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Biden's Economic Agenda; Escalating Tensions in the Middle East; Senate Holds "Vote-a-Rama" on Health and Environmental Legislation; Trump Hints to Run on 2024; Republican primaries in Key States Won by Trump Allies; Indiana's Abortion Bill; Israel and Palestinians Trade Blame for Gaza Explosion; More Grain Ships Depart Ukraine; At Least 631 Children Killed in Russian Invasion on Ukraine; Eastward Advancement by Russian Forces; Concern Raised by IAEA Chief Regarding Shelling at Nuclear Site; China's Military Exercise Near Taiwan; Big Political Wins for Biden; Heat and Floods Across U.S.; Volcanic Fissure Erupts Near Capital Reykjavik; LA Dodgers Honor Late Vin Scully. Aired 5-6a ET
Aired August 07, 2022 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LYNDA KINKADE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Good to have you with us.
Ahead on "CNN Newsroom." We're nearing a historic win for the Biden agenda as we speak the U.S. Senate is in a marathon vote-a-rama process on a massive economic bill. We're going to look at what the law would mean for the fight against inflation. Well, this bill aims to tackle the climate crisis, and it couldn't come soon enough, as the nation contends with soaring temperatures.
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-- escalating tensions between Israel and Gaza militants. The most violent in over a year. We'll go live to Southern Israel for the latest.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN center, this is "CNN Newsroom with Lynda Kinkade."
KINKADE: We begin in Washington, D.C. where a marathon voting session is currently underway in the U.S. Senate. Democrats are hoping to push through a sweeping healthcare climate and tax bill that tackles some of the key policy objectives. But first, they have to clear one more procedural hurdle, what is known as a vote-a-rama, a series of back- to-back amendment votes with no time limit. The bill is ultimately expected to pass, then head to the U.S. House for a vote. CNN's Jessica Dean reports. JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Senate Democrats are pushing through and midway through this complex budget process that will allow them to pass legislation focused on climate, healthcare, and some tax provisions with just the Senate Democrats voting. They will not need Senate Republicans. But because they're using this complex budget process, that means it is taking hours and hours of process to get to the end. We do expect it to pass after Senator Manchin and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer coming to an agreement. And then late last week getting Senator Kyrsten Sinema on board. We do expect that all 50 Senate Democrats are much -- very much on board with this. They just have to get through the process of a vote-a-rama, which can be hours and hours of endless amendments and it is just nobody's guess exactly how long that will take.
Just to remind people a little bit about what's in this bill, when it comes to those climate provisions, at some $369 billion, the largest investment ever from the Senate into climate that we have ever seen. They're hoping that these provisions will lower carbon emissions by 40 percent by the year 2030. When it comes to healthcare, they're talking about extending affordable care act insurance subsidies for three years. And they're also, for the first time, Medicare will be allowed to negotiate drug prices on certain drugs. And then with the tax provisions, there are as a corporate minimum tax in there of 15 percent, there's also a one percent excised tax on stock buybacks.
Again, a lot of this stuff Senate Democrats frankly didn't think they would get through because earlier this summer Senator Joe Manchin, the kind of Conservative Democrat from West Virginia, did not support the tax provisions, the climate provisions, but they were able to come to this agreement. Once it passes out of the Senate, it will then go back to -- it will go to the House. We are expecting the House to come back into session, they're currently on recess, on Friday, August 12th, pass this and then it goes to President Joe Biden for his signature. Jessica Dean, CNN, Capitol Hill.
KINKADE: Well, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sounded optimistic, Saturday, as he said the sweeping legislation should be able to pass with support from all Senate Democrats.
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SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MAJORITY LEADER: Now that our meetings with the parliamentarian have largely concluded, we have a bill before us that can win the support of all 50 Democrats. I'm happy to report to my colleagues that the bill we presented to the parliamentarian remains largely intact. The bill, when passed, will meet all of our goals, fighting climate change, lowering healthcare costs, closing tax loopholes abused by the wealthy, and reducing the deficit.
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KINKADE: Well, Senate Minority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell slammed the Democrats' bill claiming it's not supported by the American people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: Democrats have decided their first economic disaster justifies a second economic disaster.
The working people of this country feel very, very differently.
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KINKADE: Well, joining me now from Pennsylvania, Thomas Gift, the Director of the Centre on U.S. Politics at the University College London. Good to have you with us.
THOMAS GIFT, DIRECTOR, CENTRE ON U.S. POLITICS, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON: Good to be with you.
KINKADE: So, Thomas, this is a working weekend in D.C. Democrats forging ahead with a massive spending bill aimed at reducing prescription drug costs, investing in climate change programs. What's the risk of such a large spending bill at a time when there's already record inflation?
GIFT: Well, of course, lots of Americans are concerned about inflation and according to both the Congressional Budget Office and the Penn Wharton Budget Model, the impact of this bill is expected to be about zero on inflation. And so, I think many Americans might be saying to themselves, this is the same White House that months ago told us that inflation was going to be temporary, now they're telling us that they have a bill that's going to be a solution to rising prices. Can we really believe them? I think that is a big political challenge for Democrats and something that they're going to have to sell on the campaign trail.
This is a signature piece of legislation. I think it is important for Joe Biden to get through. It's going to be something that Democrats are going to push heavily as they head into November. But there are some risks, as you're suggesting, and that is, you know, Republican voters, moderate voters, just aren't convinced this is going to make a big dent in costs, particularly in the short-term because a lot of the investments won't actually come to fruition for years.
KINKADE: And, Thomas, this Inflation Reduction Act requires a simple majority to pass. If it passes the Senate and moves to the House for approval, how will this play out in the House?
GIFT: Well, I think the margin certainly is a lot closer in the Senate. So, the big obstacle to this point has been getting it through this chamber. First, it was getting Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema on board, then it was getting the OK from the Senate parliamentarian. Now, this challenge of enduring an all-nighter tacking on amendments. But I think that if it gets past the Senate that it's, you know, certainly not a foregone conclusion that it will get past the House. But given the margins that Democrats have, I think it would be very unlikely that this bill doesn't get passed next week.
KINKADE: So, let's talk about Donald Trump's grip on the Republican Party. Because despite all the lies, the scandals, the insurrection, Donald Trump spoke at the CPAC Conference, Saturday night, again repeating many of those lies, especially about the election being stolen from him. Just how much support does he have?
GIFT: Well, we're seeing ultra-MAGA candidates oust more establishment Republicans in the primaries all across the country. It's really not an aberration, Lynda. I think it is a trend. And it just substantiates this point which is that Trumpism certainly isn't even close to meeting its political demise.
And to take an example, where I am in Pennsylvania, Republican Doug Mastriano, certainly a legitimate contender for the governorship, that's despite the fact that his traffic in conspiracy theories and despite being at the Capitol on January 6th. His signs are just all over if you walk around the town where I am. That doesn't mean that these kinds of candidates, these ultra-MAGA candidates will win in November. It doesn't mean even that the probabilities are in their favor.
But I do think that to rule out the potential for these extensively fringe Republicans to get elected is a serious mistake because, within today's Republican party, they're really not fringe. And I think some Democrats are really playing with fire and just counting their odds of victory. That's especially true of liberal activists who have been supporting MAGA politicians in the primaries in anticipation of them being weaker in general election candidates. That's a really big risk and something that we'll find out more about if that was a good idea or bad idea come November.
KINKADE: Any indication of how common that is?
GIFT: Well, we've certainly seen instances of it in Pennsylvania and a number of different other States. I mean, I still think that it's well-located this spool of number of liberal activists and political action groups. And so, this is certainly not something that the Democratic National Committee, for example, is endorsing. And it is hard for the Democratic Party, of course, to really put a tamper on that, simply because this is kind of individuals getting involved in these races.
But it is a thing. And as I said before, I think that it is a very significant risk because if you don't win in the general election, a lot of these candidates, based on their policies and support for January 6th, their support for the Stop the Steal movement, you know, that's a real big problem.
KINKADE: Thomas Gift, good to get your perspective. Thanks so much for joining us.
GIFT: Thank you.
KINKADE: Well, Indiana is now the first U.S. State to pass restrictive abortion laws in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision overturning Roe V. Wade. Reproductive rights are a major issue for voters.
A CNN poll released late July found that nearly two-thirds of Americans disapproved of the court's ruling. CNN's Carlos Suarez has more on Indiana's new law and the reaction to it.
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CROWD: Throw them out. Throw them out.
CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Over the chance of protesters, lawmakers in Indiana passed a bill late Friday night that would ban most abortions. The first State to pass such a restrictive law since Roe versus Wade was overturned this summer. The move drew outrage from Democrats and some Republicans who felt the measure went too far and others who felt it did not.
SEN. GREG TAYLOR (D-IN): If you're pro-choice, you can't be happy. I don't know who left here happy. All I know is people need to go out and vote in November.
REP. ELIZABETH ROWRAY (R-IN): I held my pro-choice views until the first ultrasound I had of my very planned first daughter. And in that instance when I saw her, I couldn't believe that I ever felt like it would be OK to kill that child. I switched in that instance.
SUAREZ (voiceover): The bill was signed into law by the governor minutes after the vote. The law, which goes into effect on September 15th, provides exceptions for when the life of the mother is at risk and for fatal fetal anomalies up to 20 weeks post-fertilization. It also allows exceptions for some abortions if the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest.
The vote came days after voters in Kansas overwhelmingly rejected an effort to remove abortion protections from their State constitution. On Saturday, the White House blasted the vote in Indiana, "Yesterday's vote, which institutes a near-total ban in Indiana, should be a signal to Americans across the country to make their voices heard. Congress should also act immediately to pass a law restoring the protections of Roe, the only way to secure a woman's right to choose nationally."
Caitlin Bernard, the Indiana OB/GYN who provided abortion services for a 10-year-old Ohio rape victim, who crossed State lines in June, says she worries that even with exceptions, doctors fear they could be prosecuted for providing an emergency procedure to pregnant women.
DR. CAITLIN BERNARD, OBSTETRICIAN/GYNECOLOGIST: You know how to save their lives. And yet you're wondering, well, who's going to -- who do I have to check with? Who's going to second guess me? Do I call my lawyer? Do I call the county prosecutor? You know, is this going to go to the State attorney general, which we know can be incredibly dangerous for physicians as I've experienced?
SUAREZ (on camera): And Indiana's business community is already weighing in on this new law. Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, which employs about 10,500 workers in the State says they're going to start looking for talent elsewhere. This, as the company, says that they're going to expand its healthcare coverage for employees that might seek health care reproductive services out of State. Carlos Suarez, CNN, Miami.
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KINKADE: Well, Indiana isn't the only U.S. State seeking to restrict abortion. The Supreme Court's ruling has led to enforcement of bans in several States. And has opened the door for new restrictions in others. Arizona's Republican attorney general is asking a State Court to lift a 1973 court injunction against an abortion ban but was enacted back in 1901.
In Florida, a law banning abortions after 15 weeks remains in effect amid a legal fight to overturn it. A similar challenge is underway here in Georgia, where abortion is banned after six weeks. We are keeping track of these cases and efforts in other States and you can get updates on a section of our website by heading to cnn.com/politics.
Well, Palestinians are accusing Israel of bombing a refugee camp in Gaza on Saturday. But Israel says it had nothing to do with it, claiming the deadly explosion was caused by a militant rocket that fell short. We'll take you live to Southern Israel for the latest.
Plus, Ukraine is starting to ramp up its grain exports with more ships setting sail in the past few hours.
KINKADE: Israeli airstrikes rocked parts of Gaza for a second day Saturday while Islamic Jihad militants continued firing hundreds of rockets towards Israel. Israel is now claiming a second senior commander of Islamic Jihad has been killed, they released this video of the airstrike. Khaled Mansour is described as the head of the group's southern command. The Palestinians saying, Israeli airstrike is to blame for killing seven people, Saturday, including four children in Jabalya refugee camp in Northern Gaza.
But the Israeli military denies it was responsible and released video that it says shows a militant rocket going off course. Israel says, that rocket caused the deadly explosion in Jabalya. CNN cannot verify either claim. CNN's Hadas Gold joins us now from Southern Israel.
Hadas, the death toll has risen, it includes six children and also that top commander.
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Lynda, just to give you an idea of where we are in the situation as we see it. We are in Ashdod, this is one of the biggest cities in Southern Israel along the coast. And just in the last few minutes in the City of Ashkelon, which is just south of us, we can see it in the distance here, they had sirens going off indicating that the rockets were incoming. In Ashdod, it's been relatively quiet in the last few hours. I also should note, we also haven't heard Israeli fighter jets overhead. So, relatively quiet but still very much on edge. We've heard authorities on the beach calling on people to immediately go home and be close to shelter. The Israeli military says that more than 650 rockets have been fired towards Israel since the violence began in the last few days.
They said they have targeted more than 150 sites. And they said that they have essentially, they believe, wiped out the Palestinian Islamic Jihad's top security brass, including those two top commanders.
The Israeli military says that they believe at least 20 percent of the rockets fired toward Israel have not actually crossed the border fence, and they say has landed within Gaza itself. And that's where we're seeing this potential disparity between what happened in Jabalya, which is in Northern Gaza, in that explosion that killed the four children.
Initially, Palestinian officials were saying that it was an Israeli airstrike that killed them. Then the Israeli military came out and said they had no activity, no airstrikes at that time in that area, and then released that video we saw which they say shows an Islamic Jihad rocket misfiring and coming back and landing in Gaza.
Now, as it stands right now, we know there are attempts underway for negotiations. No Egyptian mediators have arrived to try and negotiate a ceasefire. The Israeli military though says, that only quiet will be met with quiet. Lynda.
KINKADE: And Hadas, Israel, of course, was targeting the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a group in Gaza. What's the difference between that group and Hamas, which rules the enclave?
GOLD: Well, first of all, Hamas is much bigger. They control Gaza, also politically, and culturally, and things like that. Palestinian Islamic Jihad is smaller. They have very similar beliefs. They oppose Israel as well. But they're a little bit more extreme. They also have no interest, though, in getting involved politically. Their arsenal though of rockets is much smaller and they don't have as many long- range rockets as Hamas has.
That's why during this conflict, you're not seeing as many rockets being fired towards Tel Aviv, towards Jerusalem. There have been rockets fired towards Jerusalem, towards Tel Aviv, but not nearly as many as we saw last May in that 11-day conflict with Hamas. It's very notable that the Israeli military says that they're specifically targeting the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. And that they are not targeting Hamas.
And Hamas, so far, although they've issued statements in support of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, I think we may be hearing a fighter jet overhead just now. But although they have issued a statement saying that they are supporting Palestinian Islamic Jihad, they have made no indications that they plan to get further involved in this conflict and that will be the major point. If Hamas gets involved, it completely changes the situation here to a much more serious escalation of violence. Lynda.
KINKADE: Yes, let's hope that doesn't happen. Hadas Gold for us in Southern Israel. Thank you.
Ukraine's grain exports are starting to pick up speed, raising hopes that more food could soon be on the way to those who need it most. Four more grain ships left Ukrainian ports this morning, loaded with close to 170,000 metric tons of food. They're headed for Italy, China, and Turkey. The U.N. estimates that 47 million people worldwide have trouble putting food on the table because of the war. President Zelenskyy says the food exports are good news, but shouldn't be taken for granted.
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VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We managed to resume maritime exports of Ukrainian agricultural products. Our ports in the Black Sea are again operating. And although it is too soon to make a general estimation on the process, we still can say that it is positive for our state and for all our partners. However, the key risk, security, has still not been lifted. The threat of Russian provocations and terrorist acts remains. Everyone should be aware of this. But if our partners fulfill their part of the commitment, and guarantee the security supplies, this will really solve the global food crisis.
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KINKADE: Well, we are getting more grim statistics out of Ukraine. Authorities say at least 361 children have been killed, and more than 700 injured since Russia's invasion began. The Ukrainian prosecutor general's office says those numbers could rise as it collects more information. It adds that more than 200 -- 2,200 schools have been damaged, including this school here, west of Kyiv. And of those schools, 230 have been destroyed. Donetsk, Kharkiv, and the area around the capital are listed as the regions with the most child fatalities.
Ukraine says Russia is keeping up the pressure in the east. It says Russian forces are trying to push ahead with their offensive there. While Moscow is reportedly also deploying more forces in neighboring Belarus.
Meanwhile, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency is sounding the alarm over shelling in Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. His statement suggests that the region dodged a bullet and it could have led to a nuclear disaster felt far beyond Ukraine. Moscow and Kyiv are still trading blame over who is responsible. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy is pointing a finger at Russia. And says Ukraine will make Moscow pay for what it allegedly did.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ZELENSKYY (through translator): Unfortunately, we have a significant worsening of the situation around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Russian terrorists became the first in the world to use a nuclear plant for terror, the biggest in Europe. We will draw the world's attention to this and insist on new sanctions against Russia for creating such a global threat.
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KINKADE: Well, for more, Jason Carroll joins us live from the capital of Ukraine. Good to have you with us, Jason. I want to start with that threat, Europe's largest nuclear plant. Is it damaged? What's the latest?
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there are a lot of conflicting reports and that is why, Lynda, as you can imagine, there is so much of a push to get folks there on the ground to determine exactly what is going on there. I mean, there are reports that, thanks to those three missile strikes in and around the area of that nuclear facility, that one of the six reactors there actually had to be shut down. They had to cut power to it.
So, that is why international observers are saying it is imperative for them to get in there and accurately assess exactly what is happening there on the ground. Again, this is the largest nuclear facility of its kind in Europe. Ukrainians currently there are working at the facility. They've been there the entire time, even though they are under Russian occupation.
Again, both sides trading blame in terms of who was responsible for what happened there. Ukrainian's president, who you heard from a few moments ago, he has said this not only puts Ukraine at risk but that it basically puts all of the -- Europe at risk as well. And so, that is why he is weighing in on this issue as well.
The head of the IAEA has issued and talked about his concerns about what is happening there on the ground saying the following -- saying, I'm extremely concerned by the shelling yesterday at Europe's largest nuclear power plant, which underlies the very risk of a nuclear disaster that could threaten public health and the environment in Ukraine and beyond. The IAEA also is saying that Ukraine has indicated that there was no actual damage to the reactors. No radiation leaks at this time as well. But, again, that's why it's imperative for an independent source to get in there and accurately assess what's happening there on the ground.
KINKADE: And, Jason, also I want to ask you about the claims why Ukraine's army, which believes, the neighboring country Belarus is testing the readiness of its special operations. What is the risk that Belarus will intervene in this war to help Russia?
CARROLL: Well, that is very much the question. You remember at the beginning of this war, it was Belarus who was -- let their ground be used so Russia could move troops in over that border into the -- into the -- into Ukraine. You know, we were there just a few days ago, speaking to some of the residents who live on the border between Ukraine and Belarus. Talking about how there used to be friendly relations. But since they now see missiles flying overhead into Ukraine toward Kyiv from Belarus, thanks to Russia that those ties, those bonds have been broken.
And so, I think military analysts would tell you that not very much of a surprise that Russia is building up its sources there, but it is a grave concern as you can imagine to -- especially to those who live there on the border.
KINKADE: Yes, definitely. Jason Carroll for us in Kyiv. Thanks very much.
Well, Taiwan's premier calls China's military exercises around Taiwan Strait arrogant. And accuses Beijing of trying to disrupt regional peace and stability. Taiwan's navy prepared anti-ship missiles in China's military exercises in the waters around the self-governing island. Taiwan's defense ministry said the drills were a, "Simulated attack against the main island of Taiwan." It comes after the ministry said that multiple Chinese aircraft, naval vessels, and drones were detected around the Strait. Sunday morning. And that drones intruded on islands controlled by Taiwan. Beijing says the drills were conducted as planned, focusing on land strikes and long-range airstrike capabilities.
Still to come, how President Joe Biden is emerging out of COVID isolation with some big political wins.
Plus, Donald Trump rehashing old grievances while tasing -- teasing a New York -- a new White House run. Hear what he told a crowd of conservative voters when we come back.
KINKADE: Welcome back to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Lynda Kinkade. You're watching "CNN Newsroom." Good to have you with us.
Our top story this hour, the Senate is inching closer to a critical vote on a sweeping healthcare climate and tax bill. Democrats are hoping to pass a bill along a party-line vote. But first, they have to get through a marathon session known as a vote-a-rama, which is underway right now. It's a series of back-to-back votes that often lasts hours. Still, Senate Democrats say they're confident the bill will reach President Biden's desk soon.
Well, the bill tackles some of the party's key policy objectives including the country's largest ever investment to fight climate change. It would also allow Medicare to negotiate some prescription drug prices and cap out-of-pocket costs and it would extend Affordable Care Act subsidies. This comes after a big week of achievements for the Biden administration.
For starters, the July jobs report surpassed most economics -- economists' expectations. Other big achievements for the White House include the American drone strike that killed Ayman al-Zawahiri, a key plotter of the 9/11 attacks. On Tuesday, the Senate approved to Biden backed bill to create a new program to treat U.S. military veterans who may have been exposed to toxic substances from burning trash pits on military bases. And then Kansas voters rejected a measure that would have removed the right to have an abortion from their State's constitution.
And now, President Biden is receiving good news about his COVID-19 diagnosis. CNN's Arlette Saenz is following that story from the White House.
ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Biden may soon be able to leave his isolation here at the White House where he has spent the past 17 days since his COVID-19 diagnosis. The president's physician Dr. Kevin O'Connor released a letter on Saturday saying the president had tested negative for COVID-19 but would continue to isolate until he received a second negative test.
Now, this comes after the President had tested positive for COVID-19 last Saturday in a rebound case after taking that Paxlovid treatment for his initial run with COVID. Now, the White House has advised that President Biden will be traveling to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where he has a vacation home, on Sunday morning, but he still needs to receive that second negative test.
The President is also slated to travel to Kentucky with his wife, First Lady Jill Biden, on Monday, where they will tour the damage after that devastating flooding in the eastern part of the country. They are also set to meet with the State's governor as well as families and victims who have been affected by this flooding. So, those will be some of the first times that we could potentially see President Biden out of his isolation if he gets that second negative test for COVID. Arlette Saenz, CNN, The White House.
KINKADE: Well, former U.S. President Donald Trump received a hero's welcome in Texas, Saturday night. He was there to close out the annual conservative political action conference in Dallas. During his remarks, the former president repeated his baseless claims that the 2020 election was stolen. And he hinted that he could run again in 2024.
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DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: The election was rigged and stolen and now our country is being systematically destroyed. And everybody knows it. And this corrupt January 6th of unselect people, they're unselect. They never comment when I use it, the unselect committee with this corrupt group of people, these are the same people that went after me for the impeachment hoax, number one, number two. The same people. Adam shifty Schiff, the same people. They look into the mics, then they lose, and then they go unto the next one. It's disgusting.
If they used the same energy to go and make our country great, it would be an incredible thing. But I don't know if they can do that. But I ran twice. I won twice. And did much better the second time than I did the first, getting millions and millions of more votes than in 2016. And likewise getting more votes than any sitting president in the history of our country, by far. And now we may have to do it again. We may have to do it again.
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KINKADE: Well, fallout from the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol was also front and center at this year's conference. Such as this mock jail cell with a man inside wearing an orange jumpsuit, and a red make America great again hat, and pretending to cry.
Just ahead, tens of millions across the U.S. are under heat alerts, while others are being threatened by potential floods. Derek?
DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, that's right, Lynda. A new flash flood threat is evolving this morning across the Midwest. Plus, our triple-digit heat that we're still talking about. And the tropics are starting to brew and come alive. I'll show you where and what we can expect coming up after the break.
KINKADE: Well, more than 70 million people are under heat alerts across the U.S. right now. The above average temperatures are expected from the Pacific Northwest to the Plains to the Northeast. With several cities reaching the 90s or triple digits. On Saturday, Boston tied a high-temperature record set in 1931, 97 degrees Fahrenheit.
Meanwhile, a flood watch is still in effect for parts of Kentucky, West Virginia, and Ohio. A round of scattered storms is expected in the region today. And authorities say, roads coming in and out of California's Death Valley National Park are critically damaged, and the park remains closed. That's after a storm on Friday caused extreme flooding. Joining me now is CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam. And there really was so much rain there, in such a short period of time, Derek.
VAN DAM: Incredible amounts of rain. In fact, they got about 68 percent of their annual average just in that short period of weather that moved through Death Valley. But now we have a new flash flood threat emerging, aside from the ongoing flood watch that is still ongoing across eastern sections of Kentucky.
Now, I want to point your attention to the Upper Midwest, specifically Southern Wisconsin, Eastern Iowa. This is an area that has had incessant rainfall for the past 12 hours. We've had some locations ranging from one to upwards of three inches of rain already with a frontal boundary just draped across this region. So, the moisture just kind of piling up right across this area.
There is additional rainfall, National Weather Service calling for another one to three inches of rain for these locations. So, the potential for flash flooding exists. Weather Prediction Center has a level three of four, that's a moderate risk of flash flooding, they just extended it with their 5:00 a.m. update from Milwaukee, all the way to eastern sections of Iowa. And also, the slight risk, that's a level two of four, includes the Chicago suburbs as well. You see the rainfall expected to continue tonight. All of this flash flood, potential, really hinges on the ongoing rainfall today, but also another round of rain that will move in later tonight.
The other big story, the heat continues, over 70 million Americans under heat alert. This includes some of the most populated parts of our country along the eastern seaboard. Check out these temperatures. Those are not typos for D.C. The mercury on the thermometer will continue to climb and it will feel like 100 degrees in the big apple today as you step outside. That's when you factor in the humidity.
More of the same, heat index across from nation's midsection from Kansas City to St. Louis as well as Wichita could easily top the triple-digit mark. 102, your actual temperature for Wichita today. Oklahoma City just shy of that at 99. The Pacific Northwest starting to heat up as well. The interior portions of Washington and Oregon also anticipating heat indices well above 100 degrees.
And, last but not least, the tropics are starting to come alive, Lynda. We have the potential to see our fourth-named tropical storm after a brief lull. We've got the African wave train starting to pick up and that has a 40 percent chance of development here in the coming next five days. Lynda.
KINKADE: All right. Well keep tracking that one for us.
VAN DAM: We will.
KINKADE: Thanks, Derek. Good to see you.
VAN DAM: You too.
KINKADE: Derek Van Dam there.
Well, as the U.S. contends with soaring temperatures, the bill the Senate is debating aims to address the climate crisis. But there are trade-offs. So, here are the facts. It would be the biggest climate investment in the U.S. history with $369 billion set aside to combat global warming. That includes consumer tax credits on electric vehicles, solar panels, and energy-efficient water heaters.
There are also billions in tax credits to fossil fuel companies to encourage them to invest in clean energy manufacturing. And for the next decade, any new wind or solar energy project on federal land would be approved only if a new lease is approved for oil and gas drilling as well. The effects of climate change are, of course, all around us. And scientists report yet another way it's impacting our oceans and their animal species. Sea turtles off Florida's coast are being disproportionately born female. CNN's Leyla Santiago explains.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Sea turtles are a species with temperature-dependent sex determination. That means the sex of individual turtle hatchlings is determined by the temperature while still in embryonic development. The warmer the egg, the higher chance the turtle will be female. And conservationists say a recent trend in warmer temperatures in Florida is having an alarming impact.
BETTE ZIRKELBACH, MANAGER, TURTLE HOSPITAL: The frightening thing is the last four summers in Florida have been the hottest summers on record. The scientists that are studying sea turtle hatchlings and eggs, they have found no boy sea turtles. So, only female sea turtle for the past four years --
SANTIAGO (voiceover): Scientists are not sure why turtles have evolved this way. Some believe it's an evolutionary adaptation that helps turtles survive climate change by producing more females able to reproduce when the climate makes it more difficult for hatchlings to survive. But many believe the imbalance could endanger the species.
MELISSA ROSALES RODRIGUEZ, TURTLE KEEPER, ZOO MIAMI TURTLE HOSPITAL: Over the years, you're going to see a sharp decline in their population because we just don't have the genetic diversity. And we don't have the male-to-female ratio needed in order to be able to have successful breeding sessions and be able to have eggs that hatch out long-term.
SANTIAGO (voiceover): The uneven sex ratio is not only an issue in the Florida Keys but it's also been discovered in Australia's Northern Great Barrier Reef.
RODRIGUEZ Over the last 30 -- in 30 to 40 years ago, sea turtles hatching out had a sex ratio of about six to one females to male. So, you were getting males and you were getting females. Within the last 10 years or so, that number has spiked and about 99 percent of eggs that are hatching are female. So, with these temperatures being warmer, the sand is warmer, the water is warmer. Overall, the beach itself is a bit hotter than it used to be, we're hatching out significantly more females which long-term is not fantastic for the numbers of our sea turtle species.
SANTIAGO (voiceover): Conservationists around the world are trying to protect turtles because over the last few hundred years, they've been endangered by pollution, poaching for their meat, skin, and shells, and boating accidents. And now, they're facing the danger of climate change. Leyla Santiago, CNN, Miami.
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KINKADE: Well, this mesmerizing scene is a volcanic fissure that's been erupting near the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik. Officials say no ash was seen, but there are volcanic gases blowing south. The government says the eruption is relatively small and there is low threat to populated areas. The fissure broke out -- open after several days of intense seismic activity.
Still ahead on "CNN Newsroom," the Los Angeles Dodgers returned home this weekend for their first home series since the passing of legendary broadcaster Vin Scully. Their tribute when we return.
KINKADE: Welcome back. It was an emotional moment for baseball fans at the Los Angeles Dodgers, honored the late announcer Vin Scully. He was the rich, smooth, and yet humble voice of the team more than six decades. And it was their first home game since the broadcaster passed away at the age of 94. CNN's Paul Vercammen has more from Dodger Stadium.
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): On a beautiful breezy night in Los Angeles, the adoration for the late Vin Scully flowed at Dodger Stadium.
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VERCAMMEN (voiceover): Fans could be seen taking photos in front of the press box named after Vin Scully. Others wore Vin Scully shirts, including one man who had young Vin Scully on his back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are very grateful to all who have been sharing their respects here at 1,000 Vin Scully Avenue.
VERCAMMEN (voiceover): And in the pregame ceremony, so much emotion.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vin was most comfortable in the booth.
VERCAMMEN (voiceover): They played an 11-minute video tribute to Vin Scully, it was narrated by one of the Dodger announcers, Charley Steiner.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vin called 25 world series, 12 all-star games.
CHARLEY STEINER, LA DODGERS ANNOUNCE: Vin was above and beyond the greatest baseball broadcaster who ever lived, may have been the best pure sports announcer who ever lived. He was a friend. And that's one of those things I'm having difficulty coming to terms with here in the last few days. I knew he was going to pass away. It came as no surprise. But still, you get the call and it is a gut punch. And so, this is, tonight, it -- for me, I'm calling a game, but it's also a sentimental journey.
VERCAMMEN (voiceover): Vin Scully, Fordham University class of 1949.
JOSEPH BURREUEL, FAN: It was just like -- you had goosebumps because you get to see and you get to hear him, you know, again.
VIN SCULLY, SPORTS COMMENTATOR, LOS ANGELES DODGERS: Swung on a high fly ball to deep left field, the Dodge (INAUDIBLE). Would you believe a home run? And the Dodgers have clinched the division and will celebrate on schedule.
CROWD: It's time for Dodger Baseball. BURREUEL: They didn't tell you what the words -- those are the words, you know, it's time Dodger Baseball, it's just, you get chills because you know that's Vin.
ANNIE KELLOGG, FAN: He's just a great man. And what a career. What a career. And so humble.
MARLA MOSSBERG, FAN: I mean, I fell asleep to him. His voice was so soothing to me that I just -- I'm going to miss him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My grandma was a Dodge bled blue. We couldn't go anywhere unless we listened to the Dodger game online. So, he's just like been a part of my life.
MIGUEL CAMPOS, FAN: It's just iconic, the sound of L.A. Anywhere you would be, a Dodger game involved, you would hear Vin Scully. So, it's just iconic.
SCULLY: It's time for Dodger baseball.
ELIZABETH MARQUEZ, FAN: I was in tears, actually. It's a culmination of an entire life that was dedicated to baseball and to the city of L.A.
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VERCAMMEN, (on camera): For these Dodger fans, if he ran for mayor of Los Angeles, Vin Scully would have won. To them, in a way, Vin Scully was to sportscasting what Van Gogh was to art or Louis Armstrong to jazz. He was simply the best. They don't want to forget him and they were glad to say goodbye on this night. Reporting from Dodgers Stadium, I'm Paul Vercammen. Now back to you.
KINKADE: Our thanks to Paul there.
Well, before we go, meet Tucker. A four-year-old Labrador-retriever mix and the newest free agent on the Seattle Mariners roster. The baseball team says they extensively scouted him before adopting him from a shelter. A team official said the animal was in danger of being put down.
Well, Tucker's favorite activities include playing fetch, swimming, snuggling, and clearly running onto the field. Tucker will spend his days hanging out with the team in the clubhouse and occasionally he'll join the players when they're on the road.
Well, that wraps up this edition of "CNN Newsroom." I'm Lynda Kinkade. For viewers in North America, "New Day" with my colleagues, Amara Walker and Phil Mattingly, is up next. For the rest of the world, "It's Connecting Africa." You're watching CNN.