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French Farmers Blockade Highways Near Paris; Kim Jong Un Bringing Powerful Women Into His Orbit; Astronomers Make Unprecedented Discovery in Search for Water in Space. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired January 31, 2024 - 04:00   ET


COY WIRE, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hello, lovely people is January 31st, almost through the first month of the year. Happy February Eve. Today`s

#YourWordWednesday, the day we pick one of your word submissions to help broaden our vocabulary. So let`s see whose word helped us write today`s


And we`ll start in France where protesting farmers blocked major highways leading to Paris this week. Why are they doing this? France is the European

union`s biggest agricultural producer, but local farmers say they`re struggling to make a living. They say, they are hurting from low pay,

cheaper imports, and excessive environmental regulations. So since Monday farmers have been blocking the roads around Paris with tractor barricades

to pressure the government for help. CNN`s Melissa Bell has more.


MELISSA BELL, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: French farmers are once again, blocking major roads across France, moving their anger now,

closer to the outskirts of the French capital, their aim, as they come towards Paris to put more pressure on the government to meet their demands,

which include higher wages, lower taxes, and protection from cheap imports.

If those conditions are not met, what the unions are threatening is what they`re calling a siege of Paris. Already, some 15,000 police, men and

women in security forces have been stationed to petrol stations and farmer`s markets to try and prevent the situation from spiraling out of


This is a movement that has now spread to the four corners of France, although it began in the south and was led initially by just two farmers

unions. The farmers have been causing major disruption across the country with the setting up of roadblocks on key motorways, the setting, a light of

tires and waste, and the dumping of manure outside local stores.

The government in the shape of the newly appointed Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, has already offered concessions, but that say the farmers is not

enough. We expect new announcements to be made by the government this week to help what they describe as the farming world. But for now, farmers here

in France appear determined to keep going.


WIRE: Let`s stay in Europe and head to the capital of Belgium. Brussels were similar protests broke out, sparked in large part because of those we

just saw in France. Belgium farmers are also upset by environmental regulations that leave them undercut by imports. And protests of a

different kind are happening in another neighboring country, Germany. As CNN Sebastian Shukla explains these demonstrations have just as much to do

with the direction of their government as they do with immediate economic concerns.



SEBASTIAN SHUKLA, PRODUCER, CNN (voice-over): Let action speak. I don`t know where to start. But let`s meet on the street, this rapper rhymes.

Weekends in Berlin and across Germany are quickly becoming days of demonstration. These anti-far-right protestors have a message of light for

Germans. Never again means now, as they fear the rise of the far-right?

LOUIS MOTAAL, SPOKESPERSON, FRIDAY`S FOR FUTURE: Never again is now. And we have to protect our democracy as society here together in Germany,

because it`s under threat.

SHUKLA: That stems from a reported secret meeting of right-wing extremists at this hotel outside Berlin, allegedly members of Germany`s far-right

party, the AfD attended discussing the mass deportation of immigrants and German citizens of foreign descent.

Countryside and capital city also collided for the third straight week with farmers furious at fuel subsidy cuts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They make regulations that harm every one of us, not -- not only the farmers, but everyone in this country. And, um, yeah, we think

enough is enough.

SHUKLA: Train drivers have just paused a nationwide strike so they can go back to the bargaining table, demanding higher wages.

(On camera): The fundamental cause for the protests are economic headwinds, but also the government of Olaf Scholz and his coalition is

deeply unpopular. And that is starting to create a split in German society.

(Voice-over): Marcel Fratzscher is the President of the German Institute for Economic Research.

MARCEL FRATZSCHER, PRESIDENT, GERMAN INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH: And Germany is currently in a, in a state of mental depression where people

have the impression, politicians are not acting. They`re only fighting. They`re not offering solutions.

SHUKLA: That is benefiting the AfD surging particularly in rural areas. And that support is shunting Germany to the right.

FRATZSCHER: Germany -- the German government is becoming more skeptical towards engaging with Europe. It`s changing its economic policy, its tax

policy. It`s cutting social benefits for people with low income. So indirectly the AfD is setting the policy.

SHUKLA: That prospect of success, policy wavering and economic fears is one of the root causes for consecutive weekends of protests from liberal

minded Germans, their aim, they say to ensure history does not repeat itself.


WIRE: For our next story, we head to North Korea where it`s current leader, Kim Jong Un came to power in 2011 after his father`s death. Since

then women have taken on more leadership roles within this conservative country. That includes the North Korean leader sister, Kim Yo Jong, who has

become one of his, his closest advisors and the first woman to be featured prominently in North Korea`s international diplomacy. CNN`s Will Ripley

examines the women in this new power circle and what that means for the country`s next leader.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): North Korea`s most powerful man making an emotional appeal to women. Kim Jong-un

wiping away tears, urging moms to have more babies, to boost the plunging birth rate. Pyongyang`s patriarch persists, observers say, but things may

be changing in Kim`s Korea. The North Korean leader bringing powerful women into his orbit. Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui who recently met with Russian

President Vladimir Putin. Kim`s younger sister Kim Yo Jong, a close aid and trusted confidante, famous for fiery speeches.

And this dramatic demolition of the Inter-Korean liaison office. The younger Kim`s meteoric rise likely fueled by her close brotherly bond and

powerful Kim family bloodline. The family photo that shook the world, the supreme leader revealing his daughter believed to be Kim Ju-ae at a missile

launch in late 2022, the first in a series of carefully staged father- daughter photo-ops, elevating the profile of Kim`s elementary-aged child, raising questions about succession.

LEE SUNG-YOON, WILSON CENTER FELLOW: Kim Jong Un is saying by appearing in public with his daughter, my nukes are here to stay, and my power will be

handed down to my progeny or maybe somebody else, his sibling.

RIPLEY: For three generations, the men of the Kim family ruling North Korea with an iron fist. Now, many wonder could a woman be next in line?

Could Kim be grooming his own daughter to someday take command of North Korea`s growing nuclear arsenal?

LEE: The power will be kept. This absolute power will maintain, will be maintained in the family.

RIPLEY: Whoever the next North Korean leader is, man or woman, Kim`s top priority, analysts say, protecting his family`s fortune and power.


WIRE: Pop quiz, hot shot. Roughly, how big is the Hubble Space Telescope?

Is it about the size of a school bus, an airplane, a football field, a cruise ship?

If you said school bus, put your hands up. The fame telescope that has captured spectacular views of cosmic objects in far away, galaxies is just

43 and a half feet long and 14 feet wide.

Today`s story getting a 10 out of 10, water discovered in an atmosphere 97 light years away. Astronomers have discovered evidence of water, the

element critical to the formation of life in the atmosphere of exoplanet GJ 9827d. It`s called an exoplanet because it orbits a star other than the

Earth`s sun. And this world closely orbits a red dwarf star more than 97 light years away from earth.

Now, it doesn`t look like we can even begin to identify this as a potential inhabitable place just yet because this planet has more acidity than you

could handle. The planet reaches temperatures of up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit. So this world is totally inhospitable to life as we know it,

but finding particles on such a small planet is significant and gives hope that further research might someday help us find other Earth-like worlds.

All right, superstars. It was great to be with you here today. Congratulations to Mr. Melby`s class at Beloit Memorial High School in

Wisconsin. And the Smith Family Homeschool in Ashland, Ohio for submitting #YourWordWednesday winner, apricity, a noun, meaning, the warmth of the sun

in winter. I know a lot of our viewers right now will take all the apricity they can get.

Shout out time now. The Mustangs at Carusi Middle School in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, rise up. And this shout out goes to goes to Bethany High School

in the City of Bethany, Oklahoma, Bronchos, you rock. Thanks for spending part of your day with me and making this the best 10 minutes in news. I`m

Coy Wire and we are CNN 10.