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Nigerien and U.S. Troops are Ambushed; Currency Change in India; Tropical Storm Nate Sloshes Toward the Gulf of Mexico
Aired October 6, 2017 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Northwestern Africa is where we start today`s global coverage on CNN 10. I`m Carl Azuz, and I`m happy to see you this October 6th.
According to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, the nation of Niger is one of the hottest and poorest countries on the planet. It`s landlocked, most of it is desert. Niger`s government has seen multiple coups since the 1990s. It doesn`t have much funding and doesn`t offer many services and it`s further challenged by instability in several of the countries that border Niger.
That`s part of the reason why U.S. troops are there, to support the Nigerien armed forces in their ongoing fights against terrorist groups.
French, German and Malian troops are also helping in those efforts.
A U.S. official says on Wednesday, as many as 50 fighters affiliated with the ISIS terrorist group ambushed a patrol of Nigerien troops and U.S. Green Berets. Those are elite members of the Army Special Forces. Three Green Berets were killed, two others were wounded and evacuated from the area in stable condition. American officials say operations are being conducted to locate the attackers.
This ambush happened in southwest Niger, near the nation`s border with Mali. Terrorist groups remain in this region, despite efforts led by France to get rid of them.
Next stop on today`s show is India, where cash accounts for 90 percent of shopping transactions. In fact, many retail stores in the world`s second most populated country don`t have credit card machines. Even for expensive jewelry, many of those who can afford it pay cash.
There are a couple of related problems. Some people are hiding the money there and to avoid paying income taxes on it. And there`s a lot of counterfeit money floating around India. So, last year, the government announced it would suddenly replace its two largest bank notes. People with the old ones would have to exchange them at banks for the new ones.
It`s created some ripple effects that experts say had contributed to an economic slowdown.
RAVI AGRAWAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you want to gauge the mood of the country, speak to the taxi drivers, or in New Delhi, the auto rickshaw guys.
I hail one of the three-wheelers for myself. Meet Sarvesh, he`s 22 and has been driving these taxis for five years. I asked him a common question in these parts.
Sarvesh, can I ask how much you were making in a day before all of this happened?
SARVESH KUMAR, RICKSHAW DRIVER: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
AGRAWAL: One thousand rupees?
AGRAWAL: And how much are you making now?
KUMAR: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
AGRAWAL: Five hundred rupees?
KUMAR: Five hundred rupees.
AGRAWAL: That`s half.
AGRAWAL: That`s because India has a cash crunch.
It seems like he one behind had become common across India. Long queues of people lining up to exchange their old notes, the new ones at banks and ATMs. But really, this is just one side of the story. The reality is that hundreds of millions of Indians, nearly half this country`s population is on banks, and that means they have no bank accounts, no credit cards, everything they buy and sell is in cash.
And that`s people like Sarvesh. He`s never been to a bank. He lives day to day on small change from his job. And because the rich have less cash, less is trickling down to him.
India`s move to change currency notes was designed to crack down on rich people with hordes of cash. What`s known here as black money, income that is off the books and untaxed. But only 3 percent of Indians qualify to pay income tax. Sarvesh is part of the other group, the 97 percent.
What`s income tax, he says. I can barely make ends meet anyway.
A small snack during the day, samosa and tea is a luxury in times like this. He`s been struggling to get rides all day.
Are you still in favor of Mr. Modi`s move?
Yes, he says. The fat cats will suffer. They`re hoarding cash.
How long can you survive on half pay, I asked.
Let`s see, he says.
As evening falls, Sarvesh keeps cruising for a ride. While India cracks down on corruption, people like Sarvesh are collateral damage this and their stories seldom told. But I`m struck by his optimism. I guess the night is darkest before the dawn.
Ravi Agrawal, CNN, New Delhi.
AZUZ: Nate is the name of a tropical storm that`s whirling in the Caribbean. It`s already flooded parts of the Central American nation of Costa Rica. And last night, it was soaking Nicaragua and Honduras with heavy rain.
Forecasters expect Nate to pass by Cancun, Mexico on Friday, and they`re warning that it could strengthen to a hurricane when it moves over the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday. They`re not completely certain where Nate will go. But its current path has it on course to make landfall between southeastern Louisiana and southwestern Alabama over the weekend.
Nate isn`t forecast to become a major hurricane but preparations are being made in New Orleans for heavy wind.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: Can you gain weight by leaking postage stamps? Not in the U.S., but maybe in Britain. The average calorie count of an American postage stamp is about 1/10 of one calorie, so not much. But the U.K. uses a gum on the back of its stamps that`s almost 6 calories and more than 14 on each special commemorative stamp.
So, if you`re doing any bulk mailings from London, you might want to count calories.
Now, that`s random!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: One goal of robot engineers, especially those working on humanoid robots, is to create machines that can keep their footing like people do, if they trip, or if they`re pushed and to get back up if they fall. One of the best ways to test out the robot`s balance is to intentionally try to trip them up and make their stabilization mechanisms go to work. But some observers on the Internet have launched tongue and cheek protests.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It`s a wow moment for robot fans. An impressive new version of the Atlas robot is unveiled.
And what steals the limelight? Robot abuse. And it`s not just physical but mental torture, by hockey stick, taunted and teased. This after doing such a nice job of lifting boxes.
And this isn`t the first time the highly regarded robot design company, Boston Dynamics, has mistreated one of its creations.
(on camera): Actually, there`s a perfectly good reason for this robot abuse.
(voice-over): When most robots fall down, they can`t get back up. They often have to be carried off or repaired.
But when the new Atlas was forced to face plant. Watch it get back on its feet.
And though it stumbles through the snow like bigfoot, it never losses its balance on the uneven terrain. That`s a very big deal.
(on camera): Unless you think the engineers are just brutal bullies, lacking any sense of humor --
(voice-over): This was last year`s Christmas greeting from Boston Dynamics, even if their robots aren`t laughing all the way.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
AZUZ: Pretty much sums up the nuts and bolts. All (ph) robots ought to have drive to keep going, they can`t be too sensortive and they need to stay motorvated. Some may have autonomy but they`re not in control or unless maybe there`s a ghost in the machine, in which case, it`s probably better not to short-circuit the program when arranging a battery of challenges.
Fridays are awesome on CNN 10!