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California Wildfires Starting to Be Contained; President Trump Visited Fire Stricken Areas on Saturday; Spike in Alcohol Related Deaths; Amazon`s Impact on Two Cities

Aired November 18, 2018 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10. Welcome to the first of two shows we`re going to have this week. We`ll also be on the air

tomorrow but then we`ll be off until next Monday, November 26th as we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. First today, an update on California`s

devastating wildfires. Fire officials say the "Camp Fire", the record setting blaze in northern California is at least 60 percent contained,

meaning it`s mostly surrounded and prevented from spreading. It killed at least 76 people and injured three firefighters. The "Woolsey Fire" in

southern California is at least 88 percent contained. It killed at least three people and also injured three firefighters.

President Trump has repeatedly blamed the mismanagement of forests for the destruction caused by wildfires. He suggested that clearing out brush,

bushes and weeds from the forest floor would help prevent wildfires from being so devastating. Critics have said that drought which has affected

parts of California for years is a bigger factor. During the President`s trip to fire stricken areas on Saturday where he was joined by California`s

current governor and it`s governor elect, the President`s focus was more on working together to help those effected.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 9,700 homes destroyed and tens of thousands of people displaced, there is a housing crisis developing in Butte County and quite

frankly it is difficult to wrap your mind around. We`re outside this shelter here in Yuba City. One of the many in the area that`s at full

capacity. And mind you, we are about 50 miles south of what locals are calling "Ground Zero" of the most devastating fire in California`s history,

that being Paradise. So many people - - their only focus could be on their immediate need, where will they spend tonight.

That being in shelters like this one. Some people even in the tent cities that we`ve showed you pictures of through the week. That being a more

short term solution, the effort being made to put more people in shelters like this one. Authorities now are also beginning the process though of

returning people to where their homes were to see if anything remains. To see if there is anything to take them in the process moving forward.

Yesterday President Trump, among those to get a first hand look at the devastation.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Nobody would have ever thought this could have happened. So, the Federal government is behind you. We`re all behind each

other. I think we can truly say Jerry that. (ph) And Jerry and I have been speaking and Gavin and I have now gotten to know each other and we`re

all going to work together and we`ll - - we`ll do a real job. But this is very sad to see.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Many people here saying, they`d like to put politics aside with President Trump`s visit. They say Butte County needs all the

help that it can get and if President Trump`s visit here could put a spotlight on the devastation and could help him understand the need for so

many, they say that they welcomed him. In the meantime, authorities are also working to comb through this list of nearly 1,300 names of people

unaccounted for. They caution that this list is dynamic as we have seen it rise by the hundreds some days.

But they also advise that 714 people who`s names were previously on that list have been accounted for. They say if you have the opportunity to look

at that list, if you`re familiar with the area, please do. They say if you see a name on there that shouldn`t be there. If someone is safe and you

know it, please let authorities know, because in the mean time, they are working to comb through each name to ensure everyone`s accounted for.


CARL AZUZ: America`s upload crisis gets a lot of attention in the media, including on our show. But a new health report from the University of

Washington points to alcohol as being more deadly. While 72,000 Americans die a year from opioid overdoses, an estimated 88,000 die from alcohol

related problems like liver cirrhosis, cancer and suicide. Over a 10 year period, alcohol related deaths increased among men by 29 percent and women

by 67 percent.

And though drinking deaths among teenagers actually decreased in the years studied, they went up for adults aged 45 to 64. According to USA Today,

researchers say work related stress, strain on working mothers and loneliness tied to social media are some reasons why. The findings are

based on a new analysis of statistics from 2007 to 2017.

10 Second Trivia. Which state has been the birthplace of the most U.S. presidents? Virginia, Ohio, New York, or Massachusetts. They`re actually

in order here starting with the greatest. Virginia is the birthplace of eight presidents.

And Virginia is one of the two states where e-commerce company Amazon is planning to install it`s HQ2. It`s second headquarters. The company is

based in Seattle, Washington. It announced plans for a second base more than a year ago. After a nationwide competition between cities to attract

Amazon, the company announced that New York City and Crystal City, Virginia would be the two places where Amazon`s new homes would be. In total they

offered $2.8 billion in incentives to Amazon but that figure could go higher.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amazon finally picked Virginia and New York as the two sites for it`s new headquarters. But that so called victory in the HQ2

race for those states means that now they`re on the hook for billions of dollars in subsidies to Amazon. One of the largest companies in the world,

led by the richest man in the world. So why are New York and Virginia willing to give away nearly $3 billion to Amazon. Let`s back up to 2017,

when Amazon first announced their HQ2 hunt.

Right off the bat, the sweepstakes led to silly, folksy gimmicks by local politicians. New York turned the Empire State orange. Tuscan sent a big

cactus. Kansas City`s Mayor Sly James made this.

MAYOR SLY JAMES, KANSAS CITY MAYOR: I`ll tell you, when I`m sitting out in the backyard of my reasonably priced home and these chimes start to tinkle.

It feels just like the whole world is singing to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But it wasn`t just gimmicks that Amazon got. Chula Vista, California offered a plot of land worth $100 million and a property

tax deferment worth $300 million. New Jersey offered $7 billion in total incentives. Fresno offered to give Amazon control of how most of it`s

taxes will be spent. Just give them control. And Chicago had maybe the most insane offer. It proposed taking 50 to 100 percent of Amazon

employees` income tax for 10 years and just giving the tax to Amazon.

But look, just like Amazon wasn`t the first company to sell stuff online. It sure isn`t the only company to try and get as much public financing as

it could. You could see it with the public funding of sports stadiums or film and TV productions that have gotten billions of subsidies from states

like Atlanta, New York, and Louisiana.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We offer the greatest financial incentive that you can find in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To understand why states and cities would choose to join a race to the bottom and potentially empty out their states funds for

a huge mega corporation, think of this as a prisoner`s dilemma, the classic game theory thought experiment. Two people are arrested. Interrogated

separately and asked to spill the beans on the other. Everyone would come out better if they cooperate together but in practice, each individual

actor decides what to do best for themselves.

Meaning, everyone loses. Now imagine instead of two prisoners there`s 50. And let`s call those prisoners, states. Each state would be better served

if no one state would give in but ultimately each state is guided by their own self interest. Look, Amazon didn`t create this problem but what they

are trying to do is put a friendly face on it. Make it this fun thing that cities can compete for.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The city of Birmingham is using giant Amazon boxes to try to get Amazon`s attention.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well that`s a dangerous precedent to set especially because we know these deals are contagious. Companies know the deals that

other companies have gotten and try to get them for themselves. Companies play this game. It`s not like the public dollars effect where the

location`s going to be. It`s like a company figures out where it wants to go. It picks the city or maybe a very short list of city where it wants to

go and then plays community after community get these incentives. Politicians love the idea of Amazon in their city. Once you have Amazon,

salaries will go up.

Home prices will increase and eventually tax revenues could increase in the long run. But what`s to love for the taxpayers? Who actually have to foot

the bill? Who`s money for roads and schools and firefighters, health insurance is being diverted to the pockets of some of the most profitable

corporations in the world. And won`t those corporation`s employees when they move into their new home need to use those same resources too? If

this is a competition, who`s winning?


CARL AZUZ: If you think robots fall short of the sophisticated expressions of humans, meet Sophia. That`s the name of this exceptionally expressive

machine. Developers say it`s about to make more than 50 facial expressions and while critics say Sophia isn`t much more than a chat bot, a computer

program that uses cues to simulate a conversation. Sophia`s creator hopes to develop artificial intelligence robots with which people can have deep,

emotional connections.

Unless of course the robots short out, blow a fuse, power down, short circuit, disengage, break down, overload, get a glitch, get a bug, catch a

virus, reboot, shutdown, grind their gears or get their wires crossed. In which case, they`re sure to be a major disconnect. I`m Carl Azuz

connecting news and puns on CNN.