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CNN International: Judge in Texas Announces Hearing in Medication Abortion Fight; Donald Trump Won't Testify in Hush Money Probe; Trump Campaigns in Iowa; Storm Batters Southern Africa, At Least 99 Dead in Malawi; Host Gary Lineker Returning Amid Impartiality Row. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired March 14, 2023 - 04:30   ET



SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And then it's very important to remember that it would have to Russia that hands over these individual who are call for search warrants or whatever it maybe. It would have to be handed over by Moscow, of course, that means almost impossible that that would happen.

And you have remember almost with the ICC takes many, many years, right. So for many this is a largely symbolic gesture at this point, but that's also why you see Ukraine taking its own steps domestically when it captures those soldiers, those Russian soldiers, as well as to try to see how again it can bring justice to these families who have suffered.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR: Salma, thank you.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you. Just ahead, a U.S. judge has announced a hearing in a medication abortion fight after reports that he sought to delay publicizing the proceedings.

NOBILO: Plus, Donald Trump hits the campaign trail in the early voting state of Iowa and he says he won't cut Social Security or Medicare and he made this pledge.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise, I will prevent World War III. Because I really believe we are going to have World War III.



NOBILO: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Bianca Nobilo.

FOSTER: I'm Max Foster. If you are just joining us, let me bring you up to date with our top stories this hour.

Nearly 50 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and flood watches in two different storm systems. California will see more rain and snow after last week's storms already battled the state. While a nor'easter is slamming New England and parts of New York and New Jersey.


The U.S. Treasury Department says they're seeing positive signs of the federal emergency backstop put in place by the Biden administration are working to protect lenders and depositors, this as the U.S. president vows to make sure that Americans can count on a safe banking system following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

NOBILO: A federal judge in Texas has scheduled a hearing Wednesday in a case seeking to overturn the approval of an abortion pill. The announcement comes after reports that he had privately sought to delay the announcement of the hearing. CNN's Jessica Schneider has the details.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: A case with major implications for the future of abortion in the U.S. will be heard in a Texas federal courtroom Wednesday morning. And this judge could ultimately decide to block access to an abortion pill that is used in the majority of abortions nationwide. So, this makes it the biggest abortion case since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year.

Now Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, he actually announced this hearing after some controversy over his handling of the case. Because news reports over the weekend detailed how he held a status conference with the parties involved on Friday and did schedule arguments in this case. But then asked all the attorneys to not disclose when this hearing would be. The judge had reportedly said that he wanted to give limited notice to the public in on the to reduce the chances of major protests.

But of course, word did get out and then the judge publicly announced that this hearing will be Wednesday morning. And there have been other questions surrounding this judge. He was a staunch antiabortion advocate before he was nominated to the bench by former President Trump.

And the plaintiffs in this case, an anti-abortion group, they specifically filed their case in this court many speculate, because Judge Kacsmaryk is the only judge that handles cases at this court. So, there is a lot on the line in this politically charged case that really could affect millions of women who might rely on medication abortions now and in the future and this hearing will play out in that Texas courtroom on Wednesday with a decision in this case sometime after that.

Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE) FOSTER: Donald Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen will be back in

front of a grand jury in New York on Wednesday. He testified for three hours on Monday about Trump's alleged hush money payments to adult porn star Stormy Daniels.


MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER ATTORNEY FOR DONALD TRUMP: This is not revenge, right. What this is, is about accountability. I don't want to see anybody including Donald Trump indicted, prosecuted, convicted, incarcerated simply because I fundamentally disagree with him. This is about accountability. He needs to be held accountable for his dirty deeds.


FOSTER: Trump's current attorney says the former president will not testify before the grand jury. Prosecutors are weighing whether to charge Trump with falsifying Trump Organization business records in paying Daniels.


JOE TACOPINA, ATTORNEY FOR DONALD TRUMP: We are distorting laws to try and bag President Trump. I don't know because he's leading in all the polls, I don't know what it is. But clearly this prosecutor and this prosecutor's office has made an agenda of trying to get him. They've scoured his personal life and business life for seven years to try to find something. I still hold out hope that justice will prevail.

The crucial distinction is separating campaign funds from personal funds. Could you imagine, Sean, where we'd be tonight if President Trump had used campaign funds to make this payment? Oh my God, they'd be calling for his scalp. Instead, he did everything the right way, he did nothing wrong as he has said repeatedly.


FOSTER: Trump isn't letting his legal troubles keep him from the campaign trail. He spent Monday night in Iowa railing against his possible rival Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

FOSTER: CNN's Kristen Holmes -- I don't know why interrupted that was so weird.


KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Former President Donald Trump making his first trip to Iowa since announcing his third run for the White House.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm thrilled to be back in the great state of Iowa.

HOLMES (voice-over): And leaning into his education platform as the topic becomes a political flashpoint. TRUMP: I will fight for parents' rights.

HOLMES (voice-over): Becoming the latest 2024 Republican hopeful to visit the crucial early state.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): I'll build the wall myself. I'll do it. Just let me at him. We'll get it done.

HOLMES (voice-over): As Trump looks to build support for his campaign, he's facing fresh criticism from his former running mate and potential future rival, with Mike Pence leveling his sharpest rebuke yet of Trump's role in the January 6th attack. The former vice president taking these comments.

MIKE PENCE, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: I've also made it clear that President Trump was wrong. I had no right to overturn the election. And his words that day were reckless and they endangered my family and others at the Capitol.

HOLMES: And going a step further during a private speech in Washington saying, quote, I know that history will hold Donald Trump accountable for January 6th.

Pence who had to be rushed to a secure location at the Capitol during the riot also scolding Republicans seeking to minimize the events of that day. The remarks coming after Fox host Tucker Carlson aired selective footage from January 6th in an attempt to downplay the violence.


TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: These were not insurrectionists, they were sightseers.

HOLMES (voice-over): According to the U.S. Capitol Police, 140 officers from various departments were assaulted that day.

Pence telling dinner attendees, quote, tourists don't injure 140 police officers to sightseeing. Tourist don't break down doors to get to the speaker of the House. What happened that day was a disgrace and it mocks decency to portray it in any other way.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who gave Carlson exclusive access to the tapes, once again defending his decision following the Pence comments.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA) U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: My goal here is transparency. And we will slowly roll out to every individual news agency they can come see the tapes as well.

HOLMES (voice-over): Even as Pence splits with Trump on January 6th, the former vice president attorney's have asked a judge to block a federal grand jury subpoena for his testimony related to the events that day.

HOLMES: Now former President Trump responded to Pence's remarks on the way to Iowa to a small group of reporters aboard his plane. Telling the "Washington Post" that Pence was at least in part to blame

for the events on January 6 saying, quote, had he sent the votes back to the state legislatures, they wouldn't have had a problem with January 6 so in many ways he can blame him for January 6.

Now of course, as we have reported, and Pence has said on multiple occasions that he did not have the legal authority to send those votes back to the state legislatures. And I will note that during Trump's speech, he also attacked another potential 2024 rival Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who was in the state of Iowa last week.

Kriste Holmes, CNN, Davenport, Iowa.


NOBILO: A state of disaster is declared In Malawi after a cyclone Freddy devastates parts of the country. We have a live report from the region.



NOBILO: Two people are dead and nine are injured after a man drove a pickup truck into pedestrians and Quebec, Canada on Monday.

FOSTER: Now the 38-year-old driver later surrendered to police and was arrested. It's unclear if the crash was an accident or intentional. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent his condolences to those affected by the tragedy.

You are looking at video of the aftermath of cyclone Freddy in Mozambique, which was hit for the second time by a storm in just a matter of weeks.

NOBILO: And this dramatic video of a waterspout forming over Lake Malawi, on Monday, at least 99 people in Malawi were killed by the storm. And CNN's Larry Madowo is following the storm and its aftermath. He joins us now from Nairobi, Kenya. And, Larry, talk to us about what the people and authorities are having to deal with. Because this country is already struggling. I understand, it's in the midst of the biggest cholera outbreak in the world. So, obviously, the recovery and assistant is going to be key.

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Bianca, even though topical cyclone Freddie has already made landfall twice in southern Africa, the worst is not over yet. Authorities in Malawi are warning that the risk of very damaging winds and heavy flooding is still high and that could go on for another 28 to 48 hours.

The reason why tropical cyclone Freddy is this damaging is because it already hit southern Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Malawi with torrential rains and strong winds. Sometimes, as strong as 148 kilometers per hour. In Malawi alone, 99 people died. In Madagascar, about ten. The exact number is unknown because search and rescue operations are still going around in parts of southern Africa. And, how strong is cyclone Freddy? It can be compared to a hurricane

category five Atlantic hurricane. That's how bad it is. And in fact, the World Meteorologist Organization says that it's already packed more energy than a typical U.S. Atlantic hurricane season. So, this is actually on track to be the longest running tropical cyclone on record. It will take some time until it dissipates before experts a look at.

But when you look at the damage in Malawi, for instance, where some of the worst affected areas in southern Malawi, including the commercial Blantyre, roads have been uprooted. People have been essentially submerged because of these mudslides and home swept away. And the exact number are unknown because authorities are still waiting until it's safe to go into some of these places that look that who was affected, and the many people have died. But the health minister says, that it's on the verge of getting overwhelmed. Listen.


KHUMBIZE KANDODO CHIPONDA, MALAWI HEALTH MINISTER: We are doing our best to manage the situation, because we're receiving questions to -- like to every five minutes. We're almost overwhelmed. In fact, we are very fortunate that we had the erected distance last year, due to COVID, but now we have turned them to, you know, cater for this crisis with us they have befallen out.


MADOWO: This further exasperates the color crisis that Malawi has been suffering, more than 1,500 people died. And this will just make it worse because health facilities are strained, as the health minister was talking about their. And they still expect that the number of the dead could rise. We are expecting another update in the next hours or so once we have more -- Bianca, Max.

NOBILO: Larry Madowo, live from Nairobi. Thank you.

FOSTER: A NASA study finds water disasters, where there's too much rain or too little are getting worse because of global warming.

NOBILO: NASA found that extreme events grow in severity and frequency as the planet saw record temperatures in the year since 2015. They say it will only intensify as the climate crisis accelerates. The study was published Monday in a scientific journal just as California suffered its 11th atmospheric river so far this season.

FOSTER: Up next, boy meets world star, Ben Savage tells CNN why he's decided to run for Congress. We'll hear from him just ahead.



NOBILO: Just days after announcing his run for Congress, after Ben Savage tell CNN that he is hoping to bring new and positive leadership to Washington. FOSTER: It seems the 1990 sitcom star got an early start to

campaigning during his role on "Boy Meets World." That the show?

NOBILO: That is the show.

FOSTER: Take a look.


BEN SAVAGE, ACTOR, "BOY MEETS WORLD": Students who struggle day after day with too much homework, unfair teachers and an antiquated justice system that relies too much on detention. And if elected, if I win and you guys vote for me, I would say to each and every one of you, hey, thanks!


NOBILO: That's what I was like as a child.

FOSTER: I'm thinking how well the producers did to find that particular clip.


FOSTER: Savage is now seeking a role in the world of politics running as a Democrat to become a member of Congress with AIDS California seat currently held by Adam Schiff, who is making a run for the U.S. Senate. Savage spoke with CNN.


BEN SAVAGE, U.S. DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: I think we need to focus on electing young passionate candidates who want to bring some real change and want to find solutions to the country. I was at Stanford majoring in political science and it was a wonderful opportunity to go to D.C. and kind of get a firsthand look at what - you know, how the system works. I certainly learned a lot. And, yes, it was an exciting time. But again, I think that it is always an exciting time to be in D.C. There's so much going on. And we need new leadership that wants to actually work on some solutions for this country.


NOBILO: So, I didn't realize that he had interned for political figures and also, he did study political science at university. So clearly it's been quite a long term interest.

FOSTER: I think he should go back to has campaigning style in the series. I think that would work.

NOBILO: I think that was very effective, yes. That would really punch through.

The BBC's flagship "Match of the Day" will have its long-time host Gary Lineker back this weekend after his suspension for criticizing the U.K.'s new plan regarding asylum seekers. Lineker thanked his supporters for their solidarity during his suspension.


But the uproar over the network's impartiality or lack thereof, as well as freedom of speech is now far from over. The BBC announced a review of its social media guidance for freelancers which Lineker says that he supports.

FOSTER: Did you watch his show over the weekend?

NOBILO: I will be honest, I don't ever watch "Match of the Day."

FOSTER: It was laterally a football show without any commentators. It was just football.

NOBILO: But it had a great rating because people were curious how they would do it without humans to present. A really good precedent for us.

FOSTER: What would you have, just raw --

NOBILO: Just news.

FOSTER: News -- I was about to say it was scripted again.

NOBILO: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will soon become a Las Vegas Raider, according to reports from the NFL Network and ESPN.

FOSTER: The free agent move won't be officially announced until Wednesday at the earliest which is the start of the league's new year. Garoppolo led the 49ers to the Super Bowl three years ago when they fell to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The first NCAA tournament games they kick off today. And for millions of college basketball fans, it means filling out their brackets and hoping their predictions are correct.

NOBILO: But no one's ever got a perfect bracket. And if you want to try the odds are very remote. It's 1 in 9 quintillion. That's a 9 followed by 18 zeros. The current record for the longest streak of correct predictions in a tournament is 49,000.

FOSTER: Wow, they deserve a prize just for that.

NOBILO: They do. And finally, there'll be a new edition to U.S. school cafeterias starting with school. Then a major new initiative Kraft Heinz Lunchables will soon be a part of national school lunch programs.

FOSTER: And our food segment, the company says these Lunchables will be different from the ones sold in grocery stores. They'll have improved nutrition that meet federal guidelines. Children can also look forward to two new varieties, turkey and cheddar cracker stackers and extra cheesy pizza. I never had these growing up. So, this is your department.

NOBILO: I think from that delivery you're an obvious spokesperson.

FOSTER: Thanks for joining us. I'm Max Foster.

NOBILO: And I'm Bianca Nobilo. "EARLY START" is up next. And we'll see you tomorrow.