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CNN 10 - January 4, 2019

CNN 10

U.S. Partial Government Shutdown; 116th U.S. Congress Sworn In Yesterday; China Lands Rover on the Far Side of The Moon; Larry the Cat Lives Under 10 Downing Street in Great Britain

Aired January 4, 2019 - 04:00:00 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: The U.S. government has been partially shutdown for almost two weeks. A down the middle explanation of what that means and what people are saying about it, our first subjects today on CNN 10. I`m Carl Azuz. Since 1976 the Federal government has been partially shutdown more than 20 times. The most recent one began on December 22nd. Shutdowns occur when Congress and the president can`t agree on how the government should be funded, what money should go where and the big sticking point in the current impact is over a proposed border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

President Donald Trump wants Congress to approve about $5 billion in funding for the wall. In December, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would provide that but the legislation was held up in the Senate where there weren`t enough votes to pass it. When the deadline was up for a funding agreement and the government didn`t have one, the partial shutdown began. So what does that mean? Most Americans aren`t directly effected by government shutdowns but about 800,000 Federal workers are.

A little over half of them continue to work but don`t get their paychecks on time. The others are sent home on furlough. They`re forced to take time off without pay. Museums are closed in Washington, D.C., U.S. National Parks are open but mostly without workers. The agency that handles small business loans isn`t processing applications. The IRS is mostly closed and some inspections by environmental and food and drug workers have stopped. Who`s responsible for it? Democrats and Republicans blame each other.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president has made the decision that despite his responsibility to manage and lead this government. He would rather shut it down and hold it hostage for his beloved wall.


CARL AZUZ: And other Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have called the wall immoral, ineffective and expensive. President Trump says it`s necessary.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: This is national security we`re talking about. You know, just like we talk about the military. Just like we`re talking about Syria or Afghanistan or all these different places. It`s too important a subject to walk away from.


CARL AZUZ: And other Republicans like Senator Lindsey Graham say the president needs to keep his promise to secure America`s southern border.

How long could the shutdown go on? We don`t know. The longest which happened at around this same time in 1995 and 1996, stretched for 21 days.

The partial shutdown is the first major challenge for America`s new Congress. It`s the 116th Congress in U.S. history. It`s make up was determined by last year`s mid-term elections and it`s new members were sworn in yesterday.

For the first time since 2010, Democrats will control the House of Representatives. They`ll hold 235 seats to the Republicans 199. There`s one race in North Carolina that still hasn`t been decided. And in the Senate, Republicans increased their control in the mid-terms. They now hold 53 seats, Democrats and the Independents who vote with them hold 47. So with different parties controlling different chambers, this is considered a divided Congress and compromise between lawmakers and the president will be key for any major legislation to be passed in the days ahead.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The faces of this new class reflect America`s diversity and the way the country has never seen before. From Texas and Michigan to Arizona and New York, states broke barriers of ethnicity. Kansas and New Mexico are sending the first Native American women to Congress. While Somali, Palestinian, and Korean Americans are also serving for the first time. A record number of women were elected to Congress. Women still only make up about 1/5 of those elected. The newly elected members who`ve been sharing all their experiences on social media in a way we`ve never seen before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re just now leaving the rotunda, the honor of actually getting to watch the ceremony as they brought President Bush and -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the new elected members get used to Washington, hiring their staffs, figuring out office projects, figuring out which apartments to rent. They`ll also be faced with trying to navigate a new political landscape on both sides of the aisle.


CARL AZUZ: Three countries, the United States, Russia and China have landed spacecraft on the moon. But China just became the first to put a rover on the far side of the moon. Some call it the dark side of the moon but scientists say it actually gets the same amount of sunlight. We just can`t see it from Earth. Science experiments and studying solar winds are part of this mission but analysts say it`s also about China`s desire to be seen as a leading space power.



MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chinese State Media confirming a first in the history of space exploration announcing China`s Chang`e 4 mission successfully landed a lunar rover on the far side of the moon. And these are the first two close up images of the ground the rover sent back. This is the first time any country will explore the far side of the moon on the ground. China`s six wheeled rover faces a long to do list. Like observing whether plants will grow in the low gravity and exploring whether water or other resources lie at the moon`s poles.

It will also be able to listen more clearly to the sounds of deep space because here there is no electromagnetic interference from Earth. The far side of the moon is the hemisphere that never faces Earth. It`s been mapped extensively but never visited. Mainly because it`s not possible to communicate directly to Earth from there. China launched a relay satellite to solve that issue.

It`s a big step forward for China because historically it`s space program really lagged behind the U.S. and Russia but now it`s a huge point of national pride. So displays like this one here at the National Museum help inspire a sense of wonder and optimism amongst ordinary Chinese people that when it comes to space, anything is now possible. Kind of like the U.S. was back in the 60`s and 70`s. China has already launched two space stations and by 2022 hopes to launch another potentially capable of replacing the aging International Space Station.

A probe to Mars is set for launch in 2020 and in 2015 CNN got exclusive access to training facilities used by Chinese astronauts where we saw first hand how China is planning to send more people into space. And it`s because of all that that some people wonder whether it will be China and not the United States that will dominate space exploration in the near future. The U.S. Congress bars NASA from working with China due to national security concerns and with the Trump Administration`s plan to create a military space force. The stage is set for competition in both the civilian and military arenas.

Trump has also directed NASA to return astronauts to the moon and they might not be alone. Between China`s Chang`e`s missions and it`s manned flight programs, many experts predict Beijing is gearing up to send it`s own astronauts to plant a Chinese flag on the moon as soon as possible.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Beijing.


CARL AZUZ: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and 10 Downing Street are two of the most famous addresses in the world and not just because of the people who live there. One particular resident of the British address prowls below the political radar but still catches far more fans than mice. For 10 out of 10 today, we`re tracking down Larry the cat.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s been a year of political instability around Brexit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`ve had a meaningful vote. We had a referendum on 2016.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The debate wages on in Downing Street, in or out. No, not of the EU but of number 10 itself. Larry the cat just can`t make up his mind. (inaudible) Downing Street`s chief mouser commands a sort of policeman with little more than a (inaudible). And with videos like this one, which went viral, he has a huge international fan base. He`s been in power since 2011. Joining number 10 during David Cameron`s administration.

Speculation that the Prime Minister and Larry didn`t see eye to eye were put straight in Cameron`s resignation speech.

DAVID CAMERON, FORMER GREAT BRITAIN PRIME MINISTER: And the rumor that somehow I don`t love Larry. I do. And I have photographic evidence to prove it. Sadly I can`t take Larry with me, he belongs to the house and the staff love him very much as do I.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Under new Prime Minister Teresa May, division soon became evident. A leadership challenge put feline in the foreign office, Hermiston (ph). Debating long into the night with neither willing to back down. A harbinger of the fight to come between their respective ministers.

Teresa May and Boris Johnson who alongside party rebels recently failed to oust her. Larry is an opinionated pundit with over 200,000 followers on his unofficial Twitter page. But one wonders if some of it is fake news. He recently said he rejected an offer from the Prime Minister to be the next Brexit Secretary.


CARL AZUZ: We still think he`d make a good leader. Especially with a more fitting name, consider "Parisa May", "David Catmeron" or "Gordon Havanna Brown". Let`s not forget about "Tony Shorthair and "John Mashartru" and of course the famous mouse grit catcher. All excellent "meownicers" for a Prime "Meownister". I`m Carl Azuz for CNN.