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Upper House of Russian Parliament Approves Annexation; Ukraine Offers U.S. Target Oversight in Bid for New Rockets; Supreme Court Begins New Term, Adds Nine Cases to Docket; Investigation Finds a Systemic Abuse in U.S. Women's Soccer; Biden: Gravely Concerned About Violent Crackdown in Iran; Experts Say Storm Could Hurt U.S. Economy Growth. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired October 04, 2022 - 04:30   ET



MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: The latest on all the developments ahead.

Plus, she made headlines after holding up an antiwar poster on Russian state-run TV. Now the journalist has been declared a fugitive. We'll explain why next.


FOSTER: Welcome to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Max Foster. If you are just joining us, let me bring you up to date with our top stories at this hour.

The death toll in Florida is now at least 100 after hurricane Ian slammed the state just six days ago. Authorities say hundreds of rescues have been carried out in hard-hit Lee County where power is still out to more than 400,000 residents.

And North Korea has launched a ballistic missile over Japan. The missile traveled over Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido where residents were warned to take cover. Much more on both of these stories ahead in "EARLY START."

Vladimir Putin's decision to illegally annex four Ukrainian regions has just received the rubber stamp from Russia's upper House of Parliament. The unanimous vote follows the lower House approval on Monday, on the annexation of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. Moscow forged ahead with the land grab despite the fact that it's a violation of international law and some territory that Russia now claims is back under Ukrainian control. CNN's Clare Sebastian is following developments, joins me now. Isn't it awkward or are they just not getting the message in Russia that the Ukrainians are taking control of those regions that are meant to be annexed.


CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, I think the significant thing about what you see in the Russian Parliament is not that it makes any difference to the fact because President Putin has already decided to hold this sort of sham annexation. But that they are trying to give an official sort of front, build this this sort of edifice of officialdom around the fact that they are annexing territories where not only have they not yet fully decided in the cases of in the cases of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, which in fact borders they are annexing but also where they continue to lose ground in the Donetsk region where we know the Ukrainian troops are advancing, also pushing towards Luhansk and down in Kherson were there making some really significant gains there as well.

This interestingly is being questioned in these parliamentary sessions were supposed to have this sort of jubilant mood bringing these territories under Russian control. In the Duma session on Monday several parliamentarians talked about the issues with the army, about how they don't have enough equipment, about how the commanders are making the wrong decisions in the eyes of some of them.

Today from one Senator -- interestingly none of these from Putin's party -- questioning why they're signing the agreement part of territories which are occupied by the armed forces of another country, she said. So, questions are arising even as these annexations take place.

FOSTER: People will remember a while ago this viral moment when a news editor from an independent station -- is that correct?


FOSTER: Stood up and with an antiwar protester -- placard in the studio. She was put under house arrest. But she's escaped?

SEBASTIAN: So, this is Marina Ovsyannikova who is a journalist for state TV channel 1 who, yes, you see this in March, she ran in front of a live broadcast with this no war poster. And she left Russia and then came back. She was then arrested again in August and placed under a 2-month house arrest for charges of disseminating false information about the Russian armed forces, charges which carry a maximum of 10- year. Her house the rest was set to end on October 9th pending trial. But her lawyer says she's now gone. Her ex-husband just reported to state media that she left on Saturday with their daughter. We don't know where she's gone, Max. But of course, all of this sort of sheds more light on the crackdown on free information that's happening in Russia. Perhaps a setback for Russia as it continues to try to contain the opposition to this war.

FOSTER: We'll just see where we see her next. Thank you very much, Clare.

Now Ukraine is looking to bolster its recent gains on the battlefield with a state-of-the-art rocket systems from the U.S. But an effort to sway Washington Kyiv is now offering the Biden administration full visibility into their list of intended Russian targets. CNN's Alex Marquardt has more from Washington.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Ukraine continues to push for bigger and more sophisticated weapons from the West and the United States in their fight against Russia. Now they are doing so by offering the U.S. a remarkable level of transparency, sharing the Russian targets that Ukraine intends to hit with the rockets that they're asking the U.S. for.

Now, at the top of the Ukrainian wish list is a long range U.S. missile system called ATACMS. So far, the U.S. has resisted giving Ukraine the ATACMS because the U.S. fears that the rockets could be fired into Russia and escalate the war. And Russia, for its part has said that this would cross a red line and make the U.S. a party to the conflict if those American rockets are giving -- given to Ukraine.

ATACMS can fly around 200 miles or 300 kilometers, that's about four times the distance of the longest range rocket that has been given to Ukraine by the U.S. so far. That rocket is fired from the HIMARS system that we have talked about so much for several months.

Ukraine says they need the longer range ATACMS now to reach Russian targets in Ukraine that they cannot currently strike in the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine, including Crimea. Targets like ammunitions depots, air defenses, bases, and as one U.S. source told CNN, locations where Russia is launching Iranian drones from.

To try to comfort the U.S. and convince them to offer these long range ATACMS rockets, Ukraine is offering oversight of what they want to blow up as one senior Ukrainian official put it to me, they have described to the U.S. exactly what specific targets Ukraine needs to hit on Ukrainian territory. That would essentially give the U.S. veto power over Ukraine's ability to target inside Russia with these rockets, which Ukraine argues they would not do that they could have done before now, and they have not with the U.S. HIMARS systems.

But that argument has failed to sway the U.S. so far. One U.S. official told me it is, quote, low reward and high risk. The Pentagon has not ruled this out but says for now, Ukraine has the rockets that it needs for the current fight against Russia.

Alex Marquardt, CNN, Washington.


FOSTER: Much more ahead this hour on CNN. Including details from a damning investigation into abuse and sexual misconduct in U.S. women's soccer.



FOSTER: The U.S. Supreme Court kicked off their new term Monday and added nine cases to the docket including two that could shape the future of internet speech and social media. CNN's Jessica Schneider has more on what other cases lie ahead for the high court.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: It is the start of the Supreme Court term complete with a new justice and no shortage of consequential and controversial cases again this term. The newest Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was actually quite active with her questioning during the first two cases on Monday.

One of which concerns the scope of the Clean Water Act and just how far government agencies can go in regulating land development. On Tuesday, there will be a major case containing Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act which says the right to vote cannot be denied on the basis of race and how that provision affects newly drawn Congressional districts in Alabama.

Plus, race will be at the forefront when the court hears an affirmative action case later this month. It's a case which could upend two decades of precedent allowing colleges to consider race as a factor in admissions decisions.

Plus, the court will also be considering a case on whether businesses can refuse to serve same-sex couples. So, a lot at play this term. All as tensions between the justices continue to play out in public. Just last week the conservative Justice Samuel Alito issued a statement directly to the publication of the Wall Street journal -- it's something the justices rarely do -- to say that anyone questioning the integrity of the court is crossing an important line. It's a statement that seemed to be aimed at the two liberal justices, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, for recent comments they made questioning the court's legitimacy if precedent continues to be overturned. So, it could be yet another tense term for these nine justices.

Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.



FOSTER: A damning investigative report shows a culture of verbal, emotional and sexual misconduct committed by coaches at the U.S. National Women's Soccer League. The very first page of the report summary details a disturbing encounter between a coach and a player reviewing game footage together. Quote, he told her he was going to touch her for every pass she f****d up. He pushed his hands down her pants and up her shirt.

The report claims were comes a year after professional players refuse to compete in games demanding this behavior be addressed. Behavior that many executives, coaches and owners knew about but did nothing to stop.


CINDY PARLOW CONE, PRESIDENT, U.S. SOCCER FEDERATION: This is very emotional for me and honestly, I'm having trouble absorbing everything in the report. I think it will take some time to really read through it and think about the actions and inactions of certain people and then it will take us some time to really think about what needs to be done in terms of discipline.


FOSTER: Well, the report's lead investigator says the culture of verbal and emotional abuse is starting in youth leagues.

The U.S. president says he's gravely concerned about the Iranian government's crackdown of peaceful protestors and vows Washington will impose, quote, further costs on perpetrators of violence this week. That's after Iran's Premium Leader Ayatollah Khamenei accused the U.S. and Israel of fueling unrest in dozens of Iranian cities. With me is Nada Bashir who is been following all of the developments for us. What are the accusations Iran is making the U.S. and Israel?

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well look, this isn't the first time we've heard the supreme leader of Iran accusing the U.S. and Israel of interfering in Iran's internal affairs. This is the first time however we have heard Khamenei speaking in response to these protests and the violent crackdown that we saw.

Now he did addressed the death of the 20-year-old woman who was obviously killed and sparked these protests. He said it was a tragic incident that had saddened the entire country. But he focused much of his remarks on the people that he described as inciting violence and insecurity on the country.

And then of course, went onto the U.S. and Israel. He said that they had interfered and attempted to get in the way of what he described as Iran's progress in the face of Western sanctions.

Now, of course, there has been fierce international criticism of the violent crackdown that we have seen over the weekend and the recent days in Iran. Over the course of these protests, we've heard from the U.S., as you mentioned, saying they are looking to impose tougher costs on perpetrators of human rights violations against these peaceful protestors.

Canada has said it will be looking at expanding those sanctions. And here in the United Kingdom, the foreign office has summoned the Iranian envoy to the U.K. They said that they are calling on the Iranian regime to take responsibility for the violence that we're seeing. To stop blaming this on external actors. And that will certainly be the focus of an EU meeting today where they will discussing proposals for perhaps tougher sanctions on Iran and also how they will hold the Iranian regime to account.

FOSTER: OK, Nada, thank you.

Still to come on the program. As Florida businesses plead with the U.S. government for help, we'll take a look at how hurricane Ian could have a lasting impact on the U.S. economy.



(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MARGIE TITUS, FORT MYERS, FLORIDA RESIDENT: The shrimp industry is devastated. All those people are without -- a lot of them lived on the boats. They have no home now. They have no work.

GRANT ERICKSON, SHRIMP BUSINESS OWNER: We have got a disaster going on here. Our infrastructure is shot. We have no place to tie up the boats at this point in time. Governor DeSantis, if we have any government at all that can help this industry, we need it now.


FOSTER: Florida residents there asking the U.S. government to help them get their shrimp businesses back on track after hurricane Ian. Experts predict the storm could have a lasting impact on the state economy and deal a blow to the country's economic growth. CNN's Matt Egan has the details now.


MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Max, hurricane Ian was so destructive that it's going to slow Florida's economy down in the short run. First and foremost, of course, is the human impact here from this deadly storm and that is staggering. Oxford Economics, they say that there's also going to be a, quote, severe impact on the local economy slashing up to 3 percentage points from Florida's third quarter GDP growth. They also estimate a 2 percent point hit to South Carolina's GDP.

Now this historic storm surge and powerful winds, this destroyed a record number of homes and properties in Florida. I mean, just about the impact here. Airports shut down. Disney World and other theme parks went dark. Hotels, restaurants, cruise lines, all of them side lined. And Florida's massive citrus industry taking a major hit from the wind and the flooding. All of this, key parts of Florida's economy.

That's why economists at Eli Parthenon, they actually estimate an even bigger hit of 6 percentage points from Florida's third quarter GDP. Now given that Florida is one of the biggest and fastest growing economies in the country, there's going to be a national impact here as well. Economists at Oxford Economics, they say that while hurricane Ian does not pose a threat to the U.S. economy, it could trim U.S. GDP growth by .1 to .2 percentage points.

Now the good news here is that the impact to supply chains is expected to be fairly mild. Mostly because the ports in Florida and South Carolina have been able to quickly reopen. But it's also worth noting that this massive rebuilding effort is going to be happening at a time of very high inflation. The cost of building materials and labor has gone up sharply and, Max, that is just going to make this whole process that much more challenging.



FOSTER: And along with almost everything affecting our wallets these days, expect to pay more for Christmas trees this season. The U.S. trade industry group says inflation is to blame. Tree growers are spending more on labor, materials and shipping and those surveyed expect their wholesale prices to rise as much as 20 percent this year. The good news though is they still expect to have plenty of trees for the holidays.

Kim Kardashian has agreed to pay an almost $1.3 million fine to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and that's to settle civil charges after Kardashian failed to properly disclose what she was paid -- that she was paid $250,000 to tout a crypto asset on social media. In case you're wondering filing Kim Kardashian that amount is roughly equivalent to fining the average American family less than $100. According to "Forbes" Kardashian is worth an estimated $1.8 billion.

Now the San Francisco 49ers closed out week 4 of the NFL season with a decisive win over the Los Angeles Rams. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw for nearly 240 yards and a touchdown. Jeff Wilson Jr. rushed with 74 yards and a touchdown leading San Francisco to its seventh consecutive regular-season victory over rival LA. The 49ers defense was stout as well sacking Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford seven times.

Thanks for joining me here on CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Max Foster in London. "EARLY START" with Christine Romans is next.