally support the

court`s actions.

Still there can be consequences for Putin. Being charged with war crimes even without a conviction could damage his political standing and would put

him at risk of arrest if he ever left Russia.



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

Which of these buildings was considered the first skyscraper?

Chicago Savings Bank Building, Home Insurance Building, New York Tribune Building, or Empire State Building?

According to Guinness World Records Chicago`s 10-story Home Insurance Building was completed in 1885.


AZUZ: It`s one thing to live in a historic building, a tall building or to be able to leap one in a single bound. But would you want to live in the

world`s skinniest skyscraper?

It`s now open in New York City. Steinway Tower is named for the famous piano company that used to have a concert hall here. The newly constructed

building added to that is 1,428 feet high. One of the tallest skyscrapers in the Western hemisphere, and it has a height to width ratio of 24 to 1.

For perspective, a ruler standing on its end has a height to width ratio of 12 to 1, according to real estate website "Curbed New York". So, by that

measurement, Steinway Tower is twice as skinny as a ruler.

Is it safe? We`re sure it`s developers would say so. But similar and wider skyscrapers than this have been known to sway a few inches or a few feet in

the wind so some prospective buyers might find that unnerving.

There are 60 condominiums available at Steinway. Because the building`s so skinny, there`s only one of them on each residence floor. And if this is

the kind of home you`ve always dreamed of, you`re going to need a few bucks. A studio apartment here lists for $7.7 million, and if you want the

penthouse at the top, you`ll need $66 million.

That does get you more than 7,000 square feet of living space but it`s spread out over three levels because -- well, skinny. So keep this in mind

when shopping for something that`s a slim fit at the height of luxury.


AZUZ: Dang, bro. That drive-thru worker was tall. Make that three of them, because what do you do after serving up the biggest comeback in NCAA

tournament history, you serve up chicken. At least three players from the University of Kansas men`s basketball team did that on Wednesday at a

restaurant in Lawrence, Kansas.

But, Carl, you might be asking, why? They said it was a way to connect with fans and show appreciation for their support.

And when you think about it, chicken fingers and basketball have a lot in common. They`re both dunked with sauce. They`re good on a fast break. You

can always get a box in one. They both involve foul and they`re served up in baskets. So, why shouldn`t ballers cross over to take a shot at a drive-


I`m Carl Azuz. Today`s shout-out goes out to Giltner Public School. It is located in the village of Giltner, Nebraska. Hope your weekend is a win.