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Standoff Over The U.S. Debt Ceiling; Centuries Old Fishing Tradition In Asia; Efforts To Reduce Food Spoilage In Nigeria. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired September 24, 2021 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz and Fridays are awesome. Chances are you`re going to hear that again. Welcome to the show. We start

this Friday with a look at a standoff over the U.S. debt ceiling. This is a limit on what the United States government is allowed to borrow. The first

overall limit was set by Congress in 1939 and it can only be raised by Congress.

That`s been done dozens of times over the years, regardless of whether Democrats or Republicans were in control. Because the U.S. government

spends far more money that it takes in and it`s done that for decades, it has to continually borrow more to pay its debts and funds its programs. The

government has reached its current borrowing limit, that`s at $28.5 trillion. If Congress doesn`t vote to raise the debt ceiling again, the

government won`t be able to pay some of its bills.

This could include military salaries, tax refunds, healthcare and retirement benefits and interest the government owes on its debt. So why

hasn`t Congress raised it? This is where politics comes in. The decision is currently hung-up in the U.S. Senate. Democrats there say more Republicans

need to quote, "be responsible".

That they need to join Democrats in voting to raise the debt ceiling to make sure the government pays its debts. Republicans say because Democrats

control both chambers of Congress and the White House, they`re parties responsible for taking steps to raise the limit on its own. That might be

possible but neither party wants to be the only one to raise the debt ceiling. Politicians are afraid it will look like only their side is the

one doing all the spending.

On the other hand, neither party wants to be blamed for any negative consequences if the debt ceiling isn`t raised. So there`s a lot of back and

forth political wrestling whenever the government approaches its borrowing limit. In the past, Congress has always increased the limit. Financial

analysts say failing to do that now could cause major economic problems in America and abroad, but with Democrats and Republicans so dug in, each

saying it`s the other sides responsibility to raise the debt ceiling now. Compromise seems unlikely raising serious questions concerning government

debt and spending in the weeks ahead.

10 Second Trivia. Bubble tea originated in what Asian island? Taiwan, Okinawa, Sri Lanka or Hong Kong Island. In the early 1980s` bubble tea was

invented in Taiwan an island with centuries old traditions.



AZUZ: With more than 219 million people, the nation of Nigeria has the largest population in Africa, but officials estimate that more than 40

percent of Nigerians live in poverty and many face food insecurity when people don`t have regular access to enough nutritious food. For what they

do have access to, spoilage can be a problem. As the heat rises during the day, the condition of produce deteriorates and food sold at farmer`s

markets can decrease in value to less than half of where it started if it gets sold at all. Some companies are offering cold storage units in hopes

of preventing food spoilage in Nigeria and beyond.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In this busy Nigerian market, the race is on to sell fresh produce early in the day.

NNAEMEKA IKEGWUONU, CEO AND FOUNDER OF COLD HUBS: So you sell high quality bright and early in the morning. Than after 12 noon, all that intensity of

the Nigerian sun spoilage is (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of all the food produced, Nigeria loses and wastes around 40 percent per year according to the World Bank, while over 80

million people in the country face food insecurity. It`s a burning issue this man is trying to solve. Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu is taking a fresh approach

to food waste with Cold Hubs, food storage rooms designed for markets and farms that are entirely powered by the sun, using those very rays to cool

the food down.

IKEGWUONU: The mission really is to reduce food spoilage. It`s a lack of food storage at key points along the supply chain.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Farmers and retailer can store a crate of produce for around 25 cents per day, keeping it fresh for up to 21 days.

IKEGWUONU: This cold room can take and cool down up to three pounds of food, and it cools down from 30 to 35 degrees (inaudible) temperature which

is what the food is coming in to eat to about a set temperature 10 degrees Celsius. (Inaudible) can stay in this cold room for up to three weeks,

still very fresh.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The UN tells us that food waste accounts for up to 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

IKEGWUONU: Each of these cold rooms should run on approximately between 20 to 30 liters of diesel every day and by using solar energy, we keep off the

diesel completely.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ikegwuonu wants the cold hubs to have social as well as environmental impact.

IKEGWUONU: We have been able to create about 66 new jobs for women. Some of (inaudible) have become empowered and changed engines in their households

and communities.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Before Cold Hubs, Ikegwuonu started a radio network, reaching an estimated 2 million listeners to help farmers share knowledge

and learn effective farming practices.

IKEGWUONU: (Inaudible) is one of the (inaudible) most effective soil (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Growing up on a farm himself, he knows the cost of losses can be devastating.

IKEGWUONU: The Nigerian smaller farmer goes through a lot, like climate (inaudible) where it`s very difficult to plant. (Inaudible) have to produce

food and when you are unable to sell that commodity or trade with that commodity. Number one it`s a national investment all have been eroded and

environmental resources are all lost. The moral of the farmer is lost too. That is why we need to make sure that if we produce food, we should as much

as possible try to get the food on the plate of those people.


AZUZ: AI composers, robot rovers and intellectual posers were all on display at a recent technology conference in China. We say posers because

this isn`t the real Albert Einstein, but it does speak Chinese. Kind of looks like him too, but there were other sites to see like dancing and back

flipping dogs. Dogs good at keeping their footing.

A robot on keyboards and a mechanized system that can help medical patients. But why Einstein? Why not? He was considered a pretty brainy

dude, "relativity" speaking. If you got the quantum mechanics, a "mass" of a budget and the "physics" equivalent of his likeness "squared". Go ahead

and throw in some "artificial intelligence" and "theorize" if it levels the unified playing field of robotics ya`ll.

All right. Today`s shout out goes out to Kearney High School. It is located in Kearney, Nebraska. We hope you and all ya`ll watching have a wonderful

weekend ahead. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN.