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CNN10 2021-03-23

CNN 10

State In Australia Still Recovering From Bushfires Now Struggling With Flooding; Spring Break Travel During Pandemic Overview; Demonstration Mission With Goal Of Cleaning Up Space Junk; Ancient Gold Mask Discovered In China. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired March 23, 2021 - 04:00:00 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Carl Azuz. Welcome to CNN 10. Your 10- minute overview of world events. We begin this March 23rd in Australia specifically the eastern state of New South Wales. It's the most populated state in the country with more than 8 million people.

Many of them struggled with the record bushfire season that struck in 2019 and 2020. Now they're dealing with the opposite problem, record breaking floods. More than 18,000 people have been evacuated from their homes. Thousands more could be told leave in the days ahead because increasing rainfall is in the forecast. Extreme weather like bushfires, floods, droughts and storms, that's common in Australia.

What caused this problem according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology was the collision of two weather systems that brought tremendous amounts of rain to New South Wales. All along its eastern coast from its northern border to its southern one, the state is under a flood watch. Homes have been destroyed. Roads are underwater. Rivers have burst their banks. An Australian meteorologist says since last Thursday, some areas have seen more than three feet of rain.

That's five times what this region normally gets in the entire month of March and another two to four inches of rainfall was possible by Tuesday night. The New South Wales State Emergency Service says it's responded to thousands of calls for help.

Thousands of emergency workers and volunteers are on the ground assisting others and the states premier says the Australian military may be needed to help with the recovery. The government expects it will take a massive effort to clean up once the waters subside.


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Pete Muntean in Washington. Spring Break travel continues to set records of the pandemic and the TSA says it's screened more than 1.3 million people at airports across the country on Saturday. That means more than 1 million people have flown each day for 10 straight days.

The record of the pandemic set on Friday when more than 1.4 million people flew and that number could be even higher for Sunday. That number will come out later on Monday. All of this travel is happening as health experts are still warning against Spring Break trips.

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Dianne Gallagher in Charlotte. Vaccine eligibility expansion is happening all across the southeast.

Starting today, Monday, in Florida, anybody over the age of 50 can get a vaccine. In Alabama it's 55 and older as well as those who have developmental or intellectual disabilities and anybody ages 16 to 64 who have underlying, high risk medical conditions.

Now in Louisiana and this -- this is big, all essential workers over the age of 16 are eligible for the vaccine and Louisiana essential workers could be a member of the clergy, someone who works in higher education, manufacturing, transportation and those who work in grocery stores and food services.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Bianna Golodryga in New York. For the first time in over a year, all of New York City public schools will be offering in-person learning for K-12 students. Nearly 500 high schools are welcoming back 55,000 students. That's just a fraction of the city's 326,000 high school students prior to the pandemic.

The majority of families continuing to opt for remote learning. High school students will be subjected to the same safety measures as elementary and middle school students including randomized, weekly testing, masking and social distancing. According to city officials, the corona virus positivity rate of schools since October is .57 percent, indicating minimal spread within classrooms.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. What is the meaning of the Russian word Sputnik? Traveling companion, new dawn, distance observer, or next frontier.

Sputnik, the name of a Soviet satellite and a Russian vaccine is named traveling companion.

Since Sputnik One launched in 1957, people have been putting satellites, rockets and stations into space and it's getting crowded up there with the stuff we use and the stuff we don't. The European Space Agency estimates that there are more than 9,000 tons of manmade materials in orbit.

That's the weight of 720 school buses driving around over our heads and a new spacecraft launched over the weekend, along with its satellite added about 423 pounds to that. But this mission's a little bit different.

It's an attempt to demonstrate a way to potentially clean up space junk. The plan is for the spacecraft and satellite so separate then reattach using magnets then head back toward Earth to burn up in its atmosphere. Sounds simple but it will take months to accomplish. If it works though, the demo flight could set the stage for a new space junk clean up.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The more we rocket into the heavens.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three, two, one. Lift off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The more junk and debris we leave behind making it more dangerous for our spaceships and our satellites to move around. The good news, we can clean it up. In the heart of Tokyo, just a few miles away from this park on a quiet street, one company is trying to make space a little safer by making it a little cleaner.

Imagine space for a second. It looks something like this. Right? Not quite. According to space whizzes like this guy, hi (Tim). This is more like it. A world surrounded by broken satellites, old rockets and spaceship fragments and well just junk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You wouldn't believe there are thousands and thousands and thousands of pieces of space debris up there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over 170 million pieces according to some estimates. Some are big, others small. Most are really small.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The small one is like a pink fleck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But don't let size fool you. In space the smallest thing can have a catastrophic impact. Those flecks move at an average of 40,000 kilometers an hour and when they hit they hit with the force of a hand grenade, imagine that times 170 million. Naoko Yamazaki, Japan's second female astronaut, has seen the impact of this stuff first hand.

NAOKO YAMAZAKI: If the space debris (inaudible) it's (inaudible) meter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Less than a dime.

YAMAZAKI: It will go through the structure so it is a risk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That means dime sized debris could destroy a spaceship but junk isn't just a problem for astronauts. It impacts everyone on Earth too, intelligence gathering, electric grids. Just look at the GPS on your phone. That's why Mickey (ph) wants so make space clean.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Step one, map the mess. Agencies like NASA track the big trash but right now no one's really looking out for the small pieces.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While satellite one maps the small stuff, satellite two nicknamed Elsa D (ph) will sweep up the big stuff.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really? Just magnets? Mickey's (ph) team will launch the satellite as close to the selected piece of junk as possible. Special cameras and sensors will get even closer and magnets will do the rest. Then it will be all programmed to come back to Earth where it will burn up on reentry.

If all goes according to plan, Astroscale will send the first demo sweeper up in 2019 and from there companies can hire their own Elsa (ph) to sweep up whatever might be in their way. Big international agencies like the European Space Agency have also started developing ideas to clean up space but Astroscale is the world's first private company giving it a try because it believes we will become ever more dependent on space.

YAMAZAKI: Someday, you know, people will probably go to Mars or more (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And let's not forget space tourists.

YAMAZAKI: But if, you know, you're going to go farther beyond Mars we have to clear that crowded area to minimize the risk.



AZUZ: A mask was recently discovered in central China. You might be like, some of us are wearing masks now. Well, this one is worth more than its weight in gold because it is gold and it's believed to be 3,000 years old. This is from a giant trove of artifacts found in a Chinese archeological site.

Scientists have uncovered tens of thousands of buried relics here since a farmer accidentally unearthed some in the 1920s. Researchers say ancient ceremonial pits were dug here and in recent decades they've yielded artifacts made from bronze, ivory, jade and bone. Experts will hoping this will shed light on China's ancient Chu Kingdom. Not a lot is known about it except that it was conquered in the year 316 B.C.

So there's no "masking" researchers excitement. They've described the gold mask kind of like we describe Fridays "oreome". What more can "any you" want it's always fun for "alk and me" to report on and while it's probably a lot heavier than the "plastic" COVID masks we wear these days. It'd be "fool's gold" not to at least try it.

I'm Carl Azuz. Lehighton, Pennsylvania is where we're going for today's shout out. You could say we have "Le heightened" interest in Lehighton Area High School for their comment on our You Tube channel. Have a great Tuesday y'all.