Thursday, January 5, 2017


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Thank you for 10 to join CNN TEN for 10 minutes
of international news.

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And just so we're on the same page, Fridays
are awesome!

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I'm Carl Azuz. We're happy to have you watching.
We're starting in the Asian country of China,

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the world's most populated nation and some
parts of it have seen two red alerts already

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this year.
What is a red alert? It's China's strongest

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warning about air quality. One of the recent
red alerts was for smog. In more than 20 Chinese

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cities, schools were closed earlier this week.
Factories were shut down. Vehicles that gave

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off a lot of pollution were banned from the
roads.

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And then, yesterday, China's northern and
eastern regions received their first ever

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red alert for fog. Visibility was severely
limited in some areas. Pilots and sailors

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were told to be careful. Drivers were told
to slow down.

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Air pollution is an ongoing problem in many
parts of China and it's usually worse in winter.

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Cold air inversions in the atmosphere can
trap smog close to the ground, and more coal

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is burned in cold weather to keep heaters
running.

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A congressional hearing yesterday in Washington,
D.C. focused on global cyber threat and almost

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all of it centered on Russia, which the Obama
administration accuses of hacking into American

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computer systems and interfering in last year's
U.S. election.

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A Republican senator said, quote, "Every American
should be alarmed by Russia's attacks on our

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nation." A Russian spokesman said his country
was sick and tired of people, quote, "irresponsibly

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blaming everything on Russia."
Taking a look at Russian President Vladimir

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Putin -- what makes him tick?
Some have believed (ph) Vladimir Putin could

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be the most powerful man in the world. Not
everyone sees him that way. But Putin has

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powerful levers, he's often willing to use
-- including cyber power, military might and

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a cult of personality. Together, they form
an often effective web of influence.

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While Moscow denies highly skilled hackers
tried to influence the U.S. election, they've

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also been accused of spying and causing big
disruptions in other countries, like Estonia

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and Ukraine -- claims Russia also rejects.
Russia's enormous hacking power, state and

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criminal, isn't a new. It traces back to the
USSR when its universities were designed to

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produce world class engineers.
Putin's power is also hugely enhanced by his

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very personal control of Russia's vast military,
much of it including the nukes, is also a

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Soviet legacy. So, Putin is pumping extraordinary
amounts of money to modernization, but most

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analyst agree Russia's conventional forces
are still only mighty enough to project power

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close to its borders.
Russia also used limited air power to successful

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prop up the Syrian regime. But critics say
that works because of Putin's willingness

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to indiscriminately bombard civilian areas,
something Moscow denies.

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One of the biggest sources of Putin's power
is his own extraordinary popularity at home.

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The more other world leaders criticized him,
the more Russians celebrate their president.

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His approval figure soared with Ukraine and
spiked again with Syria.

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The reason many Russians really care about
their country's ability to influence world

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events, even if it comes to sanctions and
a hit to their own quality of life. They're

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proud of it. Putin also benefits from a political
system and the media landscape with zero tolerance

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for criticism.
So, no doubt, Vladimir Putin is powerful and

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unpredictable, but he's also limited by some
pretty big problems. The Russian economy isn't

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going anywhere. That's why there is another
popular theory about Putin and his web of

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influence, as someone who plays a weak hand
very well.

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Ten-second trivia: What do all drone bees
have in common? Are they all males, females,

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worker bees, or carpenter bees?
Well, the queen and worker bees are all females,

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it's the drones who are all males.
But bees are disappearing worldwide. Scientists'

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theories as to why include a might that attacks
fees, pesticides that kill the insects, habitat

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loss, and even bad nutrition for bees. And
the cause for concern goes well beyond the

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collapse of honey bee colonies. Bees help
pollinate 35 percent of the world's food.

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The Franklin's bumblebee alone would help
pollinate cranberries, blueberries and melons.

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But that type of bee may already be extinct.
The vacuum on one hand and net in the other,

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Robbin Thorp (ph) is on a quest.
So, we're coming into an area where we last

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saw Franklin's.
He's searching the mountains of Oregon for

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Franklin's bumblebee. It's a species he's
believed to be the last person on earth to

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have seen alive, and he's got the sample of
the bee in the back of his truck. It's from

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the 1950s.
And this is Franklin's. And you can see, she

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has a black face, little touch of whitish
hair there. Pretty subtle.

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This is a bee that could be extinct in the
wild.

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Could be. I'm not willing to give on it, but
I'm hoping it's still out there under the

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radar.
The last time he saw it was 2006, exactly

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ten years before he invited me to join him.
Thorp is 83 now, a retired professor from

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UC-Davis, and mostly, he works alone, day
after day, year after year.

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I spent two days looking for Franklin's bumblebee
with Thorp. I found the work absolutely maddening.

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The ones that do here fly by your ear. I always
think, well, that must have been a Franklin's.

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I don't think you can put an economic value
on the species. They're all priceless really.

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But Franklin's is one that I've got a lot
of personal investment in. And, yes, I feel

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an attachment in terms of doing it.
I'm not sure whether he'll find it. But maybe

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that's beside the point. The truth is that
for anyone to know a species like Franklin's

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bumblebee had vanished, someone like Thorp
has to be looking.

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In Atlanta, Georgia, there's a giant peach
that drops on New Year's Eve. It's one of

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many annual traditions nationwide. In Wisconsin,
there's a giant cheese drop.

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In North Carolina, a possum drop, or at least
a possum lowering. It's in a box. It's not

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hurt.
But the famous drop is probably at New York's

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Times Square. What exactly got this ball rolling?
Before we had time zones, each city kept their

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own time based on the sun. This was a problem
for sailors, whose time pieces often got de-calibrated

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at sea.
In the early 1800s, an official in the Royal

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Navy suggested using a visual on shore. So,
they put a ball on top of the flag pole, and

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raised up a second ball a few minutes before
12:00, when light passed between the two,

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sailors set their clocks to noon.
Eventually, self winding clocks and other

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new tech made these time balls unnecessary.
Fast forward a few years, "The New York Times"

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relocates to what is now Times Square. To
celebrate, they decided to throw a party on

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New Year's Eve. Before then, New Yorkers gathered
at Trinity Church where people would throw

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bricks in the air like confetti. So, "The
Times" opted for fireworks instead.

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But a couple of years later, the city banned
the display. Tasked with finding an even safer

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celebration, the newspaper found inspiration
in those old naval time balls.

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In 1907, a 700-pound ball of wood and iron,
outfitted with 125-watt light bulbs is lowered

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to ring in the New Year. A tradition was born.
Since then, we've only gone without the ball

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twice. That was in 1942, and 1943, when the
government was worried the bright lights could

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be a target during World War II. So, chimes
were used instead.

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We're "10 out of 10", it's too bad basketball
shots can't be worth more than three points,

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because while the Golden State Warriors regularly
sink three pointers at Oracle Arena in Oakland,

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California, a member of the Harlem Globetrotters
recently trotted to the roof of the arena

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itself and took a shot from 100 feet up and
100 feet away. Swish!

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Now, it'd be a bad idea to jump up to celebrate
and he didn't do that. But if your job is

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trotting the globe, banking on an athlete
or a zone to layup a world of hop dream possibilities,

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fans will raise the roof when you raise up
to the roof and sink a shot that's kind of

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an air ball and a free throw and a slam dunk
all at once.

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For that, you get 10 points, and we hope you'll
make it a point to join us again Monday when

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CNN TEN returns. I'm Carl Azuz. Have a great
weekend, everyone.

CNN Student News - Januay 6, 2017 - English Sub

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