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A Tribute to Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O`Connor; Historic Climate Pledge from World Leaders Out of COP28; Scientists See Planet Forming Outside Our Galaxy. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired December 04, 2023 - 04:00   ET


COY WIRE, CNN 10 ANCHOR: What`s up superstar. Welcome to Monday, December 4th. We`re going to make this the best day, because it`s the next day.

There`s no such thing as remaining the same in life. We`re either getting a little better each day or a little worse. So let`s try to make this one

better. Shall we?

I`m Coy Wire. This is CNN 10. And we start by paying homage to a trailblazer. The first woman to sit on the us Supreme Court, Sandra Day

O`Connor. She passed away on December 1st at the age of 93, leaving behind a remarkable legacy. Ms. O`Connor graduated from Stanford Law School, but

was turned down by law firms in large part because she was a woman. So she and her husband started their own law firm and O`Connor kept working. She

would go on to become the first female majority leader in the Arizona State Senate, a judge of the Maricopa County Superior Court and the Arizona

County Court of Appeals.

Then in 1981, President Ronald Reagan nominated O`Connor to the Supreme Court. Current Chief Justice, John Roberts remembered O`Connor as a

fiercely independent defender of the rule of law. President Joe Biden hailed her as an American icon.

As the first female Supreme Court Justice, O`Connor inspired generations of female lawyers and paved the way for the five women who have served on the

high court since she was first nominated. Let`s go to Jessica Schneider to learn more about Sandra Day O`Connor`s life and legacy.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Sandra Day O`Connor grew up a cowgirl from Arizona, 25 miles from the nearest town.

FORMER JUSTICE SANDRA DAY O`CONNOR, U.S. SUPREME COURT: I tend to be a bit of a pragmatist probably, because we had to solve all our own problems out

on the ranch. If the truck broke down, we had to fix it. If some animal needed medical attention, we had to provide it. There wasn`t much we didn`t

have to do.

SCHNEIDER: She had the toughness ranch life can breed.

MARCI HAMILTON, FORMER O`CONNOR LAW CLERK: She was incredibly fearless about life and part of that was because her early life was very hard. Her

parents died, her grandmother died, she was shuttled back and forth between the ranch and relatives in Texas to go to school and she just became very


SCHNEIDER: O`Connor went to Stanford in the same law class as future Chief Justice William Rehnquist. They dated for a time and he even proposed. She

turned him down, but they stayed lifelong friends. Upon graduation, no law firm would hire O`Connor, so she eventually helped start her own, later

becoming a powerful state lawmaker, then judge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Reagan today settled the question of when he would nominate a woman to the nation`s highest court.

RONALD REAGAN, FMR. FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: She is truly a person for all seasons, possessing those unique qualities of temperament, fairness,

intellectual capacity, and devotion to the public good.

SCHNEIDER: In 1981, President Ronald Reagan nominated her to be the first woman on the Supreme Court. The Senate confirmed O`Connor unanimously, 99-


Over time, O`Connor became known as a moderate conservative on the court and often the swing vote on hot button social issues, a reference she

didn`t like.

O`CONNOR: We have an equal voice and I`m no more powerful than anyone else on this court. That`s for sure.

SCHNEIDER: Some criticized her as a fence sitter, waiting to see which way the wind would blow.

HAMILTON: Those would be the people who have never met her. Anybody who`s met her knows that she makes up her own mind, and she`s not at all

concerned about where anybody else is on the spectrum.

SCHNEIDER: In 2006, she stepped down from the court to care for her husband, John, who had Alzheimer`s disease. She became a passionate

advocate for Alzheimer`s research.

O`CONNOR: It does take a staggering toll on the families and the caregivers. I can certainly attest to that.

SCHNEIDER: In 2018, O`Connor revealed she too had been diagnosed with dementia and withdrew from public life.

The retired justice was grateful, she wrote, for her countless blessings and experiences, including helping to break the glass ceiling.

O`CONNOR: It wasn`t too many years before I was born that women in this country got the right to vote, for heaven`s sakes. And in my lifetime, I

have seen unbelievable changes in the opportunities for women. I think it`s important that women are well represented, that it is not an all-male

governance as it once was.


WIRE: The 28th meeting of the conference of the parties, the annual international climate summit hosted by the United Nations is underway in

Dubai and at COP28 this year, tens of thousands of world leaders, climate advocates and industry representatives are discussing how countries should

adapt to a rapidly changing planet. And for the first time ever, 123 countries have signed on to a pledge that formally acknowledges a link

between climate change and health. That`s according to the COP28 President. Let`s go to David McKenzie who`s in Dubai for more.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The focus of these critical climate talks in Dubai have shifted to the health impact of the

climate crisis. Scientists say more than 7 million people a year die from pollution, from mostly fossil fuel emissions and plants. But they`re also

the direct climate change impacts like searing heat waves and the expansion of pathogens like malaria because of a warming planet. The World Health

Organization says that health needs to become a focus.

DR. DIARMID CAMPBELL-LENDRUM, HEAD OF WHO CLIMATE CHANGE UNIT: So they think they`ve been negotiating about carbon emissions. The message we`re

bringing is that you`re actually negotiating about human lives and how many human lives you can save both by preventing the health risks of climate

change, but also saving an awful lot of lives by climate action through clean energy.

MCKENZIE: It`s unclear if the delegates here will come up with a concrete plan to phase out fossil fuel use in the future, that say health experts

would do a great deal towards helping the health impacts of the climate crisis.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two filmmakers were producing a documentary about the ecological damage caused by invasive muscles in the great lakes, when they

came across something much larger. They discovered what`s believed to be the shipwreck of the Africa, a cargo ship that hadn`t been seen in nearly

130 years. In 1895, the steamship was carrying coal from Ohio to Ontario, Canada when it disappeared during a Lake Huron snowstorm. None of the 11

crew members survived. An underwater drone captured footage of the ship break about 280 feet below the surface of the lake. And notice the ship was

covered with muscles.


WIRE: Ten second trivia.

We live in a galaxy called the Milky Way. What`s it shaped like? A globe, a spiral, a cloud, a candy bar?

If you said, spiral, put your hands up. If you could look down on the Milky Way galaxy, it would look like a spinning pinwheel type spiral.

Within our solar system, we have eight planets, but did you know that within our Milky Way galaxy, there are more than 5,000 known planets. And

now astronomers have caught a glimpse of a young star, 160,000 light years away outside of our Milky Way galaxy that could be forming a new planet.

Scientists believe that planets are formed when small grains of dust, which are circling and swirling around a star collide and fused together and

grow, kind of like a rolling snowball. Eventually a planet can be formed. This massive star called HH 1177 is in a galaxy called Large Magellanic

Cloud. And the star is surrounded by a rotating ring where it`s looking like the conditions could be just right. This is the first-time scientists

have witnessed a planet potentially being formed outside of our celestial neighborhood.

For today`s story getting a 10 out of 10 ice, ice baby, a kayaker took a frigid trip down a 65-foot-tall waterfall in the Arctic Circle, setting a

new world record, check it out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the biggest ever recorded drop of a glacial waterfall, according to Reuters. Catalan adventurer, Aniol Serrasolses,

descended the 20-meter ice waterfall in Svalbard archipelago in Norway. The 32-year-old and his crew had to climb up the ice cap using a ladder and

then walk nearly seven miles across the ice to reach the waterfall. Serrasolses said that navigating the rapids felt like kayaking in another




WIRE: All right, that`s all for me. I`ll see you tomorrow. I hope y`all have an ice day, just kidding. You didn`t think I`d give you the cold

shoulder, did you?

Shout out time, go tigers, Troy High School in Troy, New York, rise up. Remember let`s make this the best day because it`s the next day. I`m Coy.

This is CNN 10.