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Felicity Huffman Sentenced To 14 Days In Prison; 9-Year-Old Boy Denied Hot Lunch At School, Outrage Causes Change; Record Summer Heat Wave Hits Huge Parts Of Alaska; Police On Scene Of Deck Collapse At New Jersey Home. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired September 14, 2019 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: You are live in the CNN Newsroom. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

Breaking news tonight. A stunning attack on the world's energy supply. And secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, is pointing the finger squarely at Iran. The attack happened in Saudi Arabia, where huge flames lit up the night sky. Yemen's Houthi rebels claiming they launched armed drones hitting crucial oil facilities setting them on fire.

"The Wall Street Journal" reports tonight that Saudi and U.S. officials are looking into the possibility it could have actually been cruise missiles launched from Southern Iraq. But, if so, that would contradict this tweet sent out by secretary of state, Mike Pompeo. Quote, "Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy.

Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen."

Confused yet? Let's get straight to CNN White House Reporter Jeremy Diamond at the White House. Jeremy, the president has now spoken to the Saudi crown prince about this attack. What can you tell us?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right, Ana. The president did speak, earlier today, with Saudi Arabia's DeFacto leader, the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. But it was, perhaps, the secretary of state's tweet about this attack that made a lot more news today. The secretary of state there directly blaming Iran, holding it responsible, ultimately, for this attack. Whether it was carried out by Iranian proxies or by Iran, itself, still very much remains a question mark.

But the secretary of state calling on other nations to condemn Iran's attacks. He writes in a follow-up tweet, we call on all nations to publicly and unequivocally condemn Iran's attacks. The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression.

Now, of course, there was -- as all of this is happening, there was also this possibility of a potential diplomatic engagement between the U.S. president and the Iranian president, Hasan Rouhani, at the upcoming United Nations general assembly later this month. Now, that appears to be very much put on ice, based on the secretary of state's tweets there.

And, instead, the United States is turning its attention to the possibility of global oil markets being royaled by this attack on Saudi's oil facilities. About half of that country's oil production capabilities knocked out by this attack. And so, the White House and Department of Energy both making clear, in a statement, that the United States will act, if necessary, to cool, to assuage the concerns that may happen in these global oil markets. The Department of Energy, saying in a statement tonight, that it stands ready to deploy resources from the United States strategic petroleum reserves -- Ana.

CABRERA: Jeremy Diamond at the White House for us. Thank you.

Earlier I spoke to CNN intelligence and security Analyst and former CIA operative Bob Baer and I asked him how the U.S. could, so quickly, determine Iran was responsible for the attack?

(BEGIN VIDEOCLIP)

BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: It's very unlikely that Yemen has the technology to launch 10 drones, evade radar and the rest of it. And, you know, we're pretty well settled on the idea that the Houthis, who've claimed responsibility for this, are backed by Iran. Well, Ana, which tells me we are inching toward a conflict with Iran.

There's simply no way this administration or Europe can let this go. Because, you know, Abqaiq is a stabilization facility that provides up to 8 million barrels a day. And if you take that thing out and continue these attacks, we're talking about the energy supplies for most of the world.

CABRERA: What action do you anticipate the U.S. will take against Iran?

BAER: Well, we could retaliate against Iran. And that problem with that is there could be, very quickly, an escalation which would put the entire Gulf in jeopardy. Which, you know, I'm sorry for running these figures by you, but 55 percent of the world's oil reserves sit around the Persian Gulf.

CABRERA: Again, sources tell CNN the attack is likely to jolt oil markets and that Saudi Arabia's ability to resume production will determine how long that hit lasts.

Now to the controversy over Beto O'Rourke's promise to enforce a mandatory buyback of assault-style weapons. It has now triggered a provocative response from Republicans in his home state. The Texas GOP is now offering this t-shirt in exchange for $30 donations. It reads, Beto, come and take it.

[20:05:00] Here's O'Rourke's comment that started all of this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BETO O'ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am, if it's a weapon that was designed to kill people on a battle field, if the high- impact, high-velocity round, when it hits your body, shreds everything inside of your body because it was designed to do that, so that you would bleed to death on a battlefield, hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We're not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: O'Rourke, himself, is also fundraising off that rallying cry. He's selling t-shirts with his, quote, "Hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15."

I want to bring in " Washington Post" Congressional reporter Rachael Bade and White House correspondent for Reuters, Jeff Mason. And, Jeff, both sides trying to fundraise and galvanize their base off of this. Who stands to gain the most from it, Republicans or Democrats?

JEFF MASON, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, REUTERS: Well, it's hard to say who would gain the most. I think they both have a -- have the ability to gain. Certainly, the Republicans are, no doubt, going to use that clip on and on, probably past this election, as a way of suggesting that all Democrats want to come and take away guns from people who are concerned that their Second Amendment rights could be violated.

On the other hand, it certainly shows that the Democratic Party may be not completely in line with Beto O'Rourke is suggesting, but certainly interested in doing more on guns. And that is a shift as well.

CABRERA: Rachael, some Democrats have expressed frustration over what O'Rourke said. They think it confirms Republican accusations that Democrats want to take away people's guns. But I don't remember the exact same reaction when Joe Biden said this last month.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So, to gun owners out there who say, well a Biden administration means, they're going to come for my guns. Bingo. You're right if you have an assault weapon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: So, Rachael, how is that different from what O'Rourke said?

RACHAEL BADE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, look, I mean, there's really not, right, a huge difference there. But I can tell you, there is concern about these sort of calls about confiscating weapons privately amongst a lot of Democrats. I mean, for Beto, on Thursday night, that was a break-out moment. A lot of people thought he was going to be doing better in this 2020 race, and he really hasn't gained the traction that folks thought he would. But you saw, in that moment, the passion, the fire, the reason he gave Ted Cruz a serious race in Texas. And it was a good moment for him.

But, yes, I'm -- I cover Capitol Hill. And I will tell you, on the Hill, with the Democrats, they are focused completely on background checks. And the reason they do that is because 90 percent of Americans, including Republicans, support the idea of universal background checks. And that's the one area where gun control advocates actually think they can move the ball. They think that Republicans are starting to feel the pressure.

Trump said he wanted to do them, and then backed away because of, obviously, the NRA. But, look, this is -- it's a really controversial issue. When you look at the polling about taking people's even assault weapons, confiscating guns, if that becomes the headline for Democrats, it's going to be really hard for them to get anything passed. And it's going to send Republicans right back to their corner, which, you know, you could argue they're still in their corner. But they really are feeling pressure on background checks. The minute that the conversation turns to confiscation, they totally run away.

CABRERA: Let's move on. And, speaking of Biden, Jeff, he's now promised to release his medical records ahead of the primaries. Will that settle all the debate around his age?

MASON: Well, I don't know. I think that it will at least put to rest any concerns about his physical capabilities and his mental abilities to take on the role of president of the United States. Vice president Biden is unlikely to stop making gaffes. So, if people are thinking that having those medical records are somewhat -- are somehow going to change that or offset the concern over that, I -- you know, that's just, kind of, who Joe Biden is.

But it -- there have been questions raised, more broadly, about whether he is able to do the job. And I think that the campaign, by saying that this will be released before the Iowa Caucus, is trying to put those to rest.

CABRERA: Rachael, candidate Tim Ryan was asked today whether he thought it was OK to raise questions about Biden's fitness, and he had an interesting answer. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I'm hearing you say it's OK to whisper about your questions, pertaining to Biden's fitness, but not to say it in public.

REP. TIM RYAN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, welcome to politics. I mean, come on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Rachael, is this politics? And are there whispers? BADE: I mean, clearly, this race is going to get uglier as we get

closer to the Democratic primaries and the first Democrats voting, right? This issue, Biden has always been very gaffe prone. This is not surprising to those of us who have covered him for years.

But, you know, you have these, sort of, second and third-tier candidates who are trying to break out and that's why you saw Castro, for instance, go after Biden on Thursday night and suggest that he couldn't remember something he said two minutes ago.

[20:10:00]

When, actually, Biden had stated the -- his position right and Castro was the one that was wrong. But, yes, you have Tim Ryan. These folks, sort of, saying there's something wrong there.

Listen, that might work for them, perhaps in that moment. But what this is going to do is this going to -- this is going to arm President Trump who is already talking about Biden saying he's not quite all there. It's going to get ugly, I think, for the Democrats on this issue. But even uglier and give him ammunition when he -- if Biden becomes the nominee and he actually goes after him on this.

CABRERA: And I suppose that you could say that this is practice for that time, should he end up in the general election.

Jeff, I want to show you a moment that was really poignant. And it involves Senator Bernie Sanders and a U.S. veteran who told him he was going to kill himself, because he can't pay nearly $140,000 in medical debt.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, they're saying that I -- you know, I didn't re-sign or do something or something --

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: How are you going to pay off --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't. I can't. I'm going to kill myself.

SANDERS: Well, don't it. John, stop it. You're not going to kill yourself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't do this. I have Huntington's Disease. Do you know how hard it is? You know, you probably don't, do you? I can't drive. I can barely take care of myself.

SANDERS: All right, let's talk later at the end of the meeting, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. Thanks for listening.

SANDERS: OK.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: Whoof, that's powerful stuff.

BADE: Yes.

MASON: It certainly is. It's very powerful. And, you know, I think it underscores a few different things, both for Bernie Sanders and for the other Democratic candidates. And that is the importance of health care and the relevance of that issue for the 2020 campaign. If you look, politically, at 2018, the Democrats were very successful in talking about those issues. And then, sweeping power in the House of Representatives.

This was a good illustration of the fact that Bernie Sanders and the other candidates, who were on that stage just the other night, have a lot -- have a lot to say about health care and a lot to contrast with President Trump.

CABRERA: Rachael, final thoughts?

BADE: Yes. I mean, I just think it speaks to how personal stories like that, I mean, after that happened, Senator Sanders came out and said, this is why we need Medicare for all. And, you know, the night before, when they were in the Democratic debate, Biden kept bringing up, how are we going to pay for Medicare for all? It's a $30 trillion, over 10 years, cost. And that is not the kind of money the U.S. has right now. They'd have to raise taxes.

But, then, you hear stories like this, and it really just tears your heart. And this is why this issue was so divisive and can get really tense very quickly because it's so personal.

CABRERA: Yes, health care, the top issue, according to the recent polling, for voters, coming up in 2020.

Rachael Bade, Jeff Mason, good to have both of you with us. Thank you.

BADE: Thank you.

CABRERA: New tonight, the parents of Otto Warmbier sit down for an intimate dinner with President Trump. Here's some footage of the family arrived at the White House a short time ago. You'll remember that Fred and Cindy Warmbier's son Otto was jailed for 17 months in North Korea. He was returned home in a coma in 2017 and died days later.

Since then, the Warmbiers have become openly critical of President Trump's cozy relationship with North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un. Back in March, after the Hanoi Summit, the president said he didn't hold him responsible for Otto's death. The Warmbiers rejected that, in a public statement, saying, we have been respectful during the summit process. Now, we must speak out. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son, Otto. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that.

President Trump confirming today that the son of Osama Bin Laden, Hamza Bin Laden, has been killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation. Trump tweeting, the loss of Hamza Bin Ladin not only deprives Al Qaeda of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operational activities of the group.

CNN reported in July that the U.S. believed Hamza Bin Laden was dead and had been killed at least several months earlier. The president's statement does not specify when Bin Laden was killed, only that it happened in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

Coming up tonight, the controversy surrounding SNL's newest cast member, even before his first day on the job.

[20:14:30]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: SNL's newest cast member is addressing bigoted and racially- insensitive comments. In the uncovered footage, Shane Gillis can be heard using a racial slur against people of Chinese descent. I'm going to play a short clip of the comments. Gillis is in the black shirt.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHANE GILLIS: Chinatown is (INAUDIBLE) nuts. It's crazy. It is full (INAUDIBLE) China, dude. They (INAUDIBLE) down there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wonder how that started. They just built one (INAUDIBLE) looking building and people are, like, all right, no one said anything. Let (INAUDIBLE) live there, huh?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Now, this footage was resurfaced by journalists at Simon's. And Gillis has since responded, saying, quote, "I am a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss. if you go through my 10 years of comedy, most of it bad, you're going to find a lot of bad misses. I'm happy to apologize to anyone who's actually offended by anything I've said. My intention is never to hurt anyone, but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks.

Let's bring in our CNN Senior Media Reporter Oliver Darcy. And, Oliver, we are a couple weeks away, still, from SNL's new season.

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Right.

CABRERA: Is Shane Gillis going to be there?

DARCY: That's unclear right now. As much as we know, he will be on stage. NBC hasn't commented at all. This broke on Thursday, when these videos resurfaced of him making these rather despicable remarks about Asian Americans in the country.

And NBC has stayed silent. Outside of that apology from Gillis, we haven't heard from NBC. And so, I am assuming that he is going to be on stage or that NBC is hoping that this will blow over by then. But we'll wait and see.

What this does -- has done, though, is it has really detracted from NBC's announcement of another cast member, Bowen Yang, who is one -- a Chinese American. One of the few Asian Americans who's ever been on SNL in its 45-year history. He was announced at the exact same time as Gillis here.

[20:20:00]

And it's really just, you know, kind of been a big detraction from what could have been some, you know, maybe good P.R. for NBC.

CABRERA: And now, Andrew Yang is weighing in, given, --

DARCY: Right.

CABRERA: -- you know, his involvement in all of this on both sides, really, right?

DARCY: The comment resurfaced where Gillis had made a really despicable remark about Yang. And Yang came out and he said he doesn't think that anyone should be fired for a remark like this. But he's happy to sit down with him. But he did say he does not find this humor funny.

And it's not -- you know, if you watch that, it's not even -- it isn't really funny. It's just, you know, ugly remarks about Asian Americans.

CABRERA: Yes. Crass, to say the least.

DARCY: Right. Right.

CABRERA: And, like, where's the -- where's the humor in all of that?

DARCY: Right.

CABRERA: Speaking of Yang, he seems to be having a lot of fun out there. Watch this. He goes to this on Twitter today. Clearly, the guy knows how to bust a move. Last week, we showed video of him crowd surfing. This is not a side of Yang we see in the debates or in interviews.

DARCY: It's not really a side of any presidential candidate. You don't really see Joe Biden out there body surfing at rallies. It's really unique to Yang. He does seem, like you say, to be having more fun than anyone. And that might be because he's an unconventional presidential candidate. You know, if he doesn't have, maybe, the same pressure as someone like Joe Biden to be serious and presidential. He's kind of doing his own thing. He doesn't seem to be governed by what the pollsters and the focus groups are saying. He's just going out there, having a good time. And, you know, his supporters seem to really like this.

CABRERA: The Yang gang is eating it up.

I want to turn to the debate this week. Was there interest? What does it tell us about how voters are feeling?

DARCY: A lot of interest, at least if you look at the ratings; 14 million people tuned in. This is the third presidential primary debate of the season. And 14 million people tuned in. By comparison, the third presidential debate, back in 2016 for the Democrats, garnered 8 million views. This is a lot more interest that we're seeing from the ratings.

The first debate, though, from NBC, had about 15.3 and 18 million viewers. So, this is a bit of a dip. But the CNN debate had 8.7 and 10.7 million viewers. Which is on cable so it's a little different. But 14 million viewers is a big deal. It shows a lot of interest in these debates. I'm assuming one of the factors is Trump. You know, people are very excited on the left about beating him in the 2020 election. And so, he's generating not only interest on his side but it seems like on the other side as well.

CABRERA: And now we know who's going to be hosting the next debate.

DARCY: Right. CNN and "The New York Times" hosting the next debate. And so. that will -- you know, we'll see what happens there.

CABRERA: Yes, it'll be in October.

DARCY: Right.

CABRERA: In Ohio. Oliver Darcy, thank you --

DARCY: Thank you.

CABRERA: -- for coming in. Good to see you. And, as you mentioned, CNN will be there. We will be part of the next presidential debate, in partnership with "The New York Times" live from the battleground state of Ohio on October 15th.

Actress Felicity Huffman making a request to the judge, after being sentenced to 14 days in prison. What she wants and what her sentence could mean for the other parents charged in the college admissions scandal.

[20:23:10]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: Actress Felicity Huffman wants to serve her 14-day prison sentence at a low-security facility near her home in Northern California. But whether or not that will happen is up to the Bureau of Prisons, when she reports there in six weeks.

Yesterday, a federal judge gave Huffman a two-week sentence for her part in the nation's largest college admissions scam. She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud, after she paid $15,000 to boost her daughter's SAT scores. The "Desperate Housewives" star will also have to perform 250 hours of community service, pay a $30,000 fine, and serve one year of probation. CNN Legal Analyst Joey Jackson joins us now. And, Joey, you wrote a -- in a CNN.com piece about how you are, quote, "perfectly OK with Huffman's sentence."

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, I really am and let me explain why. You know, to the nature of the scandal, Ana, I think it's offensive to all of us, for so many reasons. Everyone who plays by the rules, does the right thing, parents and children. This smacks of privilege for sure. It smacks of power. It's smacks of influence. It smacks of celebrity. And so, that part, I think, in the whole, it just really vexes so many.

Let me tell you why I am OK with this, though. After she committed this offense, so many defendants in a court of law go in and they deflect, and they spin and they back flip. It wasn't me. It was him. It was them. It was the other. You know, we live in a system where the court really values remorse. It values contrition. It values the acceptance of responsibility.

And I think if ever there was a measure of a person to look to, when you get caught red handed, right, your hand is in the cookie jar, we got you, I think she comported herself in a way that the system valued. And why do I believe the judge noted that? Her guideline sentence range, right, the federal system has this guideline range where they look and they determine what you're eligible for. That was from zero to six months.

A court, that is a judge, listens to a prosecutor's recommendation. We know the prosecutor recommended one month. And then, they listen to the defense's recommendation. Leave her out, judge. And the judge could, essentially, do whatever the judge wants. A judge could have sentenced her to six months. This judge said 14 days.

And I think it was not lost on the court that she comported herself in a way where she owned up to it, apologized to her family, apologized to her daughter, apologized to her fans who really -- you know, really felt that they deserved, everyone deserved better. And I think the manner in which she conducted herself had a lot to do with the sentence she was imposed with and that's why, Ana, I am perfectly OK with it.

CABRERA: So, what will her days behind bars look like, if she's given a minimum-security prison?

JACKSON: You know, people joke a lot about club fed because they have these minimum-security facilities and the federal government has a lot of resources. And so, it's not really one of these things, you know, when we watch "Shawshank Redemption" or another movie, right, where you're behind closed doors and it's hard labor. It's not like that. I mean, prison is prison. You're not home. You don't have the comforts of everything that you would in your home, of course.

[20:30:00]

I mean, prison's prison, you're not home. You don't have the comforts of everything that you would in your home, of course, but at the same time, it's not the worst environment that you're going to be, and it's not a medium, it's not a maximum, and certainly it's something that no one wants to do.

But two weeks, considering what she could have gotten in the facility, where she may go, and as you mentioned it's up to the bureau of prisons, specifically, where she'll be housed. But I think she got a gift. But I think she earned that gift based upon what she did. Lori Loughlin maybe not.

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: And that's what -- I was going to ask you next, I mean, what does this tell us about where things could be headed for Lori Loughlin? Should she, you know, go all the way through this process?

JACKSON: I think it looks bleak. And, you know, look, everyone, and I'll be the first to say because that's what I do, right? Is entitled to a defense, certainly some defenses are more meritorious than other defenses.

And if you think that you want to hold the government to your proof, have at it. We have a fine system of justice. We have 12 jurors. They line up, they deliberate, they, you know, determine verdicts. But this speaks to, if she got jail, it speaks to everyone else expecting and anticipating jail. Why? Because this was one of the cases where the government felt it was low level. It was a case where the government was on her side, give her a month.

I guarantee you after holding the government to their burden of proof, Lori Loughlin, and going to trial, in the event she's found guilty, I think the judge is going to really slam her.

Additionally, we should note that there are many differences between the two. We don't have time to get into all of them. But the fact is $15,000 and $500,000 that in and of itself is significant. And the acceptance of responsibility. What? $500,000? No. I thought I was paying a charity. Really? The pictures and photos that I had sent in about my kids who were not really in those sports? I thought we always did that. It was very deceptive and I think that matters.

CABRERA: You also wrote in your CNN piece that some people look at Huffman's crimes and ask who the victims are. You wrote, "We all are victims." Explain that.

JACKSON: You know, I do believe that, Ana. I really do. I mean, there was some dispute as to oh, it was a victimless crime, it's $15,000. Her daughter, actually, took the test. A proctor just upgraded to put the right scores in there.

I don't believe that it's a victimless crime. I think we all. Right? We live in a society where there are certain rules. We may not like them, but we have to follow them. Right? Who amongst us doesn't want to get a leg up? Who amongst us doesn't want to get a better look than someone else might get? Who doesn't want our children to have the very best, to do the very best, to be their very best? We all do.

But I think we teach them, we try to, to teach them to do it through grit, through determination, to getting knocked down and getting back up. Through, you know what? Your score wasn't great today, but tomorrow, it'll be better. Not by paying proctors, paying people off. And I think that message means that it's offensive to us all, and we all are victims and I think that we all need to recognize whenever this happens that it's not a good look. And I think judges moving forward, in the event people are found guilty, will note their view as to it not being a good look, particularly, this judge.

CABRERA: Joey Jackson, always good to see you.

JACKSON: Thank you, Ana. Pleasure is mine.

CABRERA: Thank you for being here.

Coming up, the school changes that were inspired by an Ohio boy denied a hot lunch on his birthday. All because of a $9.00 debt to the school.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:35:22]

CABRERA: Outrage in Ohio after an elementary school student had his hot lunch taken away because of an unpaid balance on his cafeteria account.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFFERSON SHARPNACK, HAD LUNCH TAKEN AWAY: The lunch lady didn't say anything, took away my cheesy breadsticks and sauce. Put them over there and took out bread, cheese on bread out of the fridge and put it on my lunch tray.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: The fact that this happened to Jefferson Sharpnack on his ninth birthday only makes it worse.

Local news did a story. It caught fire on social media, sparking a big reaction. And now, the school district is making changes.

Jefferson Sharpnack, Diane Bailey are joining us now.

Jefferson, thank you so much for being here. I love your bow tie. I love your great big smile you have today. Can you just walk me back through what happened?

SHARPNACK: OK. So it was my birthday like a week ago and I was at school. I was in line getting ready to go sit at my table when the lunch lady took my cheesy breadsticks and went to the fridge and took out bread on cheese and put it on my lunch tray.

CABRERA: And what did you do after that?

SHARPNACK: I walked back to my lunch seat, my lunch table, and told my friends about it. CABRERA: And how did that make you feel to have them take away your lunch right in front of your classmates?

SHARPNACK: Hurt.

CABRERA: It hurt. No doubt about it. You are so brave to share this story with us. Diane, I'm wondering how you found out about what happened and what your reaction was.

DIANE BAILEY, GRANDMOTHER OF BOY DENIED SCHOOL LUNCH: Well, I was waiting for him to get off the school bus because it was his birthday and he had taken in a snack and he was all excited. And when he got off that bus, he looked at me and said, "Worst birthday ever." And I asked him what happened? And he said -- first, he couldn't do his snack because they had changed the policy. That I understood.

But then he held up his little hands and said, they took my lunch and I went, "What do you mean they took your lunch?" He said, "They took it off of my tray and gave me cheese and bread." And I said, "OK. We'll take care of it."

So I went directly into the house and called the school. And voiced my unhappiness.

CABRERA: Yes. Unhappiness to be exact just to say the least, I'm sure. I understand Jefferson and his siblings just moved in with you. Right? How many children?

[20:40:05]

BAILEY: Yes. They have only been with me a few weeks. And so he was pretty upset because he hadn't made a lot of new friends at the new school yet, so he was -- he was -- he was a little embarrassed. And I was aggravated.

CABRERA: No doubt. That's already a big adjustment for a 9-year-old. Also, a new scenario for you. A lot of new things to worry about. You said there was only a $9.00 balance on the account or debt of the account. What did you do?

BAILEY: Well, they had sent me a letter on Friday that it was $9.75 that he owed, so there was no school Monday. So Tuesday morning, I called the school after they got on the bus and asked to be transferred to the food service and told them I had four students in the school system, and if I could have an amount for each one, I would make sure it was taken care of before their -- excuse me, paperwork had been processed for their free lunch or reduced lunch.

And they said, no problem. They gave me the amounts. No amount was over $9.00, and I thought it had been taken care of. Then when he got home and that had happened, I called the school. And I was a little irate. And they said they were sorry.

And then I just felt bad because my 13-year-old grandson said that had happened to him before, the first week of school. But it wasn't his birthday and I wasn't so excited about it, I guess. But and then I realized that it happened to a lot of children at that school.

CABRERA: Right.

Bailey: And I called the school and said, I really think something has to be done. There has to be a different policy. They aren't there to be humiliated. They're there to get an education and I was -- I was upset.

CABRERA: It does sound like something good has come of this. The superintendent of the green local school district sent a notice to parents and posted this on Facebook. Part of it reads, all students enrolled in this district pre-K through 12 grades will receive standard lunch at school regardless of their account balance.

Diane, what do you think of the school's response now?

BAILEY: Well, I was -- I was very happy that they responded in a positive manner and the assistant superintendent came out to speak to me and she asked me if I was happy with the situation. And which I was. But, you know, then I realized that this has happened, there's 30.3 million students in this country on reduced and free lunch programs. That's a lot of kids. So it's a lot of lunches.

And I've had responses from people around the country who say they grew up on free lunch programs and were stigmatized by it. And that shouldn't happen. This is our future generation. These are the people that are going to run our country.

CABRERA: Yes.

BAILEY: So there just has to be something that --

CABRERA: And those children need fuel for their bodies. It doesn't matter how much that costs. It should be a no-brainer for the children in the country --

BAILEY: Exactly.

CABRERA: -- to be fed. I want to take a moment here because to point out that the school nutrition association says 75 percent of school districts reported having unpaid student meal debt at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. This is an extremely common issue. And the U.S. Department of Agriculture has mandated that schools must develop plans for kids with deficit accounts. They strongly discourage lunch shaming and denying meals.

So, Jefferson, --

BAILEY: Right.

CABRERA: -- let me come back to you. What do you hope people learn from your experience?

SHARPNACK: I hope that the people at the school -- lunch that it's not right to take away a kid's lunch.

CABRERA: That's a good lesson.

Jefferson Sharpnack and Diane Bailey, thank you both for being here. Thanks for sharing.

BAILEY: You're welcome. Thank you, Ana.

CABRERA: It was hotter in Alaska on July 4th than in Key West, Florida. Just ahead, a look at how the climate crisis there, is a problem for every waterfront city in the lower 48.

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[20:45:54]

CABRERA: The people of the Bahamas are just beginning to get a full sense of the devastation wrought by hurricane Dorian. The strongest hurricane to ever hit the Bahamas. Scientists say climate change may be a factor in extreme weather patterns that have become the norm. Not only with hurricanes in the Caribbean but also unprecedented temperature changes taking place in the coldest parts of the United States.

Bill Weir reports from Alaska.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Take a trip across Alaska this summer from the iceless north to the smoky south. And you'll see that when it comes to alarming changes, the Last Frontier feels like the first in line.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is insane.

WEIR: Fire season used to end on August 1st like rainy clockwork, but it is so hot and dry, the Swan Lake fire has been burning for three months. And the most populous part of the state is swallowing more smoke than ever before.

BRIAN BRETTSCHNEIDER, CLIMATOLOGIST, UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA: If you look at the actual observations, we've had more than twice as many smoky hours in 2019 than in any other season. And, in fact, almost as many as all other years combined.

WEIR: And when Anchorage is hotter than Key West on the Fourth of July, it can turn the steady drip of a glacier into something much more dramatic.

That was a calving event last month at the Spencer Glacier, just one of dozens of melting red flags.

BRETTSCHNEIDER: This whole lake was -- there was no lake in the early 1950s.

WEIR (on-camera): Really?

BRETTSCHNEIDER: Right. WEIR: The ice -- so the ice went all the way down to the --

BRETTSCHNEIDER: To the end of the lake --

WEIR: -- end of the lake down there.

BRETTSCHNEIDER: Right.

WEIR (voice-over): A recent study finds that since the 60s, melting Alaskan glaciers have contributed more to sea level rise than Greenland, Antarctica, or any other part of the world.

WEIR (on-camera): Since every one of these molecules goes into the ocean and goes everywhere, this is not just a changing Alaskan landscape story. This is a Miami story. This is a Charleston and San Francisco Bay story.

BRETTSCHNEIDER: You know, once this water melts off and goes into the ocean -- you know, as long as we have all this carbon dioxide in the atmosphere --

[20:50:00]

WEIR: Right.

BRETTSCHNEIDER: -- it's not coming back here.

WEIR (voice-over): Health scientists, like Micah Hahn, are equally worried about changes harder to see, like new kinds of ticks bringing new kinds of disease north.

And when Dr. Jeffrey Demain studied insect bite trends since the nineties, he found that way up in the Arctic Circle stings from yellow jacket wasps jumped over 600 percent in five years.

DR. JEFFREY DEMAIN, FOUNDER, ALLERGY, ASTHMA AND IMMUNOLOGY CENTER OF ALASKA: So the queens are now under snowpack without a severe weather, then they're surviving. So the more queens, the more colonies. The more colonies -- the more colonies, the more yellow jackets.

WEIR: And then there are the fish, so vital to this economy. While Bristol Bay saw another epic salmon run, more and more streams are just too hot for the fish to spawn.

SUE MAUGER, SCIENCE DIRECTOR, COOK INLET KEEPER: And the temperatures we saw this summer were what we expected for 2069.

WEIR (on-camera): Really?

MAUGER: We're 50 years ahead of where we thought we would be for stream temperatures --

WEIR: Oh, my gosh.

MAUGER: -- so that's very alarming. WEIR (voice-over): Meanwhile, out at sea, this research team from NOAA is spending a summer measuring all kinds of arctic change, including those at the bottom of the food chain.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we are looking at harmful algae blooms, though --

WEIR (on-camera): OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- so they're taking samples for toxins in the water from a harmful algae.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When it's warmer, they're coming up farther north, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And sooner, maybe, yes. So -- but that's a big concern for the communities because that's food safety.

WEIR (voice-over): This state is such a gorgeous reminder of how earth's Goldilocks climate held so many forms of life together in harmony, but in a too hot future, with more fire than ice, what comes next is anyone's guess.

Bill Weir, CNN, Anchorage.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[20:55:18]

CABRERA: Breaking news. CNN affiliate WPVI is over this scene of a home in Wildwood, New Jersey where multiple decks have collapsed. There are reports of injuries, but it's unclear to what extent and what caused the decks to fall. We'll bring you updates just as soon as we have more information.

Red Sox legend, David Ortiz, speaking publicly for the first time since he was shot in the Dominican Republic back in June. In an exclusive interview with Univision, Ortiz recounted the moment he was struck, saying, "When the bullet hit me, the first thing I felt was like a sting, the first five seconds. I thought I was having a nightmare."

He went on to say, "I was feeling something that I had never felt before, and that was just the feeling of trying to survive."

Earlier this week, he made an emotional return to Fenway Park to throw out the first pitch in front of adoring fans who jumped to their feet when he took the field.

From Athens, Georgia today, a poignant show of support for the opposing team and its grieving head football coach. The Bulldog faithful throwing their arms around Arkansas state coach, Blake Anderson, who just lost his wife, Wendy, to breast cancer two weeks ago.

Thousands in the crowd wore pink or found other creative ways to let Coach Anderson know they've got his back, and that what he's been through is much bigger than any game. Wendy Anderson was just 49 when she died after a two-year battle with the disease.

Arkansas State lost, but Coach Anderson tweeted afterward, "Overwhelmed, honored, and beyond grateful."

That does it for me. Thank you for spending part of your Saturday with me. I'm Ana Cabrera. Up next, it's "ANTHONY BOURDAIN: PARTS UNKNOWN."

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