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CNN 10

President Trump Releases Budget Proposal; Blackouts Cripple Venezuela; A Tour of a Potential "Space Hotel"; Electric Dune Buggy Concept

Aired March 12, 2019 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Thank you for budgeting time for CNN 10. I`m Carl Azuz and budgeting is the first topic we`re tackling this Tuesday. In

Washington, D.C. President Donald Trump has released his budget proposal for the year 2020. The governments budget involves trillions of dollars.

The vast majority of its revenue comes from taxes. The budget`s a blueprint of how the government plans to spend that and what the difference

is between its revenue and its expenditure. For years under Republican and Democratic administrations, the government has spent much more money than

it takes in.

President Trumps proposal includes reductions in what the government plans to spend, $2.7 trillion in cuts to most Federal agencies. The White House

says it`s the biggest spending reduction in presidential history. But it would still take 15 years under this plan for the budget to balance,

meaning that what the government spends is equal to what it takes in. According to the, the Environmental Protection Agency, the State

Department, Housing and Urban Development and Federal Agriculture and Education Departments would all see reductions in their funding while

defense spending would increase. And programs that help veterans, modernize government technology and fight the nation`s opioid epidemic

would receive more money.

The budget proposal sets aside $8.6 billion for border security that includes the wall or barrier the president has promised to build between

the U.S. and Mexico. That`s something that`s generally supported by Republicans who control the Senate. They say the presidents proposal has

no surprises and that it`s a good first step in the budgetary process. A border war is generally opposed by Democrats who control the House of

Representatives. They say the presidents proposal is irresponsible and that it has no chance of passing in the House. No presidents budget has

ever been adopted by Congress though. It shows a president`s priorities for where money should be go but because Congress controls the purse

strings the two chambers could debate, change and revise the plan for months before a compromise is sent to the president`s desk.

To South America now, in the midst of massive protests, political upheaval and skyrocketing inflation the struggles of many Venezuelans recently got

worse when the power went out. Seventy percent of Venezuela has been without electricity at some point since last week. As the country`s

economic crisis has gotten worse, blackouts have been becoming increasingly common but one this big is rare. President Nicolas Maduro said the U.S.

was behind it. He blames America for sabotaging Venezuela`s network through a cyber attack. Juan Guaido who`s declared himself the new leader

of Venezuela, says that `s nonsense because the country`s main power plant isn`t online. He and the U.S. say that quote "incompetence" of Maduro`s

government is to blame. Both Venezuelan leaders have called for rallies in the nation`s capital.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well the piece of good news comes from the lights that you see behind me. It seems that this city, this country is just

beginning to recover but the toll it has taken already in a country crippled by acute shortages of food, medicine and now this. We have heard

stories of so many people just struggling to survive, especially in those hospitals that were already facing so much adversity. Today we heard from

many, many people said look, the power must come back on. We are running out of everything. We have spoiled food in our homes and no way to really

figure out how to get more food. And quite frankly the money to get more food into our homes.

Right now the government has said that Monday, again, everyone should stay home. Schools, businesses, the government is closed. People again will

continue to try and recover. Politically the opposition still continues to say this was mismanagement on the government side. President Maduro though

continuing to hold to his line saying that this was indeed sabotage. One thing is for sure, the hydro system, the electricity system in this country

is in dire need of repair and in the middle of a drought Venezuelans know while this blackout may be over for now or at least beginning to be over.

They know that they risk more blackouts to come and of course more struggles. Paula Newton, CNN, Caracas.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. Which of these private spaceflight companies was launched first? Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, Blue Origin, or Bigelow

Aerospace. These companies are listed in order from the youngest to the oldest with Bigelow being launched first in 1999.

It`s been almost eight years since a manned mission to space took off from U.S. soil. American astronauts traveling to the International Space

Station have taken a seat aboard Russia`s Soyuz spacecraft which costs the U.S. $81 million, per person, per launch. That can soon change though. As

early as this summer, private companies like SpaceX which receives billions in funding from the U.S. government could soon offer trips to the ISS.

Those would cost $58 million per seat. If and when that comes a reality though, organizations other than NASA might be willing to pay to send

people up there, and the Space Station is only really built for six at a time. So another private company is joining the growing field of those

looking to provide space solutions.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Meet Robert Bigelow. A real estate developer who made his fortune building a chain of low cost motels. Now, he`s looking to

grow his real estate empire off earth. I mean to imagine floating around in here, do you envision tourists also inhabiting these?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He believes his company Bigelow Aerospace may have the solution to our space housing problem, expandable habitats. All of

this at one point when its first launched is going to be compacted into - -


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: - - a really small space and expand into this massive - -



BIGELOW: So its squeezing a core and then expansion takes place around that core and now you have the shape of your spacecraft.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How does this thing actually expand once its launched into space?

BIGELOW: Well we just pump in gas. You know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What kind of gas?

BIGELOW: Nitrogen and oxygen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because these habitats start out deflated and small, it makes them easier and cheaper to launch then metal structures.

BIGELOW: The new alternatives for the ISS have run into several billions of dollars to produce a habitat and four or five years of construction.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can do it faster and cheaper you say.

BIGELOW: Absolutely.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s not just cheaper. He says the 18 inch walls of his habitats will better protect us from space debris and radiation. Once

it expands, the B330 prototype has the same volume as a small three bedroom house and they`re the largest model the Olympus is twice the size of the

International Space Station. What are these systems going to be used for? I mean, is this a space hotel? Is this going to be a space station?

BIGELOW: What we`re doing is trying to create a sort of generic facility, a habitat. We want to be able to entertain entities, companies, space


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What you`re describing sounds like a land lord.

BIGELOW: Yes. It is, basically yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the going rate to lease 110 cubic meters of volume for 60 days, $25 million. That may sound pricey but that`s still a

fraction of what it costs now and that`s because there are only two habitable locations off earth, the International Space Station and China`s

Space Station.

BIGELOW: Up until now, space is characterized mostly by nations - -


BIGELOW: -- - being able to only to do various kinds of things and it`s been prohibitibly expensive and we`re trying to attack both of those


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And its that belief in the impossible that drove Bigelow to pursue his design.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because the technology behind his inflatables is something NASA started toying with in the 60`s. They dropped the idea

because the materials they were using weren`t strong enough.

BIGELOW: We`re trying to size our ecosystems for six people.


BIGELOW: As a max.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But Bigelow saw promise. He licensed the technology from NASA in the 90s and started his Aerospace company. You sunk about

$200 million of your own money into this.

BIGELOW: Actually $275 million but who`s counting?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why sink all this money into this seemingly impossible task?

BIGELOW: We don`t think its impossible. That`s - - that`s the first premise because if we did we wouldn`t attempt it. We just think its


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This isn`t just an idea. His company has already sent two prototypes into orbit and they have a contract with NASA to test

one of its habitats on the ISS.

BIGELOW: We`re addicted to that direction of space and doing whatever we can.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And keep us there.

BIGELOW: Yes. Right.


AZUZ: The car company that brought the world the beetle also known as the bug may soon bring it the buggy. The ID Buggy with ID reportedly standing

for Iconic Design. It`s just a concept at this point but it created a "buzz", get it at the Geneva International Motor Show last week. And

Volkswagen says it might actually produce the electric dune buggy in small numbers as a way of attracting attention to VW`s electric cars.

It only seats two. It only has two doors. And while it made some fans `bug eyed", others will want to "bug out" when they begin to adjust their

compound eyes to that "bugarrrrious" shade of green. Does it "bug" you? Or have you been bitten by the "bug" of curiosity and want to "larvae" your

"beetle" behind and "metamoph" and down size to a "wingless" taxi. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN.