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CNN10 2020-08-31

CNN 10

Japan's Prime Minister Steps Down; Gulf Coast States Survey Hurricane Damage; Universities Try AI Monitoring For Tests; Germany Experiments With A Concert. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired August 31, 2020 - 04:00:00 聽 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: If Fridays are awesome, Mondays are all right, I guess. I'm Carl Azuz for CNN 10. If you're just joining us for the first time after the summer break, welcome back. It's great to have you watching again.

We're starting in Japan today where the nation's prime minister is stepping down from his job. Shinzo Abe is the longest serving prime minister in Japan's history. He first took office in 2006.

Abe resigned the following year during political gridlock but he was reelected in 2012 and has remained in power since then. So why is he voluntarily stepping down now when there's still a year to go in his term?

Health reasons, which were also a factor in his 2007 resignation. Prime Minister Abe suffers from ulcerative colitis, a bowel disease with no cure and he says he needs to focus on treating it. Analysts say his eight years of continuous leadership have had mixed results.

He presided over a large economic experiment of massive stimulus and government spending. Observers say it put the brakes on an economic decline but it didn't cause a major economic boom. Prime Minister Abe secured the 2020 Olympics for Tokyo but the games were later postponed because of coronavirus.

Experts say his diplomacy had mixed results too. But his political party is in good shape. It controls both houses of Japan's parliament and that's a major factor in what comes next. Japan's lawmakers choose the nation's leader. So the liberal democratic party that Abe leads should have little trouble in choosing Japan's next prime minister. Abe says he'll keep working until that's done.

We're getting a clearer picture of how Hurricane Laura has affected the U.S. south. Officials say it could be two months before electricity is restored in the hardest hit areas of Louisiana.

The damage from the Category 4 storm was so bad in some places that the energy framework needs to be rebuilt before the power can be turned back on. More than 29,000 workers from at least 29 states are now in the area, assessing the damage and helping wherever they can.

Scraps of wood and debris are all that's left of some neighborhoods. Texas also suffered some damage from the storm and Arkansas was hit as Laura moved inland.

It spawned a tornado that stayed on the ground for miles and caused a lot of damage there. But it was Louisiana that got the worst of the hurricane and CNN 10 Contributor Chris James was on the ground there reporting over the weekend.


CHRIS JAMES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: The city of Lake Charles has been completely upended by Hurricane Laura. As you can see behind me, damage from the storm is visible just about everywhere you turn. Homes destroyed, businesses in ruins, power lines littering the streets and today President Trump visited the area to assess the damage up close. Hurricane Laura hit the Gulf Coast with devastating 150 mile per hour winds taking homes, power, water and lives.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our hearts go out to the families who have lost loved ones.

JAMES: More than a dozen people across Louisiana and Texas lost their lives in the storm and more than half a million people in three states lost power. President Trump saw the damage first hand Saturday. First in Lake Charles, Louisiana which took the brunt of Laura's wrath.

TRUMP: I have never seen anything quite like it. You had trees ripped out from the roots. You had pine trees that were broken in half. Already met some people that have been absolutely devastated. This was a tremendously powerful storm.

JAMES: For people in Louisiana, it's an emotional reminder of Hurricane Katrina which hit 15 years ago to the day.

TRUMP: You came together and you rebuilt. America helped and here we are today and you're going to have this situation taken care of very, very quickly.

JAMES: But the danger isn't gone. Both states are under heat advisories this weekend. So turning the power back on is crucial.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. Which of these U.S. universities has the largest number of undergraduates? University of Central Florida, Ohio State,

Arizona State or Michigan State. When it comes to undergraduate enrollment, the University of Central Florida and Texas A&M University have the highest numbers.

Despite some colleges plans to carefully resume in person instruction this fall, several campuses nationwide have seen flare ups in coronavirus cases.

Many of them have been blamed on students getting together off campus. But outbreaks along with daily concerns about the disease itself have lead more than 75 percent of America's colleges and universities to opt for virtual classes.

And one of the many challenges that brings is how do you make sure students aren't cheating on tests? There's artificial intelligence software that aims to help. What it does is use a computer's webcam and microphone to monitor students while they take a test.

This can check their identities. It can detect if someone else is in the room or even if the student's face is looking away from the computer. After this is recorded during the test, the video and audio can then be sent to the professor who can review anything suspicious.

A project director at Harvard University says cheating is a problem in higher education but monitoring software can bring some problems of its own. Some students have said they're not comfortable being recorded on their computer while they take a test. Some have said they're not convinced the AI technology is able to accurately tell if their cheating.

One assistant professor at Brigham Young University who tried out one program before COVID-19 took hold, says it rated the behavior of every student in his class as at least somewhat suspicious during the exam. Regardless of how teachers and students may feel about it, online monitoring companies say business has been booming in their industry since last year. A different kind of test was recently carried out in Leipzig,

Germany. Researchers wanted to get an idea of how COVID-19 could spread and be prevented at a large scale event.

But how do you do that without using artificial intelligence and without actually exposing hundreds of people to coronavirus? Well first, you need hundreds of volunteers. You need a performer.

They use tight controls on how people conducted themselves in the crowd and they needed to get as much mileage out of the event as they could.

Simulating a concert before coronavirus, a concert with some coronavirus restrictions in place and a concert with fewer people in the door. Here's how it played out.


MILENA VESELINOVIC, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Music fans lining up for a gig. A normal sight in normal times but not during a deadly pandemic and this is no ordinary concert, 1,500 volunteers came to this arena in Leipzig, Germany to help scientists understand how coronavirus spreads at big events and how to prevent it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no zero risk if you want to have life. And, so, we want to give the politicians a tool in order to decide rationally whether to allow such an event or not.

VESELINOVIC: Fans had to get a negative COVID-19 test and wear facemasks. They were given florescent hand gel so scientists could see which surfaces were touched most often and smoke was pumped to track how ventilation effects the spread of the virus. Staff handed out electronic contact trackers which measured distances between participants and how often they came into contact.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since all people have to wear VFFP 2 masks, which protects you and the others. It's very safe. We also tested all participants in advance. So, 48 hours in advance so that we know that the people that are participating are negative either on Thursday or on Friday.

Even if they would have caught a corona infection last night, they would be not -- be infectious today.

VESELINOVIC: This may have been an experiment but for some in the crowd if felt like a welcome return to normality.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The atmosphere was really great, I think. We all enjoyed the music. So it was really nice to listen to live music.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At first time, it felt wrong because like, all the people came together so close and you were like, standing there. And you were like, this is a dream because of not allowed to -- to be so -- so stuck together but then it was really, really cool. And I -- I couldn't believe before but it was really like being on a concert again.

VESELINOVIC: Researchers at the University of Halle will now model the data to see how big cultural and sporting events could be staged safely. With conclusions expected by the end of the year, Milena Veselinovic, CNN.


AZUZ: The Transportation Security Administration has more than 1,000 canine teams patrolling America's airports and this one is the cutest. I'm not giving an opinion here. The TSA has an annual contest for cutest canine of the year and Kajla is the 2020 winner.

She's a five year old Vizsla who works at Honolulu National Airport as an explosive screener. You still can't pet her while she's working but she'll still probably wag as she passes by.

She's making the grade with straight "TSAs". And she's proving that you don't need to look "Sharpei" or be "Laradorable" to "Retriver" first prize in a cuteness contest. You just need to "sniff" out an opportunity and "Visulize" success. Whew. Hey, we're back in Kansas, Toto.

We've got Cunningham High School in Cunningham, Kansas watching today. Thank you for taking 10 for CNN 10. I'm Carl Azuz.