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CNN10 2020-09-29

CNN 10

Politics: Past And Present; Update On Western Wildfires; Puffin Project Off The East Coast. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired September 29, 2020 - 04:00:00 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: Attention ornithologists, project puffin plays a prominent part in today's show. I'm Carl Azuz. That stories coming up in just a few minutes. Right now, though, let the debate begin. On Tuesday night at 9pm Eastern, incumbent Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic Vice-Presidential (sic) nominee Joe Biden will meet face to face for the first time on the debate stage.

It's taking place at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. It was originally supposed to be held at the University of Notre Dame. The second debate in mid-October will be at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida.

It was originally planned for the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. The venues aren't the only things changing this year. Usually between 900 and 1,200 people attend presidential debates in person, in addition to 10's of millions who watch live.

But ain't nothing usual about 2020. Because of social distancing, far fewer people will be attending Tuesday's debate and there will be some difference in how the candidates interact with each other as well as with the debate's moderator, Chris Wallace from FOX News. We'll have more details on all this later in the week.

The topics are said to include the Trump and Biden records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, also the economy, race and violence in American cities and the integrity of the election. We'll planning on bringing you some of the highlights in tomorrow's show. Meantime, CNN's Tom Foreman has a retrospective on a couple of more memorable moments from debates past.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ground rules for this as agreed by you gentlemen are these.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the heavily scripted and choreographed world of presidential campaigning, debates offer a rare chance to see party nominees head to head, no advisors, no do overs.

RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Are you better off than you were four years ago?

FOREMAN: And few have ever produced as many memorable moments as the master of campaign one liners --

REAGAN: There you go again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of what this campaign is about it seems to me Bernie is the question of values.

FOREMAN: The ability to seamlessly weave common language and policy points is rare. George H.W. Bush could do it. So could Barack Obama.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am glad that you recognize that Al-Qaida is a threat. Because a few months ago when you were asked what's the biggest geo-political threat facing America, you said Russia. Not, Al-Qaida, you said Russia. In the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.

FOREMAN: Bill Clinton could turn that trick too.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Most people are working harder for less money than they were making 10 years ago. I think we can do better if we had the courage to change.

FOREMAN: All of that plus the sheer importance of it all gets a massive audience. Last time around, the first debate drew more than 80 million viewers. People looking for one of those memorable moments or maybe something to help make up their minds. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: While Cleveland and much of the U.S. are feeling cooler weather this week, the forecast for the American west is hot, dry and windy. And that's bad news for a region struggling with wildfires. Drought conditions have spread over 70 percent over the U.S. west. That makes the vegetation on the ground right for spreading potential fires.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, the United States has seen an average of 46,700 fires each year over the past decade. This year, the nation has seen more than 44,000 fires so far. Each year, an average of 6 million acres have burned in wildfires across the country. This year, more than 7 million acres have already been lost and there are still three more months to go in 2020.

In California where there have been more than 8,100 fires this year, the state's largest utility company has intentionally shut off power to try to prevent more wildfires. Electrical equipment can spark and ignite new blazes. There were 65,000 shutoffs planned early this week. Pacific Gas and Electric wanted to wait until high winds had passed and make sure no power lines were blown over or damaged before restoring electricity through them.

The National Weather Service expects that hot, dry weather could settle over the American west for one or two weeks. The northeastern U.S. has also been suffering from drought conditions this year. Some of the rivers in that region are very low. The good news is, that unlike the west, rain is in the forecast for the northeast. That could help states like Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Maine with their water resources.

10 Second Trivia. Which type of puffin is the smallest? Horned puffin, Tufted puffin, Rhinoceros auklet, or Atlantic puffin. Of the four puffin species, the Atlantic puffin is the smallest. It stands at 10 inches tall.

Chances are when you envision a puffin, the Atlantic is the one that comes to mind with it's brightly colored beak and orange webbed feet. Also known as sea parrots, these small birds can be found throughout the north Atlantic Ocean from the U.S. and Europe to Greenland and northern Russia.

Most of them live in Iceland. The National Audubon Society says that 60 percent of Atlantic puffins breed there. But there's an effort to bring them back to northern Maine and what started with one man's puffin passion project has turned into a successful effort to repopulated puffins off the coast of Maine.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For 47 years, Steven Cress (ph) has had a central passion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My mission for life has been to learn more about the ocean birds.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At the heart of the mission a very special species, the puffin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because they look and act kind of like people. People can relate to them. The way they walk. The pair rubs bills together, the way they raise their family.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Puffins had all but disappeared from the Maine coast after being hunted for food and feathers back in the 1800s. In 1973, Cress (ph) began an effort to bring them back to Eastern Egg Rock, this tiny speck of an island just 30 minutes off the mainland. It wasn't an easy task. They had to transplant young seabirds from Canada.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The puffin chicks from Newfoundland were put in each of these burrows, hand fed and they would come out when they were six weeks old. And they would work their way to the edge of the island and swim off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For four straight years, none of the puffins came back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I began to try and think like a puffin and I realized that if young puffins did remember this island. Maybe they wouldn't come ashore because they were too timid. Puffins are social birds and they like being with others of their kind.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cress (ph) tried placing fake puffin decoys around the island. Within days, the first puffin returned.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That decoy experience was the first beginning of what we now call social attraction. Social attraction simply means, you're attracting birds using artifacts like decoys, audio recordings, mirrors, scent, artificial burrows. Those techniques, sort of, give birds a little encouragement to -- to start. To start the nucleus of a new colony.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Project Puffin has come a long way. Cress (ph) says there are now at least 1,300 pairs of puffins across five Maine islands.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Project Puffin is a little bit of a miracle. One person's passion, Steve Cress (ph) to save a particular species inspired a whole group of people to pitch in. These social attraction techniques are now critically contributing to the restoration of many threatened and endangered species across the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, what a cutie. Look at that. That's a puffin teenager.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Humans no longer need to hand rear the chicks. The puffins are doing a great job of that all by themselves.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: In Holliston, Massachusetts the balancing rock has lost its balance. This is what it used to look like. Geologists say it balanced like this for thousands of years. The rock has a village and a street named after it, but this is what it looks like now, more of a fallen rock.

Residents just found it like this last Tuesday. Legend has it that President George Washington once tried to push it over. Maybe that's started the process, so would it be possible to bring in some heavy machinery and move it back. One expert says, no.

So something that was not really nice to "marble" at has lost some of it's "colness" and the "anthrasite" will never be the same. Of "court snuffing" lasts forever. Guess they'll just have to wipe the "slate" clean. "Chalk" it up to nature and try not to take anything else for "granite".

OK. You might have seen that last one coming but it still rocks and so do the students of Mooreville High School in Mooreville, Mississippi. It's great to have the Troopers watching today. You Tube.com/CNN10 is the place to subscribe and tell us where you're watching from. I'm Carl Azuz.

END