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Today`s Objective Coverage Includes The Omicron Variant Of COVID; Unrest In Kazakhstan; Tops For Driving In The Snow; A Color Changing Car. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired January 10, 2022 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Happy New Year everyone. I`m Carl Azuz and it is great to see you as we launch into a new calendar year of objective news

coverage. For more than two years now a leading news story around the world has been COVID-19. It`s still going. In fact, new international records

have been set in recent days for the number of people testing positive for corona virus.

In the United States, the majority of those new infections, 90 percent in some places, have been linked to the newer Omicron variant of the virus

which was first identified in South Africa last Fall. Health officials say it`s extraordinarily contagious, more so than other versions of COVID-19.

The U.S. government says COVID vaccinations are the best defense against all of the virus variants that are currently spreading, and some hospital

officials have told CNN that most of their COVID patients have been unvaccinated.

But despite the fact that more than 62 percent of the entire U.S. population has been fully vaccinated according to the CDC, the country has

seen more new infections than ever. The record set last Monday was over 1,820,000 positive tests as Omicron has infected both the unvaccinated and

the vaccinated. There is a silver lining though. Experts believe Omicron is less severe than other COVID variants. It has milder symptoms overall, and

while more people may catch it, it appears to be causing fewer deaths. Still, there`ve been major differences in how communities and governments

have responded to Omicron`s spread.

In some cities for instance, people need to show proof they`ve been vaccinated in order to go to restaurants, gyms, bowling allies or concerts.

In other areas, people are going about their business as usual without requirements or restrictions in place. When it comes to schools, research

has shown that in-person learning is better for students mental health. But concerns about Omicron`s threat to physical health have renewed debate in

some communities about whether schools should stay open.


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Back to school hangs in the balance for the country`s third largest school district, as negotiations between

Chicago Public Schools and the teacher`s union remain deadlocked over returning to in-person learning.

MELANIE LOPEZ, CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER: I`m not happy that we`re not at work. We want to be at work and we -- we want people to understand that

this -- this idealistical remote not to stop working.

JIMENEZ: Melanie Lopez is a high school teacher in the school district and a union member. It`s a teacher`s union that has argued that the city of

Chicago hasn`t provided adequate resources to be in-person safely. Did you feel like you had what you needed in the classroom for it to run safely?

LOPEZ: I did because I bought it. I don`t know if that makes sense.

JIMENEZ: With your own money.

LOPEZ: With my own money. Right.

JIMENEZ: The city however has argued through masking, vaccinations, testing and more that school is still safer than being at home, even with record

numbers of cases among students, staff and across Chicago in recent weeks.

MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT (D), MAYOR OF CHICAGO: The difference between now and a year ago was obviously we have vaccines for -- for a huge swath of our

school based population. I think that the issues that are on the table as I understand them, we can narrow the divide and get a deal done. Schools are

safe. There`s been no question about that.

JIMENEZ: The union disagrees and one of the major sticking points in their ongoing negotiations with the city is testing. Governor J.B. Pritzker`s

office confirmed Friday, it had been in touch with the White House in recent days asking for more tests. The White House confirmed those

conversations with Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot to assess their needs. All the while, students have been out of class and parents have been



AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. In terms of land area, which of these nations is the largest? Iran, Kazakhstan, Mongolia or Ukraine. Though it`s not the

most populated nation on this list, Kazakhstan is by far the largest in area.

Kazakhstan`s been grappling with violent protests over the past week. At least 164 people there have been killed including dozens of demonstrators

and at least 18 law enforcement officers. More than 5,000 people are reportedly being held by the government. It`s declared a state of emergency

and asked other nations to help protect government buildings.

Some of those have been burned. The unrest started after the price of a type of gasoline suddenly doubled. Afterward, the Kazak government said it

would limit what those prices would be but the protests grew to include other complaints over corruption, the standard of living, poverty and

unemployment. Some Kazak leaders have resigned, though the nation`s president remains in place. He`s characterized the protestors as criminals,

murders and terrorists and he`s ordered government troops to shoot those who don`t surrender.


NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kazakhstan rarely makes headlines in the west, but that changed when these protests over rising living costs

were met with brutal repression. As so called peacekeepers from Russia and other post-Soviet states hit the streets of the countries biggest city,

Almaty, there`s deep unease at where the central Asian state is now heading.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The west is going to be keeping an eye on Russian imperial ambitions and perhaps they could start stationing troops there.

But nonetheless, they could -- they could make several power plays.

DOS SANTOS: Home to 90 million people spread over the 9th largest sovereign land mass, Kazakhstan stands between two increasingly autocratic super

powers, Russia to the north and China in the east. Economically, it still has one foot in the past relying on Russia for most of its trade. Whilst

also hosting the Baikonur Cosmodrone, crucial to the Kremlin`s space program.

Large deposits of coal and natural gas, as well as a three percent chunk of the planet`s oil reserves and 40 percent of its uranium mean that

Kazakhstan`s people could be rich. But thanks to a ruling elite in power since the fall of communism, few share in that wealth. For now it`s unclear

what the future holds for Kazakhstan and the country`s stymied potential. What is becoming clearer is the world is watching and it worried. Nina Dos

Santos, CNN, in London.


AZUZ: Up next today, thunderstorms in the American south. Subzero wind chills in the upper Midwest. Treacherous icy conditions in the Northeast.

All of it is because of a cold front that swept across the country over the weekend. Tens of millions were under a winter weather alert Sunday morning

with freezing rain, ice and sleet threatening some parts of the Northeast.

It came less than a week after another snowstorm led to a number of accidents and a shutdown of Interstate 95 in Virginia. Hundreds of drivers

were stranded along a 50 mile stretch of the road, and the back-up was too severe for even snowplows to get through. Thankfully no injuries or deaths

were reported, even though people were stuck in their cars overnight. If you ever get caught driving in a fast descending snowstorm, here`s a tip.


DEREK VAN DAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So we`re all used to seeing cars fishtailing on icy and snow patched roads, but the more common and more

expensive skid is called an under steer.

KURT SPITZNER, DRIVING INSTRUCTOR FOR BRIDGESTONE WINTER DRIVING: We turn in and the car doesn`t want to respond and to make it turn better I have to

take steering out, and notice how the arc came right back and we`re now where we want to be.

VAN DAM: The car almost resurrected itself.

SPITZNER: Correct. If I -- if I had just kept the steering turned in or added more, which is what`s commonly done because our instinct is to, well,

it isn`t steering enough. I need to go ahead and steer a bunch more. The car is going to respond even worse until you run into a curb or into

oncoming traffic. Your speeds good. All right. Go ahead and turn in. Notice how it doesn`t want to respond? Straighten the wheel out slightly. So, by

letting go of the steering wheel you almost noticed it straightened out too much.

VAN DAM: Right.

SPITZNER: In the case of just feed the steering wheel back gently, OK, brake, brake. Off the brakes completely and now turn.

VAN DAM: What a marked difference.


AZUZ: Henry Ford once said customers could have a Model T painted any color they wanted as long as it was black. As far as this BMW concept is

concerned, customers could have black or white or a whole lot in between as this thing can change color. The vehicle`s wrapped in electronic ink, like

the kind found in e-readers. That allows a variety of monochromatic patterns including racing stripes. If and when it`s produced, other color

options may also be possible. So it`s both color shifting and "monochroautomatic". Would it make a "hue" difference?

It would across the "spectrum" of buyers who are looking to break free from the "prism" of single color options. But while this is something that

hasn`t really been seen "Roy G. Before", critics will say it`s just "throwing shade". I`m Carl Azuz. Elizabeth High School, thank you for

watching from Elizabeth, Colorado. The one place we look for the schools we mention is our You Tube channel. That`s at We hope to

see you all tomorrow.