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U.S. Supreme Court Hears Affirmative Action Cases; Call to Earth. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired November 01, 2022 - 04:00   ET


COY WIRE, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hello, sunshine. Can you believe it`s already November 1st? It feels like just yesterday, it was October.

I hope you had a fantastic Halloween. I posted our family fun on Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok. I`m @CoyWire. And this is CNN 10.

We`ve got a lot to get to but not a lot of time to do it, so let`s get to it.

Considering race in college admissions, that`s our first subject today. The U.S. Supreme Court met on Monday to consider whether colleges and

universities can continue to take race into consideration in their admissions process. In the past, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that race

can be considered during the college admissions process as part of affirmative action, an active effort to improve educational or employment

opportunities for members of minority groups and for women.

A group called Students for Fair Admissions which opposes affirmative action is suing Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. It

says the university`s discriminate against Asian-American applicants and unfairly favor African Americans and Hispanic Americans. Effectively, they

argue that highly qualified students are being denied admission in favor of students of different ethnicities, even though those students` grades and

resumes aren`t as outstanding.

These universities say that that`s not the case and that they consider race only to help certain applicants not to count against any others, and they

say they need to do this in order to reach its educational goals which include having diverse campuses.

The case is significant because it could influence how schools recruit and admit students in the future.

More now from CNN`s Jessica Schneider as we look at the different perspectives involved in this case.


CALVIN YANG, STUDENTS FOR FAIR ADMISSIONS: Diversity as important as it cannot come at expense of Asian-Americans.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These Asian- American students are leading a fight against affirmative action. They`re at the center of a lawsuit against Harvard, accusing the Ivy League school

of discriminating against Asian-Americans to make more room for Hispanics and Blacks.

Calvin Yang who`s now a sophomore at UC Berkeley claims he was denied admission to Harvard because of his race.

YANG: It goes to show that there is a trend here, a trend where Asian- Americans are systematically getting discriminated because of who we are.

SCHNEIDER: Now, the case against Harvard and a separate but related suit against UNC Chapel Hill is coming before the Supreme Court.


SCHNEIDER: Conservative activist Edward Blum has been leading the crusade to end affirmative action for nearly a decade.

BLUM: Classifying students by race and ethnicity. treating them differently because of their race and ethnicity is -- it`s unfair.

SCHNEIDER: Blum started the group Students for Fair Admissions and initiated cases against Harvard and UNC Chapel Hill years ago.

Harvard is accused of holding Asian-Americans to a higher standard and capping their numbers, but the school says it sets no limits.

At UNC Chapel Hill, some students say there`s too much weight on race and admissions resulting in discrimination against whites and Asian Americans.

The school though contends it takes a holistic approach to admissions decisions.

Multiple federal judges have ruled neither school has violated the Constitution by considering race in the admissions process. But now, Blum

and his supporters are banking on the Supreme Court reversing its own precedent and banning the use of affirmative action.

BLUM: I think that is something that has been polarizing. It has been problematic, and I think the nation is ready for this.

SCHNEIDER: Julia Clark leads the group Black Student Movement at UNC, and she says race is an essential element for universities to consider.

JULIA CLARK, PRESIDENT OF BLACK STUDENT MOVEMENT: We cannot have holistic admissions without race because race is embedded into every single facet of

everyday life for people that come from diverse backgrounds.

SCHNEIDER: Already, nine states ban the use of affirmative action in admissions decisions at public universities. But leaders at the University

of California and the University of Michigan say their race-neutral admissions policies have not worked, telling the Supreme Court and filings

they haven`t been able to significantly increase enrollment of underrepresented minorities sends affirmative action bans in their states

took effect.

MARILYNN SCHUYLER, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR ACCESS: I know that certainly in California, there have been definite attempts to try and even the

playing field in other ways and they`ve had a limited impact. There`s a chilling effect when students don`t feel welcome either by legislation or

otherwise, they`re not going to want to come to a university that has banned affirmative action that doesn`t value that diversity.

SCHNEIDER: Now, it`s up to the Supreme Court to set the final word of whether affirmative action can continue.

YANG: I want to see affirmative action being repealed and become illegal in college admission system across this country.

CLARK: I think I speak for myself and other Black students that we really are scared at the end of the day.



WIRE: Ten-second trivia:

The Sun Doong cave, considered to be the world`s largest, is located in what country?

Vietnam, Slovenia, China, or Mexico?

The Sun Doong cave is located in Central Vietnam and is considered the largest cave in the world based on volume.


WIRE: Caves, they are dark, they`re potentially dangerous, but for one veteran explorer, caves are full of precious geological secrets that hold

clues about the Earth`s past.

Today, as part of our "Call to Earth" coverage this week, Rolex Awards laureate Gina Moseley takes us underground to explore how million-year-old

mineral deposits can provide insight into the future.


GINA MOSELEY, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF PALEOCLIMATOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF INNSBRUCK: Caves are really unique places that are very well-connected to

the surface but also well-protected from the surface. So, this means they can store records of how the climate has changed in the past over, over

millions of years.

I think for me, the best part of being in a cave is getting to see this unique world that most people don`t get to see.

I`m Gina Moseley and I`m a professor of paleoclimatology at the University of Innsbruck.

I first started caving when I was about 12 years old. I just thought this was such a cool sport, and then we went underground into this cave. I was

just absolutely hooked from that first moment, the adventure of like crawling through a little tight passage and finding out what`s around the

next corner.

But also, as time went by, I learned that you could do science in caves. I learned that you could be the first person to see a part of this planet

that nobody has ever seen.

Paleoclimatology is the study of climate change in the past. I`m looking for samples of calcite in the cave. So, this is a mineral deposit that

forms from water that enters the cave and this brings with a chemical signature of what the climate and the environment are doing on the surface.

And this water deposits layer by layer these layers of calcite and a thin sheet of water like this will lead to a formation that we find in a cave

called flowstone and this is a very nice example of a flowstone here on the floor. And then I take a sample of that to find out when in the past the

climate has been warmer and wetter there, and that can inform us about what we could expect to happen in the future.

I`ve led three expeditions to Greenland so far. We go in the summer, so that means there`s 24-hour daylight. The conditions are fairly rudimentary.

It`s like being on Mars in some ways because this is a polar desert. Each expedition takes several years to prepare for.

The next expedition to Greenland is in 2023. I`m taking a team to the very north of Greenland, but we don`t know what we`ll find which makes it kind

of high risk, but high gain, also makes that exciting.

I collected a whole bunch of flowstones from northeast Greenland, and these all formed at times in the past when it was warmer and wetter than today.

I`ve got some dates that are like one and a half million years old on some samples, and I can analyze the chemistry in each layer. It`s a bit like

looking at tree rings, each layer tells a different a story and a different history about what the climate and the environment was doing at the time.

So climate modelers might take our results from Greenland and implement that into a part of their climate model so we can start to build up a

picture of what we could expect to happen in the future.


WIRE: Today`s story getting a 10 out of 10 in my book, a robotic falcon and not because I played for the Atlanta Falcons currently leading their

division, it`s because these falcons are keeping the friendly skies safe for highflyers.

Since 1903, birds and airplanes have been sharing the sky, and collisions known as bird strikes have resulted in aircraft damage, delays,

cancellations and harm to the birds of course. But this robotic peregrine falcon developed in the Netherlands could be the solution. There`s a camera

on its head allowing for a first-person view for the pilot on the ground who chases the real birds away to safety. Who else wants that job?

All right, lovely people. Favorite part of the day, shout out to Central High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

We hope you and everyone watching around the world have a wonderful one. Go out and do little things that make this world a bit of a better place.

I`m Coy, and this is CNN 10.