Return to Transcripts main page

CNN 10

U.S. Braces For Historic Storm; Train Derailment In Ohio; CNN Tracks Down Headquarters For U.S.-Blacklisted Balloon Manufacturer China Does Not Want Public To See. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired February 23, 2023 - 04:00:00   ET


COY WIRE, CNN 10 ANCHOR: What`s up, lovely people? It`s Thursday. So happy Friday eve and welcome to CNN 10.

I`m Coy Wire. Happy to be with you today. Let`s dominate this day.

We`re going to start with big news on the weather front. a massive winter storm is threatening the United States coast to coast all the way from

California in the West to Maine in the east.

On Wednesday, more than 65 million Americans were under winter weather alerts. Warning of severe icing and extreme cold making driving and flying

very dangerous. More than 1,000 flights in the U.S. had already been canceled on Wednesday at the time of the show`s taping, and more than 2

million people are under blizzard warnings across parts of Wyoming, the Dakotas, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Minneapolis area in Minnesota could

see historic snowfall totals.

On Tuesday, in northern California, strong wind gusts knocked the power out in than 140 homes and businesses. And northern Californians can also expect

to see several in inches of snow.

We`ll continue to track this storm right here on CNN 10, but please, be smart and stay safe.

Next up, an update on the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, which spilled toxic chemicals that are threatening the health and well-being of

residents there. Wednesday morning, the Environmental Protection Agency ordered Norfolk Southern rail company to cover all of the cleanup costs,

but the rail company is facing further pressure. Residents and state officials still have questions about the rail company`s handling of the

situation, and they seek to hold them accountable for any potential wrongdoing.

CNN`s Miguel Marquez is in East Palestine with more.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A toxic mess left by its derailed train, now President Joe Biden adding his

pressure on Norfolk Southern, following criticism for his response to the crash. On Instagram, Biden wrote, Norfolk Southern`s imposed payments and

cleanup operations are common sense because, quote, this is their mess, and they should clean it up.

The company is reiterating its commitment to East Palestine residents.

ALAN SHAW, CEO, NORFOLK SOUTHERN: From day one, I`ve made the commitment that Norfolk Southern is going to remediate the site.

MARQUEZ: But still, it is facing accusations of mismanagement like this from Pennsylvania`s Governor Josh Shapiro.

GOV. JOSH SHAPIRO (D), PENNSYLVANIA: They chose not to participate in the unified command. They gave us inaccurate information and conflicting

modeling data.

SHAW: I was at unified command, and I can tell you that the governors of Ohio and Pennsylvania, Mayor Conaway, Fire Chief Drabick, the National

Guard and Norfolk Southern were aligned that the control burned, the control release was the safest course of action for the citizens of East


MARQUEZ: Governor Shapiro announced a criminal referral to the attorney general`s office over the crash and its fallout. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine

also said his attorney general is reviewing possible legal action against Norfolk Southern.

But the train company says it is committed to helping East Palestine for the long haul.

SHAW: We`re going to do continuous long-term air and water monitoring. We`re going to help the residents of this community recover and we`re going

to invest in the long-term health of this community and we`re going to make Norfolk Southern a safer railroad.

MARQUEZ: According to its CEO, Norfolk Southern has reimbursed $6.5 million to East Palestine residents so far. This as the company continues

to monitor air and water quality there. It says hundreds of tests conducted have come back clean.

During a visit to East Palestine, head of the EPA Michael Regan said he`s confident in the tests.

MICHAEL REGAN, EPA ADMINISTRATOR: Our data is very solid and if the homes have been cleared and tested for drinking water, then we trust that data.

So we feel really good about that.

MARQUEZ: To prove that Regan and Governor DeWine drank from the same water sources that are being tested. However, Governor DeWine says more work

needs to be done to remove contaminated soil from the area.

GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R), OHIO: The soil under the tracks had not been dealt with. So, under the administrator`s order, that soil will be removed, so

the tracks will have to be taken up and that soil will have to be removed.

MARQUEZ: Despite all these actions and guarantees, East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway says his community is still concerned about overall safety.

MAYOR TRENT CONAWAY, EAST PALESTINE, OHIO: We need our whole town cleaned up. We need our residents to feel safe in their homes. That`s the number

one thing. Your home is your sanctuary. If you don`t feel safe in your home, then you`re never going to feel safe anywhere.


WIRE: Next up, as part of the fallout from the suspected Chinese spy balloon that flew over the United States earlier this month, the U.S.

announced a new round of sanctions or penalties against six Chinese aerospace companies that they believe supported a Chinese military

reconnaissance balloon program.

Today in a CNN exclusive, Will Ripley takes us to a place few outsiders have seen to try to learn more about what the secretive manufacturers could

be up to.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hundreds of miles from Beijing, a place China does not want you to see. CNN, the

first international media to come here.

Behind the sea of barbed wire and security checkpoints, the base of a blacklisted balloon manufacturer, one of six Chinese entities the U.S.

government sanctioned after that suspected spy balloon.

Shot down, pulled up, and sent to an FBI lab, each piece providing more proof, the U.S. says, this was no weather balloon, deflating denial after

denial by Beijing.

China`s foreign ministry calls the whole thing an accident, the balloon, an unmanned civilian airship. CNN searched for the truth behind the balloon,

took our team from the Chinese capital to a Shanxi province, about 300 miles southwest of Beijing. Days of digging and geolocation technology took

us down this road to a place few outsiders have seen.

No international media has ever come this close. What did we find? An active industrial complex with possible ties to the Chinese military`s

vast, highly secretive aerospace program. Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology, or EMAST, blacklisted by the U.S. Commerce Department.

CNN searched corporate records suggesting EMAST has permits to develop and manufacture products for the Chinese military.

The first thing we noticed, a giant white dome. A closer look shows the company logo. Inside that dome, a lab.

We dug up a 2017 Chinese state media report. The report says this is where workers test high altitude balloons like the one that flew over the U.S.

Our team spotted two more massive structures. They look like giant tents.

CNN cameras also captured what seems to be an assault helicopter on display.

And listen to this. That same state media report never once does it mention meteorology. It boasts the balloons can carry multiple detectors,

communications equipment used for civilian and military surveillance and reconnaissance.

CNN tried to get answer from all six companies on the U.S. blacklist. No response from EMAST or the others. They are not talking about the balloon,

but President Joe Biden is.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I make no apologies for taking down that balloon.

RIPLEY: A suspected spy balloon. We may never know for sure who made it. China is sticking to its weather balloon claim dismissed by the Pentagon as

nothing but hot air.


WIRE: Ten-second trivia:

Which of these countries is the world`s largest producer of oranges?

Mexico, United States, Brazil or Cyprus?

About one-third of the world`s oranges are grown in Brazil.


WIRE: It`s the annual battle of the oranges at the Ivrea Carnival. Thousands of people taking part in the biggest food fight in Italy. The

battles, oranges date back to nearly a thousand years, representing a revolt by the commoners in Ivrea, who would rise up against the evil

tyrannical duke`s armies. The town is festooned with banners, pennants and plenty of OJ. The oranges are said to be unsuitable for commercial

purposes, so the citrus slingers hurl more than 4 million oranges during the three days of celebration leading up to lent.

All right. Shout out time now. It`s going out to Tolland High School in Tolland, Connecticut, today. Rise up. And thanks to all who made

#yourwordwednesday submission, like Leta DeRays (ph) from Central High in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Today`s word, festoon. If you heard it, it means to adorn a place with decorations.

Before we go, one more thing: one of the greatest characteristics we can possess as we chase our goals is not ability, it`s adaptability. The top

achievers in this world don`t have all the answers in the beginning nor do they have all the tools they need to succeed. Our goals they may seem

unattainable at times, and we will fail as we chase them. But if we keep pushing and become like a chameleon and keep adapting, good things will


See you tomorrow, lovely people. I`m Coy and we are CNN 10.