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CNN10 2021-02-11

CNN 10

U.S. Government Considers Mandatory COVID Testing For All Domestic Flight Passengers; Conservationist Works To Protect The Sierra Gorda Region

Aired February 11, 2021 - 04:00:00 聽 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Getting a new edition of CNN 10 off the ground, I'm Carl Azuz. It's always great to have you watching. There's a debate taking place over COVID testing for U.S. airline passengers.

We told you late last year how travelers on some international flights are required to take a rapid coronavirus test and prove they don't have the virus before they can fly. The Biden Administration is thinking about requiring a negative COVID test for everyone traveling domestically.

Meaning Maine, Montana or Mississippi, you'll have to prove you've recently tested negative for COVID-19. To be clear, this is not a requirement yet.

The government now does mandate that people on public transportation wear masks but it doesn't require negative coronavirus tests to fly within the United States.

The U.S. Transportation Secretary says the decision on that hasn't been made yet but he says quote, "there has got to be common sense medicine and science really driving this". The Chief Executive Officer of Delta Airlines says that since the pandemic started, coronavirus transmission on planes has been quote, "absolutely minimal" and he says requiring tests for all domestic airline passengers would create a logistical nightmare that would not make travelers safer but would take tests away from other people who are sick.

So we'll see where the government lands on this. The airline industry is an important part of the U.S. economy. It accounts for about five percent of the nations' gross domestic product every year. And whether they're in the air or on the ground, people in America and beyond are trying to balance health concerns with the desire to get back to normal. In some places it's business as usual with few signs and restrictions related to the pandemic.

In others --(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Salma Abdelaziz in London. British authorities say they will come hard on any traveler that breaks coronavirus order restrictions. The UK Health Secretary introducing a three-part system. First, there's going to be a hotel quarantine for anyone arriving from 33 red list countries.

Secondly, there's going to be more testing for all international arrivals into the UK and finally there's going to be tougher enforcement. Those who lie on passenger locator forms could face up to 10 years in jail or a 10,000 pound fine.

STEVEN JIANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Steven Jiang in Beijing. A team of World Health Organization experts are leaving the city of Wuhan after rapping up their investigation into the origins of the COVID virus drawing no conclusions from their two weeks of field studies.

In a press conference Tuesday, they largely echoed their Chinese counterparts in saying there's no sufficient evidence that the virus jumped directly from bat into humans in the city and also dismissing the lab leak theory. They did point at a possibility that a virus may have entered Wuhan from outside of China through frozen food. A claim increasingly promoted by Chinese officials and state media here.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Melissa Bell in Paris. France is to extend its state of emergency until June 1st even as the restrictions lead to the beginning of a stabilization in terms of COVID-19 figures. In Germany, Angela Merkel will meet with state premiers today to decide whether or not the current lockdown needs to be extended over the next few weeks.

This as European leaders keep a close eye on the variants now making fast progression here in the European Union. The British variant which could be dominant here in France by the first of March according to a member of the scientific council that advises the government. And also the South African variant with Austria introducing travel restrictions on its southern Tirol region after 165 cases of the South African variant were confirmed there.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. Which of these countries is home to the Sierra Gorda Ecological Region? Chile, Mexico, Philippines, or Portugal. It is in the North American country of Mexico that you'll find the Sierra Gorda Mountains.

Deforestation, the clearing of wide natural areas, is often cited as a threat to the world's woodlands. One main reason it occurs is because people are trying to build or expand farmland.

In Mexico, more than 13 percent of workers are in the field of agriculture and in a country where more than 45 percent of people live below the poverty line, agriculture is crucial to many Mexicans livelihood. But for years, a conservationist has been working to preserve the Sierra Gorda while still maintaining some jobs for people in the region.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is Sierra Gorda. Located in the heart of Central Mexico, this remote mountain range is one of the most ecologically diverse, protected areas in the country. With everything from deserts to tropical forests, all this was once under threat until Martha "Pati" Ruiz Corzo moved to the region. Until then, she had only lived in cities.

MARTHA "PATI" RUIZ CORZO: I was surrounded by such beauty. I have never seen such bluer skies and the mist in the middle of the forest. It was like a shock for me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That was more than three decades ago. Today, she may be the regions most trusted guardian. To protect that beauty, she co-founded the Sierra Gorda Ecological Group in 1987 after witnessing deforestation as a result of agriculture, manmade fires and illegal logging. In 1997, her grassroots organization helped the region achieve biosphere reserve status protecting nearly 400,000 hectares of land.

Roughly the size of the U.S. state of Rhode Island.

Today, Sierra Gorda or the "Fat Mountains" is valued for its wealth of biodiversity. The group says it is home for 345 species of birds, 800 types of butterflies, more than 110 different mammals like the jaguar and around 2,400 plant species. For Corzo, it was possible by collaborating with the local communities, many who live in poverty. Instead of logging, she helped find them alternative ways to make a living.

CORZO: Sierra Gorda, 97 percent of the land is private land of 637 communities. You have to give them an opportunity because that's all what they have.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Raising money by working with partner organizations and the government, she created economic opportunities through protection of the environment. This helped created paid jobs in reforestation, waste management, eco-tourism and education. Planting the seeds of change, Corzo hopes that her work will inspire people across the world.

CORZO: (inaudible) society so far, we need to talk about Mother Nature to connect them. Not everyone is going to -- to recognize her but there are many people that is ready to act that are really worried about the future and that -- are looking for answers. I am convinced that there she is for everyone because she is everything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Conservation, helping preserve the beauty of Sierra Gorda for future generations and sustain livelihoods through nature.




AZUZ: From tiger cars to courtroom cats. Virtual meetings just ain't the same as in person ones. This is from a recent courtroom hearing in Texas.

One of the lawyers didn't quite look himself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you hear me judge?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can hear you. I think it's a filter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is -- don't know how to remove it. I'm prepared to go forward with it. That's -- I'm here live. I'm not a cat.

AZUZ: Oh, contraire. The judge later said if a child used your computer check the video options to be sure filters are off. Because otherwise your colleagues may think you're "kitten" around and they may say obnoxious things like you seem "catatonic".

Are you "feline" OK? Have you got "cat scratch" fever? Do you need a bit of "milk"? Have you just had a "fancy feast"? How many "lives" you got left?

Did something "rub" you the wrong way? Have you been out "littering"? Has "cat" got your tongue.

And how in the world do you "meowve" on from all that. I'm Carl Azuz with cat puns for CNN 10. This show goes out to Lyford Cay International School.

It is located in Nassau, Bahamas. Thank you for watching, subscribing and commenting at YouTube.com/CNN10.