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CNN 10

War In Ukraine; Can We Predict Dust Storms? Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired January 31, 2023 - 04:00   ET


COY WIRE, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. Terrific Tuesday to you.

I`m Coy Wire. This is CNN 10 and we have a rendezvous with the news. So let`s go.

First up, today, we`re heading to Ukraine. It`s been almost one year since Russia`s war in Ukraine began and there is no end in sight for the


This month, the United States and some of its NATO allies sent tanks to help aid the front line in Ukraine. The U.S. pledged 31 of its Abrams

tanks, Poland said it will provide 60 tanks. The U.K. committed 16, Germany sent 14. In the United States, politicians in both parties called this move

a turning point in the war and said that the tanks will enhance Ukraine`s capacity to defend its territory and achieve its strategic objectives.

Fifty additional nations around the world are making other military contributions as well. The gesture was seen as a major sign of support, but

some have criticized the decision saying it could make these NATO allies too involved in the war itself and some critics are asking if this means

NATO is now directly involved in the conflict with Russia.

We`re joined now by CNN international correspondent Fred Pleitgen with the latest on the conflict.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Revving like a dragster, the crew from the 28th mechanized brigade warm up

their Soviet-era T-64 for battle.

We have problems with ammunition, we`re running low, the commander tells me. And that`s the only problem we have. We get enough spare parts. Our

commanders work all the time to sustain the tank and repair it.

That commander who goes by the call sign "David" races the 40-year-old beast towards the front line like a steam engine train.

A lot of Ukraine`s main battle tanks are as old as this one. That`s why the military says they urgently need those new Western main battle tanks. They

say around three to four hundred to try and turn the tide in this war.

The problem, Ukraine is running out of Soviet-era tanks and is having increasing trouble replacing those lost in battle or needing repair. The

28th helped liberate Kherson in the south and then was sent here. It`s already been a long war for this unit.

Ukrainian soldiers on the front around Bakhmut are elated. Western nations are sending modern battle tanks, M1A2 Abrams from the U.S., German-made

Leopard 2s and British challenger tanks.

But the Ukrainians are also masters at using the old Soviet tanks they have now to best effect. Firing, reloading, taking aim and quickly shooting


The tank engineer who only gave his name is Maksym says the soldiers from the 28th could operate these vehicles blindfolded.

If we fire from a covered position, we use this device, he says. It`s old and analog but pretty efficient, very precise.

Ukraine`s forces say their tanks have been extremely important and effective here in Bakhmut. The tank commander says they`re constantly

working to stop Wagner`s advances here.

We just fight against them. If we stop, they will come closer and we will lose our houses and families. We stand here to allow people to peacefully

live in their homes.

But Ukraine`s army is under growing pressure around Bakhmut as the Russians pour more armor into this area. The promised western tanks probably won`t

arrive fast enough to make a difference in this battle, but these soldiers hope they will turn the tide of the war.


WIRE: Ten-second trivia:

Which of these is the largest continuous sand desert in the world?

Gobi, Empty Quarter, Namib or Great Victoria?

At about 250,000 square miles, the Empty Quarter desert covers parts of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

Up next, we`re headed to that desert in the Middle East to talk about dust storms. Our journey begins all the way in the United Arab Emirates. We`ll

meet Diana Francis, an atmospheric scientist in Abu Dhabi and an expert on dust storms.

Now, when dust storms hit, they can be dangerous, driving thousands of people to hospitals shutting down businesses and schools these storms know

no borders and wreak havoc across the Middle East, and the phenomenon cost the region`s economies an estimated $13 billion a year.


REPORETER: Diana Francis is an atmospheric scientist at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, and an expert on a natural phenomenon: dust storms.

DR. DIANA FRANCIS, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, KHALIFA UNIVERSITY: Dust storms are weather phenomena that are caused by high wind speed that are occurring

near the surface over desert regions. They will lift small particles of sand and this particle will be able to travel thousands of kilometers

around the globe.

REPORTER: In June 2020, a colossal dust storm nicknamed Godzilla crossed the Atlantic from the Sahara Desert. Darkening skies across the Caribbean,

it was the biggest dust storm worldwide in 20 years, according to NASA, and one of a number recently wreaking havoc across the globe.

In 2022, thousands of people were hospitalized across the Middle East, with respiratory problems due to a wave of deadly dust storms.

FRANCIS: In some cases, we have visibility that drops to meters and then people will feel the difficulty to breathe and we can do for example

outside activities, whenever the dust storm occur.

REPORTER: In 2016, the U.N. estimated this extreme weather cost the Middle East and North Africa region`s economy billion dollars a year in damage to

the environment, agriculture, transport and infrastructure. It`s a problem made worse by increasing heat waves and droughts due to climate change and

alterations in land use which create more sources of dust.

FRANCIS: I really wanted to know what`s special about the Empty Quarter desert, what`s happening in the atmosphere on the sand and the land.

REPORTER: The Empty Quarter desert, 250,000 square miles, stretching across the Arabian Peninsula, it`s the world`s largest sand desert. Francis

and Khalifa University are conducting what she says is first of its kind research in the region, to measure dust storms coming from the empty


FRANCIS: So we have a meteorological tower on which we have several sensors at different levels, so it allows us to have the vertical structure

of the atmosphere.

REPORETER: That data helps predict dust storms in the region and further afield. Her work on dust is even more important in a region where solar

power is emerging as a green energy source.

FRANCIS: We know that solar energy efficiency is impacted by dust storm and if we want to understand how much we can rely on these energy sources

we need to be able to predict dust storms, and their activity.

The story about studying the weather is a new end story because there is always something new, something novel to discover.


WIRE: And for today`s 10 out of 10, we`ve definitely heard of a neighborhood cat getting caught in the tree. Well, now, we have a dog --

meet Izzy, who is probably feeling dizzy when he realized he was high up in a tree. Oh what a tizzy. He was lost in his own little world, just trying

to have some fun as he was chasing after squirrels but then he got stuck.

But Izzy was in luck, first responders came to save him with their little fire truck, and they even brought Izzy some snacks.

Shout out time now. High five and a high 10 to Morgan City High School in Morgan City, Louisiana. Go Tigers. Hope you have a happy day.

And remember happiness isn`t some ideal we have to chase or create. Happiness is right here, right now, whenever we choose to embrace it. Much

love, many blessings.

I`m Coy, and this is CNN 10.