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CNN10 2019-12-11

CNN 10

Down the Middle Coverage Explains Articles of Impeachment; USMCA Trade Deal; Tunnel Farming; NASA's Space Launch System Artemis; Axe Throwing

Aired December 11, 2019 - 04:00:00 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: A pair of U.S. political stories headline today's edition of CNN 10 and they both concern the House of Representatives and President Donald Trump. I'm Carl Azuz with a down the middle explanation of what's going on. First, Democratic leaders of the House have announced they'll bring two Articles of Impeachment, two formal charges, against President Trump. Those charges are abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. They're related to a controversial phone call the American president had in July with the president of Ukraine. Democrats say President Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate the son of political rival Joe Biden, a former U.S. vice president who's running for the presidency in 2020.

Democrats say President Trump obstructed Congress by not fully cooperating with the House impeachment investigation. There are questions about whether these two charges are impeachable offenses. Democrats generally say they are. Republicans generally say they aren't. The Constitution says a president can be removed of office if convicted of quote "treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors". Both President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky have said nothing illegal took place on their phone call and House Republicans say their chamber's investigation was unfair and biased against the U.S. president.

But the stage is set for a vote next week on the House floor where a simple majority of lawmakers will determine whether there are sufficient grounds for impeachment. If the House, which is controlled by Democrats, votes that there are a trial will be held in the Senate which his controlled by Republicans and analysts expect it will find the president not guilty and that he can remain in office. But all of this is being watched very closely because neither of those votes has actually happened yet.

Second political headline concerns the USMCA, the U.S. Mexico Canada Trade Agreement. It would replace NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, that took effect in 1994 but that President Trump has called the worst trade deal in American history. For most of his term his Administration's worked with Canada and Mexico on a new agreement and the USMCA is the result but it has to be approved by Congress first and though House Democrats now say it's much better than NAFTA. They had some initial objections to the deal. Yesterday Democratic leader said they'll support it now that some revisions have been made. Observers say this will be a legislative success for President Trump if it passes in the House and Senate.

10 Second Trivia. More than 44 percent of the land in the United States is covered by what? Concrete, farmland, forests, or water. Agriculture land takes up about 44 percent of the land in America followed by forests which account for 33 percent.

Some growers are promoting vertical and underground farms as relatively new ways to cultivate crops without taking up much space. This can happen in buildings, shipping containers, or tunnels as you're about to see. There are some disadvantages to this. For one thing, they're expensive to get started. Even if you already have an abandoned building or tunnel to start with you're going to need the technology. That can mean a lot of artificial light and energy use. For another, these farming methods might now work for all crops and it could result in higher costs for what is grown but when everything goes right - -(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Deep under the mountains of South Korea with no natural sunlight, something is growing. It's a salad. This is the world's first commercial tunnel farm constructed inside a disused highway tunnel and Chey Jai Ben (ph) is the person who created it.

(CHEY JAI BEN): NOT TRANSLATED UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The tunnel's sharp curve caused several collisions so they decided to carve out a new more gently curved route right next door.

The old tunnel, all 600 meters of it, is now being used to grow salads, leafy greens, even strawberries and to encourage them to grow classical music is being played throughout the tunnel. Chey (ph) actually recommends Beethoven and Shubert.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(CHEY JAI BEN): NOT TRANSLATED UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Using LED lights allows Chey (ph) and his team to grow crops all year around. They're also what gives the farm its pick glow.

They emit only the spectrum of light that plants use to photosynthesize.

(CHEY JAI BEN): NOT TRANSLATED UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that's what makes this farm uniquely successful. In fact, Chey (ph) has plans to build many more farms using the same technology but in suitable urban locations.

(CHEY JAI BEN): NOT TRANSLATED (END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: SLS and Artemis are two terms you'll need to know going into our next story. SLS is short for Space Launch System. A massive rocket that NASA hopes will return people to the moon. It's now assembled and ready for testing but it's seen a lot of delays and cost increases along the way.

Artemis is NASA's next moon program and a space industry analyst says it's already had trouble getting the funding it needs to get off the ground.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's taken seven years to get here, over $14 billion so Jim (ph), tell us why does NASA need SLS?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So the SLS rocket is the only rocket right now in the world that's going to be qualified to take humans all the way to the moon.

Of course we have other rockets that are qualified to fly humans but there is nothing that takes - - takes humans all the way to the moon. And so when we do the Artemis program, which is a return to the moon sustainably with commercial partners and international partners where we're going to use the resources of the moon to learn how to live and work for long periods of time. And then we're going to take all that knowledge onto Mars, this is the - - this is the key capability that's going to enable all of that to happen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One thing that would be great to have some clarity on is the per launch cost of SLS.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So when we think about the cost of an SLS rocket per launch, it really quite frankly depends on how many we buy and in a - - in a certain package. So if you buy one SLS rocket, it's going to be very expensive. I would say on the order of $1.6 billion. If we buy multiple SLS rockets, maybe as many as 10 or 12 it can get down under - - under $1 billion, $800 million per copy but look, these are all estimates at this point. NASA needs to sit down with its - - with its prime contractor Boeing to negotiate the best solution to - - to getting the - - the right mix of the number of rockets and the cost per rocket. But at this point, we're under contract to build two and of course we want to go to the moon in 2024. We're going to need at least a third and maybe even more rockets after that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, earlier this year you told me that Artemis would cost in the range of $20 to $30 billion. Are you still on track for that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that - - that could prove to be a very accurate number. I - - I will tell you we are working through a budget request right now for 2021 and in that budget request we will have the out years which will show the entire cost of the Artemis program to land the first woman and the next man on the south pole of the moon by 2024. So yes, I think that's - - that's probably in the ballpark but I'm not going to nail down any numbers until we negotiate the final solution on all of these different budget perimeters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And can you give us any further details about the lucky individuals who will be flying on this thing? We know that one of them will be a woman. Can you give us any more details on who that female might be?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well I'll tell you this, we do have a very diverse, highly qualified astronaut corps and we've got a number of women that are perfectly capable of doing the job. And they're all very excited about the opportunity to be the first woman on the moon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: For 10 out of 10, here's an event where getting the axe is how you get the party started. This is the World Axe Throwing Championships. It was held recently in Arizona attracting axe throwers from yes, around the world and before you laugh the prize was $15,000 and the event was broadcast on ESPN. This is not something you should practice in your living room or probably anywhere outside a designated axe range but if you're a "lumberjaxe" who knows "jaxe" and hacks about the "exaxing" and some would say "relaxeeing" sport of axing. You wouldn't be "slaxeing" or finding anything "taxeing" about a "taxeing" a sort of board game that tests your metal while you get a handle on busting the competitions "chops". I'm Carl Azuz reporting just the "faxe" on CNN 10.

END