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CNN International: Legendary Singer Tina Turner Dies at Age 83; Mawar Regains Super Typhoon Status, Now Category 5 Storm; Twitter Owner Opines on Divisive Social Issues. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired May 25, 2023 - 04:30   ET




LARRY KING, TALK SHOW HOST: No, do you realize that?

TINA TURNER: I'm beginning to. You see, it wasn't something that I planned. But I kind of see it as a gift, because of the life I lived. It had a meaning. And I think that the meaning was all of what is happening now.

I think that if I had the -- if I had not given the story to the world, maybe my life would not be as it is, I believe.

COOPER (voice over): Tina Turner continued to perform and write, continued to loved. In 2013, she married her longtime boyfriend, Erwin Bach. She spoke about meeting him in the 2021 documentary, "Tina."

TINA TURNER: He was younger. He was 30 years old at the time, the prettiest face. I mean, you cannot -- it was like saying, where did he come from? He was really so good looking. My heart went, oh, oh, pop, pop. And it means that a soul has met.

COOPER (voice over): A soul has met. And Tina Turner's family released a statement that said she died peacefully after a long illness, and with her passing, the world loses a music legend.


NOBILO: Soon after the news broke of Tina Turner's death flowers began appearing at her star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. Turner's music and film career spanned decades. And she was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame twice.

FOSTER: Mick Jagger called her my wonderful friend and said, he'll never forget how she helped him early in his career. Claims to have taught him to dance. Did you know that?

NOBILO: No, I didn't.

FOSTER: Longtime friend Oprah Winfrey paid tribute to Turner with a poignant recollection of being a devoted fan well before they became close. In 1997 Turner and Oprah appeared together onstage for a memorable high energy duet of the best one of signature tunes. NOBILO: Turner success helped launch many other singing careers too.

Beyonce wrote: My beloved queen, I love you endlessly. I'm so grateful for your inspiration and all the ways you've paved the way. Your strength and resilience, you are the epitome of power and passion.

FOSTER: Ruth Pointer of the Pointer Sisters and songwriter Diane Warren summed up with many of Turner's family, friends and fans are feeling as they mourn Turner's passing.


RUTH POINTER, THE POINTER SISTERS: Oh my gosh, I just started weeping, you know. I loved her so much. In my opinion she was my queen in the music industry. She was my queen. I wanted to be her, you know. I tried to be her with my sisters.

DIANE WARREN, SONGWRITER: There's no one that could ever could compare with Tina Turner. There was so much soul and strength in her voice. She's on the top of the mountain of great singers of all-time in popular music. And it's a huge, huge loss for music today.


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR: Tina Turner was 83 when she died on Wednesday, following a lengthy illness.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: She was inspirational on so many levels, wasn't she? There was the performance, probably the best performer of her generation, don't you think?

NOBILO: Stage energy like nobody else.

FOSTER: Yes, and then obviously the music. But also, just that universal comeback story of having that horrific marriage and then bouncing back. A lot of her songs we remember actually from her --

NOBILO: The later part of her career.

FOSTER: Which starting in her 40s.

NOBILO: And was an absolute triumph. You're right, I think that she's paved the way for it to be a lot more normal for women to continue to shine later in their careers. Rather than just be associated with that patch of popstar youth.

Still to come, Guam takes a beating from a super typhoon before it turns out to sea. We're live on the island with how recovery is going.



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

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

In a few hours Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis is set to host dozens of fundraisers in Miami. DeSantis's donor blitz comes after a glitchy campaign launch on Twitter - which he blamed on the large audiences trying to join the stream.

And Microsoft says the Chinese hackers are likely focused on disrupting critical communications between the U.S. and its allies in Asia. But Western security agencies are also concerned that China could apply the same formula worldwide.

NOBILO: The worst is over for Guam as typhoon Mawar now moves away from the island. But the storm is getting a lot stronger. It regained its super typhoon status a few hours ago and within the past few moments, we've learned it has strengthened into the equivalent of a category five hurricane.

Guam's governor says as of Thursday mourning, no deaths were reported from the storm, which lashed the island with strong winds and heavy rains. We're joined by storm chaser James Reynolds joining us from Guam. Just describe what you went through -- James.

JAMES REYNOLDS, STORM CHASER: Yes, it has been a long day, Max, beginning about literally 24 hours ago. At this moment, it was just a maelstrom behind me. You know, sheets of rain flying through the air. You could hear the crash of, you know, large objects being blown over. And the wind just tearing at the palm trees. And that went on for about five or six hours. And it was only when the sun came up that, you know, things started progressively calming down as this storm was moving away. Thankfully now, you know, conditions are much, much better than they were.

NOBILO: And James, we understand now that typhoon Mawar has really intensified. Why did that occur and what impact they have on the future of its path?

REYNOLDS: Well, it's really feeding on like a perfect cocktail of ingredients. You know, warm sea water, a very moist atmosphere, so it's just taking advantage of all of that and exploded into this powerhouse category storm. Thankfully, the good news over the next two or three days is it's not going to threaten anyone.

But there is a lot of uncertainty in the long-range forecast. This could come uncomfortably close to the northern Philippines or Taiwan. We just don't really know yet. So definitely needs to be watched still.

FOSTER: OK, thanks for bringing us that, and good that no one was hurt. James, thank you.

Convicted double murderer, Alec Murdaugh, is now facing 22 new charges for alleged financial schemes. They include wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering. The disbarred South Carolina attorney is appealing his conviction for killing his wife and grown son. He was sentenced to life in prison. Murdaugh's attorney say they expect the new charges will be resolved quickly without a trial because he's been cooperating with prosecutors.

FOSTER: We also have an update on the murder of Gabby Petito. The young Florida woman whose remains were found in Wyoming nearly two years ago after a trip out West with her fiancee Brian Laundrie.


Petito's parents on Wednesday obtained a copy of a letter sent to Brian Laundrie from his mother that was among his belongings when his body was found in Florida several weeks later. That letter has not been made public. But Laundrie's mother apparently referenced getting a shovel and burying a body. The envelope postmarked burn after reading.

FOSTER: The Petito's are suing the Laundrie's for emotional distress over their daughter's death and had fought to get their letter into the record. Here's what their attorney had to say after the hearing.


PATRICK REILLY, PETITO FAMILY ATTORNEY: The letter suggests that Roberta Laundrie would -- if she needed to bury a body, she'd bring a shovel and garbage bags. It said that if he went to jail, she'd bake a cake with a file in it. I know in court I said shiv but that was my recollection from a year ago. It does say file. So, in my mind, that clearly shows that she knew that Gabby Petito was deceased. And it's all up to the jury to decide when that letter was written.


FOSTER: Well, according to the FBI, Brian Laundrie wrote a confession to killing Gabby before taking his own life in October of 2021.

Now the man whose murder case was featured in the podcast "Serial." wants another day in court. On Wednesday attorneys for Adnan Syed asked the Maryland Supreme Court to get involved in his case.

NOBILO: Syed more than two decades behind bars for the killing of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. His conviction was overturned last year but an appellate court reinstated it in March, saying a lower court violated the rights of the victim's brother to attend the hearing. His attorney say they're now fighting for his rights as a defendant and as an exoneree.

FOSTER: Still head, Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter may not be enough for Elon Musk. Why the billionaire might have his sights set on right-wing media?


NOBILO: With just a week until Pride Month begins in the U.S. Target says it's removing some merchandise after the company and its employees became the focus of what it described as a volatile anti- LBGTQ campaign.

[04:45:00] Target did not specify the nature of the threat or which products would no longer be available. But did say it was removing items at the center of the most significant confrontation behavior. The company has celebrated Pride Month for a decade and sells a wide range of products. In a statement Target says it's moving forward with its continued commitment to the LBGTQ IA+ community and will stand with them as they celebrate Pride Month this month and throughout the year.

FOSTER: Billionaire Elon Musk is not shy about making his opinions known on divisive social issues. His decision to host Florida Governor Ron DeSantis's presidential campaign launch on Twitter, may help position him as a challenger to right-wing media mogul Rupert Murdoch. CNN's Miguel Marquez reports.


ELON MUSK, TWITTER OWNER: I'll say what I want to say and if the consequence of that is losing money, so be it.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Elon Musk, opinionated, sometimes libertarian, contrarian, serial controversialist, at times sounding conspiratorial. His wealth measured in the hundreds of billions, among the richest in the world, now injecting himself into public debate, like never before.

MUSK: I wish we could have just a normal human being as president. That's what I want.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Musk on CNBC last week talking everything from Tesla to SpaceX to Twitter.

MUSK: My overall kind of vision for actual Twitter is to be a cybernetic collective mind for humanity.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Musk even addressing some of his more controversial takes on current events, via his Twitter platform. He tweeted then deleted about the attack last October on then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband, Paul, in their San Francisco home. The tweet helped the spread of disinformation about the attack.

He cast doubt on whether the shooter -- who killed eight and wounded seven -- at a Dallas area mall earlier this month held white supremacist believes, despite the Texas Department of Public Safety saying the shooter had Nazi patches, tattoos and a long history of supporting white supremacist views.

He tweeted his dislike for the billionaire and Democratic megadonor, George Soros, helping drive antisemitic views about the Holocaust survivor.

MUSK: He reminds me of Magneto. It's like calm down, people, this is not like a metaphorical case out of it.

INTERVIEWER: You said he wants to erode the very fabric of civilization and Soros hates humanity. Like when you do something like that, do you think about -- MUSK: Yeah, I think that's true. That's my opinion.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): On politics, Musk opaque at best. He supported Obama, says he did not like Trump. Voted for Biden and is now disappointed with his performance. And has indicated many times he'd support Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, putting his choice for the next president this way to the "Wall Street Journal."

MUSK: I think someone that is representative of the moderate views that I think most of the country holds in reality.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Musk's own views often seem controversial for the sake of controversy. On COVID, Musk says he was vaccinated but late last year he tweeted, my pronouns are prosecute/Fauci. Hard core conservatives celebrated it. The medical community and many on the left were horrified.

Miguel Marquez, CNN New York.


NOBILO: After a motorbike accident left a man unable to walk, he thought he could never use his legs again. But an amazing new medical device is helping him to achieve those goals.



NOBILO: We're keeping a close eye on super typhoon Mawar as it moves through the western Pacific Ocean. It passed over Guam late Wednesday, ripping through the island with strong winds and heavy rain.

FOSTER: The storm is now equivalent to a category five Atlanta hurricane with winds of 165 miles per hour with gusts up to 200 miles per hour. Mawar the fifth storm, year to date to reach this intensity. Usually there are only five such storms the entire year and the Atlantic hurricane season doesn't begin until next week.

Now for the first time in 27 years, the Florida Panthers are heading to the Stanley Cup finals. Anthony Duclair found the back of the net just 41 seconds into Wednesday night's game with the Carolina Hurricanes. And Matthew Tkachuk scored the first of two goals later in the period. Carolina made things interesting with three goals of their own. But the eighth-seeded Panthers completed the sweep hoisting the Prince of Wales trophy for the first time since 1996.

NOBILO: Now to baseball. A marquee matchup between the top teams in the national league east and west. Matt Olson got things started for the Atlanta Braves with this solo home run in the fourth inning. The Los Angeles Dodgers tied the game and then Marcell Ozuna hit this two- run blast in the fifth to put the Braves back in front. The game was tied again in the bottom of the ninth when Ozzie Albies hit a sacrifice fly to clinch the Braves victory 4-3.

Sometimes I feel like I'm speaking ancient Greek when I'm doing baseball.

FOSTER: But you say it so well.

NOBILO: Actually, I understand more ancient Greek. I'd say.

And the stories in the spotlight this hour. A new study says Saturn's icy rings are disappearing. Tell us more.

FOSTER: I'll tell you more. Data captured by NASA's Cassini mission has revealed new insights into how the rings have been around and when they may vanish from sight. Researchers estimate they'll be around for another few hundred million years at most. The findings are in three studies published earlier this month. The more interesting thing for me was that it did not always have rings.

NOBILO: I'm glad something interested you about space.

FOSTER: Well, I like Saturn, I guess because of the rings. So, once they're gone, I'll lose all interest in space.

NOBILO: You will. You won't be around.

You don't need to be a scientist to know that a plant-based diet is healthier than eating meat and plants. But a new study found a distinct benefit for going vegetarian or vegan.

FOSTER: But the study found a plant-based diet can lower total cholesterol as much as 7 percent, and LDL, what's known as the bad cholesterol, can drop as much as 10 percent. This could dramatically lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.


NOBILO: This makes a ton of sense because most bad cholesterol sources are animal fats like animal meets, et cetera.

FOSTER: Also, you do -- if you have a plant-based diet you tend to eat less processed food. Don't you?

NOBILO: Are you speaking from experience? I've only really seen you eat Korean barbecue.

FOSTER: If I had a plant-based diet, I would eat less processed foods.

NOBILO: Yes, you would, wouldn't you?


NOBILO: But you also go to the gym.

FOSTER: As I said earlier, I walk faster every day. Walk fast -- so isn't it, I'm not sort of wheeling past or everything.


More than a decade after the tragic motorbike accident left him paralyzed a Dutch man is learning to walk again thanks to an amazing breakthrough in neurological technology. Gert-Jan Oskam recovery was tracked in the medical journal "Nature," outlining how he regained the full use of his legs and arms.

FOSTER: It is really a miracle. A team of experts implanted a brain spine interface into his body creating a direct link between the two body parts. Bianca will explain after this. The device tracks the brain's intentions to move and then transmits them to an external device which stimulates muscles. Oskam says he can walk just over 300 feet using the device, but still requires help to perform some activities. He says he always believed walking again as possible. But now he is actually doing it. It's amazing, but just -- I mean, you're saying it's a --

NOBILO: So, essentially how it works is that implants in the brain and then an implant in the spinal cord at the base of the spine. And they transmit information wirelessly. So, if you've an injury --

FOSTER: It could skip the injury.

NOBILO: -- it could skip the injury, which obviously would naturally conduct the electrical impulses. And that's how he can regain the use. Now he has been going to the pub standing up with his friends having a beer he says that is amazing.

FOSTER: It's just awesome. That's the best part of the story.


FOSTER: Thanks for joining us here on CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Max Foster.

NOBILO: And I'm Bianca Nobilo. "EARLY START" is up next right here on CNN.