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CNN10 2019-11-14

CNN 10

Record-Breaking Cold Hits America; Near Record Floods Swamp Venice; Athlete Embodies "No Excuses"; Objective Look at the U.S. Political Divide

Aired November 14, 2019 - 04:00 聽 ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Carl Azuz and while I am not a meteorologist I will be your weatherman for the next few minutes with snow and rain in the forecast on CNN 10. Welcome to everyone watching around the world. If you're viewing this show from the eastern United States, you already know what we're starting with. Arctic air has blown in and shattered records all over the country. Meteorologists say roughly 70 percent of the U.S. population, around 240 million people woke up to subfreezing temperatures on Wednesday morning. From the Great Plains to the Midwest to the Eastern seaboard and the American south, the Weather Channel says more than 300 records have been set for cold temperatures this week.

They range from below zero measurements in Nebraska and Iowa to single digit temperatures in parts of Texas, North Carolina and Vermont. It's not that it's never been this cold before in these places. It's that since record keeping began in the 1800s', scientists say it's never been this cold this early in the season. We're still 37 days from the official start of winter. Hundreds of flights headed into and out of Chicago were cancelled because of dangerous conditions. Snow has been in the forecast from Colorado to Maine and while things are supposed to warm up a bit as the week goes on, forecasters say temperatures will still be 10 to 20 degrees below average.

The National Weather Service compared this artic blast to an event from 1911 called "The Great Blue Norther". That cold front also hit in November and it caused incredible drops in the temperature with places like Oklahoma City plunging from 83 degrees in the afternoon to 17 degrees that night.

On Tuesday morning 108 years later, it was 16 degrees in Oklahoma City.

Meanwhile in the story of Italian city Venice, it's a high tide that's being blamed for unusually high amounts of flooding and there's rain in the forecast. At least 45 percent of the city and some observers say as much as 80 percent of it was flooded on Tuesday. The tide turned Venice's lowest point, St. Mark's Square into what looks like a swimming pool. Venice is built on a lagoon. It's no stranger to flooding. Tides that cause water rises like this are known as Acqua alta in Italian and they usually occur in winter time.

But the one that washed in on Tuesday night was more than 73 inches high, that's over six feet and it caused the worst flooding the city has seen since 1966 when a tide of more than 76 inches was recorded. Local officials have asked for a state of emergency to be declared. Venice's mayor called the tide a wound that would leave a permanent mark on the city. He says the damage would cost hundreds of millions of euros and officials say the weather doesn't look like it's going to help at all. More rain and strong winds are expected over the next few days setting the scene for another possible high tide.

10 Second Trivia. Which U.S. founding father warned Americans about the danger of political parties in the state? Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson or George Washington. In his farewell address a 32 page handwritten document, George Washington cautioned Americans about political parties.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why do Americans seem so politically divided? The reasons have a lot to do with the decisions we make in our personal lives.

Your race and level of education are often a factor in how you vote but today where you live is also a good clue to where you might fall on the political spectrum. Journalist Bill Bishop found that in the 1976 Presidential election only a quarter of U.S. counties were landslide elections which meant that one party won by a large margin. As of 2016, that 25 percent has increased to over 60 percent.

BILL BISHOP, JOURNALIST: Political difference is now lifestyle difference. If we don't talk to people that - - that disagree with us we get more assured of our thinking. We see the world in only one way and we become more extreme than the way we think. (ph)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nearly 40 percent of Americans say they interact with people in a different political party just a few times a year or even less.

The number of parents who would be unhappy if their child married someone of a different political party, that number has exploded over the last several decades from four percent in 1960 to 35 percent of Republicans and 45 percent of Democrats in 2018. So it may not surprise you that today Democrats and Republicans don't agree on a single one of the top issues they say are most important.

Just 10 years ago, both parties generally agreed on the three top issues, the economy, jobs and terrorism. Twenty years ago, they agreed on four out of five. So Democrats and Republicans have grown further apart. At the end of the day, a two party system relies on sorting Americans into red or blue but the soul picture of America is much more colorful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: For more than 10 years, CNN's been following an athlete named Kyle Maynard. In middle school he played football, in high school he was a champion wrestler. In his 20s' he fought in mixed martial arts. He's also a record setting weight lifter and an accomplished mountaineer. The guy loves physical challenges and watching today's Great Big Story it's easy to understand why his philosophy and his best selling book are wrapped up in two words, "No Excuses".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KYLE MAYNARD: When I first started climbing I was so bad. I was so terrible, so slow. I'd tear my skin up all the time. I was like how the heck are we going to and do Mount Kilimanjaro? Three words, I don't know. Those three words, three of the most important words in my life. All discoveries happen from I don't know. My name is Kyle Maynard and I have an extremely hard time saying what it is exactly what I do. I've been an athlete my entire life. Football to wrestling to weightlifting and (inaudible) jujutsu and now most recently taking on climbing some of the highest mountains in the world.

I was born with a congenital amputation so it basically means my arms end at the elbows, my legs end at the knees. You know, I think some people they - - they look at me and - - and maybe even feel sorry for me but really, truthfully my life doesn't look a while lot different than yours.

You know, I type on my computer the same way. You know, use my phone just like anybody else. My first experience with climbing really anything of significance was in a cross fit competition in 2010. The first workout was you had to do 1,000 meter row on this rowing machine and sprint up Stone Mountain. Everyone else did it in maybe 25 minutes. It took me an hour and 46 minutes. I tore all the skin up on my arms but I got to the top and I was like wow, this is breathtakingly beautiful.

And I told my friend that night I said, I want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. I don't know if I can, I don't know if I can't but I do know that I want to figure it out. I want to go and find a way and - - and get up there. There are a ton of challenges getting into climbing and the biggest one was the gear. I literally started with bath towels ducted taped to my arms and my feet. I couldn't go to the store and buy a typical pair of shoes. We had to come up with a unique solution. Now to climb I use a carbon fiber, special custom shoe. I use those to bear crawl up Kilimanjaro. Then me and my team, we took on climbing Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America.

I felt my body was like in full shut down mode and it was brutal at moments but it was breathtakingly beautiful. At the top of the mountain, you know, you can almost kind of make out and see the curvature of the Earth. I mean, it was just a moment I'll never forget. The reasons I climb aren't that different from other people. Getting to a place where there's no way my (inaudible) could have got me there, that's what I love. I'm not trying to live to be 1,000, like, I want - - I want to go out there and have my life mean something. What I've gotten now and I've looked at the mountain and I see what we've achieved it's like, wow. Maybe that was a really bad idea that we were there but it was beautiful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: We started with weather. We're ending with weather. When we reported on the sky bridge that opened in Tennessee this May, we told you how it was the longest pedestrian suspension bridge on the continent. Another thing that makes it unique is the glass bottom that lets you see what's 140 feet under your feet. That same view in the snow may not be quite as clear but look at the winter wonderland all around it.

The folks who operate the sky bridge say it will be open whenever it's not slippery to walk on. They're also calling it the snow bridge. If heights are the height of your fear and the cold freezes your fancy of fun, that might crystallize your determination to "flake out" on even an "abridged" visit and suspend any plans to step out when a bridge may ice in winter. In favor of keeping your feet on frozen, solid ground. I'm Carl Azuz.

That "spans" another edition of CNN.

END