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U.S. Plans to Send Abrams Tanks to Ukraine; Tornado Emergency Declared in Houston Metro Area; "Everything Everywhere All At Once" Leads with 11 Oscar Nominations; DOJ Sues Google Over Its Dominance in Online Advertising Market. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired January 24, 2023 - 15:30   ET


BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: Well, after months of pleading from President Zelenskyy a German newspaper is now reporting that Germany will send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. Chancellor Olaf Scholz making the decision after months of debate.


And sources tell CNN that the Biden administration is finalizing plans to send Ukraine the Abrams tanks, Ukraine has also been trying to acquire. How soon Abrams tanks could be delivered is still unclear. But we know it normally takes several months to train troops on how to use them.

BLACKWELL: CNN White House correspondent Natasha Bertrand is following this story. So, this is potentially a game-changer, explain.

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: It is. Ukraine has been asking for these heavy Western tanks for months and months now, because they believe that these tanks made by Germany, made by the U.S., will essentially allow them to break through Russia's defensive lines and really carry out a significant offensive operation against Russia and take back importantly a lot of their territory.

And of course, we have reported last week that there was kind of a diplomatic logjam happening between U.S. and Germany. Germany saying that they didn't want to send their tanks unless the U.S. sent their own tanks. Now we're seeing what appears to be some kind of effort to break that logjam with the U.S. preparing to announce we're told the commitment of significant number of Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

Also, according to that German media report that you cited, coincidentally or not, Germany is also going to be announcing that they will be sending Leopard tanks as well this week. So, clearly something has move the needle here, but it remains to be seen, of course, when those Abrams tanks are actually going to be on the ground in Ukraine. It could be a while.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, logistically it's much easier to get the Leopard tanks over to Ukraine. Given that they are there in Europe and Poland borders Ukraine so they can easily send them that way.

Natasha, I know you also have new reporting of how Western allies are encouraging Ukraine to now shift their focus geographically in terms of where they are fighting. What's the strategy there?

BERTRAND: Yes, Bianna, so we're told that U.S. officials have communicated to the Ukrainians that they should try to cut their losses in that Eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut and focus more on conducting and preparing for a new offensive in the southern part of Ukraine. And that is because this fight in Bakhmut that's really been grinding over for over six months now with Russian forces, just is not sustainable according to the U.S. for Ukraine. Just given the sheer amount of troops and ammunition that they're expanding there. An enormous amount of casualties on both sides.

So, the advice that the U.S. has given, is kind of shift your tactics here. Focus less on that grinding war of attrition that we're seeing play out in kind of a World War I style situation in Bakhmut and focus more on U.S. provided training, the new weapons were given you and focus on a potential counteroffensive in the south in the spring -- Bianna.

BLACKWELL: Natasha Bertrand, thank you so much.

This just in, a tornado emergency has been declared for the suburbs near Houston.

GOLODRYGA: CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray is here with more. So, what more are we learning about this line of storms -- Jennifer.

JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST AMS: Guys, it's a very dangerous line of storms. You can see this hot pink box, this is just to the east of Houston. Within suburbs of Houston, this is pushing to the east. This is very dangerous situation. If you're in the line of these storms particularly right around the Baytown area, this is along I-10. It's going to cross I-10 in the next couple of minutes. Make sure you are in your safe place, get out of harm's way, because this is very dangerous storm.

Look at the lightning associated with this line of showers and storms. Any one of these storms could produce a tornado especially within this tornado watch box we have right along the Gulf Coast, the deep South. It does include portions of southwest Louisiana in the coming hours. This area shadowed in orange, this is going to be your highest risk for severe weather, including tornadoes, damaging winds, also very large hail. We are going to see throughout the evening into the late evening overnight hours, New Orleans, Mobile, as these storms continue to track toward the east. So, again guys, very dangerous situation especially on the outside of Houston.

GOLODRYGA: The residence there really need to heed to warnings from local officials. Jennifer Gray, thank you.

BLACKWELL: This year's Oscar nominations are out. We'll take a look at the contenders and we'll talk about who got snubbed, next.



GOLODRYGA: Well, the nominations are in. And "Everything Everywhere All At Once" leads the pack with 11 Oscar nods.


KE HUY QUAN, ACTOR FOR WAYMOND WANG: Evelyn, I'm not your husband. I'm another version of him from another universe. I'm here because we need your help.


GOLODRYGA: The sci-fi adventure is up for the night's biggest prize and will compete with blockbusters "Top Gun Maverick" and "Avatar: The Way of Water" among others. Let's bring in Marc Malkin senior editor at Variety. So, Marc, what stands out to you about these nominations today?

MARC MALKIN, SENIOR EDITOR, VARIETY: What stands out is there is, you know, diversity from small films to large films. "Top Gun" the sequel that was, what, 30 years in the making is up there for, you know, best picture. That's pretty incredible. Then you have Lady Gaga and Rihanna both up for best song for "Top Gun" and "Wakanda Forever." To see Lady Gaga and hopefully Rihanna taking the stage that night, that is how you get ratings for the Oscars.

BLACKWELL: Yes, that some star power certainly with those two songs -- which I love both songs. So, let's talk about the -- I think it's a surprise -- "Everything Everywhere All At Once" with 11 nominations. It's a movie that -- I guess at the Golden Globes some people heard about for the first time but it's certainly getting some critical acclaim.


MALKIN: It is a kooky, crazy movie, hard to keep up with, but visually the acting is incredible. Michelle Yeoh, I have spoken to Michelle Yeoh many times during this awards season, she's getting the recognition. She says she's finally being seen after 40 years. Stephanie Hsu, a newcomer who plays her daughter in the movie getting an Oscar nomination. Jamie Lee Curtis, of course we all know and we all love, also getting an Oscar nomination. This is a movie that, you know, is not for everyone. It is kooky, it is crazy. Try to explain it in like you know, 15 seconds or less I'm not sure I could.

GOLODRYGA: Well, all you can say now is Oscar nominated and perhaps Oscar winning. Any snubs in your view here -- Marc.

MALKIN: Listen I don't like the word snub but I get it, I understand it. Viola Davis didn't get a nomination for "The Woman King." Danielle Deadwyler for her incredible performance in "Till" didn't get a nomination. No women directors got nominations and no black actors in the lead acting categories were nominated. So, you know, listen, the Oscars are never going to get it 100 percent right. Another movie "RRR" from India, everyone wanted to see that in the best picture race, it didn't. But it did get a best song nomination. And I cannot wait for "Naatu Naatu" to be performed at the Oscars.

BLACKWELL: Yes, of course a Golden Globe winner. I was really pulling for Jeremy Pope in " The Inspection." That performance was fantastic in that movie. Last thing, for these movies that a lot of people haven't seen, have not heard of, maybe smaller budgets, does the nominations still equate to bigger box office over the next couple of months?

MALKIN: Listen, it's a little difficult to tell because of the box office is just so weird right now, post-pandemic. You have a little movie like "To Leslie," Andrea Riseborough got a best actress nomination this morning. This is a movie no one heard of until about a few weeks ago when all this celebrity support came around and said you need to recognize Andrea. I bet chances are people are googling "To Leslie" and they are going to release -- be streaming it, whether they can go to movie theater and see it or not is another question because this movie came out a while ago.

But I do -- every time you talk to a marketer or a publicity person in movies they say these nominations equal whether it's box office ticket or stream or some recognition and some more visibility, it definitely helps.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, but we have noted over the past few years the viewership of the Oscars has gone down. So, we'll see what happens this year. Marc Malkin, thank you.

Well, Attorney General Merrick Garland is going after Google. Accusing the search engine of violating antitrust law. We'll have details on the new lawsuit straight ahead.



BLACKWELL: Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a major anti- trust lawsuit against Google today. The Justice Department in eight states are accusing the company of harming competition with its dominance in online advertising.

GOLODRYGA: CNN's Jessica Schneider joins us for more. So, Jessica, what more do we know and how is Google responding?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is the first blockbuster antitrust case in the Biden administration against a big tech company here. And the DOJ is really saying that they are calling out the anti-competitive behavior of Google in the ad side of its business. Now this is where Google helps really match companies with online ads. It's those ads that pop up on your website when you go onto a specific website.

So, DOJ in its lawsuit is really saying that Google has been using every facet to shut out any other competition in this space of online advertising saying this: Having inserted itself into all aspects of the digital advertising marketplace, Google has used anti-competitive, exclusionary and unlawful means to eliminate or severely diminished any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technologies.

Now, Attorney General Merrick Garland, he's the one who announced this antitrust lawsuit earlier today and he's saying that Google has been at it -- at these anti-competitive practices, for more than a decade. Here he is.


MERRICK GARLAND, ATTORNEY GENERAL: For 15 years, Google has pursued a course of anti-competitive conduct that has allowed it to halt the rise of rival technologies, manipulate auction mechanics to insulate itself from competition and force advertisers and publishers to use its tools.


SCHNEIDER: And Google was quick to respond to this, saying this.

Today's lawsuit from the DOJ attempts to pick winners and losers in the highly competitive advertising technology sector. DOJ is doubling down on a flawed argument that would slow innovation, raise advertising fees and make it harder for thousands of small businesses and publishers to grow.

And Bianna and Victor, the Attorney General was asked about this statement. He shot back saying DOJ does not choose winners or losers, they only choose companies that violate these antitrust policies -- guys.

GOLODRYGA: All right, Jessica Schneider, thank you.

BLACKWELL: First on CNN, sources tell CNN that classified documents were found at former Vice President Mike Pence's home. We have all the details, next.



GOLODRYGA: Today on Capitol Hill, lawmakers grilled the president of Live Nation, the parent company of Ticketmaster. During Senate testimony he apologized for the recent debacle involving the presale for Taylor Swift's upcoming tour but stopped short of taking full responsibility.


JOE BERCHTOLD, LIVE NATION PRESIDENT: We knew bots would attack that on sale and planned accordingly. We were then hit with three times the amount of bot traffic that we had ever experienced. This is what led to a terrible consumer experience, which we deeply regret. We apologize to the fans. We apologize to Miss Swift. We need to do better and we will do better.


Well, some lawmakers used their time to test out their best Taylor Swift puns.


SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): You can't have too much consolidation, something that unfortunately for this country as an ode to Taylor Swift I will say we know all too well.


SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): Ticketmaster ought to look in the mirror and say I'm the problem, it's me.

SEN. MIKE LEE (R-UT): To be honest, I had hoped as of a few months ago to get the gavel back, but once again, she's chair captain and I'm on the bleachers.

A lot of people seem to think that's somehow a solution. I think it's a nightmare dressed like a daydream.


GOLODRYGA: That right there is about 30 seconds we'll never get back, Victor.

BLACKWELL: And I want them. "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts right now.