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Strong Winds Worsen California`s Wildfires; Gold Found in Unlikely Part of Switzerland; New York Milliner Makes Modern Hat the Old-Fashioned Way
Aired October 12, 2017 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: This is CNN 10, your objective explanation of news and features from around the world. And I`m Carl Azuz, broadcasting from the CNN International newsroom this week.
In northern California, the winds were forecast to pick back up Wednesday, and there was no rain in sight. That could make things worse for the 8,000 firefighters trying to get a handle on the state`s wildfires and that tens of thousands of people who were ordered to evacuate their homes.
There are more than 12 fires burning in the northern part of the state. At one point, they were scorching the equivalent of a football field every three seconds.
Part of the reason why this has been so hard to control are wind gusts of up to 79 miles per hour. That`s hurricane force, and they`re able to blow burning embers across the landscape, which helps the fire spread.
At least 21 people have died and more than 170,000 acres have been burned so far. These are not the most destructive wildfires the state has ever seen, at least not at this point, but they are among the deadliest.
The sheriff of Sonoma County, which is just north of San Francisco, has told residents to go ahead and leave if they have somewhere else to say, even if they haven`t been ordered to evacuate yet. Some people have had only minutes to get their families together and leave their homes. And for some of those who have gone, there is nothing left to come back to.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is just utter devastation. In fact, more than 8,000 people live in this neighborhood. That won`t happen any longer because you can see the devastation that`s left here. It looks like a warzone. All the homes in this neighborhood are gone, burned to a crisp.
But if you look back here, the only thing we`ve been able to make out is the washer and dryer that`s in the back of this home where maybe the laundry room was, and this repeats itself over and over again.
And then you think about that video that we`ve been showing time and time again, when you see the flames that were everywhere. This was a fast-moving fire, with hurricane force like winds that was just moving through the area. Twenty thousand people have had to evacuate so far, 183 people are still missing. They`re telling us they don`t believe all of the people are dead because the communications in this area has been so spotty. So, what they`re hoping is some of these people will turn up in those evacuation centers when they tried to flee this area.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:
Aurum is the Latin word for what?
Glow, gold, mercury or aurora?
The reason why gold`s symbol on the periodic table is Au is because it`s from the Latin word aurum.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: Today, gold is mined all over the world, from Indonesia and South Africa, to Mongolia, Australia and America. But a new study recently found it in a less likely place, sewage plants in Switzerland.
A Swiss water research institute named Eawag estimates that 95 pounds of gold are flush through Switzerland`s sewage systems every year. That would be worth around $2 million. Two big questions: how and why?
Switzerland has a famous watch-making industry and it also has gold refineries. Researchers think that tiny flecks of gold are literally washed down the drain in the sewage systems and waste water treatment plants and they believe there`s enough of it in some areas that it may actually be worth collecting.
They just didn`t find gold. Rare earth metals that are used to make things like smartphones were discovered and Eawag believes that 6,500 pounds of silver worth around $1.8 million flows into wastewater every year. Some places had more precious metals than others did, but there`s no question that it`s all going to waste.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR AND LONDON CORRESPONDENT: Homer called it the glory of the immortals. To the Incas, it was the sweat of the sun. The Egyptians believed it would support them in the afterlife.
For thousands of years, gold has tempted explorers, supported empires and has become a market barometer. Its value stems from its rarity. All the gold mined over the course of civilization wouldn`t fill four Olympic-sized swim pools.
A direct link between gold and currency emerged in 550 B.C. when the first gold coins were struck in what is now part of modern Turkey.
In the 19th century, currencies around the world were fixed to gold. That lasted until 1971 when President Nixon announced the U.S. would no longer exchange dollars for gold at a set price.
For investors though, gold still glitters in times of crisis. Its value peaked at $1,900 an ounce in 2011 and demand often spikes at times of market stress as investors look for a safe haven.
Despite the allure, gold is not immune to economic realities. A slowdown in China has pulled prices down, and gold`s usefulness is limited, its primary purpose today, for jewelry.
Still, many follow in the footsteps of the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes. He said, I and my companions suffer from a disease of the heart that can be cured only with gold.
AZUZ: A cutting machine, a forming machine, a rolling machine and a stretching machine are all used to make many of the hats we see in retail stores.
But if you`re looking for something a little more custom, something made by a master milliner, a hat maker, and your savings bank isn`t filled to the brim, you may stop in at Hats By Bunn. He`s a New Yorker who is born in Trinidad and who`s making headlines today for making hats the old-fashioned way.
BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think society started devolving when men stopped wearing hats like this.
I like you to meet a guy from another era, a self-described dinosaur who breaks the rules of modern business every day.
If you follow Broadway north, you will find a portal back in time. A one- man operation that still believes that you can tell a lot about a person by the way they wear their hat.
Remember the first you made?
JUNIOR "BUNN" LEONARD, OWNER: Yes, I messed it up. It was a (INAUDIBLE). I couldn`t figure out why the thread the bottom, stitch was all knotted up, and I know that didn`t last more than 20 minutes.
WEIR: He`s made thousands since. No two alike.
LEONARD: So, you see.
WEIR: Oh, now we`re talking.
LEONARD: You see, so you have two looks off of the same hat.
WEIR: This kind of works.
WEIR: So, you can build me a custom panama for how much?
LEONARD: Ninety dollars.
WEIR: Ninety dollars.
My (INAUDIBLE) thinks I`m nuts. You know what I mean?
WEIR: Now, Bunn could make a lot more money by expanding, wholesaling, but --
LEONARD: By then, my craft would become work. I think that would take away from it.
WEIR: So, this is more lifestyle than it is --
WEIR: -- business plan.
LEONARD: Yes. I`m not a very good businessman. The price should be hell of a lot more.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you, Bunn?
LEONARD: I`m fine. How are you?
WEIR: And if you price out the folks in the neighborhood, they stop coming and then they`d miss the best part of his day.
LEONARD: Let me do this. Let me get order (ph). Come on. Have a seat.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How long would it take, Bunn?
LEONARD: A week.
And I do the same thing six days a week from morning to night. But I`m not bored because my day is never the same. It has to do with people. Every time the better (ph) and there`s something new. (INAUDIBLE)
WEIR: He`s outfitted a few celebs over the years, but has a different criteria than most when it comes to his wall of fame.
LEONARD: These are just every day people, every day people that give me their hard earned money. That`s what this is about. They are the celebrities.
AZUZ: Could this be the future of ground or just off the ground transportation. It may not look particularly sporty, but it`s the winning proposal in a design competition sponsored by the French car company Renault.
This is just an idea at this point, because it wouldn`t actually touch the ground. It`s called a float, and it would do that by using magnetic levitation technology. Magnets could help it link up with other floats for a very unique kind of carpool.
Get it? Float and a carpool? Whoo! That would make a splash!
Other cars just cover miles, this would hover them. Might not be for you if you`re looking to step outside the bubble, but if you want catching air to be part of your commute, this could truly float your boat, y`all.
I`m Carl Azuz and that`s CNN 10.