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CNN 10

Concerns And Causes Centering On Inflation; An Asteroid "Fly-By"; Discovery Of An Ancient Roman Town; Sighting Of A Rare Squid. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired January 13, 2022 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: A troubling sign for the U.S. economy leads off today`s edition of CNN 10. I`m Carl Azuz. It`s good to have you watching

this Thursday. We`ve talked a lot in recent months about inflation, when prices go up for the things we buy and the money we have doesn`t buy as

much as it used to.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported that the Consumer Price Index, what people pay for a variety of goods and services, it increased by

7 percent between December 2020 and December 2021. That`s the biggest jump in prices since 1982 and it`s reflected in the cost of used cars and

trucks, housing and almost every category of groceries. Between November and December alone, prices increased by half a percentage point, that was

more than many economists had expected but it wasn`t as much as the .8 percent increase between October and November.

So, what`s causing this and what does it mean? The U.S. government has said ongoing problems with the supply chain, the interrupted flow of the

things we buy, continues to lift prices. Experts say COVID-19 continues to have an impact in some areas, especially with the rapid spread of the

Omicron variant of the virus, and critics of government spending say it has helped drive up inflation. A silver lining is that the money many

Americans earn has also increased over the past year, especially in some lower income fields like leisure and hospitality, think restaurant and

hotel workers.

But the rise in prices has eaten into their wage gains and in many higher income fields, the rate of inflation has been greater than the rise in

wages. So is there an end in sight to this? It`s hard to say.

For much of 2021, the Federal Reserve, America`s Central Bank, said it expected inflation to be transitory or temporary. By the end of the year,

the Fed had stopped using that term indicating it felt inflation would stick around for a while. An economist interviewed by CNN expects year

over year price gains to continue at least until the early Spring.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Inflation is the textbook term for prices rising over time and purchasing power falling. Think of a trip to the grocery store.

It sets you back $100. A year from now you buy all the same items, but they now cost $103. That`s inflation, 3 percent to be exact.

So, what causes inflation? A rise in production costs is one scenario. For example, booming energy prices can drive up the cost of transportation

or manufacturing. Rising wages can also contribute to inflation. If business owners have to pay workers more, they might also raise prices to

cover those higher labor costs. Inflation can also happen when the demand for goods exceeds supply. Then businesses selling those items can increase


Prices going up slowly is generally considered a good thing, especially if wages rise too. It helps keep the economy dynamic and growing. The U.S.

Central Bank has even a target inflation rate, 2 percent. But inflation can quickly get out of control when governments print too much money to pay

for spending.

When not enough real value underlies that paper, prices surge, that`s called hyperinflation. It happened in Germany, in Zimbabwe in the 2000s`

and most recently in Venezuela, and it`s the Fed`s job to make sure the United States keeps the inflation rate on track.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. Which of these names has not been used for a NASA mission? Euclid, Galileo, Kepler or Ptolemy. Though he was a real

astronomer and mathematician, Ptolemy`s name has not been used for a NASA mission.

NASA has a Center for Near Earth Object Studies and it studies, you guessed it, near Earth objects. That includes an asteroid set to pass by the Earth

next Tuesday. It`s named 7482 or 1994PC1. I don`t know why all the numbers. They could have just gone with Earl, and when scientists say it

will pass nearby. It`s a relative term.

The rock will actually be around 1.2 million miles away. So, 7482 or 1994PC1 is not expected to hit or threaten Earth in any way. It`s also not

the biggest asteroid known to do this. The one flying by on January 18th is about 6/10ths of a mile wide.

The biggest asteroid fly by on record was made by an object estimated to be between 2 and 1/2 miles and 5 and 1/2 miles wide. It passed by in 2017.

Experts say people with clear weather and a telescope might be able to see 7482 or 1994PC1. What if there is an asteroid out there that does threaten

Earth? NASA currently has a $320 million mission that aims to see if it`s possible for a human made spacecraft to knock such a rock off its course.

Michael Holmes filed this report just before the mission launched last November.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It`s a space story seen several times in the movies, like in the 1998 sci-fi film "Armageddon".

BRUCE WILLIS, ACTOR: The United States government just asked us to save the world. Anybody want to say no?

HOLMES: An asteroid threatens Earth. The military, astronauts even oil rig drillers try to save mankind. Some cities don`t make it but in the end

the planet survives. A Hollywood ending which NASA is hoping to make a reality with its first planetary defense test mission. Scientists say they

have identified the kilometer wide asteroids like those shown in the blockbusters, and there are no dangers of them hitting Earth in the coming


But NASA says it wants to study what could be done if an Earth threatening asteroid is discovered. A mission called DART, the Double Asteroid

Redirection Test, that will send an unmanned spacecraft into space and if successful, it won`t be returning home. It`s destination a near Earth

asteroid named Didymos and its moonlet.

NANCY CHABOT, DART COORDINATION LEAD: These asteroids are not a threat to the Earth.

They are not a danger to the Earth. They are not on a path to hit the Earth in the foreseeable future. That makes them appropriate target for a

first test.

HOLMES: Traveling at a speed of 6.6 kilometers a second, DART will then deliberately crash into the moonlet to try to jolt it from it`s regular

orbit. Scientists back on Earth will monitor the collision using satellite imagery and ground base telescopes to see how much the moonlet changes


ANDY CHENG, DART INVESTIGATION TEAM LEAD: If one day an asteroid is discovered on a collision course with Earth, and we have an idea how big

that asteroid is and how fast it`s coming and it will hit, that kind of information. Then we will have an idea how much momentum we need to make

that asteroid miss the Earth.

HOLMES: The targeted moonlet is a little larger than one of the pyramids in Egypt. NASA says there are 10,000 known asteroids that are just as big

or bigger that could potentially cause major regional damage if they ever hit the Earth. Although none of them are tracking this way. DART`s

kamakazi mission could provide lifesaving data if anything ever does get too close. Michael Holmes, CNN.


AZUZ: Back down to Earth in Central England. Archeologists working on a future high speed railway route, recently made an amazing discovery from

the past. These are the remains of what`s believed to be a Roman town dating back to the year 400 B.C.

Researchers think it was originally an Iron Age village, but then afterwards it expanded into a wealthy Roman trading center. How do they

know this? Well, the main road was a major clue. It was more than 30 feet wide, when most Roman roads were around 13 feet or narrower.

Historians say that indicates it was busy, with carts coming and going stocked with fruit, vegetables, animals, goods for trading. In the town

itself, they discovered kilns for pottery, ovens for bread making, living areas for people and animals. A lot of activity was reportedly happening


People weren`t just "roaming" around if you know what I`m saying and the artifacts discovered include hundreds of Roman coins, jewelry and fragments

of pottery.

Deep sea explorers searching for a World War II era shipwreck recently stumbled across something else, a rare type squid. This is a big finned

squid, a relatively mysterious creature and it was spotted almost four miles under the ocean`s surface, about a mile deeper than anyone had seen a

squid before.

That`s significant because this is a predator and scientists say the fact that it was this deep indicates there are other species down here for it to


There weren`t too many there at the time though. They had to "squid addle". You won`t see fish food hanging out of the "mollusk". They wanted

to "squid" while they were ahead. Guess you "magnapin" it on their deep "seeded" fear of being on a "cephalopod cast".

I tried to think of a calamari pun for that but I just couldn`t "calamari" it to my script. I`m Carl Azuz. Today`s shout out goes out to Battle

Creek High School in Battle Creek, Nebraska. Thank you for watching. CNN returns tomorrow.