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U.S. Lawmakers Consider A $2 Trillion Stimulus Bill; Consumers Worldwide Impact the Toilet Paper Supply Chain; A Tour of a Unique Northern City
Aired March 26, 2020 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: A city in Alaska is the second stop in our series of virtual vacations because fewer people are taking actual
vacations. It`s coming up in just a few. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10 and we`re thankful you`re watching. Stimulus is the word in Washington,
District of Columbia. The U.S. Congress and the White House have joined the Federal Reserve, the country`s central bank, in trying to lessen the
economic damage from the corona virus pandemic. The big focus here is on a stimulus package, a massive plan of government spending, intended to
stimulate the U.S. economy. How massive? The Senate deal which is supported by the Trump Administration is worth $2 trillion. Senate
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described it as a wartime level of investment for America. Here`s what the money would be spent on.
$500 billion would be intended to help big companies get through this corona virus pandemic. $350 billion would be in loans for small businesses
in the hopes it will help them stay in business. $250 billion would be given directly to American taxpayers in the hopes that they`ll spend it but
those payments would only go to individuals who earn less than $99,000 a year or couples who earn less than $198,000 a year. Hundreds of billions
more would go to help hospitals, Americans who`ve lost their jobs and state and local governments.
The agreement would still have to be passed by the U.S. House of Representatives before it goes to President Donald Trump`s desk for
signature. So the bill is not finalized and it`s not clear how long that will take. But the news of it was welcomed on Wall Street. After setting
several records for single day point losses in recent weeks, the Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 important stocks set a new record on Tuesday for
its biggest ever single point gain. Will all this shorten an expected recession?
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So what`s the difference between a recession and a depression? It comes down to how long the economy contracts. A recession
is typically defined as two negative quarters of economic growth and is part of the normal business cycle. The U.S. economy has fallen into
recession more than 30 times since 1854. A depression is something vastly different. It happens when the economic decline is sustained and might
potentially go on for years. That`s only occurred once in American history in 1929 and it lasted 10 years. Because it lasts so long, a depression is
more severe. A decade ago unemployment hit 10 percent during the worst of the "Great Recession" but during the "Great Depression" the jobless rate
peaked at nearly 25 percent.
The reason economists are so worried this time, we just don`t know how long we`ll be fighting this virus. We don`t know how long stores will be shut
down, how long travel will be paused, how much damage will be done to supply chains or how many companies will go bankrupt. But there is hope if
you look to history. The recession that followed the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic lasted just seven months. That`s much shorter than the average
recession. Let`s hope this time history repeats.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As corona virus spreads, people across the country are stocking up on essentials and one essential in particular, toilet
paper. It sold out in stores across the world and has become the ultimate symbol of panic buy. There was even a toilet paper robbery in Hong Kong.
There are consumer fears of toilet paper running out grounded in reality? Not really. Let`s start at the beginning. Toilet paper is made mostly from
tree pulp sourced from the U.S. and Canada. The pulp is turned into large rolls of paper called parent rolls, which in turn are used to make a
variety of paper products.
For paper manufacturers who run on fixed capacity, it`s hard to increase production quickly. One thing they can do is to switch from making a less
in demand product like paper towels to more toilet paper. But most people are not using toilet paper any more than normal. The average American uses
between half a roll to just over one roll a week. Let`s assume that demand normally remains constant throughout the year.
That means people are stockpiling and when the panic buying stops sales could fall as people go through their stashes. Many industries like
electronics and pharmaceuticals have complicated global supply chains, facing issues with materials, production and shipping because of the corona
virus. The toilet paper industry with its comparatively simple supply chain, should be able to weather the virus more than most.
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AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. Which of these cities is located the farthest south? Nome, Alaska, Juno, Alaska, Helsinki, Finland or Reykjavik,
Iceland. Of these cities, the Alaskan capital of Juno is located the farthest south.
But it`s still far enough north that during the summer the sun rises before 4 o`clock a.m. and sets after 10 o`clock p.m. It is the northern most U.S.
capital city. It`s also the biggest U.S. capital in terms of land area. So with all that extra space and all that extra daylight, don`t "Juno"
we`re taking a tour of Juno as part of our new partnership with CNN Travel. Here`s a look at a city named for one of the men who discovered gold there
in the 1880s.
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HOLLY FIRFER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nestled along Alaska`s inside passage, the capital city of Juno sits as the gateway to the last frontier.
Accessible only by boat or plane, this city of 30,000 offers visitors the distinctive opportunities of a major city and the remote wilderness.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Among all the destinations in Alaska, Juno is really unique because the reasons people want to come to Alaska to see wildlife
and wilderness and glaciers and mountains are found right here in our little community. And everything is really close by.
FIRFER: In Juno, the pristine wilderness is the main attraction. There are dozens of ways for visitors to get out and enjoy all of the natural
resources surrounding the area.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s opportunities to do just about anything outdoors. Whale watching is one of our most popular activities. Juno has
one of the most fantastic humpback whale watching opportunities in the state. Hiking, biking, kayaking, all of these things are opportunities to
interact with the wilderness which is what we love to do here in Juno.
FIRFER: Juno is situated in the Tongass National Forest which dominates the surrounding landscape.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, the Tongass National Forest is the worlds largest remaining temperate rainforest. And with that environment, even
though it`s spread out over a huge area there`s some really unique elements here that are very accessible in the city of Juno.
FIRFER: The proximity of the forest means visitors can trek on glaciers, experience wildlife up close and even do a little mountain climbing. But
don`t pull out the ropes and harnesses just yet. The Mount Roberts Tramway in downtown Juno can whisk you up to the top of the mountain without
breaking a sweat.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of the great aspects of Juno is our mountains. We`re surrounded by mountains. So the tram was built and it is a really
wonderful scenic way for people to get up into the mountains and nearby and have incredible views of the area that surrounds Juno.
FIRFER: If you`re not the outdoor type, Juno still has plenty to offer. The city has lots of shopping and a vibrant art scene that can trace its
heritage back centuries.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Part of the uniqueness of Juno`s history is that the native culture, the Tlingit Indians, had a beautiful arts culture and they
still have that today and they`re developing it. And I think it inspired a lot of other artists to start looking at how to incorporate the really
beautiful natural resources around Alaska into their art. So you`ll see a lot of really beautiful art, carvings, silver, wood and I think a lot of
the natural resources of Juno is what inspires our local artists.
FIRFER: The spirit of the city comes from the surrounding wilderness but the charm of Juno lies in its people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now you`ll see a lot of stores here that are owned by families who have deep roots in Juno. Their families came here with the
original founder families and they`re connected. And people get very attached to Juno and they support one another and it makes it - - creates a
really nice friendly environment.
FIRFER: For CNN, I`m Holly Firfer.
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AZUZ: Before we skip out, we`re skipping stones. The Guinness World Record for the most skips with a rock is 88 but it helps if the water is
calm and smooth. It wasn`t on the shores of Lake Michigan when this competition was recorded last summer and a new record wasn`t set. But a
man did manage to skip a stone across the choppy surface 20 times and for that he received some goblets from the Mackinac Island Grand Hotel stuffed
Now that`s something to "marble" at. The "skipper`s" definitely worth his "basalt". He started with a clean "slate", took nothing for "granite", got
ready for a "feldsparing" match, utterly "pumiced" the competition. Hey listen, skipping stones is hard. It`s no wonder the winner is a
"rock"star. Is it any coincidence that the Skippers are the mascot of North Kingstown High School. Either way, you guys totally rock in North
Kingstown, Rhode Island. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN.