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CNN10 2020-09-03

CNN 10

Facebook Says A Russian Troll Farm Tried to Sow Discord; U.S. Stocks Are Up Amid a Mixed Economy; Drones Help Indigenous People Keep Tabs on Illegal Logging

Aired September 3, 2020 - 04:00 聽 ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Old McDonald didn't have a troll farm but that's the first subject today on CNN 10. I'm Carl Azuz and we're happy to have you watching. Two years ago, American investigators accused a Russian organization of interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The Russian group is the Internet Research Agency. U.S. officials say it's a troll farm, a group that aims to anger or provoke people on the internet, creating fake identities, posing as Americans online, criticizing some of the U.S. presidential candidates. This is how the U.S. Justice Department said the Internet Research Agency tried to deceive Americans. Russia called the accusation absurd and not based on any facts.

But now, Facebook says people connected to the Internet Research Agency are trying to target Americans again. According to the social media company,

Russian operatives tried to deceive Americans with computer generated photos of people, Facebook accounts and pages and a website designed to look like a news outlet. Facebook says the Russian organization was probably shut down before it became very influential but it points to this as evidence that Russia's trying to interfere with the upcoming U.S. election. Peace Data is the website accused of being part of the Russian operation. It's published more than 500 stories in English in this year and 200 in Arabic. It says it's a global news organization and calls Facebook's accusations a lie.

Facebook says it's findings were the result of an FBI tip that came in July and that it used so-called technical indicators to link the info to Russia's Internet Research Agency. The FBI says it's been working to better prevent online threats to U.S. National Security and democratic processes. As far as the U.S. economy goes, it's a mixed bag. Important economic indicators like retail sales, industrial production and new home construction, they took a hit in March and April as businesses nationwide shut down. The unemployment rate, the percentage of American workers without jobs, hit 14.7 percent in April. That was after almost two years of record lows at or below 4 percent. It has improved since then to 10.2 percent and the new unemployment report that comes out Friday will give us more info. The Stock Market meanwhile has been soaring but that too has mixed reasons.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I'm here in Wall Street, and it's, basically empty. Nobody is -- (inaudible) traders are working at home but make no mistake they're working.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ hit record highs. Records in the Stock Market.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: March low to a new peak.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This person is Jeff Bezos. He is wealthier than he's ever been.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So how can that be? How can millions of people be out of work? Small businesses closing throughout the country and the Stock Market seems to be doing so well. First, is that when we talk about the Stock Market what we're really talking about are indices. The Dow and the S&P 500, those indices are made up of the largest publicly traded corporations out there. So when we just talk about the Stock Market, we're talking about the evaluation of those companies. We're not talking about other factors in the economy like wages, the unemployment rate. How many people are actually working? And at a time of crisis like the pandemic, large corporations handled it better than others.

The second reason, textiles. So take the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones. We know that that's just the largest publicly traded corporations. But even when you look at the number of the Dow and the S&P 500, it's still disproportionately effected by the largest of the companies. Most companies have done really well during the pandemic. Companies like Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, over the last year they've gone up 49 percent in stock. The rest of the S&P 500 has stayed flat. So the third reason is speculation. Right? When you look at the stock prices, it's not just measuring how a company's doing at the moment, the speculation (inaudible). So take Tesla. Tesla's stock price has gone up 10 times in the last year. But they're not selling 10 times as many cars, people have bought into Tesla with the expectation that will one day justify that price.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: And that's another reason why the market's up. It's considered a leading economic indicator, meaning it's predicting what happens down the road and many investors think that if corona virus gets under control and people get increasingly confident about the economy in 2021. Companies in general will be doing better and potentially the economy as a whole.

10 Second Trivia. What is also known as the World's Largest Pharmacy? Rainforest, Antarctica, Rite-Aid or Amazon.com. Rainforests have been called the world's largest pharmacy because so many natural medicines have been discovered there.

In the Amazon rainforest, one sound you wouldn't expect to hear in the orchestra of nature is that of a drone. But environmental organizations have taught indigenous groups to use them to keep tabs on where illegal logging is taking place. The law enforcement teams that usually patrol the region have been working with fewer people because of the corona virus pandemic. And though the use of drones alone won't solve the problems there, the programs supporters say it's a step toward protecting important land.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Amazon tribes are learning to use technology to help protect their land from the impact of deforestation by illegal loggers and land grabbers in Brazil. Twenty-eight year old, Awapu Urowawa (ph) is one of a new generation learning to use drones to detect deforestation. He's part of a training program for indigenous communities and others who work in forest protection run by the World Wildlife Fund and local NGO, the Kanadai (ph) Esno (ph) Environmental Defense Association.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We really accept the technology with open arms. (inaudible) start to use the drones. In Brazil, the government doesn't have all the resource needed to protect the Amazon. It's very important that they are a part of this process.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Awapu's (ph) tribe, the Eoru Awowow (ph) first came into contact with the people from outside their community in the early 1980s'. Their land is a protected area of almost 7,000 square miles of rainforest in the Brazilian state of Rondonia. An increase of illegal deforestation and forest fires is threatening their indigenous way of life, destroying the forest they depend on for growing and gathering food and for clean air and water. Out on patrol, Awapu (ph) and his team use the drones to find and document areas of deforestation. Collecting high resolution images, video and mapping data to use as evidence when reporting illegal activities to the authorities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE TRANSLATED: Look at the size of the deforested area here. It's huge. We send the drone up here too. There is no end to it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The key is not, I think of the technology of course as a silver bullet, but it's carrying that tool along with indigenous knowledge that makes it -- it so much more powerful. (inaudible) intricate (inaudible) understanding of, you know, what are the areas that are most important to protect? Where are there, you know, roots that animals pass through (inaudible)?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Keeping the forest intact is crucial to protecting the rich, biodiversity of this Amazon region, home to over 180 species of mammals and more than 600 species of birds. It is also vital to the states water supply.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE TRANSLATED: Water from there irrigates all the fields outside it. It irrigates the soil, the pastures. If you destroy the water, you are destroying your economy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For his work protecting the forest, Awapu (ph) says he has faced death threats from land grabbers and illegal loggers but he is determined. With the help of this technology to continue the type for future generations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE TRANSLATED: My hope is that while I'm alive, I want to see the jungle standing and the jungle intact. That is my hope.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: Another story involving drones in Amazon, that's Amazon the company. It's moved a step closer toward having drones deliver some products in the United States. It's wanted to do this since 2013 but it's needed approval from the Federal Aviation Administration which sets the rules of the skies.

The company just got an FAA certificate. It can now begin testing drone deliveries. Amazon's goal is to deliver some products in 30 minutes or less but it's prime air fleet is not ready yet for prime time. Better technology and more coordination with the FAA are needed for this to be common everywhere. UPS and Alphabet are two other companies that have FAA approval for drone deliveries.

Reporting on this last segment was butter, a whole lot of it. An annual butter sculpture is part of the New York State Fair. That's been cancelled this year because of the corona virus pandemic but the dairy artists, yes there are dairy artists. They fashioned a new sculpture anyway and it was presented virtually this week. It took roughly 800 pounds of New York State butter and 10 days for the husband and wife team to create the buttery scene.

And ain't it just enough to melt your heart. It's quite a "spread". I'd say they're availability to "churn" out things like that shows they've got the process down "pat". It always causes quite a "stir" in the butter world. And does it take talent? You "butter" believe it ya'll. Whew.

Newport High School, "buttered" us up by leaving a mention on our YouTube page. Hello to all our viewers in Newport, Pennsylvania. I'm Carl Azuz for CNN.

END