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CNN10 2021-01-29

CNN 10

U.S. Gross Domestic Product Shrinks; New Type of Helicopter Approaches Launch Point; Visit to Hawaii's Banzai Pipeline; Panda Makes His Debut

Aired January 29, 2021 - 04:00:00 聽 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Just how much did the corona virus pandemic impact the world biggest economy. We're going to tell you. That's what we do on CNN 10. I'm Carl Azuz. Welcome to the show. A nation's Gross Domestic Product is a good measure of its economy's health.

The GDP is the total value of all the goods and services a country produces in a certain time period. If that GDP grows from year to year, it's one sign of a growing and healthy economy. The United States has the biggest economy and GDP on the planet. How big? From the year 2020, the U.S.

Commerce Department just reported that the nation's Gross Domestic Product stood at $20.9 trillion.

Here's the bad news. The year before, it was at $21.4 trillion. That's a drop of more than 3 percent from 2019 to 2020. It was greater than the decrease brought on by the Great Recession in 2009 and it represented America's worst economic decline since 1946 following the end of World War II. Guess what caused it?

If you said the corona virus pandemic and the shutdowns related to it, you get a gold star and the chairman of the Federal Reserve, America's Central Bank says what happens with the virus will determine what happens with the economy going forward. Some economists predict that if the vaccines prove effective, things could get back to normal later this year.

Natural immunity from those who've recovered from the disease could factor in as well. Though the U.S. Gross Domestic Product dropped from 2019 to 2020, there was a silver lining to the government's report. America's quarterly Gross Domestic Product measured only from the third quarter of last year to the fourth one grew by 4 percent and the growth had been more than 33 percent during the quarter before. So those were good signs for the second half of 2020. But all that wasn't enough to make up for what the nation lost earlier in the year.

10 Second Trivia. Where would you find the tallest mountain in the solar system? Nepal, Mars, the Moon or Titan. (inaudible) believe that Olympus Mons, a volcano on Mars is the tallest mountain in the solar system.

Since the 1960s, NASA has launched more than 20 missions to the red planet. Not all of them have been successful. As the project manager for the newest Rover mission puts it, landing on Mars is hard. But that hasn't deterred the scientists behind the $2.7 billion Perseverance Project. The Rover is set to touch down on Mars in 20 days. It's the biggest, heaviest and most advanced machine of its kind that NASA's ever built and scientists will be relying completely on its computer systems to get the landing right. Mars is more than 292 million miles away. It takes 10 and a half minutes for radio signals on earth to reach a rover on Mars and the landing process occurs over seven minutes. So if anything goes wrong as Perseverance gets close to the surface, there won't be enough time for NASA to correct it.

Of course the organization has done this before with other landers and rovers and assuming Perseverance gets to Mars OK, it will start taking pictures and exploring the planets geology and climate. The rover is also carrying a helicopter named Ingenuity. The $23 million aircraft isn't collecting any scientific info. It's there just to see if helicopter flight is feasible for future missions. While it does that the Perseverance Rover is expected to cover 15 miles in its year's long journey. The summer temperature near Mars' equator is around 70 degrees.

That's not too different from this week's high in the Hawaiian Island of Oahu and that's where CNN Contributor Chris James is about to take us.

Oahu's north shore is a little less than an hour's drive from the capital of Honolulu. But it's not driving we're looking to do today. This is the time of year when the surf's up along with the risks for those who don't pay attention to the reef below.


CHRIS JAMES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I am absolutely fascinated by, some might say obsessed with big wave surfing. To me, surfing is one of the coolest things anybody can possibly do and over the past few weeks my Instagram discover page has been inundated with amazing surf videos. All filmed at this iconic location where I'm taking you today. Welcome to the north shore of Hawaii. January is peak season here at the Banzai Pipeline known by locals as simply the pipeline or the pipe. It's home to one of the world's most famous surf breaks.

These perfect barrel shaped wave have helped catapult the careers of top professional surfers like Kelly Flater (ph) and (inaudible). It's mesmerizing to watch these massive waves roll through. Could you imagine the adrenaline rush before careening down waves that can be as high as 20 feet? And by the way, these waves are for experts only. According to "Surfer Today", the intensity of the waves is due in part to the fact that there are three successive underwater reefs which helps to create those ideal conditions for what's known in the surf community as the queen of all waves.

Tourists and local spectators alike flock to the North Shore beach to witness surf royalty take on the pipeline. But with the beauty of these waves, also comes a serious danger that has dubbed the Banzai Pipeline the world's deadliest wave according to "Complex". One false move could be catastrophic. And as the peak surf season continues throughout the winter, the world's top surfers will keep conquering the pipeline's monster waves and while they do that, I'll be following along from the safety of my couch. Back to you Carl.


AZUZ: Panda's can bark. That's something new I learned while working on today's show. I also found out that their gestation period takes anywhere from three to five months. That they can live as long as 30 years in captivity and they can grow to weigh as much as 330 pounds. That's amazing when you consider how small this one was when it was born.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Washington's National Zoo is closed due to COVID but they couldn't resist "pandering" to panda fans with this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We actually just woke him up from a nap.

MOOS: From nap to his first live virtual encounter full of panda baby talk.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're so silly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh sweet potatoes delicious.

MOOS: Actually the live encounter consisted mostly of eating cooked sweet potatoes in various positions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nothing like eating your sweet potato upside down.

MOOS: Five month old Xiao Qi Ji has come along way. So small when he was born. You could hear but not really see him. (inaudible). Considering his looks, these are some of his first steps. Xiao Qi Ji is Chinese for "Little Miracle". Soon he was able to scratch and yawn simultaneously. Even his mom seemed startled by his feisty bark. But when the zoo compared him in size to an eggplant he seemed offended. He plays from everything from a giant hockey puck to a crate smeared with honey. No wonder he managed to cram his entire body inside. He seems to do a lot of falling. Often with a nudge from his mother who occasionally lugs him around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By scuffing him, which you would see your cat at home do.

MOOS: Xiao Qi Ji's virtual encounter was a smash. Now he's the world's cuddliest creature transformed from a shrieking alien salamander that could send chills down your spine. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


AZUZ: Let's see she already mentioned "pandering". I guess I'll have to "cub" up with something else. I wouldn't' want to "bamboozle" you out of puns. It's true some people can't "bear" them but they make a "giant" difference even for those who "pandepund" at the end. And what else would you expect from a guy named "Azoooz". Friday's are awesome. So are the students of Sulfur Springs High School. It is located in Sulfur Springs,

Texas and that is our last stop before our traditional Friday news montage on CNN.