Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

Officials: Eight Dead After Smuggling Boats Capsize Off San Diego Coast; 15-Million-Plus Under Flood Watches In California And Nevada; Treasury Secretary Yellen Rules Out Bailout For Silicon Valley Bank. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired March 12, 2023 - 15:00   ET



FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Thank you so much for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield and we're following breaking news out of California where authorities say at least eight people are dead after two smuggling boats capsized off the Coast of San Diego County.

Officials with the US Coast Guard Calling the incident a tragedy. Authorities responded to the scene last night after someone on a separate boat called 9-1-1 to report victims in the water.

Last hour, I spoke with the Chief of the San Diego Fire Departments Lifeguard Division who described the rough conditions crews were up against.


CHIEF JAMES GARTLAND, LIFEGUARD DIVISION, SAN DIEGO FIRE DEPARTMENT: That area down there is pitch black. So, very little light visibility. The tide was high, it was a high moderate tide and the beach very small at that hour with that tide.

So you've got a shear 200-foot cliff to your right, pounding ocean to your left and pitch black darkness and you're just searching for bodies and trying to find any signs of life to try and rescue and revive anybody you can.


WHITFIELD: Horrible situation.

CNN's Camila Bernal is following the story for us.

So, Camila, you know, what are you learning about the search and recovery efforts?

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Fred, so we know that they are going to search until about lunchtime, which is about now and then they're going to reassess and decide whether or not they're going to continue searching or if this is going to be the end of this recovery operation.

This all happened last night. We were told that someone called 9-1-1 between 11:30 and midnight, and the caller reported these two boats saying they believed eight people were in one boat, 15 were on another. Both of these had capsized. By the time authorities got there, they did not find any survivors. They say they only found these eight bodies. They did see life jackets in that area, but they believe the people they recovered were not wearing those life jackets.

And as you heard the Chief there, these were very difficult conditions. It was pitch black. Authorities were doing everything they could to search for any survivors. If they were any, they said that they were up in the air as well. But even with night vision goggles, it was really difficult to see what was going on in the water.

And again, they did not have any survivors in that area, so they were just going off the information from the 9-1-1 caller, and that is still the case today as they continue to search. But again, it is still difficult today to continue that search.

Authorities also pointing to awareness about all of this saying these are criminal organizations that are bringing people from Mexico, and Border Patrol saying they are working with Mexican authorities to essentially try to figure out what criminal organization is responsible for this because they did call it a tragedy, something that has been difficult, obviously for the search teams out there as they continue to do all of this. But again, we're waiting to see how long they will be searching today -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, Camila Bernal, thank you so much.

Also happening this hour in California, rescue teams are working around the clock to help people out of their flooded homes as a new dangerous threat of severe weather looms. First Responders rescuing dozens as floodwaters rise in several areas.

In Monterey County, evacuation orders are in place after a levee breached. A new atmospheric river expected to hit tomorrow marking the 11th time just this season. Forecasters say could bring up to six inches of rain in already inundated areas.

More than 15 million people remain under flood watches from California to Nevada.

CNN's Mike Valerio is in hard hit Monterey County.

So Mike, how are people dealing?

MIKE VALERIO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Fredricka, most of the people are out of here, but if you look over my right hand shoulder, there are still people who are not in immediate danger, per se. They've been contacted by emergency authorities from the National Guard to Monterey County Sheriff's Deputies and they've been called to with people on the ground saying, hey, are you okay? And they're saying, you know what, we're on the second floor. We're not going to leave. We're going to ride this out even into the second atmospheric river that you mentioned.

So Fredricka, we actually want to take you to video of emergency vehicles from the National Guard. Humvees from the Monterey County Sheriff's Department, going up and down these main drags for two purposes.

The first one, to look for people who are on the ground floor of their buildings and the second purpose for guys like this behind us, and how are you all doing?

So when the vehicles are out here, they are riding parallel to these trucks to make sure that they don't sputter out, to make sure that they don't, you know, go nowhere fast and knee deep or waist deep water and if they do, which emergency responders are telling us has happened, they spring into action and to make sure that they get to drier ground.


VALERIO: So, Fredricka, we also want to show you an amazing rescue performed by California Highway Patrol late yesterday over the Salinas River. A man was swept in his car into the nearby Salinas River. Look at what happened here. Just watch.


VALERIO: Amazing, the precision there. That man unharmed. Again, this was in the Salinas River Valley. It's about a 40-minute drive away from here.

So Fred, therein lies one of the major concerns. The levee, which broke around midnight on Saturday, it is still open. So one of the things that we learned in the past hour, Fred, is that emergency officials we are talking to here on the ground are expecting a better idea of how that levee will have a temporary fix from State and local engineers.

Because that levee is broken on the Pajaro River, that's why we have all of this water here. So stay tuned for more information on that, and of course, as we watch the forecast, Monday night into Tuesday and Wednesday, that is Act Two, the 11th atmospheric river event -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: Gosh. Hard to believe. You know, and as harrowing as that rescue was, that driver sure was lucky to be spotted. Right?

VALERIO: Right. I mean, I think that's the understatement of the afternoon, Fredricka and just they were so -- this driver so lucky to have that helicopter nearby.

WHITFIELD: Sure thing.

All right, Mike Valerio. Thanks so much.

All right, let's turn now to severe weather threats that continue to bear down on the West Coast. CNN meteorologist Britley Ritz is tracking all of it.

Britley, make it all stop. BRITLEY RITZ, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I know, really. And one thing to

note, Fred, is that it only takes 12 inches of moving water to lift your vehicle off the ground. He has no idea how lucky he is to actually have survived that and to have that helicopter nearby. And another thing, turn around don't drown. I know it sounds like a silly saying, but it will save your life in events like this.

Round two on its way. This is not round two. This is just the rain coming in with the Westerly Wind. We wait for that next system to really ramp up over the next 24 hours. Flood Watches, 15 million plus under a watch, and this will likely get extended. More flood warnings and flash flood warnings to come over the next 24 hours. You'll see that rain really start to ramp up.

This is Sunday into Monday, very scattered yet. It's not Monday into Tuesday night when this rain really starts to get heavy along the California coastline where we are expected to pick up an additional two to four inches of rain, isolated higher amounts, six to eight a possibility, especially on the Northern Coastline of California, which is part of the reason why we're under that moderate flood risk where we are highlighting it in red on Monday.

But again, going down into the southern foothills of the Sierra Nevada and through the Sacramento Valley down into the Southern Coastline of California coming in to Tuesday evening, and then into Wednesday.

On top of all the rain, we've had that snowpack through the Sierra that has melted a bit, but notice you can still see it on satellite. It's part of the reason why it has contributed to the flooding. But look at all of this. This is more snow through the California elevations where it has just reached up well past the roofline of many homes.

So that snowpack still on average, well above average, compared to where it's been. We've let a lot of water loose through Lake Oroville's levees and the dam. That's all that water. Even at that point, we're still above average, which is great to help with the drought situation, but one of the biggest things, Fred, is that we need this rain over a long period of time, not what's going on right now when it's happening all at once.

WHITFIELD: Right. All at once.

All right, Britley Ritz, thanks so much.

All right now to the fallout from the sudden implosion of a major tech lender that is sending shockwaves from Wall Street to Main Street.

Today, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen ruled out a Federal bailout for Silicon Valley Bank following its stunning collapse on Friday. SVB is the 16th biggest bank in the country. It's the second biggest bank failure in US history after the collapse of Washington Mutual during the financial crisis of 2008.

That bank's failure was followed by a massive government rescue of banks, but Yellen says a bailout is not in the plans this time. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JANET YELLEN, US TREASURY SECRETARY: Let me be clear that during the financial crisis, there were investors and owners of systemic large banks that were bailed out, and we are certainly not looking and the reforms that have been put in place means that we're not going to do that again.


WHITFIELD: So with us right now is the host of "CNN Business Nightcap," Jon Sarlin.

Jon, good to see you again. He is also the producer for CNN Digital, by the way.


WHITFIELD: So, Jon, if the federal government is not going to bail out this bank, then what kind of help can depositors and the companies who have money in that bank expect?

JON SARLIN, CNN DIGITAL PRODUCER: Well, right now, the FTC is assuring those that they will get at least $250,000.00. That is the floor, and those funds will be available to the companies on Monday. Beyond that, the FTC is going through the assets of SVB and liquidating it, and at some point, the depositors will gain access to those funds.

The question though, is exactly how much of those funds and when they will be available. So one scenario, if there is not a bailout is that the bank could be sold. If that is the case, then it's likely the depositors will have full access to their funds.

WHITFIELD: So this bank collapse has investors bracing for the what happens next when the financial markets open tomorrow, for example, how might this news of no bailout impact the markets?

SARLIN: Well, there are two concerns at play here. One is that there could be a cascading effect here where other banks could have similar runs like we've seen at SVB. There is concern that people might pull their money from mid-tier banks put them in larger banks, which they would perceive as safer and that could have very quickly serious effects on their bottom line.

One Stanford Professor I talked to you said that these are panic dynamics and panic dynamics are very hard to predict. The other concern is about the companies who banked at SVB. Those companies on Monday are going to see that their funds are not fully available and they are going to have to figure out exactly how they are going to pay their employees, they are going to figure out how to keep the lights on, on their businesses. Those are the two concerns that we're seeing.

So as long as those funds and the bailout, as has been much discussed, doesn't come, expect to see a lot of uncertainty in the markets.

WHITFIELD: Oh, boy. All right. We'll stay tuned. Jon Sarlin, thanks so much.

All right, still to come, a major search effort for three women missing in Mexico. They were last seen more than two weeks ago. The latest details next.



WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back.

Another major story we're following is the coordinated search for three women believed to be missing in Mexico. Police say they entered the country from Texas more than two weeks ago to sell clothes at a flea market in the City of Montemorelos. Their disappearance happening one week before four American tourists were kidnapped.

CNN's Polo Sandoval has been following all the developments for us.

Polo, what is the latest in this investigation?


I spoke to the Police Chief in the small South Texas town of Penitas, which is where two of these three missing women live, and he says that unfortunately, they have received no update from or at least no significant update to offer right now based on this investigation as Federal authorities continue to look into this mysterious disappearance of Marina Perez Rios, her sister Maritza Trinidad Perez Rios, and a friend of theirs, Dora Alicia Cervantes.

The husband of one the sisters telling Penitas Police that the three left headed for Montemorelos, Mexico, this would have been on February 24th, crossing the border just south of Mission Texas for that about three-hour drive to Montemorelos to sell clothing at a flea market.

The husband also telling investigators that he even managed to stay in contact with his wife after they crossed into Mexico. But then suddenly, calls weren't being returned, nobody was answering and that's when he turned to authorities for help, who then alerted the FBI.

In the last hour, the FBI responding in a statement saying that they cannot comment on this ongoing investigation and certainly encouraging for people on both sides of the border to call in any information that they have on these three women.

Just to give you a sense of the geography here, Fred. According to investigators, again they were heading to the State of Nuevo Leon. However, in order to get there, typically by land, you would have to drive through the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, which you'll see it's has that small sliver that moves north. And that, according to the US State Department is on a Do Not Travel list because of a significant increase in cartel violence. It's also the same State where we saw the recent kidnapping of four Americans. So it's certainly going to be part of the concern here for authorities

on the US side as they try to find out what happened to these three women. Again, two of them live in South Texas -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, Polo Sandoval. Thanks so much.

Arizona's Department of Education just launched a hotline for residents to voice concerns about classroom curriculums that they believe are inappropriate, and that's raising big questions about what education officials consider inappropriate.

We'll discuss next.



WHITFIELD: Arizona stoking the flames of the culture wars with a new move by the State's top education official.

The State Superintendent Tom Horne now launching a hotline for residents to report inappropriate lessons in K through 12 classrooms.

Horne, an outspoken critic of critical race theory says the so-called Empower Hotline, that's what they're calling it, will allow people to voice their concerns over materials that allegedly, I'm quoting now, "detract from teaching standards." And that includes lessons that, and this is their breakdown, lessons that focus on race or ethnicity rather than individuals and merit, promote gender ideology, and social emotional learning.

The State's education website also suggesting certain CRT words may be embedded in conversations. It gives examples like "oppressors" -- the words, "oppressors" or "oppressed" and "White supremacy."

The move is the latest in a nationwide trend among conservatives to reshape how lessons are taught. Virginia launched a tip line last year for parents to report so-called divisive concepts in the classroom. It was shut down months later.

I'm joined now by Yana Kunichoff who is an education reporter for "The Arizona Republic." Also joining us is Professor Ibram X. Kendi. He is the Director at the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research and the author of "How to be an Antiracist."

Good to see both of you.

Yana, if I could start with you. You know, how is this -- and it is being called the Empower Hotline. How's it being received there in Arizona?

YANA KUNICHOFF, EDUCATION REPORTER, "THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC": Yes, you know, pushing back on alleged teaching of critical race theory in Arizona schools has been -- was part of newly elected Superintendent Tom Horne's platform from the start, and so was having this hotline be part of his administration's efforts. [15:25:13]

KUNICHOFF: So I don't know that anyone is surprised.

What I'm hearing so far from folks on the ground are a lot of e-mails of current and former teachers who are concerned about what this will mean for the environment in classrooms, how comfortable teachers feel teaching a broad range of topics, and what this will mean for Arizona's dire teacher shortage on the ground.

WHITFIELD: Because when someone calls a complaint, and I called the hotline just to hear what the recording was all about, and you can essentially be recorded to say whatever it is you want. You can use a teacher's name, you can use a family's name, you can leave whatever.

But then of course, the question is what happens after that, Yana? So I'm wondering, you know, the new hotline is asking for people who may be suspicious of anything inappropriate.

You know, on the website, it gives a few examples, but is that too, part of the problem is that it's very ambiguous. It's going to be left up to the caller, or the parents, or whomever to say or define what is inappropriate?

KUNICHOFF: Yes. The concern from public education advocates and folks that have been reaching out to me has been that it is like a very broadly defined set of issues that could be considered inappropriate, but I think it's really important to remember that there are structures for educator discipline or sort of anything formal coming from this hotline that are in place and that authority, it does not solely lie with the Department of Education and Superintendent Tom Horne's office.

So it's actually the State Board of Education, a separate body that would vote on any educator discipline. So while I think this can impact the environment in classrooms and the environment around education, there is definitely like rules in place before an educator is disciplined for anything that comes through this hotline.

WHITFIELD: And Professor, I don't know if you were able to see the screen to see on the website, on the Arizona State Department of Education website, it gives an example of what some of the words are that are sort of trigger words that might be of concern that are considered inappropriate.

And here are some of the words, okay, it says "oppressors" or "oppressed," "Whiteness," "White privilege," "White supremacy," "White fragility." I guess, the feeling is if any of those words make it into instruction in any public classroom, that is enough for parents, or anyone in the public to find that as inappropriate and file a complaint. What are your biggest concerns here about this?

IBRAM X. KENDI, DIRECTOR, BOSTON UNIVERSITY CENTER FOR ANTIRACIAL RESEARCH: Well, it prevents teachers from doing their job. If you're a History teacher, as an example, I teach history and you're teaching about the Ku Klux Klan, or you're teaching about the Confederate States of America, of your teaching about even many of the enslavers their ideology was an ideology of White supremacy. So are you not allowed to say that? Can you be called on or punished for saying the truth?

You know, that creates obvious serious problems for teachers, and it's already hard enough for teachers, but when you prevent them from doing their jobs, like anyone else in any other profession, it just becomes unbearable.

WHITFIELD: So, Professor, from Florida Governor DeSantis to Virginia Governor Youngkin, there has been this concerted effort to impose restrictions on classroom curriculum, like social emotional learning (SEL), critical race theory and I should note that CRT, you know, this better than anyone is based on the premise that racism is systemic in American society, and is more than the result of individual prejudice.

So what are your concerns, particularly for the teachers, as you just mentioned who might in lesson be using some of these words as they are helping to exemplify some of the players in history, their activities, their philosophies? What are your concerns about their safety, or how they are even going to defend -- be allowed to defend themselves when complaints are issued?

KENDI: And that's the major concern. This is going to create and it has created almost paranoia among teachers. It creates a situation where they know if they're not following the party line of these Republicans, then they can be punished and it is imagined that not following the party line is somehow indoctrination and following the party line is education.

These politicians imagine themselves as creating freedom when it's clear they're not creating freedom for teachers, they are bounding teachers and again calling that education.


WHITFIELD: So, Yana, so you make the call or you send in an e-mail to this hotline -- these hotlines now, who fields the information, takes the calls? And then from there, where do they go? What is going to be the process? Do you know?

KUNICHOFF: From what I understand so far, there is one staff member who will -- whose entire job will be answering phone calls and going through e-mails, and from there anything of that staff member flags as a concern will go to an investigator who will then visit a school or talk directly to the folks who reached out, and as I understand it, issue a warning. And from there, consider the next step of a teacher, you know, according to the Superintendent, who I spoke to you last week doesn't change what their instruction is.

Again, I think it's important to remember that there are other bodies, and this is not sort of a unilateral process, in terms of educator discipline that could come from this.

When I spoke to Superintendent Horne and you know, I said, like, there's a lot of concern about people being either falsely accused or just accused in a way that they feel is unfair, and he said that his background as an attorney would keep that from happening. So that's the response I've gotten to those concerns so far.

WHITFIELD: All right, Professor, your concerns? Thoughts?

KENDI: Well, and one thing we haven't talked about is, of course, teachers being worried about instructing on social and emotional learning, which of course in recent years has emerged as a critical component. I want my six-year-old daughter learning how to identify her feelings. I want my six-year-old daughter to learn what it means to be empathetic to her classmates, but those types of instruction are also being excluded and those teachers can be called on for teaching children how to identify their feelings.

WHITFIELD: Yes. It is something else.

All right, Professor Ibram X. Kendi, Yana Kunichoff, thanks so much to both of you. Appreciate it. We'll keep following this one.

KENDI: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right, it is Hollywood's biggest night.

Up next, we will take you to the champagne carpet. Not the red carpet, but champagne, for a preview of tonight's Oscars.



WHITFIELD: All right, it's all about the movies on Hollywood's biggest night, that and the champagne carpeting and the burnt orange curtains. It's the 95th Annual Academy Awards tonight and if the run up to the Oscars proves anything, "Everything, Everywhere All At Once" is the frontrunner, or will it be?

CNN's Stephanie Elam joining us now from Hollywood looking ravishing in -- is that red or wow in wine?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is wow in wine. I love it. Yes.


ELAM: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Yes you can see we are out here. We have the burnt orange curtains here.


ELAM: We have the champagne carpet.

WHITFIELD: I'm trying to get used to it.

ELAM: I am getting used to it, but you know, it is kind of -- it is kind of, if you're wearing a red dress and then, you're not clashing, right?


ELAM: But they just closed off the carpet. They're starting to make it ready for the celebrities to come down as we're waiting to see all of the people like you just mentioned from "Everything, Everywhere All At Once." They have been the frontrunner for this Hollywood Award Season, and we'll have to see if they keep their winning ways whether or not they win Best Picture or whether or not Michelle Yeoh wins Best Actress, whether or not Jamie Lee Curtis also could win for Best Supporting Actress, and Ke Huy Quan who, just to remind everybody, it's an actor, you do know because he was in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" as a boy and also in "Goonies," so he could potentially win for Best Supporting Actor as well.

So that is the movie to win. They are definitely the frontrunner tonight -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: And I love them all, you know, and it's so great that they have all been in the spotlight through all the award shows, because I mean, that movie alone has won more awards than anything else.

So I guess that kind of promote some kind of expectation, but then again, anything can happen on Oscars night beginning with, you know, whatever our host is going to say tonight, Jimmy Kimmel.

ELAM: That's true, and we do know that Jimmy Kimmel is probably going to address what happened last year, in case you forgot what happened with the slap of Will Smith and Chris Rock that he said he is going to address it tonight.

But still, there is another question because since Will Smith won Best Actor last year, he should be presenting Best Actress this year. So we don't know who's going to be presenting that award tonight.

So there are several questions also, because it's rank choice voting. It is possible that another movie other than "Everything, Everywhere All At Once" wins and could possibly be "Top Gun: Maverick" which people love and it did get people back to the theaters post pandemic, so there are some big questions tonight.

WHITFIELD: Right. It did evoke -- I mean, it really has to be celebrated, "Top Gun" for a number of ways because it really did help remind us of that incredible feeling when you go to the movie and the splash and the content of that movie, I mean, it all paid off and it made you feel good even though you know, it took you on quite the journey emotionally, that's just my critique.

ELAM: But it is a feel good movie and on top of it, it is a movie to watch in the theater, right? It is high action, a lot going on. That's a theater movie.

WHITFIELD: Right, and a whole lot of eye candy.

ELAM: So, a lot of people in Hollywood appreciate it.

WHITFIELD: Just got to say.

ELAM: And there were ugly people in that movie.


ELAM: None.

WHITFIELD: Eye candy, especially the beach scene.

ELAM: Yes.

WHITFIELD: What can I say? I'm not holding back.

ELAM: They know what they are doing.


ELAM: They know what they are doing, Fred.


WHITFIELD: Okay. Well, we will be watching you ahead of watching the show and the awards and see what kind of surprises might be unfolding.

ELAM: Yes.

WHITFIELD: Stephanie Elam, thank you so much.

ELAM: Thanks.

WHITFIELD: All right, after previously refusing, the interim CEO of Starbucks has now agreed to testify before a Senate Committee about the company's labor practices. The Health Education, Labor and Pensions panel wants to talk to Howard Schultz as the company fights a growing wave of workers trying to unionize.

Earlier this month, a Judge ruled Starbucks showed egregious and widespread misconduct in its dealings with employees and ordered the company to reinstate fired workers and compensate them for lost wages.

CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich spoke to some of the employees who say they're ready to get back to work.



ANGEL KREMPA, FIRED FROM STARBUCKS: Every time I come to this store, and it's only been about four times since I've been fired, it has been very emotional.

YURKEVICH (voice over): On April 1st last year, Angel Krempa was fired from her barista job at this Starbucks in Buffalo, New York.

Starbucks says she was fired for violating the company's policies. Krempa says it was retaliation.

YURKEVICH (on camera): Why do you think you were fired?

KREMPA: I think that they illegally fired me because I was leading the union effort at the store.

YURKEVICH (voice over): Last week a Judge agreed. In a 218-page ruling, a National Labor Relations Board Judge said Starbucks displayed "egregious and widespread misconduct" to employees unionizing at 21 locations in the Buffalo area.

Several workers including Krempa must be reinstated according to the Judge's order.

YURKEVICH (on camera):Do you want to go back and work here again?

KREMPA: I would love to come back and work here again. It's the best job that I ever had.

YURKEVICH (voice over):Starbucks said the order is inappropriate and are considering all options to obtain further legal review. Since the success of the first union in Buffalo in 2021, there are now 280 unionized stores across the US.

To date, Starbucks Workers United says it has filed 600 charges against the coffee giant for alleged Federal labor violations and illegal firings.

And Starbucks has filed nearly 100 unfair labor practice charges against the union for failing to bargain in good faith.

Howard Schultz, who is leading the company until he steps down in April spoke to Poppy Harlow last month.

HOWARD SCHULTZ, INTERIM CEO, STARBUCKS: If a de minimis group of people, which now is about 300 stores file for a petition to be unionized, they have a right to do so. But we as a company have a right also to say we have a different vision that is better, more dynamic and we have a history to prove it.

YURKEVICH (voice over): But Starbucks barista, Michelle Eisen and Shift Supervisor, Gianna Reeve disagreed. They were some of the first employees to organize calling for a seat at the table to have a say in health and safety policies, seniority pay and staffing levels.

GIANNA REEVE, STARBUCKS SHIFT SUPERVISOR: I do think it was the only way to make our voice heard.

YURKEVICH (voice over): Both women say they were retaliated against for union organizing.

REEVE: I remember days of just nonstop surveillance on the floor. Retaliation where I would no longer be given Shift Supervisor positions and my location.

YURKEVICH (on camera): Why stay?

MICHELLE EISEN, STARBUCKS BARISTA: I was presented with this option of working from the inside with my coworkers to make this company a better place, to be a part of building the policies and the safety procedures that would protect me.

YURKEVICH (voice over): And now, Starbucks must compensate Reeve and Eisen for lost wages according to the Judge's order.

KREMPA: It is a very turbulent thing in your mind.

YURKEVICH (voice over): For Krempa, she was out of a job for six months after she was fired by the company. She says she almost lost her home and went into debt. A return to Starbucks, the highest paying job she has had would help her get back on her feet.

YURKEVICH (on camera): How will you feel if you get that opportunity to step back in there? Put on your apron and start being a Starbucks employee again?

KREMPA: My aprons are still hanging in the same spot that they were left in on April 1st of last year waiting for me to put them back on and I'm ready to take it off that hook and put it back on and walk in and just smile at my coworkers and be like "I'm back. I'm here," like "We did it."


WHITFIELD: Wow. All right, Vanessa Yurkevich, thanks so much for bringing that story.

All right, the BBC's weekend soccer coverage plunged into chaos after a slew of pundits, presenters, and even players staged a boycott over the network suspending one of their star hosts for criticizing British government policy. Details straight ahead.



WHITFIELD: A storm of controversy is brewing at the BBC in the UK. The network's soccer coverage has been plunged into chaos after one of its most popular presenters was taken off the air sparking a boycott by other on-air hosts.

It says that Gary Lineker broke the rules when he tweeted out criticism of the British government's policy on asylum seekers.

CNN Sports, Patrick Snell is here with me to explain all of this. You know this guy better than anybody because you are among those who grew up with him, watching him. A fan.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: I grew up "Match of the Day," a national institution, Fred, you're quite right in the United Kingdom.

Lineker, of course, the revered former player as well, but they used that word "chaos," chaos Lineker pulled off, the iconic "Match of the Day" show that he has hosted, in fact, since 1999. This is a football highlights program. We would all gather around the TV back in the day to watch. It has been around for decades as well.

But here's what's important. It was watched by about 60 percent of the British population, that's around 40 million people if you actually take into account watching it over mobile technology as well.


SNELL: It is that Lineker, highly popular, very famous indeed, a highly talented former player, the leading scorer in fact to beat Mexico 1986 World Cup, then turning his hand very successful indeed to broadcasting, but here is what else is in play and this is really important, Fred, because we're seeing the battle between impartiality and free speech.

To recap this past week, the British government is announcing its controversial new asylum seekers policy with the Home Secretary saying, "They will not stop coming here until the world knows that if you enter Britain illegally, you will be detained and swiftly removed back to your country if it is safe, or a safe third country such as Rwanda."

Now in response, Lineker, on Twitter: "This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 1930s."

Now the BBC, which is Britain's public broadcaster, and bound by what it calls due impartiality, saying the 62-year-old out walking his dog on Sunday had breached his social media guidelines by criticizing government policy.

Lineker, as we see there, on Sunday -- on Saturday, he was actually at one of his former teams, Leicester City's home games, their fans there weighing in on what has become a really hot button issue for so many in the UK right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I disagree with the whole banning element. I think it's -- yes, he has a right to reflect what other people think.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I support him. I'm glad to see that all the players and the pundits are supporting him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You should be able to say what you want to say. But you know, I think you have to take things into context and I don't think he's really done that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's just expressing an opinion, which happens to be at loggerheads with what the government said.


SNELL: Fans at Leicester City on Saturday. So Fred, what happens next? Well, we've seen programming disrupted with "Match of the Day's" replacement last night, Saturday night in the UK airing, it was kind of surreal to observe actually, Fred, there was no presenter. There were no pundits, they were not even match commentaries at all.

Same set as well for tonight's airing and so many players as well, former players who act as pundits on the "Match of the Day" show coming out in support of Lineker in solidarity with him and the BBC says Lineker, and this is important, he is a freelance broadcaster for the corporation has -- this is how they put it, "He has stepped back from presenting until there's an agreement on clear position of his use of social media."

So, I think a case of watch this space very carefully indeed. It is showing no sign of abating as of right now and people want answers. People want quick resolution to this one way or the other.

WHITFIELD: While his fans making it really clear they want him to step back in.

SNELL: We will stay across it. He is very, very popular, but he's also not afraid of coming out with his opinions on topics that are so important to so many people.

WHITFIELD: We see that. All right, Patrick Snell, thanks so much.

We'll be right back.



WHITFIELD: Two Minneapolis Police officers are being recognized for their quick thinking after rescuing an elderly couple from a burning home. The officers were the first to arrive at the scene and sprang into action without any protective gear.

CNN's Adrienne Broaddus reports.


ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): As smoke from a burning home in Minneapolis filled the sky.


BROADDUS (voice over): A couple in their 80s was in danger.

TYNER: It was a Two Alarm fire.

BROADDUS (voice over): But before this fire crew arrived.

OFFICER: Police, anyone in here? Call out.

BROADDUS (voice over): Officers Zachery Randall and Jamal Mitchell were finishing a call nearby. They were the first to respond.

OFFICER: Five ten, start me fire or send me EMS. I've got someone upstairs calling for help. OFFICER ZACHERY RANDALL, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE DEPARTMENT: There was

confusion. I mean, it was like, okay, guys. The house is on fire. We need to get out.

OFFICER: Come on out. Get down. Get down. Get down. Get down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't have any shoes on.

OFFICER: That's okay. Get out.

JAMAL MITCHELL, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE DEPARTMENT: I remember stepping in that house and just seeing a thick cloud of smoke not being able to breathe normally.

OFFICER: That's okay. Get out. Get down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's some sprinkles going off. That's why my feet are wet.

OFFICER: That's okay.

RANDALL: So I just kind of grabbed her by her hands and I just kind of helped her down the stairwell.

OFFICER: Are you alone, ma'am?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, my husband is right behind me.

RANDALL: So that was lucky too that he was right behind her on that because I don't know how we would have found anyone, much less without respirators or any of the fire equipment.

CHIEF BRIAN O'HARA, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE DEPARTMENT: Police officers are not trained to run into fires. They are not equipped with the protective equipment and breathing apparatus to go into a fire.

MITCHELL: We were not trained to run into fires, but we are trained to put others' lives in front of ours. So when we found out possibly that someone was in that house, we didn't second guess running in to make sure no one was in there.

O'HARA: But I mean, three days before Officer Mitchell was in this situation, I had literally just sworn him in as a police officer. So he was brand new.

MITCHELL: Third day on the street for Minneapolis, yes.

O'HARA: You know, I'm incredibly thankful for Officers Randall and Mitchell and just impressed.

BROADDUS (voice over): And so is the Fire Chief, Brian Tyner, who said it took two hours to fight this fire, which is now an arson investigation.

TYNER: The witnesses actually saw somebody throw an incendiary device through the window. BROADDUS (voice over): Flames burnt through the roof, leaving this

massive hole.

TYNER: Oh, it could have been pretty tragic. I mean, it honestly could have resulted in a fire death. We're very fortunate that they were where they were.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Okay. I'm cold yes.

OFFICER: We got shoes out here for you, ma'am.

RANDALL: I think we were fortunate enough to be in the right spot at the right time on someone's most unfortunate day, and we were just able to help someone out.

OFFICER: Is there anyone else in the house, guys?



BROADDUS (voice over): Adrienne Broaddus, CNN, Minneapolis.


WHITFIELD: Wow. Heroes indeed.

All right, thank you so much for joining me today. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

The CNN NEWSROOM continues with Jim Acosta after this.