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Heavy Lift Cranes Arrive More Coming as Salvage Efforts Ramp Up in Baltimore; Trump Appeals Ruling that Allows Georgia DA Willis to Stay on Case; Beyonce Drops Highly Anticipated New Album "Cowboy Carter". Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired March 29, 2024 - 15:30   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: We just got a pretty sizable update from the governor of Maryland on the collapsed bridge that is blocking the entry to the Port of Baltimore. He says the U.S. Navy is supplying four heavy lift cranes, bringing the total to seven over the coming weeks.

Other equipment coming in, 10 tugboats, nine barges, eight salvage vessels, and five Coast Guard boats. One of the cranes is actually the largest on the East Coast. It can lift around 1,000 tons.

To put it in perspective, just the portion of the bridge that is dangling from the cargo ship right now is about 3,000 to 4,000 tons.

We have CNN's Brian Todd in Baltimore. And that really illustrates what an undertaking this is going to be in getting this bridge cleaned up. What more did the governor say, Brian?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, he gave kind of a scale of this operation as we can kind of show you what's going on behind me here. Let's talk first about what you're going to be seeing. Our photojournalist Harlan Schmidt is going to train his camera over to that crane right there.

Now, that is not the Chesapeake 1000. That is another heavy lift crane that's been brought in that you're looking at. The Chesapeake 1000 is very nearby. It's just around the bend to the left, but it has not been ramped up yet.

As Brianna mentioned, they're going to bring four heavy lift cranes here. We assume that what you're looking at there is one of them. We have observed this crane engaging in some activity. So it is working. So they have begun this massive operation of salvage. And you see the wreckage of the bridge right there next to that crane.

On the scale of this, Governor Moore did kind of give us the gist of the scale of the ship, the wreckage that's on top of it, and kind of what they're going to have to remove here. Here's what he said a short time ago.



GOV. WES MOORE, (D) MARYLAND: To see a freight that is nearly the size of the Eiffel Tower and to see that same freight with the Key Bridge resting on top of it. To see it up close, you realize just how daunting a task this is.


TODD: And so when he says it's the size of the Eiffel Tower, he's talking about the length. The length of this ship, the Dali, this container ship, is about 984 feet. That's in length. It's about 140 feet wide.

I believe the weight is about 116,000 tons when it's fully loaded, and it is fully right now. And of course, that 3,000 to 4,000 tons of wreckage and steel on top of it makes this all the more daunting and dangerous. I also spoke to a mechanical engineer at Morgan State University, Dr. Oscar Barton.

He said, look, they're going to have to first -- what they're doing right now is probably just surveying this. They've got to do a very meticulous survey of this site with the cranes and with the other equipment that they're bringing in. Then they've got to figure out which are the biggest chunks that they've got to remove first, and then they've got to figure out how to cut those chunks into smaller pieces.

They're going to have welders doing that. Brianna, you just mentioned all the other assets they're bringing, and what Brianna said, I'll just reiterate it. Seven cranes, 10 tugboats, nine barges, eight salvage vessels, five Coast Guard boats, and that's not including all the personnel and others who they're bringing to bear here.

This is also extremely dangerous work. It is extremely windy out here. It's very cold.

The water is very choppy. The weather has really been kind of up and down all week since this happened. It's kind of a tempestuous time of year in which to engage in this kind of an operation, so the weather is not going to be all that helpful, at least in the next few weeks.

So, Brianna, that's kind of what they're up against, and let's of course not forget, they are still trying to find what they presume are the bodies of four people still unaccounted for, presumed dead. There is a belief that maybe they could be trapped or encased in something beneath the surface, and that is going to be part of this operation as well.

KEILAR: It's a huge undertaking. Brian Todd, thank you so much for that report.

Coming up on CNN NEWS CENTRAL. If you didn't know it was coming, I mean, who are we kidding? Of course you knew it was coming, right? But you definitely do now. What it means for the queen to lean a little country and the conversations it's stirring up.



KEILAR: We have some breaking news, a major update in Donald Trump's election interference trial in Georgia.

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN HOST: Yes, Nick Valencia is at the Fulton County Courthouse. Nick, he joins us live now. What have you learned?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna and Kristin, we had expected this notice of appeal, this interlocutory appeal to be filed by defense attorneys in this case, and now we're getting that. The attorney here in Georgia, the Georgia-based attorney Steve Sadow for the former president, has filed along with seven others, including the former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and the former lawyer for the president, Rudy Giuliani, asking the Georgia appellate court to review the decision made by Judge Scott McAfee and reconsider removing the entire Fulton County DA's team here. That's including Fulton County DA Fani Willis.

We don't have a full screen for this statement just yet as we've got it, but I have it here in front of me, and this is what they're saying, in part saying: While the trial court factually found DA Willis's out-of-court statements were improper and defendants proved an apparent conflict of interest, the trial court erred as a matter of law by not requiring dismissal and DA Willis's disqualification. This legal error requires the court's immediate review.

So again, they're asking the Georgia Court of Appeals to take up their appeal.

We should expect the Fulton County District Attorney's Office to file their own legal motion saying why they believe that the Georgia Court of Appeals should not take this case. After the Court of Appeals gets both those statements, they'll have 45 days to decide what they're going to do.

In the meantime, we're also hearing from the former attorney for the former president, and this is what he's saying, basically saying, that the Georgia Court of Appeals should grant this application and accept the interlocutory appeal for consideration on the merits.

Again, this is breaking news just into CNN. We're reading through this filing and we'll get back more as we get more. Brianna and Kristin.

KEILAR: All right, Nick Valencia in Atlanta, thank you. And up next, we promised Beyonce and we deliver Beyonce.



FISHER: One of the most highly anticipated albums of the year is finally here. Beyonce's "Cowboy Carter." And it's got people singing, talking, even Victor Blackwell dressing up in a cowboy hat. But joining us now to dissect it all is executive music editor for Variety, Jem Aswad.

Jem, thanks so much for being with us. And I got to start by just getting your first take to this album now that you've had a chance to listen to it.

JEM ASWAD, EXECUTIVE MUSIC EDITOR, VARIETY: Oh, it's amazing. You know, we actually, there was a leak yesterday. So we've had it for, I don't know, 10 hours longer than most everybody else. So I've listened to it probably four times.

It's a lot. I mean, it's 29 tracks, almost 80 minutes. That's a very, very long album. And I remember thinking the first couple times, it's like, it feels like this is the real album, because "Renaissance Part One" is great. But it's kind of all one thing, you know, it's a dance pop record. And she's been very innovative on her major albums, anyway, Lemonade and her self-titled one.

This one is more like it. And there was a statement released late last night, where she said that this one was supposed to come first. And what ended up being "Renaissance Part One" was supposed to come -- was supposed to come after, because this one is like, it's all over the place.


It is not just a country album at all. It is probably less than half even country flavored. And the rest of it is just all over the map. Absolutely fantastic. I mean, it's really interesting the way that she's become an innovator in sort of the second half of her career. It really started with her four album about 12 years ago, and she's just kept going.

There are some really weird moments on this record, and I'm totally here for it.

FISHER: Yes, it's hard to put a label on it, but it's certainly a different sound for Beyonce. And I'm curious what you think about, you know, is this kind of genre bending only possible for some artists like Beyonce or Taylor Swift, perhaps, or is it really the future of this industry?

ASWAD: I mean, the answer would be both, you know. I mean, both Beyonce and Taylor, who you mentioned, have challenged people's conceptions of what they are. Taylor, 10 years ago, just said, you know, I'm kind of moving on from country, and now she's sort of an everything artist. And Beyonce had been that, and now she's gone even farther.

Because, I mean, like I said, there are some really weird moments. One of the songs toward the end, it's like, you know, I think the chorus is giddy up, giddy up, but there are all these hip-hop trap beats underneath it, and these sort of weird sound effects. So like she just is really refusing to be defined.

FISHER: Yes, it's a great mix of things. And, you know, we were just listening to the album's debut single, "Texas Hold 'Em," and then there was 16 carriages. And when they were released, only a fraction of the country radio stations in the country actually played them.

So I'm curious, from your vantage point, how does this avoidance affect things like, you know, the top 100 charts? And do you think that stations are going to take the same tact with the rest of the album?

ASWAD: Well, I feel like, you know, that was the song for country radio, because like I said, a lot of the album is not country at all. There may be -- you know, there's a version of "Jolene" with altered lyrics on there, although that may be sacrilege in some quarters. But even though it's got Dolly's cosign literally on the album. But, you know, I sort of feel like she's made her point there.

You know, and it's not really clear how much this is actually going to help other Black country artists, because what happens when someone does that, no matter how good their attentions are, you know, radio stations will be able to say, oh, yes, sure, we're playing a Black artist, we're playing a female artist, and point to Beyonce. Instead of, you know, the other Black country artists, especially female ones.

But to be fair, in country radio, it's not just Black artists. I mean, female artists get shunned all the time as well.

So, I mean, I feel like she sort of made her point there. But like, this album's for everybody. And what's really interesting is -- what I try to do with albums sometimes, especially long ones, is just to get a different take on it, I'll start it in the middle after I've listened to it in the proper order a couple of times.

You start this one with track 15 or 16, it feels like a totally different album. It's really, really a remarkable piece of work.

FISHER: All right, well, I think you said you'd listen to it four times. I haven't even listened to it once all the way through. So, that'll be my weekend homework. Jem Aswad, thank you so much.

ASWAD: Thank you.

FISHER: So, the upcoming Solar Eclipse, are you ready for it? It is now close enough to get some accurate weather predictions. Is Mother Nature going to cooperate so that you can get a glimpse of this rare moment? I am so nervous. I hope it does.



FISHER: Sky gazers from Texas to Maine are preparing for one of the year's, perhaps decades, most anticipated celestial events, a total eclipse of the sun.

That's when the moon passes between the sun and the earth, completely blocking the sun.

KEILAR: But for many Americans in the path of the total eclipse, who are hoping to get this great view, clouds. FISHER: No.

KEILAR: Doom. I know. Even Storms.

FISHER: No, I don't believe it.

KEILAR: No, not going to happen. Not going to happen. But let's just say maybe it did.

Let's check in with CNN's Chad Myers, who is tracking all of this. Chad, what are you seeing?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I'm seeing a forecast that's still 10 days away. I mean, you know, the models can't do 48 hours at times, right? So we have to take this with a grain of salt.

But I'm going to tell you what the models are saying right now. And then we'll tell you again on Monday. We'll tell you again on Wednesday. And so on and so on.

The area of totality, though, slices right through the U.S., all the way from Maine, Vermont, all the way down through just north of Cincinnati and into Texas. Here's what the model is saying right now.

And I tell you what, this is going to change. So just take that with a grain of salt. There you go.

There is the rain and the storms that could develop by the morning hours on Monday. Now, the American model was much wetter yesterday than it is today. And now the European model is just on the edge of getting to that forecast 10 days out.

And it's wet like the GFS where the American model was yesterday. But 31.6 million people are in totality. And do not believe that if you're 99 percent of totality, that you're good. You're not. You really want to be in that stripe if you want to see the spectacularness of a total eclipse, where the stars will come out. Otherwise, you're not going to get to that.

The sun is 400 times wider than the moon. It's way out there because it's 400 times farther away.


These two celestial bodies fit almost perfectly together. So lots are going to change. I guarantee it. 10-day forecast isn't even good on your app. So keep watching here.

FISHER: I'm so nervous about this. I've never seen one before. I'm going to be in Kerrville in the path of totality for this one. I'm just praying the clouds stay away because it's going to be a long time, Chad, before we get to see another one.

KEILAR: So long, Chad. And we know every day you'll have to do this forecast. Thank you. All right, join CNN for "ECLIPSE ACROSS AMERICA." Special live

coverage starting Monday, April 8th at 1 p.m. Eastern, or you can stream it on Max.

"THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.