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In House and Senate Congressional Elections; Crude Oil Prices Falling; California Wildfires; Pink Legacy Diamond Auctioned Off

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CARL AZUZ, CNN 10: Congressional elections? Congressional elections. I thought we covered that. Yes, but these elections are in Congress and they're part of our first story today on CNN 10. I'm Carl Azuz. We're happy to have you watching. Yesterday was like school picture day for dozens of new members of the next U.S. Congress. The 116th Congress in American history, except that their new semester hasn't started yet and a handful of House and Senate contests haven't been decided yet. The results of last weeks midterm elections are still uncertain in a few states.

But those who know or expect they'll be part of the 116th Congress now have a few elections of their own. One of them, who will be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives? This position leads the majority party in the House. Democrats became that party in the midterms. So they have to decide if the House Speaker will be Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, who's held the job before or if another Democrat has enough support to take the job.

Another position to be filled is House Minority Leader, which leads the party with fewer House seats. Republicans became that party in the midterms, so they had to decide if the House Minority Leader would be Representative Kevin McCarthy of California. Currently the second most powerful Republican in the House or if another Republican would get the job. Yesterday afternoon they elected Representative McCarthy.

The Majority and Minority Whips still have to be decided both in the House and the Senate and as far as Senate leadership goes, this chamber didn't change hands in the midterms. Republicans maintained their control. So analysts expect that Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and

Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will keep their current jobs.

A big question for both parties with Democrats controlling the House and Republicans controlling the Senate is will they be able to compromise. In order to get any major legislation passed, they'll have to. The 116th U.S. Congress will get to work on January 3rd, 2019 and run through the same date in 2021.

10 Second Trivia. Which of these materials is known as the mother of all commodities? Corn, Silver, Crude Oil, or Rubber. Because it's used to make everything from plastics to petroleum to paint, crude oil is known as the mother of all commodities.

Oil prices are fascinating. That might not have been what you were expecting to hear but we're going to explain why. First, what's happening?

Prices of crude oil in the U.S. have dropped 26 percent since last month. At first, there were concerns there would be a shortfall in the global supply of crude oil. That caused prices to go up. Now, there are concerns there will be a glut, too much oil available and that sent prices crashing.

OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, generally wants higher crude prices. It's members economies are tied into oil sales.

Higher prices usually mean more revenue for them.

This can also benefit American oil companies who can spend more money and hire more workers when prices are higher. However, crude oil is the biggest factor in the cost of gasoline. Higher gas prices, home heating prices, and a higher cost to travel can leave people with less money to spend on other things. That hurts the U.S. economy. As far as the global economy goes, rising crude prices can mean that demand is increasing, an indication the economy is growing. Falling prices can mean the opposite and many investors don't like to see that. So there are ripple effects to rising or falling oil prices.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The 10 year bull run in crude oil is over. U.S. oil prices have tumbled more than 20 percent from their recent high, plunging them into a bear market. It's a stunning turn around. Just a few months ago, some analysts predicted oil could go to $100 a barrel. So what happened? A combination of factors. There are fears of slowing global growth. That would mean less demand for oil pushing prices lower. At the same time, there's plenty of supply. America is flooding the market with a record amount of crude, the most in 40 years.

Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations are pumping more oil too. Although those countries are planning to cut back production. And U.S. sanctions on

Iran are not as strict as some feared. The Trump Administration granted temporary waivers to India, China and a few other countries allowing them to keep buying oil from Iran, that avoided at least a temporary supply squeeze. So now oil is in the bear's den and the companies that drill for it are getting hammered.

Of course, low oil prices are a win for some fuel dependent sectors like airlines and chemical companies. Consumers are celebrating too. Gas prices are finally slipping after refusing to budge from a near four year high for much of 2018.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARL AZUZ: It could be months before we know what caused the most deadly and destructive wildfire in California's history. The California

Department of Forestry and Fire Protection hasn't yet determined what caused the "Camp Fire". Although a gas and power company did report a problem with one of it's transmission lines before the blaze broke out. For the thousands of firefighters battling that and the other blazes in the state, it's an exhausting fight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some of the canyons above Malibu look like the surface of a lifeless planet, with almost nothing left to burn. But all it takes is one hot ember, riding one gust of wind into another canyon and suddenly there is a whole new front in this war with mother nation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Imagine living down in that valley and realizing the only thing between your entire life and now all aflame are these incredible pilots. Not just helicopter pilots but big tanker jet pilots are bouncing around these 40-50 mile an hour gusts trying to precisely hit those spots.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This flare up near Lake Sherwood scrambled a full aerial assault with helicopters, big and small. Fixed wing tankers bombing the flames with a jelly like retardant drop after drop costing California millions of dollars. Pacific Ocean water is cheaper, though less effective but things are so desperate this day brought the surreal sight of surfers and super scoopers sharing the lineup at Malibu Beach.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) license plate frame out here. It's a Malibu way of life and I - - I really think that we should have had flames on one side and a mudslide on the other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The cost of paradise right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Steve Dunn (ph) is among the lifetime locals who ignored the evacuation order and resents some parts of the response. Like the way Pepperdine University was allowed to shelter students in place, even as an inferno surrounded the campus.

(STEVE DUNN): I understand there's a lot of kids that don't have transportation so it would be difficult to get them all out. But the locals believe that is because they wanted the fire department to post up there, to protect the school and they kind of used it's students as a pawn.

ANDY BENTON, PRESIDENT OF PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY: That's such a perverse expression, misunderstanding and maybe even fear. We did not lock student

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Andy Benton is the President of Pepperdine. In full disclosure, my alma mater and in his 35 years here, he has seen six major fire

ANDY BENTON: In 1985, when I was here. We notice that everybody just dropped everything, got in their cars and left and we had no idea where they were. We had no idea if they were being cared for so we decided thereafter that we could do better. And the do better was that we have equipped this campus to withstand fire to the best of our ability. We have 4.6 million gallons of water. We have 15 days of food. We have counselors, medical doctors and a caring community to take care of those students and calm them.

We relocate them into one of two facilities and even now we've got a fire - - we've got a helicopter landing - -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: - - As you're speaking, look at this.

ANDY BENTON: - - withdrawing water from our lakes, 2,500 gallons in about 60 seconds. And they're probably fighting the - - the fire up in Malibu

Canyon right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And up in Lake Sherwood, the air attacks works. No structures are lost.

BILL WEIR, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Bill Weir from CNN. Thank you for your service man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's what we're here for.

WEIR: You guys getting any sleep or - -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Intermittently.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But they can't relax until the Santa Ana winds give southern California a break.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And until then, they just get ready to do it all over again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARL AZUZ: For our 10 out of 10 today, it is not the largest diamond ever sold at an auction. It's not in the most expensive over all and it's not something that will match every outfit. But the Pink Legacy Diamond does have the highest grade of color intensity. It's almost 19 carats in weight. And for the company that bought it, the American luxury brand, Harry Winston. It's apparently worth $50 million it went for. Of course,

you might have to be a "marquise" or a "princess" to afford it. You'd need to "ascertain" the financial cushion you had in the bank and "ovaluate"

whether you had the "heart" to make such a "pearchase". Would it always seem as radiant? Would it get "emerold" just wearing it "around". I'm sure if it does, you can find someone to take it off your hands. I'm Carl Azuz. That's CNN.

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