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CNN 10

Aboard a U.S. Submarine Training Mission in the Arctic; The Fall of Toys "R" Us

Aired March 16, 2018 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Welcome to CNN 10, where Fridays are awesome! They`re pretty much awesome everywhere. I`m Carl Azuz.

First story this March 16th, in the U.S., the Trump administration is putting new sanctions on the nation of Russia. These are punishments for

Russia`s alleged interference in 2016 U.S. presidential elections. Congress has set a deadline of a month and a half ago for them to be put in

place. And even though they came after that, they`re said the most strict penalties that the Trump administration has ever put on Russia.

So, what are they?

First off, 19 Russians will be prevented from traveling to the U.S. That includes people accused by a U.S. special investigator of trying to

interfere with the American elections. Five Russian organizations will also be penalized.

That includes two Russian intelligence agencies and some of their employees, as well as the Internet Research Agency. That`s a Russian troll

group that put divisive political posts on American social media platforms in 2016. Any assets that these organizations have in the U.S. are now

frozen, meaning that Russians can`t access them.

The Trump administration also accuses Russia of trying to hack the U.S. energy grid and it says that more punishments could be on the way.

A Russian government spokesman says his country is ready for them and that Russia is preparing a response of its own to the sanctions. The Russian

government has repeatedly said it did not interfere with the U.S. election.

But as political tensions increased between the two countries, their militaries are flexing their muscles, too. And one area where they`re

doing that is inside the Arctic Circle.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) tube one, aye, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand by, tube one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ice pick submarine, bearing, one-eight-two, 200 yards.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The USS Hartford, a Los Angeles class nuclear attack submarine, readies to fire.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shoot tube one.

SCIUTTO: In an instant, a two-ton, 20-foot long torpedo speeds toward an enemy submarine.

Target acquired and destroyed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All hands stand fast, we`re holding operations on progress.

SCIUTTO: The Hartford is training for its primary mission, hunting and killing enemy ships and submarines.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One-eight-zero feet, zero angle.

SCIUTTO: But these exercises which CNN was given exclusive access to are taking place in the harshest sea environment in the world --


SCIUTTO: -- under the Arctic ice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keeping the watch, vertical surface, vertical surface, vertical surface.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ship is vertical surfacing, reminding all hands, stand fast.

SCIUTTO: It`s an arena where even surfacing requires enormous power and skill.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five degree up angle, point two-three, upper velocity and increasing.

SCIUTTO: We were onboard as the submarine stalks to the surface with full force of its 60,000 tons.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One-1,000, two-1,000, three-1,000.

SCIUTTO (on camera): We`ve just broken through two feet of Arctic ice. The North Pole is this way, Russia is this way, and Alaska this way. A

mission like this is all about sending a message that the U.S. Navy can operate or wage war, if necessary, in the harshest environment in the


(voice-over): The Arctic is the newest and most daunting front in the expanding global competition between U.S. and Russia. These 5.5 million

square miles are under an intense battle for dominance as the ice shrinks and opens new oil exploration, new shipping lanes and crucially new paths

to wage war.

REAR ADM. JAMES PITTS, COMMANDER, UNDERSEA WARFIGHTING: We are well aware that we are in a great power competition environment. And the Arctic is

one piece of that.

SCIUTTO (on camera): Great power competition, talking principally about Russia, but also China?

PITTS: Russia and China two of great powers that are trying to catch up with us as fast as they can.

SCIUTTO (voice-over): This year these exercises called ICEX are taking on new emergency. A British submarine joined for the first time in a decade,

and U.S. submarine forces are refocusing on mission dating to the Cold War.

Operating under the Arctic presents unique challenges with no access to GPS navigation, limited communications, and dangers from below and above.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ice keels depth times zero seven, five-five feet.

SCIUTTO: Ice keels as long as 150 feet extend down from the ice sheets.

America`s biggest challenge, however, comes from Russia.

The Russian military has assembled an arc of steel along its Arctic Coast, comprising dozens of military bases, ports, and airfields and it is

building and deploying faster, quieter and more capable subs of its own.

COMMODORE OLLIE LEWIS, SUBMARINE SQUADRON 12: In every case, they are trying to get faster and better at what they do, and integrating technology

into their platforms and it`s really set them on a ramp to where if we don`t continue to do the same, we`ll find ourselves in a place of falling


SCIUTTO: For now, Navy commanders said the U.S. maintains a technological advantage.




SCIUTTO: Subs like the Hartford are virtually invisible and silent to enemies, allowing them to strike without warning against targets below and

above the surface.

(on camera): These are two of the four torpedo tubes, but you could launch a lot more from a sub than torpedoes. You have 12 vertical launch tubes.

They can launch cruise missiles. From those torpedo tubes, you can also launch unmanned underwater vehicles, drones, becoming more of a focus in

this Navy, and some submarines like this equipped to send out SEAL team delivery vehicles as well. These subs designed to project power in many,

many ways.

(voice-over): However, Russian and increasingly Chinese submarines are getting better at doing the same.

(on camera): Is the navy becoming more reliant on subs as a platform?

LEWIS: We do expect submarines will get to places and conduct action where other units may not be able to right off the bat. We`re going to need the

submarine force to kick the door in, and other forces to flow behind.

SCIUTTO (voice-over): That is the firm message to audiences in Moscow and beyond.



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

Which U.S. retail company had the highest toy sales in 1998?

Toys "R" Us, Amazon, Walmart or Target?

1998 is the first year when Walmart exceeded Toys "R" Us in toy sales.


AZUZ: That`s one of the reasons why Toys "R" Us and the era of the large American toy store is coming to an end. After 70 years of business, Toys

"R" Us announced yesterday it`s closing its doors in America. We reported in January how the company had filed for bankruptcy protection and planned

to close 182 retail stores across the U.S. It was hoping to come back as a stronger company afterward.

And Toys "R" Us wanted to stay open through at least the 2018 holiday season. But the numbers didn`t add up. It had too much debt, too little

in earnings, too much competition from Amazon, Walmart and Target, and it decided the best way forward was to close or sell all 735 of its remaining

U.S. stores.

Thirty-one thousand employees will lose their jobs.

This might not happen at Toys "R" Us` international locations though. While all stores in Britain will close, the company says many locations in

Canada, Europe and Asia could be saved or sold off.

As far as the U.S. goes, analysts expect the remaining stores to stay open for at least another two months.


AZUZ: American zoos are posting online style reviews of their animals and they`re hilarious. One said its otter was sturdy built, winter-ready and

waterproof. And that reportedly the trend #rateaspeciies.

Consider this octopus that comes with an extremely grippy base, ink included. Or this mother kangaroo who has a spare included. One review

said, I wanted a duck, otter, and beaver bundle, but the duck-billed platypus not what I ordered.

Maybe someone tried to duck out on their request or replace it with something otter. That kind of thing has been done beaver. In this case,

it just didn`t fit the bill. If you`re trying to platypus-ition your zoo reviews on character animalistics, you got to exhibit accuracy.

I`m Carl Azuz. Thank you for watching.