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U.S. Inflation Rates Continue To Climb; U.S. Transit Security Is Increased; Another Step Is Taken In A Planned NASA Moon Mission; A Driverless Car Breaks The Law. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired April 13, 2022 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi. I`m Carl Azuz. Welcome to the show.

We`re going to the moon and beyond this Wednesday as a worldwide space race heats up.

But we begin with something else that`s been heating up, a U.S. inflation rate that some economists say is out of control. Not since December of 1981

has the United States seen prices increase by so much over a one-year period. The U.S. government says between March of 2021 and March of this

year, the consumer price index also referred to as the inflation rate rose by eight and a half percent.

That`s higher than the 8.4 percent that economists had predicted, and it means that for every hundred dollars Americans spent on commonly bought

goods last March, they had to spend an extra eight and a half dollars on them this March. That adds up as it spread out over things like gas,

groceries, housing medical care, car insurance, furniture and airline tickets.

It was last year that America started seeing its highest price rises in decades. In May, they jumped to a level that was 5 percent higher than they

were in May of 2020, but by December, that percentage had risen to 7 percent over the previous year. And these rises have only gotten worse in


Is there a silver lining to this? Well, some economists are hopeful that inflation will soon hit its peak, its highest rate of this period, if it

hasn`t done that already. That would at least mean that the price increases would stop climbing higher.

But even if that happened in March and no one knows if it did, it could take months or longer before inflation rates come back down to manageable

levels. Eight and a half percent is dramatically higher than the two percent target that America`s Central Bank has for inflation rates.

Next, if you take public transportation, you might notice more police on patrol. Security`s been increased at subway stations nationwide after a New

York passenger set off a gas canister and started shooting at other passengers Tuesday morning. Police say none of the people shot has life-

threatening injuries, though some were in critical condition yesterday. Numerous others were injured in the chaos. The suspect was still on the

loose when we produced this show and security was tightened at transit systems from California to Georgia.


AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

In Greek mythology, who is Apollo`s twin sister and the goddess of the moon?

Artemis, Luna, Athena or Diana?

Artemis also served as the goddess of the hunt and wild animals.


AZUZ: NASA is trying to get its Artemis 1 mission off the ground. The $4.1 billion program which aims to return Americans to the moon has seen a

series of setbacks and delays. One of the latest issues involved a helium check valve that wasn`t working as it should.

But the Artemis 1 rocket was scheduled to go through a sort of dress rehearsal Tuesday afternoon. That involved turning it on, filling the tanks

with propellant, simulating a launch countdown and then draining the tanks and shutting everything back down. After that, the plan was to move the

rocket back inside an assembly building and inspect the faulty valve.

An Artemis mission manager acknowledged that more problems could come up, but overcoming them will bring the rocket closer to its planned launch this

summer. Artemis 1 is a mission without a crew. Its aim is to fly beyond the moon and then return to Earth. That`ll be the first in a series of $4

billion missions to ultimately put people back on the moon in 2025.

But according to, that date could be pushed back again because of unexpected challenges like the COVID pandemic that NASA says have caused

delays and cost increases. A 21st century space race is hurtling forward.


ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lifting off from their satellite launch center in the Gobi Desert, China rocketed three astronauts

towards the country`s new space station. The crew will now live and work there for 183 days. It`s China`s longest mission yet and a major step in

the country`s young space program, quickly becoming one of the world`s most advanced. Though China arrived late to space exploration, the government

has been investing billions of dollars in its advancement.

In the past three years, Chinese missions have brought rock samples from the moon back to Earth for the first time in 40 years, successfully landed

an exploratory rover on the far side of the moon and then one on Mars. They were only the second country to do so. The United States unsurprisingly

came first.

But America`s cosmological dominance could soon be challenged by China as well as other space ambitious nations.

As its space program expands, the United Arab Emirates also reach Mars though their mission didn`t touch the surface. The UAE scientific satellite

began orbiting the Red Planet in February. The country also plans to send an un-crewed spacecraft to the moon in 2024.

India hopes to do the same in 2022. After a failed attempt in 2019, the country has been inching towards a new date for the unmanned lunar landing.

India`s prime minister is also encouraging the private sector to help the country`s space ambitions, following the U.S. in a pivot towards

commercializing space.

Another with lunar ambitions is the European Space Agency, which is working to develop a moon lander. The ESA also has probes currently exploring the

solar system.

Still a player in space, Russia is planning a collaborative asteroid mission joining forces with China for a robotic probe set for 2024. They

are also hoping to launch an automatic lunar station in July.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Touchdown confirmed.

SOARES: And in a first both for space and cinema, a Russian film crew returned to earth after shooting scenes on the International Space Station

for the first ever movie partly filmed in space. As a whole however, Russia`s space program has dwindled from decades ago, when the Soviet Union

launched the first satellite into space.

In the meantime, Russia`s former space rival has grown more ambitious. NASA has sent five rovers to explore the surface of Mars, just launched a 12-

year mission to explore asteroids, and says it will soon land the first woman and first person of color on the moon.

As advancements unfold, the space race is much changed from its former standoff era, now mixing contests with collaboration. Take a look at the

crew on the International Space Station -- astronauts from the United States, Japan, Belarus, France and Russia high above geopolitics, a truly

international cooperation at the helm of humanity`s next frontier.

Isa Soares, CNN.



AZUZ: Experts say fully autonomous or driverless car technology is still in its infancy. There is a long and likely bumpy road to travel before

people can get in cars that totally drive themselves. One challenge regulators face is whom to blame when a driverless car does something



JEANNNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It`s surreal enough to know there`s a driverless ride service operating in San Francisco.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I cannot believe this is happening.

MOOS: But imagine you`re the police pulling over a car and finding no one behind the wheel. Who you`re going to ticket?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ain`t nobody in it.

MOOS: A San Francisco police officer tried to open the door. The passerby who shot the video said the window did roll down. Everyone`s favorite part


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the great part.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cop goes back to his car. Robo taxi says see you. Drives off.

MOOS: The Chevy Volt cruises through the intersection and then again pulls over and puts on its flashers.

Driverless car appears to flee the scene, read one headline. But the company Cruise that runs the ride service says, our autonomous vehicle

yielded to the police vehicle, then pulled over to the nearest safe location for the traffic stop as intended.


MOOS: An officer kept reaching inside the car trying in vain to turn on the headlights. The fact that they were off was what police say led to the

traffic stop.

A company spokesperson says human error led to the lights being off. No ticket was issued. Police said that during the stop, they made contact by

phone with the remote operator.

The driverless cars have nicknames like Poppy. The one that got pulled over is named Rigatoni. And for a minute, Rigatoni looked like it was in hot


Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


AZUZ: They need to name more of them after pasta. It makes for great excuses if they try to get pasta police. It was just a rotini infraction.

it was on its way to the papardelle to spaghetti, some lasagna that`s gotten ravioli reviews when it took things a little too far follow like a

linguine and you recorded its taglioni (ph).

Please, Officer, give it a pizzo charity. Then it`ll be up to the kappa toppy to decide if it gets cooked.

Winter Haven High School is watching today. Shout-out to our viewers from Winter Haven, Florida, and thank you for subscribing and leaving a comment

on our YouTube channel.

I`m Carl Azuz.