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Georgia Vs. TCU In Next Week's National Championship Game; Parents Of Idaho Murder Suspect Speak Out For First Time; One Dead, Nine Injured In Alabama New Year's Eve Shooting; McCarthy Commits To Key Concession In Push To Be Next House Speaker; Pressure Increases On Rep.-Elect Santos To Step Aside; 5.4 Magnitude Quake Hits Northern California. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired January 01, 2023 - 18:00   ET



MORGAN MORIARTY, COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORTER, BLEACHER REPORT: -- what it took. I would love to see TCU in their first national title game. I'm going to go with Georgia just because it's the safer pick. It feels like --


MORIARTY: -- Kirby Smart is going to do a lot of great adjustments heading into that game. So, we're just going to have to wait and see. I think it will be a great game and I can't wait.

BROWN: Both have a strong will to win. It will be a great game. We'll be watching. Morgan Moriarty, thank you so much. And the next hour of CNN newsroom starts right now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A 19-year-old male approached an officer and attempted to strike him. The male then struck two additional officers in the head with the machete. This is another reminder of what our officers face.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bryan Kohberger remains right here at the Monroe County Correctional facility.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These murders have shaken our community.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he is not guilty of a crime, then I frankly fear for the future of this country.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was the best semifinal day we've ever seen in the college football playoff era. Georgia Bulldogs edging out Ohio State here in Atlanta.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BROWN: I'm Pamela Brown in Washington. Hope everyone is having a wonderful day. First day of 2023. You are live in the CNN Newsroom.

Well, new developments tonight in the Idaho murder investigation. For the first time, we are hearing from the parents of the suspect in this case, 28-year-old Bryan Kohberger. He is facing four counts of first- degree murder in the brutal slains of four young students at the University of Idaho on November 13. His arrest is no doubt a relief for a community that has been living in a state of fear for weeks. But it is clearly a shock to Kohberger's family.

CNN's Jean Casarez is in Pennsylvania with the very latest. Tell us more about what the family is saying, Jean.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Pamela. You know, and I will, I've got the statement and I want you to hear it. The attorney for Bryan Kohberger tells me that his family is not allowed to visit him at the correctional facility, which is where he's housed right behind me. And so the very last time that they did see him was on the early morning hours of Friday because he was arrested at the family home. And the attorney tells me his father is actually the one that answered the door.

They now have released that statement and I want to read it to you. It says, "First and foremost, we care deeply for the four families who have lost their precious children. There are no words that can adequately express the sadness we feel and we pray each day for them. We will continue to let the legal process unfold, and as a family, we will love and support our son and brother.

We have fully cooperated with law enforcement agencies in an attempt to seek the truth and promote his presumption of innocence rather than judge unknown facts and make erroneous assumptions. We respect privacy in this matter as our family and the families suffering loss can move forward through the legal process."

And that legal process will continue Tuesday, 03:00 p.m. Eastern time. It is the extradition hearing that will be right here in northeastern Pennsylvania. And we do understand through his attorney that he will waive extradition so he can be expedited back to Idaho.

BROWN: And what is Kohberger's attorney saying now about the charges against him?

CASAREZ: Well, this is his first and his only attorney at this point until he arrives in Idaho. And, of course, that constitutional right that you are innocent until proven guilty is at the foremost of what he talks about. But he also says that his client is doing relatively well under the circumstances.


CASAREZ: Now, your client is highly educated, very intelligent. He has to appreciate the seriousness of what is happening right now.

JASON LABAR, BRYAN KOHBERGER'S ATTORNEY: Oh, absolutely. He is very intelligent. In my hour conversation with him, that comes off, I can tell that. And he understands where we are right now.

CASAREZ: Have you spoken to his family at all, their reaction here in northeastern Pennsylvania?

LABAR: I have spoken to his family last night. They have my cell phone number now, so they contacted me last night. I spoke to them for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. They're also very shocked out of character for Bryan. They're really in awe of everything that's going on.


CASAREZ: Now, maybe his family is not being allowed to go visit him while he is in the local jail here, but the fact is that a courtroom is for the public. And on Tuesday, he will be in that public courtroom for that hearing, and his family, if they choose, will have a right to be in there. Pamela?


BROWN: Jean Casarez, thank you very much.

I want to turn now to CNN Law Enforcement Analyst and former Secret Service agent Jonathan Wackrow. Jonathan, welcome. No surprise that Kohberger's parents are reminding people their son is innocent until proven guilty.

We won't get much more information until Kohberger gets back to Idaho and they infill (ph) that probable cause affidavit. What more could we learn from that?

JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, you know, we're going to learn a lot from that -- from the probable cause statement once it's released. I mean, you have to think this is a very complex investigation that started back with the crime scene processing, which was very difficult.

I mean, we had four victims, multiple terrain features at that crime scene, the collection of forensic evidence at the time. So all of the pieces that we have questions on, that are lingering, are going to start to be put together once we read that affidavit. We're going to get clearer insight as to the connection of the DNA evidence and how that was linked directly to the suspect and potentially the techniques that they utilized to make that linkage.

So we're going to, you know, garner a lot of information. But I think there's an important point here that law enforcement is still asking for the public's assistance --


WACKROW: -- with this individual. And, you know, so there's still things that are outstanding. So, you know, there's calls by law enforcement, both state and federal, you know, for the public's assistance pursuant to this suspect. You know, any bit of information, whether it was a sighting, behavior, connections, interaction, all of that becomes critically important, you know, in furtherance of this ongoing investigation.

BROWN: What do you make of the fact, though, that they were pleading with the public to provide tips after the suspect was arrested? Does that tell you that they still have a lot to learn about this guy?

WACKROW: Yes. I think we do. And again, you know, this is -- you know, I know that people are frustrated that, you know, it's been, you know, over seven weeks and now they have the suspect. But this is a very complex investigation and law enforcement, you know, both from the local standpoint but also the federal partners, have been dealing with almost 20,000 tips right now, conducted over 300 interviews.

So, you know, just getting all of the information. There's still things that they need to follow up on, you know, potential sightings of this individual, patterns of behavior after, you know, the crime was committed, you know, after there's going to be points of inflection in this investigation where they're looking for the reaction of the suspect once information was released. Specifically, the information of the car.

You know, what did the suspect do once the media was reporting on this vehicle. So there's a lot of things that, you know, still remain critical as part of this investigation. That's why they need the public's help.

BROWN: And we're told that the suspect waived his Miranda rights and spoke to Idaho state troopers and Pennsylvania state troopers for around five to 15 minutes before he requested an attorney. What do you think about that? Is that going to be a problem for prosecutors later? What kind of questions would law enforcement typically ask in that tiny window in a case like this?

WACKROW: Well, listen, I mean, every investigation is going to be different. Every interaction with a suspect for the first time by investigators is going to be different. But what I would expect the investigators to, you know, key in on right away was, you know, trying to figure out was he a lone actor. Was there anybody else involved?

Again, public safety is still, you know, paramount for law enforcement. So they want to make sure that this is the only suspect and that he wasn't working in part of a larger group. Again, I can't speculate on any other questions that they may have asked at the time, but, you know, then again, he got his lawyer. So, you know, we'll understand a lot more once this affidavit comes out and we see him at his initial appearance.

BROWN: Investigators apparently found Kohberger's DNA at the crime scene. He drives a white Hyundai Elantra, a car scene near the murder scene. What else do prosecutors need to make a case here?

WACKROW: Well, listen, they -- what they're looking for right now is, you know, as they executed some of these search warrants, they're starting to look at, you know, the digital trace evidence potentially of this individual. Was he in connection with any one of these victims prior to the crime, you know, being committed? Was he, you know, stalking anybody? Was he making outreach via, you know, telephone calls or e-mails? So what was that linkage that ties him to these victims? That's what they're focused on right now as part of their investigation. And executing these search warrants at different locations for, you know, those electronic devices is going to garner a lot more information for investigators.

BROWN: Jonathan Wackrow, thank you so much. Happy New Year to you.


Well, further south in Mobile, Alabama, mass shooting unfolded just minutes before midnight. A 24-year-old man was killed and nine people were injured. And this happened a few blocks away from the city's downtown New Year's Eve celebrations.

CNN's Nadia Romero joins us now. Nadia, what's the latest?

NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, Pamela, we are hearing now from the mayor of Mobile, Alabama, because, as you mentioned, this happened right next to this downtown celebration to ring in the New Year. So you're going to have people there of all ages that were really trying to just enjoy the holiday.

But you can see in this video, people are startled. Some of them are running. This is right after hearing those shots fired. At least one person is dead, a 24-year-old man, nine other people injured, and their ages range from 17 to 57. So that just shows you just how many people and the diverse crowd that was out to try to enjoy this holiday celebration.

Let's take a look at part of the statement that the mayor released just this evening saying, "Like so many others, I am outraged at the violence that occurred last night in downtown Mobile. I am beyond disgusted that the actions of one or two individuals with suspected gang affiliations have taken a life, injured others, and tarnished what should have been a safe and fun event."

And so here we are starting 2023 with this shooting happening in Mobile, Alabama. This investigation that is ongoing. Police tell us that they have detained several people. They're calling them witnesses, not persons of interest or suspects at this time, that they're gathering information.

And that those nine people, Pamela, who were injured, their injuries range from non-life threatening to severe. And so that's a variety of different things that that could mean what kind of injuries they sustained, either gunshots or maybe they were injured when people started fleeing. We're still working on getting all of those details.

What we do know as of right now, at least one person dead, nine others injured, and no arrests have been made. Pamela?

BROWN: Pretty sober start to the new year. Nadia Romero, thank you.

Well, new details about a GOP conference call that just wrapped up where Congressman Kevin McCarthy is committing to a key concession in his attempt to become the next House Speaker. We're going to talk about that up next.

Plus, I'll talk to a Republican congressman. Will he work with President Biden in the new Congress? And how does he see the fight for House Speaker playing out? And Brazil's new president takes the oath of office. So where was his predecessor?



BROWN: Well, Congressional Republicans just wrapped a special meeting today as they get set to take control of the House of Representatives Tuesday. The big question, does Kevin McCarthy have enough votes to win the Speaker's gavel?

Melanie Zanona joins us now by phone. So, Melanie, what happened during this conference call?

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Yes. so, Pam, Kevin McCarthy, he has been negotiating for weeks in his quest for the speakership. And today, he had a conference call with his members. And on that call, he announced that he is agreeing to a major concession that the right has been pushing for, and that's making it easier to topple the sitting speaker. That's something known as motion to vacate.

He is now agreeing to a low threshold, as low as five people to trigger that vote. That's something that the right had been pushing for, something that moderates were really uneasy with. And now he's saying he's giving in to this demand because he believes he needs it in order to become speaker.

However, during the call, there were some moderates who spoke up, and they expressed their concern and frustration over this concession. They worried that McCarthy is giving away all of his power for nothing and that he's going to undermine his own authority. And they also asked him repeatedly, are you going to be able to get the speaker votes now that you've agreed to this?

And repeatedly, McCarthy could not or would not answer. He gave, you know, sort of conflicting responses about, you know, whether this is going to get him to speakership or not. And then at one point, Congressman Matt Gaetz, who's one of these five Republicans who is considered a hard no vote on McCarthy, spoke up and he said, I am still not backing McCarthy despite all of these concessions.

So, what does that mean now? Well, the House is going to vote on Tuesday on electing a sitting speaker. We're waiting to really hear from those conservative hardliners about whether these new rules package and all of these new concessions that McCarthy agreed to is going to move the needle at all.

McCarthy's team is just hoping that things will fall into place, but there's a chance that they still might have to negotiate even more, that he might have to come down even lower on that threshold. So we will have to see whether or not this is going to be enough to clinch in the Speaker's gavel. But really, things coming down to the wire here, Pam.

BROWN: Certainly. And if he comes down even more, that is something the moderates don't like. So we will be keeping an eye on those. Melanie Zanona --


BROWN: -- thank you.

ZANONA: Thank you.

BROWN: And let's discuss this further with Republican Congressman Warren Davidson of Ohio. He's also a member of the House Freedom Caucus. All right, Congressman, you heard Melanie's reporting there. First off, did you take part in this afternoon's conference call?

REP. WARREN DAVIDSON (R), OHIO: I wasn't on the call. I was traveling and so I missed the call. I caught up with a few colleagues to catch the highlights, and sounds like Melanie summed up the call very similarly to my colleagues.

BROWN: So what do you think? Here we are, you know, and it's still not a sure bet that he's going to have the vote even though he made that key concession, reducing the threshold required to force a floor vote on ousting the sitting speaker.

DAVIDSON: Yes, I think the thing that you covered that, you know, some viewers may have glossed over is he's been negotiating for a while now. And so, there's been a list, basically a two-page list of requests from conservatives for a while. It took a long time to get to that. Individual members had their own dialogue with the speaker designate McCarthy, the current leader of our party, and he's worked very hard to get the votes.

He's worked very hard to earn the job as speaker. And we'll see whether this has placated the people that put out a list of demands. He's gone really right up to the line. He's conceded on virtually everything that was on that two-page document.

BROWN: So then, as, you know, as a member of the House Freedom Caucus, will the conservative holdouts in the House eventually back him, you think?

DAVIDSON: Well, the Freedom Caucus doesn't have an official position on this. There'll be members that support --

BROWN: Right, but there are several members. I think it's four out of the five are in the Freedom Caucus.

DAVISON: Yes, that are public. I mean, frankly, there's been a much larger number, and I think that's been alluded to. There's five that want to be named publicly. So there are people that have looked. Morgan Griffith was one who just went public this past week saying, hey, you got some major concessions on the rules, you know, say a single topic bills, bills that you can't appropriate money without an authorizing committee having authorized the appropriations.

We have whole things that are like zombie agencies that we keep cutting checks to that there's no real authorization for in law. So there are things like that that we really need to clean up as a matter of course. So these rules are substantive, and they matter a lot to how the place functions. And I think, you know, while it hasn't been a one-sided thing where Kevin McCarthy has conceded every point in every way.

We've made real progress across the conference. And, yes, there are people on either end that are a little dissatisfied. I think everyone feels that it's been very transactional, and we really look for a philosophy, kind of a mindset change.


And I think what we want to see tomorrow -- see on Tuesday the third, is that, you know, there's a new leadership team in place. We've got a bold agenda, and we're going to start cleaning house, beginning with our own house, get our own house in order.


DAVIDSON: There are plenty of things in the ledge branch we need to do, and then we're going to turn our attention to the executive branch and start holding the Biden administration accountable.

BROWN: OK. Really quick. Well, and there as many investigations Republicans want to do. They need the speaker to move forward, right? And my understanding is to issue subpoenas and so forth. First of all, do you back Kevin McCarthy as speaker? Will you vote for him to be speaker?

DAVIDSON: Yes, Kevin's earned my vote.

BROWN: OK. Do you think he will earn the vote of the holdouts right now? Do you think he will become speaker? And how many holdouts are there? You said there's five publicly, but there's more behind the scenes. Can you give us a better idea?

DAVIDSON: Yes, I think we'll note more about that tomorrow. But, you know, what I'm looking for is what do we want on January 3? And regardless of who the leader of our party is, I think what the country wants, the people that elected us and sent us here with a majority, albeit a small one, is they want us to do the things we promised to do.

And we have to get our house in order in terms of holding Washington, D.C. accountable.


DAVIDSON: We have to get our economy back on the right foot, we have to secure the border, and we have to hold Washington accountable for this double standard that people see has been going on. So --

BROWN: You talk about getting -- oh, go ahead.

DAVIDSON: If you look at the Twitter files, for example, Elon Musk basically bought a crime scene, as one of my colleagues pointed out. And the question is, now that we know what has happened, are we going to do anything about it.

BROWN: OK, really quick before -- that's -- I want to focus on Kevin McCarthy, and I want to ask you also, because you're talking about cleaning house, do you think that Congressman-elect George Santos should resign, given the growing volume of lies?

DAVIDSON: Well, I think that's really up to the people in his district. I mean, they voted for him. I think a lot of people would certainly feel betrayed given all the things that have come out. I know if I lived in his district, I'd be pretty upset. I'm not really happy that anyone in Congress would say such dishonest things.

But as I think, you know, most outlets I haven't followed CNN, have pointed out, you know, this is a long series of people that have told whoppers along the way.

BROWN: Well, yes. This is --

DAVIDSON: You know, Dick Blumenthal, Elizabeth Warren earned tenure, professorship at Harvard over Native American background, all kinds of things.

BROWN: This is to a whole another level. I mean, that's --


BROWN: -- a false equivalent. I mean, he basically made up an entirely -- an entire new person. And from everything, from his education, where he worked, about his heritage, about his parents. And so, the voters who voted for that other person didn't vote for the real George Santos. Do you think that Republican leadership needs to be more outspoken about this?

DAVISON: I think they need to be focused on doing what we said we would do. This is one seat out of our, you know, majority. And, you know, will that be taken into account in terms of how George Santos interacts with his peers? Of course, it will.

You know, look, I mean, I went to the United States Military Academy. No question we would want somebody kicked out of the military academy. You don't lie, cheat, or steal or tolerate those who do. That's a clear violation. It's a clear dishonest thing.

And frankly, when Marjorie Taylor Green came to Congress, the Democrats stripped her of committees for things she said before the election. She was honest about what she said, and they kicked her off. So I don't know what's going to happen to Santos, but I do know people are right to have heartburn about it. And, yes, it's on a different level. I mean, it's frankly, it's like Frank Abagnale Jr., you know, "Catch Me If You Can" movie documented a real-life scene where someone created all these fictitious personalities --


DAVIDSON: -- and created huge hoaxes. I mean, this is almost like that to win a seat in Congress.

BROWN: So I'm just curious, like, when you see him in Congress because he's made it clear he's not going to resign, how are you going to interact with him? Are you going to trust him if you have to -- you know, if you're working with him on certain deals? I mean, how do you think that's going to work for you personally?

DAVIDSON: Well, look, I will take him -- I haven't met him yet, so as I get to know him and start working with him, we'll see. I don't know where we'll interact, but, look, you know, there are a lot of my colleagues in my -- these pales in comparison to the kind of whoppers that Adam Schiff told, in my opinion.

So I think Adam Schiff was dishonest with the American public for years and continues to be, and I'm glad --

BROWN: OK, this is --

DAVIDSON: -- that Leader McCarthy's promise to remove him from the Intel Committee long overdue.

BROWN: This -- yes. But again, you know, he -- this -- George Santos ran on, create a whole different human being to run to get voters to vote for him.

DAVIDSON: Look, Adam Schiff get the country to spend tens of millions of dollars and waste most of the entire Trump presidency off something that was a complete hoax. You look at the --

BROWN: That's a different issue. But what we're talking about now is someone who ran for voters, you know, ran for Congress, created -- lied about his identity to get people to vote for him. He is now, one, based on that false identity, now it's coming out he's a completely different person.


So -- but Congressman Warren Davidson, I really appreciate you coming on, as always, sharing your thoughts and insights. Thank you very much, and Happy New Year to you.

DAVIDSON: Thank you, Pamela. Happy New Year.

BROWN: A major storm that pummeled the west coast is now heading east. What it will bring to the areas it hits, up next. You're in the CNN Newsroom.


BROWN: Well, an earthquake has struck Northern California. The U.S. Geological Survey says it was a magnitude 5.4 and the second one to strike the region in less than two weeks. It was centered about 9 miles southeast of Rio Dell. That's near Eureka.

Rio Dell's Mayor Deborah Garnes joins us now. Thank you so much for your time. What kind of damage are you seeing in your city?

MAYOR DEBORAH GARNES, RIO DELL, CALIFORNIA: This time where it was kind of the same kind of damage we were seeing. Walls separated from houses, porches down. There's, like, a 35-foot crack in one of our main roads. And the house that's right behind the crack in the road, the sidewalks are also cracked and the house itself is loose on the back, and it's over a creek.

It hanged, it -- the way it sits is kind of has a drop off. And so that's really concerning. And the people had to evacuate that house. We have glass broken and businesses on Main Street. 30 percent of our water is shut down.


Thirty percent of our water is shut down. Thirty percent of the town's water is shut down because of water leaks to the system. Two on the 20th, we had to shut down our entire system because they - it - the earthquake on the 20th was north of town. And so, the northern end of town where our tanks are, they were really damaged greatly, and we had a lot of pipe damaged in the distribution system.

This time the earthquake was south of town, and so the southern end was hit. So, the piping - some of the piping was damaged but not the tanks, so we're thankful for that. So, only 30 percent versus 100 percent of the water had to be shut down.

We didn't lose total power. We lost pockets of power. But the damage this time, what I'm hearing and seeing, is that the houses, the internal parts of houses, everything was thrown about and broken and came off the walls. And my house - my house, same -


GARNES: -- story, on the 20th, we had damage to things in the house, but not, you know, total damage. This time it felt like total damage. Just everything was flying. The refrigerators moved, bookshelves moved, you know. And like is said, you know, the houses that were yellow tagged, some of them now will have to be red tagged because the damage was - the shake was so extensive that it further damaged houses that were already damaged.

So, it's - we were just taking a breath. We thought, OK, we finally got past where we thought, you know, we were going to have this next one. And boom, you know, this morning one of the emergency workers that was here texted me Happy New Year. And we had a day to rest. And the -

BROWN: And then this.

GARNES: -- next thing you know, maybe a half an hour later, boom. So, we are kind of starting over, starting our - we are - we had moved from our response to recovery. And now we are, basically, in both. We have to - we have to be back in response because the southern end of town really took it hard this time.

And the damage that I've already said, and the other parts of town that didn't get as damaged or were already damaged, that part is already in kind of recovery mode, you know, OES has been here, the states been here, Humboldt County OES has been here. CoAd has been here.

We've had just tremendous response from the community, the Central World Kitchen was here for I think it was eight days with lunch and dinner. And so, the response has been just overwhelming. We've had people come from Paradise, which I'm sure you know was struck by just complete disaster some years back and they recognized disaster. And so, they came and brought mattresses and water. So, the -


GARNES: -- mayor of Windsor drove up with a - with a truckload of stuff, with - for blankets and the - blankets, water, food. Santa Rosa Kiwanis, they're coming up. I mean, literally, everyone is trying their best to come in and help us get through this. We had a -

BROWN: That's (inaudible) -

GARNES: -- local area - a local assistance center stand up Friday and Saturday to get help for people whose homes are either destroyed or so bad off that, you know, they need some kind of assistance. So, every agency that we've reached out to has responded. We feel very fortunate in that. And our community has responded.

When you see other disasters and you think - and people say, oh the community came together. And you think, oh that's wonderful. Well, you know what. It is absolutely true. Our community came together. We took - we delivered food, we delivered food to the seniors and disabled. And we had -

BROWN: That's great.

GARNES: -- the kitchen here, you know. And so, we had -


GARNES: -- food, a line of food, hot food that we were, you know, giving out to people. And all kinds of water we had to give out.


So, you know, we are, hopefully, we want to be resilient. We're trying to be resilient.

BROWN: Well, you are being resilient and it's beautiful to hear about how the community has come together. We wish you the best of luck. What a way to start the New Year, Rio Dell Mayor Debra Garnes.

GARNES: Right. And rocking and rolling.

BROWN: Rocking and rolling. You're going though. Awesome. Best of luck.

GARNES: Thank you so very much.

BROWN: Well, the Vatican releases a final letter from Pope Benedict. We're going to tell you what's in it up next. Plus, how the Catholic Church is paying tribute.

Well, Dionne Warwick is a music icon with 56 worldwide hits, six Grammy Awards and one extraordinary legacy. She brings her exclusive story to CNN in the new film, "Don't Make Me Over," premiering tonight at 9:00.

And here's a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dionne Warwick, one of the great female singers of all time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dionne was the first African American woman to win a Grammy in the pop category.


DIONNE WARWICK, SINGER: The music I was singing was nothing like anything that any of them were singing.

The legacy in my family, music. Pure and simple, music.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Dionne Warwick; Don't Make Me Over," premiers tonight at 9:00 on CNN.



BROWN: Well, beginning tomorrow the public will be able to pay their final respects to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. He will lie in state at St. Peter's Basilica for three days until his funeral on Thursday.

So far no official visits or public prayers are planned.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen joins us now from St. Peter's Square where the funeral will be held.

Fred, Pope Benedict left behind a letter where he asked for forgiveness from those he wronged. Tell us more about that.

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he certainly did, Pamela. And it was quite a remarkable letter that did touch on various topics. He talked a little bit about his life. He talked about oh - how - what he thinks that faith means in the modern era. Also, the role of the church as well.


But he did also ask for forgiveness for people that he said, himself, that he wronged. I want to read you that passage because it's certainly one that stood out to us. He said, quote, "To all those I have wronged in any way, I sincerely ask for forgiveness... What I said before to my compatriots, I now say to all those in the church who have been entrusted to my service; remain firm in the faith. Don't get confused," he says. Of course, as we know, Pope Benedict's time as Pope was dogged and the Church was dogged in those times by those abuse scandals that came to light.

And it was really in the last months of his life that Pope Benedict himself acknowledged that he had made some grave mistakes in dealing with some abuse cases, not just in the time that he was the Pope, not just in the time that he was a very powerful figure in the Vatican, but even before that as well when he was the Arch Bishop in Munich in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

So certainly, asking for forgiveness, it's not clear whether it's in that context alone or pertains to that context or is meant more generally, but certainly, something that stood out in that letter as, again, Rome and the Vatican are getting ready for these big services that are coming up in the next couple of days, Pamela.

BROWN: All right, Fred Pleitgen, thank you so much.

And tomorrow a wake will be held for global soccer legend Pele as his long-time club Santos FC. His coffin will be placed at the center of the pitch until Tuesday morning so that the public can pay their respects. And then, a procession will carry him through the city of Santos and down the street where his 100-year-old mother still lives. It will end at a local cemetery for a private funeral reserved just for family members.

Well, you are in the CNN Newsroom, on this Sunday, New Year's Day. Dionne Warwick did much more than sing hit songs, she broke barriers. Learn how as the director of the new CNN film, "Don't Make Me Over," joins us next.




BROWN: The Foo Fighters say they'll be back on stage soon without their late drummer Taylor Hawkins. He passed away in March while in Colombia. In a statement, the band said, "We also know that you the fans mean so much to Taylor as he meant to you. And we know that when we see you again, and we will soon, he'll be there in spirit with all of us every night."

Legendary vocal artist Dionne Warwick has brought us countless hits over the decades. All while breaking racial barriers and shining a light on important social issues. Now, the new CNN film, "Dionne Warwick: Don't Make Me Over," tells the intimate story behind the singer's rise to global superstardom. And here's a preview.



WARWICK: I became very, very vocal and very public with the AIDS issue, based on the fact that we're losing so many people.


WARWICK: Something got to be done.


ELTON JOHN, SINGER: Dionne was definitely a hero of mine and a hero to a lot of people, as she was really the first person in the music business to actually speak up about it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The royalties for "That's What Friends Are For" changed the trajectory of the epidemic in America.

WARWICK: I did what I could do. And that's the way I move to this very day.



BROWN: And Dave Wooley is one of the directors of "Dionne Warwick: Don't Make Me Over." He joins us now. Dave, you worked with Dionne Warwick for years. How did the idea for this documentary come about? And how did you get her onboard with it?

DAVE WOOLEY, DIRECTOR: Well, thank you. And Happy New Year's to you. You know, it - I've known Dionne for over 25 years. And started off as friends and then it kind of morphed into business partners.

And somewhere along the line it just became like family. So, you know, I'm also the co-author of Dionne's autobiography book entitled, "My Life, as I See It." So, that was written about 10 years ago and that's when the idea first came to me in terms of the vision of a documentary.

You know, I would be talking to Dionne about the book, and I'd say, you know, tell me about the first time you met President Reagan. She would tell me, "Oh my God," and then she would say, "Hey, did I tell you the time that I met with Snoop Dogg and Suge Knight at my house?" I said, "Really?" And she said, "Seven in the morning." I'm like, "Seven in the morning?" You know, so anyway, we finished the book. The book, you know, published.

And then, you know, right at that point I made a promise to myself that I would figure out how to bring Dionne's story to the big screen. And here we are after all of those years. But it took five years once we started filming. I worked with some incredibly talented people. David Heilbroner, who is a co-director, Steve Perry a brilliant editor. You know, and over 100 other people that have worked on this film, you know, it was just an amazing journey.

But the biggest part and the biggest joy for me was working with my two daughters, Veda and Davina Wooley, you know, over this - over this period of time. As a single dad it really just warmed my heart. And they are also associate producers.

BROWN: And that's - that must be so fun and special for you. So, knowing Dionne Warwick as well as you do, did you learn anything new? Were there any surprises while you were making this film?

WOOLEY: Yes, well, you know, we wanted to make a film that cinematic and also emblematic of Dionne's 60-year career. So, you know, in going through that there were plenty of surprises, you know. I could sit down and write a question, and do - conduct the interview, but where the surprises came was the answers that these legends gave us. I mean, unbelievable.

And I think that's what the audience is going to truly enjoy this evening, is because we were able to capture that magic and those answers on film. And that's what makes, I think, this film so special.

BROWN: And she is an active social justice advocate. Most people are familiar with her work on AIDS and the song, "That's What Friends Are For." But the film shows she's involved in multiple causes. What do you think drives her to do that work?

WOOLEY: You know, for Dionne, from her perspective, it's never been about, quote, unquote, "Dionne Warwick." It's always been about helping others. You know, and I simply think that it was just the way she was raised, you know, as a little girl, you know, her grandfather told her, we were put here to be of service to one another. And that's exactly what this woman has done throughout her entire career.


She has been of service. And that's what makes her so special.

BROWN: Wow, she certainly has been. And the film also looks at the role race has played in Dionne's career. She has been described as a cross-over artist, someone who appealed to both Black and White audiences early in her career.

What are your thoughts - what are her thoughts on that? Does she view her music through the lens of race?

WOOLEY: Well, first of all, you know, music is universal. Music has no color. But, you know, during this time period race is very important in terms of talking, telling Dionne's story. You know, her career started in the early '60s. So, you know, if you go back and think, you know, what was happening in this country in the early '60s, you know, there was a lot of racial issues. But, you know, what Dionne did was at that time period, and I really

don't eve believe she realized what she was doing, well, she broke glass ceilings. You know, she broke and opened up doors for today's generation. You know, I mean, that's what really is this is about. You know, not only did she opened up doors for people of color and Black people, but also for women in general. It was like, you know, women could see Dionne and say, hey, if Dionne can do so can I.

You know, I think Dionne is a transformational leader. You know, and when I say that it's like who does this? You know, she's been relevant in the '60s, she's been relevant in the '70, she was relevant in the '80s, '90s and here we are 2023, the first day, and you know, she's considered the "Queen of Twitter" -

BROWN: There she is.

WOOLEY: -- you know. So, who does that, you know, but a genius? And like I said, there have been many words to describe Dionne Warwick, but for me it really comes down to one word and that's simply genius.

BROWN: All right, Dave Wooley, thanks so much. You can catch the premier of the new CNN film, "Dionne Warwick: Don't Make Me Over," tonight at 9:00 here on CNN.



BROWN: Well, Brazil has a new president, but his is no stranger to the office. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, sworn into today for a third time, and capping a spectacular comeback from a corruption scandal that forced him to spend more than a year in jail at one point.

But looming over this new political era, threats of violence from his predecessor's supporters.

CNN's Julia Vargas Jones has more.

JULIA VARGAS JONES, CNN PRODUCER: Pamela, Brazil had been holding its breath for two months and today the whole country was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief. That's because outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro had said he was not going to accept the result of the elections if he had lost. His supporters taking to the streets after the elections in November, blocking highways, marching to military headquarters and demanding a military intervention.

But instead, Jair Bolsonaro left Brazil on Friday night to the United States, opening the way for the new administration to take over. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva took office today for a third term, 20 years after his first time as president, but facing a very different Brazil.

This is a country now with a sluggish economic performance, with skyrocketing levels of inequality, of poverty. And Luiz spoke quite emotionally about an issue that's very dear to his heart. That is food insecurity and hunger. He mentioned a man he met in his first presidential campaign in 1989

that was holding a sign that said, "Help me, I'm hungry." And how that shaped his political career. That's something that Lula holds dear today, and he cried multiple times throughout the day.

A very moving speech to the thousands of people that came to great him in Brazil this afternoon. Even for Latin American standards, it was quite emotional, Pamela. And perhaps because of Bolsonaro's absence they were able to create that kind of atmosphere. There is a custom here in Brazil where the outgoing the president gives a formal sash, a presidential sash to the incoming president.

And since Bolsonaro wasn't here to do that, Lula decided to bring a group that is representative of the Brazilian people, Brazil's diversity, he said. There was an indigenous leader, a Black woman, workers, a young Black child. All of this signaling, showing a nod of appreciation to the groups that he will try to prioritize in the next four years of his government.


BROWN: All right, Julia, thank you.

Well, empathy, women are better at it than men and I could perhaps empathize with any objections to this claim, but it's true. There is now data to back it up.

Here's CNN's Elizabeth Cohen.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: In a study that appears to confirm what a lot of people have already suspected, women are better at empathizing with other people. So, what they did in this study is they showed people pictures of other people's eyes, just their eyes, nothing else and then you were supposed to say how is this person feeling? Are they feeling angry? Are they happy? Are they jealous, et cetera? And there were right and wrong answers. And they found that women on the whole were better at figuring out people's emotions. So, they did this in many different countries. Let's take a look at the results.

They found that in 36 countries women scored significantly higher than men did. In 21 countries the scores for men and women were similar. In zero countries did men score higher. And this was true across countries that speak eight different languages and among people ages 16 to 70.

It's unclear exactly why women would score higher. There might be biological reasons as well as environmental reasons.

Back to you.

BROWN: Well, it's not likely at the start of the season you had both Georgia and TCU making it to the National College Football title game, but those are the teams that will play for the championship.

And last hour I talked to Morgan Moriarty, the college football reporter for "Bleacher Report." And I asked her who she thinks will win the National Championship.


MORGAN MORIARTY, COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORTER: I think TCU will come in with a chip on their shoulder, you know, no one really believed in them. And also, they open as a 13-point underdog to Georgia. That's huge. That bullets in board material. I don't know if they have what it takes to beat Georgia. But, I mean, I said that on this - on another show yesterday, I picked Georgia - I picked Georgia, I didn't think Ohio State had what it took. I would love to see TCU win their first in their first National Title game. I'm going to go with Georgia, just because it's the safer pick.


MORIARTY: It feels like (inaudible) is going to do a lot of great adjustments heading into that game. So, we're just going to have to wait and see.