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Parents Protest Using Gyms as Shelters; Illinois Girl Found After Six Years; Shopping Pullback at Target; Guardrails Urged for AI; Gearing up for Holiday Travel. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired May 17, 2023 - 09:30   ET




JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: This morning nearly all abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy are banned in North Carolina. This after Republican state lawmakers voted to override Democratic Governor Roy Cooper's veto of their bill. Exceptions can be made for rape, incest and life- threatening emergencies. The bill also bans medication abortions after ten weeks.

In Washington, a security breach at the home of National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan is now under investigation. The Secret Service says an intruder was able to get into his home without them knowing last late month.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, with Title 42 now gone, a legal battle is brewing far away from the border with Mexico. In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis has announced that he's going to send 1,100 troops and law enforcement to Texas to help at the southern border. Also, CNN has learned that Florida has chosen three companies to execute the next phase of the migrant relocation program kind of created there by Ron DeSantis. That's according to a source familiar with the process. It sets in motion plans to transport migrants to other cities just as he did last year.

And then in New York, parents are protesting over the mayor's plans here to -- how he's planning to handle the migrants coming into New York City.

CNN's Polo Sandoval is standing by. He's following all of this.

So, what is going on here with the - with the plans and the protests?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, Kate, what this is, it's basically just another sign of that domino effect of that surge that we experienced before last week's expiration of Title 42. What we saw outside of this public school here in Brooklyn, New York, this morning was some anger, some frustration on behalf of not only parents but also students as they were led around the block a couple of times, signs in hand, taking a stand against this latest effort by Eric Adams, his decompression strategy, if you will, to try to deal with the growing number of asylum seekers. And what that strategy includes is locate -- placing about 300 asylum seekers, at least so far, at about 20 gyms in schools throughout the city here.

Now, in terms of what the mayor is saying is this is his effort to try to deal with this ongoing - these ongoing asylum seeker arrivals of anywhere from 200 to 300 and at some point even 500 a day. They need a place to put them. So, he believes that this is one option here. These gyms are separate. City officials saying that the asylum seekers, they would be temporarily offered respite at these gyms, would not have any sort of contact with students.

But the parents, they mostly are sympathetic with the plight of these asylum seekers, but they also recognize that a school gym is certainly not a place for them, not to mention potential school disruptions. And then there's the other argument as well that I've heard from parents, which is concerns about the safety of their children.

Well, the Brooklyn Borough president responding to those fears.


ANTONIO REYNOSO, BROOKLYN BOROUGH PRESIDENT: Crime is going down according to our mayor and our Das. Crime is continuously going down. These folks have not caused, in any way, shape or form, an influx or an increase in crime. So, this narrative about safety is just one that is being made up right now.


SANDOVAL: So, those are at least three different sides of this issue that is certainly quite controversial. People are very passionate about this here.


But, look, I think everybody certainly has to face the fact that we continue to see nearly 65,000 asylum seekers that have been processed by the city in the last year and two months. So, there is certainly a struggle when it comes to the city's effort to place these individuals. And it's something that we are likely going to continue to see, not just here, but in other cities. The question is, will the -- sort of the drop in apprehensions that I witnessed along the border the last couple of days, will that mean that we'll get a break up here? We'll have to see.

Back to you, Kate.

BOLDUAN: And we do know that including the mayor of New York City and the mayor of other big cities where the migrants are being - are heading too far away from the border, they're now looking for a meeting with the president to ask for additional help with this exact thing.

It's good to see you, Polo. Thank you.

Sara. SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: Six years after a young girl's abduction, she is back home with her father again. It was a stranger in North Carolina who recognized Kayla Unbehaun from a true crimes show on Netflix.

CNN's Jean Casarez is joining us now.

This is every parent of a missing child's wish, that the child is now only found, but found alive and able to come home. How did this all begin? When did she go missing?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's an amazing story. And there she is when she was abducted. She was nine years old. And it's been six years. But they were in South Elgin, Illinois. That is a suburb of Chicago. Her father had been awarded full custody. Her mother, Heather, had gotten supervised visitation. Well, July 2017, right after Fourth of July, her father, Ryan, goes to pick her up. She's not there. The mother is gone.

I looked at court records this morning, and an Amber Alert was immediately issued. There was nothing. They couldn't find her. At the end of July, a felony warrant for arrest on child abduction was issued out of the courts in Illinois. Still nothing.

So, for six years he didn't know what had happened to his daughter. What did she know? We don't know. But last Saturday, in North Carolina, we want to show you, that's 600 miles away, someone in a store recognized her from the Netflix series "Unsolved Mysteries." Went to store personnel. I recognize her. She's someone that's been missing. Police came. They found her. They arrested her mother.

Let's listen to police in Asheville, North Carolina.


LT. DIANA LOVELAND, ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA POLICE: It is unusual, but it's good that when someone does suspect that they recognize someone, no matter how old the story might be, that they are not afraid to give us a call so we can come investigate.


CASAREZ: And there is a statement that has been released by her father this morning. He says that he is overjoyed that Kayla is at home. We ask for our privacy so we get to know each other again and navigate this very new beginning.

So, there is an extradition hearing July 11th is what I'm hearing. So I'm going to be calling the district attorney's office when we get off because it's quite an extended time for an extradition hearing, right? But $250,000 bail for her mother, Heather, right there. That is what we believe might be a mugshot. And she made the bail. So, she is free pending this court hearing on July 11th.

SIDNER: Abductions, sometimes people in the family, sometimes a parent, sometimes a stranger, but - CASAREZ: Across straight lines.

SIDNER: Across straight lines.

CASAREZ: Potential for federal charges.

SIDNER: The important thing here is that when some of these cases get publicity, they tend to do well -- they tend to do better. People start really looking.

CASAREZ: And it was four seconds that she was on that Netflix show. Four seconds.

SIDNER: It's unbelievable. Unbelievable. This is such an interesting story. Thank you, Jean Casarez.

CASAREZ: Thank you.

SIDNER: Always bringing the goods.


BERMAN: A new warning from Target this morning. Shoppers are buying fewer clothes and spending more and more on essentials. Why this raises concerns about the "r" word.

The CEO of one of America's biggest artificial intelligence companies makes a surprising admission. What he told Congress, ahead.



BOLDUAN: All right, Italian police have seized nearly 3 tons of cocaine hidden in banana boxes. Officers say the sting operation is a blow to one of the most powerful crime syndicates in Italy, even though no arrests were actually made. The drugs, which were hidden among bananas in false bottoms of the boxes, had a street value of more than $860 million.

North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un claims that he is close to launching the country's first military reconnaissance satellite. State news agency released these images of him inspecting the satellite -- and obviously along with some dogs as well, if that's what we're showing -- and says that he has approved, quote, future action plans.


BERMAN: I think those may have been the cocaine bananas there.

BOLDUAN: I'm just going with it. Just keep moving along.

BERMAN: Which look a lot like, apparently, a North Korean satellite.

BOLDUAN: Satellite. BERMAN: A potential recession warning this morning from Target. The company reporting slowing sales as shoppers pull back on certain purchases. I was just getting a briefing backstage on this, seriously, from CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans.

So, what's going on here?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: So, sales barely growing here. And you can see at Target people going to the essentials, and beauty, by the way. But household goods, the essentials, food, you know, things like that, that's what they're buying mostly and they're shunning things they don't maybe need right now. And that's after a couple years of very brisk growth. So, that's a really interesting fact to hear, especially after Home Depot yesterday warned on its guidance for the year saying, people have been doing home improvements for a couple years. Now they're buying a little bit less as they're going back to work. So, we're seeing the consumer change a little bit here.

BERMAN: That's kind of a retreat. Whenever you get back to buying essentials, that's like pulling back.


ROMANS: Right. Exactly. Exactly, it is.

And there's another interesting thing that this company pointed out. And its CEO is on a conference call with analysts right now talking about, you know, we call it shrinkage in the industry, but saying that because of high inflation, organized criminal gangs, very organized criminal gangs across the country have violently been stealing stuff from Target stores and reselling them cheaper on the black market. And that's going to clip their profits by about $500 million. It's one of the biggest drivers of their so-called shrinkage is this idea that organized crime is basically taking the stuff at the - at the retail price off of their store shelves and selling it to consumers who really are looking for lower prices, even lower than Target prices, those are pretty low prices already, because of the inflation story. Inflation making the organized crime situation, retail crime situation worse. I think that just is very telling about where we are right now.

BERMAN: A lot of factors intertwined there, but product, you know, walking out of the store, violently in some cases.

ROMANS: Yes, absolutely.

BERMAN: All right, Christine Romans, thank you very much.

ROMANS: Nice to see you.


SIDNER: All right, John, coming up on CNN NEWS CENTRAL, a Missouri teacher is out of a job after using a racial slur in class. The "n" word. And it was all caught on video. What the school is saying now, just ahead. And a bit later, prepare for the crowds. New estimates this morning on

just how many of us plan to fly this Memorial Day weekend. Hint, it's a whole lot.



SIDNER: Life enhancing or an existential threat to humanity, the House of Representatives will meet with artificial intelligence industry leaders today on what regulating this fast-growing technology might look like. Now, this comes after a Senate hearing set off alarms on technology that might be expanding beyond anyone's control. Last night I spoke with Eric Schmidt, former CEO for Google, who is now investing in an AI company, about how that could all play out.


SIDNER: When it comes to war, because we talked about the fact that it can be used in war, is it more dangerous than, for example, nuclear war, the way we think of conventional war, the worst-case scenario?

ERIC SCHMIDT, AI INVESTOR AND FORMER GOOGLE CEO: Well, nuclear war is horrific and any sort of large nuclear conflagration would destroy the world as we know it. You can imagine this technology, for example, active cyberattacks, attack a whole country, do it until everybody's dead, and you can imagine that scenario. You can also imagine the scenario where you say, I want to kill a million people, show me a biological path to do it.

SIDNER: Oh, my gosh.

SCHMIDT: These are the dangers that we have to make sure are not happening.


SIDNER: Active cyberattacks that could keep going until everyone in the world is dead. Like --

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Really uplifting stuff for the morning, Sara. Thanks for that.

SIDNER: I'm sorry. It totally freaks me out. What are lawmakers trying to do here?

O'SULLIVAN: Yes, look, I mean I think yesterday's hearing was quite interesting in that, you know, we've seen tech executives come to Capitol Hill for years now. But there was a consensus vote among the experts on the panel and Republicans and Democrats that something has to be done. What exactly that is and how it's going to look is - you know, remains to be seen.

But one of the experts on yesterday's panel was a former NYU professor. He was asked, well, what could be done? And here's what he said. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PROF. GARY MARCUS, SELF-DESCRIBED CRITIC OF AI HYPE: Number one, a safety review like we use with the FDA prior to widespread deployment. Number two, a nimble monitoring agency to follow what's going on. Number three would be funding geared towards things like AI constitution, AI that can reason about what it's doing. I would not leave things entirely to current technology, which I think is poor at behaving in ethical fashion and behaving in honest fashion. And so I would have funding to try to basically focus on AI safety research.


O'SULLIVAN: Now, a lot of yesterday's hearing, we heard the senators talking about that, that basically they didn't want to make the same mistakes with AI that they did with social media. In their view they said we didn't get on top of social media and the potential harms of that to soon - early enough and now, you know, the sort of horse has bolted.

So, they are trying to get a handle on AI. Whether they can or not, I mean, this is just going to touch every aspect of our lives there. I mean you spoke last night to Eric Schmidt.


O'SULLIVAN: That's -

SIDNER: That was the most dire part. I mean it could do good things as well.


SIDNER: With health care and all sorts of advancements. But the bad parts of this could end us.

O'SULLIVAN: Yes. And Sam Altman, the guy who's behind OpenAI, which is behind ChatGPT, he was asked straight up, he was like, is this going to kill jobs? And he said, yes. He said, GPT technology is going to kill jobs. But he said we should view this as a technological revolution, just like previous technological revolutions got rid of some jobs, automated some jobs, but created new ones. So that is how he's selling it.

SIDNER: And created new headaches. Sorry, I'm a bit negative this morning, Donie.



BERMAN: All right, before that calamity, how about some holiday travel? Attention all passengers, Memorial Day weekend will be a busy one for holiday travel. Forecasters with AAA expect more than 42 million Americans to get away, which is higher than 2019 pre-pandemic levels. United and American Airlines each say they are staffed to serve nearly 3 million passengers during the holiday weekend. They want to avoid the fiasco of last year's Memorial Day situation.

CNN aviation correspondent Pete Muntean is with us now.

They have great expectations for this holiday weekend and I think, Pete, probably great expectations for the summer.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: No doubt. You know, this really spells a huge summer ahead and the airlines. And AAA says that 42 million number, the big driver is air travel, which is up 11 percent compared to 2019. That's the forecast from AAA. So, we may see a pandemic-era air travel record only days away.

What is so interesting about that 2.9 million passenger forecast from both United Airlines and American Airlines, that's a number they've not seen in a long, long time.


And United Airlines says the busiest day, only nine days away, on Friday, May 26th. Folks, make your plans now if you've not already. United anticipates serving 500,000 people on Friday alone. It really will be big at Newark, Denver and O'Hare, United Airlines says.

But what is really, really interesting here, John, and typically we've not seen before, especially in this post-pandemic era, is that air travel internationally is forecasted to go up. Usually, we don't see that over long weekends. That's more of a week-long summer type trip. But United Airlines says international air travel for Memorial Day weekend is up 16 percent compared to last year, up 11 percent compared to 2019 back before the pandemic.

Here is the rub, though. Airlines really struggled over Memorial Day last year, and that kicked off really a summer of meltdowns. They had 2,500 cancellations over Memorial Day industry wide, 55,000 summer wide. So, really, we'll see if airlines and the FAA are up to the challenge here. American Airlines insist that it is. It is the largest airlines in terms of the number of employees that of 17,600 employees, it says, since 2021, but now it's operating fewer flights but using bigger airplanes with more seats. So, fewer flights and more employees. The airline says it is right-sized and right-staffed for what is ahead.

I don't know, though, Berman, maybe not going to get a canceled flight to miss out on some time with the in-laws.

BERMAN: And just remind our bosses, Pete -


BERMAN: What day you think we should all come back from Memorial Day weekend?

MUNTEAN: The AAA forecast is that Monday will be big. Everybody coming home all at once. But if you can, the tip is, especially if you're driving, extend your trip and try and work from home on Tuesday, maybe even into Wednesday. BERMAN: Wednesday. That's what I was waiting for.

MUNTEAN: Not everyone has that luxury. I'll be working. I'm sure you will be too.

BERMAN: Yes, right here, no doubt. I just like the idea that I could say, Pete told me to ask for, you know, Wednesday back.


BERMAN: Pete Muntean, thank you very much, as always. Appreciate it.

BOLDUAN: And now since everyone knows, now we should probably move it to Thursday because everyone's going to be coming back on Wednesday. It's going to tough. It's going to be a tough week, guys. It's going to be a tough week.

All right, ahead on CNN NEWS CENTRAL, in just hours, a major moment for a key abortion pill as the U.S. Court of Appeals is about to hear oral arguments. Is it heading towards being banned nationwide? We have the stakes ahead.

And, later, a Missouri teacher is out of a job after a videotape surfaces showing the teacher using a racial slur. Why then was a student also punished? That's coming up.