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New Norfolk Southern train derailment in Alabama; Russia Seizing U.S. and NATO Provided Weapons on the Battlefield in Ukraine to Iran to be Reverse Engineered; A Cry for Help from an American Detained in Iran; FDA Issues New Requirements for Mammograms; New York Major Pharmacies Chains to Commit to Dispensing Abortion Medication; Visa and Mastercard Decided to Postpone Gun Tracking Purchases After Political Pressure from Republicans; Oscars: Hollywood's Biggest Night; Oscars Return One Year After Infamous Slap; Canadian Siblings Set the Record for Most Premature Twins. Aired 10:30-11a ET
Aired March 10, 2023 - 10:30:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we are focused right now on what just what these crews are doing to clean up. As we're standing here now, you can see off to the side there, that local -- is still in place. This crash happening around 6:45 a.m. And to give you an idea of how close we are, as you look down there, you can see parts of this train off the track.
Now, crews are getting ready to move in and move some of these heavy machinery into place so they can start picking up the mess in. As we look from above, because when you look from above, that's where you can see how bad this derailment was. The good news here, just like you said, no hazardous materials on board, nothing spilling, so no environmental cleanup effort.
But as you understand, in small communities like this one, they are concerned about moving through this area as we talk about derailment after derailment. Now, we're about 70 miles away from Birmingham, but nothing can pass up and down this train track as this is the way it is. We had to work our way back here, this is a one-lane road to get to this access to be able to even show you what is going on right now.
Now, the crews have heavy machinery that they're going to bring in within the next few hours and start cleaning up this mess, because obviously, this is a lot of commerce that's being stopped right now because of this derailment. So many questions right now for -- especially towards the NTSB. How did this happen? What caused this derailment, especially in an area there's not a lot of traffic? So, that's something they're going to have to investigate and find out. About 30 cars we counted so far behind that area that had been toppled over, so they're going to take some time to clean up.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR AND NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It certainly will. I mean, those pictures are really something. Ryan, appreciate it. Thank you.
Sources are now telling CNN, Russia has been seizing U.S. provided weapons in Ukraine, like this, javelin anti-tank system that we are showing you. Seizing those weapons and then sending them to Iran.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: The real concern is Iran then reverse engineers them, tries to make them themselves. CNN's Natasha Bertrand joins us now from Pentagon.
Natasha, I understand and your reporting shows, this has been going on for a year. Do we know how many weapons, the range of weapons that have been sent and how the U.S. is responding?
NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: So, Jim, this has actually been pretty difficult for the U.S. to track with any real authority, because it is difficult, of course, to track the number of weapons that are being left on the battlefield and that Russia is seizing, and then of course it is difficult for the U.S. to track exactly how many of the weapons Russia is sending to Iran. But what we are told is that this has happened at least several time.
The U.S. has been tracking multiple instances of this where the Russians have captured things like javelin anti-tank missiles and stinger anti-aircraft missiles. As well as their kind of NATO equivalents, right, because the NATO countries are also giving their, kind of, equivalents of that weaponry to Ukraine and sending them to Iran so that Iran can likely try to reverse engineer them.
And this is the part of the growing defense partnership that we're seeing between Iran and Russia, something that has really intensified over the last year as Russia has sought Iran's help for its war in Ukraine. Now, we're seeing that Iran is seeking military equipment from Russia in return, and Russia is eager to provide this kind of western equipment to Iran because it want's that support from Tehran as it continues its invasion of Ukraine.
Now, U.S. officials are not commenting on this directly to us. When we asked the defense official for a comment, they referred us to comments made by Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl, at a hearing earlier this month where he said that the U.S. is not seeing a significant amount of diversion of the U.S. provided weapons that are going to the Ukrainians. But that the diversion that they are seeing are those instances of the Russians capturing things on the battlefield.
Now, we should note, this it is not a widespread or systemic issue. And the Ukrainians actually do tell the Pentagon every time they are forced to leave a U.S.-provided system on the battlefield either because they are overrun or because they have to quickly withdraw. So, the Pentagon has some idea of how much of that equipment is falling into Russian hands. They don't believe it is a very large number, however there are concerns, of course, that if Iran can reverse engineer some of this, it could pose a risk to the rest of the region. Jim, Erica.
HILL: Yes, even if a small number, it could still pose that risk. Natasha, really appreciate the reporting. Thank you.
SCIUTTO: Well, an American businessman who has been held in Iran inside one of its most notorious prisons for eight years is now pleading with President Biden to get him home. 51-year-old, Siamak Namazi has dual U.S. and Iranian citizenship. He's been behind bars longer than any other American currently in detention in that country. In an unprecedented interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, he is speaking out from inside Evin Prison near Tehran.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SIAMAK NAMAZI, PRISONER, EVIN PRISON: The very fact that I've chosen to take this risk and appear on CNN from Evin Prison, it should just tell you how dire my situation has become by this point.
I've been a hostage for seven and a half years now. That's six times the duration of the hostage crisis. I keep getting told that I'm going to be rescued and deals fall apart where I get left abandoned. Honestly, the other hostages and I desperately need President Biden to finally hear us out, to finally hear our cry for help and bring us home. And I suppose desperate times call for desperate measures. So, this is a desperate measure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: CNN has reached out --
HILL: It is remarkable. CNN has reached out to both the Iranian and the U.S. government for a comment, yet Tehran has not replied. The White House, however, saying, "Iran's unjust imprisonment and exploitation of U.S. citizens for use as political leverage is outrageous, inhumane, and contrary to international norms." That statement goes on to say, senior officials from both the White House and the State Department meet and consult regularly with the Namazi family. And that they pledge to continue to do so until this unacceptable detention and Siamak is reunited with his family.
Still to come here, the FDA issuing new mammography requirement for the first time in decades. What doctors will soon be required to tell their patients, that's important information just ahead.
HILL: The FDA is making a critical update to its mammography regulations for the first time 20 year, and this is one that many hope that could save lives. So, soon, mammography centers will have to notify patients about the density of their breasts.
SCIUTTO: All right. This is important because women with dense breast tissue are four to five times more likely to develop breast cancer. And about half of women over 40 do have dense breast tissue. CNN's Health Reporter Jacqueline Howard joins us now.
Jacqueline, tell us what is behind the FDA's decision to update its guidance here.
JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Well, Jim and Erica, the FDA says that it's doing this to improve the way that we detect and prevent breast cancer. And the reason why we know that having dense breast can make a mammogram reading more difficult to read. So, having this conversation with doctors about their patients' breast density can really help gauge their risk for breast cancer and what the screening process should look like for them.
So, we know that the FDA is going to require mammogram facilities to report breast density information to those patients, this is to encourage having those conversations. And you see here on the screen, what we mean by dense breast tissue, we're talking about the proportion of tissue, fibroglandular tissue, in proportion to the fatty tissue in the breasts. So, again, Jim and Erica, having those conversations is really going to be beneficial for patients moving forward.
HILL: But it's also shocking to me, I have to say, and full disclosure, as a woman with dense breast who has been told this by her doctor, who, for years, had to have two mammograms a year for that reason. You have an extra ultrasound or sonogram, the fact that this has to be put into place, isn't this -- shouldn't this already be happening?
HOWARD: I know. It definitely should already be happening. And you're right, the fact that it how -- now has to be required does raise some eyebrows. It does make you think, why haven't we been having these discussions before? And we do know that this new requirement will be implemented within the next 18 months.
So, by September 2024, it will be a requirement for the women to receive breast density information in their mammogram reports. But like you said, Erica, we have known about this association between having dense breast tissue and increased risks for mammogram readings to be difficult to read leading to increased risk for cancer. So, we've known about this association.
HOWARD: It's just surprising that now we're seeing -- really, requirements behind it.
SCIUTTO: Jacqueline Howard, thanks so much.
Well, New York's governor and attorney general are calling on major pharmacy chains to commit to dispensing abortion pills, medication. They're asking Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS to provide the prescribed medication, both at the pharmacy, pharmacy locations, and through mail orders.
HILL: Why is this happening now? Well, one of the reasons is that the future of medication of abortion is unclear as a Texas judge is considers banning mifepristone. Walgreens has said that it will not dispense that drug in 21 Republican-led states after their attorneys general wrote a letter even though abortion remains legal in a handful of those states.
SCIUTTO: Well, a new effort designed to help flag potential mass shooters and gun traffickers is now paused.
HILL: Visa and Mastercard did want to start tracking gun sales under pressure though from Republican lawmakers. That plan is now being upended. CNN's Matt Egan joining us now with the details.
So, they wanted to do this. Now, the credit card companies say they're not going to do it. What actually happened here?
MATT EGAN, CNN BUSINESS AND ECONOMY REPORTER: Well, Erica this is a setback for gun control groups. Last September, credit card companies, they announced plans to roll out this new merchant code category for gun retailers.
EGAN: These codes, they track where consumers spend their money, but not what they spent them on. Previously gun retailers, they were classified under other general merchandise or sporting goods stores, right, pretty broad.
EGAN: So, advocates had said that this new code would potentially help flag mass shooters or even gun traffickers. But then what happened was two dozen Republican attorneys general, they warned the credit card companies not to do this.
Right, they argued that this plan would potentially violate the constitutional rights of gun owners, it could potentially violate anti-trust, the consumer protections laws, that's what they argued. And they made it pretty clear that they were willing to fight in court.
And so now, we are learning that that pressure appears to have worked, at least for now, Visa and Mastercard, they are pausing their plans here. Here's how Visa explains it in a statement, "There is now significant confusion and legal uncertainty in the payments ecosystem, and the state actions disrupt the intent of global standards." Now, Mastercard had a similar explanation for why they are pausing this.
This is, I think, another example of how companies really find themselves increasingly under pressure from elected officials on these hot button issues. I mean, whether it is climate or abortion, which we were just talking about with Walgreens and the drugstore retailers --
EGAN-- or guns, I mean, these companies increasingly face a political minefield. HILL: It is. It is really something. It's certainly not the last we're hearing about it, I would imagine. Matt, appreciate that update. Thank you.
SCIUTTO: Well, still to come, the Oscars are back this weekend, but the infamous slap at last year's ceremony is still top of mind for many. How will this year's host address that giant elephant in the room? A preview of Hollywood's big night, just ahead.
HILL: Could "Everything Everywhere All at Once" take home Oscar gold this weekend? Maybe if "All Quiet on the Western Front" or "Top Gun: Maverick" don't pull off an upset.
SCIUTTO: I saw those two, I didn't see the first one. We'll see. Stephanie Elam report on this as she reports last year's infamous slap will still be on people's minds, maybe an elephant in the room.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, 95TH ACADEMY AWARDS: And when we're done with this, we're going to be carpeting all of Hollywood.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): The Oscars are back, the first since the slap made Hollywood's biggest night, the Academy's biggest nightmare.
CHRIS ROCK, COMEDIAN: It still hurts.
ELAM (voiceover): Just a week after Chris Rock took aim at Will Smith --
KIMMEL: The second I saw Will Smith get up out of his seat, I would have been halfway to the Wetzel's Pretzels.
ELAM (voiceover): All eyes will be on host Jimmy Kimmel who says he will address the slap.
KIMMEL: You know, comedians are mad about it. It's one of those things that, for a group of people that find everything funny, it's like not funny, you know. But of course, it's -- you know, you have to.
ELAM (voiceover): The fallout also upends Oscar tradition, since Smith won best actor last year.
MATTHEW BELLONI, FOUNDING PARTNER, PUCK AND FORMER EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: They have to find somebody to present best actress, because, typically, the tradition is if you win best actor, you come back and you present best actress. But that's not going to happen because he's banned from the show. ELAM (voiceover): This year's drama should come from the awards. Possible upsets.
JAMIE LEE CURTIS, SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEE: I have been an actress since I was 19.
ELAM (voiceover): A late SAG Award surge (ph) from Jamie Lee Curtis could lift her over supporting actress favorite Angela Bassett, neither veteran has ever won.
ELAM (on camera): What does that mean for you?
ANGELA BASSETT, SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEE: You know what, it's just a clear example that you've got to hold on.
BRENDAN FRASER, ACTOR, "THE WHALE": I'm inspiring. I'm breathing.
ELAM (voiceover): Sagging critics' choice winner Brendan Fraser will go down to the wire with Austin Butler for best actor.
AUSTIN BUTLER, ACTOR, "ELVIS": I am ready. Ready to fly.
ELAM (voiceover): The "Elvis" star won a BAFTA, the British Oscar, a bellwether since the Academy has welcomed more international voters.
BAZ LUHRMANN, DIRECTOR, "ELVIS": Denzel Washington said to me, you are about to work with a young actor, because he had just worked with him, whose work ethic is like no other. He was right.
MICHELLE YEOH, ACTRESS, "EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE": --
ELAM (voiceover): If there's an Oscar shocker, it could be for best actress where Michelle Yeoh is expected to win for "Everything Everywhere All at Once."
CATE BLANCHETT, BEST ACTRESS NOMINEE: I am excited. I'm excited.
ELAM (voiceover): Cate Blanchett's BAFTA win keeps her competitive. But the outlier, Andrea Riseborough, whose role as an alcoholic in the small film, "To Leslie" led to social media push inside Hollywood that won her a surprise nomination. She was allowed to remain a contender after an Academy investigation into the tactics of the campaign. A probe that upsets some of Riseborough supporters.
BELLONI: There could be a protest vote that goes on here. And if there is a shocker on Oscar night, it's going to be if she wins.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ELAM (on camera): Now, keep in mind that at the Screen Actor Guild Awards, that is the largest block who also votes for the Oscars, the actors are, we saw that "Everything Everywhere All at Once" swept the main category. So, the is lending to the argument that they may have a lovely night come Sunday.
HILL: Uh-huh. They just might. So, I was also struck by this. I know you just -- were seeing the setup, Steph, the red carpet is no longer red? Why?
ELAM: Yes. No, it is not. It's -- they're calling it champagne.
HILL: Oh, champagne.
ELAM: I was there as they're doing the setup. And it's -- it's kind of beige, the curtains behind are kind of a burnt orange look. S, they're trying to make it of a more nighttime environment in there. But I hope if anyone was planning on walking down a red carpet with their gown or their outfit, they might need to make some sartorial changes.
HILL: Interesting. I want to know --
SCIUTTO: It's still not a bad carpet to walk down. I mean, whatever the color.
HILL: No, I'm going to be --
ELAM: No, it's still amazing --
HILL: -- watching for what Stephanie Elam is wearing that's because you always look gorgeous, my friend.
ELAM: I have a final decision to make tomorrow. I got to make a final decision. But I will work it out.
HILL: OK. I have no doubt. Thank you.
ELAM: Thank you.
HILL: A pair of Canadian siblings have just set the record for most premature twins, just stick with me on this one. They were born, boy and a girl, born 21 weeks five days into their mother's pregnancy. Their birth weight measured in ounces at that point, not pounds. Between the two of them, they actually barely exceeded a pound and a half.
SCIUTTO: Wow. Their parents were told their twins had a zero chance of survival, of course, that was not true. On Saturday, the twins celebrated their first birthday, became the new Guinness World record holders.
HILL: That is pretty impressive.
HILL: Thanks to all of you for joining us today. Thanks to Jim Sciutto, especially, for working on his birthday. Happy birthday my friend.
SCIUTTO: Thanks very much. I'm looking forward to celebrate. I'm Jim Sciutto. "At This Hour with Kate Bolduan" starts right after a quick break. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)