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  • Welcome to CNN 10, your daily down-the-middle explanation of world events.

  • I'm Carl Azuz, we're glad you're watching.

  • More than a month after the U.S. presidential election, there's a lot that's still up in the air.

  • For one thing, the makeup of the next US Senate.

  • Will it be controlled by Democrats or Republicans?

  • When the 117th US Congress convenes on January 3rd, current projections indicate that at least 48 seats will be controlled by Democrats and at least 50 by Republicans.

  • That doesn't equal the 100 total seats.

  • There are two Senate seats from the state of Georgia that haven't been determined yet, and they'll likely be decided by a runoff election on January 5th.

  • If Republicans win at least one of those seats, they'll have the simple majority they need to keep control of the Senate.

  • If Democrats win both of these seats, the Senate will be split with 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans.

  • And if any of the chambers votes are split 50-50, the vice president will cast the deciding vote.

  • Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are projected to be the next president and vice president of the United States.

  • Democrats are projected to keep control of the House of Representatives, so what happens in Georgia's runoff is incredibly important to both major parties.

  • If Democrats gained control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, it will be much easier for them to pass laws and enact their priorities for the country.

  • If Republicans maintain control of the Senate, it'll be easier for them to limit the Democrats' power and require compromise on new laws.

  • What's unusual this time around is that the presidential election is still in dispute.

  • President Donald Trump says, quote, there's no way he lost the election, and his administration and supporting groups have legally challenged the results in several states.

  • But so far, those challenges have not led to any major changes in projections that former Vice President Joe Biden is now the U.S. president-elect.

  • The next step in all this happens today, and CNN 10 contributor Kelly Mena explains what it is.

  • Kelly.

  • Thanks, Carl.

  • Now let's take a look at a few key remaining deadlines left until Inauguration Day in January.

  • The first date to look out for is December 8th, known as the Safe Harbor Deadline.

  • This is the date by which states are meant to have counted their votes, settle disputes and determined the winner of their electoral college votes.

  • This date is extremely important because when Congress means to tally the electoral votes in January, it must accept the electors certified before this deadline.

  • Six days after election disputes are supposed to be settled, electors meet in their respective states to cast their vote for president of the United States.

  • This year that date falls on December 14th.

  • Notably, many states have laws requiring electors to support the winner of their state's popular vote and can levy fines against faithless electors who choose to go their own way.

  • Once electors have cast their votes, those certified votes have until December 23rd to make it to Washington, D.C.

  • Then, on January 3rd, the new 117th Congress, which includes the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, is sworn in.

  • Three days later, they meet to count and certify the election results.

  • There are 538 electoral votes, one for each congressman and U.S Senator plus three for Washington, D.C.

  • A candidate needs 270 to win.

  • Once certified, the new president is sworn in on January 20th 2021.

  • Carl, with a few key deadlines left until a new presidential administration, it will be interesting to see how these steps unfold in the days ahead.

  • 10-second trivia!

  • American scientist O.C. Marsh was best known for his work with what?

  • Agriculture, telecommunications, dinosaur fossils or fossil fuels?

  • O.C. Marsh was a palaeontologist who describe the creature named Triceratops in 1889.

  • [A museum organization has acquired a near-complete and finely preserved dinosaur skeleton.]

  • I am touching the tooth of a triceratops.

  • This is a surreal experience.

  • It's absolutely spectacular.

  • [At 87% complete the Triceratops skeleton includes almost all the bones, say experts.]

  • We will gain insights at last into how big triceratops really grew to, and also details such as how many bones, how many vertebrae were in the tail, these are basic characteristics of triceratops that until this find, we simply didn't know.

  • [The skeleton was discovered in 2014 on a private property in Montana, US.]

  • Scientifically, that the detail that's preserved, the anatomy that we can see, this is a really important discovery.

  • [The fossil weighs more than 1000 kg and is estimated be six to seven meters long, with a height of over two meters.]

  • [Triceratops, one of the last known dinosaurs, lived 68-66 million years ago.]

  • [The dinosaur fossil will be on display from 2021 in the Melbourne Museum, in Australia.]

  • Up next: to the moon and back and back again?

  • NASA is moving forward with its Artemis 3 mission.

  • Its goal is to put a man and for the first time a woman on the moon in 2024.

  • No one has set foot there since 1972.

  • And there are concerns about whether NASA will have enough money for this, whether it will be worth the cost, whether it will be safe enough to do and whether it will be a goal of the next presidential administration.

  • Political priorities for NASA are always changing.

  • The agency is focused on the moon and beyond.

  • -Nearly 50 years after humans first set foot on the moon ... -That's one small step for man.

  • NASA is planning to go back, this time to stay.

  • We're gonna prove how to live and work on another world, and then take all of that knowledge to Mars.

  • That's the goal.

  • Dubbed 'Artemis' for Apollo's twin sister, NASA hopes to send a woman this time.

  • The space agency originally planned a lunar landing for 2028.

  • We have the opportunity to do this.

  • A lot of things have to go right.

  • I'm not saying that there's no risk here, but it can be done.

  • It's good for our country.

  • It's got NASA moving in a very serious way.

  • NASA has already spent years working on a new rocket booster and a crew capsule for the mission.

  • Once beyond Earth's orbit, astronauts will dock with a small space station.

  • Lunar landers, built by commercial partners like Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin, will carry astronauts back and forth from the moon.

  • There's still a lot to work out, but the biggest obstacle probably isn't technology.

  • As the saying goes, it's not rocket science that's the hard part, it's political science, convincing the politicians that they need to fund this adequately, whatever it is that you think it might cost, it's probably actually going to be more.

  • NASA estimates total cost could hit 30 billion dollars over five years.

  • What do you think it's gonna take to get that bipartisan support and also to get the American public jazzed about going back to the moon?

  • I think when it comes to science, uh, there's not partisanship in Congress.

  • When it comes to exploration, there's not partisanship in Congress.

  • You walk around this agency, you talk to scientists and engineers.

  • They can tell you exactly where they were when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon July 20th, 1969.

  • I'm the first NASA administrator that was not alive.

  • I don't have that memory.

  • I'll tell you what I do remember.

  • I remember where I was uh, in fifth grade, Miss Powers' class, when Challenger exploded, the whole world was watching.

  • Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher in space, was on the mission, so all teachers were interested.

  • I'm sorry, I'm getting a little emotional here.

  • But the reality is, that's ...that's my kind of moment where I know exactly where I was.

  • I wanna be clear.

  • Shuttles: amazing program.

  • International Space Station: amazing program.

  • But I don't remember where I was on each one of those launches.

  • I remember where I was on that day.

  • We need to do these stunning achievements to inspire the next generation.

  • 50 years ago, the Apollo 11 mission changed the world.

  • Now the Artemis program could inspire a whole new generation.

  • Is this the world's most beautiful aircraft?

  • It's certainly the best smelling.

  • This is a full scale Airbus A380 made entirely out of flowers --- 40 tons of flowers.

  • It's one of the astonishing arrangements at the Dubai Miracle Garden in the United Arab Emirates.

  • It's also the Guinness World record holder for world's largest flower arrangement.

  • The Gardens creator says the goal here is to make displays that the world marvels at.

  • Well, that's plane [plain] to see, and you could see why anyone would want to jet or pedal on over to the garden.

  • There's no stigma.

  • No one's gonna pick on them for wanting to stamen [stay] around for a while, with the filamentality of searching for answers.

  • All flowers have style, some apollenly [appallingly] so and like our puns, they grow on you.

  • Hey, speaking of flowers, our web producer picked the school from Albany, Oregon, today.

  • Shout out to South Albany High School "in full bloom" there.

  • I'm Carl Azuz for CNN.

Welcome to CNN 10, your daily down-the-middle explanation of world events.

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What's Next? | December 8, 2020

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