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Today: Supreme Court Deadline On Controversial TX Immigration Law; United Beefs Up Training Following Safety Incidents; New Data: Marriage Rates Are Up & Divorce Rates Are Down; March Madness Field Set, Time To Fill Out Brackets. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired March 18, 2024 - 14:30   ET



MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: George W. Bush and John McCain and Ted Kennedy tried to get comprehensive immigration legislative through and that, too, failed. That failed because Republicans and Democrats both didn't care for it.

But you're absolutely right, in this case, and in this case alone, President Trump told the Republicans in Congress do not allow this to get through. We need an issue. And he was very open about saying that.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: That was right when I came to Washington. Memories there.

I wonder if you can talk a little bit about the gains actually. This might be counterintuitive for some folks looking at this debate. Trump is making gains with Hispanic voters.

PRESTON: Yes. No, he is. And it's interesting because, certainly, in politics, we like to put people into categories. It just makes things very simple. Let's organize people and that's how they're going to vote.

Well, Hispanics are not a monolithic voting group. Cubans are not the same as Guatemalans. Guatemalans are not the same as Mexicans. It is just people are different.

So what we are seeing, though, is that Trump is trying to make inroads to them. He certainly did it in his first administration when he was in there. He tried to reach out to small businesses and what have you.

And also understand that folks who are supporting Donald Trump are here legally. They could have been here for generations. Maybe they've only come in the last decade or so. But they came here legally.

And they don't want to see other folks coming here illegally and being able to bask in the fruits that the United States has.

It is interesting. It's a weird situation to look at. But Donald Trump certainly is making ground with them. He's also making some ground with African-Americans.

KEILAR: Yes. And they also might like some things about his message. PRESTON: Yes.

KEILAR: And they look past some of the language on immigration. That's also --


PRESTON: Certainly, if they tend to be a little bit more conservative.

KEILAR: Right.

Mark Preston, thank you so much for taking us through that.

Still ahead, the CEO of United Airlines is attempting to reassure customers that safety is a priority, even though we've seen these series of incidents recently here. We have more on what he says the company is doing to win back trust after multiple mishaps, next.



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: United Airlines is beefing up training for its mechanics and pilots as part of a move to reassure customers that safety is a top priority.

This follows multiple in-flight incidents involving a wheel falling off a jet after takeoff in San Francisco, a hydraulic fuel leak forcing another plane to turn around in Australia, an engine fire breaking out after takeoff in Houston, and just last Friday, a piece from the underside of a plane's fuselage going missing.

CNN aviation correspondent, Pete Muntean, joins us now.

So, Pete, walk us through this training and what the CEO is trying to share with United customers.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: United has had a bad couple of weeks in headlines. And now its CEO is sending this message to all of the airline's customers, insisting that the airline is safe. But also laying out new changes that the airline is making.

There's been at least six in-flight incidents involving United Airplanes this month. And in this new message, United CEO Scott Kirby says, "While all of these incidents are unrelated, I want you to know that these incidents have our attention and have sharpened our focus."

The latest incident was on Friday. United Boeing triple - 737-800 landed in Medford, Oregon, with a belly panel missing. This was first discovered by somebody on the ground when the plane pulled up to the gate.

United says this did not affect the flying characteristics of the plane. So this wasn't known by the pilots and they did not declare an emergency.

United says all of the incidents this month are now under review.

Let's look at the timeline. March 15th, a 737-800 lands without a belly panel in Medford, Oregon. On March 11th, a 777 trailing hydraulic fluid in Sydney. On March 8th, an Airbus A320 diverted due to a hydraulic issue.

Also on the 8th, a 737 Max-8 slid off the runway in Houston. On March 7th, a 777 lost a wheel on takeoff from San Francisco. And then on the 4th of march, there was an engine fire on a 737 leaving Houston.

Here is what the airline is doing. It's adding an extra day of pilot training. It's also starting to redesign training for new-hire mechanics.

United says it will also put out more resources into managing its parts supplier network. A lot of questions that investigators will have is whether or not these incidents were caused by maintenance- induced issues.

Kirby says these are all reminders of the importance of safety. No doubt, customers have taken note here, Boris.

The big thing to note here is that none of these incidents resulted in anybody getting hurt. So really important to underscore that aviation in the U.S. is safe, even though all of these things are making headlines all the time.

SANCHEZ: Yes, incredibly fortunate that no one has been hurt in those incidents.

I noticed, Pete, that when you were laying all of those out, there was one Airbus and the rest were Boeing planes.


SANCHEZ: Could these issues be tied back to the manufacturer?

MUNTEAN: It's really important to separate out these issues from the 737 Max-9 door plug blow out back on January 5th on Alaska flight 1282. That really stemmed from a quality control issue at Boeing.

And the NTSB has found that the airplane left the factory without those four critical door plug bolts. That's a more systemic issue.

All of these other issues, these six instances we've seen on United, the Latam incident we saw last week where that plane had a severe jolt onboard and passengers were hurt, those are more like one-offs.

And so it's important to remember here, the last time there was a fatality on a U.S. airliner was back in 2018. One person killed in sort of a freak incident.

Last time there was a fatal airplane crash in the U.S. involving an airliner was back in 2009. That led to a big sea change when it came to regulations and pilot experience requirements.


So this is really significant to point out the difference here. This is not necessarily just a Boeing issue.

SANCHEZ: Pete Muntean, appreciate you breaking it down for us.

MUNTEAN: Thanks.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

So new CDC data shows that marriage rates have gone up in a year since the Covid pandemic began, as divorce rates have gone down. We'll discuss why more people are tying the knot and fewer are calling it quits, when we come back.



KEILAR: The CDC is reporting that more Americans are tying the knot and staying together since the Covid pandemic began. The statistics show marriages had been declining over the past two decades.

And then -- check that out -- you see this jump from 5.1 per 1,000 people in 2026, to 6.2 by 2022. That's a total of more than two million marriages that year, marking the first time the U.S. hit the two million mark since 2019.

And take a look at the divorce rate. It was already on the decline. And in 2022, the rate was just 2.4 per 1,000 people. And it continues going down. So what's behind these trends?

Let's talk about this now with a psychotherapist. Dr. Robi Ludwig joining us again here.

OK, let's talk first about this increase in the number of marriages because the Covid pandemic halted most weddings. So you know, is that maybe why marriage rates saw that bounce?

DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Its certainly could be. But also, post-pandemic, I think what we saw was a change in value system. And we really looked at the people in our lives and what we wanted for ourselves.

For those who are living with companions during Covid, in some cases, it deepen their relationship and they wanted to show commitment of marriage as a result of that deepened connection.

And I think also there were people who were lonely and really valued what intimacy and emotional intimacy feels like and wanted to create that for their lives.

KEILAR: Yes, it's -- it's such a good point.

Anything else that you think may be causing the increase in marriages? LUDWIG: Well, over the last few decades, too, there's been an increase

in mental health and mental well-being. And people -- it really gave people an opportunity to look at themselves and what they wanted in their lives and what they wanted from marriage.

So as a result of having that opportunity to look at what kind of partner they want, what kind of character they're looking for in a partnership.

And the flexibility of roles and being able to communicate with another person about what you want and what's important to you also allowed an increase in marriage and the desire for marriage.

We do live in a coupled-catered world. So our culture certainly celebrates marriage and happy couples. And it's nice to have that feeling of being seen and that you matter to someone.

And I think with a result of all these apps and just we realize more is not necessarily more. And when people find a valuable person or partnership, they want to make that commitment and enjoy life together.

KEILAR: So then, Dr. Robi, what about the decline in divorces? What are you seeing there?

LUDWIG: Two people are better able to communicate with partners. They're not as willing to just go towards divorce. They want to work through some of their issues and come out the other side.

I think there's an appreciation of commitment and that, with a lifetime commitment, there will be issues that come up, but it doesn't have to be a deal breaker.

And I don't think anyone wants to be alone or have that sense of loneliness. So there is a re-evaluation of the person that you're with and a desire to pursue that hopefulness in turning a partnership into something that is rewarding and fulfilling.

KEILAR: Yes. And really quickly, before I let you go, your advice for couples who are looking for that happily ever?

LUDWIG: It's really a combination of using your head and your heart when looking for partnership. And it's one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. It affects everything.

So to take your time, look for a person's character, know yourself, and then -- and I think marriage is a wonderful institution, so I highly recommend it.

KEILAR: Highly recommend, 10 out of 10.


KEILAR: Dr. Robi Ludwig, thank you so much for being with us --

LUDWIG: Yes. KEILAR: -- to talk about these trends we're seeing.

All right, and ahead, get out your brackets because it is time for March Madness. We're going to break down the favorites and who to watch before the big dance begins.



SANCHEZ: March Madness is here and it's time to start filling out your brackets.

In the women's tournament, the one seeds are undefeated South Carolina, Caitlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes, along with Texas and southern California.

KEILAR: And Andy Scholes is here now to help sort us out.

He's going to do my bracket for me.


KEILAR: And tell us, first off, which men's teams have the best chance of winning at all? I'm taking notes, Andy, ready to go.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: All right, here we go. I got a lot coming at your way, so definitely take some notes here.

And yes, we all love filling out this bracket and trying to pick an upset in the first and second round. But if you really want to win your bracket pool, it's all about picking that champion at the end.

And there's a stat that will help you do that. It's called KenPom. It measures the team's offensive and defensive efficiency. And every single champion, since 2002, has ended up with the top-40 offense and a top-22 defense.

So who qualifies for that right now? You've got Houston, Yukon, Purdue, Auburn, Arizona, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Marquette. Now there's some good teams not on that graphic right there. Now I'll tell you why.

So Crate (ph), they fell just short on defense. They could play good enough defense in the tournament to get up there. But as of right now, they don't qualify.


I think they won a big 12 tournament. But as you can see, according to KenPom, they're not going to win the national title because of their offense.

Same goes for Kentucky when it comes to their defense. Duke also very close. The Blue Devils played really well defensively. They could potentially win a title but according to the last 22 years of data, KenPom, got to be top-40 offensive, top-22 in defense.

Another trend to look at, the last 19 champions have been in the top 12 and the week six A.P. poll. The teams I mentioned previously, who's not in there? Auburn. So you can cross them off.

Now, Yukon are defending champs. They're the favorites once again. But since 1974, these are the only two teams that are able to repeat, Duke in the 90s, Florida in the 2000s.

It is super hard to win back-to-back titles in men's college basketball. Could Dan Hurley and the Huskies do it? They could. But because of this, you might not want to pick them to repeat.

Now, if you lost your first conference tournament game, you're not going to win the title. No one ever has. Tennessee lost their first game in the SEC conference tournament. So you can cross them off as well.

I like to show this map. It's got this red line down the middle. Every champion since 1997 has been east of that line. So let's pull up that graphic before.

You've got Arizona crossed off. They're on the wrong side of the line. Tennessee lost their first conference tournament game. Auburn was not in that week six poll. And then Yukon just crossing them off solely because it's so hard to win back-to-back titles.

So you've got one seeds Houston, Purdue, North Carolina. Who should you pick? Well, one seeds since 1979 have won 126 times. They win the most. So is that who should go with? Probably.

And, guys, if you're like me and you actually went to school at one of those ones --

SANCHEZ: I knew it.


SANCHEZ: I knew he was going to do that --


SCHOLES: It adds to your picking.


SCHOLES: Go through --


SANCHEZ: -- who's going to call him? It's like, of course, the data --


SANCHEZ: -- sure, the date is going to point everybody getting --


SANCHEZ: -- kicked out but Houston, of course.


KEILAR: I'm just going to go --


KEILAR: -- Yukon.


KEILAR: I'm going to go with Yukon just because --


KEILAR: -- I believe they can just do a repeat. I mean, how hard can it be, Andy?


SCHOLES: Well, I guess we haven't seen it in almost 20 years. It's due maybe, right?


KEILAR: Yes. They are all over it. I feel it.

SANCHEZ: I'm cheering for anyone but Houston, Andy Scholes.

SCHOLES: Well, thanks, Boris.



SANCHEZ: We've had a lot to celebrate recently.

KEILAR: Lets --


KEILAR: You guys can argue and I'll be here to play peacemaker.


SANCHEZ: We have a long month ahead of us.

Andy Scholes, thank you so much.

All right. Still ahead, it's the $464,000,000 question. How is former President Trump going to make bond in his civil fraud case?