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Democrats on Giuliani's Canceled Ukraine Trip; Beijing Vows to Strike Back at Latest U.S. tariffs; Sri Lanka's Tourism Industry Struggles after Easter Blasts; French Hostage Rescue; 2020 Presidential Candidates Talk about Motherhood on the Campaign Trail; U.S. Teacher Battling Cancer Has to Pay for Substitute; Mental Health Crisis Text Services Offer Immediate, Private Help; Grand Canyon Railway Marks Historic Event of 1869. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired May 12, 2019 - 04:00   ET




GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): President Trump leaves open the possibility of investigating Joe Biden, a look at what this could mean for the 2020 race.

Plus this --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With this new tariff, it is inevitable we have to make changes on the price of this model.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Business owners in the U.S. express their frustration over the trade war between the U.S. and China, the tariffs hitting their finances now more than ever.


HOWELL (voice-over): Also ahead this hour, the British royals launch a text messaging service to provide support for anyone experiencing mental health problems. A psychiatrist talks to us about the same service that is already available in the United States.

ALLEN (voice-over): All ahead this hour, welcome to our viewers in the U.S. and around the world, we're coming to you live from Atlanta, I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL (voice-over): I'm George Howell from CNN World Headquarters. NEWSROOM starts right now.


HOWELL: At 4:00 am in the U.S. East Coast, in the span of about an hour's time on Saturday, the U.S. president unleashed a torrent of praise, of conspiracies and accusations on his favorite medium, Twitter. ALLEN: He left no tweet unturned. Among his targets, the Mueller report, saying he was not going to fire the special counsel, despite what was said in the report. He defended his son Don Jr. and retweeted posts about some of his favorite talking points, China, border protection and jobs.

HOWELL: Mr. Trump is also focusing on the Democratic front-runner in next year's presidential race.

ALLEN: Yes, in a new interview with "Politico," the president says it would be appropriate for him to talk with his attorney general about launching an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden.

HOWELL: This comes a day after Mr. Trump's lawyer canceled the trip to Ukraine. Rudy Giuliani wanted that country to investigate Biden. Sarah Westwood has that part of the story from the White House.


SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, reversing his decision to go to Ukraine and discuss with Ukrainian officials something that might damage a potential 2020 rival for President Trump and that's former Vice President Joe Biden.

Giuliani first defended his decision to make this trip before backtracking, amid a massive backlash, with Democrats criticizing the trip overseas to work with foreign officials to gain information that might hurt someone who could run against the president in the next presidential election.

Just for some context, this is all related to events that took place in 2016, when then Vice President Joe Biden was pushing to oust the top prosecutor in Ukraine. That prosecutor was investigating an energy company, in which Hunter Biden, the son of the former vice president, had financial interests.

On Friday, Trump told "Politico" he thought he would be within his rights to ask attorney general Bill Barr to look into all of this. Here's what he said.

"Certainly it would be an appropriate thing to speak to him about but I have not done that as of yet. It could be a very big situation."

Now of course, Biden was not alone in calling for the removal of that Ukrainian official. There were a number of other Western leaders who were doing the same at the time and there is no evidence that the actions Biden took were connected to his son's business activities.

But before Giuliani abandoned his plans to go to Ukraine, Democratic senator Chris Murphy wrote a letter to the Republican chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, asking him to press for more details about this trip. So Democrats were preparing to look into all of this and also came after Trump told "Politico" he planned to discuss the planned trip with Giuliani. Biden's campaign responded to all of this on Saturday, a spokesman

telling CNN that this was, quote, "a blatantly political smear from the Trump team" -- Sarah Westwood, CNN, the White House.


HOWELL: Let's get perspective now with Kate Andrews. Kate is the associate director at the Institute of Economic Affairs, joining this hour from our London bureau.

Good to have you.


Let's start with the president's comments to "Politico," where he says it would be appropriate for him to talk to his attorney general about investigating Joe Biden.

Do you believe the president is within his bounds here or is this a veiled threat or not so veiled threat that Mr. Trump could cause problems for the Democrat who he may see as a threat come 2020?

ANDREWS: It is a not so veiled threat, absolutely. But the reality here is that both sides are playing very dirty now when it comes to targeting political opponents.

I think Donald Trump is suggesting he could set a special investigation on his top political opponent, his -- a very likely --


ANDREWS: -- Democratic front-runner Joe Biden. It is very concerning but he's responding, in many ways, to the House Judiciary Committee, also suggesting that special agent Robert Mueller got it wrong, that Trump did try to obstruct justice and then trying to push back and almost handle court cases on their own, bringing people forward to the House, trying to get them to testify outside of our proper institutions.

So I think he's pushing back on targeting one's political opponents by targeting another political opponent. I think both sides really need to step back and think to themselves, is this the way we want to go into the 2020 election?

Because if it is going to come down to who can use the bigger institution and who can abuse the power to try to make their political opponent look bad, I think that's going to come across as very anti- democratic and, in many ways, very anti-many of the principles we stand on in America when it comes to free elections.

HOWELL: 2020 will be interesting, for sure. Before these comments to "Politico," Mr. Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, planned to travel to Ukraine to urge that country to investigate Joe Biden.

Giuliani did a 180, canceled that trip and now we're hearing from the Biden team, a campaign official telling CNN this, "It is great to see all these strong, progressive voices stand up to this attempt at a blatantly political smear which in and of itself reflects the urgent need for change and to restore the soul of the country."

The bottom line here, Kate, Giuliani's trip won't happen but what do you make of the suggestion of seeking an investigation from a foreign government to trip up an adversary?

ANDREWS: I'm pleased Rudy Giuliani is no longer going on this trip. I think trying to use foreign governments to deliberately target political opponents so openly in this way is very convincing. But I think there's a bit of hypocrisy going on from the Democrats as well.

Chris Murphy, the junior senator in Connecticut, has written a letter saying Giuliani himself should be investigated. But we have "The Hill" reporting just weeks ago that the Obama administration brought in Ukrainian officials in January 2016. And it became very clear that, while they were brought in under the assumption they would be talking about trying to crack down on corruption, they really wanted to speak about Donald Trump and certain connections he had and highlighting the particular skeletons in his closet and they also wanted to talk about Joe Biden and his son and his connection to the gas company.

So I think the standards you have for one side, you must have for the other. And perhaps we could stop mudslinging and trying to get our political opponents investigated for this and investigated for that. I'm pleased Giuliani isn't going. And I roughly agree with Joe Biden's statement. But it has to apply to both sides.

HOWELL: Mr. Trump was busy on Saturday, retweeting 62 tweets on a wide range of issues, everything from the subpoena of his son, Don Jr., to the FISA warrant, the Steele dossier, the Mueller investigation, China, the trade war, border protection, jobs, on and on. It was one retweet a minute over an hour's time, Kate.

Is this presidential venting of frustrations, how do you see it?

ANDREWS: I'm sure that the president is frustrated that, despite the Mueller investigation more or less clearing his name, although some areas like obstruction of justice were inconclusive, it seems that people have -- many people have not actually taken his innocence in that sense on board. So we see a lot of frustration.

The president uses Twitter as his main platform to communicate to his base. This isn't particularly new.

But, you know, leading up to 2020, he's going to face some real competition. You have the center left of Joe Biden and the further to the left, Bernie Sanders, who are gaining real traction and he's going to have to come up with arguments against them.

I suspect it will be slightly harder for him this time around because he actually has a record now that people are going to point to, yes, there have been some good things, I would argue, with the tax cuts, putting more money back in people's pockets but many of his immigration platforms have made people deeply uncomfortable about how unethical it has been, increasingly separating families at the border.

He is going to actually have to run on these things. I think he thinks if he tweets them out, he can get the spin on them that he wants and he can talk about jobs and trade, et cetera.

But he's going to face some real competition and he's just using this platform as he always does, to communicate to the people who he knows will love him, regardless of the story.

HOWELL: Kate Andrews, we appreciate your time, thank you.

ANDREWS: Thank you.

ALLEN: One of those tweets you mentioned, George, had to do with China. So we look there next. The trade war ongoing between the U.S. and China, with talks at a standstill.

President Trump putting on his salesman hat to make his pitch to Beijing. In a tweet Saturday, this is what he wrote, that, China should make a trade deal now because they'll only get a worse deal if they wait and he wins re-election.

HOWELL: So far --


HOWELL: -- the hard sell does not appear to be working. China's top trade negotiator says the latest round of U.S. tariffs, a hike from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion in Chinese imports, that it must be rolled back before anything else can happen.

ALLEN: Beijing vows to strike back against the United States. But we have yet to hear what that might be. Our Steven Jiang joins us from the Chinese capital.

Steven, hello to you. There is no indication China will succumb to the U.S. president's insistence.

But what may retaliation look like?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER, BEIJING BUREAU: They have not revealed much detail but they could do a number of things. They could impose countertariffs on American imports but not dollar for dollar.

China imports a lot less from the U.S. than the other way around. They're literally running out of American products to tax on.

But they could, for example, cancel or reduce major purchases from the U.S. We're talking about agricultural or energy products, things that could hit hard on the political base for Mr. Trump.

They could also, for example, favor non-U.S. companies when it comes to granting market access here. They could even launch official retaliations to make life difficult for American businesses here in China, sending fire inspectors or delaying the issuance of licenses or customs clearance. It is notable the Chinese state media's coverage on the story is

getting increasingly nationalistic. We have been seeing headlines like China would never concede on issues of principle or China will never back down under extreme pressure, with more and more editorials than commentaries calling the U.S. a bully, making unreasonable and unrealistic demands, even sometimes evoking memories of the U.S.- Chinese military conflicts during the Korean War -- Natalie.

ALLEN: They're owning the narrative there on this back and forth.

I want to ask you, what is the economic risk to China if it holds firm and hits back at the U.S. for these tariffs?

JIANG: I think the risk for further escalation or a vicious cycle is very much real. Mr. Trump has also threatened, if there is no deal reached anytime soon, he will impose tariffs on an additional $325 billion worth of Chinese imports, basically taxing all Chinese imports going into the U.S.

I think at this stage he probably has made a political calculation about standing on tough -- being tough on China's more advantageous than signing a deal that could be described as weak by his opponents, especially as the U.S. is fast entering this 2020 election season.

So for Mr. Xi, the Chinese president, he's also under domestic pressure here to standing his ground against the U.S. So I think the risk right now, according to many experts on both sides, is tensions from the trade war could easily spill over into other aspects of the increasingly important but also complex relationship between the world's two largest economies -- Natalie.

ALLEN: The world is watching. Because it doesn't just affect the U.S. and China for sure. Steven Jiang for us, as always, thank you. We'll talk with you again and see what we learn from China eventually.

HOWELL: According to the U.S. president, tariffs, he says, are a good thing because they fatten the coffers, he says, of the U.S. Treasury. But it is not quite that simple.

ALLEN: Right. Ultimately it is American businesses and customers who foot the bill. Our Polo Sandoval visited a bicycle shop in New York struggling to cope with the raising tariffs.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Step inside Ryan Zagata's New York City showroom and you'll see the unintended consequences of a trade war.

RYAN ZAGATA, BICYCLE SHOP OWNER: With this new tariff, it is inevitable we are going to have to increase the price on this model.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Many of America's small to medium-sized businesses, the Brooklyn Bicycle Company is already dealing with the burden of increased Chinese import tariffs. These bikes are assembled in China, using foreign made components, to keep the cost down for the consumer.

In September, the Trump administration's 10 percent tariff hike on nearly $200 billion in Chinese goods forced Zagata to raise some prices.

ZAGATA: This is one of our most popular bicycles. It was a $449 bike last summer. It's now $499.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Then on Friday, the White House announced that 10 percent will increase to 25 percent, a change that will result in yet another price hike on the showroom floor.

ZAGATA: For every $100 we spend on bicycles, $5.50 we pay on duties. Since September, we've been paying an extra $10. Now we're now at $15.50. It's this -- with this additional tariff, now it is another $15, we're talking $30.50 for every single bicycle we import on $100, not for every bike, every $100 we spend, $30.50. So on a $200, our cost to the factory on $200 it's $61 that we're paying in duties to the government.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Zagata says that means some of his customers --


SANDOVAL (voice-over): -- will be paying more for the same bike.

ZAGATA: It is difficult for me. I can't call my customer and say, guess what, you're getting a better wheel set, you're getting better grips and this luxurious leather saddle. That's not what you're getting. Effectively, your money is going to the government.

SANDOVAL: o It has been a rough ride for many business owners since President Trump waged his trade war with China. Zagata blames the uncertainty that comes with trade negotiations.

ZAGATA: It is not difficult for us as a business to decide what to do. We have built financial models that we can punch in these variables regardless of what the scenario is and the model effectively will spit out this is what you need to do.

The challenge with the models now is we're missing one main variable: we don't know what the final duty is going to be with these trade talks still ongoing.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): There is some optimism coming from the president, who, on Friday, took to Twitter, saying tariffs will make the country, quote, "much stronger, just sit back and watch."

That may be hard to do for some U.S. importers, with China now vowing to hit back after Friday's tariff hike.

ZAGATA: I think the tariffs are great and I applaud the administration for what they're doing. I just think that six months, nine months in, it is becoming really difficult and, like, come on already with these negotiations, like, let's move ahead. SANDOVAL (voice-over): -- Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.


ALLEN: That's one example of what could be very many in the future if this goes on.

The U.S. secretary of state is getting ready for a trip to Russia. The State Department says Mike Pompeo will head to Moscow over the coming hours. He'll be there Monday but the highlight of the trip probably won't come until Tuesday.

HOWELL: That's when he's set to meet with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, in Sochi. They'll have a lot to talk about, including Ukraine, North Korea, Venezuela and Iran. This will also be the first Russia trip for the senior U.S. official since the release of the Mueller report.

Still ahead here on NEWSROOM, vacation goers dream of finding an empty beach but, in Sri Lanka, would-be visitors are thinking terrorism, not tourism. How bombings have hurt that island's economy.

ALLEN: Also ahead, storms causing major flooding in the southeastern U.S. It continues. And as we said just yesterday, more heavy rain continues as well. We'll have the forecast.





ALLEN: And welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM.

Catholic churches have been holding Sunday mass in Sri Lanka. This for the first time since last month's Easter bombings.

HOWELL: Those attacks killed hundreds of people and dealt a major blow to that nation's once popular tourism industry. Our Nikhil Kumar has this.


NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF: Empty beaches, deserted streets, restaurants with no customers, the starters idly outside. The devastating Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka killed more than 250 people. And the bombings also dealt a body blow to a key pillar of the country's economy: tourism.

I'm just a couple kilometers away from one of the targets of the Easter Sunday bombing, the St. Sebastian Shrine just outside Colombo. And I'm a block away from the beach that would normally be full of tourists. But as you can see, there's hardly anybody out on the streets. The terrorists targeted churches and hotels popular with the 2 million

tourists who visit the country every year. The industry accounts for about 1 million jobs. It's one of the great success stories here, following the end of a bloody 26-year civil war in 2009. But now the industry is staring at big losses.

According to the head of the trade body in Negombo.

HYACINTH GUNAWARDENED, NEGOMBO HOTELIERS ASSOCIATION: Most of the hotels are experiencing about 70 percent to 75 percent cancellations up to December. We keep on getting the cancellations.

KUMAR (voice-over): The impact is nationwide. One of the country's leading travel companies said about a third of the bookings they had for many have already been canceled.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Since 2009 we've only had it going up. Year on year, we have had increases. Since then, it is the first time we've had downfall.

KUMAR (voice-over): Among those killed on Easter Sunday were more than 40 foreign nationals from at least a dozen countries. Sri Lanka's leaders acknowledge the economic fallout.

MAITHRIPALA SIRISENA, SRI LANKA PRESIDENT (through translator): Yes, the economy has suffered a blow as a result of these attacks. And it's the tourism industry which has suffered the greatest blow.

KUMAR (voice-over): It's a double blow. Back in Negombo, even as people here and around the country mourn the lives lost in the bombings, the economic costs are mounting -- Nikhil Kumar, CNN, Sri Lanka.


ALLEN: Parts of the southeastern United States are dealing with major flooding and there is risk of more to come. On Saturday, thunderstorms pounded southern Texas with heavy rain and hail the size of golf balls. Some residents were stranded by the sudden floods.

ALLEN: That's the flooding there in Houston. And in Mississippi, flash floods washed out the rail lines that caused this train to derail. Luckily, no one was injured there. And the train compartments were mostly empty.



ALLEN: After spending terrifying days in captivity in Burkina Faso, four hostages are safe, three of them arriving in France Saturday. Now we're hearing more about why the rescuers had to act fast to get them all out, what was behind it all.

HOWELL: And U.S. presidential hopefuls hit the campaign trail and talk about motherhood. And some personal stories are resonating with many American voters.





ALLEN: Welcome back to our viewers here in the U.S. and all around the world. This is CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour.


ALLEN: Three of the four hostages rescued from terrorists in Burkina Faso are in France now, greeted by president Emmanuel Macron when they arrived Saturday.

HOWELL: We're hearing more details of their ordeal and the nervewracking rescue operation. Salma Abdelaziz has this report.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN PRODUCER: French forces launched an operation to rescue what they believed were two French men kidnapped in neighboring Benin. Once inside, they found that an American hostage and a South Korean woman had been taken as well.

They were able to rescue all four but two French soldiers lost their lives in this raid. One of the freed French men speaks of his mixed emotions at his new-found freedom.


LAURENT LASSIMOUILLAS, RESCUED HOSTAGE (through translator): First of all, our thoughts go to the families of the soldiers and the soldiers who lost their lives to free us from this hell. We wanted to present our condolences immediately to these families because our thoughts are ambivalent in relation to everything that is happening to us.


ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): The two French men were kidnapped on May 1st in neighboring Benin, where they were on safari. They describe a terrible incident, where their local guide was killed by the kidnappers. They were taken and then moved to Burkina Faso.

The French authorities, for their part, say they had to act when they did to rescue these men because their hostage takers were about to move them on to another militant group, this one based in Mali and with links to Al Qaeda.

French authorities say if they had been moved on, it would have been near impossible to rescue these French men. Now the French military is involved in the Sahel region.

There are over 4,000 French troops there fighting an extremist insurgency. The French foreign minister described this as a success in that battle against the extremist elements in the Sahel region. As for the two French soldiers who lost their lives, the country will be honoring them in a tribute on Tuesday -- Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, London.


HOWELL: Now to Albania's capital. Protests there turned violent on Saturday, some demonstrators threw gas bombs at government buildings and police hurled tear gas at the crowds.

ALLEN: This caps off three months of protests led by the opposition party. They want the prime minister to quit over allegations of election fraud and corruption and hold snap elections. The opposition party has already cut ties to parliament and say they won't take part in the local elections at the end of June.

In the U.S., the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls are hitting the campaign trail this Mother's Day weekend.

HOWELL: Senator Amy Klobuchar spent Saturday in Puerto Rico, where she visited a school that was affected by Hurricane Maria back in 2017. Her visit came during heated debates in Washington over relief funds for the island.

ALLEN: Also, Senator Elizabeth Warren was in the swing state of Iowa. She held a town hall with voters. Afterwards, she took selfies with supporters, including this special one. She says it was her 20,000th selfie as a candidate. Get used to it.

HOWELL: She's keeping count. The candidates you saw there are part of a record number of women running for office in 2020. Many of them are also working moms.

ALLEN: A happy Mother's Day to moms who are watching.

HOWELL: Happy Mother's Day.

ALLEN: Over the past few months, those presidential hopefuls have started to open up about motherhood and what it all means to them. Our Kyung Lah has that.



KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the heart of West Virginia, Senator Elizabeth Warren joined by her son.


WARREN: By the way, the guy over in the blue shirt, that's my son, Alex.

LAH: Her experience as a mother, part of her pitch to voters.

WARREN: Child care never stopped being an issue. For me, like for so many working parents today, it was this weight I had to carry around every single day. And it never let up.

LAH: The motherhood identity, once viewed as an albatross, in 2020 is getting a makeover with a record number of women running for president.

Senator Kamala Harris, married to Doug Emhoff, father of two children from a previous marriage, Ella and Cole.

HARRIS: And I, therefore, have two children that are Cole and Ella who are here. They named me their Momala and their mother. Yes and their mother, Kersten, is here, who is a dear friend of mine. And we have a real modern family.

LAH: The portrait of a modern candidate. In a personal essay in honor of Mother's Day, Harris writes about the heartache of missing her stepdaughter's graduation for the 2017 James Comey testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

HARRIS: I am not perfect, our kids are not perfect, my husband is not perfect and I don't think that the American people want perfect.

HARRIS: Senator Amy Klobuchar at a CNN town hall explained how getting kicked out of the hospital 24 hours after giving birth to her daughter, who was born with a condition that made her unable to swallow, made her fight back and become a lawmaker.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That was when I got hooked on public service, because I could see that you could make a difference.

HARRIS: To even joke about motherhood means backlash in 2020. Beto O'Rourke quipped about barely helping his wife with the kids, prompting this public apology.

BETO O'ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Not only will I not say that again, but I'll be much more thoughtful going forward.

AMY O'ROURKE, WIFE OF BETO O'ROURKE: Really looking toward to getting a chance to say hello.

LAH: Today, Amy O'Rourke is on the trail. She's doing the driving.


LAH: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand brings her children on the trail. Her mom status, a credential as a candidate.

GILLIBRAND: I'm going to fight for people's kids as hard as I would fight for my own. I'm going to fight for their families and their communities.

LAH: Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.


ALLEN: Fighting for mental health is a battle that isn't going away. Ahead here, what Britain's royals are doing to offer help and hope to people who need it most.





HOWELL: This story about a teacher in the state of California who was diagnosed with cancer and in order for her not to lose her job, she has to pay someone else to cover for her.

ALLEN: When that story broke, it just -- people couldn't believe the situation. It really sparked outrage. CNN's Dan Simon has more from San Francisco.


DAN SIMON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She's a popular second-grade teacher at San Francisco's Glen Park Elementary and she has breast cancer. Now on extended leave, she's having to pay money out of her own pocket for a substitute teacher. Parents are outraged.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's a beautiful, lovely, great teacher. She's one of the best teachers. It's terrible.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It makes me worry, like later on, if that were to happen to me, you know, I have to plan accordingly. That's not fair.

SIMON: It's all part of a little-known state policy that dates back decades. Here's how it works. California teachers get 10 sick days a year. If they need more, they can take an additional 100 days of extended sick leave. But there's a catch. The teachers have to pay for their own subs. The money gets docked from their paychecks, about $200 per day in the case of the San Francisco teacher who wishes to remain anonymous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's an incredible teacher. That's not fair. That's, like, crazy.

SIMON: It falls under a 1976 provision in which teachers don't pay into the state's disability insurance program, so they don't get those benefits.

In a statement, the San Francisco Teachers Union says it is "consulting with our members on the priorities for contract negotiations next year. As always, we look forward to making improvements in this and other parts of the contract." Educators say it is part of a larger issue about the lack of money in public education.

ERIC HEINS, PRESIDENT, CALIFORNIA TEACHERS ASSOCIATION: We need to fix funding in California. We're the fifth-largest economy in the world and we pay 42nd in rankings per state in what we spend on pupil for education. It is not right.

SIMON: It not clear how many times this happened, but it was a GoFundMe page that brought this issue to light. The teacher being fully reimbursed and beyond.

(on camera): It is going to take California lawmakers and the teachers unions to come up for a fix for what everyone seems to acknowledge is ridiculous. A cancer-ridden teacher with all the stresses and worries associated with an illness, having to pay for her own substitute -- Dan Simon, CNN, San Francisco.


HOWELL: Dan, thank you.

Britain's young royals are launching a new service to help people going through a mental health crisis. It is a brand-new project from their Heads Together initiative and it's meant to offer immediate aid to people who need that aid the most.


PRINCE WILLIAM, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: As part of the legacy of the Heads Together campaign, we wanted to do our bit to make it easier for people to start to get the help they need. Shout is a new text line that supports people who need advice in a tough moment.

It operates 24/7, connects people to trained volunteers, who provide help at a time when it is most needed, enabling them to move from crisis to calm and to find longer term support.

Shout is launched in partnership with Crisis Text Line, which has been tried and tested in the United States.


ALLEN: Princes William and Harry and their wives, Catherine and Meghan, have been vocal supporters of mental wellness. The princes have been praised for opening up about their struggles after the death of their mother, Princess Diana.

The Shout service is aimed particularly at younger people and students, who may be afraid to reach out for help.

Let's talk about the program with our guest, psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Bober joining us, he is a former mental health policy fellow for the U.S. Senate.

Dr. Bober, thank you for being with us.

DR. DANIEL BOBER, PSYCHIATRIST: Thanks, Natalie, great to be here. ALLEN: This crisis text line was founded in the U.S. in 2013. Talk to us about how it works, how are people reaching out.

BOBER: Well, you know, as you said, it was founded in August of 2013 as a nonprofit corporation. And it has received over 20 million calls thus far. And essentially people are texting in --


BOBER: -- and they are paired with a volunteer who is especially trained, not a medical professional but a volunteer who is trained, to then have a conversation and decide whether they need to route the call to an emergency service worker or higher up on the scale to get people the help they need.

ALLEN: When you say they're getting the call, they're just texting their issues, right, they're texting back and forth?

BOBER: Exactly. They're texting. Remember, texting doesn't convey tone the way voice does. So you have to be careful the way you interpret texting. But I think it is a good first start because there are so many people now that utilize social media and texting to communicate.

And very often people feel more comfortable texting than they do actually speaking to someone because they feel it is safer and more anonymous.

ALLEN: Right.

Are there certain mental issues that dominate these texts?

What are people seeking?

BOBER: Well, it is mostly depression and anxiety and, very often, there are people that call in that are suicidal. You look at the World Health Organization statistics, the number one cause of disability worldwide is depression and anxiety. And it costs the globe $1 trillion dollars. So it is a serious public health problem.

ALLEN: Right. And we know that suicide rates are on the rise.

This is another tool to start a conversation with someone, correct?

BOBER: Yes. And the suicide rates have doubled since 2014. So the utilization of this text messaging crisis service has coincided with the increase in suicides in the United States and globally as well.

ALLEN: And, of course, there is drug use as well, which is, we know that is on the rise. And crisis level as well with the people who are abusing drugs and od'ing.

There is so much more information online for people who have mental health issues.

Regardless, is there still a stigma attached to reaching out for help for mental issues?

BOBER: I think there is a tremendous stigma against mental illness and I think that remains as one of the greatest barriers to treatment. For example, if you tell someone they have depression, they don't look at you the same way as if you tell them you have diabetes or cancer.

People still view mental illness as a basic weakness and character defect. Until we can overcome that, it is going to be a barrier to treatment.

ALLEN: Do you see this as something that is going to get more and more popular, more used, as young people that need help, they text, that's what they do in their lives for the most part?

BOBER: That's exactly right especially for the Millennial generation. I think texting and social media is a double-edged sword. In one way, I think social media has created the problem by creating all these, you know, false facades of people enjoying their lives and Instagram filters to make them look better than they actually are, which I think has created an expectation that Millennials simply can't live up to.

On the other hand, social media and texting has made it more accessible for people to get help. So it is really a double edged sword.

ALLEN: Right, right. I see what you're saying. You touched on this, talk more about the fact that a text isn't like a phone call. Texting, you can't hear someone's voice, the person that is texting who needs help can't hear the person taking the calls concern or compassion for them.

BOBER: That's exactly right. And that's true. Not just in people who are suicidal but think about your friends or family members who you text. Texting is very often misinterpreted. Texting doesn't convey tone.

When you have someone's voice, you have the rhythm, the rate, the tone, the inflection in their voice, the real emotion that can convey meetings, these cues that you can't get from texting.

So it is very important to actually have a conversation with people if you can because you can get a lot more data and a lot more information from that than from a text message.

ALLEN: Right. It is much more complicated for someone to decipher what this person's needs are just via text.

BOBER: Exactly, exactly.

ALLEN: Well, we appreciate your information. It sound looks a wonderful program. It is obviously being used. Dr. Daniel Bober, thank you.

BOBER: My pleasure.

ALLEN: So in the U.S., the crisis text line number is 741741. In the U.K., you see there on your screen, the Shout number to text, 85258.

We'll be right back.






ALLEN: Exactly 150 years ago, Americans were electrified by an achievement that was the moon landing of its day. It was 1869, the moment the eastern and western halves of the U.S. were first joined by a transcontinental railroad.

HOWELL: It was a big deal, a historic event that is celebrated with a golden spike used to connect these final rails. Our Paul Vercammen marked the anniversary with a ride aboard the scenic Grand Canyon Railway.


PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So from sea to shining sea, train depots, train museums and trains themselves marking the 150th anniversary. I'm on the Grand Canyon Railway, you can see how beautiful it is. It connects Williams, Arizona, with Grand Canyon National Park.


VERCAMMEN: Many people are enjoying the scenery and time talking to other folks, including Pam here. This is her birthday month.

Describe what this has been like for you.

PAM, TRAIN PASSENGER: This is such a treat. It is beautiful. The scenery is beautiful. It is relaxing. I love it.

VERCAMMEN: And if you go further down the road here in the car -- thank you so much and happy birthday, Pam -- you see Rambling Rose.

What have you been doing today?

RAMBLING ROSE, ACCORDION PLAYER: This is what I've been doing all day.

VERCAMMEN: You have a song for us?


VERCAMMEN: Thank you so much, Rambling Rose from Tennessee, found herself on a train here in Arizona. And this is all part of the history. If you think about this event -- [04:55:00]

VERCAMMEN: -- it was the railroad that opened up the western United States. The country had not been connected before this point. We talk about that Promontory Point, Utah, that golden spike went in.

For the passengers on the Grand Central Railway, the trip stopped right here, the Grand Canyon, El Tovar Overlook, a magnificent vista. Look below. There's where the Colorado River carved out its path, century after century after century.

For the riders on the train, it was all a commemoration of that 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. And they've got a little memento here, look at this. It is their own version of the golden spike. Reporting from the Grand Canyon, I'm Paul Vercammen, now back to you.


HOWELL: Paul Vercammen loves the West Coast.

ALLEN: How fun was that story?

I love it.

HOWELL: So Ireland is using the world's most comfortable clothing to raise money and awareness for children's charities. On Friday, it was National Pajamas Day here and for 16 years, the Early Child Island Organization had used that date to hold a fundraiser.

ALLEN: Children and staff in preschools are sponsored to wear pajamas to class.

How fun is that?

The charities they support focus on children 6 years old and younger. The organization says Pajama Day has raised more than $3 million since it began.

HOWELL: Looks comfortable.

ALLEN: I think we should have a pajama day here at CNN, George.

HOWELL: That's not a bad idea.

ALLEN: Not a bad idea.

HOWELL: Might look a little strange.

ALLEN: Because, yes, we're working in the middle of the night.


ALLEN: Our day's stories are just ahead.

HOWELL: Happy Mother's Day. See you in just a few minutes. [04:00:00]