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CNN10 2021-09-22

CNN 10

General Debate Kicks Off at 76th Meeting of U.N. General Assembly; Economic Challenges Deepen for Some American Restaurants and Retailers

Aired September 22, 2021 - 04:00:00 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Carl Azuz. Wednesday, it's officially the first day of Fall in the northern hemisphere and that's not the only fall we're discussing on today's show, more on that in about seven minutes. We start though with a big meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

The U.N's 193 members are holding their General Assembly this month. It's the 76th time they've done that and many of the delegates are back in-person this time around, after a largely virtual summit last year because of COVID concerns. Recovering from the pandemic is a major theme in 2021.

The U.N. says responding to the planet's needs, respecting people's rights and revitalizing the U.N. are others.

The 2021 Summit officially began last week, but Tuesday was the opening of the General Debate. This is when representatives from each country have the chance to take the stage and talk about their nation's priorities, plans and problems. In his first speech at the U.N. since taking office,

U.S. President Joe Biden laid out his world vision, the issues of COVID-19, climate change and human rights were key focuses of his speech.


PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: As a global community, we're challenged by urgent and looming crisis' where inly enormous opportunities if, if we can summon the will and resolve to seize these opportunities.


AZUZ: The diplomatic challenges he faces include the troubled U.S. withdraw from Afghanistan and a new agreement for the U.S. to help Australia build nuclear powered submarines. As a result of that, Australia cancelled a large order of conventional subs from France. That angered European officials, and China spoke out against the deal because it doesn't want increased military competition in the Indo-Pacific region. For members of the U.N., there's a diplomatic tightrope to walk at the General Assembly.


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's the United Nations, meeting place for most of the world's countries from the most powerful such as the United States, China and Russia to the smallest and most vulnerable. The U.N. has been involved in everything from the assisting refugees, to negotiating peace among nations.

Of all the languages in the world, the U.N. uses six to communicate, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russia and Spanish. In some combination of those six, the U.N. deliberates on global issues. For judicial matters, they look to the International Court of Justice. The Economic and Social Council otherwise known as ECOSOC deals with, you guessed it the world's economic social and environmental issues. The Trusteeship Council helps countries become self-governed and independent.

While the Secretariat, another part of the U.N. family tackles day to day issues that include keeping the press informed. Where I'm standing is one of the more recognizable places in the U.N., the Security Council. It determines threats to international peace and works to solve those problems right here in this chamber, a gift from Norway in 1952, and on top of that this council selects the Secretary General.

Who is then formally appointed by the General Assembly, the main representative body of the U.N. The GA as it's called, meets from September from December every year, but the world's problems don't exactly follow the calendar. The U.N. has to operate year around, and one of the ways they're staying current is through social media, and you can follow the organization in any of its official languages.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. What contributes to the most to U.S. Gross Domestic Product? Government spending, Exports, Business investment or Consumer spending. Consumer spending accounts for around 70 percent of America's GDP.

Consumer spending, the goods and services people buy, that fluctuates throughout the year. For instance, during back-to-school season in August, sales of books, instruments and sports equipment usually increase. This year though, with the ongoing effects of the COVID pandemic, production and consumer spending on new cars have been hurt microchip shortage we've reported on. As corona virus cases ramped up over the summer, people spent less money in restaurants and restaurants and retail companies are grappling with challenges of their own.


VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is Astro. It works at Sergio's Restaurant in Miami on its feet 12 hours a day.

CARLOS GAZITUA, CEO OF SERGIO'S RESTAURANT: (Inaudible) a little crazy to do, but our employees once they saw it and felt it after two hours, they were like, wait a minute. We have something here.

YURKEVICH: Astro assists human staff here and in five other locations. The chain's CEO Carlos Gazitua hopes to have 12 soon. Astro is not just a novelty but a necessity, as Gazitua struggles to staff up.

GAZITUA: The robot was to prevent burnout, having robots be personal assistants to our employees. Not taking away jobs but helping them is the sweet spot for our industry in the future.

YURKEVICH: That's because hiring in leisure and hospitality was flat last month. After clawing back from a record 8 million jobs lost, with restaurants and bars losing 42,000 jobs.

SEAN KENNEDY, NATIONAL RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION: The restaurant recovery is now moving in reverse. We still have 90,000 restaurants that are closed permanently or long-term or about 1 million jobs below where we should be before this pandemic.

YURKEVICH: At Sergio's, the summer brought in fresh help, students.

GAZITUA: Those college students really helped us during that transition period, but unfortunately those students are gone already.

YURKEVICH: Leaving restaurants like his facing an intense labor shortage.

GAZITUA: I think it's almost like being stuck in the mud. You know, you take a step forward and you want -- you want to move your -- your other foot but it's very hard. That's where we are right now.

YURKEVICH: In retail, the industry is taking steps backwards. About 1.3 million people quit retail jobs in just June and July, and in August of the 28,000 lost retail jobs most of it happened here. Do you think, oh, that makes sense? That's me.

LOU SCADUTO, JR., CEO, FOOD CIRCUS SUPER MARKETS: Yes, that's -- that's what we're dealing with exactly is you're going to run into a hole on the shelf. You're going to run into a longer wait at the check-out or a longer wait at the deli counter. Our overall businesses require about 800 team members, we are right now about 680. So, we have shut our deli departments down early, because we just don't have enough labor to staff it.

YURKEVICH: He's tried raising wages. Has it worked?

SCADUTO: Not great.

YURKEVICH: And this month, a new staffing challenge. President Biden announced businesses with more than 100 employees would be required to mandate vaccines or weekly testing. When you hear that initially as a business owner, what do you think?

SCADUTO: You get scared. You do, because if we have to go out and mandate our team members to be vaccinated. They might walk out the door, and if they walk out the door that's going to make it that much more difficult for us to continue to operate.

YURKEVICH: Vanessa Yurkevich, CNN, Red Bank, New Jersey.


AZUZ: I don't need to be reporting with a dog to have a blooper. I can do that all by myself.

After three days in orbit at an altitude -- what --

Popcorn, oreos -- shoot -- let's try it again. Corndogs. That's my favorite vegetable corndogs.

And even if a reporter is kneeling doesn't mean he or she can't fall. Here's what this is all about.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Talk about famous last words.

CAROL KIRKWOOD, BBC CORRESPONDENT: And she's very well behaved --

MOOS: Well-behaved until "Flash" the trainee guide dog caused BBC weatherperson Carol Kirkwood to face plant. Live from the breakfast show.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got a Kirkwood down. We've got a Kirkwood down.

MOOS: Kirkwood temporarily lost her earpiece but not her dignity. Assuring the host she was all right.

KIRKWOOD: She's a very strong girl.

MOOS: And in a flash, Carol joins the ranks of TV types.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I ain't wrestling with you. No. No.

MOOS: Interacting or trying not to interact with animals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freaking raccoons man.

MOOS: From spiders --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my gosh. (Inaudible) creepy.

MOOS: -- to a camel.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Other livestock owners -- dude get it out.

MOOS: I once found myself nearly disarmed by a hippo. She seems to like to be mopped. OK, just kidding. Cradling a chimp, stuck in a pig pen as a cub reporter --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like my friend here.

MOOS: With a pig oinking at my feet, often it's just animals killing correspondents with affection.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ginger just loves people. They need a wee bit of training. Yes. Really? You think.

MOOS: Carol Kirkwood got compliments on her training. Carol even manages to look graceful when falling down. She literally fell head over heels for "Flash".


AZUZ: Who left in a flash like a heel harnessing the moment to leave the reporter off camera. It could have apologized at least before taking a walk and causing her to "roll-over" but once she was able to "sit and stay" on air. She made a "howlingly" good recovery that "bow-wowed" her audience. That's terrible. I'm Carl Azuz. Homewood High School, want to give a shout out to you folks in Homewood, Alabama. How do we know about them? Because they knew to subscribe and leave a comment on our You Tube channel. Have a great Wednesday everyone.