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California May See Break in Storms Later This Week; World Economic Forum Gets Ready for Opening Remarks; China's 2022 Population Fell for First Time in Decades; Mafia Boss Caught After 30 Years in Hiding. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired January 17, 2023 - 04:30   ET



MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Max Foster. If you are just joining us, let me bring you up to date on the top stories.

Republicans on Capitol Hill are calling on President Biden and the Justice Department for more information on the classified documents found at his Delaware home including visitor logs of those who went in and out of the house. The White House says they don't exist.

Investigators are searching for two people still missing in the deadly Yeti Airlines plane crash in Nepal. Authorities say rescuers have recovered 70 bodies so far. A committee is on the ground looking through the debris, black box data as well, social media content to find out what led to that crash.

Winter weather creeping across the U.S. more than 10 million people are under winter weather alerts right now thanks to a storm system that could dump up to two feet of snow in parts of Colorado. Storms moving in from California are also set to spread snow and rain across parts of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. This according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

California could see clear skies later in the week after the week of rain. The deluge has wreaked havoc across the state causing more than a dozen deaths so far. Residents have endured power outages, mudslides and mandatory evacuations as the flood waters rise. CNN's Natasha Chen has more from the Bay Area.


NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In California, another big storm after a series of atmospheric rivers ravage the state, eight million people still under flood watch. One storm after another, overflowing rivers, flooding farms, roads and neighborhoods, causing landslides more than 500 in the last 2-1/2 weeks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have seen damage from down in Santa Barbara and Montecito, all the way up north and on the coast, in the valley, in the mountains. It has really hit us hard from one part of the state to the next. CHEN (voice-over): After three years of extreme drought in California, the state received about a year's worth of rain in a matter of weeks.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): By some estimates 22 to 25 trillion gallons of water have fallen over the course of last 16, 17 days.

CHEN (voice-over): At least 19 people have died as a result of the storms. Hundreds more were rescued across the state from a man who drove off a cliff, his SUV dangling over crashing waves.


And a woman airlifted from a creek after clinging to a tree amid rapidly rising waters in Southern California, to families evacuated from a mobile home park that flooded in the northern part of the state. A coastal road west of San Jose collapsed as the ground saturated by rain gave way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's really devastating, it makes -- it just breaks my heart and just the flooding and it's almost unbelievable.

CHEN (voice-over): But now relief for the state's water supply and lingering drought. An overflowing reservoir near the San Francisco Bay full for the first time in almost four years. And the Sierra Nevada Mountains expecting another two to three feet of snow. Though the snow and high winds are making travel treacherous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're sliding all over the road. You know, you got to know what you're doing in the snow or at least have a plan.

CHEN (voice-over): For this Santa Cruz County community, a unique plan, a zipline to cross their local creek after the bridge washed out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you live in the woods, you know, you've just kind of got to be prepared.

CHEN: The rain may be gone for a short while, but it will take quite some time for waters to recede. Places that are typically much drier are still seeing high levels of water. Parts of roadways are still flooded. And people we've talked to throughout the area say that they are exhausted by the consecutive storms. They tell me they can't wait for drier weather coming next weekend.

Natasha Chen, CNN, Navato, California.


FOSTER: Let's have a look at the U.S. stock futures before they open. Just hours to go until bad opening bell. They are all down, pretty negative there but not by a significant amount. Markets closed on Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

It is that time of year. We're now just minutes away from the special address from the first lady of Ukraine. She'll be delivering opening remarks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Russia's long and grinding war in your country is one of the driving issues at the summit. And helping to cure fears of a global recession. CNN's Anna Stewart with me now. What do you expect her to say?

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Well, I wonder whether she's going to address Dnipro. Her husband, of course, President Zelenskyy said it was a war crime yesterday. We may hear more on that. Maybe more on the Western alliance and what more they can do in terms of helping their defense. We know several countries in the EU are offering up tanks so we could hear more that.

We also have two other special addresses today from the Chinese vice premier and also from the EU Commission President, which kind of hits on I think the main topics of this year. So, we have the war in Ukraine, we have China, its economy, relations with the West and the global economy.

FOSTER: Very exclusive event. Lots of important people there. But some people suggesting it's a bit dated because there's only one of the G-7 leaders, for example, expected there. Is it still relevant? I mean, what is the purpose of the event?

STEWART: We question the relevance of Davos almost every single year. And unsurprisingly, it's a group of elite people meeting in a Swiss ski resort. I think it is an opportunity particularly for business leaders to do some networking. I think I saw McKenzie say it's essentially the speed networking on crack. This is where people outside of sessions really can get to know each other and make some deals.

In terms of the politics, one G-7 leader, it does feel less relevant than in years past. And many of the addresses that we'll be getting particularly from the first lady of Ukraine is something that we have been seen at other summits as well. So, it may be nothing new. I think we have to continue to question the relevance of Davos each year. But there will be new signs coming out of it and we will be covering that.

FOSTER: In terms of the themes, Ukraine, how does that, you know, articulate itself at the event? I mean, obviously first lady of Ukraine being given top billing, so they want that to be part of the debate and that's presumably because it's playing into the global economy.

STEWART: I think there's that. There's the issue of globalization. I think there's the ramifications we're seeing in energy markets. It does feedthrough at all big geopolitical stories do. It feedthrough all sorts of areas of business and sectors. So, that is a topic of conversation frankly in every CEO earnings report I'm seeing at the moment. So, I think that's why it's a big topic for this year.

FOSTER: Well, we have Richard Quest there. He'll be bringing us more a bit later on as well. Thank you very much, Anna.

FOSTER: Now for the first time in six decades China's population has actually decreased falling by 850,000 last year. The National Bureau of Statistics is out with a slew of new information including data that shows the economy grew by 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter and fell well short actually of Beijing's official annual target of 5.5 percent. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout is live this hour in Hong Kong. People always talk about the one child policy when it comes to population in China. But that went away years ago. So, what's happening now.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it went away from 2015 and yet you see this very significant alarming milestone being achieved today. China earlier today announcing that its population has shrunk for the first time in six decades. This includes the entire population including the working age population for China, a major demographic challenge for China for many, many years to come.


In addition, we also learned key economic growth data from China. It reported for the year 2022 that the year's economic growth, it only grew about 3 percent in the fourth quarter. It grew 2.9 percent year on year.

Right now, China is dealing with a number of headwinds. At the moment it's dealing with a historic property slump as well as the aftereffects of its disastrous zero-COVID policy which absolutely wrecked its economy last year. In fact, we've been learning that a number of provincial governments have been spending or forced to spend billions of dollars on anti-COVID measures. For example, Quandong Providence spent 22 billion U.S. dollars over the course of the pandemic over zero-COVID measures like mass testing campaigns.

That is one of the reasons why we saw the abrupt shift in policy last month, the end of the zero-COVID policy which then created this run away COVID-19 outbreak, which is underway. But when you talk to economists about the economic pain of this current outbreak, they say it is short lived.

I want you to take a look at this from the senior economist from AXA, who told me earlier today, quote: Q4 has likely marked the darkest before the dawn -- with the reopening time line now significantly front loaded. The economic outlook has brightened beyond the near term. Unquote.

Now looking ahead, Chinese economic growth is expected to rebound for 2023. Because China is learning to learn -- live with COVID, rather. Chinese leaders also appear to be easing its regulatory crackdown on the tech industry. And China's leadership, they've also pledged to stabilize the economy. And that's why a number of analysts and economists are saying they are expecting economic growth for 2023 in China to top 5 percent. Back to you -- Max.

FOSTER: Kristie, thank you.

STOUT: You got it.

FOSTER: Now still ahead, after 30 years of hiding in plain sight, one of Europe's most wanted fugitives is now behind bars. How police finally caught up with a notorious mafia kingpin.


FOSTER: Anti-government protestors from across Peru have been converging on the capital city of Lima and calling for the resignation of the country's current president. Protests began last month when the former president was removed from office and then detained after illegally trying to dissolve Congress. Over the weekend the government extended its state of emergency in some regions and suspended certain constitutional rights, such as freedom of movement and assembly. Now protestors are demanding new elections and a change to the Constitution amongst other things.

The man known as the last godfather of the Sicilian Mafia is under arrest after three decades on the run. Matteo Messina Denaro has a lengthy criminal history with multiple murder convictions and life sentences handed down in absentia whilst he was in hiding. CNN's Barbie Nadeau has more.


BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR (voice-over): Italy's most-wanted Mafia kingpin, finally arrested after 30 years in hiding.

PASQUALE ANGELOSANTO, MILITARY POLICE MAJOR GENERAL (through translator): As a part of investigations coordinated by the public prosecutor's office of Palermo, we arrested fugitive Matteo Messina Denaro inside a health facility.

NADEAU (voice-over): Messina Denaro was last seen publicly in 1993, shortly before he went into hiding. After he was convicted in absentia for the assassinations of anti-Mafia prosecutors, Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, both killed in separate targeted bombings in 1992. Police had been searching for him ever since.

Messina Denaro is thought to have led the Cosa Nostra Mafia in Sicily since the arrest of his predecessor, Bernardo Provenzano, who was captured near the infamous Sicilian town of Corleone in 2006.

Messina Denaro has multiple convictions for murder, including the kidnapping and death of a 12-year-old boy, whose body was dissolved in acid.

Despite evading police for so long, there was cause for celebration.

MAURIZIO BELLACOSA, LUISS UNIVERSITY: The arrest is a very, very important event. Obviously, Mr. Matteo Messina Denaro is the keeper of fundamental secrets in very delicate matter. As for example, the reasons of the most serious Mafia crimes or the possible connivance between political subjects and Mafia leaders.

NADEAU (voice-over): Italy's new prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, was in Palermo to celebrate the spectacular arrest.

She said, "The war against the Mafia is not over. But this was a battle that was fundamental to win. And it's a hard hit to organized crime." Now, the so-called boss of bosses will be held in a high-security prison and authorities fear his replacement is likely already on the job.

Barbie Nadeau, CNN, Rome.


FOSTER: Kentucky has now banned TikTok from government devices. A state government spokesperson says the change is based on information from federal law enforcement and recent federal legislation amid security concerns over the app. The change will not apply to personal devices though. Kentucky joins a long list of states that are either restricting or proposing restrictions on the use of the TikTok app on government managed devices.

Netflix betting big on Korean content. This streamer is set to debut its largest offering of movies and shows from South Korea later this year with 34 new and returning titles. It comes after the meteoric rise of "Squid Game," the drama which shot into the top 10 in countries around the world and became Netflix's top show of 2021. Netflix says the Asia Pacific region has become the company's fastest growing region adding nearly 1.5 billion paid subscribers in the third quarter of 2022.

U.S. pharmacy chain Walgreens has removed its online limit for certain pediatric medications. It was imposed amid a shortage for children's antifever and pain medications which coincided with a hike in respiratory illnesses late last year. Rival CVS still has a two- product limit for children's pain relief products. It saying it wants to ensure equitable access for all customers.

Well, they say it's true. Nature may really be the best medicine. A new study from Finland finds that a walk in the park or stroll along the beach could lessen the need for medications for things like anxiety, asthma, depression, high blood pressure, or even insomnia. Thousands of people were interviewed about their use of green spaces, like parks or forests and blue spaces like lakes and rivers. But experiencing nature is the key here, not just seeing it because the physical activity is important as well.

Now, he's still not vaccinated. But Novak Djokovic will be in action later today at the Rod Laver Arena a year after being deported.


The latest on his return to the Australian open is just ahead.


FOSTER: Fans of the singer Madonna were confused when she suddenly deleted all of her posts on Instagram. Now there are rumors it could be in preparation for a big announcement, possibly a world tour celebrating the 40th anniversary of her first album.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MADONNA: Like a virgin touched for the very first time, like a virgin ...


FOSTER: Last year Madonna released a remix collection of 50 of her number one hits including "Like a Virgin." Her last tour ended nearly -- well, early in 2020 at the start of the pandemic. Billboard Magazine reports that this tour, the new one, could be, quote, the biggest tour that she's ever done.

Novak Djokovic is making his much anticipated return to the Australian Open, 12 months after he was deported for his refusal to be vaccinated for COVID-19.


The 35-year-old Serbian is a nine-time champion Down Under and comes into the event as one of the favorites to claim his 22nd major title which would tie the record currently held by his rival Rafael Nadal. Djokovic's first match in the tourney is expected to get underway shortly.

Now the Dallas Cowboys are moving on after a convincing win in the NFL wild card game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott connected with tight end Dalton Schultz for the game's first touchdown and there was no looking back from there really either. Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay offense struggled throughout the game. Brady throwing this interception in the end zone. Final score, Dallas 31, Tampa Bay 14. Cowboys head to San Francisco to take on the 49ers on Sunday.

Finally, the galaxy's favorite father/son duo are back.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to Mandalorian so that I may be forgiven poor my transgressions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: May the force be with you!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's something dangerous happening out there.


FOSTER: Disney giving "Star Wars" fans a sneak peek at the upcoming third season of its series "The Mandalorian," during Monday night's NFL playoff game. In the new season, the intergalactic bounty hunter is reunited with his tiny companion and shows off evidence of his ever-growing power. The first episode airs on March 1st.

Thank you for joining me here on CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Max Foster in London. "EARLY START" with Christine is next. You're watching CNN.