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February 12, 2018
CNN 10 - February 12, 2018
Turkish Operation May Lead to Confrontation with U.S. Military;
New Budget for the U.S. Government;
A Look at the Mental Fitness of Olympic Athletes
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR:
Thank you for starting off the new week with CNN 10. I`m Carl Azuz.
Turkish Operation May Lead to Confrontation with U.S. Military
Today`s down-the-middle coverage starts with the Middle Eastern country of Syria. It`s been torn apart by civil war for seven years, and the involvement of another country could complicate it further. Syria`s war isn`t just being caught by two sides. It involves Syria`s government, dozens of rebel groups, terrorists and other countries like Russia and the U.S. who`ve gotten involved. And Turkey`s military is part of it as well.
Turkey formed Syria`s northern border and it doesn`t want that border controlled by Kurdish fighters. The Kurdish people live in the region but do not have a country of their own and a group of Kurds in Turkey has been fighting the government for decades. It`s seen as a terrorist group.
A different force of Kurds has been fighting ISIS terrorists in northern Syria, but because Turkey`s government sees them as one and the same as the Kurds fighting inside Turkey, it sent troops into Northern Syria to target the Kurdish fighters there. Where this gets more complicated is that the U.S. supports the Kurdish fighters in Syria.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
They`ve been trying to stay out of the dust and chaos here for years. But it hasn`t worked. And now, American Special Forces give us the first access to their daily, risky patrols in Syria.
They`re here despite an unprecedented threat from a supposed friend, Turkey, whose forces are just over the hill, a NATO ally whose president has demanded only hours earlier that the U.S. withdraw immediately.
These Syria-Kurdish fighters are the reason why. America fought with them to defeat ISIS across Northern Syria. But Turkey thinks they are terrorists linked to Turkish Kurd fighters, and so here they are, barrel to barrel.
This is the strange new world in Syria in the end game of the fight against ISIS. NATO ally facing NATO ally here. American troops very much on the front line after years, you might state, of trying to stay out of this messy civil war. A new chapter of which is now beginning.
This is the scramble for the land ISIS built and lost. In fact, in the last hour, the rebels from over there have fired on a nearby checkpoint as if they heard the Turkish demand the U.S. leave.
But still, the Americans send their highest ranking officer yet. The message: we`re not going anywhere.
Would you take fire from this direction, three, four times a week, we`re being told?
LT. GEN. PAUL FUNK, COMMANDING GENERAL, ANTI-ISIS COALITION:
And that`s from forces supported by your NATO ally Turkey?
Which is by definition bizarre, right?
Yes, absolutely. You said that, that`s exactly right. It is bizarre.
I would say that the people that fought to take Raqqa back from ISIS, no matter what nationality they were, no matter what their beliefs, were heroes.
But Turkey says some of them are terrorists.
And that`s the complexity of where we are right now.
It is. That`s exactly right.
What`s your biggest worry about what`s going on here?
Miscalculation. Could be anybody`s.
And if these two sides end up in open conflict, what do you do about that?
But don`t pretend this buffer role for America goes anywhere good fast. Turkish and Kurds hate each other perhaps more than they did ISIS. And they won`t fight ISIS if they`re fighting each other.
The coalition`s goal, this commander says, was to finish ISIS in the area but Turkey, with their actions and statements, is giving life to ISIS again.
And this is just the beginning. We drive past a huge convoy in support of Kurdish fighters in a nearby Kurdish enclave to the west called Afrin. But Turkey is invaded despite American pleas they don`t.
In a nearby town of Manbij, America`s Special Forces commanders strolls around the market liberated from ISIS, 18 months ago, where life is just about becoming life again, where hotels are trying to open. But, where business is hamstrung by the fear Turkey will make good on its threat to send its NATO-equipped army to invade here too.
They thought they were getting over the war here but it looms again, another possible ugly chapter, an ally against erstwhile ally is nothing new to brutalized Syria.
New Budget for the U.S. Government
U.S. lawmakers and the president have reached a new deal concerning the government`s budget. It will increase government spending by $300 billion over the next two years. About $165 billion of that would go toward the U.S. military, $131 billion would go toward programs like hurricane disaster relief, infrastructure like roads and bridges, fighting opioid abuse and child care.
The agreement also raises the debt ceiling, that`s a limit that Congress puts on the amount of money the government can borrow. The budget deal suspends that limit until March 2019.
U.S. President Donald Trump signed the proposal into law Friday morning, saying the military would be stronger than ever and that the budget would help create more jobs.
But while support for the deal was bipartisan, with most Republicans and dozens of Democrats voting for it, there was some bipartisan opposition to it as well. Republican Senator Rand Paul filibustered the bill in the Senate, holding it up on Thursday night, because he said he was uncomfortable with the amount of money the government spends.
For decades it`s far outspent the money it takes in and dozens of House Republicans also opposed the bill for that reason. But after an overnight government shutdown because of the filibuster, the bill eventually passed in both chambers and the president signed it on Friday morning.
One other political headline for you. Last Monday, we reported on a controversial memo produced by Republicans on the U.S. House Intelligence Committee. But then it was declassified by President Trump.
Last week, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee produced their memo in response to the Republican one. But President Trump refused to declassify it. He says it was very political and long and needed to be heavily redacted. The White House said the president was inclined to declassify the Democrats` memo once changes are made.
Representative Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, says it was hypocritical of President Trump to block the release of the Democrats` memo and that the president puts his personal interest above all else. We`ll update on this story if and when the memo is declassified.
Last Monday`s show is in our archive at CNN10.com. It has an explanation of what the Republicans` memo was all about.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia.
The first Winter Olympics took place in 1924. In what country were they held?
France, Switzerland, Germany or Norway?
Chamonix, an Alpine town in France, was the first place to host the Winter Olympics.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
A Look at the Mental Fitness of Olympic Athletes
But at that time, they weren`t called the Winter Olympics. The event was named International Winter Sports Week. It was so successful that the International Olympic Committee officially established the Winter Olympics the next year.
There are more than 10 times the number of athletes competing in 2018 than there were in 1924 and their fitness isn`t just physical.
SUBTITLE: Olympic athletes have trained their bodies to near-perfection for global competition.
But it`s how well they`ve their minds that may determine who takes home a medal.
CHRISTOPHER FETSCH, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF NEUROSCIENCE, JOHNS HOPKINS SCHOOL OF MEDICINE:
They`re making split second decisions, you know, on the order of tenth of a second, or less. Doing something that would probably take us, you know, more like half a second to up to a second to decide and act.
SUBTITLE: In addition to muscle memory, top athletes are able to tap into what some scientists call the "sixth sense".
KATHLEEN CULLEN, PROFESSOR OF BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING, JOHNS HOPKINS SCHOOL OF MEDICINE:
It considers somebody who`s a snowboarder and they`re doing these, you know, fantastic flips and they can`t rely on vision, vision is a very slow sense. So, they take advantage of input from what we call the sense of motion, so that they land on their feet.
SUBTITLE: After countless hours of training, it all comes down to who can remain calm under pressure.
VIKRAM CHIB, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING, JOHNS HOPKINS SCHOOL OF MEDICINE:
The thing that separates these people is the ones that can keep a cool head. They can sort of disregard the fact that the stakes are high and still come through with the performance they`ve practiced all their life to achieve.
10 Out of 10
One dance party plus deejays minus gravity equals "10 Out of 10".
This was recorded on a plane making stiff claims and then fast drops, giving the people on board a taste of weightlessness for about 30 seconds at a time. The rave was part of a German event called World Club Dome Zero Gravity which seems like perfect name for this.
We`re not sure if all of them felt like their stomach stayed in the right place, but we beat they still rave about it. And why not? It`s a party on a different plane. Maybe it looked like they were breaking the law of physics, but it`s proof you can lose a lot of weight by dancing.
I`m Carl Azuz and we got to take off.
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