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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Auto Workers Walkout Looms As Biden Courts Union Votes; GOP Presidential Candidates Attend New Hampshire Picnic; Poll: Trump Trounces Rivals, Holds 46-Point Lead; Murderer Evades Capture For Fifth Day, PA Community On Edge; Roads Begin To Reopen For Tens Of Thousands Of Burning Man Attendees Trapped For A Third Day In Nevada Desert; Russia Considers Joint Military Exercises With North Korea; China Proposes Screen Time Limit For Children & Teens. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired September 04, 2023 - 16:00   ET




THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER starts in three, two, one. Thanks for being with us.


BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: On this Labor Day, a possible new labor strike. And this one could be big.

THE LEAD starts right now.

Hollywood writers and actors, now auto workers could be next to walk off the job and onto the picket line, demanding more than just higher pay. Their union leader is here after this bold statement online.


SHAWN FAIN, UAW PRESIDENT: Billionaires in my opinion don't have a right to exist.


GOLODRYGA: Plus, a shift in the 2024 race as America comes off summer vacation. And the candidates zero in on the first contest on the calendar.

And unplugging kids constantly connected. See China's new controversial minor mode. Could it work in your household?


GOLODRGYA: Welcome to this special edition of THE LEAD. I'm Bianna Golodryga, in for Jake Tapper.

We're starting with our money and Labor Day worries about big trouble. We're just ten days away from more than 140,000 union works possibly going on strike against the big three automakers, Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, the international company that now owns Jeep, Ram and Chrysler. Their contracts expire September 14th and in a holiday weekend video posted on X, formerly Twitter, UAW president Shawn Fain lays down an ultimatum.


FAIN: We're parents. We're siblings. We're active members of our communities. And we demand respect and we demand to be valued.


GOLODRYGA: President Biden gave a speech to other union workers in Philadelphia today. And the administration's acting labor secretary tried to sound upbeat this morning here on CNN.


JULIE SU, ACTING LABOR SECRETARY: It always looks like parties are far apart until they're not. So, at this point, the UAW is at the table with the big three and we respect their process and hopeful that they are going to grapple through some hard issues and hopefully come to an agreement. That's a win-win.


GOLODRYGA: Let's go to the White House as CNN's Kayla Tausche.

So, Kayla, the White House has been able to work behind the scenes to help avoid two of the three major labor strikes that was earlier this year. What, if anything, are they doing now to stave off this one?

KAYLA TAUSCHE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bianna, the primary role of the White House in these negotiations whether it's auto workers or other industries is just to keep tabs with both sides and encourage them both to come to the negotiating table, avoid an economic shutdown or stoppage that could hurt the greater U.S. economy. That's what's been happening behind the scenes.

But the White House counsel's office has long advised the executive branch to avoid taking sides, to avoid putting its thumb on the scales and to be sure President Biden at times in recent months has encouraged the big three automakers to avoid plant closures as part of these negotiations, while also in recent weeks suggesting that workers at these companies deserved higher pay.

But earlier today, when asked about CNN's Betsy Klein whether he believed a strike could happen in just less than two weeks time, when the contract of the united auto workers expires, President Biden said he didn't think so.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, I'm not worried about a strike until it happens. I don't think it is going to happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP) TAUSCHE: That comment despite an overwhelming majority of workers at those big three automakers voting in favor of a strike authorization if they don't renew that contract, Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: So in case viewers at home didn't hear the president. He said he is not worried about a strike happening in that short video.

Also interesting of note, Kayla, the United Auto Workers haven't endorsed President Biden yet. That is a bit unusual. Is it causing any anxiety at the White House?

TAUSCHE: Well, the White House has been pretty vocal about the unions that has endorsed it. One of the president's very first campaign rallies of the 2024 election season was back in June in Philadelphia where he appeared today and he appeared in front of a union audience then and had a first of its kind joint union endorsement from a handful of very, very large unions. But you're right, United Auto Workers was absent from that list and ties have been fraying in recent months as President Biden has backed electric vehicle manufacturing and that's been seen as a nonstarter by UAW.

GOLODRYGA: All right. Kayla, thank you.

We are joined by United Auto Workers president Shawn Fain.

Shawn, thank you for taking the time today.

So, the existing contracts expire September 14th, that is a week from Thursday. You heard the president just now that he doesn't think a strike will happen.


Are you as confident as he is and how are negotiations going right now?

FAIN: Thank you, Bianna, for having us.

And, you know, while I appreciate President Biden's optimism, I hope the big three get serious and start bargaining in good faith. We're ready to do whatever is necessary to get our share of economic and social justice for our members. And we are ten days away and literally at this point, we're nine days away because today is pretty much over. Things have been moving really slow. We've had to file a ULP against GM and Stellantis just from the simple fact they've had our demands for over a month, all three big have, and they've had really no discussions whatsoever about it. So we have a long way to go and a short time to get there.

GOLODRYGA: If your demands are not met, are you really prepared to take on not just one automaker but all three?

FAIN: Yes. And we've been very up front from the outset of bargaining, even before bargaining, that this is going to be a different set of negotiations. We have different expectations. Our members have high expectations due to the record profits. The quarter of a trillion dollars in profits these companies will recognize in the last decade.

So they've had our demands from the outset. And we told them we expect to get there by September 14th. And that is September 14th is a deadline, not a reference point. So, you know, we'll see where we end up in nine days.

GOLODRYGA: I'm just curious, the administration and the president have been instrumental in averting two past major strikes this year. Have you had any conversations with the president or the White House yourself on this issue?

FAIN: We stay in touch over -- updates and stuff like that. But at the end of the day, it's up to the corporations. The corporations have to come to the table.

Again, I go back to this. The pundits and talking heads want to talk about if we struck all three, it would cost the economy $5 billion a week. And let me assure you -- I'm glad that someone recognizes the value that is created by the work that our members do. And so it's time that these companies come to the pump and take care of the members that create these profits and the workers that get their equitable share.

GOLODRYGA: Let's talk about the things that you are pushing for. That includes a shorter workweek and a 46 percent hourly wage increase over four years. As you know, critics say that would hurt the auto company's ability to compete with nonunion rivals like Tesla.

What do you say to those who view your demands as a threat to U.S. competitiveness?

FAIN: Well, first off, the demand was 40 percent wage increase over the life of the agreement. And I find that odd that everyone thinks we're asking for the moon when the CEOs of these three corporations gave themselves 40 percent pay increases on top of their already bloated salaries in the last four years.

So, you know, we have high expectations and rightfully so. And we expect to get there. Our members deserve their fair share.

GOLODRYGA: Where did you get that 40 percent figure? And are you concerned at all that that could only add to the inflationary concerns that we're still dealing with in this country and really causing and continuing a spiral on that issue?

FAIN: Well, I think the inflation is caused by the price gouging. Again we go back to two words, corporate greed. These companies have been raising the prices and not due to -- if you remember right, you go back to the economic recession, we made massive sacrifices and we still are working under those conditions from 16 years ago.

Meanwhile, the companies have recognized a decade of record profits, a quarter of a trillion dollars, $21 billion in profits in the last six months. And so when they talk about competition and being competitive, with the counterparts, what that is, that's code for race to the bottom. They want to find the lowest bidder and they want to drive a scale down, and we have enough in this county of workers living paycheck to paycheck while the billionaire class just keeps taking more and more.

GOLODRYGA: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 90 percent of American workers do not belong to a union. What do you say to those people that would like to get a 40 percent pay increase but don't see that on the horizon?

FAIN: I think they should join a union. And it's sad when you look at statistics, 70 -- over 70 percent of workers in this country say they would belong to a union if given the opportunity. But unfortunately, you know, the laws aren't in people's favor when they try to organize.

Look at the Starbucks workers, thousands of Starbucks workers nationwide right now that organize and the company is refusing to bargain with them. They're breaking the law. And so, you know, and also if you look at the recent poll, the Gallup poll, 75 percent of the people interviewed stated that they side with the UAW in this -- in this fight.

GOLODRYGA: You were clearly not afraid to break the mold here and one of those issues is involving an endorsement for the Democratic president in this case, President Biden and his endorsement for his re-election. Is an endorsement from your union contingent upon a deal with the White House on these specific demands that you have related to his Inflation Reduction Act and that is subsidies for electric vehicles, you would like some contingencies based upon that for guarantees for employees, too?


FAIN: Well, you know, it's back to the same old story. When the corporations come to the government with their hand out, you know, the government always delivers billions and billions of dollars. But when the working class people show up and say we want our share, we want our equitable share, there's always a reason why it can't happen. When it comes to endorsements, our endorsement is going to be earned and so, you know, actions speak louder than words.

So, we will make endorsements when the time is right, and we feel like that the candidates have shown and delivered for our members' needs and for the working class needs.

GOLODRYGA: So, is an endorsement contingent upon a deal with the administration on these specific acts that you have.

FAIN: Now, we'll see. You know, there's a lot of work to be done still. And -- but, you know, I mean, naturally all of these things are a big part of it. Again, workers can't be left behind in this transition. When we talk about the EV transition, you're talking about 20 percent of the powertrain workers in the big three stand to lose their jobs down the road if we go from ICE engines to battery power. And you can't call this a just transition if you're going from $32 an hour wages down to $16 an hour.

GOLODRYGA: Well, the clock is ticking. UAW president Shawn Fain, thank you again for your time. We appreciate


FAIN: Thank you very much.

GOLODRYGA: Let's get some perspective now on what we have just heard with a long time Washington observer, Ron Brownstein, of "The Atlantic" magazine is here with more.

So, Ron, we are just days away from a possible strike here. We know the economic risks of one but what are the political risks here for President Biden who calls himself the most pro-union president in U.S. history if a deal isn't made by next Thursday.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah, generally, has tried to govern that way.

Look, I think this is critical not only in terms of the -- short-term impacts of a strike on the economy but the long-term impact of the dispute that you got into there in that lasted exchange with the president or the president of -- the UAW president, where President Biden's vision of a transition toward a lower carbon economy of which transitioning from the internal combustion engine to EVs is a critical, maybe the central arch in that.

I mean, the core problem is that EVs have fewer parts than conventional internal combustion engines so they take less labor to assemble. So the unions are worried about losing jobs in this transition. The way Democrats have tried to assuage those fears is by arguing that they can bring more of the supply chain home, particularly from manufacturing batteries and offset any lost jobs and assembly that way.

The problem is, is that the companies are arguing that these new battery plants, which they are often doing in collaboration with foreign companies, are not subject to the national agreement, and they are locating them largely in red states, right, like Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia where unions aren't strong. So you get that concern that you heard from President Fain right there at the end, which is that in the long run, they will be trading union jobs in blue states that pay $32 an hour or so, for nonunion jobs in red states that pay $16 an hour, and that is a real rub in this transition that President Biden is trying to accelerate.

GOLODRYGA: Could President Biden survive without an endorsement from the UAW at this point?

BROWNSTEIN: Yeah, it would make life tougher. I mean, you know, I think the last line of defense for Democrats, the kind of the castle keep for them in getting to 270 electoral college votes is recovery of Democratic fortunes in those three upper Midwest and Rust Belt states that Trump dislodged from the wall in 2016 -- Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Democrats did very well there in 2018, 2020 and again in 2022.

They don't need a big fight with the UAW in that environment. It's worth noting that Biden lost his biggest tool to try to encourage this EV transition center on union labor when Joe Manchin stripped out of the Inflation Reduction Act a provision that gave bigger for the EVs that were produced now they're trying to maybe make a dent with subsidies and grants to encourage the companies in this direction. But he doesn't want to fight with the UAW in those states in 2024.

GOLODRYGA: All right. Ron Brownstein, thank you.


GOLODRYGA: And up ahead, the new mode for the 2024 race, and why the last hour alone have so many candidates so busy.

Also, new sightings for the manhunt for a fugitive just outside of Philadelphia. Plus, an urgent message from the escaped inmate's mother.

And the sloppy muddy mess of the Burning Man Festival. People trapped all weekend are making their way out now and sharing epic stories with CNN.

We'll be back.



GOLODRYGA: Mike Pence, Vivek Ramaswamy, Asa Hutchinson and Will Hurd are all standing by to speak at the same Labor Day picnic in New Hampshire. Their visits underscore a new phase in the 2024 race, when summer vacations are over and more voters are likely paying closer attention. The appearances also underscore the importance of New Hampshire, the first state to hold a primary.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny is at that Labor Day picnic in Salem, New Hampshire.

Jeff, a hot day, a hot picnic. How are these candidates trying to separate themselves from the pack today?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Bianna, it's a hot race indeed. This presidential campaign, of course, has been going on for several weeks and months already but, many of the candidates will be speaking behind me here just in a few moments are trying to make the case to these Republican voters here that this race is just getting started that it is not over that it is not a fait accompli.

I talked to Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson just a few moments ago, and he said, look, we are in the second chapter of this book. He hopes it is a long book. He hopes Republican voters are keeping an open mind. And as we talk to many of them here, in fact, many of them are.


Many of them said they watched the debate a couple weekends ago. They've been paying some attention to the race but they are going to begin tuning into it a little more carefully. Former Vice President Mike Pence was mobbed as he arrived here this picture -- this picnic in Salem, taking pictures with folks and shaking hands. The question is, will that support translate into the broader electorate.

But all of the candidates who are campaigning here have one thing in common, they're trying to point out their conservative credentials and trying to make the case that this is still a race and that Donald Trump, the former president is not the inevitable nominee.

GOLODRYGA: They're trying to say these not the inevitable nominee. He also wasn't there. He's not in New Hampshire today either.

ZELENY: Right.

GOLODRYGA: Do you hear him being referenced at all on the campaign trail?

ZELENY: He definitely is referenced in spirit, in voice, in support in many ways. We saw many of his supporters marching in a parade in Milford, New Hampshire, just a little earlier today here at this picnic.

He is not here but there, of course, are many of his supporters wearing Trump hats, wearing Trump shirts. He has a strong base, there is no question about that. But, here in New Hampshire which, of course, votes second in the nominating contest early next year, independent voters can also play a pivotal role in this primary as we have seen in many presidential races over the years. So, that is the question here it's something we will have our eye on for the next several months.

What do those independent voters decide to go through voting the Republican primary. Many of them, of course, do not support the former president. So, yes, he has his supporters. His supporters are out in force but more open minds here than you may think -- Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: That's interesting. Jeff Zeleny, thank you.

Former Republican congresswoman of Utah, Mia Love, is with me along with former Democratic South Carolina State Representative Bakari Sellers.

Thank you for joining me today on this Labor Day.

Mia, let me start with you. Labor Day is typically when many Americans begin to start tuning into the election. How critical are the next few weeks for candidates on the campaign trail in your view, and including for some people like Asa Hutchinson and Will Hurd who appear to be lagging way behind in the polls as of now?

MIA LOVE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, they have a leg to start. But I think it's incredibly important because of the fatigue the American people have especially when they heard the same names and the same types of battles back and forth. They -- I mean, we're really not even talking about new ideas, new policies that are going to help America move forward. We're talking about who is going to out-Trump Trump, who is on the -- I'm a different person from Trump.

But no -- no policies, no strategies that are going to help give Americans a break. Give them a break in terms of putting food on the table. People want to be engaged, now is the time to time to really engage the American people and give them someone to vote for. They are tired of the -- don't vote for that guy because, you know, you know what he was like, don't vote for this. They're tired of hearing the same old things.

GOLODRYGA: Bakari, I know you want to weigh in on this. The new "Wall Street Journal" poll conducted after the first GOP debate shows Trump is only widening his lead among his primary opponents. Take a look at this. Trump with 59 percent support among Republican primary votes, DeSantis at 13 percent, the other five major candidates are polling in single digits.

Trump skipped the debate, he's not in New Hampshire either, he's facing four criminal indictments. Is there anything at this point that could break his support among Republican primary voters?

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Absolutely nothing. This race is over for all intents and purposes. It will definitely be over after the Iowa primary, Iowa caucus on January 15th, I believe or whatever King Day is. I know that candidates are working hard, now is the time to focus.

But this race is going to be Joe Biden versus Donald Trump round 2. I think everybody understands that and I think everybody knows that. I think that there was some hope early on that Ron DeSantis would have a modicum of talent and be able to rise to the level of the national stage. But we've seen him flounder as we saw Scott Walker and we saw Tim Pawlenty, as we saw Jeb Bush do prior to this race or in previous races.

So, I don't think there's anyone who can come within a mile of Donald Trump. I don't anticipate him participating in any more debates until it's time for his to debate Joe Biden. I mean, why would he?

GOLODRYGA: Mia, do you agree? Is the primary over?

LOVE: I don't -- I don't think it's over. I'm not that person. I still believe, you know, in a bright future. I still think that we've got such great candidates out there that can do such a great job. Bakari and I talked about this the last time we were on together. People like Tim Scott who have broad appeal, they really need to start engaging more forcefully so that the Americans have people to grab onto, to hold onto, and say, I am on that team because that is a person that's bringing America somewhere.



GOLODRYGA: Mia, do you think part of problem is that these candidates at this point aren't distancing themselves from Donald Trump? Because it's really hard for voters, I would imagine, to say I'm going to go with the other guy if the other guy is still, quasi-endorsing the former guy?

LOVE: But it takes bravery. We all know this. I mean, I've been through campaigns. Bakari has been through campaigns. It takes bravery to stand out and to stands on your own and to stand for something.

And at the end of the day, I always tell myself, if I'm able to sleep at night, if I'm able to look my children in the eye and say, I did the right thing, I'm okay with that. It takes bravery to stand on your own ask say, I don't need to out-Trump Trump. I have my own ideas that are good for all Americans. I'm going to be a president for all Americans and I'm going to be on their side and make life better for them.

It takes bravery and we need, that's what I mean by stepping out -- stepping out sometimes that means stepping out alone. That, that would do it. I think that would actually get people to wake up a little bit give us a little bit of a jolt and say, okay, there's something different here, let's pay attention.

GOLODRYGA: We have yet to see that that bravery, as you call it, yet.

Bakari, I want to turn to Capitol Hill where we are hearing questions regarding Mitch McConnell's ability to lead Senate Republicans after he froze for a second time during a press conference last week. Let's watch.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): What are my thoughts about what?

REPORTER: Running for re-election in 2026.

MCCONNELL: Oh, that's --

AIDE: Did you hear the question, Senator? Running for re-election --


GOLODRYGA: That is difficult to watch still a week later just from a human perspective. But, Bakari, we still haven't heard from a doctor who treated him directly, only the Hill doctor who spoke to the leader and then cleared him to continue working. But we're beginning to hear from McConnell's allies who are defending his ability to continue to lead.

Senator Susan Collins posted on X formerly known as Twitter, it's weird we still have to say that. He is fully prepared to continue leading our caucus when the Senate resumed session.

And here's what Senator Mike Rounds told CNN.


SEN. MIKE ROUNDS (R-SD): There's no doubt in my mind that he is perfectly capable of continuing on at this stage of the game.


GOLODRYGA: Bakari, do you think most Senate Republicans would agree with that?

SELLERS: So, first, I mean, it's very difficult to watch that. And my prayers go out to Senator McConnell. I disagree with him adamantly on every ounce of policy proposal he's ever put forward but you never want to see somebody go through that and let alone go through that in the entire world. So, my prayers go out to him.

They're going to have to answer these questions, however. I mean, I would just push back and say imagine if this happened to Joe Biden, you know, imagine the 24-hour news cycle we recall when Hillary Clinton just got overheated, how we could not stop talking about that in 2016. So, this is going to be a question that Mitch McConnell has to answer, Mitch McConnell's family has to answer.

And at the end of the day it's really up to the people of Kentucky who he represents. Do they want somebody younger, more vibrant? Do they want somebody who is of full health? That is a question that's left up to them.

I dare not say that Mitch McConnell should resign or retire. I wish we had younger elected officials. But sometimes, there are decisions that need to be made by your family, yourself, your doctor, your loved ones. And I think this is that.

And we need to have a younger generation of elected officials from both sides of the aisle. Both parties are extremely old. Both party's leadership is extremely old, and I think there's an entire generation of young people who can lead. Sometimes old people need to get out of the way.

But I think this is a decision for Mitch McConnell. This is a decision for his family, and God bless Mitch McConnell.

GOLODRYGA: All right. Mia Love, Bakari Sellers, thank you. We'll end on that note.

Well, up next an urgent message from the mother of that escaped inmate in Pennsylvania and where four sightings say about where he possibly could be.



GOLODRYGA: In our national lead, despite four credible sightings, a violent murderer remains on the loose for the fifth day after escaping from a prison near Philadelphia. The community is understandably on edge but today investigators say they're closing in on him.


LT. COL. GEORGE BIVENS, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF OPERATIONS, PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE: I intend to stress him, I want to push him hard. He'll make mistakes. He'll show himself. He's already shown himself we believe a few times. We'll contain him and we will eventually catch him.


GOLODRYGA: Let's bring in CNN's Polo Sandoval.

So, Polo, what do we know that that latest sighting of this refugee.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bianna, we know that that latest sighting was actually --

GOLODRYGA: Fugitive, that is.

SANDOVAL: Correct, that latest sighting went down just yesterday afternoon which is why authorities have really been focusing about two square miles, a very short distance from the Chester County prison which is where he escaped from on Thursday. And they are confident as they said in today's -- in the latest update that they have every reason to believe that he's still contained in this specific area.

The reason why we created this map is because it does show you how relatively small and concentrated this search area actually is, about 35 miles west of Philadelphia.


And they believe that he has not slipped past this perimeter because of the four sightings that you mentioned a little while ago, the latest happening yesterday afternoon. It was a state trooper that actually saw this individual before he managed to get away.

Then, of course, we also saw that residential surveillance video that was released from a sighting early Saturday morning that shows appears to have a backpack. Though authorities don't know how this inmate would have been able to get his hands on that backpack or potentially provide any provisions that are still keeping hip going now five day into this search.

Authorities also touching on that other really important point which is a sense of fear and anxiety which seems to be present in that very small, very wooded community there as authorities are concerned and speaking to individuals, making sure that people are aware that they not approach him should they see him. What authorities are also doing they're actually playing a recording of the inmate's own mother in his native Portuguese pleading with her son to turn himself in.

But I have to tell you after listening to authorities today it's very clear they are confident that things are slowly going to be coming to a conclusion. They do say though he's growing increasingly desperate with that increasingly dangerous --Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Polo Sandoval, we'll continue to follow this story for us, thank you.

SANDOVAL: Okay. GOLODRYGA: We're continuing our national lead, Burning Man attendees are burning out. The music festival in Nevada's Black Rock Desert got messy over the weekend when two to three months of rain fell in just a matter of hours. It left tens of thousands stranded in the mud with dwindling supplies.

CNN's Camila Bernal is at Burning Man's main gate where some attendees are finally beginning to file through the exit.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a real sloppy mess out there.

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tens of thousands of people stuck at Burning Man in the Nevada desert over the weekend after heavy rains made a mess of the dirt roads.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We drove out and got stuck and made one bad decision. It was up to here.

BERNAL: Hundreds of cars ended up stranded on roads leading out of the Black Rock desert in the northwestern part of the state.

KAT BAE, FIRST-TIME BURNING MAN ATTENDEE: Everything was shut down. Getting out was a nightmare.

BERNAL: Paul Romero and his wife left Maui's devastation for what was supposed to be a relaxing honeymoon.

PAUL ROMERO, BURNING MAN ATTENDEE FROM HAWAII: It became a mini disaster for a lot of people. Entire camps became pretty much destroyed. It so was a lot of very trying times for a lot of people.

BERNAL: Less than an inch of water fell over one 24-hour period from Friday to Saturday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So much water. We are flooded.

BERNAL: Organizers of the week long festival asked attendees to shelter in place and to conserve food, water and fuel.

TONY COYOTE-PEREZ, BLACK ROCK CITY SUPERINTENDENT: It's definitely been very festive. Everybody is taking it in stride.

BERNAL: But not everybody some so-called burners say the mood was festive until supplies started running out.

ZOHAR KENNARD, BURNING MAN ATTENDEE FROM NORTHERN CALIFORNIA: Everybody took their shoes off, they started dancing in mud, it was great. And then the reality sunk in that we couldn't leave.

BERNAL: Apart from one death over the weekend, which authorities say is not weather-related, no serious injuries have been reported.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody was helping each other out. BERNAL: But tens of thousands are still slowly inches their way out of

the event and the man burn, an enormous totem effigy of the man ceremoniously set on fire at the end of Burning Man each year has been delayed until tonight making this year still an epic event.

BOBBY WHITE, BURNING MAN ATTENDEE: It is kind of a bonding thing. This will be one of those years when you look back, you feel like, oh I was there in 2023.


BERNAL (on camera): And what you are seeing here behind me is what organizers call the exodus, many, many cars that are trying to get out. I just talked to some attendees that got out and told me, they have been there for three hours and said they started about midway point in the line. They got to so separate that they began walking.

Authorities are telling people not to walk because it's safer to be in a vehicle. But look, there's many people that are going to stay inside for that burn tonight. So anybody that wants to get out will be allowed to get out but problem here is how long it's going to take them to get out -- Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Burning Man attendees are likely not to forgive for many years to come.

Camila Bernal, thank you.

Well, up next, what could be a concerning new alliance between Russia and North Korea. We'll have more details ahead.



GOLODRYGA: In our world lead, news signs today that the Russian alliance with North Korea is growing stronger. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un expects to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Russia to continue with arms negotiations that would support Russia's war in Ukraine. That is according to U.S. government. Russia is also considering holding joined military exercises with North Korea.

CNN's Melissa Bell is in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, where Melissa, all of this is happening as Ukraine has made some news of its own, has just replaced its defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov.

What do we know about this new defense minister and why the change now?

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It comes, of course, as you suggest, Bianna, at a critical time and this man is going to have his work cut out for him.

Rustem Umerov is well known here in Ukraine, former telecommunications executive, but who's had a hand in a lot of government businesses in the last few years, in fact, specifically was one of the key negotiators on the black grain deal that we've been talking about so much today again in the context of Vladimir Putin's meeting with the Turkish leader over in Sochi, and he was one of those warned at the time, be careful, Vladimir Putin might not stick the landing on this one, so it proved.


He's also had a lot of experience in a number of prisoner of war swaps over last few months and was oversaw more recently within parliament a commission that looked at how foreign money was spent. And I think this was important given the recent issues that the ministry of defense, he's not only a safe pair of hands, he's someone that he's experienced in dealing with funds and keeping corruption out of it.

And, of course, perhaps most importantly, Bianna, he's a Crimea tartar, he's a Muslim. And he's coming at a time when there are those suggesting that Crimea might be sacrificed. Here's the defense minister that's certainly not going to be in favor of that.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, symbolic leader at the head of the defense department there. With Ukraine replacing the defense minister over corruption concerns in the defense ministry, there's a lot of pressure for them to tackle this. How will this move factor into Ukraine's bids now for E.U. and NATO membership?

BELL: Well, I think it's very much part of President Zelensky's calculations. Remember, that in order for Ukraine to be able to join NATO and, of course, it was that bid that started this all off in 2014, Bianna. It's been made very clear to Kyiv that it's going to have to clean its act up.

Now, Oleksii Reznikov, the outgoing minister, it should be said. has not been tainted by any of the corruption and procurement scandals that have so tainted, bedeviled the ministry these last few months. Still, this is a clean slate to turn a new page and signal that very strongly to NATO allies.

GOLODRYGA: All right. Melissa Bell, thank you.

Well, the proposed minor mode for the Internet in China intended to limit screen time for kids. Why some younger users say try again.



GOLODRYGA: In our world lead, parents might appreciate this one -- China's idea to reduce screen time for kids. It's called minor mode, and it would limit how much time children spent on their smartphones.

But as CNN's Ivan Watson reports, some say the proposed law might not be very effective.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's an all too familiar scene. A child begs his mom for one more minute on her phone. A daily battle over devices, China's answer minor mode, a proposed law to order tech giants to limit children's screen time and shut off apps.

For one tired parent, the proposed rules would be a relief.

CRYSTAL GUO, MOTHER IN GUANGZHOU: This would be wonderful if it were true. There would be less anger between us, mother and son. You just can't keep the phone out of his hands.

WATSON: Under the new mode, children under 18 will get a maximum of two hours on smartphones per day, and will be locked out overnight.

But Beijing's top-down approach has its critics.

ANDREW COLLIER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, ORIENT CAPITAL RESEARCH: The broader worry I have is that China under the current leadership is imposing a very strict culture moralism on their citizens which is not going to be necessarily helpful for their personal growth or for the future of the Chinese economy.

WATSON: As part of China's broader digital crackdown, minors are already banned from gaming on week days. Social media apps have time limits and some parents ship their children off to boot camps to kick Internet addiction.

Mengtai Zhang, who was sent to one of these camps at 16, says Beijing's latest rules won't work.

MENGTAI ZHANG, ATTENDED INTERNET ADDICTION CAMP: Without those structural changes, limiting children's time on video games won't change anything for the addiction. If they find a way to create a more meaningful space for children to spend time together, and have their parents relax from the work, the situation would be much better.

WATSON: Children are also finding ways around Beijing's rules. This 10-year-old explains.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY (through translator): Some kids use their parents ID to log in. They never put their phones down. They'll look at it until the battery runs out.

WATSON: The new guidelines order Internet providers to highlight socialist and patriotic content and provide family values. This mom hopes the rules will also mean more outdoor play.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It takes away from your time to play, exercise and read. It takes away from your time to do more interesting things.

WATSON: But her son says parents need to lead by example.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY (through translator): It's not easy to control myself and adults can't either.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Don't speak about us adults speak about yourself.

WATSON: A battle over screen time that's far from over.


WATSON (on camera): This appears to be a universal challenge for parents right now from North America all the way to here in Asia, how to get kids and their noses out of these devices, out of these phones. China's potential approach here, well, it could present some lessons of what to do and what not to do with this dilemma -- Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: A universal challenge for all parents it seems, including me.

Ivan Watson, thank you for that report.

Well, CNN's "SITUATION ROOM" is tracking that potential meeting between Russia's Vladimir Putin and North Korea's Kim Jong Un and what U.S. officials say this could signal if they do in fact meet.

Plus, before Elvis and the Beatles, another iconic voice was making his mark on rock 'n' roll.


Tonight, a CNN film looks at the extraordinary and legendary life of Little Richard. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was just like a shot out of a cannon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His voice. That, oh. He created the rock and roll icon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry, y'all, it wasn't Elvis.

LITTLE RICHARD: I am the king of rock and roll!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first songs that you love that your parents hate is the beginning of the sound track to your life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Little Richard's lyrics were too lewd to get air play on the radio.

LITTLE RICHARD: It was just as clean as you were.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was very good at liberating other people. He was not good at liberating position.

LITTLE RICHARD: Michael was inspired by me. Prince. James Brown. I discovered him. Jimi Hendrix was my guitar player.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I was just down on the desk and doing Little Richard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone was beholden to him.

ANNOUNCER: "Little Richard, I Am Everything," tonight at 9:00 on CNN.