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CNN10 2020-02-28

CNN 10

Pakistan Suffering from Swarm of Locusts; U.S. Stocks Have Officially Entered Correction Territory; Why Leap Years Have Extra Days

Aired February 28, 2020 - 04:00 聽 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Leap days are extra but Fridays are awesome!

We got a report on the leap to-day on CNN 10. I'm Carl Azuz. Thank you to everyone watching across the globe.

Can mighty ducks help gobble up a problem with locust? That is a question being asked in Southern Asia? Like the region of East Africa, the nation of Pakistan is trying to keep swarms of locusts from eating the country's crops.

But while the insect invasion in Africa has been blamed on weather, experts say the one in Pakistan is a side-effect of a civil war in the Middle Eastern country of Yemen. Because of that war, officials haven't been able to do enough pest control to keep Yemen's locust population from growing.

So, the insects apparently multiplied and made their way north east eventually descending on Pakistan.

Locusts don't directly attack people. They threaten us by eating our crops, and so many of these insects in such large numbers can destroy regional food supplies. That's why Pakistan declared a state of emergency early this month, saying it was dealing with the highest number of locusts in more than 20 years.

So what can be done about it? Some experts say pesticides are needed to kill masses of these insects, but there's another idea being considered in China. It may send ducks to Pakistan as many as 100,000 of them to fight the locusts by eating them. An expert interviewed by the Bloomberg media company says one duck can eat more than 200 locusts per day, and China has reportedly used ducks to successfully gobble up a locust problem in the past.

But not everyone's on board with this. A member of China's delegation to Pakistan says there's not enough water in Pakistan's hot dry climate to keep the ducks going. Whatever methods are used to control locusts in Asia the situation in Africa is getting more desperate by the day.


FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For three months now, swarms of desert locusts have been eating their way through East Africa.

Here in Kenya's Likepia (ph) County, people banging utensils to try and ward off an increasing menace to their livelihoods, all to no avail.

The locusts keep coming.

A voracious appetite means these locusts eat the equivalent of their own body weight in a single day. And they move with speed on the changing winds, as far as 150 kilometers, almost 100 miles a day.

Beans, maize, pasture for animals, nothing stands a chance, raising fears of a food security as the farmlands are decimated.

And they keep breeding, laying their eggs in the earth in pastoral and agricultural lands.

(on camera): Across East Africa locust swarms of biblical proportions have been threatening life and grazing land and eating all the people's crops.

Here you can see these hoppers are the new generation that will pose a bigger threat to agriculture in Kenya.

(voice-over): The war against the locusts is now in full swing. If the swarms aren't stopped, the U.N. says they can multiply as much as 500 times by June.

So, the Kenyan government and U.N. agencies are fighting back with pesticides. In Esiyulu (ph), northeastern Kenya, villagers tell us they're seeing billions of newly hatched locusts.

How did this happen?

After years of drought, two cyclones hit East Africa in as many years. But the heavy rains made the wet earth ideal breeding ground for locusts.

Despite the challenges, they have killed as many as 17 swarms in a day. A medium-size swarm being 30 million to 40 million insects.

But for those on the front line of the locust invasion, like 47-year-old herder Chris Amerikwa, the future is full of doubt.

CHRIS AMERIKWA, HERDER: A big swarm, big locusts. They were just covering the whole sky such that there was a kind of a cloud.

SEVENZO: Having lost all his 25 cows in the devastating drought last year, he is worried about what these locusts and pesticides will do.


AZUZ: The U.S. stock market has been taking a beating over the past week.

Yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1,191 points lower than it opened. The Dow is an index of significant stocks like Apple, Coke and Home Depot, and Thursday's point drop was its worst single day fall in history.

Another index named the S&P 500 also dropped, so did the Nasdaq composite, each of them falling by more than 4 percent.

All three of these stock indexes are now on track for their worst weekly percentage drops since October of 2008. But at that time, the great recession was going on. It was an economic downturn that affected markets around the world.

This time around, markets are struggling with the fallout from the spread of the new coronavirus. Investors are worried about the effects this disease could have on the global economy.

Right now, American stocks are said to be in correction territory. Here's what that means.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Fixing an error or inaccuracy, that's how the dictionary defines a correction.

On Wall Street, it means something a little different. A stock market correction is a technical term that signifies a 10 percent decline from a recent high.

It's less severe than a bear market. That's when stocks decline 20 percent.

Now, a correction might sound scary but in fact, it's a normal, healthy part of the cycle. The S&P 500 had four corrections from 2010 through 2017, and five from 1990 to 2000. That's because markets aren't supposed to go straight up, a breather once in a while is important, like a market reset.

It can keep stocks from overheating and allow investors to reevaluate their portfolios.

What you definitely shouldn't do is panic. A correction doesn't mean you should sell all of your stocks. On the contrary, it can be an opportunity to buy. Remember, history stocks often go up after a correction.



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

Which of these historic calendars was created the most recently?

Julian calendar, Byzantine calendar, Hebrew calendar, or Gregorian calendar?

The Gregorian calendar, which is widely used today was proclaimed in 1582.


AZUZ: And it includes a date that only comes along every four years, leap day, February 29th. This year that happens to be this Saturday. February ends on the 28th in non-leap years.

So why do we have the extra day? It's the earth's fault. On the Gregorian calendar at least, it doesn't complete its orbit in exactly a year.


GEOFF CHESTER, U.S. NAVAL OBSERVATORY: It goes around the sun once in 365 and almost a quarter day, almost but not quite. So, in order to rectify this, we have to periodically add an extra day to the calendar.


AZUZ: That happens every four years, hence the leap day, and it coincides with presidential election years in the United States.

Besides that though, does it matter that 2020 will have 366 days? Well, those who were born in the leap year on February 29th will actually get to celebrate their birthdays on the 29th instead of on February 28th or March 1st.

And there is some interesting history associated with leap years. According to Irish tradition, years with 366 days were years when women could propose to men when it was the other way around in non leap years. Beyond that though, well, you only get to say happy February 29th every four years, so go crazy with that y'all.


AZUZ: Sleep pods, sounds like air pods that make you drowsy. But they're prototypes sleeping quarters that could one day appear on Air New Zealand flights. What's unique about these is that they be for economy passengers so you wouldn't need to fly first class to stretch out.

They're kind of like a modern-day version of the Pullman sleeping cars on old trains. Each pod would have a blanket, a pillow, earplugs and privacy curtains. Pricing hasn't been announced but this could make these to hour flight between Auckland and New York City more like a slumber party.

If you're looking to nod off after takeoff and give jetlag the old shake off, and instead of time to think, you just need your forty winks, Air New Zealand knows the deal in what tired travelers are feeling, helping sleepy eyes economize, they say you don't need to compromise on lying down while flying up, and touching down when waking up, refreshment is a when synched with circadian rhythm.

Well, today's show is going to the dogs. The Whippets of Minden High School in Minden, Nebraska, they know YouTube is the place to go to get your school named on our show.

I'm Carl Azuz for CNN 10.