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FedEx Warns of Global Recession as Package Demand Falls; Cornell: More Workers Going on Strike Compared to 2021; Wages Up But Lagging Behind Inflation Rate; Travel Experts: Brace for Expensive Holiday Flights; Biden Meeting Today with Families of Brittney Griner, Paul Whelan; Senior Admin Official: "Movement But Not Breakthrough" on Efforts to Secure Release of Griner, Whelan; Line Reopens to See Queen Elizabeth Lying in State; Queen's Children to Stand Vigil Beside Her Coffin Today. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired September 16, 2022 - 13:30   ET




ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: FedEx drivers are delivering a message nobody wants to hear about the economy. Now markets are responding.

And are you planning to travel for the holidays this year? Get ready to pay for it. What you need to do now.



CABRERA: If there's one thing we know about the economy, it is that you really never know what is around the corner. Yesterday, a huge sigh of relief when that supply chain crisis was averted thanks to that last-minute labor deal.

But today, a new warning of a worldwide recession. The CEO of FedEx sounding the alarm and he says the proof is in the packages, or lack thereof.

Let's bring in CNN's Matt Egan.

Matt, what is going on?

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Ana, FedEx is slashing its sales guidance by half a billion dollars. And its CEO says that he thinks a worldwide recession is coming.

We listen to FedEx closely because this is one the biggest shipping companies on the planet and they have their finger on the pulse of the economy. They tend to know when trouble is brewing faster than others.

And they say that demand is weakening, not just in one place, but around the world, including in Asia. That has forced the company to go into cost-cutting, cost-management mode, which is never a good sign. What does that actually mean? They are reducing flight and ground

operations, including parking vehicles. That is a big deal. They are cutting worker hours, freezing hiring.

They are also closing 90 of their FedEx office locations and five corporation locations. Another negative sign.

And just because the CEO says a recession is coming, doesn't mean it is. He doesn't have a crystal ball here. But we do listen to what they say.

FedEx shares are down 22 percent this afternoon, on track for its worse day ever, worse than after 1987 stock market crash, worse than after 9/11.

This is not sitting well on Wall Street either. At last check, the Dow is down 300 points or about 1 percent. Another selloff with another rocky week for the market.

CABRERA: So the rail strike was averted yesterday. That was good news.

EGAN: Absolutely.

CABRERA: But this all could be much worse, obviously. But I wonder, could that now be a preview of what is to come, given the contour of the labor market and inflation?

EGAN: Yes, no doubt. Tensions have been on the rise between management and workers. And that has meant more strikes.

Look at this. This time last year, first six months of last year, 102 strikes, 26,000 workers involved. This year, flash forward, 180 strikes involving 78,000 workers.

What do workers want? Better working condition, more flexible schedules. This was a key sticking point in the deal that averted the rail strike. This was a big deal.

And also, of course, better wages. Especially because, right now, inflation is very high. That means that paychecks are not going as far.

This is what we mean by that. As you can see, the green line here is inflation, blue line is wages. Both of them hot lately.

But really, since middle of last year, we've seen that inflation is going up faster than wages. That means, if adjust paychecks for inflation, they are actually shrinking.

One other point here. The federal minimum wage has not gone up in 13 years. It is stuck at $7.25 an hour. Hasn't gone up since 2009.

That was obviously a really long time ago. How long ago? That year, "I've Got a Feeling," by the Black-Eyed Peas, was of the songs of the year.


EGAN: It was also the year that "Avatar" first hit the market. So it's been a bit since workers have seen a raise when it comes to the federal minimum wage.

CABRERA: And what do I want to know, how much things cost back in 2009 compared to how much things cost --


EGAN: Exactly.

CABRERA: -- percent-wise. I wonder what a gallon of milk was back in 2009. Much less.

EGAN: Less.

CABRERA: Thank you so much --

EGAN: Thank you, Ana.

CABRERA: -- Matt Egan. A lot of good info there.

Well, it's never too soon to start thinking about your holiday budget. You can believe the holidays are just around the corner. Unfortunately, this year, you might have to carve out more, a lot more, for a flight home for the holidays.

CNN aviation correspondent, Pete Muntean, is tracking this trend -- Pete?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Ana, the summer travel rush just ended but the new warning from travel experts is that you should already be thinking about traveling for the holidays.

Especially since the latest outlook says this will be the most expensive holiday season for travel of the last five year.

These are the projections just out from the travel site Hopper. It says domestic and international airfare over Thanksgiving could cost 22 percent higher compared to 2019. Even worse over Christmas.

A round trip ticket on average is projected to cost you $463, 31 percent higher than three years ago back before the pandemic.

One more stat. Over Christmas, an international trip will cost you a whopping $1,300 round trip on average.

There are a few big tips here. Book your tickets ideally within the next few weeks. Hopefully, before October 10th, according to Hopper.

Also book travel for times that are off peak, not flying on the Saturday or Sunday after Thanksgiving for example. And flying home on the Tuesday or Wednesday after could save you as much as $270 -- Ana?

[13:40:02] CABRERA: That is per ticket. So if you have a family of four, that is a lot of money.

Pete Muntean, thank you.

Pressure builds on the White House to help free Americans detained in Russia. President Biden is meeting with the families of Brittany Griner and Paul Whelan. What we're learning just ahead.



CABRERA: If money is any indication as to who's the GOAT in basketball, Michael Jordan is officially the frontrunner. Because this jersey he wore in one of his final games back in 1998 just sold for $10.1 million.

According to Sotheby's, this is the most anyone has ever paid for a single piece of game-worn sports memorabilia at auction. My question is, was it washed first?

To Alaska now. And the western part of that state is about to be hit by what forecasters call the strongest storm there in more than a decade. And so it is the remains of a typhoon that could reach the Nome area this evening.

It is expected to bring flooding, along with incredibly strong wind gusts, more than 65-mile-per-hour in some areas. We'll keep you updated as that storm nears.

The Texas Board of Prisons and Paroles has reversed its decision to grant George Floyd a posthumous pardon. The board didn't cite a reason.

And it was just a year ago, it voted to recommend the pardon for a 2004 drug conviction. Floyd's family filed the pardon on his behalf last year. They can reapply in another two years.

And at the White House, President Biden meets today with the families of Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan.

This comes as a senior administration official tells CNN that there has been, quote, "movement but not a breakthrough" on efforts to secure their release from Russia. Griner has been held since February, Whelan since 2018.

And I want to get right to CNN's Kylie Atwood live for us at the State Department.

Kylie, what are you hearing as far as these negotiations?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, listen, what we're hearing, Ana, is that there has been back and forth between the U.S. and Russia as part of these efforts to bring these two Americans home. But what a senior administration official said, the same one who said that there has been movement but not a breakthrough, is that they are encouraging the Russians to put a serious counteroffer on the table.

You'll recall, that is also what U.S. officials were saying back in August when they had already received some back and forth with Russia, based on what the U.S. had put on the table earlier this summer.

So it appears that, although there's talk between the U.S. and Russia on this, the Russians are not productively engaging.

And what the U.S. official said is that the Russians are consistently making a demand for something that the United States is simply not capable of delivering on.

So we will continue of course to watch this space. But it is notable that the secretary of state, Tony Blinken, and the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov are both going to be in New York next week for the United Nations General Assembly.

Now, there's no current plan for the two diplomats to meet.

But State Department spokesperson, Ned Price, yesterday didn't count out the possibility of some sort of high-level engagement if there was any world in which an engagement like that could bring the two sides one step closer to getting Whelan and Griner home.

So of course, that is something for us to watch for next week as we head into the United Nations General Assembly -- Ana?

CABRERA: OK, thinking about those families.

Thank you, Kylie.

And everyone has to wait this line, even David Beckham. As of this morning, the British football star has been waiting to see the queen for more than 12 hours, eating sandwiches, coffee. We'll go live to London next.



CABRERA: In London, the line to see Queen Elizabeth lying in state has reopened. It was closed for hours earlier today after it grew to five miles long and, at last check, it's an estimated wait of about 24 hours now.

British soccer legend, David Beckham, was among those in line. He says he spent about 12 hours before reaching the queen's coffin to pay his respects.

CNN's Max Foster joins us at Buckingham Palace where King Charles is holding meetings at this hour.

Max, talk to about the plans for the queen's family stand vigil at her coffin shortly.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we're expecting this in about a half hour. We're expecting the queen's four children to go to Westminster and stand on each corner of her coffin, looking down. Viewers may remember them doing a similar thing in Edinburgh.

The only slight difference this time is we'll see Princes Andrew in a uniform because the king gave special permission to do so.

Members of the royal family who don't have royal titles, like Prince Andrew, don't normally get to wear a uniform. But this is something that was very important to him. So we'll see that moment in about a half hour's a time.

And I think the members of the public walking past at that moment, they're going to get a real moment of history. It's going to be very powerful, indeed.

Really busy day, Ana, again, for everyone. We've had the prince and princess of Wales meeting members of commonwealth troops who will be involved in the funeral procession today.

We've also had the king visiting Wales, which is the final, one of the nations that he's going to do a tour of.

And that was quite profound for the people of Wales. A strong reception to him there. All polls, going way back, always suggest that there's less -- the monarchy is less popular in Wales than the other nations but he got a pretty good reception.

You can see there, the prince and princess of Wales there meeting the commonwealth troops.

Also, really interestingly, Ana, the king was meeting faith leaders in Buckingham Palace this afternoon. And he made quite a profound speech. He is the now head of the Church of England, the Anglican Church of England.


But he's always talked about interfaith dialogue. And he said today something, which I think is the first moment he's really redefined his -- the monarchy that he's going to have.

He said, "The sovereign has an additional duty less formally recognized but to be diligently discharged. It is the duty to protect the diversity of our country."

And he talked about being involved in multiple faiths and spirituality rather than just Christianity.

And I think that's going to be something that this king does differently from his predecessor, who was very much solely committed, let's say, to the Church of England.

CABRERA: Max Foster, thank you so much for all of your great reporting for the past week-plus and really being our guide there in -- around the events of Queen Elizabeth's death and the next monarchy.

That's going to do it for us today. Enjoy your weekend. I'll see you back here on Monday, same time and place.

The news continues right after this.