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U.S. House Republicans Pass a Tax Reform Plan; New Technology May Help Doctors Identify CTE Sooner; A Painting Sets a Record Despite Authenticity Concerns

Aired November 17, 2017 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi. I`m Carl Azuz and we hope today`s down the middle explanation of news events makes your Friday just a little more

awesome. Thank you for watching CNN 10.

News from the U.S. capital kicks off our coverage. That`s where Republicans in the House of Representatives passed major legislation

yesterday aimed at reforming the nation`s taxes. The final vote was 227 yeas, in favor, to 205 nays, against. Everyone who supported it is a

Republican. Everyone who opposed it is a Democrat, plus 13 Republicans who joined them.

Some highlights of the bill:

It would reduce the number of U.S. tax brackets from seven to four. It would result in most American taxpayers owing less in income tax. It would

also permanently reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. That`s a tax that businesses pay on their profits. Republicans

say all this would grow the economy, encourage businesses to hire and pay more, and help the middle class families who are struggling. Democrats say

the bill would mostly help corporations and wealthier Americans and add trillions to the national debt.

Tuesday`s passage is seen as a big win for Republicans in the House, but it doesn`t mean tax reform has been passed. The Senate has its own plan that

it`s working on, and if senators pass it, the House and Senate would then have to reconcile, shape their separate bills into one plan that passes in

both chambers on its way to President Donald Trump`s desk.


AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

Where would you find a fornix and a cingulate gyrus?

Would this be in a Formula One car, a foot, the South Pacific, or the brain?

We hope you thought of the brain because the fornix and the cingulate gyrus are both part of it.


AZUZ: Besides helmet technology intended to better protect that brain in American football, there have been several rule changes at all levels in

recent years aimed at preventing concussions. New techniques of tackling, limited contact during practice, pitting kids against players who are the

same size and fining teams that follow the NFL`s concussions rules. This is all part of it.

Some critics say the changes alter the character of the game, which inherently comes with hits and risks. But there have been a number of

brain injuries linked to former pro-football players and the NFL has been criticized for not doing enough to protect them.

CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a brain disease for which there`s no cure. Experts believe it`s caused from repeated head injuries like

someone would get in football, boxing or military service, though not everyone with head injuries develop CTE. Many former pro-football players

how thought they had CTE were confirmed to have had it after they died. Until now, that was the only way it could be identified.

But researchers say they have new evidence that they identified CTE in a former Minnesota Vikings linebacker before he died in 2015.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The night before he passed, he was watching Monday night football, and he had his UCLA slippers under his bed. He loved the

game and he was proud of what he did.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even to the very end of his life, former Minnesota Vikings linebacker, Fred McNeill

loved football.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was a monster. He was a monster indeed, like all over the field, first one to the ball.

GUPTA: Despite how much of his life football later took from him.

TIA MCNEILL, FRED MCNEILL`S WIFE: Fred did everything, he played ball, went to law school, prepared for life after football. We had the kids.

You know, it was a good life.

GUPTA: McNeill played in two Super Bowls. He was really no ordinary player. His sons say no ordinary man.

FRED MCNEILL JR., FRED MCNEILL`S SON: He was the best friend of ours. Our first best friend, you know? He was Superman.

TIA MCNEILL: And then it changed.

GUPTA: It changed. CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, entered their lives. Of course, at the time, they had no idea what was happening.

GAVIN MCNEIL, FRED MCNEIL`S SON: I remember we were playing basketball, me and him. We kind of got into an argument while playing and he started

getting aggressive with me.

FRED MCNEIL JR.: There was maybe two moments where he lost it and punched holes in the walls. It was like, wow.

GUPTA: CTE can hit hard and fast. McNeill, just in his 40s, lost his job as a lawyer, filed for bankruptcy, lost the home.

GAVIN MCNEILL: I had a conversation with my mom and I was like, I think something is going on. He needs to go see a doctor or therapist,

something, to figure out what it is.

GUPTA: "It" is something I noticed myself when I first met Fred back in 2010.\

(on camera): Just talking I can tell that it`s a little bit difficult for him. Do you remember my name?


GUPTA: You got it.

FRED MCNEILL: Right. Good.

GUPTA: Rage, memory loss, depression. Did your father have all three of those?

FRED MCNEILL JR.: Definitely, definitely, yes. That was another point of worry for us because there was times when he would talk about ending it and

we were like no way. This is not -- this is not our dad.

GUPTA (voice-over): But it was their dad. A different dad and it was easy to be angry with him. After all, they didn`t know he had CTE. It couldn`t

be diagnosed until after his death.

(on camera): And you also made the decision to have Fred`s brain donated after he passed away.

TIA MCNEILL: Well, I had made the decision early on but yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first thing I want to show you is this.

GUPTA (voice-over): And now for the first time she is seeing her husband`s brain and exactly what football did to it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The blotches you are seeing are tau, which is a protein we see in CTE. GUPTA:

Dr. Bennett Omalu (ph) recently made famous when Will Smith portrayed him in the movie "Concussion."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you look at this hippocampus, this is part of the brain that controls its memory. He had significant memory impairment.

GUPTA: You can see how CTE ravaged McNeill`s brain. But perhaps even more remarkable, Dr. Omalu tells us he already knew Fred McNeill had CTE before

he died.

How? Using a PET scan technology that he helped develop and partly owns.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can see the red areas, is identifying the tau in his brain.

GUPTA: If it is true, Fred McNeill would be the first person in the world to have his CTE diagnosed while still alive and then confirmed with an

autopsy after his death.

TIA MCNEILL: It explains a lot because I am seeing a lot of that -- the tau protein.

GUPTA: But it is early, too early. Just 14 NFL players, including Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett, have been examined using this technology. Only

McNeill`s diagnosis has been confirmed. The question is, will the tests be able to distinguish CTE from other dementias, like Alzheimer`s?

TIA MCNEILL: Fred played in the first ten years of the league, so this is what Super Bowl 50 is coming, OK? So I know there`s a huge number of

players and families between, you know, that point and now when Fred first started playing that are going to be experiencing this. And it`s important

to have information for them to get help and support.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Los Angeles.


AZUZ: New record has been set for the most expensive painting ever sold at an auction. First, the work. It`s a painting of Jesus Christ named

"Savior of the World". Second, the artist, it`s attributed to Leonard Da Vinci. Third, the price. It sold this week for more than $450 million.

No artwork ever exchanged hands for that amount of money.

But that brings up a tiny little fifth point. Art historians say it`s not in great shape. It has considerable damage, and some say they`re not even

certain it was painted by Da Vinci.

They just Leonar-don`t know for sure. They say some parts of the painting are uncon-vincing. But at the end of the Degas, no matter how much you

canvas a piece before bidding goodbye to your Monet, Chagall you`re left with, there`s a thin Vermeer of the past, a Klimt in the history, a piece

of remembrandt to hang on your Warhol.

I`m Caravaggio Azuz, punting the pun for CNN 10.