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CNN10 2020-10-01

CNN 10

U.S. Navy Flight Tracked By Russian Fighters Over Black Sea; Coronavirus Brings Changes To U.S. Political Campaigns; Travel From Sea To Sky. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired October 1, 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: On this first day of October, international military tensions headline CNN 10. I'm your host Carl Azuz. It's always good to have you watching. We've reported before on the controversy concerning artificial Chinese islands in the South China Sea. Today we're exploring international tensions with Russia on the other side of the North Hemisphere in the Black Sea.

This eastern European body of water is strategically important because it connects through the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean. It's surrounded by Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria. Those three last countries are members of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. That makes them allies of the United States, another NATO member.

The organization was created in 1949 to protect western European nations against the Soviet Union and in recent years as Russia has made moves to assert its power in the Black Sea region. NATO members have been making moves of their own to assert the strength of their military alliance.

There've been questions about that strength in recent years.

NATO countries are supposed to spend two percent of their gross domestic product on their militaries. But while America has done that, most other NATO countries haven't. U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized NATO members for not spending enough on the alliance.

So critics have questioned if the U.S. is still committed to NATO. The leader of the U.S.- European Command says America's security commitment's to NATO are quote "iron clad". As a demonstration of that, American planes and ships have been conducting military exercises in the area around the Black Sea and they've been harassed by Russian planes in the process.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The U.S. Navy on the move deep into what Russia considers its backyard. We're onboard a P-8 maritime warfare and surveillance plane in the Black Sea. It's a heavily militarized region and we're told Russian jets are in the air.

The crew spots one creeping up. It's an SU-27 fighter jet. It seems to be moving out of reach but suddenly our plane is buzzed, the encounter fast.

We catch the fighter just as it's pulling away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It could be an unpredictable pilot. Maybe a new pilot or something like that so that can always be a challenge. We do keep on constant alert when we're being intercepted.

PLEITGEN: The crew is tracking several other Russian jets nearby. Encounters like this one with Russian warplanes are not uncommon for U.S.

military personnel flying in like places like the Black Sea. It's not, the U.S. military says they're becoming more common and also some of them are conducted in an unsafe manner.

In late August, two Russians interceptors nearly rammed a B-52 operating here in what the U.S. says was an unsafe intercept. Russia says it was operating according to international norms but there's no doubt Moscow is growing more brazen. The P-8 flying straight into the lion's den, right off Russia's main Black Sea naval port, Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula.

The crew tracked 10 Russian military vessels nearby including this Kilo class submarine, before checking on a U.S. destroyer, the Roosevelt which was also being shadowed by a Russian warship.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really it's a message to all potential adversaries and a -- a message to our allies and partners that we're -- we're here to support them, keep their freedom and prosperity open for the entire (inaudible) in Europe.

PLEITGEN: And that includes missions into difficult and contested areas like the Black Sea where Russia continues to try and grow its influence.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, in the Black Sea.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: It was at times a contentious and chaotic first presidential debate.

(CROSSTALK)

AZUZ: And the commission on presidential debates says it may change the structure of the remaining presidential face-offs to make sure they're more orderly. Tuesday night's debate was not the most watched in history. Neilson Media Research says across four major American media networks, there was a 36 percent decrease in viewership from the record set in 2016.

So the current candidates kept after each other, hitting the campaign trail on Wednesday. Incumbent Republican President Donald Trump was set to travel to Minnesota. While Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden planned to visit Pennsylvania and Ohio.

The candidates have had to make changes to how they campaign in this era of coronavirus. And CNN contributor Kelly Mena reports on changes made on debate night. Kelly.

KELLY MENA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks Carl. Now let's take a look at how the pandemic is changing the presidential debates this year. Like every aspect of American society, the debates have had adapt to life amid the health threat of COVID-19. To start, Tuesday was the first of three presidential debate headed into November.

Unlike four years ago, the candidates did not shake hands, a time-honored tradition of good sportsmanship. President Donald Trump and Joe Biden also did not shake hands with moderator Chris Wallace. The candidates who usually stand close to each other on stage were social distanced at their respective podiums. Unlike previous years, where debates packed with audience members that cheered and applauded for their candidate.

This year's verbal stand off featured much less audience participation. Less than 100 audience members were present at the live event. All those who were in attendance were tested for COVID-19 and followed strict, health safety guidelines.

Carl, while the coronavirus is changing certain aspects of the debates one thing remains certain. It's must watch TV and could go a long way in determining the outcome of the presidential general election.

AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. Dynamic apnea, variable weight and free emersion are categories of what activity? Triathlon, free diving, (inaudible), or fishing. The answer here is free diving an extreme sport whose competitors hold their breath.

It's very dangerous. Even a record holding free diver said at the bottom of a dive what you experience can feel like a dream or a nightmare and you still have to find your way back to the surface. Lung damage, passing out and drowning are an ever present threat to people who do this. Yet with a deep breath they're continually drawn to the deep.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you reach one (inaudible) it's like a dream. That's when you reach two (inaudible) it's like a -- a start of (inaudible). It's a (inaudible) and because (inaudible). It's more important now for me because I have am just 24 years old.

I have a big connection with the sea. It's really like a romantic connection I think because I discover could I (inaudible) in France and (inaudible) and this part of my life is so difficult but the part of (inaudible) with the people. Or when I try (inaudible) for the first time.

I go in the depths and I open my -- my eyes and I just see the blue and no fish, no (inaudible) just the blue one. In this part of my dive I see (inaudible) and I see what I -- I need to do for the next of my life.

For (inaudible) you need to be really confident in you. You need to be comfortable with what you do in the bottom because you can stop at the bottom. You are as (inaudible) now I'm tired, I can stop.

It's not like that. It's really an extreme sport and really focused on the (inaudible). One minute of my dive for me is like one day. When I (inaudible) because my (inaudible) I start to swim. Just (inaudible) like when you -- when you fly like a bird.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: From the depths to the heights. British rescuers have just tested out a new jet suit for paramedics and suddenly everyone wants to be a first responder. The advantage of this is that it saves time. A 25-minute walk over a mountainous landscape can now be done in a 90-second flight plus people could get rescued by Ironman. The disadvantage is that the suit can only fly for five or ten minutes and can cost almost half a million dollars.

And that could budget in a "turbined". But paramedics are known to act fast. These guys are flying. Paramedics are known to have nerves of steel.

These guys have suits of iron. They always "rise" to the occasion and "catch air" on the job so why wouldn't the new suit "suit" them.

I'm Carl Azuz for CNN 10. We elected to go with the Senators today. That's the mascot of Sparkman High School in Harvest, Alabama. Thank you for your vote for CNN 10 at youtube.com/CNN.

END