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Proposed Stimulus Package Advances In Congress; Discussion On Psychological Impacts Of The COVID Pandemic; A Drone Helps Monitor Endangered Dolphins. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired March 01, 2021 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Here to deliver you March 1st, 2021 edition of CNN 10, I`m Carl Azuz. Hope you had a good weekend. It was over that

weekend that the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Biden Administration`s proposed stimulus package for the U.S. economy.

It is not yet law. It must first pass the Senate and President Joe Biden has asked that chamber to take quick action on the legislation. This is the

third major spending effort by the U.S. government to try to confront the economic problems triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

The two other stimulus packages came last year under then President Donald Trump. In March he signed one costing $2.2 trillion. In December, he signed

another costing $900 million. President Biden`s proposed stimulus plan would cost $1.9 trillion.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have no time to waste. If we act now, decisively, quickly and boldly, we can finally get ahead of this

virus. We can finally get our economy moving again and the people of this country have suffered far too much for too long. We need to relieve that



AZUZ: On Saturday, the House voted 219 to 212 to move the bill forward. All of the votes to pass it came from Democrats, but two Democrats joined all

210 Republicans in voting against the bill.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Will it help people get back to work? No. Will it help students get back in the classroom immediately? No. Will it help

get vaccines to those who want it? The answer is no. It is entirely partisan and has the wrong priorities.


AZUZ: This proposal is likely to see some changes before the Senate votes on it. As it stands now though, it would include direct payments of $1,400

to many Americans, extra assistance for people who`ve lost their jobs, money for state and local governments and schools, funding to distribute

vaccines and more COVID tests.

That`s all part of it. So is a controversial part of the legislation that would raise the U.S. Federal minimum wage. Since 2009, it has been set at

$7.25 per hour. States and local governments can require a higher minimum wage and many of them do but the Federal one is the lowest wage employers

can pay in the United States.

The Biden Administration`s proposal would more than double the minimum wage to $15 per hour by the year 2025 but political experts say that`s one part

of the legislation that`s likely to be removed by the Senate. The Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan government agency, estimates

that increasing the minimum wage would help 900 million Americans by raising their earnings above the poverty level.

But the CBO also estimates that doing this would come at a cost of 1.4 million jobs. This is why Federal minimum wage proposals are difficult to

get passed through Congress. If the Senate doesn`t remove that part of the stimulus plan, the bill would then go back to the House for another vote

before it can get to President Biden`s desk for his signature.

What has been the psychological impact of the coronavirus pandemic? We`ve covered the cost in terms of lives lost, restrictions imposed, economies

affected but health experts and a number of studies suggest the pandemic has taken a toll on many people`s mental health., a medical information website, reports that signs of anxiety and depression have appeared in many American students. The U.S.

Centers of Disease Control says changes in routines, missed vacations, celebrations and get togethers.

Switching back and forth from in person and virtual learning all of this can challenge the well-being of children and young people beyond the threat

of getting sick. And while scientists don`t know how serious these psychological challenges are or how long they`ll last, the problem isn`t

limited to American children.


MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For 23-year-old Jasmine Abidua (ph) it was lost autumn that her dream of studying in Paris hit the reality of the


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE TRANSLATED: So I was starting studies and thinking, I`m going to arrive, make loads of friends, join lots of student societies, try

lots of activities and then boom. I`m stuck in a house, all alone, between its four walls.

BELL: So Jasmine (ph) took up painting instead but the pandemic has also cost her, her peace of mind. Before, she was able to teach Arabic classes

to make ends meet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE TRANSLATED: In the end, the two difficult things to deal with are the financial side and then the psychological side. So for

the financial side there is help from authorities, from associations, there are a few distributions. But for the psychological side, we`re really on

our own.

BELL: After nearly a year of lockdowns and restrictions, French authorities are warning of the third wave, not of COVID but of mental health issues

including among the country`s more than 1.5 million university students.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re building your life (inaudible) down the road. You will not become this. You will not do this and that and then pomp. You

cannot do anything. You`re stuck. So we have to let them know that right now we`re in the middle of the storm but we have still to visualize where

we want to go. Otherwise we`ll get -- we`re going to be stuck in this storm with no vision that creates despair.

BELL: But despair is not necessarily the only difficulty. For some, the time of their lives meant to be the most footloose and fancy free has

become a matter of survival. The line here is for a food bank set up in the heart of Paris by students who realize that some of their classmates were

no longer able to eat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE TRANSLATED: We are the sacrifice generation. Not only can we not have a social life or go to class or get a great quality education,

on top of that we find ourselves in this extremely precarious situation.

BELL: Bajana Fruike (ph) says that many students who had been able to turn to their parents in time of need, could no longer do so. Their parents too,

he says, has lost their jobs. The students coming in here aren`t just offered food but also psychological support. This food distribution center

can help 500 students each week but the organizers say that the demand is in fact at least ten times that. Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. What species of dolphin is the smallest? Hector`s dolphin, Risso`s dolphin, Spinner dolphin or Dusky dolphin. The smallest

dolphins are Hector`s dolphins. They`re usually around four to five feet long and 100 pounds.

And they are rare. You will only find Hector`s dolphins off the coast of New Zealand and there`s a subspecies of them called Maui dolphins whose

population has dwindled to just a few dozen left in the wild. The biggest threat to Maui dolphins is when they`re caught by accident in the fishing

industry. Disease, danger to their habitat and tourism are also suspected in reducing their numbers.

But there`s a new eye in the sky and by that we mean a drone that aims to help Maui dolphins by locating, identifying and following them. The

aircraft runs on electric and gas power. It`s estimated to cost around $150,000 and it`s aim is to use artificial intelligence technology to keep

close tabs on the 63 adult Maui dolphins that are still alive.

On the opposite end of the dolphin spectrum in terms of numbers at least is the common dolphin. How common is it? Well exact numbers are hard to come

by but these mammals are often found in pods by the thousand. They`re common in all over the world. Their neither endangered nor threatened and

when they stampede, so to speak, they`re sight to see for sight seers.




AZUZ: It`s amazing how they don`t get "bottlenosed" together especially without any "social distance". They "belugaotta" be so coordinated to know

who`s go the "right of whale". They must have gotten organized on the "dolphinternet". I hear they run a killer "pod cast".

Before, this is terrible. Before we "dolpfinish" for the day, want to give a shout out to Soroco High School. You guys in "Sorock" in Oak Creek,

Colorado. The only place we look for the shout out schools we mention is on our You Tube channel so we hope to see you there. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10.