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CNN10 2020-10-22

CNN 10

Flooding Claims Lives And Homes In Vietnam; U.S. Candidates Prepare For A "Muted" Debate; An American Company Works On A Type Of Biodegradable Material. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired October 22, 2020 - 04:00:00 聽 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Flooding in the nation of Vietnam headlines today's show.

I'm Carl Azuz. Thank you for making us part of your day.

October is part of the rainy season in the communist nation of Vietnam. But this year, precipitation has been particularly heavy, meteorologists say the natural La Nina phenomenon in the Pacific may be to blame. Hundreds of thousands of homes are underwater. There have been some major landslides.

The "Reuters" news agency reported yesterday that 111 people are dead and 22 were still missing.

The president of Vietnam's Red Cross Society says the floods are some of the worst the nation has seen in decades. Everywhere we look, she says, homes, roads, and infrastructure have been submerged. Rescuers are bringing in supplies by air, sea and land.

The floods aren't just affecting lives. They're affecting livelihoods. About 40 percent of Vietnam's labor force works in agriculture and the government-run news agency says more than 17,000 acres of crops have been lost, in addition to over 691,000 cattle and poultry that have been washed away.

Combined that with the loss of tourism revenue, first from COVID-19 and now from the flooding, and international aid workers say millions of people could be pushed toward the brink of poverty.

The forecast isn't helping. A tropical storm which recently caused flooding and evacuations in the Philippines is headed toward Vietnam.

The second and final U.S. presidential debate of 2020 is scheduled to be held tonight. It will be at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

There were supposed to be three of these events between incumbent Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. But last week's debate was canceled.

After President Trump was tweeted for coronavirus early this month, the Commission on Presidential Debates decided the second one would be held virtually. But it didn't consult with the candidates first, and while former Vice President Biden's campaign agreed to it, President Trump did not. So, the candidates participated in separate town hall events instead.

Tonight's moderator is Kristen Welker, an anchor and correspondent for NBC News. She's planning to cover six topics, spending 15 minutes on each of them.

And there will be a change this time around. While each candidate has two minutes to answer the initial questions, the other candidate's microphone will be turned off. The goal was to reduce the interrupting and bickering that took place in the first debate, on September 29th.

The microphones will be turned back on after the candidates have each had two minutes to answer those initial questions so simultaneous arguments between them will still be possible after that.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Scott McLean in Berlin where Europe's second wave of the coronavirus is showing no signs of slowing, despite a patch work of curfews and restrictions being imposed across the continent.

One popular vacation area in southern Germany has just kicked out hundreds of tourists and imposed a two week stay at home order with exceptions for work and essentials. The worst hit countries here are the Netherlands, Belgium and the Czech Republic, which has just recorded another record another record high case count.

With the health system nearing its capacity, the government is building a field hospital in Prague to deal with the expected overflow. It's also reimposing an unpopular but effective mandate to wear masks, even outdoors.

This morning, the Czech parliament will meet in an emergency session to discuss even stricter measures.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: I'm Nic Robertson in London where in nearby island, the prime minister, the Taoiseach there has told the country he is putting it on the toughest lockdown in Europe. It will last six weeks, he says. The idea that they would be in a push down the surging coronavirus infection rate and nearby people would have a better Christmas.

People are being told to work from home. They're being told to work from home, they're being told they cannot roam more than 3 miles from their houses. Only essential retail stores will be opened.

There's a lot of division in Ireland about this, a lot of disquiet and discomfort.


Since July, Chinese drugmakers have been administering experimental coronavirus vaccines under an emergency use program authorized by Beijing.

Now, those receiving these vaccines are people working in high risk professions like medical workers and border patrol agents, as well as some diplomats and state-owned company employees who travel overseas.

Because the vaccine is still in clinical trials, some experts worry that it can cause unknown side effects. But an official with China's national health commission says so far, no serious adverse reactions have been reported.



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

A mixture of compounds formed by smaller molecules is called a what?

Solvent, carbon, polymer or steroid?

The answer is polymer, a compound that can be natural or artificial.


AZUZ: Plastic is an artificial polymer. It's cheap, it's lightweight. It doesn't rust and it's long-lasting. But that is one of its disadvantages.

We reported on the lingering litter of plastics in our landfills and oceans.

An American company is working on a polymer that can be shaped or molded like plastic, but it still breaks down completely in the environment.

It's not cheap. A set of AirCarbon cutlery costs $6.99. A set of plastic cutlery costs 4 cents. An AirCarbon handbag costs more than $500. A designer nylon one runs $150.

But if the new polymer products can be scaled up and priced down, they could help with the plastic pollution problem.


MARK HERREMA, CEO, NEWLIGHT TECHNOLOGIES: When you think about it, greenhouse gas is the basis of life. Nature is gobbling greenhouse gas every day. What we found early on is that there are natural life organisms in the ocean that consume greenhouse gas as a food source.

RACHEL CRANE, CNN INNOVATION CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What they discovered was that with these organisms, they could create a safe plastic alternative and at the same time remove harmful carbon emissions from the atmosphere.

For over a decade, they've been developing a way to do that at scale. This is their first commercial production plant.

HERREMA: This is one of the most beautiful things that I could look at.

CRANE (on camera): It is in the eye of the beholder I suppose.

So, explain to me this in your words beautiful we're looking at here.

HERREMA: Here's why it's beautiful. This is basically what happens in the ocean recreate on land.

CRANE (voice-over): These large tanks are full of saltwater and microorganisms found in the ocean. When the organisms are feed greenhouse gases like methane and CO2, they naturally produce a bio polymer.

HERREMA: We have this pure white powder than we can then melt and form in all kinds of parts and pieces.

CRANE: The company calls it AirCarbon, which like plastic can be molded into a variety of products from furniture into packaging, or products like straws and cutlery.

HERREMA: This straw as an example reduces the amount of carbon in the air by 30 grams. Now, by itself, it's not a lot. But imagine companies that are using hundreds of millions of straws here. We're talking about tens of thousands of CO2 that would otherwise be in the air now destroyed or sequesterd.

CRANE: And because AirCarbon is natural, it degrades in the ocean in about a year. Plastic? It can take hundreds of years.

HERREMA: You kind of solve two problems, both the plastic pollution problem and also climate change.

CRANE: To introduce AirCarbon to the world, Newlight is launching direct to consumer brands in food ware and in fashion, an industry which is responsible for 10 percent of global carbon emissions.

(on camera): What do you think it's going to take for plastic alternatives like AirCarbon to make a dent?

HERREMA: In order to really make the kind of impact that we want to make, we spent a lot of time working to bring something to the market that people can afford. We make premium products that are designed to go out in very, very large scale and can be head on with the incumbents that are out there in the world today. We're making them available and we'll find a direct to consumer basis.

But we are also working very heavily on the B2B side.

CRANE (voice-over): In all, Newlight says the products made at its first commercial plant takes the CO2 equivalent of 6,000 cars off the road, a small start.

HERREMA: This is my wallet. I'm holding something that represents carbon that would have otherwise gone into the air. Imagine if all the products that we made when we made them, like growing tree leaves, actually improve the world. Whether it's decarbonizing or going carbon negative, I think that's the world needs to start to look towards.


AZUZ: For "10 Out of 10", vroom!

This is the SSC Tuatara. SSC is the manufacturer, Tuatara is the model. It's making news because it's fast.

How fast is it?

In a recent drive outside Las Vegas, Nevada, the Tuatara hit 331 miles per hour, as in 331 miles per hour on a carbon fiber chassis and gas fueled twin turbo V8 engine that produces 1,750 horsepower.

According to SSC, that makes the Tuatara the world's fastest production car, a vehicle that has bunch of identical models that are available to the public.

"A bunch" meaning 12 that are already sold out for next year. "Available" meaning maybe sometime after that, and "to the public" meaning to the public that generally has $2 million to spend on a car.

So, Tua much for most Tua handle. But it does have a Tua-aura about it, so you can SSC why someone with a need for speed would be willing to burnout a bank account to win the race to get one.

It is getting Tua late for us Tuataries (ph). So, we'll say tu-do-do.

But not before we say hello to West Warwick High School. We saw your comment at YouTube.com/CNN10. Thank you for watching from West Warwick,

Rhode Island.

I'm Carl Azuz.