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Russian Forces Attacking Mariupol Nonstop; Donations Starting to Decline; Asian Markets All in Positive Trend; Ukrainian Oligarch Fighting Extradition; Not All E.U. Members Can Ban Russian Oil; Pope Francis Warns Russian Patriarch; President Biden Attacking MAGA Followers; Women Outrage by Supreme Court's Draft; Dave Chappelle Attacked on Stage. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired May 05, 2022 - 03:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, and welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world, I'm Rosemary Church in Atlanta.

Ahead this hour, the Federal Reserve gave interest rates their biggest hike in more than two decades. But will the move help tab down soaring inflation.

ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Isa Soares live in Ukraine. With more than five million Ukrainians fleeing this war-torn country the need for aid and assistance is becoming more and more dire, the challenges facing aid organizations ahead with my guest.

Welcome to the show, everyone. It's 10 a.m. here in Ukraine. And we are awaiting word on whether anymore civilians have made it out of the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. Humanitarian corridors promised by Russia are supposed to be open to allow evacuations. We don't know yet if Moscow is honoring that pledge. We have yet to hear from the Ukrainian officials on this.

And Mariupol officials say that shelling though remains nonstop. And this is what the complex has endured over the past few days, just relentless as well as growing attacks from Russian forces. Civilians are trapped there, along with the city's last Ukrainian defenders. And here is how Ukrainian commander inside the plant describes the situation.


DENYS PROKOPENKO, COMMANDER, AZOV REGIMENT (through translator): For two days, now the enemy has broken into the territory of the plant. These are heavy, bloody battles. I am proud of my soldiers who are making superhuman efforts to contain the enemy's onslaught.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SOARES: We are being told those are from Mariupol made about 30

children worth reminding everyone, still inside that large complex. While Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says 344 people were evacuated from Mariupol and other nearby areas on Wednesday. We don't know if any of them, of course, were rescued from that steel plant.

Meanwhile, progress is being reported on the ground and a counter offensive in the Kharkiv region, where forces have taken back more territory. Ukraine has now retaken the village of Moldova, which is just 25 kilometers, or about 13 miles from the Russian border and should not be confused with Molodova the country, the latest village to come back under Ukrainian control in the last two weeks.

Meantime, Ukraine says that Russian forces have made few advances in Luhansk and Donetsk regions despite of course what we have seen, the heavy bombardments. In fact, just a short time ago, the Ukrainian military said Russians have had, quote, "no success with efforts to break through the front lines in those regions over the past 24 hours."

In the Luhansk region, new drone footage shows stunning devastation in the town of Popasna. The drone appears to have been used by the Russian military as they track Ukrainian troops amid intense street fighting.

Well, CNN correspondents are across the region covering the conflict from every angle. Our Sara Sidner in Kyiv, Nic Robertson in Vienna, Austria, and Melissa Bell in Paris. First though to Sara Sidner with more on how fight for control of the Azovstal steel plant is unfolding.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): Our brave boys are defending this fortress, but it's really hard.

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A grueling, bloody battle as Russian forces try to extinguish the last pocket of Ukrainian fighters hold up in Mariupol's sprawling steel plant. Video from Russian separatists shows tanks moving in, a barrage of explosions from the air.

According to a senior U.S. defense official, a couple thousand Russian forces are still in the devastated city. Russia's defense minister claims Putin's forces have reliably blocked the Ukrainian fighters, cornered in the plant.

The Ukrainian foreign minister says that the plan still hold despite the relentless Russian attacks. Outfront spoke to one of the Ukrainian commanders inside the plant on Monday. At the, time he spoke about their fight.

SVYATOSLAV PALAMAR, STATIONED INSIDE MARIUPOL PLANT (through translator): We will be fighting, as long as it is needed, despite extremely difficult conditions.


SIDNER: According to the mayor of Mariupol, there are still hundreds of civilians inside that plant, including 30 children.

And tonight, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in a private phone call, was urging the U.N. secretary general to help save the lives of the people who remain in danger. And for those who have managed to escape, you can see it in their faces just how difficult it has been, little food, no water, none of life's essentials, a far cry from the way that things used to be.

TATYANA, EVACUEE FROM MARIUPOL (through translator): This one girl said you can start your life on a new page, but I do not want to. My previous pages were so clean, I want to go back to my pages and I know that it's impossible.

SIDNER: And while the grinding assault continues, a different story is being told in Russia, a state TV host returning to the air after visiting Mariupol. The man known to many as the voice of Putin, claims those remaining in Mariupol don't want Russia to leave, propaganda, plain and simple.


SOARES: That was Sara Sidner reporting there. We got an update actually in the last few minutes from Mariupol. An official from Mariupol telling CNN that the attacks inside Azovstal that Sara is reporting there, that is continuing -- that's continuing overnight. Nonstop shelling is what they are telling us.

As of now, this is with the advisor said, if there is hell in the world, it is in Azovstal. She paints really a picture of what is happening. Of course, we'll stay on top of the story.

Now the number of Ukrainians being reported fleeing the fighting is rising by the day. The U.N. says more than 5.6 million people have left Ukraine since the war began. Almost eight million others of course are internally displaced, within the country. Many of them in dire need, as you can see there.

That's where my next guest comes in. John Shmorhun is project director for Move Ukraine, a group working to build homes for the internally displaced. He is here with me in Lviv. John, great to have you on the show, thank you very much for coming in.


SOARES: Let's talk about really what you and your team from the ground, the stories that you've been hearing and the need -- where the need that might -- give us an idea where the needs need to go.

SHMORHUN: Well, first of all, the biggest need is for food. What we're seeing is from our donors that there is a market decrease in the amount of food supplies that we are getting.

SOARES: Why is that?

SHMORHUN: Because of the cost of food, the logistics still there but the cost of food is going through the roof, and therefore, a lot of donors are finding themselves looking for other suppliers, for example, going through Turkey, the Canadian Ukrainian Foundation that has been supplying us with food packets, have been going through Turkey now two supplies with those food boxes for the IDP's.

SOARES: What I heard, I mean, sorry, my phone just alerted me that there is a siren going off here in Lviv. Warning us of course there could be missiles going over the area. This is something we've seen more of in the last 24 hours, I think yesterday I think we saw two or three.


SOARES: So, it's definitely more becoming more frequent, this is obviously the first alert. I get it first on my phone and then we are told obviously, this is an alert for people to go into bunkers. So, we'll stay on top of this and monitor the situation of course.

But what I was saying, was that, you know, yesterday the mayor of Lviv, the deputy mayor of Lviv was on the show and he was saying to me, look, what we've seen yesterday targeting, Russia is targeting supply lines, infrastructure. But he was more worried about grain and the impact that's going to have on food and the delivery of food. What do you -- what do you say to that?

SHMORHUN: Well, certainly, we know that the Russians have been removing about 400,000 tons of grains from Ukraine to Russia. Russia is targeting grain elevators in Ukraine. Russia is obviously mining agricultural fields. All of this, this combination will result in increases in prices in grains, particularly in wheat.

SOARES: And I mean, and that using food as a method of course of, you know, of war it's incredibly important here and something that you have talked about.

SHMORHUN: Yes. It reminds many of Ukrainians of the '32 to '33 famine in Ukraine called the Holodomor. People know that. And this is why for many, many decades people planted their own gardens to ensure that they have enough food to eat. Yes.


SOARES: In terms of what you are doing on the ground and the stories that you are hearing, give me a sense of what people are telling you, because of course many have left as we outlined there in that graphic. But it's seven million plus people displaced. It's a huge challenge right now in this country.

SHMORHUN: Well, this is, we realize that seven million people need homes and this is what we are doing today, we are rebuilding student dormitories, we are building modular homes for the IDP's, so that they have a place to stay and we are trying to integrate them into the communities of western Ukraine. Very important. We want to have happy people. We do not want to have ghettos. So, it's important that we create communities and that's what does.

SOARES: And this of course is not just about, you know, seeing more people, 7.7., but we're seeing many people coming back. There is an influx of people coming back from other countries, from Poland and et cetera, those were left in the early stages of the war.

SHMORHUN: Mothers and children that have left --


SHMORHUN: -- want to come back to their loved ones and they also need places to stay. Some of them go back to Kyiv, but a lot of them have no place to go to and so they need houses and this is the plea. The plea is for donations, for building and rebuilding houses in safe areas of Ukraine.

SOARES: John Shmorhun, great to have you on the show. Thank you very much.

SHMORHUN: You, too.

SOARES: Thank you. And if you would like to safely as well as securely of course, help people who may be in need of food, shelter, water, please go to, and there you will be able to find several ways that you can help.

Of course, as you were hearing, right now, Rosie, sirens are going off here in Lviv, we are seeing them more frequently. I can tell you that in the last 24 hours, we have seen several sirens go off. As we head of course into the May 9th Victory Day that is so crucial for Putin. People -- a lot of people really keeping a close eye on the movements in this country. And as soon as there is any more development, of course we shall keep you posted, Rosie.

CHURCH: Absolutely. Isa, do take care there, you and your team. We'll get back to you soon.

And just ahead here on CNN Newsroom, the U.S. Federal Reserve is taking action to bring down inflation, but how are the markets reacting? Kristie?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, Asian markets are trending higher, but analysts say that there is pain in the pipeline. In fact, I spoke to the global strategist at Rabobank, he says the Fed is behind the curve and that inflation will get worse. Much more after the break.




SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): Inflation in our financial House is the most important thing we can do for this economy.


CHURCH: Well, the U.S. Federal Reserve seems to be paying attention. It has issued its biggest interest rate hike in 22 years in an effort to bring down inflation. Fed Chair Jerome Powell announced the half a percentage point increase on Wednesday with more rate hikes likely. Powell warned that the war in Ukraine and COVID lockdowns in China are weighing down economic activity, and it could take a while for prices to come down.


JEROME POWELL, CHAIRMAN, U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD: I'd like to take this opportunity to speak directly to the American people. Inflation is much too high. And we understand the hardship it is causing. And we're moving expeditiously to bring it back down. We have both the tools we need and the resolve that it will take to restore price stability on behalf of American families and businesses.


CHURCH: The Feds decision sent U.S. financial market soaring. Wall Street had its best day in two years. Blue Chip stocks gained more than 900 points, the S&P 500 was up 3 percent, and the NASDAQ rose 3.2 percent. And we are seeing positive results in the Asia-Pacific markets as well. You see the Hang Seng is pretty stable, they're pretty level. The Shanghai Composite up 0.68 percent, and Australia's S&P up nearly 1 percent there.

So, for more on this we go to CNN's Kristie Lu Stout who joins us live from Hong Kong. Kristie, U.S. financial markets reacted positively to the rate hike. And it looks like a similar story across Asia, what are you seeing in those numbers and, what are the experts saying?

LU STOUT: Yes, it's really interesting, Rosemary, because Asian markets are trending higher after the U.S. Federal Reserve, as expected, hiked interest rates by half a percentage point, it's the biggest rate increase since the year 2000. The Fed also signaled further ahead, all in a bid to rain inflation, which is at its highest level since the 1980s.

Now, overnight in the United States, U.S. shares rallied on those comments made by the U.S. Fed chief. He said that the committee is not actively considering an even bigger rate hike, but when you talk to analysts, they say there will be more pain in the pipeline. They say they are concerned that the pace of tightening will pull the U.S. economy into a recession if we bring up those numbers once again.

We have a picture here in Asia of how the markets are trending upwards, I should add that markets in South Korea and Japan are closed. But as you saw earlier, the ASX, there you have it, Shanghai Composite, here in Hong Kong the Hang Seng index marginally higher but all green arrows there.

From Asia, we've also been monitoring U.S. futures, and if we bring up that out graphic for you, you'll get an idea of how U.S. markets will open when they open, or how they'll perform when they open just hours from now.


So, you can see NASDAQ futures down four tenths of 1 percent, S&P down a 0.4 percent. The Dow down just over a tenth of 1 percent. Look, inflation in the United States is at its highest level in 40 years, and American consumers are feeling it.

They're feeling it in the price at the gas pump, in the price of groceries, in the price of home prices as well. What's interesting to note is that retail sales remain strong and economists say the reason for that is because of revenge spending. After more than two years of the pandemic, consumers are still buying stuff.

That being said, when you talk to strategists and when talk to analysts, they say there's more pain ahead, and that there is real reasons to be worried. Listen to this.


MICHAEL EVERY, GLOBAL STRATEGIST, RABOBANK: I think the market is getting very, very badly wrong about but the Fed said. The fact that the Fed didn't do 75 when the market was maybe thinking about it shows once again the Fed is behind the curve. We have supply side inflation, which is going to get worse because of what the Fed just did.


LU STOUT: And the global economy faces two additional challenges, the ever fluid war in Ukraine, as well as China's strict zero COVID policy which is weighing on consumer spending in China, as well as the global supply chain. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Very sobering there. Kristie Lu Stout bringing us the latest from Hong Kong, many thanks.

And still to come, the U.K. is slapping new sanctions on Russian media companies, more on the entities that will be impacted by this ban. That's next.



SOARES: Hello, and welcome back to our viewers all around the world. I'm Isa Soares coming to you live from Lviv, Ukraine.

An American courtroom or a battlefield in Ukraine, a Ukrainian oligarch who is fighting extradition to the U.S. says he'd rather choose option two, it seems. He's asking the U.S. to throw the charges against him so he can fight for his country instead.

CNN's Nic Robertson has the story for you.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: One of Ukraine's richest oligarchs is giving me a ride.


ROBERTSON: To his war room in his bulletproof Limo.

I think this is the most luxurious armored vehicle I've been in. Do you feel safe in here?


ROBERTSON: Dmytro Firtash has good reason to want protection, he is helping fund Ukraine's fight back against Putin, support the Ukrainians are very happy to have. Inside, Firtash's blast proof office, security guards are just out of sight.

Can you show me on the map where your businesses are?

Before the war, he tells me he employed over 100,000 people in banking, chemicals, media. Some of the early deals came from here as well, Kazakhstan?

FIRTASH: Yes, Kazakhstan.

ROBERTSON: And controlled almost three quarters of Ukraine's fuel imports. He made his fortune buying cheap gas from former Soviet states, which flow to Ukraine through Putin's Russia.

And this is where all your coordination of the war effort is happening here?


ROBERTSON: In his war room, it seems clear his vast wealth is being unleashed against Putin's war. His new TV channel, Freedom, is streaming on the war room wall.

Those are the new tanks.


ROBERTSON: A joint venture with other Ukrainian media bosses. A Russian language channel to counter the Kremlin's anti-western propaganda. From here, Firtash is repurposing his business empire, pitting it against Putin.

FIRTASH (through translator): Our plants that used to produce gas equipment before, today have been transformed to produce anti-tank barriers.

ROBERTSON: He says that his gas line repairman was some of the first back into Bucha, seen of so many alleged Russian war crimes.

FIRTASH (through translator): We provided our vehicles straightaway, and all logistical means to deliver humanitarian aid to all over Ukraine.

ROBERTSON: Are you hoping the government move weapons around the country?

FIRTASH (through translator): We transport whatever they get us.

ROBERTSON: But Putin's war isn't Firtash's only fight right now. He's facing extradition to the U.S. on international racketeering and conspiracy charges involving bribery, an eight-year battle that could be decided soon.

FIRTASH (through translator): They don't even allege that I had bribed somebody, but only intended to organize this.

ROBERTSON: But are they right?

FIRTASH (through translator): A 100 percent no. There was no reason for that, because for me to bribe someone, I need to profit from this. I never benefited from this.

ROBERTSON: The charges are convoluted, allegations of bribes for Indian officials to sell him cut price titanium for U.S. aircraft company. Firtash believes his problems with the United States are geopolitical, and began more than a decade ago, when he was backing Ukrainian politicians perceived as pro-Putin. Now, both his fights are fusing into a perfect storm, he's been stuck in Austria, since his arrest on the U.S. charges in 2014.

FIRTASH (through translator): I am pretty sure that the whole affair was incorrectly assessed by the U.S. government.


For some reason, they have concluded that I am pro-Russian, and this doesn't match reality. I've always been pro- Ukrainian. I was trying to make a deal with the prosecutor's office so that they let me go home for the period when the war is going on to defend my country.

ROBERTSON: And they said no.

FIRTASH (through translator): And they said no. So, I am forced to spend some of my time defending myself.

ROBERTSON: Reality is, Firtash knows his eight years fighting extradition here in Vienna could soon be coming to an end. He could be in a U.S. court in just a matter of months.

Are you using the war to launder your image?

FIRTASH (through translator): No, not exactly. What I'm seeing now is a situation where everyone needs to come to the aid of Ukraine. I'll say it for the 20th time. I am a businessman. This is my job. I find ways to make money.

ROBERTSON: Hero, villain, businessman, however history judges Dmytro Firtash, one thing does seem to be clear. His country, Ukraine needs him and his wealth right now. Whether they get it, that depends on American justice.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Vienna, Austria.


SOARES: Fascinating piece there from our Nic Robertson. We'll have much more news after a very short break. You are watching CNN.



SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. Now the Kremlin is calling sanctions a double-edged weapon after the European Union proposed a six-sanction package on Russia for its war in Ukraine. It happened about 24 hours or so ago on the show.

What Kremlin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov says the west will, quote, "pay a heavy price in trying to harm Moscow."

Meantime, the European Union may find it tricky to implement its proposal to ban Russian oil imports. The Czech Republic and Bulgaria seeking exemption from the ban, while Slovakia and Hungary say they need at least a three-year transition period. Here is more from Hungary's prime minister.


PETER SZIJJARTO, HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): It is not a matter of lack of political will or a question about intention or time. This is simply a physical geographical and infrastructural reality.


SOARES: Well, meantime, the U.K. is announcing new sanctions on Russian media companies. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss says it's to prevent Putin's vicious disinformation campaign.

Let's get more on all of this. CNN's Melissa Bell joins us now live from Paris. Good morning, Melissa. I mean, we knew Hungary's position, haven't we, all along, they need about what, 60 percent of its imported oil which comes from Russia. Give us a sense where this leaves the bloc and this proposed ban. Will it scupper it?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it isn't just, Isa, that this is the sixth and harshest set of sanctions against Russia that the European Union is proposing, but of course it is also the one that tests European resolve and unity most of all. Any other country in the world that decided to punish itself, and you're quite right, to point those comments from Dmitry Peskov, everyone in Europe is acutely aware that the cost of further sanctions and specifically those against energy are going to cost a great deal to European citizens and unevenly so as they are to Russia. There will be a cost on both sides.

So, it's important to remember that. Europe has been all too aware of that. Even a country that wanted to take the hit in order to inflict it on Russia because of its invasion of Ukraine would find it hard to possibly sell to its electorate.

The problem for the European Union, it is 27 countries having to decide unanimously on sanctions that will affect them unequally. And that really goes to the heart of this particular challenge for the European Union.

So, it is Hungary. It is Slovakia, it is Finland, Bulgaria. These are all countries that rely almost exclusively, or for the great majority of their oil imports on Russian oil. And the question is, beyond whether or not Hungary, unlike other European countries is more reluctant perhaps to go down hard on his great ally Vladimir Putin, it's also that just in terms of getting the logistics of their energy supply, their energy mixed up and running, it's extremely complicated.

You're not just talking about the oil itself, Isa. You're talking about the infrastructure, the companies that are based on that way of organizing their oil supply. It's hugely problematic. And yet the French energy minister just said right now on French radio that she believes that the E.U. will decide unanimously by the end of the week to push ahead with these sanctions. Still, though, a remarkable test of their resolve.

SOARES: Indeed. Indeed. And we shall see what happens in the days ahead. Melissa Bell for us in Paris there, thanks very much, Melissa. Good to see you.

Pope Francis is warning the head of the Russian Orthodox Church not to become, quote, "Putin's altar boy." Those comments in a newspaper interview with Corriere della Sera, the pope's strongest words yet against Patriarch Kirill who has endorsed the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine. The pope has denounced the conflict as unjustified and brutal. He said (Inaudible).

He said President Putin may have felt the alliance was barking at Russia's door.


Meanwhile, two sources tell CNN the European Union is planning to include Patriarch Kirill in its new round of sanction.

And that does that it for me. Thanks very much for joining. I'm Isa Soares live in Ukraine. For our international viewers Inside Africa is next. For our viewers in the U.S., my colleague Rosemary Church will be right back with more news.



CHURCH: U.S. President Joe Biden is sharpening his rhetoric against the Republicans ahead of the high stakes midterm elections when control of Congress will be at stake. On Wednesday, he went after what he called the ultra MAGA agenda of

those who still support Donald Trump's make America great again movement. He said MAGA Republicans are protecting billionaires at the expense of working-class Americans, and took aim at Republican Senator Rick Scott's economic plan. Take a listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Let me tell you about this ultra MAGA agenda. It's extreme, as most MAGA things are. It will actually raise taxes on 75 million American families over 95 percent of whom make less than $100,000 a year.


CHURCH: Mr. Biden claims his administration will reduce the deficit by a record amount as opposed to Trump's administration, which increased the deficit every year he was in office.

Well, across the U.S., anger is building over the likely loss of federal abortion rights. New demonstrations were held around the country on Wednesday. Supporters of a woman's right to choose are furious that the Supreme Court appears to be on the verge of striking down Roe versus Wade, the landmark law giving women the constitutional right to end their pregnancies.

Meanwhile, we are getting a grim warning from the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She says more people may die without access to safe and legal abortions.


ROCHELLE WALENSKY, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL: Those who have resources will easily cross state lines and be able to do so. And those that don't may take matters into their own hands and may not get exactly the care that they need in order to do so, and I do think that lives could be at stake in that situation.


CHURCH: Health clinics that perform abortions in the U.S. are often subjected to protests and harassment and sometimes even violence.

CNN's Gary Tuchman visits a clinic in Knoxville, Tennessee to see how people there are coping in the wake of this Supreme Court bombshell.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: These two men are anti- abortion protesters, trying to convince the frightened woman behind the wheel not to drive into this women's medical clinic parking lot where she has an appointment for an abortion. The woman who walked up to the car is the co-director of the clinic, assuring the patient, who speaks little English, is safe with her. And that they will protect her while she is here. This type of confrontation at the Knoxville Center for Reproductive

Health in Tennessee is very common, but it's happening at a very unusual moment in time, with the knowledge that legal abortion may be ending very soon in this state.


TUCHMAN: Corrine Rovetti is a nurse practitioner and one of the other co-directors of this clinic which provides all types of gynecological healthcare.

ROVETTI: What kind of society is it that that we force people to motherhood when they're not ready or prepared to do that, or know that they're already stretched to their limits and cannot support another child?

TUCHMAN: Under a Tennessee law passed in 2019, if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe versus Wade, this state will then ban abortion 30 days after the ruling is issued. Exceptions will only be allowed to prevent the death of a pregnant woman or a serious injury.

Dr. Aaron Campbell is one of the physicians who performs abortions here. He is the medical director.

AARON CAMPBELL, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, KNOXVILLE CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH: I think people will pursue unsafe illegal abortions, and I think people will get sick and die. And I think their blood and deaths will be on the hands of these lawmakers that are passing these laws.

TUCHMAN: Dr. Campbell's late father was also the medical director here for many years.

CAMPBELL: I think he would be devastated.

TUCHMAN: There are very few places that provide abortions in Tennessee. There was another clinic just a few miles away from here.

CAMPBELL: On New Year's Eve our local Planned Parenthood affiliate was burned down, ruled to be an arson.

TUCHMAN: And it hasn't reopened?

CAMPBELL: It hasn't reopened. It's not been rebuilt.

TUCHMAN: Doing this type of work has long been intimidating and often frightening for the medical professionals. Many of the patients who come here for routine checkups do it partly out of support and loyalty for the clinic, Lisa being one of them. And she shares the employees' emotions about what the Supreme Court seems poised to do.

UNKNOWN: It makes me angry.

TUCHMAN: For now, the anti-abortion protesters say they will continue to be here.

UNKNOWN: We're not here to intimidate people. We're here to --


TUCHMAN: But you do, and you know that.

UNKNOWN: Well, if the child is outside the womb, we wouldn't be acting like this.

TUCHMAN: And the clinic employees say they will continue to do their jobs. But they know the writing is on the wall and that perhaps there is now not much they can do about it.


What are you going to start telling your patients?

CAMPBELL: I don't know. I don't know that any of us know.


TUCHMAN: I just talked to one of the other co-directors of this clinic. She says she was born in 1979 which was six years after Roe became the law of the land. She says she finds it incomprehensible that Roe will no longer exist, and that's one of the reasons she believes she still has hope that one of the conservative justices might change his or her mind.

This is Gary Tuchman, CNN in Knoxville, Tennessee.

CHURCH: And U.S. House Democrat Pramila Jayapal is an ardent supporter of Roe. She told CNN how her own experience shaped her view of abortion rights. And says she is grateful to live in Washington state where the right to choose is protected.


REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): I have always been a supporter of abortion rights, but when I had to go through the experience itself, it gave me a whole different perspective on the nuances and the complexities of making a decision like this, and also the incredible importance of having it be for nobody else to make except the pregnant person.

Because at the end of the day, we are the people that know what we're dealing with. Nobody could have known the incredibly difficult situation that I had had with my first child being born just 1 pound, 14 ounces. I mean, literally she was this big, the size of a small squash. And I had so many issues for months with not even knowing if she was going to live or die.

And so, to then have somebody else tell me that I have to have a government mandated pregnancy when I knew that I was not in a position to do that, I think all came into sharp focus. And so, now today, I see so many stories, and there isn't a good story, a good abortion story or a bad abortion story. It's just the choice that women have to make about their own bodies, and nobody else should be involved in that, other than our doctors and our loved ones.


CHURCH: The congresswoman went on to say outlawing abortion is way out of step with what the American people want. Polls show the majority support Roe v. Wade.

Well, we are learning new details about the shocking onstage attack of comedian Dave Chapelle in Los Angeles Tuesday night. The suspect is now in custody, but a motive is still unknown.

CNN's Nick Watt has the latest.


NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave Chappelle was introducing the next act. Suddenly, a comic colossus tackled by a man who rushed the stage, wielding a knife shaped like a replica gun.


WATT: CNN's Rachel Crane was just a few feet away, sitting in the second row.

CRANE: One second, you're laughing and the next second, honestly, I was fearing for my life, because I thought that perhaps this man had a bomb in that backpack on his back.

WATT: He did not, and Chappelle was not injured, according to the LAPD, quickly cracking jokes. The 23-year-old male suspect was hurt in the melee, taken to the hospital and arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. Any motive remains unclear.

Chappelle, in his recent Netflix special does note that he angers a lot of people with his comedy.

DAVE CHAPPELLE, COMEDIAN: Now listen, women get mad at me, gay people get mad at me, lesbians get mad at me. But I'm going to tell you right now, this is true, these transgenders, these (muted) they just want me dead.

WATT: This assault took place just about a mile away from another recent on-stage attack on a comedian. The infamous Oscars slap. Last night, Chris Rock was also performing, soon by Chappelle's side, making reference, cutting the tension.

CHRIS ROCK, COMEDIAN: Was that will smith?

WATT: So, still unclear why this happened and maybe more importantly, how this happened.

CRANE: It felt like an eternity before the security got there and, you know, intervened. In actuality, I'm sure it was just a few seconds, but it was a very charged moment and everybody -- there were gasps, screams. (END VIDEOTAPE)

WATT: Also still unclear, how this suspect could have gotten a knife into the Hollywood Bowl through past the metal detection, particularly with so many high-profile performers and guests in attendance. Also, ironic that earlier in his set, Chappelle was joking about having to increase security at his home after somebody was hanging around on the street and shouting at him.


A spokesperson for Dave Chappelle tells CNN that he, quote, "refuses to let this overshadow the magic of his shows here at the bowl."

Nick Watt, CNN, Hollywood.

CHURCH: It has been nearly a week into the search for an Alabama correctional officer and the inmate she's accused of helping escape from jail. Officer Vicky White and inmate Casey White were last seen leaving a detention facility last Friday. The two are not related.

Now the Lauderdale County sheriff is urging the correctional officer to turn herself in. A warrant was issued for Vicky White's arrest on charges of permitting or facilitating escape in the first degree.

And thank you so much for spending part of your day with me. I'm Rosemary Church. Our breaking news coverage of the war in Ukraine continues next. Do stay with CNN.