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CNN10 2021-04-30

CNN 10

Japan Releases New "Playbook" for Olympians; Shortage of Truck Drivers Could Result in Shortage of Gasoline; A New Space Station Heads into Orbit. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired April 30, 2021 - 04:00:00 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? I shall compare thee to a Friday because thou art awesome. I'm Carl Azuz. Welcome to the show. The torch has been passed, the Olympic torch that is. It's making its way through the prefectures of Japan. The traditional carrying of the Olympic symbol has been rerouted several times since the relay began in late March. Just like plans have changed several times for how the nation will host the games while there are concerns about the spread of coronavirus. More than 15,000 athletes, Olympians and Paralympians were originally scheduled to travel to Japan for the games.

Their postponement from last summer to this one marked the first time since 1896 that the modern games were ever put off and rescheduled and polls have shown that most Japanese are still opposed to having the games this summer. Since COVID-19 started spreading, health officials say Japan has recorded more than 580,000 positive tests overall. That's less than dozens of countries that have smaller populations than Japan's but with a new wave of infections spreading in the Asian country, new restrictions are being put in place and new questions are being raised about the upcoming Olympics.

They're currently expected to begin on July 23rd. We've reported how fans from other countries won't be allowed. What about fans from Japan itself? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SELENA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Olympic officials say they're prepared to have no spectators at the Tokyo games. With the Olympics just months away, officials still have yet to make a decision on how many people, if any, can attend. They say they're postponing their decision until June because of pandemic developments. Overseas spectators have already been banned. Japan is currently struggling to contain a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases. The prime minister has just declared yet another state of emergency in Tokyo and several other prefectures. Meantime, Japan has fully vaccinated less than one percent of its population. The situation here on the ground has once again reignited doubts as to whether or not Japan can successfully hold the games.

But organizers say that they're confident. Officials have just released new detail on COVID-19 countermeasures in a 30-page Olympic playbook. All participants are required to take two COVID-19 tests before entering Japan. Athletes in close contact will be tested everyday. While athletes are not required to quarantine for 14 days here in Japan, their movements will be restricted and tracked with Smartphone apps. For athletes, it is clear that these games will be like no other. They'll be socially distanced, and handshakes and hugs are not allowed. But despite these COVID-19 countermeasures, experts are still concerned that these games could turn into a super spreader event.

One that not only spreads more contagious COVID-19 variants throughout Japan but also around the world. During a press conference, the Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshi Sharmuuto asked if postponing the Tokyo games again is an option. He said that with the Beijing Olympics in 2022, the Paris games in 2024 and all of the logistical challenges involved. He said that another postponement would be quote "probably not practical". Selena Wang, CNN,



AZUZ: All that's a direct impact of the response to coronavirus. Among it's strange and unpredicted ripple effects, a possible shortage of gasoline.

It's not because there's less crude oil or a find gas to buy. It's because there's a shortage of truck drivers needed to get that gas to the stations.

The National Tank Truck Carriers, an industry trade group, says roughly 20 to 25 percent of tanker trucks are parked right now because there aren't enough qualified drivers to run them. That number was 10 percent before coronavirus hit. Where did the drivers go?

When the shutdowns occurred last year, there was very little demand for gasoline, so without work many drivers left the industry. Some took other jobs, some retired. Driver schools were shut down so there's been a delay in the qualified workers that come out of those and there are new safety rules in place that have reduced the number of drivers. Tanker companies are raising pay to attract new workers but that increases prices for customers. So as the summer driving season heats up, experts say higher gas prices are almost certain and gas shortages are possible.

10 Second Trivia. In terms of land area, which of these nations is the smallest? Canada, China, Russia, United States. China is the smallest physical nation on this list though it has the world's largest population.

China is currently building a new space station in low earth orbit. The country launched the first module of it on Thursday morning. It will take several sections to complete the new station and China hopes to have it up and running by the end of next year. It's expected to operate for 10 to 15 years and while it won't be as big as the International Space Station, the future of the ISS is uncertain. It cost more than $1 billion per year to run it. NASA wants other users to help pay for that and Russia says it plans to leave the ISS project in 2025. Still, some scientists hope the ISS could advance future missions to Mars. That's a planet they've had their eyes on for years as you can see in this Mars report that CNN put together in 1985.


ANDREA WEICHERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The (inaudible) spacecraft offered the first look at Mars. Any thoughts of strange creatures from another world quickly dried up. Photographs revealed a desolate, barren waste. Two years later, a quite different picture emerged. This time of a planet with gigantic volcanoes and canyons and relics of riverbeds. Again, the questions, had there been running water and life on Mars? Pictures sent back from the Viking orbiters until 1982 offered no definitive answer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As far as we can tell right now, there is no sign of life on Mars. In which case Mars poses a remarkable opportunity.

WEICHERT: Scientist Carl Fagen (ph) is talking about putting a man on Mars by the year 2010. A goal being pushed by a joint meeting of the Planetary Society and American Institute of Aeronautics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mars is the planet with the closest environment to the Earth in all of the solar system and life is on one and not on the other.

How come? It's the classic situation of the experiment and the control.

WEICHERT: Both the U.S. and Soviet Union plan further exploration of Mars over the next five years. While those missions are unmanned, NASA administrator James Beg (ph) says he's certain someday man will walk on Mars.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's been estimated here this afternoon that we might well be on our way to Mars the first decade of the next century. I'm not quite that ambitious but certainly before the space age reaches the ripe old age of 50 years or so, I believe the program will be underway.

WEICHERT: Most of the technology to put man on Mars is already available. Money is not. To cut cost and promote better Soviet-U.S. relations,

Planetary Society members, a number of Congressional members and scientists are promoting a mission to Mars as an international effort. Andrea Weichert, CNN in Washington.


AZUZ: Next time your internet goes out don't rush to blame your service provider or spotty wifi. It could just be the beavers. At least it was recently in Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia. Officials say that while beavers there were building a dam, internet fiber cables apparently got in their way. So the animals just chewed them in half. The internet has since been restored. Officials called the incident very bizarre and uniquely Canadian.

Just think, no streaming music from "Justin Beaver". No retro online episodes of "Leave it to Beaver". It's certainly something to "chew over".

The beavers probably got "chewed" out. It's just hard to "believer" the "beaver" "deavered" and "cleavered" the "weaver" that's the "keyver" for people to "ceaver" the "beaver net". I'm Carl Azuz. Sam Marcos High School, thank you for watching from Santa Barbara, California and for subscribing and leaving a comment on our You Tube channel. Have a great weekend everyone from all of us here at CNN.