Return to Transcripts main page

CNN 10

Why This Long-Anticipated Temple Has Divided India; Spike of Chinese Nationals Coming to The U.S.; Canadian Photographer Whose Latest Creative Winter Project Appears Frozen in Time. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired January 23, 2024 - 04:00   ET


COY WIRE, CNN 10 ANCHOR: What`s up sunshine? Hope you`re off to a strong start to your day. Let`s take some good energy into this Tuesday, January

23rd and rise up.

Today is the New Hampshire primary, which is the first primary election of the season. Unlike what we saw in Iowa last week, which was a caucus

system, New Hampshire voters will cast their ballots today as they would do with any other vote. But today we`re not getting into the latest numbers

around the U.S. election. Instead, I want to focus on border security. It`s a heated topic lately and it`s going to certainly play a major role in this

year`s presidential election.

And while there are plenty of policy arguments worth discussing, today I want to focus on one of the many groups that have been making their way to

the U.S. border, Chinese nationals. It`s a group that has seen a recent spike in migration activity here in the U.S. According to government data,

more than 31,000 people from China were caught crossing illegally into the U.S. from Mexico in the first 11 months of 2023. That`s more than 20 times

the yearly average over the previous decade. Our David Culver recently followed a few Chinese migrants to learn more about why they are choosing

to make this risky journey.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): Goodbye, my homeland.

DAVID CULVER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: If crossing the U.S. southern border is step one, then step two, for these Chinese migrants, might just

be even more daunting. You`ve made it. Now what?

(On camera): How is it now that you`re in the United States?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s freedom.

CULVER: Freedom, they tell us. Even as Border Patrol handcuffs and leads them onto buses to be processed, where they go from here and who helps them

along the way might surprise you.

(On camera): We`re going to go down to the basement here. He said he`s got a couple of rooms.

(Voice-over): From Southern California to New York, we meet dozens of Chinese migrants who`ve taken near identical paths to get to the U.S.

(On camera): And you expect more to come?


CULVER: Oh, maybe put in another bed, do you think?

JU: Yes.

CULVER (voice-over): Community leader Ma Ju tours me through the many rooms of this flushing house where he hosts migrants from China.

(On camera): You have Christians?

JU: Yes, yes. Buddhists.

CULVER: Buddhists.

JU: Muslim.

CULVER: Muslim, all under one roof?

JU: Yeah.

CULVER: Behind each door, we find a different story.

(On camera): You`re learning English? It`s your daughter?


CULVER: And where is she right now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In China, in China.

CULVER: She`s in China right now. Does it surprise you that we`re seeing such a surge in Chinese migrants coming to the U.S.?

I`m not surprised, Ma says. I think this is just the beginning. But Ma stresses that this goes beyond politics and economics. Coming to the U.S.

is their way of seeking dignity, he says.

Ye Chengxiang is seeking that dignity for his wife and their two young daughters. He says the Chinese Communist Party`s crackdowns on faith,

especially towards Muslims, motivated him to leave.

To me, he says, the U.S. has felt like a soft, warm embrace.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My favorite color is blue. Thank you.

CULVER: While some feel hope, there are those like 28-year-old Zheng Shiqing, who feel mounting pressure to find work. He crossed into the U.S.

a few weeks ago and is eager to repay money he borrowed from family and friends to make the trek.

There`s an army of migrants marching north, he tells me. It is going to be so competitive to get a job. He sees the migration influx as added career

competition. He looks to those who`ve come before him, like Wang Qun, in the U.S. now for more than a year and a half.

After flying to Ecuador in the spring of 2022, Wang then rode motorcycles, buses, and boats to get to the U.S.-Mexico border, eventually making it to

Los Angeles with a dream to become a truck driver.

CULVER: Where do things now stand for you legally here?

Wang tells me today he is part of the overwhelming backlog of U.S. asylum cases. But it`s not stopped him from building a life here.

I`ve got a work permit, driver`s license, and social security number, he tells me. Adding, we work hard and pay taxes. We`re not a burden.

While Wang is waiting to plead his asylum case in court, he`s now legally working as a truck driver. His focus? On the road ahead. Yet, behind him,

there are thousands from China and elsewhere determined to reach their American dream.


WIRE: India`s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, presided over the inauguration of a newly built Hindu temple in the city of Ayodhya. But, as coming under

controversy, as critics say, this temple was constructed on the site of a 16th Century mosque destroyed by Hindu nationalists in the early 90s. CNN`s

Vedika Sud has more for us from India.


VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER: This temple near in completion in India`s holy city of Ayodhya has divided the nation. Built on contested land, the

construction of the Ram Mandir is said to have cost about $180 million and is seen as a political win for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It`s

also widely expected to help him secure historic third term in office later this year.

But why are these 1.12 hectares of land so controversial? To understand, we need to go back hundreds of years.

In the 16th Century, the land was home to a mosque, the Babri Masjid. But Hindus believed this site is where Lord Ram, one of the most irrefutable

deities in Hinduism, was born. They say the mosque was built on the ruins of an old Hindu temple.

As the dispute escalated, in the 19th Century, authorities sealed the mosque to both Muslims and Hindus. In the early 1980s, a group of Hindu

nationalist organizations, which include in Modi`s Bharatiya Janata Party, started a movement to build a new temple at the site.

A campaign which stirred strong emotions in India ramped up in 1989. The issue is credited with helping the BJP win more than half the seats in the

1991 state elections in India`s most significant Hindu vote base, Uttar Pradesh.

One year later, right-wing Hindu mobs stormed the site and demolished the mosque. It sparked some of the worst violence in India since its

independence, with more than 2,000 people killed in riots around the country.

In 2019, after decades of legal battles, India`s Supreme Court issued a ruling that said the destruction of the Islamic structure was an egregious

violation of the rule of law, but granted Hindu groups permission to build a temple there while giving the Muslim community another plot of land,

officially ending the dispute.

But the ruling was seen as a blow towards India`s Muslim minority, many of whom say the government sees them as second-class citizens. A few months

later, Modi laid the foundation stone for the Ram Mandir.

Since then, the city of Ayodhya itself has undergone a full infrastructural makeover. It has a new airport and its roads, railways and other historical

sites have been revamped.


WIRE: Pop quiz hot shot, at what temperature does water freeze?

Zero degrees Fahrenheit, 21 degrees, 32 degrees, 45 degrees Fahrenheit?

If you said 32 degrees Fahrenheit, put your mittens up. Anytime the temperature drops below this line, liquid water will begin to turn to ice.

Inspiration struck for photographer Joe Chowaniec when temperatures in Alberta, Canada fell close to 50 degrees below zero. This frozen in time

series captures what it looks like when cold weather keeps creative folks all cooped up. CNN`s Jeanne Moos has more.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT: When it`s 40 or 50 degrees below zero, you can`t blame a guy for taking boiling water and blowing off

a little steam, watching it instantly turn into snow and ice. But Photographer Joe Chowaniec of Alberta, Canada got a kick out of seeing what

other people did.

How cold is it? Cold enough to use a banana to pound a nail. Cold enough to beat a frozen shirt like a drum. To turn jeans into a battering ram. So Joe

decided to do his own game of, you froze your what off?

JOE CHOWANIEC, PHOTOGRAPHER: The next one was the plate of ramen noodles.

MOOS: In 60 seconds, the boiled noodles were frozen stiff.

CHOWANIEC: Frozen in time. The frozen in time series I guess I`m calling it.

MOOS: The next experiment involved placing an egg on a couple of straws and cracking it open. Forget hard boiled, we`re talking frozen solid.

CHOWANIEC: My neighbors were looking out the window and thought I was crazy.

MOOS: And finally, there was something charming. Make that Charmin about what the severe cold did to toilet paper.

CHOWANIEC: People could make the best of the conditions they`re in.


WIRE: All right, we couldn`t leave you today without my favorite part of the show. Giving shout outs to all of you who make our show the best 10

minutes in news. Groveton High School in Groveton, New Hampshire, fly Eagles, fly.

And this shout out goes to our friends to the north in Anchorage, Alaska, Clark Middle School. We see you, Falcons. Rise up. Don`t forget tomorrow is

#YourWordWednesday, the day that you help us write the show and boost our vocab.

Follow me at @coywire on Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok. Put your unique vocabulary word in the comment section of my most recent post with your

school, your teacher, your mascot if you`d like. And we`re going to choose a winner to work into tomorrow`s show.

I`m Coy. This is CNN 10 and you are awesome.