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Recent Biden-McCarthy Meeting still has No Debt Ceiling Deal Agreed; Anti-Putin Fighters supporting Ukraine Claim Belgorod Region Attack; Lone Black Republican Senator Announces 2024 Presidential Bid; New Tip to Reopen Search for Madeleine McCann; Typhoon Mawar Intensifies Further; Two Students Skipped Graduation due to Gender Issues, Dress Codes. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired May 23, 2023 - 03:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church.

Just ahead on "CNN Newsroom," the clock is ticking down, the stakes are high and there's still no debt limit deal with the U.S. just nine days away from potential default.

Mounting legal problems for Donald Trump, new civil, criminal and business troubles and the week is just beginning.

Plus a group of anti-Putin Russian fighters who supported Ukraine are claiming credit for an attack inside Russia.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Live from CNN Center this is CNN Newsroom with Rosemary Church

CHURCH: Good to have you with us. Well, we are following a developing story from Washington where authorities have arrested a man who crashed a truck near the White House late Monday night.

Officials say the driver slammed the vehicle into security barriers at a public square just across the street from the executive residence. They believe he may have done it intentionally. The driver has been charged with multiple crimes, including threatening to kill, harm, or kidnap a president, vice president, or family member. No reported injuries to any Secret Service or White House personnel.

A much anticipated meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has come and gone with still no deal on raising the U.S. debt ceiling. Both the president and McCarthy said Monday's talks were productive, but it does nothing for a looming default, which could happen in just a matter of days.

McCarthy was adamant they need to strike a deal this week in order to avoid the June 1st deadline when the U.S. could potentially default on its debt.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has been a constant reminder of the urgency of the matter. In a letter to Congress, she informed lawmakers another week of data and negotiations have done nothing to change the situation.

CNN's Melanie Zanona has more from Washington.


MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Negotiations wrapped up for the night without a deal in hand, at least not yet. Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden met in the White House for an hour and a half on Monday.

And afterwards, they instructed their staff to keep negotiating and keep talking to see if they can come to an agreement or at least come closer to an agreement, which is a welcome development after a weekend of tumultuous talks, rejected offers, and heated rhetoric. So following that meeting at the White House, Speaker Kevin McCarthy struck a far more optimistic tone. Take a listen.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY, U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: I felt we had a productive discussion. We don't have an agreement yet, but I did feel the discussion was productive in areas that we have differences of opinion. I believe we can still get there. I believe we can get it done.

ZANONA: Now, despite the cautious optimism there, there is still a long way to go. First of all, they are still very far apart on the substance. We are told that spending levels remains one of the chief sticking points. Republicans want to cut spending, whereas the White House is only offering to freeze spending. So that remains a huge point of contention. And there's a number of other issues that have yet to be resolved as well.

But even if and when they come to an agreement, then they still have to turn it into legislative text. Then they have to turn on and sell it to their members. Then they have to pass it in the House before they send it over to the Senate. So there is still a long way to go and not a lot of time to figure it out.

Melanie Zanona, CNN, Capitol Hill.


CHURCH: Joining me now from Los Angeles is Michael Genovese. He is a political analyst and president of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University. A pleasure to have you with us.


CHURCH: We are just nine days away from America possibly defaulting on its national debt. If President Biden and Kevin McCarthy can't strike a deal to raise the debt still only nine days to make a deal, get it written up as a bill and pass through both the House and Senate by June 1st. Is that even possible at this juncture?

GENOVESE: Well, we're cutting it down to the wire and things are getting hotter than lava in Washington because the two sides are still apparently quite far apart.


Both sides know the seriousness of this, but that doesn't mean that they're going to be able to make a deal. And this is unusual because it's a manufactured crisis. Since 1960, we've raised the debt ceiling over 90 times under Democrats and Republicans with little debate and little controversy. We did it three times during the Trump years.

So why now? What's the magic of now that we're coming to this crisis that could just send us over a cliff? The problem is that the Republicans want to conflate apples and oranges, debt and budget. The Democrats want to separate those two things because they're separate. And so therein lies the rub. So who's going to be the adult in the room? Who is going to save us from ourselves? That's the question.

CHURCH: And if this country defaults on its national debt because US politicians essentially fail to do their job, which Americans will be hit hardest, do you think?

GENOVESE: Well, you know, we've never failed to pay the debt. And so this is unknown territory. We do know that there will be some serious consequences, mostly for people on Social Security, government services, the military, who may take weeks to get their paycheck until it gets sorted out. And so at a time when the US economy is actually quite robust, The economist in England just had a story celebrating the strength of the US economy, in which they said that the U.S. accounts for 58 percent of the gross domestic product of the G7 nations, just the United States. And that's up from 40 percent in 1990. And so why mess with success?

I think the problem is that the two sides facing the 2024 election, one side doesn't want the economy to be so good and so they're willing to take that risk. And so it's time to put up the bat signal and sort of light a fire underneath both sides.

CHURCH: And Michael, at what point will it be too late to act? And if that happens, what will default look like for this country's people and of course its economy?

GENOVESE: We have two weeks, maybe a little more if we're lucky. That's cutting it very close, because average citizens are going to suffer tremendously. The bond market will suffer. The stock market will go down. In 2011, when we got close to this, the stock market went down almost 20 points. And we didn't hit the crisis. We didn't default.

If we go into default mode, the rest of the world's going to know that we're not good for our word. We're not good to pay our debts. And that's going to have a ripple effect. It's going to be devastating for the American economy in the long run. CHURCH: Do you see any place for President Biden to invoke section

four of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution? Or perhaps is there any other option that could help bypass Congress if it fails to raise the debt limit in time?

GENOVESE: It's funny how we've dusted off this obscure subsection of the 14th Amendment, which says that the validity of the public debt, and these are the four words that matter, shall not be questioned.

Powerful words, unambiguous intent, but the who and the how is not spelled out. And some legal scholars are now saying that the president does have this authority. I'm not so sure, I'm not completely convinced because it's an untested legal theory. We've never been here before.

And in 2011, when we got close under the Obama presidency, the Justice Department issued a ruling and which had recommended that in fact they do not believe the president has this authority. So we don't really know. We don't know if the president can do this. There's no other option. Either you go into default, you make a deal, or the president has to pull out this odd element of the 14th Amendment that may or may not be constitutionally valid.

CHURCH: Well, hopefully they make a deal and they make it fast. Michael Genovese, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your analysis. Always appreciate it.

GENOVESE: Thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Writer E. Jean Carroll is seeking an additional $10 million from Donald Trump in punitive damages after he insulted her at the CNN town hall about two weeks ago, including calling her a quote whack job. She has now asked a judge to amend her defamation case. Carroll was already awarded $5 million earlier this month after the former U.S. president was found liable for sexually abusing and defaming her. Trump is appealing that verdict.

CNN's Sarah Murray has details.


SARAH MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Columnist E. Jean Carroll is seeking even more impunitive damages from Donald Trump after his comments during a CNN town hall.


Carroll asked a court on Monday to amend a defamation case against Trump to seek, quote, "very substantial punitive damages." Now, earlier this month, a jury in a civil case found Trump sexually abused and defamed Carroll and they awarded her $5 million. But Carroll also had a separate defamation case pending. This one sort of caught up in a legal logjam.

And it's in this one that she's asking for more substantial damages after Trump made comments like this in the CNN town hall. DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: They said he didn't rape her. And

I didn't do anything else either, you know what? Because I have no idea who the hell she is.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN REPORTER: But Mr. President, Can I -- Can I ask?

TRUMP I don't know who this woman is. They said, sir, don't do it. This is a fake story and you don't want to give it credibility. That's why I didn't go.

COLLINS: One thing you did do in this --


TRUMP: And I swear, and I've never done that. And I swear to... I have no idea who the hell, she's a whack job.

COLLINS: Mr. President --

MURRAY: Now in a court filing, Carroll's attorneys said Trump's statements after the verdict in that civil suit show the quote "depth of his malice toward Carroll." A Trump spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Carroll's latest move.

Sarah Murray, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: We're also learning Trump was interested in fighting the U.S. Justice Department subpoena that required him to return classified documents that he shouldn't have had after his time in office. That is according to multiple sources familiar with notes taken by his lawyer and turned over to investigators.

The notes provide more insight into Trump's thinking as the special counsel pursues its criminal investigation into the mishandling of classified materials and the possibility that Trump obstructed the investigation.

Earlier this month he insisted he had the absolute right to take the documents and Trump's legal troubles don't stop there. Federal prosecutors with the special counsel's office have subpoenaed the Trump organization for information about its business deals with foreign countries, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

One source said investigators appear to be focused on Trump's dealings with countries that could possibly be interested in the classified materials recovered from Mar-a-Lago. It's unclear when the subpoena was issued. The Trump organization had said it would not strike new deals with foreign countries while Trump was in office.

Anti-Putin Russian fighters aligned with Ukraine are claiming responsibility for a rare ground attack inside Russian territory. The groups known as Freedom of Russia Legion and Russian Volunteer Corps say they liberated a settlement in the Belgorod region which sits along the border with Ukraine.

A Ukrainian official is acknowledging the operation but insists those groups were acting independently. A regional governor says at least eight people were injured in the attack with shelling damaging several buildings. A local official says counter-terrorism operations in the Belgorod region are ongoing.

And CNN's Salma Abdelaziz joins me now live from London. Good morning to you Salma. So what more are you learning about these anti-Putin Russian nationals who claim responsibility for that attack inside Russia?

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, so the Freedom of Russia Legion, as they are known, this is a group backed by the Ukrainian military, although the Ukrainian army really splits hairs here. It says that the group is part of the Ukrainian security forces and military when it's inside Ukraine, but that it operates independently, independently rather, inside the border of Russia.

It's made up of a few hundred Russian nationals, diehard, who have taken up arms, Ukrainian-provided arms against President Putin, and they carried out this brazen attack that the group says started overnight on Sunday on this border city, Belgorod. It's no stranger of course to fighting being right along that Ukrainian border. That attack, Russian officials say, has led to damage to at least one administrative building, residential buildings, at least eight people injured as well.

Russian officials say that these are saboteurs, as they call them. And that their forces are right now trying to push them out of that border city. Why is this so significant, Rosemary? Why is this escalated to this level? Well, this would be potentially the first time that we are seeing a Ukrainian-backed force openly admitting to carrying out a cross-border attack inside Russia.

We've seen covert drone attacks. We've seen covert attacks on Russian military bases. None of them claimed by Ukraine. None of that responsibility claimed by Ukraine. But this time, a very brazen, very open cross-border attack. Again, this is a small group, a few hundred die-hard, battle-hardened men, as I mentioned, carrying Ukrainian arms. But they're carrying a message as well here, which is that not all Russian nationals, of course, support President Putin. In fact, some are willing to take up arms against President Putin and fight alongside Ukrainians.


And then the second thing to take away here is just how much this brings the battle home. It brings the battle inside Russian territory, where President Putin has faced backlash. Let's say in recent months, anger at the death toll, anger at the draft. This brings the war on Ukraine ever closer to Russian citizens.

CHURCH: Salma Abdelziz with that live report from London. Many thanks.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces say Bakhmut remains the epicenter of fighting. It's not entirely clear who controls the bombed out city in the Donetsk region.

CNN's Nic Robertson and his team visited with Ukrainian soldiers near the front lines.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Barely out of the armored troop carrier. Incoming artillery.

(on-camera): We're just going to wait in this little basement until the shelling's over. Then they think it will be safe to move forward to the front positions.

(voice-over): A few minutes later, safe to come out at this army outpost a few miles from Bakhmut. Last night was hard. A lot of shelling. Kulsang Gambit tells us the soldier is still shell-shocked from an anti-tank rocket attack.

(on-camera): We're going to get back in the vehicle, try to get a little closer to the front lines.

(voice-over): 10 days ago, these troops pushed the Russians back around Bakhmut. But their advance is slowing and harder. We get to a small HQ. Callsign Fox, a former farmer, is readying his troops for their coming shift on the front line, stopping the Russians in Bakhmut from advancing.

(on-camera): How hard is that?

(voice-over): It's impossible to describe these feelings, he says. No words can express it. They shell a lot.

As we talk, it is clear this war is taking its toll.

(on-camera): You only have to look at the soldiers' faces here to know how tough this battle is. They all look worn. They say morale is high. But their faces are telling a different story.

(voice-over): We move on towards other positions and stop as the shelling increases.

(on-camera): We've just been told the place that we were going to is under heavy shelling, so we're going to pull back from here and go somewhere else.

(voice-over): In the battalion bunker, the commander tells us the Russians have ramped up their shelling on his troops since they advanced.

Tons of ammo, shrapnel, tanks firing, everything.

His unit's drones recorded their recent successes. But now the Russians have regrouped. And in a moment of candor, following losses the previous night, admits morale is flagging.

Let's be honest, he says, we are fighting heavily for more than a year. My soldiers went through many battles and two rotations near Bakhmut. Troops are exhausted, but we endure.

(on-camera): Bakhmut, which is just over the hill in that direction, has become an object lesson in how Russia's wealth in men and ammunition can prevail. And then, unless Ukraine gets the modern weaponry support from its allies, it's going to struggle to tip the balance.

(voice-over): Callsign Fox and his unit load up for their hard miles at the front. An end of war getting back to their families. What drives them into the shelling?

Nic Robertson, CNN, Eastern Ukraine.


CHURCH: Time for a short break. When we come back Republican Senator Tim Scott announces his run for the White House. A surprising reaction from GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.




CHURCH: Another Republican is entering the race for the White House. Tim Scott from South Carolina, the Senate's only black Republican, announced his candidacy on Monday. GOP frontrunner Donald Trump wishing Scott good luck.

CNN's Eva McKend has details.


EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER (voice-over): South Carolina Senator Tim Scott officially jumping into the 2024 presidential race.

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC), REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We live in the land where it is absolutely possible for a kid raised in poverty in a single parent household in a small apartment to one day serve in the people's house and maybe even, the White House.

MCKEND (voice-over): The only black Republican in the Senate, Scott emphasizing his personal story.

SCOTT: I'm living proof that America is the land of opportunity and not a land of oppression.

MCKEND (voice-over): And his strong faith, which campaign officials say, will be a central theme of his candidacy.

SCOTT: I will be the president who stops the far-left's assault on our religious liberty. I will preserve one nation. Under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

MCKEND (voice-over): Scott pitching himself to Republican voters as a formidable challenger to President Joe Biden.


SCOTT: Our nation, our values, and our people are strong, but our president is weak.

MCKEND (voice-over): And appealing directly to the GOP base on border security.

SCOTT: If our southern border is unsafe and insecure, it's not our country.

MCKEND (voice-over): And over culture wars.

SCOTT: I will be the president who destroys the liberal lie that America is an evil country.

MCKEND (voice-over): Among those introducing Scott, John Thune, the Senate's number two Republican, who is backing Scott's bid.

SEN. JOHN THUNE (R-SD): Tim Scott is the real deal.

MCKEND (voice-over): Scott joins a growing field of GOP hopefuls.

SCOTT: That's why I'm the candidate the far left fears the most. I disrupt their narrative. I threaten their control. The truth of my life disrupts their lives.

MCKEND (voice-over): Including former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, who appointed Scott to the Senate in 2012, and former president Donald Trump, who wished Scott luck. Scott telling CNN --

SCOTT: I'm very kind of him, I appreciate very much.

MCKEND (voice-over): Trump instead choosing to go after Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who's expected to announce his bid in the coming days, writing, Tim is a big step up from Ron DeSantimonius, who is totally unelectable.

SCOTT: Our party. And our nation are standing at a time for choosing.

MCKEND (voice-over): Scott striking a more optimistic message, setting up a contrast with Trump and DeSantis.

SCOTT: Victimhood or victory?

CROWD: Victory!

SCOTT: Grievance or greatness?

CROWD: Greatness!

SCOTT: I choose freedom and hope and opportunity. Will you choose it with me?

CROWD: Yes! MCKEND (on-camera): Scott will continue to make his pitch to voters

this week in Iowa and New Hampshire. His supporters here in Charleston say they are eager for the rest of America to get to know him like they know him here. Meanwhile, Democrats responding to Scott's candidacy by dismissing him as yet another MAGA Republican in the field.

Eva McKend, CNN, Charleston, South Carolina.


CHURCH: Still to come, a new tip prompts a new search for British toddler Madeleine McCann, 16 years after she vanished during a family holiday in Portugal.




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: It has been 16 years since British toddler Madeleine McCann went missing. Now, a new tip from Germany has triggered a new surge in her mysterious disappearance. The three-year- old vanished in southern Portugal in 2007 while on vacation with her parents. The new information has led investigators from three countries to a wooded area around a remote reservoir to look for evidence that might explain what happened to her.

And CNN's Scott McLean is tracking the investigation live from London. He joins us now. Good morning to you, Scott. So, what more you learning about this new search for Madeleine McCann?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Good morning, Rosemary. Yeah, the search area is a mountainous, bushy, sort of scrubland area around this very vast reservoir. It is surrounded by parkland and walking trails. The reason that there are going back to this is because of a tip by German authorities who were involved here, because the prime suspect named by German prosecutors is a German man who is already jailed in that country for other crimes.

Now, it's not clear why they're going back to search this place in particular, but our colleagues at CNN Portugal report that police say they are looking for objects that may be of interest or to rule out other hypothesis.

The reservoir here itself has already been searched by divers some 15 years ago back in 2008. And in that case, they turned up only animal bones. This time the focus will search -- will focus on land, all in the hopes of a breakthrough in a case that has gone unsolved for 16 years now.


(voice-over): McCann would've turned 20 this month. Her family last saw her when she was three. She disappeared in 2007 during a family holiday in the Algarve region of Portugal. She was with her younger twin siblings while her parents were dining with friends nearby in the resort of Praia de Luz. The mystery of her disappearance gripped many across the U.K., Portugal, and Germany.

On Tuesday, Portuguese police at the request of German authorities will search a reservoir near the Portuguese city of Silves, around 50 kilometers from Praia de Luz.

Over the past 16 years, police have searched numerous wells and properties in the area, including this one, which was searched in 2008. It is unclear whether it is connected to Christian Bruckner, the German suspect first named in the case in 2020.

Bruckner, a convicted sex offender, lived in the Algarve between 1995 and 2007 in an apartment about a mile away from the resort where the McCanns were staying. He is in prison in Germany for the rape and murder of a 72-year-old woman committed in Portugal at the same resort. He has not been charged in McCann's disappearance, and denies any involvement. But, one German prosecutor said that he believes that she was killed by Bruckner.

UNKNOWN: What makes you so certain that Madeleine McCann is dead?


HANS CHRISTIAN WOLTERS, GERMAN PROSECUTOR: We have some evidence for this. We have no forensic evidence, but we have other evidence.

MCLEAN (voice-over): Her family cling on to the hope that she could still be alive.

GERRY MCCANN, MADELEINE MCCANN'S FATHER: No parents are going to give up on their child, unless they know for certain that the child is dead, but we just don't have any evidence.


MCLEAN: Now at this point, the police search is scheduled to take place for a maximum of two days in this particular area. We are also, Rosemary, expecting a brand new statement from the German prosecutors office at the top of the next hour. So we're expecting to get more details on why they have gone back to this place and what they're hoping to find that may move the case forward. Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right, Scott McLean joining us live from London, many thanks for that report.

An Idaho judge has entered not guilty pleas for the man accused of killing four university students. Brian Kohberger acknowledged that he understood the charges, but stayed silent when the judge asked for his plea.

CNN's Veronica Miracle reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The suspect in the brutal stabbings of four university of Idaho students walking in without handcuffs into an Idaho courtroom Monday.

UNKNOWN: All rise.

MIRACLE (voice-over): And in a highly unusual move, remained silent when asked for his plea to one burglary and four counts of first- degree murder.

UNKNOWN: Your Honor, (inaudible).

MIRACLE (voice-over): The judge entered not guilty pleas for each charge, Brian Kohberger looking only at his attorney and the judge during the proceedings did respond to questions.

UNKNOWN: Do you understand these rights?


UNKNOWN: Any questions about your rights?


MIRACLE (voice-over): Kohberger up here to read the indictment as the judge in this case read the charges.

UNKNOWN: Count four, murder in the first degree.

MIRACLE (voice-over): He is charged in the November killings of Ethan Chapin, Xana Kerniodle, Madison Mogen, and Kaylee Goncalves. Kohberger affirming that he understood the charges against him, did not appear to react with any emotion --

UNKNOWN: Do you understand the charge in count five, murder in the first degree?


MIRACLE (voice-over): -- or appeared to look around the courtroom, where victims' families like the Goncalves' remained fixed on him during the proceedings.

Kohberger has been in custody since December, after he was arrested at his parents' Pennsylvanian home more than a month after the murders. He was tracked down after police zeroed in on a white Hyundai Elantra spotted near the crime scene and a description of the intruder by a surviving roommate identified as D.M., who said she heard crying and saw a mask man that night clad in black clothing and noting his height, weight, and bushy eyebrows, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Investigators say that they found Kohberger's father's DNA on trash recovered from his family home, which was a close match to the DNA on a tan leather knife sheath left behind at the crime scene, according to the affidavit. Now, the prosecution has 60 days to decide whether they will pursue the death penalty in this case.

(on-camera): And I spoke with the University of Idaho law professor about why exactly Brian Kohberger may have stayed silent instead of entering a plea, and he said there are a number of reasons, the first is that this is a highly scrutinized, highly public case and so it is possible that he did not want people to characterize his decision either way with a guilty plea or a not guilty plea.

There is also the possibility that there are some talks behind closed- doors happening between the prosecution and the defense. There could be some kind of plea agreement happening, and this could be a decision that is part of that. And, lastly, it is possible that he is just being difficult and not wanting to cooperate.

So there are a number of reasons. And while this does happen though, I am told that it is highly unusual.

Veronica Miracle, CNN, San Francisco.


CHURCH: And still to come, typhoon Mawar has strengthened into the equivalent of a category four hurricane with a direct hit on Guam still possible. We will have the latest from the CNN weather center when we come back.




CHURCH: Typhoon Mawar has strengthened to the equivalent of a category four hurricane. Typhoon warnings remain in effect for the islands of Guam and Rota, with a direct hit on Guam still possible.

And Meteorologist Britley Rits is in the CNN center with the very latest. So, Britley, where is this typhoon right now and of course, what more can you tell us about the trajectory?

BRITLEY RITZ, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Rosemary, it is about 125 to 150 miles, the center, from Guam itself. And a lot of convection around the center, rather impressive symmetrical eye as well that is about 11 miles wide in diameter.

The whole system a very good looking buzzsaw which indicates that it is a strong typhoon. We may be, very well, dealing with a super typhoon at the moment. Winds around the center 130 miles per hour, gusts of 160, very slow moving north at eight miles per hour. So, it is taking on this warm ocean water, sea surface temperatures in the mid 80s. That is fuel for the system. And now, it is slowing down, hoping we could get some upwelling as it slows, so that cooler water gets brought to the surface for weakening, but unlikely with these warm ocean waters.

Over the next 24 hours, expect it to come in on Guam. Now, don't pay attention to the line, we can still have a wobble left to right which we've seen over the last two hours, which does play a role in why we have this cone. There is some uncertainty as to where the storm makes landfall, but regardless, a super typhoon likely to be on our hands when it comes into Guam, and then further strengthening as it moves back out to sea towards the northern provinces of the Philippines.


One band moves through, and waiting on the next one within the upcoming hours, more heavy rain expected. Look at this, a very well- defined eye showing up on radar as well, so heavy rain and strong damaging winds, some of our bigger concerns. Southern island bringing in heaviest rain and that is where we can expect nearly, let's say, 10 plus inches of rain over the next five days. All the way up into the Northern Mariana Islands, picking up about 2 to 4 inches of rain regardless. Quite a bit of rainfall, and the heavy rain and strong winds are all the way through Wednesday's Thursday. Expect typhoon force winds as early as Wednesday morning. Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right, thank you so much for keeping an eye on that. Britley Ritz, joining us there.

Well, millions of people in central Mexico are being warned that they may need to evacuate due to increased activity from the country's most dangerous volcano. Ash has been spewing in nearby town since last week, delaying flights in Mexico City and forcing dozens of schools to close.

About 25 million people live within 60 miles of the volcano, which is southeast of Mexico City. The volcano had been dormant for decades until it erupted in 1994 and it has been rumbling ever since. The U.S. Embassy has issued a travel advisory for the area.

Just ahead, a student skips out on her high school graduation and another is pulled out of line at the ceremony because of what they were wearing or planning to wear. Details on gender identity controversy.




CHURCH: At a time when many Republican states in the U.S. are banning abortions, Nevada is moving to strengthen women's reproductive rights. The state legislature on Monday passed a bill that would protect out- of-state women seeking an abortion. It would also protect reproductive health care providers. The bill passed in the assembly 27 to 14 and is now headed to the Governor's desk.

Well, meantime, in Nebraska, the Republican governor signed a bill into law that bans most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy and restricts gender affirming care for people younger than 19. The bill passed the state's Republican-controlled legislature last week in a 33 to 15 vote. The governor hailed it as a significant win for conservatives.


GOV. JIM PILLEN (R-NE): Today is an extraordinary, historic day for the state of Nebraska. It's a day where it is really simple, we are standing up to protect our kids, so that our state has a bigger and brighter future. LB574 is the most significant win for social conservative agenda in over a generation in the state of Nebraska.


CHURCH: Some Nebraskans have expressed displeasure with the bill, many protested in the halls of the state capital on Friday, as it was being passed in the legislature.

A transgender high school senior in Mississippi has skipped her graduation ceremony after being told that she needed to wear, quote, "boys clothes." The student who has identified as a female throughout high school was not allowed to wear a dress to the ceremony as she had intended. Meanwhile, a second student from the same school was stopped from walking across the graduation stage for a similar reason.

CNN's Isabel Rosales has the story.


L.B., TRANSGENDER TEEN WHO SKIPPED GRADUATION: I'm glad to stand up for what is right, then be humiliated and feet into their thoughts and their opinionated feelings for, you know, what's right and what's wrong with gender identity.

ISABEL ROSALES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This 17-year-old wants to go by her initials L.B., out of concern for her safety. She tells CNN, less than two weeks before her graduation ceremony got pulled into the principal's office at Harrison Central High School in Gulfport, Mississippi.

L.B.: She asked me what I was going to wear to graduation and I told her I was going to wear a white dress. Then she told me that I was not going to be allowed to wear a dress and that I would have to wear boy clothes.

ROSALES (voice-over): According to the district's dress code, girls should wear dresses or dress in pantsuit, and boys dress pants, shirt and a tie. The policy does not specify that they should dress by their full sex assigned at birth.

SAMANTHA BROWN, MOTHER OF L.B.: I feel like there shouldn't be gender in it.

ROSALES (voice-over): L.B. says that she has been openly transgender since her freshman year. During prom last year, she wore this dress, she says, without a problem.

L.B.: I cannot understand why they were changing so suddenly. ROSALES (voice-over): So L.B. and her parents, represented by the

American Civil Liberties Union, took the district court. The district pointed to this agreement, L.B. and her mother signed two months before graduation, consenting to honor the dress code.

L.B.: Because when we signed it we were under the impression that I would have the girls' dress code. Because she identifies as female, so we went by the female's dress code.

ROSALES (voice-over): Superintendent Mitchell King wrote in court documents that they rely on birth certificates to record a student's sex. U.S. District judge Taylor McNeill, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, denied the families request for her to attend graduation dressed as a girl.

L.B.: It was detrimental to know that I will not be able to experience my graduation.


ROSALES (voice-over): On Saturday, a second student was accused of violating the dress code at the same high school commencement ceremony.

Caren Dallas tells CNN, a school supervisor pulled her daughter out of a lineup 20 minutes before she was said to walk the stage for wearing black pants. The family says the outfit was never flagged during the hours-long rehearsal.

CAREN DALLAS, MOTHER OF STUDENT PULLED FROM GRADUATION LINEUP: She felt that she could take her pants off and walk the stage, but she needed white shoes. So she could walk in her underwear, but she can't walk in pants.

ROSALES (on-camera): And mothers to both of these students tell me that they are evaluating their legal options. CNN has reached out to Harrison County school district for comment, as well as Harrison Central High School. We have not heard back. But, this superintendent, Mitchell King, did comment to our CNN affiliate WLOX, telling them, quote, "we followed the graduation policy of the Harrison county school district."

Isabelle Rosales, CNN, Atlanta.


CHURCH: Thanks so much for spending part of your day with me. I'm Rosemary Church. "CNN Newsroom" with Max Foster and Bianca Nobilo is next.