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At Least 50 Injured On LATAM Airlines Flight To New Zealand; Princess Of Wales Says She Edited Photo, Apologizes For "Confusion"; "Oppenheimer" Takes Home Seven Awards Including Best Picture. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired March 11, 2024 - 07:30   ET




JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: In an overtime thriller, Caitlin Clark led the Iowa Hawkeyes over Nebraska for their third consecutive Big Ten Tournament win. Clark, who won the tournament's Most Outstanding Player for the third straight year, had 34 points. Iowa now seems poised to nab a number-one seed in the NCAA tournament.

Wildlife crews have been working to free a sperm whale beached off the coast of Venice, Florida. Venice police say the whale, which is more than 50 feet long, has been in a sandbar since the weekend. Hope is fading for its rescue because of increasingly dangerous water conditions.

So, this morning, tote mania. The Trader Joe's mini canvas bag, which sells for $2.99, is in such high demand the grocery chain has limited the number a person can buy to one at a time. Some locations are even backordered on the bag until September. Whatever will people do? There is now tout gouging with folks on eBay and Facebook trying to sell them for between $5.00 to $500 -- Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Blood on the ceiling and people flying through the air. That is how passengers are describing what they lived through after a midair disturbance overnight that injured at least 50 people. The plane was traveling from Sydney, Australia to Auckland, New Zealand when it experienced what the airline is calling a technical event.

Let's bring in CNN's Pete Muntean. He's learning much more about this. And Pete, passengers say it was so violent that it broke the ceiling of the plane.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Not unusual to hear about that in these severe turbulence incidents that keep making headlines. And likely, we'll see more of these with climate change, Kate.


Seven hurt last March in a Lufthansa flight. Eleven on a Delta flight in August. Thirty-six on a Hawaiian Airlines flight the December before last. But this one is the most significant in recent memory. First responders say they've treated 50 people in total on board this flight, 12 taken to the hospital, one patient in serious condition.

This happened on LATAM flight 800 between Sydney and Auckland. That flight ultimately goes on to Santiago, Chile. This was a Boeing 787.

The flight apparently at 41,000 feet. That's the cruising altitude -- the time when the seatbelt sign can be off. Passengers say that is when this plane hit turbulence; one telling Radio New Zealand blood was on the ceiling and people flew and broke the ceiling of the plane.

So far, the airline's calling this a technical event during which the flight caused a strong movement. So the airline not even calling this severe turbulence even though that's typically the case of the in- flight injuries.

Sometimes turbulence can be caused by the weather, such as up and down drafts of thunderstorms. Sometimes wind sheer where there are two columns of air moving at different speeds. Turbulence can, though, be associated with no weather phenomenon at all -- called clear air turbulence -- meaning it could be invisible to pilots.

Airlines have gotten a lot better at forecasting turbulence but the National Transportation Safety Board says turbulence is the number one cause of injuries on commercial flights. All the more reason, Kate, to keep your seatbelt fastened on a commercial airliner even if the seatbelt sign is off. We have seen time and time again how these things can go sideways.

BOLDUAN: Yeah. Clear air turbulence sounds like an absolute horrible recipe for disaster here.

It's good to see you, Pete. Thank you so much. Much more to learn about what all happened here -- Sara.

SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Just in, the Princess of Wales is apologizing over the royal family photo that several news agencies pulled because it appeared to have been manipulated. The photo released for Mother's Day in the U.K. was the first official image of Princess Kate since her abdominal surgery two months ago.

CNN's Max Foster is following all of this and joins us now.

This controversy has fueled more speculation about the princess's -- about her health. What exactly is the palace telling you? I know you've been speaking to the palace.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR AND ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, nothing formal. I've just been speaking to people and trying to get information about what happened here. Because this all happened -- you know, this withdrawal of the photos by the photo agencies happened yesterday and we hadn't heard anything from the palace.

And the conspiracy theories were even wilder than they were before. Everyone -- all of the fans really picking out inconsistencies in this photo and reading all sorts of things into that -- into that. Amid this vacuum of information about the princess actually (audio

gap). When she looked well, it created a lot of positivity. And then we had all these inconsistencies appearing. And then the photo agencies withdrawing the photos, effectively.

Well, the palace is suggesting to me -- or people within the palace -- is this was a photo taken on a happy day. The family spent the day together. William took the photo and then Kate then made some minor adjustments, as it's been described to me, as she posted it to social media.

So I think the message we're getting here is that these sort of adjustments aren't uncommon on social media. She was doing what other people do. There's nothing to read into this. There's nothing more dark about this. They're not hiding anything else.

But meanwhile, the speculation continues to be rampant about how she is and what we're not being told.

SIDNER: Max Foster, thank you so much for that.

And we know that there was a post that was put out just now by Kensington Palace saying, "Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I want to express my apologies for any confusion." That coming from the Princess of Wales.

We will wait and see. Maybe they'll put out the original photo to clear up this mess. All right, appreciate your time -- John.

BERMAN: All right. You heard Rafael Romo's report a short time ago about the backlash against Sen. Katie Britt's response to the State of the Union address. Well, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" got in on the action as well -- listen.


SCARLETT JOHANNSON, ACTRESS, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": First and foremost, I'm a mom. And like any mom, I'm going to do a pivot out of nowhere into a shockingly violent story about sex trafficking. And rest assured every detail about it is real except the year, where it took place, and who was president when it happened.


BERMAN: All right. With us now, CNN political commentators Ana Navarro and Bakari Sellers.

That was no joke. By the way -- I mean, that was all wrong in Katie Britt's rebuttal to the State of the Union.


Ana, I want to go first to you because you were very energized by her rebuttal.

ANA NAVARRO, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm still energized. I still can't get over what I saw.

And listen, it's not often that the "SNL" skit is less ridiculous than what actually happened. I think they should have just played the real video because that's more comical and horrifying at the same time than anything any comedy writer can do.

So, yes, the story that she told there is -- it's not fabricated but it is changed and adapted to fit her narrative that it happened under Joe Biden in the United States. It happened in 2004, so 20 years ago, when George W. Bush was president. It's a tragic, tragic story. These things do happen.

It is the story of a real person, Karla Jacinto Romero. It happened in Tijuana, not in the United States. And it did not happen because of Joe Biden's executive orders or policies.

And so, basically, everything that she said was a lie, and she's still sticking to it being -- you know, her office is being cute by half, saying oh, you know, nothing she said is a lie. Well, she made it seem like it was Joe Biden's fault except that it happened 20 years before Joe Biden was president in a different country.

BERMAN: You know, Bakari, I do want to --

NAVARRO: Other than that, it was --

BERMAN: Yeah. Other than that, it was 100 percent right.


BERMAN: Yeah, but I do, Bakari, wonder if this says something about where we are in 2024 because Katie Britt is never going to apologize for this.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, (D) FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA STATE REPRESENTATIVE (via Webex by Cisco): Yeah. It actually shows how our politics have just downwardly spiraled over the past few years.

Katie Britt was a rising star until she wasn't. And what we saw in that State of the Union response -- I don't know where the expectation level was for her but we know the expectation level for Joe Biden was extremely low. But for Katie Britt, I believe that people thought she was going to come out there and be the next coming of Barack Obama, and that's just not the case.

Not just this story that she told where she fabricated the edges so that it met her narrative, but the fact that they had her in an IKEA kitchen and she was doing all that heavy breathing trying to act as if she was Anne Hathaway. It was -- it was just a weird, weird, weird set of circumstances. And I feel really bad for Katie Britt because the people around her did her no justice.

BERMAN: Bakari, I want to ask you about where this campaign stands right now because we saw both candidates in Georgia. President Biden and Donald Trump were in Georgia over the weekend. And Donald Trump was attacking Joe Biden not just for his policies but he was making fun of the president's stutter, which is something that President Biden has talked about that he dealt with from the time he was a young man all the way until now.

And I'm curious now. There are people who see this and are going to go, like, oh my God, this is Donald Trump again crossing a line. But is there an element where Trump thinks this works?

SELLERS: This is who Donald Trump is. I mean, he's a habitual line- crosser. This is what he does. And I think that we've become desensitized to this now because really, I don't think I care, I doubt Ana cares. I know Joe Biden doesn't care. This is just who that man is. He is a small person who picks on people and tries to bully them.

But I can tell you one thing. After the State of the Union, the Biden campaign is on fire. They're raising money. They're traveling. The surrogates are out. The talking points are fire. They're calling Donald Trump a loser and he's feeling that pressure.

So I don't -- we can't get caught up in every single bad name or bad word, or bullying tactic that Donald Trump uses because that's just who he is. I mean, he literally is a small man and so that is why he does things like this. I don't think Joe Biden really cares.

BERMAN: Except to the extent, Ana, do you think this shows that Trump and the Republicans will try to make a central argument in this entire campaign, Joe Biden's age?

NAVARRO: Yes, which is ridiculous given Donald Trump's age and the way he pronounces words without having a stutter. In other words, he mangles so many different words. He can't even say Venezuela. And he doesn't have a stutter as an excuse, right?

So look, I -- does Joe Biden care that Donald Trump is picking at -- on him and making fun of him? He doesn't.

But I think -- you know, last week there was this story, does America have amnesia about Donald Trump. He's not been president for four years. And I think these cases -- these incidents remind us of what an absolute horrible human being, indecent jerk this man is and continues to be, has always been, and will always be.

If it's not making fun of a disabled reporter, it's making fun of John McCain, a prisoner of war, because he couldn't lift his arm, or making fun of the looks of women.


I mean, it's just making fun of people who stutter. There are tens of thousands of people in America who stutter. Children who struggle with this. Children who get bullied at school. And that's the part that matters. That because of things that Donald Trump -- we saw this when he was president. Because of things he said and did there were children getting bullied in schools.

And I know children with stutters. I know the suffering that this causes on a child. The shame and embarrassment.

So, yes, it does matter to me and it reminds me of what a horrible, horrible person Donald Trump is.

BERMAN: Bakari Sellers, the Biden campaign and President Biden headed to New Hampshire today to talk about health care, which is always interesting because it is something that Democrats campaign on almost whenever they can.

How effective is it still as a campaign issue?

SELLERS: It's very effective and it's effective for Democrats for the main reason that people understand the benefit bestowed upon them by Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act. And conversely, it's even more effective when you realize that Republicans have no alternative other than to try to take that from you.

You've even heard Donald Trump say early in this campaign that he was going to repeal the Affordable Care Act again. But repeal it and replace it with what?

And so going into New Hampshire, a swing state, with this message of health care and making sure that we are doing things like lowering prescription drug costs, the president can tout things that he's done, like capping the prices of insulin and making sure that individuals are insured. They're not bankrupt when they have a medical emergency. These things matter. These are tabletop issues.

And so, what Joe Biden and the -- and the Democratic Party have to do is break through the noise and the chaos that is Donald Trump. And one way you break through is to talk about these kitchen table issues like health care.

NAVARRO: And health care in 2024 also includes reproductive rights for women, which is an incredibly effective point.

BERMAN: Oh, that'll be interesting if he brings that up on the trail in New Hampshire this morning.

Ana Navarro, Bakari Sellers, thank you both very much -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Gas prices have hit the highest point in four months. Why experts say right now is not the time to panic over this.

And Emma Stone with her second Oscar win. It's considered -- why it's considered one of the big surprises of the night, actually.

And should it be called Kenery or Ken Energy? Let the debate begin.


RYAN GOSLING, ACTOR: Singing "I'm Just Ken" at the Oscars.


(COMMERCIAL) [07:52:12]

SIDNER: This morning, hard not to notice gas prices have jumped. They are now at a four-month high, now averaging $3.40 for a gallon of regular. It was 33 cents per gallon lower in January. And if gas prices keep rising, that could unwind President Biden -- the Biden administration's work trying to get inflation lower.

With us here now, CNN's Matt Egan. Shoot -- what's happening here? Is this a -- is this something we're going to be dealing with for a minute?

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Well, hopefully not, Sara. I don't know about you but I love when winter ends, right? It means warmer weather, more sunlight. But unfortunately, it also means higher gas prices. And the stakes are particularly high this spring, right?

Economically, as you mentioned, the higher gas prices go the worse inflation looks. At some point, that could force the Fed to delay when it cuts interest rates.

Politically -- I mean, voters obviously hate high gas prices. We're not there yet but a spike might be the last thing that the White House needs.

Now, against that backdrop, we do see the national average is $3.40 a gallon, as you mentioned -- 21 cents higher than a month ago and 33 cents higher than that low in mid-January. We should point out though that prices are -- they're actually a little bit cheaper than they were at this point last year.

SIDNER: Right.

EGAN: Still, we have drivers in some states -- they are getting a little bit of sticker shock right now. We've seen Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, and Utah all up by 40 cents a gallon or more just over the past month.

Why is this happening? Well, experts are saying don't panic because some of this is kind of normal, right? Demand goes up as the weather improves. Supply also gets a little bit more expensive because they have to switch over to that summer blend of gasoline.

We've had some refinery problems, so that is limited supply, too. And then we have oil prices. They've gone up a bit though not dramatically so.

But you put all that together and that's the recipe for higher prices.

SIDNER: Do you think this is going to last a long time? Do we -- do we expect this to keep going up?

EGAN: Well, Sara, I think the good news is experts -- they're pretty optimistic that we are not going to have a repeat of that spike above $5.00 a gallon in 2022. Of course, there are wild cards, right?


EGAN: If the war in the Middle East really spreads, if there's a massive hurricane that hits the U.S. Gulf Coast -- I mean, all bets are off.

But short of that, GasBuddy's Patrick De Haan -- he tells me that he still thinks the national average will not go above $4.00 a gallon all summer.

In fact, we could see a peak a little bit earlier than usual and prices should be going down this fall just in time for the election.

SIDNER: All right. The summer trips always cost you a little extra but we all love them, don't we?

EGAN: We do.

SIDNER: Matt Egan, thank you so much.

EGAN: Thanks, Sara.


BOLDUAN: So, can the "Barbenheimer" rival -- "Barbenheimer" -- this is too hard to say at 7:00 a.m. -- "Barbenheimer" rivalry now officially be put to rest? Well, "Oppenheimer" certainly says so.

At last night's Academy Awards, "Oppenheimer" took home seven wins, including Best Picture, Best Director. This was Christopher Nolan's first Oscar win.


And then there was Ken, again, trying to grab all of the attention and steal the show.


GOSLING: Singing "I'm Just Ken."


BOLDUAN: CNN's Elizabeth Wagmeister is working off of no sleep after a late night. Elizabeth, thanks for coming in. What are your big takeaways from the evening?

ELIZABETH WAGMEISTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Yes, just a few hours of sleep after a very busy night in Hollywood.

The biggest takeaway of the night Kate, as you said, "Oppenheimer" was the huge winner here. Of course, this was a huge film at the box office and now it has been a huge film all throughout awards season. It won seven awards. It came into the night with the most nominations with 13.

As you mentioned, Christopher Nolan winning his first Oscar ever, which is hard to believe. Also, Robert Downey Jr. winning for supporting actor -- also his first. And Cillian Murphy, another first- time winner. Also, "Oppenheimer" winning for Best Picture.

Now, if we look at the biggest shocker -- the biggest upset, as some will say, Emma Stone won her second Oscar last night for her role in "Poor Things," but she was going up against Lily Gladstone from "Killers of the Flower Moon." And Lily Gladstone was widely expected to win. She would have become the first Native American woman to win the category. She already made history as the first Native American woman who was nominated.

I have to tell you, I actually predicted that Emma Stone would win because she won the BAFTA, which is like the British Oscar, so she had a lot of the backing of international voters.

But I believe we have a moment of Emma Stone's speech. She seemed shocked. Let's take a look.


EMMA STONE, BEST ACTRESS, "POOR THINGS": It's not about me. It's about a team that came together to make something greater than the sum of its parts, and that is the best part about making movies.


WAGMEISTER: She really did seem shocked. I was in the room and she was surprised. I also saw her afterwards at the Governor's Ball where she was with her husband and getting her statue engraved.

So we say upset but obviously, such an exciting moment for Emma Stone there.

BOLDUAN: Yeah, it's hard to say upset when she had put on an amazing performance herself, obviously.

You said -- you mentioned you were in the room. Was that the biggest moment? What felt like the biggest moment of last night?

WAGMEISTER: Truly, the biggest moment was Ryan Gosling's performance. I am telling you, Kate, the room lit up. Everybody was on their feet. They were screaming. It was a good reminder that Ryan Gosling started on the Mickey Mouse Club. Remember, this guy really can sing and dance, and he danced --

BOLDUAN: The good old days.

WAGMEISTER: In the good old days, yes.

But another huge moment. Jimmy Kimmel brought out John Cena as paying homage to the infamous streaker who came across the Oscars stage 50 years ago. Let's take a look at that moment.


JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, ACADEMY AWARDS: What's going on? You're supposed to run across the stage.

JOHN CENA, ACTOR, PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER: I, uh, changed my mind. I don't want to do this streaker bit anymore.

KIMMEL: What do you mean you don't want to do the streaker bit anymore? We're doing it.

CENA: Costumes, they are so important. Maybe the most important thing there is.


WAGMEISTER: The room was truly cracking up there, including myself and my producer Jason. We were laughing so hard.

But Kate, I did some hard-hitting reporting here and this is what I found. I spoke to a source close to production. John Cena was not actually fully in the nude. That envelope was Velcroed onto him. They had to make sure that they didn't have an FCC violation. So a little bit of movie magic there making sure that John Cena was safe, and the audience was, too.

BOLDUAN: I mean, talk about being a good sport. Yeah -- I mean, he really did and we're all better for it.

It's good to see you, Elizabeth. Thank you so much -- John.

BERMAN: All right, shifting gears here. Shortly, we will see where prosecutors will take their case next in the trial against James Crumbley. He's the father accused of manslaughter for a school shooting that his son committed. Prosecutors say James Crumbley failed to do, quote, "the smallest of things that could have saved four children's lives at Oxford High School.

CNN's Jean Casarez has been following this case. Jean, what are we expecting to see today?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN REPORTER: Well, the prosecution will continue with their case in chief. We have to see the school officials. But prosecutors are really focusing in on November 30, the day of the mass shooting.

The parents were called to school earlier in that morning to see a math worksheet.