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CNN10 2021-11-11

CNN 10

Visiting The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier On This Veterans Day; Report On Inflation In America; Breakup Of A Historic Business. Aired 4- 4:10a ET

Aired November 11, 2021 - 04:00:00 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Thanks for watching CNN 10 on this Veterans Day, November 11th. We'll be discussing that a little more in a few minutes.

My name is Carl Azuz and you know what's up? Inflation, and not in a good way. Simply put, inflation is a rise in prices of the things we buy and it may need we can't buy as many of those things.

America's central bank, the Federal Reserve, generally believes inflation's OK as long as it's rate of increase is around 2 percent or lower. So, if you spend $100 at the grocery store a year ago and this year those same items were $102, the Fed probably wouldn't be worried. What is worrying to officials, economists and everyday consumers is that over the past year, inflation has gone way beyond that 2 percent.

A brand-new report from the U.S. Labor Department says between last October and this October, prices jumped more than 6 percent, their biggest increase in more than 30 years. This is based on the Consumer Price Index, the average change in prices that people in a city might see on the goods and services they regularly buy. In the latest government report, the increase has been noticeable month to month. Between September and October, the index rose .9 percent, when economists had expected it would rise .6 percent.

Experts say there are several reasons why this is happening, demand for goods is high as the U.S. economy continues to climb out of the effects of the COVID pandemic. There are shortages in a number of materials used to make the things we buy. There are problems in the global supply of goods, which in many senses is like a sink with a slow drain, and the costs of energy have been skyrocketing growing 30 percent over the past 12 months.


MARK EGAN, CNN REPORTER: This is a historic inflation report and it is landing just before the holidays. Now everyday Americans are getting squeezed by higher prices, and unfortunately the numbers are all moving in the wrong direction. Consumer prices were up by 6.2 percent in October from the year before. Not only is that an acceleration from the elevated levels during the summer, it is the highest gain in one month since November of 1990. Now month over month, prices were up by 0.9 percent. That is more than double the rate in September, and no this is not just about gas prices.

If you strip out food and energy, core prices were up by the most since August of 1991. Now let me walk you through some of the individual items, particularly electronics which have gotten more expensive due to surging demand, supply chain issues and computer chip shortages. Look at computers and smart home assistance up more than 8 percent. Televisions up more than 10 percent. Washers and dryers up nearly 15 percent. Now some electronics have actually gotten cheaper.

Smartphones, in particular, they're 20 percent cheaper than a year ago, and I should emphasize that these are national prices, not necessarily what you would say in individual stores like the one I'm in right now, in Best Buy. Best Buy says that for its perspective, the inventories actually look pretty good. That's because they've been working with partners. They've actually been chartering their own ships to bring stuff from overseas, but I have been talking to some shoppers in the last few days and they do sound, kind of, frustrated about higher prices. Here's what one of them told me.

RAMI SINGH, BUSINESS OWNER AND SHOPPER: You know, I'm -- I'm a bit frustrated that prices are up. I think with so much competition you would expect them to be lower. So, it's -- it's quite frustrating with all the money being funneled into free money into the economy. Just causing inflation and everything. So, with that comes higher pay raises for my employees, and higher operating business expenses for my business. So, it is quite frustrating, but you know, it is what it is.

EGAN: Now, for months we have heard from officials in the White House, the Federal Reserve and experts on Wall Street that inflation was just going to be a temporary thing. But there's a growing sense that inflation is not going away anytime soon. The prices are probably not going to fall back to Earth just yet.




AZUZ: The first ceremony at America's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier took place exactly 100 years ago. It was held in honor of a soldier who'd fought in World War I and the event was attended by President Warren G. Harding and more than 100,000 people according to the United Press International News Agency, but the public hasn't been allowed to get this close to the tomb for 96 years. As part of its centennial commemoration this week, Arlington National Cemetery encouraged visitors to lay a flower at the memorial site and to reflect on its meaning to all unknown American service members who gave their lives for their country.

When the tomb was completed, November 11th was known as Armistice Day, named for the event that brought an end to the fighting in the first World War. In 1954, the name was formally changed to Veterans Day, and now the holiday honors everyone who served in America's Armed Forces. Parades, ceremonies, and a presidential wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are all part of Veterans Day.

10 Second Trivia. Which of these U.S. companies were founded first? U.S. Steel, General Electric, JCPenny, or Safeway. In 1889, Edison General Electric, the namesake of Thomas Edison was formed.

Edison founded it by bringing together his electricity companies, and over the decades, General Electric grew into a massive business conglomerate dominating aviation, TV, appliances, finances, healthcare. But 20 years after reaching its peak value of more than $500 billion, GE is worth $119 billion today. Huge amounts of debt, sales of several businesses and some missteps have left GE a shadow of its former self and it just announced plans to split into three separate companies. GE's leader says this will give each one greater focus, more flexibility and better value for customers, investors and employees.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: General Electric, GE. You probably know the company best for its most famous invention, the incandescent light bulb. Since its founding in 1889, the company has invented thousands of products, and changed American life in the process. Just think about all the items in your kitchen that GE had a hand in.

GE rolled out the first electric toaster in 1905. They sold the first widely used refrigerator. They repurposed the technology used in World War II to invent the microwave, and it's not just appliances. They were also responsible for the first American jet engine. The x-ray machine and even the lab grown diamond and its nearly 130 years of business. GE has reinvented transportation, medical technology in a domestic realm.

But in recent years, it's hit a snag. The company has struggled since the 2008 financial crisis. It's been selling off assets, often for a fraction of what it paid for them. Now the giant is breaking up, into three separate companies. Divided up by aviation, healthcare and energy. GE says the split will maximize its value, but it also means lights out for the powerful GE conglomerate we once knew.

(END VIDEO CLIP0 AZUZ: Why would someone want to make a skateboard out of pizza, simple.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I skateboard for like 18 years now. So I was like pizza, skateboards, pizza skateboards.

AZUZ: It starts with a real slice of pizza. It's covered by a plastic resin and allowed to harden, add polish, trucks and wheels and you're ready to shred like mozzarella. Don't know how it rides, but it costs $800 if you want him to bake you, then make you your own. Now some folks are going to blunt and say it looks "fakey" but like pizza, all the boards are boneless and if you add anchovies they come with a built in "stalefish".

So, slap on your "pepporokneepads" and drop back into playing with your food, because even if you're a complete "poser" and you "faceplant" into your deck wall trying to "grind". At least you'll have something to eat. I'm Carl Azuz, and today's show goes out to our veterans. Those who have served or are serving and those related to America's men and women in uniform. Thank you for your service to our country.