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Countering Economic Concerns; Planned Parenthood to Reject Funding; Elton John's Warning to British Media; Steph Curry Helps Howard U. Start Golf Team. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired August 20, 2019 - 05:00   ET



[05:00:06] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: With concerns of a recession mounting, could a new tax cut be on the agenda? What the White House is saying this morning.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Planned Parenthood will forego hundreds of millions of dollars instead of complying with new restrictions. More than a million women could pay the consequences.


BRIGGS: After 19 weeks, what song knocked Little Nas off his horse and what got Alison Kosik dancing in her chair at 5:00 a.m. on a Tuesday.

KOSIK: That song does it.

BRIGGS: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START, I'm Dave Briggs. I'm trying, bad back at all.

KOSIK: I know, you're doing great. He just came back from back surgery days ago. You're doing great.

BRIGGS: Good morning, everybody.

KOSIK: I'm Alison Kosik. Good morning. I'm sitting in for Christine Romans. It's Tuesday, August 20th, it's 5:00 a.m. in the East.

And President Trump and his economic officials are doing everything they can to downplay any fears of a recession, including knocking down reports the administration is considering cutting payroll taxes as a way to juice the economy. For millions of working Americans, 6.2 percent of their salary goes towards payroll taxes. They're usually used to finance programs like Social Security and Medicare.

A White House official said this: More tax cuts for the American people are certainly on the table, but cutting payroll taxes is not something under consideration at this time.

However, Trump has undercut his staffers before when they've said he was not considering something. The president continued to attack the Federal Reserve saying the central bank should cut interest rates by at least 100 basis points to boost the economy. Basis points are a unit of measure for interest rates and cutting the rate as much as Trump is suggesting, it amounts to a full percentage point here and would actually give the fed less wiggle room to maneuver if a recession did begin.

Trump's attempt to politicize the Fed is nothing new, but he has never called for a rate cut as drastic and as specific as this one. Even Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross stepped on the Fed's supposed independence.


WILBUR ROSS, SECRETARY OF COMMERCE: We're very upset about the portion of the strength of the dollar that's due to monetary policy by the Fed. We think that our interest -- it's ridiculous. Our interest rates are high relative to many other countries.


KOSIK: Keep in mind here, cutting interest rates is actually a tactic the Fed normally uses to stimulate the economy in a recession. Now, Larry Kudlow is expected to speak with business and state leaders to discuss the economy this week. Kudlow, by the way, was wrong about predicting a recession during the George W. Bush administration.

BRIGGS: Planned Parenthood says it will reject $286 million in federal funding rather than comply with the so-called gag order on abortion services. The move could affect a million and a half low income women. A new Trump administration rule says clinics accepting Title X funds can talk to patients about abortion but cannot refer women to an abortion provider or suggest where to get an abortion.

Planned Parenthood says being forced out of Title X won't stop them from providing abortions or other services and they will fight the gag order in court. This year has seen several attempts to limit reproductive rights in America with several states passing extreme anti-abortion laws.

KOSIK: A Chicago man is accused of threatening to kill people at a women's reproductive health clinic. Prosecutors say 19-year-old Farhan Sheikh posted a threat on social media saying in part: I am done with my state allowing innocent kids to be slaughtered. He wrote that he planned to go to the abortion clinic and slaughter and murder any doctor, patient or visitor.

Sheikh faces up to five years in prison if he's convicted. His public defender declined to comment on the case.

BRIGGS: One thing everyone agrees on, there are no winners following an emotional and controversial decision in the death of Eric Garner five years ago. Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who used a banned chokehold on Garner, has been fired. Both the police union and supporters of the Garner family are not happy.

More now from CNN's Brynn Gingras.


BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Alison, this was all by accounts emotional for everyone involved in this situation that happened five years ago finally coming to a head and a decision being made.

Police Commissioner James O'Neil firing Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who was scene on video giving a chokehold to Eric Garner back in 2014, essentially ended his life. It was emotional for the police commissioner as essentially said that he's been a cop for 34 years and now, he's in this position of administrative role where he had to make a final decision, knowing that the rank-and-file were not going to be happy with it.

[05:05:11] JAMES O'NEILL, NYC POLICE COMMISSIONER: In carrying out the court's verdict in this case, I take no pleasure. There are absolutely no victors here today. Not the Garner family, not the community at large and certainly not the courageous men and women of the police department.

GINGRAS: Of course, his decision is in agreement with a trial judge who decided that Pantaleo needed to be dismissed from his duties at the NYPD.

The incident surrounding Eric Garner sparked and really even put a spotlight on the Black Lives Matter movement as it sparked protests around the city for several days after that day back in 2014, in July. As far as the Garner family, well, they are still hurting.

GWEN CARR, MOTHER OF ERIC GARNER: You can appeal all you want, but I'm still out here, I'm out here for the long run. You come out here against me, I'm out here.

GINGRAS: The PBA says that Pantaleo, he is upset that he lost his job. They plan to take whatever recourse as necessary as well. So, an emotional time for the NYPD and it's one that many hope can be the final word about this incident, but certainly something that the city can heal from its past.

Alison and Dave, back to you.


BRIGGS: Indeed. Brynn, thank you.

California passing what may be the strictest standard of use of deadly police force. Governor Gavin Newsom signing a new law known as Stephon Clark's Law after an unarmed black man was killed by police last year. California police will no longer be allowed to shoot at fleeing suspects unless they pose an immediate danger. The new law also stipulates law enforcement can only use deadly force when necessary as opposed to when it is reasonable.

Governor Newsom tells CNN the new law is important because, quote: We can't accept the status quo. Stephon Clark's law will go into effect January 1st, 2020. KOSIK: Social media giants Twitter and Facebook taking action against

China for using hundreds of fake accounts to create discord among protesters in Hong Kong. Twitter suspending nearly 1,000 Chinese accounts and banning advertising from state-owned media companies. Facebook said it's removing five accounts, seven pages and three groups because of deceptive tactics.

The takedowns reflect the extent to which disinformation has become a global scourge, far surpassing the efforts by Russia to stoke social unrest in the U.S. during the 2016 election.

BRIGGS: Pop legend Sir Elton John slamming the notoriously intrusive British media over their coverage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. In a flurry of tweets he said he was deeply distressed by distorted and malicious stories after reports of the family taking a private plane to France made the rounds online. The report suggesting the royal couple's mission to protect the environment is a sham.

In his flurry of tweets, John defended the couple's use of the private jet saying he and his husband paid for it and they also made sure the flight was carbon neutral.


KOSIK: Elton John, a long-time friend of Princess Diana, said he felt it was his job to protect the royal couple from the media. In 1997, Diana, Prince Harry's mother, was killed in Paris during a high speed car crash. At the time, seven photographers were charged with manslaughter, all of the charges were eventually dropped. John rewrote and performed this version of "Candle in the Wind" at Diana's funeral.

BRIGGS: All right. Ahead, a West Virginia mom suspected abuse at school, secret recordings proved her right and you won't believe where she hid the camera.


[05:13:41] BRIGGS: Secret recordings have led to charges against a former West Virginia teacher and two aides accused of abusing kids according a 6-year-old girl with autism. When a mother suspected her daughter was being abused at school, she hid a recording device in the girl's hair.

The teacher and aides at the Martinsburg School are accused of threatening children, telling them they would hit them and knock their teeth off and threatened to withhold food. No comments from the teacher, aides, principal or school district.

KOSIK: Another group of high school students caught on video giving the Nazi salute. The eight-second video obtained by the "Daily Beast" appears to show students from Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, California, singing a Nazi marching song. The video dates back to November of 2018 and was shot at an off-campus student banquet.

School administrators said they first learned of the incident four months later and claimed to have taken immediate action with all the students and families who are involved. But they wouldn't specify what that actually was. Similar incidents have also taken place the last four years in Newport Beach, California, and in Wisconsin.

BRIGGS: The man charged in the El Paso shooting is on suicide watch.

[05:15:01] Patrick Crusius is charged with killing 22 people at a Walmart on August 3rd. Police say he was put under close guard on Monday under the recommendation on medical staff. He has been in custody without bond and been separated from other inmates since the shooting. Federal prosecutors are also considering possible hate crime and domestic terrorism charges against him.

KOSIK: Nike is sweetening its offering to sponsor a female athlete after catching a lot of heat from a lot of its high-profile stars. The company announcing plans to offer maternity benefits for 18 months. That's six months longer than under its previous policy.

The changes follow revelations from earlier this year from Olympic runner Alicia Montano who told "The New York Times" Nike threatened to pause her contract and stop paying her if she wanted to have a baby. At the time, she criticized Nike for penalizing its own athletes for having children while marketing itself as a supporter of women in sports.

BRIGGS: Song of the summer just got knocked off its perch.


BRIGGS: Seventeen-year-old Billie Eilish has knocked "Old Town Road" from the number one spot atop the top 100. "Bad Guy" is the first number one hit for Eilish. She only rose to fame in the past few months. A few weeks ago bad guy was rereleased with a verse by Justin Bieber giving the song a fresh boost.


BRIGGS: You know you're chair dancing.

Bad guy knocked Lil Nas X off his horse there, the song featuring Billy Ray Cyrus after it's 19-week run at the top. Eilish makes history as the first artist born in the 2000s to have a number one song on the hot 100 and you are never getting that song out of your head today.

KOSIK: Both of them have infectious beats. Another fun fact for you, Lil Nas' song was kicked off the country charts because it wasn't country enough.

BRIGGS: Country enough for me, man.

KOSIK: All right. Talk about extreme couponing, Disneyland just honored a woman's 30-year-old free admission ticket. Tammy Richardson (ph) is from the Edmonton suburb of Sherwood Park, Alberta. She was planning a girls' trip to Disneyland with her mother and some daughters when she found the coupon from her first visit to the park in 1985. That's when she was 14.

Disneyland was celebrating its 30th birthday by giving out prizes to every 30th guest. Richardson held on to the pass she won for a free return visit for 30 years. Finally, she used it this month. Back in 1985, admission tickets, they cost $16.50. Today, they're at least $90.

BRIGGS: OK. I just have one question here. I love coupons. When I get that 40 percent off coupon at the sports store, I am determined to use it next time I'm there, but I can't keep track of them.

KOSIK: Where did she put hers?

BRIGGS: How do you save a coupon for 30 years? I can't save mine for two weeks.

KOSIK: Maybe that first trip was so memorable she kept it in a certain box.

BRIGGS: Must have had a safe or something.

All right. Ahead, Steph Curry making a special donation to Howard University.

Andy Scholes has this great story, next, in "The Bleacher Report".


[05:23:23] BRIGGS: Howard University is bringing back golf, thanks to an assist from an NBA superstar by the name of Steph Curry.

Andy Scholes with more in the "Bleacher Report."

Also a heck of a golfer that Steph Curry. Good morning, man.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRSPONDENT: Yes, we all know Steph Curry, he can swing it as well as play MVP basketball in the NBA.

You know, Howard University eliminated its golf program back in the '70s but thanks to a chance meeting between one of its students and Steph Curry, the program is coming back. Curry, an avid golfer, he didn't even go to Howard but he was at the historically black university back in January to premiere his documentary on the Charleston church shooting.

It was at that screening that Otis Ferguson and Curry got to talk about golf. And Ferguson actually turned down an offer to play golf to attend Howard. And he made such an impression on Curry that the two-time MVP decided it's time to bring back golf to Howard University.

Curry announcing yesterday he's going to be funding a men's and women's team at Howard for the next six years, the hope after that is for the program to be self-sustaining. They will start play there at Howard in the 2021 season. All right. The Houston Astros debuting their protective netting last

night. The team joining the White Sox and Nationals in extending the netting past the dugouts towards the foul poles. Cries for teams to do more to protect fans occurred after a girl was injured by a foul ball in Astros game back in May.

This new netting will prevent injuries like that. And fans don't seem to think it's affecting their view.


DENNIS CALHOUN, ASTROS FAN: I will see the net if I'm really looking on it and focusing on it.

[05:25:02] Otherwise, you don't even notice it.

ROBIN THACKER, ASTROS FAN: Yes, I'm OK with it because I can see. As long as I can see I'm good.


SCHOLES: Yes, the Braves adding their name to the list of teams with more netting to come, announcing they will be making additions to Sun Trust Park in September.

All right. Jimmy Garoppolo's return to action didn't go very last night. The Niners taking on the Broncos in Monday night football. Garoppolo completed one of his six passes for zero yards. He also threw an interception and finished with a zero quarterback rating.

He didn't play much, but it was definitely a rough night for Garoppolo. He hadn't played in a game since tearing his ACL in week three last season. He said afterward it's just the pre-season so you just take it in stride.

All right. Finally, we've seen Odell Beckham Jr. make some ridiculous catches in the past. Check this one out. Between the legs he does a scissor kick one-handed, Dave. Pretty impressive. Not sure how you bring that out in a game because why would you be kicking your foot in the air like that?

But leave it to Odell Beckham Jr. He always finds a new creative way to catch the football.

BRIGGS: Yes, I would have impressed if he got the foot down. Look at it again, the right food comes down firmly on the line. No catch. No catch.

SCHOLES: I mean, they were practicing it looked like sideways in the end zone. Maybe I give him a pass on that. These gloves these days are very forgiving. I mean, those things are basically like stick 'em.

BRIGGS: Just get it at the direction of the ball and it's there.

Andy Scholes, thank you, my friend. SCHOLE: All right.

KOSIK: I like how we're looping it. It's like a move.

BRIGGS: Just to make sure I got the call right.

KOSIK: And you did.

BRIGGS: Instant replay.

What's coming up?

KOSIK: OK. Could a new tax cut be on the agenda to counter fears of a recession? White House officials doing all they can to ease concerns. That plus some breaking news from the campaign trail. That's all next.