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CNN International: U.S. President Cuts Short Eight-Day Trip to Pacific Region; North Carolina Bans Abortions, Overriding Governor's Veto; Retired U.S. Army Soldier Killed in Battle for Bakhmut; Hundreds Feared Dead After Powerful Storm Hits Myanmar; Secret Service Investigating Break-In at Jake Sullivan's Home; Student Suspended for Recording Teacher Saying N-Word. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired May 17, 2023 - 04:00   ET



BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and warm welcome to our viewers joining us in the United States and all around the world. I am Bianca Nobilo.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Max Foster, joining you live from London. Just ahead on CNN NEWSROOM.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are having a wonderful time. Everything is going well.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA) U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: Nothing has been resolved at this negotiation. So, let's stop the political games. Let's get down -- we've only got 15 days to go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The house have overridden the governor's veto and the bill becomes law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should we be worried about this for our elections?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. My worst fear is that we cause significant harm to the world.


ANNOUNCER: Live from London this is CNN NEWSROOM with Max Foster and Bianca Nobilo.

FOSTER: It's Wednesday, May the 17th, 9:00 a.m. here in London, 4:00 a.m. in Washington. Where the pressure of the debt standoff has the U.S. president altering his plans for the upcoming G7 Summit.

NOBILO: Joe Biden who leaves for Japan in about seven hours, will cut his trip short in order to get back to meetings with Congressional leaders as the default deadline creeps closer. The U.S. has until June 1st to raise its borrowing limit or risk that historic default.

FOSTER: But the latest round of talks between Republicans and the White House on Tuesday resulted in no significant breakthroughs. The top House Republican said the two sides are still far apart, but that the deal is possible by the weeks end.


MCCARTHY: I did think this one was a little more productive. We are a long way apart. But what changed in this meeting was the president has now selected two people from his administration to directly negotiate with us.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY) U.S. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: The bottom line is that we all came to agreement that we were going to continue discussions and hopefully we can come to an agreement. We don't have much time, but default is just the worst, worst alternative.


NOBILO: Meanwhile, the U.S. president is confident negotiations will progress. CNN's Jeremy Diamond reports from the White House.


JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Biden on Tuesday emerge from his negotiations with Congressional leaders saying that the discussions were productive and that they're making progress towards a deal that could avoid the U.S. potentially heading towards default.

Of course, there has been some progress in these negotiations that have been held mostly at the staff level in the days leading up to the meeting. Talk about a potential spending cap, and other areas of potential agreement between Democrats and Republicans. But make no mistake, there are still huge gaps between the two sides and some major sticking points. Including, for example, the notion of a work requirement for some of these safety net programs. Disagreement between the two sides on that.

And amid some of this progress but also the major sticking points that remain, President Biden canceling the second portion of his foreign trip. He is still scheduled to go to Japan on Wednesday but he is canceling the second portion of that trip to Australia, and Papua New Guinea. Here's is the president on Tuesday.

BIDEN: I'm cutting my trip short; I'm postponing the Australian portion of the trip and my stop at Papua New Guinea in order to be back for the final negotiations with the Congressional leaders. There was an overwhelming consensus I think in the today's meeting with the Congressional leaders that defaulting on the debt is simply not an option.

DIAMOND: Now the president has appointed two senior level staffers to now lead these negotiations with the speaker of the house. They are the president's counselor Steve Ricchetti and his director of the office of management and budget, Shalanda Young. Those two senior advisers will join the White House's legislative affairs director, Louisa Terrell, who has been a leading those staff level negotiations. But it does signal that there's a ratcheting up of this, that we're getting to a more serious phase of these negotiations. The president himself, he said that he will be in touch with Speaker McCarthy over the phone while he's in Japan. And that he will then meet again with those Congressional leaders when he returns to the United States next week.

Jeremy Diamond, CNN, the White House.


NOBILO: The slow pace of negotiations has business leaders preparing for any outcome. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will meet with the banks' CEOs on Thursday.

FOSTER: A group of prominent business leaders are also warning about the dire consequences of a potential default. About 150 CEOs signed a letter to President Biden and Congressional leaders.


It reads: Although the American economy is generally strong, high inflation has created stresses in our financial system, including several recent bank failures. Much worse will occur if the nation defaults on our debt obligations, which would weaken our position in the world financial system.

NOBILO: Meanwhile, the Senate committee heard from executives from the failed Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, and the criticism was bipartisan.


SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): You made a really stupid bet that went bad. Didn't you? And the taxpayers of America had to pick up the tab for your stupidity, didn't they?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe that poor management and decision- making were principal factors in your bank's failure? Yes, or no?

GREG BECKER, FORMER SILICON VALLEY BANK CEO: Senator, I believe it was a series of unprecedented events that all came together in the fastest bank run in history.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): Are you planning to return a single nickel to what you cost the fund?

BECKER: Senator, I know there's going to be a process to review compensation.

WARREN: I'll take that as a no.


FOSTER: Well, the debt ceiling stalemate, banking crisis and recession fears all putting pressure on markets that are looking to rebound today. You can see opening markets in terms of futures are up. The Dow fell 336 points on Tuesday, a loss of about 1 percent. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also finished a bit lower.

NOBILO: In North Carolina, the Republican-led legislature has moved to ban most abortions after 12 weeks overriding a veto from Democratic Governor Roy Cooper.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Having passed by the requisite three fifths vote, the House of overridden the governor's veto and the bill becomes law, notwithstanding the governor's objections. So be notified.



NOBILO: The vote in the state Senate on Tuesday was 30 to 20 along party lines. Just hours, later the statehouse also voted 72 to 48 to do the same.

FOSTER: Governor Cooper slammed the vote in a tweet saying, Republicans are unified in their assault on women's reproductive freedom. And vowed to fight back. He had vetoed the abortion ban on Saturday, CNN's Dianne Gallagher has more.


DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Both chambers of the North Carolina general assembly voted Tuesday to override a veto from the states Democratic Governor, Roy Cooper. Cooper signed that veto on Saturday just days after the assembly rushed through a bill that would ban most abortions after 12 weeks with some exceptions. And a slew of other changes to abortion access, paperwork, and reporting requirements in just a matter of 48 hours.

Now the governor head toward the state trying to put pressure on four Republican lawmakers claiming that their vote on this bill wouldn't deal with something that they had said during their campaign in regard to, well, wouldn't gel with something that they had said during their campaigns in regards to abortion access.

Several of those lawmakers pushed back on Cooper. And on Tuesday night, every single one of the four Republicans that he had put this pressure campaign on over the past week, well, they voted to override his veto.

The new law will go into effect in North Carolina. The majority of those new stipulations and requirements and restrictions happening on July 1st. Democrats have no further recourse on this particular bill. It is now law. The Democrats have told CNN that they plan to use this as a way to energize their base in the state looking ahead to 2024.

Diane Gallagher, CNN, Raleigh, North Carolina.


FOSTER: CNN predicts that Daniel Cameron will win the Republican governor primary in Kentucky. The state attorney general thanked Trump for his endorsement. Saying that Trump culture of winning is alive and well in Kentucky.

NOBILO: Cameron will face a popular Democratic incumbent Andy Beshear in November's general election. The race is seen as an important bellwether for next, year especially where Democrats are defending Senate seats in red states like Montana, Ohio, and West Virginia.

U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is pushing for a speedy ethics investigation into Congressman George Santos. The representative from New York has pleaded not guilty to 13 federal criminal charges, ranging from fraud, to lying on House disclosure reports.

FOSTER: House Democrats have been trying to force a vote to expel Santos. McCarthy has instead handed the matter to the House Ethics Committee. He says it'll be a quick decision once we finish the investigation.

A New York state Supreme Court judge has granted a temporary restraining order to Orange County, New York. Blocking New York City Mayor Eric Adams from sending migrants there.

NOBILO: It allows almost 200 asylum seekers already staying at two hotels in the town of Newburgh to remain, but it does not allow new migrants to move into the hotels if current occupants leave.


FOSTER: We are now learning the identity of the American killed by Russian artillery in the battle for Bakhmut. A U.S. Army Special Forces veteran, Nicholas Maimer.

NOBILO: A retired army staff sergeant -- seen here with Idaho Senator James Risch, -- served more than 20 years in uniform before retiring in 2018. Maimer arrived in Ukraine in the spring of last year. His uncle said that he'd gone there as a, quote, humanitarian trying to do good for this world.

FOSTER: In a video posted to Telegram, the head of Wagner mercenary group appeared to show what he claimed were U.S. identification documents. He claimed the American was shooting back when he was killed in Bakhmut.

NOBILO: And new video from the battered city on the eastern front line shows just how fierce the fight continues to be there. Take a listen.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over there! Hey! Over there! Hey, hey, 11 o'clock! 11 o'clock.


(END VIDEO CLIP) NOBILO: CNN's Clare Sebastian is following developments. She joins us

here in London with the latest. Clare, does it have any impact when nationals of NATO countries who go to Ukraine to fight voluntarily are killed in the conflict?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, I think it was interesting that we learned about this through that video from Prigozhin. Right? Because this comes -- and obviously, his family have not responded to a request for comment, but his uncle did tell the Idaho statesman that that was his body that Prigozhin showed in this video. We are not showing it for obvious reasons.

But he -- you know, this comes after reports that Prigozhin has, you know, has been having trouble in Bakhmut. Ukraine's been making slow and incremental advances. The Ukrainian commander accused his forces of running away, faced with those advances. So, his ability to go and sort of put on this show viewing the body of an American killed there, it allows him to project strength, to project authority and superiority in the conflict. Which we know and we saw from that video -- and by the way we do not know that video came from the Russian or Ukrainian side.

It's still very intense, very chaotic street by street battle. But I think it's striking to learn how this American citizen died. According to a friend of his who also runs a nonprofit in Ukraine, he was in a building that was hit by a barrage of Russian artillery and the building started to collapse and this friend says that a lot of the Ukrainian soldiers and foreigners fighting, they managed to escape. But of course, he didn't as it turned out.

So I think you really give sense of the type of battle we're seeing, street by street, buildings collapsing. That's why you see the level of destruction in Bakhmut. And despite this sort of incremental progress you're seeing from Ukraine, it continues to be very intense and very difficult.

NOBILO: Clare Sebastian, thank you.

Later in this hour we'll have a report from CNN's Nic Robertson who spoke with Ukrainian soldiers who have fought in Bakhmut too.

FOSTER: Hundreds of people are feared dead, and rescue groups warn of a large-scale loss of life following one of the strongest storms ever to hit Myanmar. The country shadow government says at least 400 people are dead and an unspecified number are missing after cyclone Mocha barreled onto Myanmar's coast on Sunday, unleashing floods and landslides.

NOBILO: Among the hardest hit areas is Rakhine state where Human Rights Watch say that 600,000 members of the Rohingya minority live under government prosecution.

CNN's Vedika Sud joins us from New Delhi. I mean, we've been hearing the reports and now we're seeing the pictures.

VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER: Absolutely devastating in so many ways for the people living in the western coast of Myanmar, Max. And do you know what? We've got to know over the last few hours that the worst hit are the Rohingya community in that area. They have so many camps. There are so many settlements. They are confined by the authorities and they've been hit the hardest.

400 is the number we've got from the Myanmar shadow government. CNN cannot verify that figure. But we're also being told that dozens are still missing and feared dead. But we'll have to wait for a confirmation on that.

This is, like you said, one of the strongest cyclones to hit the western coast of Myanmar in the recent past. Now, we are also getting to know from NGOs on the ground and the shadow government there that a lot of people are being buried within the Rohingya community. That's how they do it, that's their custom, that's the way they go about it. And we're seeing that happen over the last 24 hours. A lot of them have lost closed loved ones. And we're also being told that a lot of them within these camps -- the Rohingya camps, in Sittwe -- which is capital of Rakhine -- stayed -- actually died because they drowned in the floods. There was a father who just buried his daughter and he not only lost his daughter, but eight others in his family.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Nine out of my 14 family members were killed, only five survived. They were killed because they could not resist when strong winds wave them away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): All of my belongings, rice and even dishes are gone. Now I have no money to rebuild my house. We are starving. I haven't eaten for two days. How many days does a person have to go hungry?


SUD: It may take days to know the true impact that the cyclone has had on the western coast of Myanmar. One of the least developed countries in Asia -- Max.

FOSTER: OK, thank you so much, Vedika, for joining us from New Delhi with that.

Still to come, there was a break-in at home of President Biden's top security adviser. We'll give details on Jake Sullivan's encounter with the intruder, next.

NOBILO: Plus, why a high school student was suspended after recording her teacher using a racial slur repeatedly?

FOSTER: A scary moment at a children's baseball game in Florida where a player got caught in a dust devil. You will here his reaction.



NOBILO: One of U.S. President Joe Biden's top advisers came face-to- face with a trespasser in his own home in the middle of the night.

FOSTER: Jake Sullivan was unharmed, but the Secret Service is taking the matter seriously. CNN's Evan Perez has the details on this security breach.


EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR U.S. JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: The U.S. Secret Service is investigating how and intruder entered the home of U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan last night without being detected by a Secret Service detail guarding his home.

Sullivan has a 24/7 Secret Service protection. And he was unarmed in the incident which occurred in late April. The Secret Service said in a statement that it is taking the failure seriously. Modifications to the protective posture have also been made to ensure additional security layers are in place as we conduct this comprehensive review.

Sources tell us that Sullivan encountered the person inside his home in the early morning hours and he told investigators that he thought the person was intoxicated. There was no threat made and the source said that the person left Sullivan's home without the Secret Service detail noticing.

Evan Perez, CNN, Washington.


FOSTER: Police in New Mexico have identified the gunman who killed three people on Monday but say they're still working on a motive. 18- year-old Beau Wilson roamed through his Farmington neighborhood randomly firing at homes and passing vehicles

NOBILO: He killed three women, ranging in age from 73 to 98 years old before responding officers killed him. Police say the gunman's family had concerns about his mental health.


DEPUTY CHIEF KYLE DOWDY, FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO POLICE: He is a student at Farmington High School. He was armed with multiple firearms, including an AR-style rifle. We are still investigating how he came into possession of those firearms, but we do know that he did purchase one legally, November 2022.


NOBILO: The attorney for the family of Banko Brown says that the actions of the security guard who shot and killed Brown went, quote, way beyond what it was reasonable and necessary. San Francisco police say the incident started when a security guard at a Walgreens store stopped Brown from leaving accusing him of shoplifting. Authorities released surveillance video Monday of the incident. A warning, that the images are disturbing.

FOSTER: Brown's family plans to file a lawsuit against the security officer -- the security company and Walgreens. The San Francisco district attorney office will not press charges against a security guard. Here's how the district attorney explained the decision.


BROOKE JENKINS, SAN FRANCISCO DISTRICT ATTORNEY: We had to decide whether or not we had the sufficient evidence to prove this case to 12 jurors beyond a reasonable doubt. It was our conclusion that we did not have such evidence and that is why we have arrived at this decision.

At this time, there is nothing to rebut his statements regarding the fact that he acted in self-defense.


FOSTER: Three Black former employees are suing a homebuilding company for violating their civil rights. In a lawsuit they accuse PulteGroup of racial discrimination, fostering a hostile work environment and retaliating against Black employees.

NOBILO: One former employee says he attended a meeting at the company's Georgia division in 2019 and an executive openly waved a noose in front of employees, including at least two who were Black while warning them not to hang themselves.

CNN has asked the PulteGroup for comment about the allegations but has not yet received a response.

In Missouri, a 15-year-old student was punished for doing what many would argue was the right thing to do.

FOSTER: She recorded her geometry teacher using the N-word during class and was then suspended for three days. CNN's Adrienne Broaddus has the story.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is the word (bleeps) not allowed?

ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Video shared on social media shows a high school teacher using the N-word at least twice in a Missouri classroom. Mary Walton, a 15-year-old student disturbed, began filming.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not calling anyone a (bleeps).


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can say the word.

BROADDUS (voice-over): That was May 9. The teacher was initially placed on administrative leave, the principal calling the language, quote, inappropriate, and inexcusable. A week later, that teacher has resigned.

A statement from Springfield public schools announces he is, quote, no longer employed.

But Mary was also punished, suspended for three days over the recording. The harshest penalty for this type of offense under school cell phone rules -- her lawyer says.

NATALIE HULL, ATTORNEY FOR MARY WALTON: We've asked them to lift the suspension, let her go back to school immediately and apologize. Mary saw something that she believed needed to be reported.

BROADDUS (voice-over): According to a news release from Mary's attorney, Natalie Hull, the geometry teacher interrupted a conversation between students about the slur using the word several times before the recording starts. Students explain its derogatory context before one cautions the teacher about using it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just saying right now, as a teacher, if you want to keep your job. This isn't a threat from me.

BROADDUS (voice-over): About 50 seconds into the short clip given to CNN by Hull, the teacher notices the camera recording him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are you saying that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put your phone away.


BROADDUS (voice-over): The school district says its discipline is, quote, confidential per federal law.

But noted that the student handbook limits inappropriate use of electronics and considers the identification of minor students when disseminating video. The school district also prohibits, quote, recording of faculty or staff in the classroom without prior approval and recording, quote, acts of violence.

Hull claims that the policy is problematic and it has a chilling effect on students like Mary looking to hold authority figures accountable.

HULL: They could get in trouble for capturing evidence of a crime.

BROADDUS (voice-over): Adrienne Broaddus, CNN, Chicago.


FOSTER: Still ahead this hour, a girl from Illinois missing for six years is found safe, more than 600 miles from home. And police say a well-known television show helped lead to her rescue.

NOBILO: Plus, U.S. tech experts call for strict regulation on AI. We'll go inside the Senate hearing where lawmakers try to plan for the worst.


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

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

U.S. President Joe Biden says he will shorten his G7 Summit trip to be back in time for more debt ceiling negotiations. Biden leaves for Japan in the coming hours.

And lawmakers, in North Carolina, have voted to ban most abortions after 12 weeks, flipping a veto by the Democratic governor. Governor Roy Cooper is vowing to continue to fight the legislation.