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CNN10 2019-10-28

CNN 10

ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is Confirmed Dead After U.S. Military Operation; U.S. National Debt Hits Record $22 Trillion; The Louvre Marks 500 Years Since Leonardo da Vinci's Death. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired October 28, 2019 - 04:00 聽 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: A new week has begun, so is the new edition of CNN 10.

You are why we're here. So, thank you for watching. I'm Carl Azuz.

First story in our lineup today is the death of the leader of an infamous terrorist group. Since 2014, news organizations around the world have done a lot of reporting on ISIS. It's an acronym for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a new country, a theocracy in the Middle East based on ISIS's strict interpretation of Islam.

ISIS was a violent group, known for murdering scores of people who didn't share its beliefs. And while it existed years before 2014, that was the year it took control of large parts of Iraq and Syria. 2014 was also when ISIS's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared himself to be the leader over all the world's 1.5 billion Muslims, though that claim was rejected by many Muslims worldwide.

Between then and now, ISIS lost its territory in Iraq and Syria, as the international effort to fight it ramped up. The United States led a coalition, a group of countries in targeting ISIS fighters. And in March of this year, ISIS had fallen, with the defeat of its last stronghold in Syria.

That doesn't mean everyone who fought for the terrorist group is dead. In April, Islamic State released a video that it said contained a new message from al-Baghdadi. That was the first he'd been seen in more than five years.

But on Sunday morning, U.S. President Donald Trump said al-Baghdadi had been killed.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A brutal killer, one who has caused so much hardship and death, has violently been eliminated. He will never again harm another innocent man, woman or child.


AZUZ: The president says a U.S. Special Forces mission targeted the ISIS leader after keeping close track of him for weeks. The raid was carried out in northwest Syria. The U.S. says several ISIS fighters and companions of al-Baghdadi were killed with him in the mission, though no American troops died.

President Trump says al-Baghdadi killed himself after becoming trapped at the end of a tunnel. And the American leader thanked several other countries and Kurdish fighters in Syria for their help with the mission.

While U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper called al-Baghdadi's death a devastating blow to ISIS, America and other nations said they'd stay on guard against the next terrorist leaders who appear.


AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

Who s the current U.S. Treasury secretary?

Jack Lew, Kathleen Sebelius, Wilbur Ross, or Steven Mnuchin?

The role is currently filled by Steven Mnuchin, the nation's 77th secretary of the treasury.


AZUZ: One role of Secretary Mnuchin's department is to manage America's public debt, the amount of money the U.S. government owes to other governments, groups, investors or businesses. Right now, that number stands at $22.9 trillion.

The thing that makes that number grow is the deficit -- when the government spends more money than it takes in. And America has been doing that for centuries. The only time in history it didn't have a national debt was in 1835 under President Andrew Jackson.

On Friday, though, the gap between what the government spends and what it takes in reach $984 billion for a 12-month period ending in September.

That's its biggest gap since 2012 when it had been exceeding a trillion dollars for several years. But if U.S. trade disputes with other countries continue and if global growth slows down, as many analysts expect it to, the U.S. deficit could exceed $1 trillion once again next year.

Why is it so high? Secretary Mnuchin says wasteful government spending needs to be cut. Also, the tax cuts that were passed in 2017 reduced the government's revenue.

But when you're looking at the debt and the deficit that causes it, the numbers are also in flux.


REPORTER: America lives on borrowed money. That's why the terms "debt" and "deficit" get thrown around so much. But, of course, they're not the same thing.

Let's first start with our definitions.

If a government spends more than it takes in in a given year, the difference is called a deficit. Debt or the debt is the total sum our government owes. So, every year with the deficit, the debt grows larger.

Looking at the chart, we see that in 1950, the debt was around $257 billion. That's compared to now at around $22 trillion. But comparing the debt then to comparing the debt now is a bit like comparing apples to oranges. That's because when you talk about the deficit, you need context, and the first thing to keep in mind, inflation.

With inflation, that $257 billion in 1950 suddenly becomes $2.8 trillion in today's money. But you also have to look at the total size of the economy.

Our economy has grown tremendously since 1950. We have more money. We have more assets. We have more people.

That's why when economists talk about the debt, they prefer to use this number, the debt-to-GDP ratio. It takes the total public debt and shows how big it is relative to the gross domestic product. Now, if we go back to that debt comparison and instead show the debt as a percentage of the total economy, well, it's a different story.

The U.S. number right now is around 100.6 percent, which is the highest it's been since World War II. And if you're wondering if that number is too high, well, there's no simple answer. Some economists say 85 percent is too high. Some say 100 percent. Some say even higher.

But regardless of which number is right, economists agree, these are the numbers you should be looking at.


AZUZ: It's been 500 years since Leonard da Vinci passed away. He was an incredibly influential Italian who died in France. And though that fact has caused some tensions at an extraordinary exhibition that just opened in France, the show has gone on. It opened Friday.

It also contains works from other artists that are related to those of da Vinci. He was considered an ideal renaissance man because he was so gifted -- sculpture, architecture, art, invention. Da Vinci was brilliant in multiple fields. That's why half a millennium later, thousands are lining up just to see some the pictures that came from his paint brush or his pencil.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ten years in the making, The Louvre's Leonardo da Vinci exhibition features more than 160 works, including many items on loan from all over Europe and the United States.

The Italian master spent his last years as court artist to France's King Francis I. That helps explain The Louvre's permanent collection of five of da Vinci's surviving works and its decision to spend so much time and resources on this exhibition.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Louvre had to do something that on 2019 because Leonardo da Vinci decided to come in France in 1516 and it's in France that he died 500 years ago.

NEWTON: The Louvre's decision to organize this exhibition has led to some Franco-Italian tensions. Italy's far-right politician and a former deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, is among those who has pointedly noted that da Vinci was Italian, not French.

And there was a public debate in Italy about sending works of art on loan to The Louvre. That hasn't dampened the enthusiasm surrounding this event.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leonardo is supposed to be the biggest, best exhibition on Leonardo that's taken place in an awfully long time.

NEWTON: And according to The Louvre, a genius of the scale of da Vinci transcends nationality.

DELIEUVIN: He only spent his last year in France and that's why we are today the institution owning the most of his paintings but Leonardo da Vinci also is thought of as an Italian but he became a universal genius.

NEWTON: This is a remarkable collection of Leonardo da Vinci's on display all in one place.

Da Vinci's most famous work, of course, the "Mona Lisa," is reportedly viewed by 30,000 people at The Louvre each and every day. It isn't part of the special exhibition as the organizers say it would risk overcrowding the space. The ticketholders for the exhibition are free to take their place in line and jostle with the crowds.

Paula Newton, CNN.


AZUZ: For our "10 Out of 10", pumpkins float, but will they float your boat?

They will if you're this man. He's a farmer in Tennessee who took 910- pound pumpkin, carved it and set sail. His name is Justin Ownby, and this is the biggest gourd he's ever grown. His previous record was a 220-pound pumpkin. So, he's definitely making progress, but he hopes that one day, maybe as soon as next year, he'll achieve a thousand pounder.

We think he's doing just vine. You can see the gourd job he's doing, stems from a fruitful desire to pick and patch together his own record, and hopefully his lantern will light up soon enough.

I'm Carl Azuz throwing a few pun-kins on CNN 10.