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Debt Ceiling Debate; Scientists Produce Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough; Voyager Program; Possible Meteorite Hits Home in New Jersey. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired May 11, 2023 - 04:00   ET


COY WIRE, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hey there. And happy Thursday. Hope you`re rocking and rolling, dominating the week. We`re almost at the end of it.

It`s Friday eve, so let`s keep going strong. I`m Coy Wire. This is CNN 10, and our top story today is the debt ceiling debate, a topic that it

continues to cause quite the kerfuffle between Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill.

Quick recap the debt ceiling is the limit, the total amount of money that the U.S. government is authorized to borrow to meet its existing legal

obligations, paying for things like military salaries, Medicare benefits, Social Security, interest on national debt, and even tax refunds. That

credit limit currently sits at an eye-popping figure of more than $31 trillion. The debt ceiling was last raised in December of 2021, and that

ceiling is expected to last until at least this summer.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen even warned of a, "economic catastrophe" if the U.S. fails to raise its debt ceiling in the coming weeks. House

Republicans recently passed a bill to increase the debt limit by $1.5 trillion, but it`s expected that that proposal will get no love when it

gets to the Democratic controlled Senate.

President Joe Biden hosted debt limit talks with congressional leaders at the White House on Tuesday. But did they break any new ground on the debt

ceiling negotiations? Our Lauren Fox was in Washington, D.C. And is reporting on the ongoing struggle between the parties.


JOE BIDEN, (D) U.S. PRESIDENT: Folks, welcome.

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The path to avoiding a catastrophic default still unclear, even after yesterday`s hour-long Oval

Office meeting.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY, (R) HOUSE SPEAKER: I didn`t see any new movement. The President said the staff should get back together, but I was very clear

with the president, we have now just two weeks to go.

FOX: President Biden offering a different assessment.

BIDEN: Everyone agreed that deficit to falling, the debt is off the table.

Oh, I know we have the time. I mean, we could do it easily if they -- if -- but we do we have the will?

FOX: Neither side appears to be budging. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy once again rejecting the President`s call to pass a clean bill to lift the debt


MCCARTHY: Whatever goes forward is not just going to be raising the debt ceiling. It`s going to be just like we did in the House. We will raise the

debt ceiling with doing changes within our spending.

FOX: House Republicans recently passed a bill to increase the debt limit by $1.5 trillion while cutting domestic programs to trim the deficit. It

has no path, however, of passing the Democratic controlled Senate.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) MAJORITY LEADER: What`s really troubling about the Speaker`s position is, it`s a partisan bill, and he says, take it or leave

it, or we could default.

FOX: President Biden contemplating a workaround to raise the debt ceiling without the help of Congress.

BIDEN: I have been considering the 14th Amendment. And a man I have enormous respect for, Larry Tribe, who advised me for a long time, thinks

that it would be legitimate. But the problem is it would have to be litigated.

FOX: Meanwhile, Senate Republicans indicating they`ll be staying on the sidelines with no plans to step in to try in broker deal.

SEN. MITT ROMNEY, (R) UTAH: It`s time for the President of the United States to take action to make sure that we don`t have a default in the



WIRE: Next up, here comes the sun. Scientists say they`ve successfully produced a nuclear your fusion reaction, which replicates the processes

that happen on the sun and that they may have found the holy grail of clean energy. They aimed 192 powerful laser beams at a point, and it was at that

point that a star was born.

But, is it safe? Is it sustainable? And can we harness that energy in a way that we can then use it and become less dependent on burning fossil fuels

and less reliant on the current electrical grid? Our Bill Weir has more.


BILL WEIR, CNN CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Inside this building, some very smart people built a star on Earth. Not the Hollywood kind. That`s easy.

No, the burning ball of gas in the sky kind. One of the hardest things human humans have ever tried.

TAMMY MA, PHYSICIST, LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY: I was at the airport when my boss called me and I burst into tears.

WEIR: Tammy Ma is among the scientists who have been chasing nuclear fusion for generations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Countdown for a shot. On my mark. Three, two, unmarked.

WEIR: And in the middle of a December night, they did it.

(On camera): And you only need a tiny little bit of fuel?

MA: That`s right, yes. Because our little pellet that sits right in the middle, you can`t even see on this target, is just two millimeters in


WEIR: That target includes an abundant isotope found in seawater and goes into a chamber about the size of a beach ball in the 60s, but is now a

round room, 30 feet across with 192 massive lasers aimed at the center.

MA: They`re big laser beams, about 40 by 40 centimeters. Each one alone is one of the most energetic in the world. Every time we do a shot, it`s a

thousand times the power of the entire U.S. Electrical grid.

WEIR: Wow.

MA: But your lights don`t flicker at home when we take a shot. So we`re doing is taking a huge amount of energy and compressing it down, just in 10


WEIR: Right.

MA: So it`s about $14 of electricity.

WEIR: The National Ignition Facility then amplifies all that concentrated energy on the target, and if they get it just right, more energy comes out

than went in, with no risk of nuclear meltdown or radioactive waste.

MA: In a fusion power plant, you would shoot the same target over and over at about ten times a second, dropping a target in and shooting it with


WEIR: So you`d need a target loader. Like a machine gun or something, right?

MA: We need a target loader. Exactly. So there`s still many, many technology jumps that we need to make, but that`s what makes it so



WIRE: Ten second trivia.

Which of these NASA missions launched in 1977?

Skylab, Galileo, Voyager or Viking?

Two unmanned spacecraft were launched as part of the Voyager missions in 1977. Speaking of those Voyager probes both lifted off into the galaxy on a

mission to observe and then transmit information back to Earth. Info pertaining to the planets and the farthest reaches of the Sun`s sphere of

influence. Now, many didn`t expect it. The twin spacecraft`s mission would still be going on today. Nearly 46 years later. CNN sat down with the

Voyager project Braintrust as they shared the steps they`re taking to ensure that this mission keeps going as long as possible.


SUZANNE DODD, VOYAGER PROJECT MANAGER, NASA JET PROPULSION LAB: For aging spacecraft 46 years now, they`re actually very healthy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have liftoff of the Titan Centaur carrying the first of two Voyager spacecraft to extend man`s senses farther into the solar

system than ever before.

DODD: From a scientific standpoint, what`s critical about Voyager today is the record of data that it`s taking from Earth, right, out through the

outer heliosheath, cross the heliopause, and as far into interstellar space as we can make that data last. Because we can see the changes in the data,

changes in the environment as we travel further and further away.

They were identical at launch. Different things have failed on the spacecraft differently. So if you think of twins, one has lost its hearing

and needs some hearing aids, and another one has lost a bit of some sense of touch. But for aging spacecraft 46 years now, they`re actually very


LINDA SPIKE, VOYAGER PROJECT SCIENTIST, NASA JET PROPULSION LAB: Voyager has instruments remaining on and operating that can measure things like the

magnetic field, the electrons, protons, and the particles that are around the spacecraft. A lot going on in a place where you can`t really see the

particles, but still a lot that we can measure and learn about the environment outside this bubble that`s generated by the solar wind.

Slowly, one by one, we`ll turn off the science instruments. But even that last instrument that stays on and continues to take data will add to our

knowledge about a place that we`ve never been before.


WIRE: Today`s story getting a 10 out of 10, a possible meteorite falling from outer space into someone`s bedroom. Ms. Suzy Kop from New Jersey found

this four by six-inch metallic rock in her dad`s room. She said it blasted through the ceiling and then appears to have bounced off the floor, back up

to the ceiling before settling beside the bed. And it was warm when she picked it up. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

Chief Astronomer at The Franklin Institute Derrick Pitts says it could be 4 to 5 billion years old.


DERRICK PITTS, CHIEF ASTRONOMER, THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE: It`s been running around in space all that time? And now it`s come to earth and it fell right

into their lapse.


WIRE: Police in Hopewell Township are still investigating, but officials believe it could be from the current meteor shower going on. The Eta

Aquariid meteor shower is an annual phenomenon that occurs when the earth approaches a trail of dust and debris left by the famous Halley`s Comet in

the celestial event. It`s set to last through May 27.

Now, thanks to Reagan and Steven at Lincolnview Local Schools, you submitted the winner of #yourwordwednesday. Kerfuffle, did you hear it in

the show? It`s a noun meaning a commotion or fuss, especially one caused by conflicting views.

Also, Macy from Lincolnview, (inaudible) was pretty good, too. Mill Creek Middle School in Woodstock, Georgia, you rock. We see you, Diamondbacks.

Thanks for subscribing and commenting on our CNN 10 YouTube channel. Tomorrow, I`ll see you right back here to finish this week strong. I`m Coy

Wire, and we are CNN 10.