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22 Injured In New Jersey Beach House Deck Collapse; Drone Strikes Knock Out 5 Percent of the Global Oil Supply; White House Considering Phone App for Background Checks; Tropical Storm Humberto Moving Away from the Bahamas; Women-Led Group Kicks Off Bus Tour to Get Women to the Polls; Antonio Brown Set to Debut for Patriots; Mom Shares Heartbreaking Photo of Son Battling Leukemia; All Kindergartens in Boston Public Schools Get $50 for Savings. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired September 15, 2019 - 07:00   ET





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Saudi Arabia's oil facilities come under attack. The U.S. secretary of state blames Iran, but Yemen's Houthi rebels say they are responsible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This all does put a big question mark over the potential diplomacy and diplomatic between U.S. President Donald Trump and the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police are at the right of the core of Saudi Aramco, the largest exporter in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dramatic images out of the state of New Jersey. Take a look at the scene after a massive deck collapsed in Wildwood Saturday evening.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you.

We are starting with this -- at least 22 people, including children, injured in a multistory deck collapse at a beach house in New Jersey.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: A spokeswoman for the Cambridge Medical Center says one person was transported to a trauma center by helicopter.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Polo Sandoval is following this.

What have you learned overnight, Polo? POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This deck collapsed yesterday evening there in New Jersey coast, mainly in the resort community of Wildwood. This was a very weekend for many families. It's mid- September, many families there enjoying the last bit of summer and then things taking a terrible turn there yesterday as these two decks came crashing down. First responder rushing to rescue some of their own.

You see, this was actually the firefighters state convention of yesterday that was taking place there in wildwood. So, we understand, at least eight of the injured are actual firefighters as well as some of their families here.

We look at these pictures, it really is incredible to know that at least half of roughly 22 injured have been released from the hospital. So, apparently, according to investigators, none of their injuries are actually life-threatening. But when you hear from witnesses, it's incredible what happened yesterday.


GAIL IVINS, WITNESSED DECK COLLAPSE: This first floor deck pulled away first and people started sliding off and yelling, you know, and falling. It came off in pieces. The second deck most of it came off but there was far section, like a quarter of the deck was still on the building and there was a 2-year-old little girl on the one deck all by herself in that corner and another lady on the third floor. And we were yelling to the little girl to stay away from the edge and thank God that came down but it went slowly, thank god. And they -- as it went down, she slid off and men there to grab her.


SANDOVAL: You see what is left behind a pile of splintered wood. This will give you some perspective and some context here of what it looked like. These are images that CNN found on Google Street View. We have not been able to confirm it with authorities but as you can see, it certainly does closely match other video that we've seen from our affiliates, including from WPVI.

The question now exactly, what happened? What led to this collapse? Was it structural issue or perhaps were there too many people on these balconies? That is something engineers will try to determine today, Victor and Christi, as the remaining injured continue to recover.

PAUL: All right. Polo Sandoval, thank you so much. Appreciate the update.

SANDOVAL: You bet.

PAUL: So a lot of people are going to be watching the markets tomorrow as we see what has happened after the drone strikes on the world's largest oil plant in Saudi Arabia yesterday. Houthi rebels claiming responsibility for that attack this morning.

And the White House is not buying that. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Iran is behind the attacks. He hasn't offered any proof of that just yet.

BLACKWELL: Yesterday, Pompeo tweeted this. Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia, while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy. Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply. There's no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.

Now exactly who is responsible be, that's unclear. A U.S. source with knowledge of the incident tells CNN that there are signs the attacks came from inside Iraq.

And "The Wall Street Journal" says official are investigating if cruise missiles were fired from southern Iraq, not Yemen, although no evidence to back either claim has emerged.

PAUL: Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil exporter. This knocked out half of its oil capacity, which equates to five and that means we could see a spike in gas prices.

We want to sort all of this out with you here. CNN international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh is with us, as well as CNN White House reporter Sarah Westwood.

So, let's start with the White House here. Sarah, has the president responded to Secretary Pompeo's tweet because some lawmakers are clearly not happy about it.

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right, Victor and Christi. And yesterday, President Trump spoke with Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. And in a statement, the White House said the U.S. strongly condemns the attack on the Saudi oil supplies and also said that the U.S. remains committed to ensuring global oil markets are stable and well-supplied. Energy Secretary Rick Perry also briefed on the incident said that the U.S. stands ready to use its petroleum reserves to offset any disruptions to the oil market.


Obviously, this could be a major disruption. And Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in that tweet also said that we call on all nations to publicly and unequivocally condemn Iran's attacks and said that the United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well-supplied and Iran is held accountable.

Now, there's been a mixed reaction from lawmakers about the Trump administration's quickness to point the finger at Iran. Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, for example, calling this a simplification, writing yesterday this is such irresponsible simplification and it's how we get into dumb wars of choice. The Saudis and Houthis are at war. The Saudis attacked the Houthis and the Houthis attacked back. Iran is backing the Houthis and has been a bad actor, but that's not just as simple as equating the Houthis with Iran.

But The U.S. is also getting some support from allies of the president, including Republican Senator Tom Cotton who encouraged the administration to take a hard line against Iran. Of course, the U.S. is ramping up pressure against Iran but remains to be seen what options the president has left. The U.S., Victor and Christi, has already imposed a crippling sanctions regime against Iran.

PAUL: All right. Nick, I want to go to you next in Tehran there. How is Iran reacting to this?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I mean, you have to bear in mind the seriousness of the allegation here certainly leveled by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He's essentially saying that Iran was behind a major attack on Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure. That could massively escalate already fraught tensions here in the region.

Iran has come straight out this morning and denied it. Its senior diplomat, Mike Pompeo's counterpart, Javad Zarif, saying on Twitter this: Having failed to, quote, max pressure, Secretary Pompeo was turning to, quote, max deceit, referring to maximum pressure being the policy of the U.S. has been, maintaining against Iran since it got out of the nuclear deal, hatched by Barack Obama and began reinstalling sanction.

Zarif goes on to say, the U.S. and its clients are stuck in Yemen because of illusion that weapon superiority will lead to military victory. He is referring to how Saudi Arabia, a U.S. ally, and a government in Yemen, is fighting the Yemeni Houthi rebels who are launching these drone strikes and accept themselves, then say, they took responsibility for launching these ten drones they say carried out the attack.

He goes on to say, blaming Iran won't end our disaster. Accepting our April 15th proposal to end the war and begin the talks may. He is referring, again, to the nuclear deal there. Iran has been saying but let's get back to talking but you have to ease sanctions against Iran first.

I got to point out the technicalities of these allegations here now. It is startling and dangerous moment we're out here in the Middle East certainly. Saudi Arabia and Iran, long-term adversaries here, who have been sparring the past years also. The doubt really who is capable of carrying out attacks as sophisticated as this?

Now, some say we are talking about relatively minor sophistication in terms of the drone that the Houthi rebels in Yemen are capable of launching something like this. They have got better technology over time and may have been able to pull something like this off.

So, even though it require flying from a lot of Saudi Arabia to get to these oil facilities. Others say the finger point more logically toward somewhere like southern Iraq where Iran even the Houthis potentially have allies and influence too. That may be where it comes from.

The point is, there is no evidence for the claims at this point. So, Mike Pompeo I think would be under increasing pressure to back up his allegation that Iran is somehow responsible for this.

Back to you.

PAUL: Nick Paton Walsh, Sarah Westwood, we appreciate both of you so much. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: So, listen, it's important to reinforce severity and scale here. Saudi Arabia is the number one world oil exporter in the world and this is the largest oil processing plant not only in the world but in the world as well.

And in the discussion of scale, experts say this is in a different league. We also know that the attacks have crippled the Saudi oil production, knocking out 5.7 million barrels of oil a day from the supply chain. That's roughly 60 percent of the kingdom's daily output.

As global market open on Monday, expect to see a spike in oil and gas prices.

PAUL: So, the geopolitical fallout from this could be some significant as well.

Former Ambassador Gary Grappo is with us now.

Ambassador, thank you so much for being with us. You served in Saudi Arabia for years. I understand you were there recently.

Is this something what we have seen here the past 16 hours, that was of a real dire concern to you and the people there?

GARY GRAPPO, FORMER AMBASSADOR TO SAUDI ARABIA: I don't think there is any question on the seriousness of these attacks and what they mean. We have seen this conflict now go from what was a regional conflict confined to the southwestern part of the Arabian Peninsula to now, a conflict that has really global implications, repercussions, in fact, with the impact that this is going to have on oil markets as you said when they open tomorrow.

The only question now is how long are these two facilities going to be offline?


The longer they are offline, the greater the impact and the greater the pressure that the global economy is going to be facing.

PAUL: How do you anticipate the kingdom will respond?

GRAPPO: I'm sorry. How? Who is going to respond?

PAUL: How do you think Saudi Arabia, the kingdom will respond to this?

GRAPPO: Oh, I don't think there is any question, given how they have responded to attacks on the kingdom itself in the past. The Saudis will respond with some sort of reprisal attacks inside Yemen. It's just a question of what targets. Of course, the country has been devastated by previous air strikes,

so, there's a real question as to what they could attack. It's difficult to identify where with the Houthi stronghold are.

But, secondly, as you alluded to earlier in your report, what was the source or the launch point of these attacks? Did it come from Yemen? Was it inside Saudi Arabia? In which case, the Houthis would have had collaborators inside the kingdom. Could it possibly come from Iraq which would add a completely new and very dangerous dimension and escalation to the conflict?

PAUL: So if you could sit down with President Trump, would you -- would you expect that he engage with President Rouhani on this at the U.N. next week? If so, how would you advise the president?

GRAPPO: Well, if I were advising the president I would say, look, the maximum pressure campaign that the United States has launched against Iran has had the intended economic impact but it hasn't changed Iran's behavior. In fact, we have seen that gradually move away from the JCPOA, the nuclear agreement. Moreover, we know it's supporting terrorist groups whether in Yemen, whether in Iraq or elsewhere.

And so, we need to a change in behavior in Iran and that is only going to happen when we find a way to begin talking to the Iranians. And the president is right to extend this invitation to President Rouhani and let's start talking and see where we can go with this. But simply maximum pressure without any impact is going to produce the kind of results that we saw yesterday in Saudi Arabia.

PAUL: All right. Ambassador Gary Grappo, we appreciate you taking the time for us, Mr. Ambassador. Thank you.

GRAPPO: It's a pleasure.

BLACKWELL: The White House is considering a phone app as part of a gun control proposal. How is that supposed to work? We'll talk about it, next.

PAUL: And, listen, a powerful picture that touched a lot of people. A sister comforting her little brother. How his battle can cancer is touching so many people.


UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Beckett strong!

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Beckett strong.

When I'm not feeling well Aubrey feels happy.

Actually she is so sad.




BLACKWELL: Sixteen minutes after the hour now.

The White House is expected to roll out its plan to reduce gun violence next week and one gun control proposal, one of them being considered, according to a Senate source, is a phone app for background checks. Now, the proposed app would be connected to the national background check system and it would be used during private sales, not for purchases involve commercial dealers.

With us to talk about it, CNN political analyst and White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, April Ryan.

April, welcome back this Sunday.

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Good morning, Victor. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: So, let's start with the phone app in these proposals. A source tells us that the officials who are briefing the president on these options, they are not delving into details. Also, the president isn't digging for the nitty-gritty details of any of this.

RYAN: Are you surprised?

BLACKWELL: Well, I'm wondering if you're surprised --


BLACKWELL: -- based on who has the president's ear that this seems to be something that he's kind of not interested in according to the reports?

RYAN: Well, let me say this. About two weeks ago, I did pool duty at the White House and we went in the Roosevelt room and it was all around the time of some of these mass shootings yet again. And the president -- I asked the president, Mr. President, is it time for gun control? He said, yes. I said, Mr. President, what about the NRA? He said they are good people but he can't worry about the NRA.

But the question is, what will be the answer?

Now if you talk about an app on a phone, it sounds very trite, but we are in that time. You know, we all have our phones and we do everything, the touch of our fingertips on our phone. But the question is can it really sustain something this serious? Because if something does, indeed, happen the first thing they are able to say an app doesn't work. We have to go through licensing in facilities for major licenses like driving a car.

So, you know -- or piloting a plane. This is a huge issue. And you have people on all sides -- I sound like the president -- you have people on both sides of the aisle saying something has to be done. The question is how the NRA will play into it. They don't like any restrictions.

But, you know, for those who think it seems very trite to be an app, that is a question we have to figure out.

BLACKWELL: There is also the question of putting all of the information into registry, if you're dealing with private sales, how we regulate people, will actually consult the app before they make a sale.

Something else coming up this week I want to turn quickly and stay with me through the stats because we have numbers. HUD Secretary Ben Carson will be in California to talk about homelessness. He and the president have been targeting that recently and been critical of California's regulations.

And the secretary said homelessness is a greater problem in states where there are more regulation. But I went back and look at how the numbers match up to the rhetoric.

So, here is the 2020 proposed budget from the president toward HUD: $54 million for the self-help home ownership program in 2019.


The president proposed to zero that out.

RYAN: Touche.

BLACKWELL: One point three billion dollars for the home block grants to provide affordable housing and rental assistance for low income people, proposed to zero that out proposed in 2020. Three point three billion plus for the community development fund in 2019, geared toward and this is from the HUD website, decent homes and suitable living environment, zero that out, proposed in 2020.

Now, they will tout that slight increase of about $70 million in homelessness assistance grants but in net cuts, that is $4.7 billion net proposed cuts from this administration.

So, when up look at the administration's numbers, it does not seem to reconcile with their rhetoric. They will say we are investing more in homelessness assistance grants, that is $70 million, line that up to the $4.7 billion that you wanted to cut.

PAUL: Yes, Victor, you cannot marry these goose eggs with heart issues. You know, when you zero it out, what are you doing? You're taking from what you say you want to do.

And there is another catch to this. When you talk about California, let's zero in on what part of California the president is talking about. San Francisco and who is from San Francisco? None other than Nancy Pelosi. Also our Baltimore native friend, originally from Baltimore.

But San Francisco, the president has a problem with Nancy Pelosi. So, let's figure out, let's weigh this. What really is going on here?

So, the president may be dealing with homelessness but three goose eggs that are telling more so than anything else. BLACKWELL: But let's also say that there a homelessness problem in

the country --

RYAN: Yes, there is.

BLACKWELL: -- and in the part of California they'll be going to. The concern, the question really was about, you know, there is so much rhetoric about caring for and pushing forward on homelessness but on, you know, the home block program, wanting to zero that out that keeps people in homes, the shop program that keeps people in homes, focus on low income, how do you think people often reach homelessness? Not being able to afford housing.

RYAN: Exactly.

BLACKWELL: Let me to one more thing here. Last night, you were at a dinner.

RYAN: Let me see.

BLACKWELL: Yes. South bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation dinner. You got a picture here.

RYAN: I sure did.

BLACKWELL: So, tell me about the dinner.

Also there with Pete Buttigieg, his polls show that he is now up to 10 percent with black voters. He's got this Douglass plan he put out focused on African-American voters.

Does his campaign acknowledge why he is getting such a small return from his investment in trying to get the black vote?

RYAN: Well, he is reaching out. He is talking about HBCUs. He's talking about the Douglass plan and making a push for that. But I'm going to tell you something.

Last night, he was a rock star of sorts in that very diverse room, in that room of a hodge-podge of different types of African-Americans throughout the country. So he got a lot of support. People are looking at him now as he is kind of turned the tide on the issues of South Bend and he looks like someone who really has a sound footing on issues of all communities.

He is someone who is a minority as well, being a gay -- openly gay man who is running for office. He is in a community that also has been shunned by mainstream America to a certain extent.

But I'm going to tell you something. Moving a little bit beyond Pete Buttigieg last night, you had people there like Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren that were there, Joe Biden wasn't there.

But I'm going to I'll tell you who received the loudest applause. You also had Senator Cory Booker.

Who received the loudest applause last night? Elizabeth Warren.

BLACKWELL: Quickly. Why?

RYAN: They were gravitating to her. They loved the red suits, I guess. No.

No, but here is the deal. They look -- they see Elizabeth Warren as this woman who is an advocate to people. She has been an advocate for people and it was interesting. I mean, you would think the black candidates would have received more applause.

BLACKWELL: Yes, that is a really interesting variable that we are seeing even as we get to South Carolina where Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren are kind of creeping up toward the top or have been at the top of those polls.

April, we've got to wrap it there. But I appreciate you being with us on a Sunday morning.

RYAN: Especially after two hours of sleep! Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Especially after two hours of sleep!

PAUL: You look good for two hours of sleep.

RYAN: Yes, Christi!

PAUL: All right, April. Thank you.

RYAN: Thanks, guys.

PAUL: So, there is a social media challenge that police say went too far. Authorities arrest a south Florida teen they say used a music video to threaten rival high schools.

BLACKWELL: Plus, Antonio Brown is set to make his Patriots debut, despite being accused of sexual assault and rape.


We are live in Miami with what the fans are saying about this controversial story.


PAUL: Well, some good news this morning. Tropical Storm Humberto is moving away from the Bahamas right now.

BLACKWELL: Yes. The storm is still strengthening, though and expected to become a hurricane later today.

CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar joins us now.

Allison, where is it headed?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It's actually going to be eventually heading towards Bermuda. But in the short term, the good news it's headed away from the United States, away from the Bahamas, taking with it that threat for incredibly gusty winds and very heavy rainfall.

Right now, sustained winds are about 60 miles per hour. So, that is an increase about the same time we were yesterday. So, we are seeing that intensification process. Movement is technical to the north/northwest at just about seven miles per hour.

But we're going to start to see that shift to the northeast here in just about the next 24 hours. And when it does that, it's going to enter a more favorable environment for development. So, we do anticipate it gets up to a category one storm in the next 24 hours, and likely even a category two by the time we get to Wednesday of the upcoming week.

The concern then is where does it go from there? Because Bermuda is technically in the track right now, potentially having landfall as a category two storm. It's not the only system we are watching, though. It's mid-September. It's that time of year.


So, we are keeping an eye on this rather disorganized cluster of storms. But the thought process is, as it heads west and into a more favorable environment, it does have the potential to develop into a tropical system in the next couple of days. We also have this system as well pretty far out into the Atlantic for now, but something to keep an eye on, Victor and Christi, over the next three to five days.

PAUL: All right. We know you'll do it, Allison. Thanks so much.


PAUL: So, there's a woman and a child who are recovering this morning after a shooting during a pee wee football game. This happened in Texas. And police say there was a dispute between parents. That's how it started.

BLACKWELL: So, officials in Ft. Worth say the woman was shot in the leg and the girl was grazed across her back. They are both expected to be OK. Police believe the son of one of the parents involved in the dispute came to the game with a gun and started shooting. Police are still looking for that shooter.

A South Florida teenager is suspended from school facing a felony charge too after posting a music video that police say was a school shooting threat. Watch.


BLACKWELL: It shows 16-year-old Austin Valdes pointing his fingers like a gun at the names of several of his rival high schools. The schools include Marjory Stoneman Douglas, the scene of last year's mass shooting in Parkland. PAUL: Now, the video was apparently Valdes' take on a viral social media challenge on the app Tik Tok. The father called the video, quote, out of character for his son.


ORLANDO VALDES, TEEN'S DAD: Horrible, horrible, representation of himself, his family, this community, his friends. Now, he'll be identified as a person that made a 10-second video with horrible ramifications.


PAUL: WSVN reports other students who made similar video weren't arrested. Valdes is scheduled to court in just two weeks.

We'll be right back.



PAUL: Thirty-five minutes past the hour.

2020 election is going to be here before we know it, right? A women- led organization called Supermajority Education Fund is on a mission to get as many women as possible to the polls. They're coming to a city near you most likely. They're on a bus, look at this, where tour is going to take them. And they want to help you get engaged.

Joining me to discuss the efforts is the founder of the group, Ai-Jen Poo, director of National Domestic Workers Alliance, and Jess Morales Rocketto, political director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

Ladies, thank you so much for being here. I'm glad to have you here.

Sol, I understand this is a fight for gender equality. And you're going to be kicking this off in Atlanta with Stacey Abrams today and then hit your 15 cities. What specifically is going to happen at this meeting -- at all of these meetings for people who want to get involved?

JESS MORALES ROCKETTO, POLITICAL DIRECTOR, NATIONAL DOMESTIC WORKERS ALLIANCE: Yes. We will be talking to women connecting with them, making sure that they are connecting with each other, training as many women as we possibly can in all of these cities, and also meeting with presidential candidates so they can really hear from women about what matters to them.

PAUL: So, first of all, how are you training them, Ai-Jen? And what presidential candidates are going to be meeting with them?

AI-JEN POO, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL DOMESTIC WORKERS ALLIANCE: Well, we are -- women are active and engaged on so many of the issues that they care about and what they're hearing from us is that they want to do more. They don't want to just resist. They want to win.

So they want to work on issues, they want to win. They want to make their priorities and the issues that they care about center stage in this really important moment for our country. The values that women care about, we are the majority of the electorate, right, the majority of the population. Our concerns and experience should be defining of the whole of the country but we're still treated as a specialist interest group and oftentimes invisible.

So, we want to be able to elevate those experiences, those priorities and the candidates who we meet along the way we're hoping will champion these issues.

PAUL: So, from your Website, you say you're introducing the majority rules of values-based agenda informed by tens of thousands of women for how we can live, work and rise together to make women's equality a reality. Give us an example of some of the specific concerns that you've heard from the thousands of women, Jess, that you're talking about.

ROCKETTO: Yes. Well, you know, we conducted a poll of over 75,000 women from all 50 states. And what they told us really run the gamut of what they really care about. One of the biggest issues, as you can imagine, was equal pay, but also climate change, racial justice.

One of my favorite parts about the polls, we asked people what their super power is. And women told us their super power, the most common super power was empathy. And I really love that, because that really -- it resonates with me and the women that I know.

PAUL: Yes, you're shaking your head, yes. I think empathy probably strikes a chord with most women, at least even if we don't always feel it, we try, don't we? We make the effort.

ROCKETTO: Absolutely.

POO: Absolutely. And every community we have been in, women have said to us we want to connect. We want to work together across race, across generation, across class. We want to learn from each other and we want to be powerful together.

And when we think about the majority that we represent, we know that if we come together along -- across all those lines, we will be unstoppable.

PAUL: So, here's what I want to ask because this is described as a rallying cry for women of all backgrounds, all races, all generations, as you said. Does that mean that there is a space here on this tour for Democrats, Republicans, and independents?

POO: Absolutely. And part of this poll is really showing that women's values are majoritarian values. And while we are not a monolith, right, we are so diverse, we also have so much that we share, and so many of those values are core to what should be the values of the future of this country. I mean, we are in the fight of our lives for the value that we will shape our future, and women know that when we come together, there is so much that connects us that we can actually shape that future.

PAUL: So, Jess, I want to ask you -- what is the end game here? The end of this tour, what do you hope will be the headline?

ROCKETTO: Yes. I mean, hopefully, we'll have some great conversations with the presidential candidates, Secretary Castro, Senator Harris, Senator Warren, Mayor Buttigieg are all joining us and Senator Klobuchar. So, I'm really excited to talk to them and maybe we'll make some news there.


But I think what we really want the headline to be is that women all over the country connected and they are excited about what is going to happen next year. But, more importantly, what is happening in their communities.

PAUL: So, Ai-Jen, real quickly before we let you go, you mentioned that the presidential candidates that are going to be there all from the Democratic side of the aisle. Is there anybody from the other side of the aisles that are possibly going to be talking to try to, as you say, this is an all-inclusive female empowerment moment?

POO: Yes. I mean, we want to engage any candidate for office that wants to lead this country forward around the values that women care about. So, we are hoping to engage everyone, up and down the ballot, not just the top of the ticket.

PAUL: All right. Jess Morales Rocketto, and Ai-Jen Poo, we appreciate you being here. Good luck. Thank you so much.

ROCKETTO: Thank you.

POO: Thank you.

PAUL: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Control room, put up the photograph. Look at this. It's a little boy, he is sick with cancer. His sister there is by his side.

This is Pediatric Cancer Awareness month. Still ahead, you'll hear how their bond is helping Beckett, he's the boy there, holding on to the toilet seat, through fight of his life.



BLACKWELL: Antonio Brown is expected to be on the field for the New England Patriots when they play the Dolphins later today.

PAUL: Andy Scholes is at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami with more.

I'm wondering what the conversations are there this morning.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning, Victor and Christi.

All eyes are going to be on Antonio Brown today here in Miami, expected to make his Patriots debut, despite the sexual assault allegation that were made against him earlier this week in a civil suit.

Now, Brown, who has denied those allegations, was on the Patriots team plane here to Miami yesterday according to ESPN. And there was talk of whether the NFL should put Brown on the commissioner's exempt list in light of the allegations, which means he could get paid but not play while the NFL investigates.

And I talked to some NFL fans here in Miami and they think Brown playing this week, that's the right call.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We start punitive measures against players based solely on allegations, without any -- any of basic, the initial measures you would take to investigate that -- I mean, we are going down on a very slippery slope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Innocent until proven guilty and I feel like he needs the reps.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The NFL is not doing anything about it, so clearly dropped the ball on some situations before, so I don't think anything new. They are letting him play, so I guess that means it's OK for right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think if he can't make this work, he is done.


SCHOLES: And a source telling CNN that Brown's accuser is going to meet with the NFL this coming week. And, guys, we'll know for certain if Brown is going to take the field here today, about 90 minutes before kickoff because that's when teams officially announce who is active and inactive for their games.

PAUL: All right. Hey, Andy, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: So, a mother in Texas -- she shared this heart-wrenching photo, black and white. Maybe you've seen it. It's of her 4-year-old son sick from cancer treatments being comforted by his older sister.

PAUL: Now, this is meant to show the reality of what families battling pediatric cancer are dealing with. She had no idea this post would go viral.

Gilma Avalos from our affiliate KTVT in Dallas talked with the family and she really captured the incredible bond between these two kids.


GILMA AVALOS, KTVT REPORTER (voice-over): Like all siblings, Aubrey and Beckett give each other a hard time. Being so close in age isn't easy but they always have each other's back.

This is what pediatric cancer looks like.


AVALOS: Little Beckett still in diapers, sick to his stomach from his leukemia treatment, Aubrey right by his side.

KAITLIN BURGE, MOTHER: They don't really see the behind closed doors. They don't see the effects it has on the family.

AVALOS: By share this photo of the reality of pediatric cancer, Kaitlin Burge is letting people in and bringing awareness to some hard truths.

K. BURGE: He's burned to the core. You touch him, he is hot to the touch. So, he is very -- he is a trooper.

AVALOS: Beckett is a trooper. Diagnosed last April. His hair has since grown back, though his treatment leaved him flushed.

But it takes a toll on the entire family. Beckett and Aubrey's youngest sibling can't stay in the house right now.

K. BURGE: The family has been split up. Chandler has been sent to my brother's because of the risk of infection. And it's just -- it's been hard.

AVALOS: And another hard truth, all pediatric cancer combined received less than 4 percent of cancer research federal funding.

K. BURGE: If people don't see it and they don't see the raw photos, I mean, you can't raise the awareness.

AVALOS: And to raise the awareness, this family shares the good too.


B. BURGE: Beckett strong.

AVALOS: There is something about a sibling's love.

B. BURGE: When I don't feel well, Aubrey feels happy.

AVALOS: They are there to help you when you mix up your word.

B. BURGE: Actually, she feels sad.

AVALOS: And there for you when you just need a hand.


PAUL: That is just -- that picture.

Gilma Avalos from our affiliate KTVT, thank you for the report. Beckett, by the way, I'm happy to tell you, is in remission currently. He still has to go through some pretty harsh treatments, so the cancer doesn't come back, but he's expected to be done with treatment by the summer of 2021.

Keeping that family and all of them in our prayers.

BLACKWELL: Beckett strong.

PAUL: Beckett strong.



PAUL: Well, Boston is doing something pretty special, this innovative program that is helping students save money very early on, every child entering kindergarten in the Boston public school system this year is getting $50 to open a Boston Saves account.

And I ask Boston Mayor Marty Walsh what was going on in Boston that made him realize this was necessary and how do you do it.


MAYOR MARTY WALSH, BOSTON: We were really looking at our early childhood education. We are looking at how do we create universal pre-kindergarten, how do we make sure that our young people get a strong start to school, and having a lot of conversations, we started to realize that it's just how do you keep -- how do you keep the momentum when the young person enters into pre-K, how do we keep them through the school system and how do we make sure they get -- they have success in high school and success in college.

And we started to look around and there's been programs all over the country, including Massachusetts that had a child savings account. So, we created a program for pre-kindergarteners and we started off with, I believe, around $1,100, and then we realized that this program should be extended throughout the city and really make sure that every single young person that starts in our district gets that $50 savings account.


PAUL: There was one 2013 study that said that we find that low to moderate income children may be more likely to enroll in and graduate from college when they have small dollar savings accounts with money designated for school. It's small dollars for them, obviously. It started three years ago in 11 schools. I understand that.

Do you know how these accounts are progressing? Do you know how much money has gone into them or how people -- you know, it's changed their mindset about college?

WALSH: Yes. I don't -- I don't have -- it's too early to tell in this particular program because it's only been three years. So, you're talking about young kids that are in 2nd and 3rd grade right now. So, we're not seeing it. But it really does -- I know -- I was talking to a woman who had one of these accounts in Virginia. It was run by the state. And her daughter started as a freshman this year and she was excited about the fact that her daughter chose a state school.

Now, this was based on a different program, but it really was helpful to the single mother to be able to afford to send her daughter to college and to see her daughter go to college. In the same type of story, what I'm hoping to hear 15, 16 years from now, many of these stories saying that, you know, we probably otherwise wouldn't have thought of college, but the savings account had us as parents or as a parent thinking differently.

And also, it gives the young person the incentive to understand that as they hear about this account as they get older, that there's an investment in 3rd, 4th, 6th grade being made in their future for college.


PAUL: It gives them hope that they can do it. Mayor Walsh also says he hopes other cities are paying attention and maybe -- might do something similar to what Boston is doing. The state, actually we should point out already, has as well, the state of Massachusetts is doing something, too.

So, thank you so much for starting your morning with us. We are glad you're with us and hope you make good memories today.

BLACKWELL: "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King is up next.