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Operation To Rescue American In Turkish Cave May Begin Tomorrow, Could Take 4 Days; Hurricane Lee A Powerful Category 4 Storm; Energy Department Declares Power Emergency In Texas; Airline Unions Push For Regulations On Cabin Temperature After String Of Tarmac Delay Incidents; Unranked Ben Shelton Takes On Djokovic For Spot In World Cup Finals; Fallon Apologizes To Staff For Alleged Toxic Workplace. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired September 08, 2023 - 14:30   ET




BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: We may be just a few hours away from the start of a rescue mission for the American who has been trapped inside a Turkish cave for days.

And 40-year-old Mark Dickey was on a research expedition when he began suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding. There is video showing him alert and upright after he received six units of blood.

His condition is stable but he remains 3,600 feet underground.

CNN's Eleni Giokos has been following this story.

Eleni, what can you tell us about this rescue mission?

ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, this video showing us an alert and stable Mark Dickey. And this is important.

Look, the authorities, emergency services are telling us that he is doing well. He himself said in a video that he released that he is feeling good and he's alert, but he's still not healed inside.

And that is really important because we've spoken about these narrow passageways they're trying to blast to try to expand. They are talking about stretchers and harnesses.

In terms of the operation, it's set to start on Saturday if everything goes well and Mark Dickey is feeling healthy enough.

And 182 rescuers on the ground from various countries from around the world, 32 people are currently underground within the cave planning and preparing for this exit. Making sure there is enough assistance at every stop.

I want you to take a listen to some of what Mark Dickey had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MARK DICKEY, AMERICAN RESEARCHER TRAPPED IN A TURKISH CAVE: I look forward to working with everyone to safely get myself out with their assistance. As you can see, I'm up, I'm alert, I'm talking, but I'm not healed on the inside yet. So I'm going to need a lot of help to get out of here.


GIOKOS: Yes, I mean, look, Boris, you can see how cold it is. You can see that mist coming out when he's speaking. So it gives you a sense of the conditions. It is cold, it is wet, it's a difficult scenario.

I have to remind you he started gastrointestinal bleeding on Saturday. We are talking about seven days into this. Incredible effort by the international community and by local rescuers.

The question now is, is he going to be feeling good enough to start this on Saturday?

SANCHEZ: Glad to see him speaking and smiling. And seems to be that he's laughing down there, even though this seems like a very difficult ordeal.

Eleni Giokos, thanks so much.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN HOST: Hurricane Lee is now a category 4 storm rapidly churning its way through the Atlantic. The latest update shows Lee with sustained winds at 155 miles per hour.

The National Hurricane Center is warning of dangerous surf and rip current conditions across the Caribbean over the next few days.

CNN's meteorologist, Chad Myers, has been following this.

So what is the latest track? Tell us where it's headed.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Still headed to the west-northwest. I mean, that's been the track from the hurricane center and all the models for at least four days.


But, yes, 155. It was briefly yesterday a category 5 at 157 or higher. But we were all the way up to 165. Right now, we're still kind of losing a little power. There's some shear out there.

There's also colder water up to the north. Maybe that's another five days away, though.

That's how long we will be talking about this same storm because it's moving very, very slowly, but moving right along the path here of where the models say it should be going.

While we are all going to wait for this big turn to the right. Does it happen a little bit early? Maybe Bermuda is in trouble? Does it happen a little late? And maybe the northeast could get brushed by this thing.

It's in very warm water. Obviously, the steering currents around the high and ahead of the low, this is a typical pattern for a recurring storm. There's the cold water that is from Franklin, kind of mixed the atmosphere up.

Yes, all of the water came from way down below. Hurricane Lee the third fastest rapid intensification tied with Matthew. Yes, this was a very intense storm. And still is.

SCIUTTO: Let's look at Texas now. And a historic heatwave. Every time I talk to you, it's historic. Records are being broken almost every day. Historic rains in Hong Kong, historic heat in Texas, and historically busy hurricane season.

Tell us what's happening in Texas and how bad and how unusual.

MYERS: Today should be the worst of it for north Texas, for Dallas- Fort Worth, Waco, Texarkana and the like. Then all of the heat kind of gets bottled up a little bit farther to the south for tomorrow.

But they are very worried about the power grid, obviously not going down but saying please conserve. Don't do anything silly in the middle of the afternoon, don't run your drier if you don't have to, don't bake a Turkey if you don't have to.

That's more power consumption that can be put off, especially the drier, until 8:00 or 9:00 tonight when the air conditioning use starts to go down a little bit.

It's hot and it's going to stay hot. Six days above 100 in September for Houston. And 34 days in the summer above 100. Only two more days above 100 to break the all-time record.

It's a year of records and I think we will break that for sure.

SCIUTTO: Chad Myers, at the Weather Center, thanks so much.


SANCHEZ: As Chad mentioned, with all this heat, it's being felt, especially at airports where extreme temperatures on the tarmac are a problem that's become much too common affecting passengers and airline workers.

In Phoenix, where temperatures can reach well into the triple digits, baggage handlers and airplane cleaners are filing a safety complaint with OSHA saying they're being forced to work in blistering hot conditions.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LINDA RESSLER, CABIN WORKER: I often feel like I'm going to faint. And I've caught myself briefly dipping in and out of consciousness. I sometimes resort to drinking water left over from the passengers. It's grueling work and we often have so many airplanes scheduled to clean.


SANCHEZ: Airline unions across the country are joining the fight demanding new regulations to keep things cool in the cabin.

We're joined by CNN aviation correspondent, Pete Muntean, who took a break from his unofficial duties of mayor of DCA to join us in the studio.


SANCHEZ: Pete, what are the unions asking for?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: This is a big ask, because they want regulations here, also passengers want regulations, and flight attendants want regulations, so there is a maximum temperature in the passenger cabin.

It's a big problem and the planes have been baking in the hot sun and it's changing with climate change. We have seen issues where planes are stuck on the tarmac and passengers become overheated in Vegas, in Arizona and Dallas.

Those are big hubs in the southwest. You expect it to be hot there. Atlanta can be pretty hot. This is moving north and east, though, with climate change. And we're seeing this happen in places like New York.

The real issue and the big situation here is that pilots will sometimes turn off the air conditioning on board a plane when it's in something called a tarmac delay.

This is something where there have been some regulations around but not completely when it comes to the temperature on board the plane.

Flight attendants have been gathering complaints from themselves. The numbers are through the roof, 4,000 complaints of extreme temperature on board a commercial airliner since 2018, so over the last five years.

The issue is that the rules are a little bit murky. The Department of Transportation says, "If a plane is sitting on the tarmac during a delay, either waiting for a gate or waiting to be pushed back from the gate before takeoff, they have to maintain a comfortable cabin temperature."

It's up to the airline policy to police this, but that's the airline policy. There's no rule from the federal government about this.

The Department of Transportation does fine airlines when it comes to this.


But this is where it gets really interesting. Now Congress is getting involved. Congress' purse -- the FAA's purse strings are held by Congress here. We're going through FAA reauthorization. So Congress could force them.

And there is some language in the House FAA reauthorization bill that would make it so that there is a rule that the FAA has to look at temperatures on board planes and maybe come up with an official standard. We will see, though.

Clearly, a lot of people are upset about this and they want some change here, not only workers, but passengers, too.

SANCHEZ: Yes, it could be a significant health concern.

MUNTEAN: No doubt.

SANCHEZ: Pete Muntean, thank you so much.


SCIUTTO: American Ben Shelton is about to battle it out on the court with Novak Djokovic for a spot in the U.S. Open final. We will go live to Arthur Ashe Stadium, next.



SANCHEZ: Now to some of the other headlines we're watching for this hour.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, at 83 years old, announced today that she is running for reelection.

The California Democrat made history, becoming the first woman to hold the speakership back in 2007. She stepped down as leader in January after Republicans won control of the chamber.

Looking overseas, record-breaking rainfall in Hong Kong trapping drivers, submerging train stations, and causing major road damage. Officials say it is the heaviest downpour the city has seen in a single hour since the late 1800s. More than 100 people are reportedly injured.

Finally -




SANCHEZ: -- a somber salute in London marking the one-year anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's death. King Charles III and Queen Camilla attended a special service of

remembrance at a church in Scotland where the late queen used to worship. Queen Elizabeth, of course, was the U.K.'s longest monarch, ruling the kingdom for over 70 years.


SCIUTTO: I can't believe it's been a year.

Well, this afternoon, at the U.S. Open, unseated American Ben Shelton will attempt to pull off another upset in his quest to reach the finals there.

To do it, he has his work cut out for him, defeating 23-time grand champion and heavy favorite, Novak Djokovic.

Shelton will try to join Coco Gauff, who advanced to the women's finals. The 19-year-old is now just one win away from becoming grand slam champion.

CNN's Carolyn Manno joins us now.

Carolyn, listen, already they've had a great U.S. Open. Let's throw that out there. They're causing a stir. This is all icing on the cake.

But what chances do you place for an upset over Djokovic from Shelton based on how he's playing right now?

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, listen, I think you hit it exactly on the head. He has absolutely nothing to lose.

When you look at the stats, head to head, Ben Shelton is looking for his first career title. Djokovic has 100 of them. Ben Shelton has won 15.

There is no pressure on him. If he lost to Novak Djokovic, nobody would think, wow, I can't believe it. I mean, Novak Djokovic is the best player in the world for a reason.

Ben Shelton can beat anybody, Jim, on any given day. His serve is absolutely massive. The question will be, will he meet the moment, which he's proven he can do as a collegiate player who embraces this environment.

He loves this crowd and the U.S. Open crowd loves him right back. In fact, watching him warm up a short time ago, there were a couple hundred people cheering for every shot made and talking about how exciting he's been.

It's going to be a difficult test. I think it would be pretty wild if he could pull it off against the likes of Novak Djokovic. But the run has been story book with how far he has made it. He has been the breakout star of this year's tournament.

Then, you have Coco Gauff who has a likely shot of ending this tournament with her first major slam. Sabalenka will be a tough test but Coco is playing phenomenally well.

Quite a story for the Americans, Jim, at the U.S. Open heading into tonight's matches.

SCIUTTO: You're right. Listen, when they have nothing to lose, you can take some risks, you might push the limits and maybe you knock off a champion.

Carolyn Manno, again, I'm jealous. She's there, we're here.




SANCHEZ: Still to come, "The Tonight Show's" Jimmy Fallon is apologizing to his staff after allegations of a toxic workplace were published in "Rolling Stone." Details straight ahead.



SANCHEZ: "Tonight Show" host, Jimmy Fallon, is apologizing for a toxic work environment. The allegations were revealed in a tell-all report from "Rolling Stone" magazine. Past and current employees claimed they were constantly belittled and bullied by show leadership, including the star comedian.

CNN senior entertainment reporter, Lisa France, is here with Fallon's apology and more behind-the-scenes drama.

Lisa, what can you tell us about the report?

LISA FRANCE, CNN SENIOR ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Allow me to quote just a little bit of the report to set the stage for what has been a bombshell about the show.

It says, "According to two current and 14 former employees, 'The Tonight Show' has been a toxic workplace for years, far outside the boundaries of what is considered normal in the high-pressure world of late-night TV."

They say, "The ugly environment behind the scenes starts at the top, with Fallon's erratic behavior, and has trickled down to its ever- changing leadership teams, nine show runners in nine years, who seemingly don't know how to say no to Jimmy."


And then from there, we had a lot of testimonials and allegations from past and present employees, who paint a picture of an extremely toxic work environment.

And surprising to many, Jimmy Fallon very quickly apologized within hours of the story being published.

He said, "Sorry if I embarrassed you and your family and friends. I feel so bad, I can't even tell you. I want the show to be fun. It should be inclusive to everybody."

People are saying he sounded really contrite, like he is really sorry for everything that is being reported about his late-night show.

SANCHEZ: So, Lisa, "The Tonight Show" a big deal for NBC. What are they saying?

FRANCE: NBC, interestingly enough, released a statement in support of the show, but it's not a statement that actually mentions Fallon himself.

They said, "We are incredibly proud of 'The Tonight Show.' And providing a respectful working environment is a top priority. As in any workplace, we have had employees raise issues. Those have been investigated and action has been taken where appropriate.

"As is always the case, we encourage employees who feel they have experienced behavior inconsistent with our policies to report their concerns so we may address them accordingly."

SANCHEZ: Lisa France, great to see you, my friend.


FRANCE: Good to see you, my friend. Take care.

SCIUTTO: There are 19 defendants in the Fulton County election interference case, but we are learning there were 20 more people who narrowly avoided charges, despite the special grand jury's recommendations. We'll tell you who they were exactly in this newly released report, coming up.