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New Measures Concerning Coronavirus; Threat Of A New Storm In The U.S.; New Use For Mineral That Could Improve Solar Panel Efficiency. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired December 16, 2020 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz. Thank you for taking 10 for CNN 10. You objective explanation of world events. It`s been a challenge

to report on one of the biggest events of the year because it affects people so differently and because the responses to it have been so


More than 1.6 million deaths worldwide have been linked to coronavirus but estimates suggest that 10`s of millions have caught the disease but had no

symptoms. Lockdowns, mask requirements and efforts to keep people farther apart have aimed to slow the spread of the disease but it does continue to

spread even in areas with strict guidelines in place. Those guidelines and restrictions are constantly influx.

Indoor dining at New York City`s restaurants was just shut down again but these places had been allowed to stay open in other parts of the state.

Restaurants, gyms, museums and movie theaters are all closed in California but these businesses are all open in Texas though people are required to

wear masks.

And in some states, the restrictions vary by county with more rules in place where infections are higher. These different scenarios are playing

out across the world. It`s anything but a one size fits all approach to the pandemic.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I`m Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. Nearly a third of Japanese residents, some 32 percent, want the Olympic

games cancelled according to a poll by the public broadcaster NHK and additional 31 percent would like to see the games postponed again.

That is a steep drop from the 40 percent show of support for the games back in October before a third wave of infection kicked in. Now on Monday,

Japan`s Ministry of Health said 588 patients are in critical condition due to COVID-19. That is the highest number of patients in intensive care

(audio gap) since the pandemic began.

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I`m Jim Bittermann in France where COVID lockdown restrictions are being relaxed just a bit. From today

onward travel around the country is no longer limited and people no longer need to fill out of declaration explaining why they are out and about

during the day.

However, a tighter curfew is now in place which does limit movement with some exceptions after eight at night and before six in the morning.

Theaters, museums, restaurants, bars will all remain closed on until at least January 20th. That because average infection rates in the country

still remain higher than health authorities would like.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I`m Salma Abdelaziz in London where the government says a new variant of coronavirus maybe to blame for its

faster spread in parts of England. Now I know this sounds scary, but experts agree this is nothing to worry about and there is no evidence that

this variant spreads faster, is more deadly or is immune to the vaccine.

But there is a very real spike in coronavirus cases here in London, that`s why starting Wednesday this city will move into England`s highest level

coronavirus restrictions. That means new rules on people`s social behaviors.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I`m Paula Hancocks in Seoul. With close to 900 new daily coronavirus cases here in South Korea, officials are

seriously considering raising the social distancing measures to the highest level possible. The prime minister saying today that they don`t want to

miss the window but they also don`t want to make a hasty decision knowing that this will have an impact on the economy.

Now also hundreds of military personnel are being dispatched to different health centers around the greater Seoul area this week to try and help with

the contact tracing process.


AZUZ: Big storm in the forecast for more than 13 percent of the U.S. population. We`re talking about more than 35 million people concentrated in

the northeast. A weather system that moved off the Rocky Mountains on Tuesday was headed east toward cooler air and forecasters said that

conditions were right for a powerful nor`easter that could stretch from Virginia to Massachusetts.

According to the National Weather Service, this storm could carry wind gusts as high as 40 miles per hour and become the most impactful winter

system in years. According to the forecasting service AccuWeather, some cities in the region could see more snow over the next couple days than

they did from every storm last winter combined.

There`s a threat of several feet of snow and heavy ice in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. That could cause wide spread power outages at a time

when people will need to run the heat. Blizzard conditions are possible along the coast. Meteorologists told people in these areas to have their

snow shovels ready and plan to stay off the roads.

10 Second Trivia. Which of these objects was once known as NASA`s $1.5 billion blunder? Hubble Space Telescope, International Space Station, Mir

Space Station or Mars Opportunity Rover. A problem with Hubble`s mirror initially caused it to take blurry photos but that was fixed three years

after Hubble launched.



AZUZ: Companies around the world are working with a mineral called perovskite to make solar panels more effective. Solar power is a renewable

form of energy at least in places with plenty of sunlight and it can reduce the cost of electricity. But it does have its downsides, the process of

making solar panels creates both air pollution and waste.

Disposing used solar panels can put more toxic waste into the environment and while they`re being used the panels themselves take up a lot of space.

But perovskite may be able to help with that last problem because it could make solar panels more efficient.

It`s relatively inexpensive, though there are concerns about its cost when it`s made on a larger scale. Still some scientists say perovskite could

significantly improve solar energy.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Solar panels. They`re increasingly used to meet our energy needs but there`s a problem with the way silicon panels are made.

They`re hugely inefficient. That`s because they only convert about 22 percent of the sun`s rays into electricity. The scientists from the

University of Oxford in the United Kingdom have made a discovery that`s set to transform the industry. Thanks to new experi-mineral called perovskite.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is silicon. It takes about seven tons of this material to make 1 million watts of solar cells. This is the perovskite

material completely synthesized from Earth abundant elements. It only takes 35 kilograms of this material to make the same million watts of solar

cells. Seven tons, 35 kilograms.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Working with perovskite in Oxford`s PV`s labs, scientists found they could convert 28 percent of the sun`s rays into

electricity if they placed the layer of the mineral over a silicon cell. In time they believe they can double the current efficiency rate of silicon

panels and eventually converting to 40 percent of the sun`s rays into electricity.

But perovskite have other exciting advantages too. See, they`re lightweight and transparent and very flexible. Imagine then seeing it

wrapped around an incorporated into entire buildings. That`s the ambition of Warsaw based SAL Technologies. They started printing it using an inkjet


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (inaudible) printed. It`s very cheap. We can use perovskite cells on the plastic of the building, on the roofs of the

building, on the roofs of the cars, on the electronic devices, small electronic devices. We can use it on the (inaudible). We can use it on

the (inaudible).


AZUZ: When you envision a robot, you probably don`t think of this. The Tech Crunch online newspaper compared it to a lemon peel. But it is a type

of robot, a soft one that works underwater and it can fold and walk and even carry stuff. It moves by the power of light and magnetic fields and

the researchers at Northwestern University who developed it hope it could one day be used in medicine.

What type, the "hydromanoprototype"? What branch? Could be a step toward better "podiatry". Maybe you could see it in "optomology" or

"orthodontics" if it has teeth.

Dermatology could give it some "skin" in the game. I mean, who knows what "pathology" it will take. Whatever field it goes into it`s got to be a

"magnetic" one. North Sanpete High School gets today`s shout out. It`s in Mount Pleasant, Utah. Sounds like a pleasant place.

How do we pick the schools we mention? Our web producer chooses from the comments of our most recent show at So please subscribe

to the channel and leave a comment there. With two shows left to go in 2020, I`m Carl Azuz for CNN.