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Russia Intimidated by Finland Joining NATO; Ukraine Points to NATO's Double Standard; Russian Ship on Fire; G-7 Leaders to Discuss World Food Supply; January 6th Committee Issued Subpoenas to Five People; Shireen Abu Akleh to be Buried Today; A Journalist's Journey Under China's Zero COVID Policy; U.S. and E.U. Pledge to Provide More Vaccines; Philippines Voted a Dictator's Son; Long Days Ahead for Firefighters in New Mexico and California; Families Struggle to Find Baby Formula. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired May 13, 2022 - 03:00   ET




KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to all of you watching us here in the Unites States, Canada, and all around the world. This is CNN Newsroom. I'm Kim Brunhuber.

Just ahead, Russia is sending a chilling message of possible retaliation to Finland and other countries that are looking to join NATO.

Plus, major new developments in the January 6th investigation. Several top members of Congress getting hit with subpoenas to find out what they knew leading up to the capitol insurrection.

And under COVID lockdown for two months in Shanghai. CNN's David Culver was finally able to leave after living for weeks under the city's strict lockdown.

Russia is seeing red over Finland's announcement that it plans to apply for NATO membership. Former President Dmitry Medvedev says Russia would seriously strengthen ground, naval and air defenses on its western border. The foreign ministry calls Finland's decision a radical change in policy as well as a treaty violation.

Finland declared neutrality at the end of World War II. But the brutality of Putin's war in Ukraine has shattered stability in Europe leaving many feeling vulnerable.

For now, officials in Finland say there are no direct military threats from Russia and all is quiet on their 800-mile-long shared border.


PEKKA HAAVISTO, FINNISH FOREIGN MINISTER: In this kind of situation, of course you have to be prepared to all kinds of threats and all kinds of action and so forth. So, we don't speck anything but we are prepared for everything.


BRUNHUBER: NATO members have been quick to support Finland's decision but the chief of staff to Ukraine's president said it shows NATO's double standards. Listen to this.


ANDRIY YERMAK, CHIEF OF STAFF TO PRESIDENT ZELENSKYY: We are very happy for our friends in Finland, and of course, it is absolutely logical steps. But at the same time, it shows the double standard of the alliance because all the world now see how long period of time Ukraine decided to go to the alliance, but we have still have not any concrete answer.


BRUNHUBER: In Ukraine, military leaders described intense shelling along the front lines in the Luhansk region. New satellite images show plumes of smoke from fighting along a key river separating Ukrainian and Russian forces. Ukraine has destroyed several pontoon bridges to try to slow the Russian advance.

A military spokesperson in Odessa says Ukrainian forces have blown up a Russian helicopter on Snake Island. Satellite images show one Russian landing ship narrowly avoiding a missile strike while another sinks nearby.

Now further north in Chernihiv, Ukraine reports three people were killed and 12 wounded by Russian attacks on two schools. Moscow claims it hit military command posts and ammunition depots.

Donetsk is also a part of the Donbas region that Russia is hoping to capture from Ukraine. That's where we find CNN's senior international correspondent Sam Kiley.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The air raid sirens once again on here in Kramatorsk, that's following a day in which there was quite a lot of aviation in the sky above us and of course, surface-to-air missiles are being fired up at that aviation as the rumble of artillery continues in the near distance with the Russians continuing their efforts to break through the Ukrainian lines.

Almost constant now thudding in the distance of those artillery exchanges. But for now, the Ukrainians are holding the Russians back on this front. There's neither side is advancing significantly. It's different around the Kharkiv further to the north where the Russian forces have been on the back foot to such an extent that there have been attacks against Ukrainian forces from inside Russia.

They're now within Russian artillery range from the Russian motherland itself. Now this all coming at a time when the Ukrainian defense ministry is now drawing world attention to something in a sense more sinister with echoes of the 1932, 1933 famine in Ukraine with the theft of huge amounts of grain from Ukrainian farmers in areas that have been captured by the Russians.

The Ukrainian ministry of defense claiming half a million tons of grain has been stolen. Certainly, CNN has tracked one Russian ship from Sevastopol to Alexandria in Egypt where it was turned away.


And we know it's been docked now offloading grain illegally in Syria, that is the grain that has been stolen from Ukrainian farmers. It was the theft of grain from Ukrainian farmers back in the 1930s that resulted in the famine that killed millions here. So that is a bitter echo of history here in Kramatorsk.

BRUNHUBER: And that grain crisis is on the agenda for G-7 foreign ministers who are currently meeting in Germany. Top diplomats are discussing ways to end the blockade of Ukrainian grain that millions around the world rely on.

CNN's Nada Bashir is live in London with the latest. So, Nada, some of the leaders have been arriving and speaking. With so much at stake here, bring us up to speed on what we've heard and what we're expecting.

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Yes, absolutely, Kimm. We are seeing the G-7 foreign ministers arriving now for that session today in Germany. They will be set to discuss the concerns around food security and indeed that grain supply as we understand it, from the German foreign ministry.

Some 25 million tons of grain currently blocked at the port of Odessa unable to leave as a result of the blockade. There are serious concerns of course because Ukraine is one of the key suppliers of grain to countries across the Middle East and Africa, where there is a desperate need for it there.

So, there are concerns. But also, on the logistical side within Europe, we've had from the European Commission in previous days looking at ways potentially to integrate the export system into the European procedural process in order to ease that situation to prevent the bulk and delays that we've seen on the border.

But this is just one of the key issues. We heard from the U.N. World Food Programme chief, David Beasley, he appealed to President Putin directly saying that millions of people could die. But as we do see G- 7 leaders arriving now, there will be other concerns on the table.

Dmytro Kuleba, the foreign minister of Ukraine has been invited. He is in attendance at this session. He has called for more support, for more sanctions, more arms. And that's what we've been hearing from the U.K.'s own foreign secretary. Take a listen.


LIZ TRUSS, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: It's very important at this time that we keep up the pressure on Vladimir Putin by supplying more weapons to Ukraine, by increasing the sanctions. G-7 unity has been vital during this crisis to protect freedom and democracy, and we'll continue to work together to do just that.


BASHIR: Now, Liz Truss has said that the NATO leaders, the G-7 leaders need to go further and faster in supporting Ukraine on the military front. She's called for NATO standard equipment to be provided to Ukraine. And we heard from the Ukrainian foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, he welcomed the boost in the military both coming from G-7 and NATO leaders, particularly Germany, but he wants this support to be maintained. Kim?

BRUNHUBER: We'll keep following this event throughout the day. Nada Bashir, live from London for us. Thank you so much.

Here in the U.S., the bipartisan committee investigating the January 6th attacks on the U.S. Capitol is ramping up its battle with Republicans refusing to cooperate. In an unprecedented move, the panel sent subpoenas to five key lawmakers who are thought to have information about events leading up to the insurrection and they include the top House Republican Kevin McCarthy and four others who have been outspoken supporters of former President Donald Trump's baseless lie about the 2020 election being stolen.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): These are people who were involved in discussions with the president. They were in communication with White House staff on January 6th leading up to it. Clearly have relevant testimony. They need to do their duty. They need to uphold their oath and come in voluntarily and testify. If they don't, we will discuss what the appropriate remedy is.


BRUNHUBER: The committee is under pressure to get results. If Democrats lose control of the House in the mid-term elections later this year, Republicans will likely shut down the investigation. They call it illegitimate and political theater.

Meanwhile, there are signs of ongoing federal investigation into whether the Trump administration mishandled classified documents. Fifteen boxes of documents were taken to the former president's home in Mar-a-Lago after he left office and later retrieved by the National Archives.

Now, people familiar with the matter tell CNN that investigators recently issued a subpoena for access to those materials. Mishandling classified documents is a federal crime but it's too soon to know if any charges will be filed.

A spokesperson for Trump says he, quote, "consistently handled all documents in accordance with applicable law and regulations. Belated attempts to second-guess that clear fact are politically motivated and misguided."

[03:09:56] All right. Still ahead, the funeral for an Al Jazeera journalist killed while covering an Israeli raid in the West Bank will soon be held in Jerusalem. We'll have the latest on the investigation into her death, next. Stay with us.


BRUNHUBER: The funeral for an Al Jazeera journalist is set to be held in Jerusalem in just a few hours. Shireen Abu Akleh was fatally shot while reporting on an Israeli military raid in the West Bank city of Jenin on Wednesday. Palestinian leaders say Israeli forces are solely responsible for her death and are demanding justice.

Atika Shubert joins us now live from Jerusalem. So, Atika, tell us what more we're learning about this tragic death, the funeral and the upcoming investigation.


ATIKA SHUBERT, JOURNALIST: The funeral is expected to take place later this afternoon. I'm actually at the St. Joseph's hospital on east Jerusalem, and the building behind me is where Shireen Abu Akleh's body is being prepared for that funeral.

What we understand is that she, the body will be brought to the church at Jaffa Gate, and then there will be a funeral procession with many of her fellow journalists there in attendance, bringing her to her final burial at the Mount Zion Cemetery.

Now thousands of people came out yesterday across east Jerusalem, mourning her in grief. And I do expect to see again that same outpouring of emotion. There is a general strike across east Jerusalem.

And I think it's important to remember that for so many Palestinians, Shireen Abu Akleh was really almost a member of the family because she appeared in their nightly news every day, chronicling the daily lives of Palestinians in the West Bank. And it is really a devastating blow to the Palestinian community. And this is why we've seen so many people coming out to mourn her death.

As for the investigation, there are two separate investigations ongoing, of course, the Palestinian one. They have conducted an autopsy. It has not fully finished yet so it is still ongoing. The investigation. They also have recovered the bullet that killed her.

And there is a lot of ballistics tests that need to be done to find out more about where the bullet was fired from, who fired it and at what distance. Now the Palestinian authority is carrying out their own investigation. They have refused to do a joint investigation with the Israeli military. They say they do not trust the Israeli authorities on this.

Separately, therefore, the Israeli military is conducting its own internal investigation into what happened at the scene. Now, what we understand from them is that the investigation is still ongoing. According to the Washington Post, however, guns from Israeli soldiers have been taken for ballistic tests. We have asked the Israeli Defense Forces for comment on this but they have not given us any comment on that so far, Kim.

BRUNHUBER: All right. We'll keep following this very important and tragic story. Atika Shubert, thank you so much.

The U.S. surpasses a staggering number of deaths during the COVID pandemic. But as he marked the somber occasion, President Joe Biden said it's also time to look ahead to possible future outbreaks. That's next.

And CNN's David Culver went through an ordeal in China being locked down for some 50 days under the country's zero COVID policy. We'll have all that when we come back. Stay with us.



BRUNHUBER: Welcome back to all of you watching us here in the United States, Canada and all around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber. This is CNN Newsroom.

The U.S. and the European Union say they'll step up their efforts to provide COVID vaccines globally. U.S. President Joe Biden and the European Commission leader Ursula von der Leyen made the announcement Thursday, the same day the U.S. marked one million deaths from the coronavirus.

The U.S. and E.U. are pledging to increase vaccine equity and improve supply chains. More commitments were also made at a virtual global COVID summit hosted by Biden. He says there is no time to wait when it comes to preparations for the next variant or the next pandemic. Here he is.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Now is the time for us to act. All of us together. We all must do more. We must honor those we have lost by doing everything we can to prevent as many deaths as possible.


BRUNHUBER: Countries pledged more than $3 billion for the global fight against COVID at that summit. But one global health official says that amount won't cut it. Here's what the secretary general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies told me a short time ago.


JAGAN CHAPAGAIN, SECRETARY GENERAL, IFRC: President Biden emphasizing the need for action and not to lose time. That's very, very positive. But it's also very important to know that we need around $15 billion right now to be able to actually take those actions that's necessary to prevent the new spread of the virus.

As we saw, $3.5 billion is a great number but it's far away from what is needed. The progress has been made. Sixty-five percent of the world population has received at least a single dose of vaccines but we still have the low-income countries where the vaccination rate is below 16 percent. So, I think it is good to see that commitment. But we need more of that. And turning commitment into action.


BRUNHUBER: The president of South Korea is offering to help North Korea with its COVID outbreak with medical supplies and vaccines. The reclusive nation reported 18,000 so-called fever cases on Thursday, and six deaths. So far, the country has identified more than 350,000 what it calls fever cases, and more than 187,000 people are being isolated.


Leader Kim Jong-un has ordered all cities into lockdown calling the most important challenge facing the ruling party.

While government denials of a COVID lockdown haven't stopped panic buying in Beijing. There were chaotic scenes inside some supermarkets late Thursday as residents rushed to stock up on supplies. Daily cases have remained in the dozens in the Chinese capital but officials are encouraging residents to stay home and said they would launch a new round of mass testing.

But China will be limiting travel abroad for nonessential activities. The government says it will tighten its review process in the issuing of travel documents.

Well, CNN's David Culver was stuck for weeks in Shanghai in a strict lockdown, bringing us reporting on the frustrated residents who were banned from leaving their home. He was finally able to leave this week. So, here's the story of his journey out.


DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Leaving Shanghai today is a one-time, one-way journey. I've not had this much freedom in 50 days.

And here we go. Off to the airport.

Heading off to the airport since mid-March, it all feels so strange.

The few people you see out and about most of them are head to toe in Hazmat suits. As you look on the streets, the ropes are still blocking off a lot of the sidewalks, stores, basically all closed.

With a government permitted driver, we passed through check points. Our documents thoroughly inspected, including a letter from the American embassy. Many expats like me needing diplomatic letters just to leave our apartments. Once vibrant and rich with energy, Shanghai was forced into an induced

coma. The rolling lockdowns began in mid-March. But by April, this city of more than 25 million people was under strict harsh lockdown. Most of us sealed inside our homes. Community COVID tests after tests after tests. And in between, at-home COVID tests.

I've done quite a few of these.

Early into the lockdown, I packed a go bag. For me and for my dog. If I tested positive, I'd likely end up in a government isolation center like this, or worse, like this. Most of us would prefer just to recover in the privacy of our home.

But in China's zero COVID world, that is not an option. Shocking scenes of people shouting, we are starving. We are starving. Heart breaking stories of people being rejected medical care. Some of them later dying. All because hospital workers feared breaking unforgiving zero protocols.

Witnessing Shanghai's handling or mishandling reminded me of Wuhan. On January 21st, 2020, we traveled into the then epicenter of what was mystery illness.

It's the wildlife and seafood market.

Still fresh in our minds, the perseverance of those in Wuhan who lived through the original lockdown. Some losing loved ones to COVID early on.

Just give him a second.

They risked their freedom to share with us their pain-filled stories, furious with their government for not doing more to stop the initial spread.

Chinese officials maintain they were transparent from the start. And in recent days, President Xi Jinping has reaffirmed and praised his country's zero COVID efforts, vowing to fight any doubters and critics.

Over the past two years, we've lived through China's military-like mobilization, rapidly building hospitals, mastering mass testing of tens of millions at one time. Designing a sophisticated contact tracing system. Essentially, sealing off their borders to the outside world.

Sure, mic check, one, two, three.

Wanting to keep on the story, I've not left China since 2019, making this departure a long overdue homecoming visit. Shanghai's Pudong International Airport, once among the busiest in the world, is now a lonely experience.

On the departures board, only two international flights slated to leave on this day. On the floor, sleeping bags and trash where stranded travelers have camped out. They wait here for days or weeks for a flight out. Outside on the tarmac, strict COVID protocols and sanitation in place. Ground crews spraying each other with disinfectant.

Boarding the near empty plane. It finally starts to feel real.

About to take off.

The disorder, despair, the chaos, the anger, the exhaustion. All of it feel so distant now. With a sigh of relief in a bit of survivor's guilt, leaving behind a country amidst almost unprecedented changes, I wonder if China's tightening zero COVID restrictions coupled with rising tensions with the west will keep its shutter doors from ever reopening.


David Culver, CNN, back home.


KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR: Now political fortunes have turn again for a powerful family in the Philippines. Next, how the son of a former dictator reached the cusp of becoming the next president. Stay with us.



BRUNHUBER: A local dynasty is on the verge of staging a comeback at the top of the Philippines politics. Unofficial result show Ferdinand Marcos Jr. known as "Bongbong" and the son of the late dictator has won Monday's presidential race. But his victory would hardly be without controversy.

So, for more on that, Ivan Watson joins us from Hong Kong. So, Ivan, tell us more about the man who might be president and how similar or different we expect him to be from his father.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, this is remarkable. The Philippines seems to have come full circle. Thirty-six years after People Power Revolution overthrew a long-time dictator of the Philippines, as Ferdinand Marcos Sr., 36 years later, his son, and named Ferdinand Marcos Jr., appears to have been reelected by an enormous and historic electoral mandate.


WATSON: The presumptive winner of the presidential election in the Philippines mobbed by supporters. Preliminary and unofficial results show Ferdinand Marcos Jr. winning by a landslide. Known by the nickname Bongbong, he concluded his first statement claiming victory saying, quote, "judge me not by my ancestors, but by my actions."

And yet, on the same day his campaign released photos of a visit to the grave of his father and namesake. The legacy of the dictator, Ferdinand Marcos Sr. looms large over this country. He ruled the Philippines for 21 years. Nearly half of that under martial law, until the People Power movement sent the family into exile in 1986.

Today, a monument honors the thousands of Filipinos, jailed, tortured, and killed by the Marcos regime. Meanwhile, a presidential commission is still investigating the alleged theft of some $10 billion worth of assets. Stolen wealth that funded a lavish lifestyle still remembered by Marcos' widow Imelda and her infamous shoe collection. Marcos Jr. downplays his parents' excesses.

FERDINAND "BONGBONG" MARCOS, JR., PHILIPPINES PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENT- ELECT: So, of course it was a comfortable life. And of course, we were very privileged. It was really very clear to us also that this is not something that we were entitled to. It is something that you had to work for.

WATSON: Critics accuse him of using social media to help rewrite history.

FATIMA GAW, FACULTY MEMBER, UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES: All of those promise to bring back the glory of the last, even if that past is, you know, white-washed already by all those disinformation ecosystems.

WATSON: Already, there have been some street protests against Marcos, even though he appears to have won the biggest electoral mandate any presidential candidate has seen in generations. Some analysts say this is a repudiation of the politicians who've governed since the 1986 overthrow of the elder Marcos.

EDMUND TAYAO, POLITICAL ANALYST: They are the ones who have raised so much expectations before, but unfortunately, failed to deliver. So, this is the very reason why suddenly the Marcos name was popular again.

WATSON: Marcos campaign on a pledge to unite this country. And while thin on details, he emphasizes economic development is a top priority.

MARCOS JR.: Of course, as the economy, prices. It's the price of energy, lack of jobs, education, infrastructure. All of these areas that are going to be critical.

WATSON: The Philippines has long been plagued by poverty and inequality, corruption, and economic inequality. Thirty-six years after sweeping a dictator from power, a majority of Filipino voters are praying his son can help fix their country's problems.


WATSON: Now Kim, there are some protests in Manila against the apparent President-elect Marcos today and there have been concerns raised about vote counting machines that appeared to malfunction in Monday's election.

However, it's clear that some big governments that are big players in the region are recognizing Marcos' apparent victory. President Biden called him, congratulated him. And in a White House statement called him the president-elect. The U.S. State Department has said that the election seemed to match international standards.

And the Chinese President Xi Jinping sent his own message of congratulations to Marcos, hoping to have continuous spirit of cooperation between these two countries. China and the Philippines have territorial disputes, notably in the South China Sea. It will be very interesting to watch what kind of a policy Marcos will conduct there. And of course, the Philippines has close ties to the U.S. which is its former colonial ruler. Kim?


BRUNHUBER: Yes, Ivan, full circle, as you say, but hopefully for the country with very different results.

Ivan Watson, thank you so much. I appreciate it.

I'm Kim Brunhuber. For our international viewers, Connecting Up is next. For those of you in North America, I'll be back with more news after a short break. Please do stay with us.



BRUNHUBER: A law enforcement cruiser accidentally started a grass fire in Colorado on Thursday. The blaze was near the Colorado Springs airport and caused a shutdown of several flights. A brief shelter in place order and even mandatory evacuation orders for at least 500 nearby homes.

Now sheriff's spokesperson says the deputy was responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle when the car became stuck in a grassy area. The fire started when the deputy tried getting out. No deputies were injured.

Well, temperatures and weather conditions are providing little relief for firefighters in New Mexico. Experts say the continued heat, low humidity and breezy conditions will likely aggravate the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon fires, now combined as one. So far, nearly 260,000 acres have been scorched and the blaze is less than 30 percent contained.

And evacuation orders remain in place for the wildfire reducing some expensive real estate in southern California to ashes. Have a look at this. The so-called coastal fire covers 200 acres with about 15 percent of it contained. Dozens of homes have been affected as firefighters try to get the flames out of control.

Now although no official cause has been reported, the power company, Southern California Edison says electrical circuit activity was occurring close to the time when the fire was reported. Now it hasn't provided any details but some home openers are just grateful their homes were spared. Listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDREAS FRANK, HOMEOWNER: It's so random. Because just behind us, our friends' home is safe, but on either side, it's destroyed.

RITS SHERMAN, HOMEOWNER: It looks like mostly just preventive damage to save the house. Not loss like this. My neighbors across the street. This one was completely down to the ground.


BRUNHUBER: Joining me now is CNN meteorologist Derek van Dam. Derek, all that dry fuel really can be devastating as we there and the even hotter weather that we're expecting I guess that won't help.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, Kim, you know, in fact, just a few moments ago, I spoke to the chief of communications from Cal Fire. And he told me that the ongoing drought and climate change both impacting the fuel vegs. The vegetation that is in place across the state of California.

Just look how dry its been. Let's take Long Beach, for instance. They have only had a little over one inch of rain that's fallen so far this time of year. Average today over eight inches. So, they're talking about a 14 percent on average of rainfall for that particular location.

In fact, 100 percent of the state of California under drought with 41 percent of the state under extreme drought. And other areas across the west are of course in drought conditions. And as you mentioned a few moments ago, the Hermits Peak and Canyon fire that is burning out of control across central New Mexico. And this is edging closer and closer, unfortunately to be the largest wildfire in New Mexico's state history.

Now, we have below average rainfall forecast by the climate prediction center for the next 15 days, in fact, and the heat wave that is going to commence building across the Deep South is going to be significant. So that will also aid in the potential for fuel, or fire problems.

Now look at the heat into Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for instance. We had a 93-degree temperature yesterday, lots of wind and severe weather reports out of the system that's moving this area including the Sioux Falls area. We had some impressive wind totals that were clocked over 100 miles per hour, which by the way, is equivalent to a category 2 Atlantic hurricane.

Now this is a picture of Sioux Falls, South Dakota before a thunderstorm moved into particular location. This is the resulting damage that came through. And I want to show you this at home. Because the actual outflow from the thunderstorm created what it's called a haboob. Haboob is a dust storm.

And this is what it looked like from the ground. You'll be able to see just how terrifying and how quickly these, what appears to be clouds, this is actually dust, is moving overhead. That was in advance of the approaching thunderstorm that caused the damage. Kim?

BRUNHUBER: Wouldn't want to get caught in that. Unbelievable.

VAN DAM: Certainly.

BRUNHUBER: Derek van Dam, thanks so much.


BRUNHUBER: The White House says it's working to address the serious supply shortage of baby formula in the U.S. It announced limited steps like cracking down on price gouging and importing more formula from overseas. It will likely take time before there's much of an improvement. And in the meantime, millions of parents are left scrambling.

CNN's Brian Todd has the details.



BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jusstine Ne has searched far and wide on Oahu for formula for her 7-month-old son.

JUSSTINE NE, NEW MOM IN HAWAII: I wasn't able to breastfeed. You know, depending on the formula to feed babies. It's very stressful.

TODD: About 4,000 miles away, in Ankeny, Iowa, new mom Emma Feinhart (Ph) had similar problems, finding formula for her 4-month-old daughter Poppy (Ph).

UNKNOWN: I never imagined I would have had to look high and low for formula.

TODD: Millions of families in America confronting that same crisis. A nationwide shortage of baby formula that has just gotten worse. In recent days, more than 50 percent of formula was out of stock in eight states. Nationwide, the out-of-stock rate is 43 percent, that's according to Datasembly, an agency that tracks how much product is on store shelves.

BEN REICH, CEO & FOUNDER, DATASEMBLY: We've never seen numbers like this, let alone in such a critical category like baby form landfall.

TODD: The reasons for the shortage, supply chain problems stemming from the pandemic, historic inflation, and a devastating recall. In February, the company Abbott nutrition recalled three brands of its formula after some infants got sick from a bacteria, and two died. What should parents do now?

MEGAN RANNEY, ASSOCIATE DEAN OF PUBLIC HEALTH, BROWN UNIVERSITY: Worried parents should go out and buy formula. Even if it's not the same formula brand that your baby is used to. Your baby will transition to another formula brand over a day or so. TODD: Experts say don't stretch out the formula you've already got by

adding water or something else. That can cause illness. And don't do what many desperate parents have reportedly tried. Making their own formula.

RANNEY: Formula is a complex mix of nutrients, vitamins, minerals. It is nearly impossible to get the proportions right doing it at home. There are also concerns about bacterial contamination.

TODD: How long will new parents have to deal with this shortage? Datasembly didn't want to estimate weeks or months.

REICH: We don't see any evidence of this letting up. The issues that have caused this out-of-stock crisis are continuing to factor in to stocking issues.


TODD: The Biden administration just announced it's working with manufacturers to get more baby formula on the shelves faster. But in the meantime, new parents are going to have to deal with limited purchases, chains like CVS, Walgreens, target, and Walmart are limiting the number of cans that customers can buy in each transaction.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

BRUNHUBER: Two Starbucks outlets in California have become the first in the state to unionize. More than a dozen other California Starbucks will likely follow suit. Wednesday's votes in the Santa Cruz came after Starbucks in Buffalo, New York, won the right to unionize in November. Next comes the challenge of negotiating a contract.

Now, in a statement, Starbucks says it is philosophically opposed to unions but will respect the employees' decision.

Have a look at this. An exciting never before seen image astronomers have captured. Have a look. This is the super massive black hole at the center of our galaxy. Scientists call the Sagittarius a star and describe it as the beating heart of the Milky Way. The black hole is about 27,000 light-years away from Earth and four million times more massive than our sun. It took 300 researchers working with the network of eight different radio telescopes five years to produce the image.

The New York lottery is trying to make things right after a mega mistake during Tuesday's drawing, they announcer incorrectly called the mega ball a six, when it was actually a nine. Listen to this.


UNKNOWN: Now for the go mega ball. That is six. Again, tonight's winning numbers are 15, 19, 70, 61, 20, the go mega ball is six.


BRUNHUBER: Now some of the people with that wrong number six mega ball still got paid. But the mix-up caused lottery officials to temporarily suspend all payouts. Now we're told since they have been resumed the estimated jackpot for the drawing today has reached $99 million.

The Miami Heat are moving on to the next round of the NBA playoffs. Jimmy Butler led the way with 32 points in the game six win over Philadelphia. The Heat are the top seed in the east and will face the winner of the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics series.

In the west, The Dallas Mavericks are proving they're not going down without a fight. They coast and pass Phoenix Suns tied the series at three games apiece. Game seven is set for Sunday in Phoenix.

The Kentucky derby winner Rich Strike won't race in next week's Preakness in Baltimore. That means there is no possibility the colt can achieve the triple crown. The holy grail of American horse racing. The owner says the plan was always to enter in either the Kentucky derby or the Preakness but not both.

Rich Strike came into triple down an 80 to 1 long shot and scored one of the most thrilling upsets in derby history. It is expected to run in the Belmont Stakes in New York on June 11th.


Nearly three dozen German shepherds have been rescued from the war in Ukraine. According to our CNN affiliate, a California trainer traveled alone to Ukraine to rescue the dogs which are police and military trained K9s.

Chris Jimenez raised around $55,000 to charter plane and bring them all to San Diego County.


CHRIS JIMENEZ, DOG TRAINER & RESCUER: Now the dogs need to go through some extensive rehab. They've been shoved in a car for hours. Shoved on a plane. They were in bad condition when I showed up.


BRUNHUBER: Jimenez is trying to find homes for the dogs but says they must be the right fits. So, most likely they'll to go police departments or to a government agency. Great work he's doing there.

Thanks so much for joining us this morning. I'm Kim Brunhuber. CNN Newsroom with Max Foster is next.