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Biden's Lead Dwindles in Wake of Panned Performance; Iran Nuclear Deal Crumbling; Brother of American Held By Russia Calls for His Release; Nike Cancels Fourth of July Sneaker. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired July 2, 2019 - 04:30   ET


AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: They're definitely the favorites up against an England side hoping to get there for the first time.

[04:30:03] It's been Meghan Rapinoe who's been starring in the last two games, but you wonder if this is going to be Alex Morgan's moment. We saw her having a wander around on the pitch, barefoot actually on her own Sunday. She was really taking it all in because she's used to winning here in Lyon, having helped the club side to a treble of trophies when she played here. She's got the added incentive that today is her birthday and of course she is going head to head with Rapinoe for the tournament's top scorer awards, although she insists it doesn't matter who gets the gold as long as it's the USA who gets it.


ALEX MORGAN, USA FORWARD: My goal is to help this team win a World Cup, so as long as the goals continue to come, then I'm happy.


DAVIES: It has been really hot here, seriously hot for the last couple of days. We've been in the midst of a heat wave, temperatures close to 40 degrees Celsius. But it is expected to be a little cooler this evening.

And speaking of hot, the U.S. women's jerseys have been flying off the shelves. Nike announced the team's home shirts have outsold any other men's or women's this season. You can only think that that will help the team's argument when it comes to that ongoing equal pay dispute with the U.S. Soccer Federation and, of course, a win this evening, another World Cup final won't cause any harm either, Michelle.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN ANCHOR: Wow, topping 100 degrees there. It's hard to stay cool, I'm sure, especially when with this match coming up. It's like half excitement and half nerve-wracking. So good luck to you out there, Amanda.


Now some very cool images, almost 200 years in the making. NASA releasing new Hubble space telescope pictures of a cosmic fireworks display just in time for the Fourth of July. This is the event appropriately called the great eruption. It happened to the double star system Eta Carinae in 1838, plus the 7,500 years it took for the light to reach Earth when a bigger star consumed its smaller neighbor. For the time, it was the second brightest star in the sky after Sirius.


BRIGGS: Very cool.

KOSINSKI: What a picture.

One debate goes a long way. Joe Biden loses almost 1/3 of his support after a rough performance. Who's on the rise? A new CNN poll next.


[04:36:43] KOSINSKI: A major shift in the 2020 Democratic race. Big movement after the first debate. Who's up, who's down? A new CNN poll moments away.

BRIGGS: The president says Iran is playing with fire, exceeding limits established in the now crumbling nuclear deal. Is Tehran beyond the point of no return?

Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. I'm Dave Briggs.

KOSINSKI: And I'm Michelle Kosinski. It is 36 minutes past the hour here in New York.

It is early and a long race, but we now have proof that one debate can make a difference. A new CNN poll showing initial voter reaction to the first Democratic debate has big moves up and down, top tier there. Now plainly clustered into four leaders -- Biden, Harris, Warren and Sanders -- the numbers include a substantial drop for Biden, though, and big gains for Harris and warren over the last four months.

One noteworthy result for Biden though. Despite coming under scrutiny on civil rights issues, support for the vice president is strong among black voters. The poll also counts with some interesting opinions on health care. More on that in a moment.

First, we begin with Phil Mattingly in Washington.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Michelle, and Dave, you saw the first debates. Now, we're seeing the first poll in the wake of those debates and it shows a dramatically tightening race. Joe Biden, the lone frontrunner, has seen his lead dwindle, to now just five points, losing ten points from a CNN poll conducted in May, now just leading the field at 22 percent.

Two other Democratic senators skyrocketing to some degree. Kamala Harris on the heels of that major debate seeing her numbers shoot up nine points from the May survey, putting her in second place. Elizabeth Warren seeing a bump of her own, eight points on her side in the wake of that debate.

Bernie Sanders also seeing not unlike Joe Biden, a drop of his own, falling four points and now coming fourth, at least according to the polls. Pete Buttigieg rolling out there, really closing out the top five at a much lower level of 4 percent.

What this all underscores, one, is that the race is fluid, the race is early and Joe Biden who for a long time had been a double digit frontrunner simply isn't at least at this point. Now, it is a snapshot of time. This does not mean the be all or end all in this Democratic primary, which still has months to go, but it does raise a lot of questions in the wake of Joe Biden's performance in that debate, which is widely panned, had some advisers concerned.

Now, you're seeing numbers to back up that there is a rise with some of his competitors. One of the big questions now is not just the polling, but also the finances. On June 30th, that was the last day for the finance deadline. We should see numbers rolling out soon. We've already seeing the first, that coming from Mayor Pete Buttigieg, recording almost $25 million raised in the second quarter. That's more than triple what he raised in the first quarter, 290,000 individual donors.

What that means for Pete Buttigieg who when you put it in context, nobody even knew who he was. Even though the poll numbers might not be there right now, financially, he is there. And he's certainly now the financial wherewithal, with more than $22 million cash on hand, to extend himself throughout the course of this primary.

Will the numbers follow that? That remains an open question.

As this new CNN poll shows, obviously, things are very fluid and clearly changing depending on the day -- guys.


BRIGGS: Phil Mattingly there, thank you, sir.

Whatever remains of the Iran nuclear deal appears to be crumbling. On Monday, the Iranians declared they have exceeded the stockpile of low enriched uranium allowed because Europe has not been able to mitigate the impact of U.S. sanctions.

[04:40:10] President Trump was asked if he has a message for the Iranian regime.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They know what they're doing. They know what they're playing with and I think they're playing with fire. So, no message to Iran whatsoever.


BRIGGS: U.K. Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt insists if Iran breaks the nuclear deal, Britain is, quote, out of it as well. But Iran claims it has not violated anything.

Nick Paton Walsh can clear some of these up for us this morning live from London.

Good morning, Nick.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dave, the important thing to remember is the deal signed in 2015 was about stopping Iran getting a nuclear weapon, all the other things that Iran does were not part of that deal but that was the reason the Trump administration disliked it so much. They wanted to change Iran's behavior.

So, the technicalities of the reason why it's beginning to crumble here. The first violation, of course, was caused by the U.S. who reimposed the sanctions because they didn't like the deal at all. For 60 weeks, Iran said it held out. Yesterday, the IAEA, the nuclear inspectors said that it exceeded the limits on very likely enriched part of uranium it's allowed to have, 3.67 percent enrichment. It got over 300 kilograms or 660 pounds.

Entirely symbolic move, one that gives it no real lead or assistance in trying to create a nuclear weapon, if they ever want to do that. The nuclear program is entirely peaceful. It is the first time Iran has violated that nuclear deal itself.

Why is it doing now? Well, it basically wants the Europeans to feel pressure and to try and find some way of Iran benefiting from some kind of sanctions were lift. They want to let them get money out of this.

It isn't going to happen. What we have is a series of escalating bits of rhetoric from the Iranians versus the Americans with the Iranians caught in between. We have the recent clashes around oil tankers we saw on the gulf, that were blamed on Iran, risking potentially some dangerous times still, Dave.

BRIGGS: Sure. Nick Paton Walsh, 9:42 in London. And it appears the context with the economy shrinking, shrinking and the inflation dramatically increasing. So they're not in a good position.

KOSINSKI: Yes, but they think they can outlast the Trump administration.

BRIGGS: Yes, remains to be seen.

KOSINSKI: Stay tuned.

BRIGGS: As Trump would say.

KOSINSKI: He's been detained for six months by Russia. What's being done to bring Paul Whelan home? His brother says not enough.

We're live in Moscow.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [04:4:57] KOSINSKI: The brother of an American detained by Russia for six months is calling for his immediate release, saying Russian leaders can improve U.S./Russian relations by sending Paul Whelan home.

CNN's Matthew Chance is live in Moscow.

Matthew, we've been hearing about his poor conditions, he's not allowed to communicate with people. He's not allowed to exchange information, all of these restrictions on Whelan. Is there any sign that any of that is loosening up at this point?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No. In fact, last we saw of Paul Whelan was when he made an appearance in a pre- trial hearing in Moscow courtroom in which he himself managed to get some words to reporters who had gathered around him, and he spoke about how he believed he was being mistreated, being denied to access to any letters, any books that had been sent to him, being denied medical treatment, dental treatment, things like that. He said there were threats being made against him inside the Russian prison. It must be very tough to be in prison in Russia during this particularly strained time of relations between Washington and Moscow.

That's been added now to by both David Whelan, who's Paul Whelan's brother, saying that, you know, he should be released as soon as possible as a way to improve relationships between the two countries. The U.S. embassy in Moscow has said, look, we're really concerned about his worsening medical situation even though he's been given first aid. U.S. diplomats in Moscow saying he has other medical problems which they won't go into but they say need further in depth treatment. Their doctor has not been allowed to see Paul Whelan.

An interesting twist on this is that the Russian foreign ministry yesterday floated the idea that a Russian prisoner being held in the United States on charges of conspiracy to smuggle drugs into the U.S., may be a possible candidate to be swapped for Paul Whelan in a possible prisoner exchange, Michelle.

KOSINSKI: I know he's accused of being a spy, but those advocating for him say show us what evidence, if there is anything.

Thanks, Matthew.

BRIGGS: All right. Suspected airplane stowaway apparently dropped to his death from an airplane as it flew over London. The man's body was discovered of a garden of a home in London on Sunday. They believe he fell from the landing gear compartment of a Kenya airways flight on its approach to Heathrow Airport.

A bag, water and food were discovered in the compartment after the plane touched down. Police are working to identify the man. The death is not being treated as suspicious but they are investigating.

KOSINSKI: A freak summer hail storm burying parts of Guadalajara, Mexico, in a thick blanket of ice. The temperature there has been in the '90s in recent days. More than 450 homes were affected by the hail, with ices pushing through doors and windows. Crazy. Guadalajara's mayor says ten people had to be treated for symptoms of hypothermia.

Mexican army and local authorities had to use heavy machinery to dig out the city which is expecting significant melting today.

[04:50:01] Thunderstorms are likely and temperatures are expected to climb back over 80 degrees.

BRIGGS: Prescription drug prices are rising despite promises from President Trump and lawmakers to rein them in. New data from health consult RX Saving Solutions shows that more than 3,400 drugs have increased their costs in the first six months of 2019. Now, the average price hike for those drugs is 10.5 percent.

Last year, Trump slammed drug companies at one point attacking Pfizer for taking advantage of the poor. Consumers are becoming more concerned about the rising cost of medications. The survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation found four in five Americans believe the cost of prescription drugs is unreasonable. Three in ten say they haven't taken their medicine as prescribed because of costs.

Back in May, the Trump administration said drug makers will have to include the price of medications in their TV ads.

Nike is canceling a sneaker that features an early version of the American flag. We'll tell you who raised a warning flag next here in CNN Business.


[04:55:35] KOSINSKI: Initial testing for possible sarin exposure to a Facebook mail facility are proving inconclusive. Fire officials in Menlo Park California said overnight that further testing is being done on a mailbag that set off a screening machine. Officials said two employees were potentially exposed to the nerve agent. They're still at the facility and are being monitored but they're not showing any signs of exposure at this point. Officials said more conclusive tests on the suspicious mail is due back early this morning.

BRIGGS: Virginia is now the first state to criminalize the distribution or manufacture of deepfake revenge porn. Virginia already had a revenue porn law on its books, but it did cover fabricated images or videos, something that this is growing more common thanks to software advances. Right now, there is a bill in the house that would make it a federal crime to distribute nude or sexual deepfake images with the attempt to humiliate or otherwise harass them.

KOSINSKI: That is fascinating.

Eleven years after being prosecuted for trying to drown her son, police say a central California woman actually went through with it. On Saturday, officers in Tulare County were called to an irrigation ditch where they found 12-year-old Jackson and his 7-year-old brother Jacob Ray. Jackson died at the hospital. Jacob Ray was admitted in critical condition.

The mother Sherri was arrested at the scene. She's expected in court later today. Back in 2008, Telnas was charged with attempted murder in Montana for trying to drowned then 10-month-old Jackson. Local media report she told family members voices told her to do it. She regained custody of her son after receiving psychiatric treatment.

BRIGGS: Texas prosecutors got their conviction. Now they just need the convict. The U.S. Marshall service putting out a new flyer in an attempt to catch a killer, 25-year-old Rene Carrillo cut off his ankle monitor. He'd been on a run last week. The jury convicted him of murder in absentia, and he was sentenced to 99 years in prison. Carrillo shot and killed a man in 2017 outside a Dallas strip club after an argument. Authorities are asking the public to help find him.

Let's get a check on CNN Business this morning.

Taking a look at stocks around the world. European markets opened mixed as trading begins there. On Wall Street, stocks are searching for direction after a solid start to July.

Stocks ended higher Monday, rising on trade optimism between the U.S. and China. The Dow closed up 117 points. The S&P 500 hit a fresh all-time closing high of 2,964 points surpassing its previous record from June 20. The Nasdaq finished 1.1 percent higher.

Meanwhile, pain at the pump just in time for the summer road trips. Gas taxes are on the rise because more Americans are driving fuel efficient cars. Thirteen states raised gas taxes Monday.

Illinois saw the biggest increase of 19 cents a gallon. That's a 52 percent increase. The second biggest is Ohio where taxes jumped up 10.5 cents a gallon.

States use gas taxes to pay for road repairs and public transit. Taxes raised to make up for lost revenue. The increases come at the peek of the summer driving season.

Nike is canceling a sneaker that featured an old version of the American flag. Nike asked stores to return the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July sneaker after the company received a complaint from Colin Kaepernick. "The Wall Street Journal" reported Kaepernick said he and others which found the shoe which featured the Betsy Ross flag offensive because of its connection to an era of slavery.

It's unclear if any of the shoes were sold. This is the second instance of Nike removing a product in recent days. It stopped selling some products in China after a fashion designer's support for protests in Hong Kong sparked a social media backlash.

Thanks to all of our international viewers for joining us. Have a great day.

For the rest of our U.S. viewers, EARLY START continues right now.


KOSINSKI: A major shift in the 2020 Democratic race. Big movement after the first debate. Who's up and who's down? A new CNN poll moments away.

BRIGGS: Uber Eats with guns. CNN has learned exclusively House Democrats are investigating how the secretary of state and his family are using their security detail.

KOSINSKI: And tragedy hits Major League Baseball. Twenty-seven-year- old Tyler Skaggs, pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels dies suddenly in Texas.

Good morning and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Michelle Kosinski.

BRIGGS: Good morning. Good morning to all of you. I'm Dave Briggs. Tuesday, July 2nd, it is 5:00 a.m. in the East.

The momentum has shifted. It is early in a very long race, but we have proof now that one debate indeed can make a difference.