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More Protests in Israel After Netanyahu Fires Defense Minister; Mississippi Governor Tours Tornado Damage with Heads of FEMA, DHS; Trump Casts 2024 as the Final Battle During Rally in Waco, Texas; Philadelphia Officials Monitoring Water Supply after Chemical Spill; All Three Major Indexes Rose to End the Week Despite Economic Uncertainty. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired March 26, 2023 - 19:00   ET



JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: You're alive in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington.

We begin this hour in Israel where protesters are packing the streets of Tel Aviv after a stunning act of political retaliation by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He just fired his defense minister after that minister broke ranks by suggesting a pause on some of the controversial judicial reforms Netanyahu is trying to push through in that country.

The response has been swift and clear. Israel's counsel general is in New York, he is resigning in protest, and now Israeli universities are going on strike. Already three other ministers, all members of Netanyahu's own party, suggests halting the controversial reforms.

Let's now go to journalist Elliott Gotkine. He's in Tel Aviv for us.

Elliott, it looks like these demonstrations are growing. They're building. What are the -- what are the protesters want?

ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: They want an end to this judicial overhaul, Jim. That's what they've been calling for for the past three months or so that they've been protesting. And that's what they want even more. Now that the Defense minister Yoav Gallant has lost his job because he became the first minister to come out from this government to call for a pause in this judicial overhaul.

And as you say, other ministers are also saying that they would potentially support a pause, too, and they may not seem like a large number of ministers but it's important to remember that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government has 64 out of 120 seats in the Knesset. It only takes five of presumably members of his party because the ultrareligious parties and the more nationalistic parties are seen as less than likely to agree to some kind of pause to this overhaul.

So it only takes five people to prevent Netanyahu from getting this overhaul through parliament. And tomorrow morning there are more elements in this judicial overhaul that are supposed to make further progress through the Knesset parliament.

As for here in Tel Aviv this evening, I've been here all night ever since this started. There were tens of thousands, possibly more people earlier this evening, protesting and demonstrating their opposition to the government. Things are thinning out now, as you can expect. It is around 2:00 in the morning. There were a number of fires lit. You can see one just over there over my shoulder.

A number of fires lit here and on the main highway that goes through Tel Aviv. And police haven't really seemed that interested. Excuse me. And leaving things on. So protesters now you can see they're walking past me. They seem to be thinning out. While there's still a couple of 1,000 or so hardcore protesters here on the Island Highway and in central Tel Aviv. Things seem to be thinning out.

But things seem to be just escalating. For Monday as you say universities planning to go on strike. The Histadrut, the main labor union in Israel, has called for a general strike, and obviously we'll be waiting to see if any more ministers will break cover and follow Yoav Gallant's example, even though they've seen what Netanyahu did to him. So that could be dissuading some people from his party, the Likud Party, from coming out against this judicial overhaul.

But we'll see as things gather, as protests gather, as more people protest and other actions are taken, such as general strikes and the like. Then this could put more and more pressure on Netanyahu so that he finally does agree or accede to some kind of pause in this judicial overhaul. But of course you never know with Netanyahu. He is the wiliest of political operators and one can only assume that he feels that he knows what he's doing -- Jim.

ACOSTA: All right, Elliott Gotkine on those building protests, those demonstrations that have been growing trying to force Netanyahu to back down. We're not seeing any signs of that just yet. Elliott Gotkine, thank you very much.

Now to Mississippi where destruction is just everywhere, and there is a new threat looming overhead. Severe storms with potential of spinning off tornadoes hangs over much of the tornado ravaged state. Some 30 million people fall under this new threat. This new drone video we're going to show you here from Mississippi's emergency management agency. You can see it right there shows the bleak landscape left behind by Friday night's tornado outbreak.

Twenty-five people are confirmed killed in the state. Another victim in Alabama today. The secretary of Homeland Security toured the area along with other top federal officials. They vowed to stand by these devastated communities now and into the future.


DEANNE CRISWELL, FEMA ADMINISTRATOR: This is going to be a long-term recovery event, and we can see just where we're standing here that one of the major issues that we're going to face is housing. And how do we help. Our number one concerns is still life safety, because you look around here and you look at the debris, I just really encourage everybody to remain vigilant. Stay cautious.


ACOSTA: Let's go to CNN's Nick Valencia, who is in Rolling Fork for us tonight.


NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jim, with all of those who were unaccounted for on Saturday now being found, the focus entirely here in Rolling Fork is on the cleanup effort. There is debris scattered everywhere in this small community of about 2,000 residents, and it's something that the governor of Mississippi said will take some time. He spoke earlier today at a press conference and underscored just how everyone here in this community is chipping in.

It's something that we've noticed as well, even those who have had their homes completely just leveled by this tornado that ripped through here on Friday night are chipping in to help. We spoke to the vice mayor who'd also lost her home, she said, though, she was out giving meals to her constituents yesterday and is continuing that today. It's something that the governor underscored during his press conference earlier.


GOV. TATE REEVES (R), MISSISSIPPI: What we've seen over the last 36 hours in Mississippi, on the one hand, has been heartbreaking to see the loss and devastation of these communities, but on the other hand has been inspiring, and gives me great reason for optimism and quite frankly, it makes me damn proud to be a Mississippian because Mississippians have done what Mississippians do in times of tragedy, in times of crisis, they stand up and they show up.


VALENCIA: Part of what's giving us a better understanding of the scope of this devastation is the aerial footage, which shows that very little of this 2,000-resident community was untouched by the storm that ripped through here on Friday, and with the threat of another round of severe weather later this evening there are many people here in this community who are nervous -- Jim.

ACOSTA: Thanks, Nick.

Let's take a closer look at the severe weather threat that's unfolding at this hour. Meteorologist Britley Ritz is in the CNN Weather Center.

Britley, it does not look good for a huge part of the south and southeast. What can you tell us?

BRITLEY RITZ, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Unfortunately these storms, Jim, are really starting to ramp up now ahead of the cold front and right along the stationary boundary that's been sitting across Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia right on up into the Carolinas. A lot of lightning associated with these and yes, they are severe. You'll see areas highlighted in an orange box. That's a severe thunderstorm warning, but we've had a handful of tornado warnings, too.

Notice the red now extended back into parts of Alabama, Birmingham south. That's in addition to the tornado watches that we've already had. This extends all the way until 1:00 Central Time where tornadoes are a possibility. Notice some of the stronger storms now across central Louisiana back into central Alabama. This is going to be an ongoing situation throughout the rest of the night and into early morning hours.

Tornadoes, wind, hail, numerous reports over the last 24 hours in the same area dealing with it once again. This evening areas highlighted in red, Alexandria to Montgomery, Jackson, Mississippi, included. A couple long lived tornadoes. We're talking EF-3 or higher, or winds are gusting over 100 miles per hour. Also large hail. We've already had hail reports of two inches in parts of Mississippi.

Reports coming in from the National Weather Service, and strong damaging winds extending from Georgia up into the Carolinas through the overnight hours and early tomorrow morning, so strong storms now through the overnight and into tomorrow morning, then pushing down into the Florida panhandle and back on over into the Carolinas.

Not only the threat for tornadoes and hail and wind but flooding. We've had areas just continue to deal with this rain and two to four more inches a possibility -- Jim.

ACOSTA: All right. Britley Ritz, thank you very much.

I want to bring in a local leader from Rolling Fork, LaDonna Sias. Sias is the mayor -- the city's vice mayor, I should say, and an alderman.

LaDonna, thank you so much for being on the phone with us at this hour. What do you think? We just heard from our meteorologist here about the severe weather threat. Are you seeing this right now where you are?

LADONNA SIAS, VICE MAYOR, ROLLING FORK, MISSISSIPPI (via phone): Well actually earlier maybe around 5:00, 5:00-ish, it started to rain and it started to thunder. And of course, you know, I was like, oh, my god, you know, so, but I think now the rain has passed, so we're just, you know, kind of sitting on pins and needles.

ACOSTA: I'm sure you are. But what about the devastation? We're showing some of our images that we have coming in from Saturday. It just looks unbelievable. It looks like a war zone there. You had a chance to get around the community. What does it look like to you?

SIAS: And you know what? And actually the pictures and what you see does not give a clear picture of what actually happened. I was actually out today, of course, you know, doing what we do in this serving people, but it is totally, totally devastating. It looks as if an explosion has happened, you know? And I -- and you are doing a great job as far as coverage. But if you could actually see it yourself, I was actually on the (INAUDIBLE) today, you know, going throughout the neighborhood, and all you could say is, oh, my god. Wow. Oh, my god. Wow.


You know when you talk to the people, when you hear of their stories, you know, what they were actually doing when the storm hit them, and relocated them to a part of the house that is no longer there. You know what I'm saying? You know, it's devastating.

ACOSTA: Absolutely.

SIAS: It's totally, totally heart wrenching. Totally heartbreaking. But, you know, even out of all of this, all of this, that is happening I have seen so many people come together from other communities from your local communities. Everybody is banding together and we are getting it done. Being there for each other because that's what we do in Rolling Fork. We're going to be here for each other.

ACOSTA: Well, that's good, LaDonna, because it looks as though you're going to need the help for weeks and months to come. Today President Biden approved the disaster declaration for Mississippi. We saw the head of FEMA, Homeland Security there touring Rolling Fork. Are you seeing enough from the federal government? What do you need? Would you like to see President Biden come for a visit?

SIAS: That will be actually great. But you know what, we really need right now, and we have gotten a great supply of water. We've gotten a great supply of people, you know, boots on the ground, preparing meals everywhere you go throughout the town. You see people preparing meals. Everybody's friendly. Everybody's really being optimistic, but, you know, having to consider those families that have lost loved ones, I mean, I just can't imagine being in their shoes.

I'm already suffering from a total devastation. I have lost everything that I worked all of my life for and then to be told that my loved one was actually killed in the tornado, so that's totally devastating. So what we, in my opinion, you know, what we need to see, we need to make sure that those people that are displaced that no longer have any type of structure, they need immediate, immediate housing.

They need some type of business and it's not like a five-day of business or 10-day of business. They need some long-term assistance. So in the process of us trying to rebuild or, you know, resettle, we need to be able to actually be somewhere. Wow, we're going through this transition phase of trying to rebuild, you know.


SIAS: So, I mean, housing. I mean, there was a literally a neighborhood that when you go down the street, there's literally no houses on that street. There's no houses on their street. So where are those people going? You know, if I don't have a loved one that actually go stay with or I got to go out of town -- so we need some type of systems here in Rolling Fort that can provide some type of housing for those people that have literally lost everything. They've lost everything. ACOSTA: Wow. Well, LaDonna, we appreciate you getting the word out

because hopefully there are folks here in Washington and around the country listening as your community of Rolling Fork, Mississippi, needs some help desperately and fast.

LaDonna, thanks so much for your time. We appreciate it. Best of luck to you. Our hearts go out to your community. Thanks for your time tonight.

SIAS: Thank you so kind, sir.

ACOSTA: We appreciate it.

And for more information on how you can help the storm victims in Mississippi, go to You'll find some information there on how you can help.

In the meantime, severe weather also wreaking havoc on parts of west Georgia. The governor declaring a state of emergency in that state after a tornado injured at least three people and damaged as many as 100 homes in and around the community of Lagrange. The stretch of Interstate 85 was shut down after debris fell on the highway. The storm also allowed -- get this -- two tigers to escape from their enclosures at an animal safari park. Both were eventually found and returned safely to that facility.

Donald Trump is giving fact-checkers a workout this weekend. A closer look at how his dangerous rhetoric can have an influence and an impact on his supporters. We'll talk about that next.

Also, new worries about banks, inflation and interest rates. What it all means and how markets might react tomorrow. Plus concerns about the water supply in Philadelphia after a chemical spill there. A live update from the scene is just ahead.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



ACOSTA: Fact-checkers have already weighed in on the litany of lies from Donald Trump's rally yesterday in Waco, Texas, but his speech also offered a large helping of dark and divisive rhetoric.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And 2024 is the final battle that's going to be the big one. Our enemies are desperate to stop us because they know that we are the only ones who can stop them. All of the hatred, rage and contempt, the radical left has for you and your values, and this nation, has been very much directed on me. Either the deep state destroys America or we destroy the deep state. They're not coming after me. They're coming after you. And I'm just standing in their way.


ACOSTA: Joining us now two of our CNN political analysts, Maria Cardona, Democratic strategist, and Alice Stewart, Republican strategist. They are both hosts on the podcast "Hot Mics from Left to Right."

Alice, you know, before the rally, Trump was on Truth Social talking about potential death and destruction if he's indicted in Manhattan. You tweeted about that. But, you know, during this rally in Waco, Texas, of all places, he's calling the 2024 election the final battle. You know, it sounds like he's gone full blown cult leader himself.




ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Look, it's going to continue. He's going to continue to be divisive because it has worked for him in the past, at least in a primary election. Here's the disturbing thing about this. If you go back and look at that speech, it was so much about him. It was so much about his personal problems and his personal grievances.

ACOSTA: Shocker.

STEWART: Right. As opposed to American prosperity and the future of America. But he will continue to do so. The concern is, his calls for death and destruction are backfiring with an important aspect of the GOP electorate. And that is the people that have been disaffected by him and disenfranchised by him that could potentially come back to the GOP, and that's not going to happen.

Even one of his very strong media allies the "New York Post" is calling him out on this for his talk of death and destruction in light of the Manhattan D.A.'s prosecution and potential indictment. The "New York Post," a friendly ally of his, says that is reckless. That is unhinged is what they're saying. And they say, look, he has other avenues if he doesn't like the Manhattan D.A.'s decision. He can go to court as he always does and appeal that, but he doesn't need to be inciting a riot and calling for death and destruction.

ACOSTA: Yes, Maria, I mean, what did you see from last night? I mean, we should point out the Manhattan D.A.'s. office got an envelope containing a white powder and a death threat. The powder turned out to be harmless, but it, you know, it goes without saying that the threat atmosphere is being elevated in part because of what Trump is doing.

CARDONA: There's no question about that, Jim. What we have seen from Donald Trump's recent rhetoric and what he did at that rally in Waco is that this primary process, the Republican primary process is going to be more toxic, more divisive, more disgusting, and all of that wouldn't even be as bad except for, because we all knew this was going to happen. It's also going to be incredibly dangerous. And that's not something that Donald Trump understands. But what's

even worse about that, it's not something that Republican leaders understand or, frankly, even care about. I have not seen any Republican leader call him out. The "New York Post" may have, and there have been other outlets that have, but Republican leaders in Congress continue to genuflect at the altar of Donald Trump.

As long as they do that there is a danger that he is going to win the Republican primary because, while my dear friend Alice really wishes that these commonsense Republicans are the ones that have the power in the Republican primary process, we know that it's the MAGA voters that were there worshiping him at the rally yesterday.

STEWART: Talking with a lot of high-level GOP operatives, they look at this, specifically ones who are on other potential 2024 candidates, they look at Donald Trump as bat S-H-I-T crazy. They also look at him as a man with no power, that is punch drunk and continues to make these punches and eventually they feel as though this will backfire on him because the majority of the Republican Party outside of the MAGA base, they're looking for someone who espouses his policies and his political policies but without the tone and tenor that he is putting forth.

Unfortunately, what we're seeing a lot of them given what happens when you oppose Donald Trump, they are hesitant at this stage to speak out. They're not going to get out of their bunker. And the tone and the tenor basically is, they're going to keep their mouth shut and their powder dry, and their prayers high that most voters realize it is definitely time to turn the page.

ACOSTA: It sounds like the same thing we heard in 2016.

CARDONA: Exactly.

STEWART: Right. Right.

ACOSTA: Wishful thinking.

CARDONA: Exactly. The wishful thinking. You know, again, the Republican Party seems to really rely on thoughts and prayers quite a bit, and it has not worked for them, and it didn't work for them in 2018, in 2020. Didn't work for them in 2016 when there were so many who knew how toxic Donald Trump was going to be. And so they -- I understand the strategy, them wanting to keep their powder dry and especially somebody like DeSantis because everyone is criticizing him.

I think he deserves it because he hasn't really said a whole lot. He's not in the race yet, but I don't think he's figured out. I don't think anyone's figured out how to go against Donald Trump without getting bloodied, without alienating the MAGA base, which they need in order to win, and that I think, right, there is the key. The MAGA base because strategists don't matter. Donors don't matter. Republican leaders don't matter. It's the voters that matter, and right now, Donald Trump is actually rising in the polls.

ACOSTA: Yes. CARDONA: Every single poll and average in the polls that you've seen

that have done head-to-head between DeSantis and Donald Trump, DeSantis has gone down 12 points. Trump has gone up 15 points. That's not the kind of I think average, the commonsense Republicans want to see.

STEWART: And keep in mind, as you said, DeSantis is not in yet, and once he gets in, he has a phenomenal team on board.


Now he is going to go all in, full bore. He's going to focus on policies. He's going to punch back on Donald Trump when it's necessary, but the key right now for many of these candidates is to keep your head low and until your campaign is ready to go full speed ahead, it's best to just stay out of the firing line of Donald Trump and focused again on the policies and not the (INAUDIBLE).

ACOSTA: Well, and we saw Ron DeSantis just a little bit in this past week, you know, sort of hint at a strategy that he might take where he was going after the Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg just a little bit, but at the same time he kept mentioning this porn star hush money payment to Stormy Daniels and so on. So he is working. He was working in some digs at Trump.

The question is --

CARDONA: Will it work?

ACOSTA: Is it enough?



CARDONA: Because what the other thing we saw in 2016 is you saw candidates that tried to go full bore. Marco Rubio, didn't work for him. Then you saw candidates that try to ignore him, and they were knocked out at the very beginning. And so again, I don't think that anyone, including DeSantis, who by the way is not very well liked and we don't know how well he's going to be, how he's going to do outside of Florida, they have no idea how to run against somebody like Donald Trump.

But I will tell you this. They could have had a much better opportunity to run against Donald Trump if the so-called leaders of the Republican Party in Congress had called him out and tried to bring him down when he was weak. He is now stronger than I think he has been since he lost the election.

ACOSTA: Well, it's early in the process, even if it doesn't feel that way.

CARDONA: Exactly.

ACOSTA: Maria and Alice, thank you very much. We appreciate you. STEWART: Thank you.

ACOSTA: Officials in Philadelphia say the water is safe after a chemical spill there, but people are still buying up bottled water. A live report is next.

You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.



ACOSTA: Residents in America's sixth largest city are watching for every update on their local water supply after a chemical spill in the Delaware River.

Officials in Philadelphia say they can vouch for its safety at least through tomorrow even though 8,000 gallons of latex finishing material spilled into the waterway on Friday.

CNN's Danny Freeman is there.

Danny, why are officials so confident that the drinking water is safe for the moment? Can you walk us through that? What's the plan for further testing?


The City of Philadelphia says without a doubt, the water that is in the taps right now is safe to drink, safe to cook with, but the reason that we're waiting -- they think about it in phases. So the water starts in the Delaware, then they have to let water into a basin. They let the basin fill up, then they test it for contaminants, then it gets treated and then it gets into our larger water system.

So what they've said is that the water that has been in the basin that is flowing into our water system now is safe and it will be safe up until midnight tomorrow, Monday night. But eventually, they will have to allow more water in from the Delaware River and that is why they're saying we're waiting and seeing to make sure there are no contaminants when they allow more water from the river in.

But again, like you said this actually happened, this contamination about 20 miles north of here in Bucks County in Bristol Township, and that was ultimately what -- it happened on Friday, and all of that, the Coast Guard came, the Pennsylvania Environmental Agency came in as well, all of that led to today when the city put out that alert this afternoon that said you know what, just out of an abundance of caution, everyone in Philadelphia who gets that water from the Delaware, so the majority of the city should actually try to use bottled water if they can.

There was a rush on almost all the supermarkets that we experienced here. Certainly, this one right behind me in South Philadelphia, but take a listen to what one resident, how he described the water chaos that happened in Philly this afternoon. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM GLEASON, PHILADELPHIA RESIDENT: Well, the other fallout, I mean, seeing the response in a concerned fashion. A lot of bars, people were drinking bottled water, walking around with a bottle of water. I saw people with cases of water.

My son told me, he went out and bought three gallon of water up the street from him at Broad and Tasker, and people were walking out with all kinds of water. His girlfriend got concerned and wanted us to bring water down from just the hill because the Schuylkill River wasn't affected by this, and that is what feeds our water system.


FREEMAN: Now, I should say, the company that has taken responsibility for this spill, they have been very upfront. They said that it was an equipment failure that led to that spill, and of course, they're working with other agencies to determine the level of contamination that may still be in the Delaware River.

But again, the message from the City of Philadelphia to the residents tonight is the water is safe to drink until at least for now, Monday night at midnight -- Jim.

ACOSTA: All right, Danny Freeman. Thanks for the update. We appreciate it.

This just in to CNN, a North Korean missile launch, a new one, just coming into us here at CNN. South Korea says North Korea launched at least one ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan. Japan says the suspected missile has fallen harmlessly into the water, but we wanted to at least give you that update that North Korea has apparently launched another ballistic missile.

If any new information comes in, we'll bring that to you.

In the meantime, the US Army has pulled some recruiting ads featuring actor, Jonathan Majors. New York Police say Majors who recently starred in "Creed 3," a very recognizable actor was arrested Saturday morning. He was arrested in connection with an alleged domestic dispute that includes charges of strangulation, assault, and harassment.

NYPD says the case involves a woman who called 9-1-1 from a Manhattan apartment. An attorney for Majors said the actor is completely innocent and the charges will be dropped.


ACOSTA: Inflation, interest rates, and a bank failure: What it means for your money and how markets might react tomorrow. We're going to be watching that. That's for sure. That's next in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ACOSTA: Despite lingering banking fears and rising interest rates, the stock market showed some resiliency this past week. All three major indexes rose to end the week.

CNN's Christine Romans takes a look at what's ahead.


The latest Federal Reserve meeting is in the rearview mirror, but the view ahead is still murky. The Fed raised interest rates for the ninth time in its inflation fight, but concerns bubbling in the banking sector kept that increase to 25 basis points.

And the Fed Chief, Jerome Powell signaled the Fed could be near the end of its rate hike cycle.


JEROME POWELL, US FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: We no longer state that we anticipate that ongoing rate increases will be appropriate to quell inflation. Instead, we now anticipate that some additional policy firming may be appropriate.



ROMANS: That banking uncertainty might be doing some of the work for the Fed as banks grow more cautious on lending to consumers and businesses.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think part of what the markets heard was not just that he hiked, but that they really debated it, and probably are leaning towards not doing more for a while.


ROMANS: What happens next? Well, it depends. It is a complicated, confusing picture in the economy.

The job market is strong, just look at layoffs. Despite what you hear in tech, layoffs overall are quite low.

Mortgage rates have doubled from a year ago, but have leveled off down for the second straight week, 6.42 percent for a 30-year fixed.

The Fed's inflation medicine is finally slowing the housing market. Home prices fell in February. For the first time in 11 years, price is down, not very much, but still a rare decline.

It all means every clue is even more significant. This week, we'll see the latest in consumer confidence, a revision to GDP, jobless claims, and the Fed's favorite inflation gauge, the PCE Price Index. And of course, it's all about the banks, will they be healthy? Can they stay strong? Is confidence back in the system after all that work from global Central Banks -- Jim.

ACOSTA: All right, our thanks, Christine, for that.

In the aftermath of the Silicon Valley Bank collapse, Americans are rightfully concerned about what to do with their money. You mix it in those never-ending recession concerns and rising interest rates that leads to a whole lot of economic anxiety.

Karen Lee joins us now she's a Certified Financial Planner.

Karen, everybody is worried about what to do right now with all of this economic turmoil going on. What advice do you have for people of any age?


There are a couple things everyone should be doing, and one thing is building up those emergency reserves that we know we're supposed to have three to six months, get that done maybe a little bit more and pay down your consumer debt quickly. Everyone should be reviewing their spending and their budget and tighten if necessary.

And remember with recessions if we go there, job loss is your greatest risk.

ACOSTA: And I know that sometimes the advice depends on what age group the person is coming from. So your advice for somebody in their 30s is going to be different from somebody in their 40s and 50s. Walk us through some of that. What would be your advice to those different age groups?

LEE: Absolutely. So if you're in your 30s, you might be looking for your first home or another home. If possible, I'd take a little break, give yourself some time. Let the market settle out, interest rates settle out. Make sure you check your interest rates on your credit cards and any student loans if they are private loans, or car loans, because companies can raise those on you. And then I would consider expanding your skills if you could, online certifications, anything to make your resume look better.

ACOSTA: And 40s? 50s? What should folks be doing there?

LEE: Yes.

ACOSTA: Probably a little bit more conservative --

LEE: So, 40s -- well and a bit more of the same. If there are major purchases, maybe take a break on that. But one thing I will say to this age group, resist the urge to stop contributing to your 401(k) because you feel like you see the values going down. This is an opportunity to get into the market. Dollar cost averaging at lower share prices. So make sure you do that. Again, I'd get your resume updated, I'd activate your network. And if you haven't yet, take a broad comprehensive look at your financial plan, especially if you're in your 50s and you still haven't. You still have time to plan for retirement. So take a look and don't put off changes you've been meaning to make.

ACOSTA: And I assume for older Americans, you're going to have to, you know, be a little bit more realistic about investing heavily in the stock market. You've got to roll that back a little bit, I imagine.

LEE: Absolutely.


LEE: Hopefully, if you're 60 and older, you're not heavily invested, maybe somewhat invested. Best thing for peace of mind is to keep your spending in check. Tighten your belt if you need to. If you're nervous about money that you do have in the market that you're living on, or you're required minimum distributions, consider taking a year to two years' worth and going ahead and liquidating it to cash. Leave it inside the IRA or whatever it's in, but go ahead and take a cash position.

We're not we're well above last year's inter-year lows, so not a bad idea. And you know, I always say if you listen to things, whether it is news or podcasts that get you fearful, turn that stuff off for the time being. Listen to some neutral news sources like CNN, for example.

And hopefully, don't worry for everyone. Don't worry, don't panic. You know, in all the financial crises I've been through and my 35 years, the issues are always a little bit different, but the outcome is. The same the economy comes back, the market comes back and the USA gets into a calm place again, it will happen. Just be patient.


ACOSTA: All right, that's a good word for where we are right now, patience.

Karen Lee, thanks a lot. We'll be right back.


ACOSTA: Actress and activist, Eva Longoria is proud of her Mexican roots and deeply connected to the country. She calls her second home.

Now, in her new CNN Original Series, "Searching for Mexico," Eva takes us on a journey across the country to see how its people, culture, and landscape and history have shaped its diverse cuisine.

I sat down with Eva to talk about her inspiration and vision for this terrific show.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) EVA LONGORIA, CNN HOST, "SEARCHING FOR MEXICO": Stanley Tucci and CNN came to me and they said, you know, I was such a fan of "Searching for Italy." I was like, oh my gosh, I remember, you know, it aired during COVID, so I already was like, "Ugh." Remember when we could travel?

ACOSTA: I was addicted, yes.

LONGORIA: Oh my God, it was such a beautiful show.

And so Stanley and CNN came, and they said, we want to do a spin off. They knew I was a foodie, they knew I cook and I pitched them Mexico. I was like, if you're going to do anyplace, it's got to be Mexico.

Mexico is a jewel of gastronomy. I mean, it was like -- I had no doubt that this was a side of Mexico that the world should know and should see. And I also think, you know, the easiest way into any culture is the food.

You can go to China and not speak Chinese and have an amazing cultural experience because of the food. You can go to Mexico, not speak Spanish and have an amazing cultural relation with that country just through the food, because food is about people.

And so I really wanted specifically the United States to see Mexico in the light in which I see Mexico, Mexico querido, like it's one of the most beautiful countries in the world because of its people. And I feel like that's not the rap against, and so I think this show will do wonders for the country.

ACOSTA: On your first stop, the first episode you take us to Mexico City, which is where you're living now.

LONGORIA: Yes. I live parttime there.

ACOSTA: Parttime. It is your second home.


ACOSTA: You say when you're there, your heart beats to a different drum?

LONGORIA: Yes. It does. Have you been to Mexico City?

ACOSTA: I've been there several times.

LONGORIA: And do you love the food?

ACOSTA: I love the food. It's an amazing place.


ACOSTA: The culture cultural sites. The Anthropological Museum is --

LONGORIA: It is one of the best museums in Latin America.

ACOSTA: I think it's one of the best museums in the world. LONGORIA: Yes.

ACOSTA: It's a beautiful place and a beautiful city.

LONGORIA: Yes. It's an amazing city. If you go to Mexico City, you'll have food from Michoacan. You're going to have tacos from Oaxaca. You're going to have the mule from Puebla. You're going to have the seafood from Veracruz. You're going to -- so I love Mexico City as the first episode because you see all of that influence.

ACOSTA: You eat so much delicious looking food in this first episode. Tell us about the food scene in Mexico City and some of the traditional dishes that you tried.

LONGORIA: Mexican cuisine is one of the only cuisines in its entirety protected by UNESCO, meaning you can trace the roots back to its origins. You know if you think of noodles, you think of Italy; but noodles came from China. You know, if you think of bread, you think of France, but it actually was originally -- but Mexican cuisine originated in Mexico.

And the fact that the cuisine is still true to those endemic ingredients makes it pretty special. And Mexico City and the rest of Mexico really honors those ingredients. You know corn is huge, huge -- the corn tortilla has not evolved in thousands of years. It is the same -- grinded the same way, made the same way.

Chocolate is from Mexico, it is endemic to Mexico. Vanilla is endemic to Mexico even though Madagascar is the biggest producer of it, the plant comes from Mexico. Avocados, tomato. The Italians made the tomato famous, but it is endemic to Mexico.

And so knowing all of this history, I think Mexico City really celebrates all of those endemic ingredients, but modernizes it. So you see Mexico City holding on to traditions, but also modernizing a different kind of cuisine.


ACOSTA: I remember being hungry when I talked to Eva that day and I'm starving now after all of that. If you think you know Mexico, be prepared to be amazed.

Join actress and producer, Eva Longoria on a culinary adventure in the new CNN Original Series. "Eva Longoria: Searching for Mexico." It's really great and she is terrific at this, tonight at 10:00 right here on CNN. Stay with us.



ACOSTA: The Final Four is set: The University of Miami came from behind tonight to beat Texas. The Hurricanes will face UConn in one of the two semifinal games next Saturday night and tonight's other regional final, San Diego State University beat Creighton. The Aztecs will take on Florida Atlantic University in the other semifinal matchup next weekend. It's been a heck of a March Madness.

Adam Sandler has created some of the most iconic movies and characters in the world of comedy. He's an actor, comedian, producer, musician, and now he is the recipient of the 2023 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. You'll see the special celebration next here on CNN. Here's a preview.


CONAN O'BRIEN, TALK SHOW HOST: I'll grant you a lot of amazing, amazing people have flown to DC to say nice things about Adam Sandler, but if you ask yourself why so many of Adam's friends were available to speak tonight, I will tell you why, because when Adam isn't working, they aren't working.

DREW BARRYMORE, ACTOR AND TALK SHOW HOST: Tremendous heart. You know, it's led to lifelong friendships with basically every person he has ever worked with.

Adam when you and I first met at that diner with my wild punk hair, I mean, we just laughed and we connected and I knew that we were cinematic soulmates like Hepburn and Tracy.


ADAM SANDLER, MARK TWAIN PRIZE FOR AMERICAN HUMOR RECIPIENT: My first thought of course when they told me I was getting this prestigious Mark Twain Honor was of course, "Wow, is Twain going to be there?" No, said the Kennedy Center people, to which I replied, makes sense.


ACOSTA: Don't miss Adam Sandler and his friends. The Kennedy Center presents the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor: Celebrating Adam Sandler is next right here on CNN.

That's the news for this Sunday evening. Thanks for joining.

I'm Jim Acosta. We will leave you tonight with beautiful Washington, DC sunset, what's left of it. It was the Cherry Blossoms this weekend.

I'll see you next weekend.

Have a good night, everybody.