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Republican Negotiator: Close To Deal But No White Smoke Yet; Millions Of Passengers Push Air Travel To Near Record Level; WHO: Close To 1,000 Medical Facilities Attacked In Ukraine. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired May 27, 2023 - 05:00   ET




PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and a very warm welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Paula Newton. Ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: With regard to the debt limit, things are looking good, very optimistic.


NEWTON: OK. That might be how President Biden feels about debt ceiling negotiations. But it's not clear everyone agrees. We'll look at the obstacles still ahead. And.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If we have been on top of the plan, we're going to get on top of the plane.


NEWTON: Yes. Buckle up for what's expected to be a very busy holiday travel weekend. It's the unofficial start of summer, people. And the U.S. and millions here are on the move.

Plus, CNN Sports Andy Scholes joins me live to look at how new rules in Major League Baseball are putting action back in the game.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Paula Newton.

NEWTON: And we begin with what we hope is a renewed sense of optimism on Capitol Hill this hour that a financial disaster could be averted. White House and Republican negotiators have been hammering out the details of a plan to raise the nation's debt limit. And we're told an agreement could be reached as early as today. That word coming after President Joe Biden said he was hopeful about a deal coming together. Now one of the key Republican negotiators says he shares that sentiment. Listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PATRICK MCHENRY (R-NC): I would concur. Everybody wants to look for the white smoke.


MCHENRY: We are not in that stage yet. So, you have to have -- you have to have an agreement, an agreement on the agreement, which is like the complicated part. You all know waiting around for, you know, the final bit of agreements is the hardest, longest wait.

And it's a hopeful sign to me that I've rarely used that term in the last 12 days that I've been involved in this. So, hopeful sign that the President is saying those things, that tells me his White House team, you know, might be in a -- in a better disposition than what we've seen in previous days.


NEWTON: So, even if a deal is reached, it's not clear whether there's enough support in Congress to actually pass it. And there's little more than a week to go until the government runs out of cash. Manu Raju has our report.


MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The clock is now ticking. June 5th, the new date to avoid the first-ever debt default in the United States if Congress and the White House cannot agree on a deal to raise the national debt limit, which now stands at $31.4 trillion.

Default could have drastic economic ramifications in the United States and around the world. And it starts with getting a deal between speaker McCarthy, his top allies and the White House. And at the moment, there is no deal yet. They are close to one though. They've been negotiating seriously for says, late into the night as they've horse traded on a whole wide range of issues.

And as Republicans have pushed for spending cuts to be attached to any piece of legislation to raise the national debt limit, there are indications the White House is moving closer to the Republicans' position on that.

And there are also some indications that the Republicans are getting a little bit more to the White House on how long to extend the national debt limit --debt limit for. The White House wants it done through the 2024 elections. Republicans initially proposed to do it just for one year so they can get back and have this fight again next year.

The White House does not want to have this fight again. It appears Republicans are -- would allow for a two-year debt limit increase.

The other major sticking points as well. Including over the issue of work requirements. That means actual -- for social safety net programs. Republicans want to impose on programs like food stamps, new work requirements for those beneficiaries.

Democrats believe those -- that push will hurt needy families and could be detrimental to a lot of people who rely on that for their nutrition and for their daily lives.

But all the negotiations, all part of the discussion now going forward and as Garret Graves, one of the top negotiators, told me earlier in the day, that he will insist on work requirements to be part of any deal.


REP. GARRET GRAVES (R-LA): Democrats right now are willing to default on the debt so they can -- so they can continue making welfare payments for people that are refusing to work. And I'm talking about people that are without dependents, people that are able-bodied between 18 and 55. And it's crazy to me that we're even having this debate.

RAJU: Are you willing to drop that work requirement in this agreement?

GRAVES: Hell no. Hell no. Not a chance.


RAJU: But even if a deal is reached as soon as Saturday, getting this into law is a whole other question, because they're going to need to have the votes in both chambers to do that. And we're already hearing pushback.


Democrats don't like the compromises the White House is making in order to raise the national debt limit, particularly on work requirements and spending cuts. Conservatives don't like the fact that they've watered down, in their view, the position the Republicans had in April when they passed their own bill to raise the debt limit out of the House and included a slew of spending cuts.

It also had things like reining in Joe Biden's policies, including on student loan forgiveness. That won't be part of this ultimate deal. But in -- so a lot of these conservatives, dozens of them, are threatening to vote against this final deal.

So the whipping will take place by the leaders to try to get their members in line and push this through in a matter of days. Then it goes over to the United States Senate, assuming they get the votes in the House. That could take several days itself.

As a lot of members are concerned about what they're hearing about this. And senators have been shut out of these negotiations that have taken place between the Speaker's team and the White House. So a lot of questions here still remaining.

Even though there's optimism that a deal is within reach, a long way to go to avert default. Manu Raju, CNN, Capitol Hill.


NEWTON: Joining me now is political analyst Michael Genovese. He is the author of the Modern Presidency: Six Debates That Define the Institution and president of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University. And I thank you for joining us as we continue to wait, right? Still no news, they say they're close. What do you make of the way the negotiations have unfolded so far?

MICHAEL GENOVESE, PRESIDENT, GLOBAL POLICY INSTITUTE AT LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY: Well, Paula, this is a hard and fast rule. And that is when you jump out of a plane, you should open the parachute before you hit the ground. And it seems that that logic has been lost on both the Democrats and the Republicans, I think especially the Republicans who are digging their heels in.

We need to make a deal. There is no need not to make a deal. We've made deals like this before, 90 times since 1960. We've raised the debt limit without fanfare, without fuss, without bother. So, it's time for the grownups to take over and I'm hoping that they're in the room.

NEWTON: Yes. One would hope that they're in the room. They do seem to be close. Having said that, our chief business correspondent here Christine Romans has been reminding us for weeks, right, that the U.S. credit rating, you know, the borrowing prowess, the U.S. dollar supremacy, it is an American superpower. And even if there is a deal right now with a lot last moment, that it, you know, erodes confidence because the political dealmakers right now seem to have the economy by the throat.

How much do you think it will damage the standing? Not just globally, but obviously, with Americans as well, in terms of losing confidence of what can be done?

GENOVESE: Well, I think we've also already seen some damage done. I mean, global leadership is always fragile. It's always tentative, and it's built on interest and perception. Is it in the interest for example of another country to follow our lead? And do they believe that they have faith that we have the capacity to actually lead and to execute? It's not automatic, it has to be earned and has to be earned every day.

And a global superpower has to demonstrate that. It must both be and be seen as having capacity to be strong, reliable, to have a clear and steady hand. And this manufactured crisis has called into question the very capacity of the Americans to lead. Instead of a steady and reliable hand, we're seeing chaos and confusion and, you know, walking up to the -- to the debt crisis. It rattles the allies. It rattles the markets and it undermines our authority, especially at a time when China is just chomping at the bit to replace us.

NEWTON: And I want to pick up on that point. Do you think this will give China more ammunition? You know, they do not like this dollar supremacy and certainly do not like the way America for lack of a better term wields its superpower throughout the global economy.

GENOVESE: China has long suffered from Dollar envy, and one can't blame them because the dollar is the currency. And as we undermine the dollar, we play into the hands of China. And so, they must be just enjoying themselves watching America shoot itself in the foot. And really, the whole question of can the dollars primacy BSP maintained and strengthened. Right now it's a very fragile position and who knows what's going to happen in two weeks if they do hit the deficit limit and things start to go into collapse.

NEWTON: Now, if that happens or even if it starts to look quite messy, even if they come up with a deal, I'm asking you politically, do you believe the Americans would blame Republicans more or the president more? He is the leader of the country and they look to him for that leadership.


GENOVESE: There's two bits of data I'd introduce here. One is that in the past the American public has blamed the Republicans when this has happened. When we've come to the borderline, when we've come to the end, when we've had government shutdowns, the Republicans have been blamed. The other point of data I would introduce is that the little bit we have on that in terms of public opinion polling is that right now it looks like there's either even blame or slightly they're blaming the Democrats and President Biden.

He's not been as active and as forefoot -- forceful as some would like. And so, it could very well be that this is the first time that the Democrats get blamed for this.

NEWTON: Which you would think would give both sides the incentive to just get it done because there wouldn't be political losses for each. Michael, we'll leave it there for now. But thanks so much as we continue to watch and wait for that deal.

GENOVESE: Thank you very much.

NEWTON: Millions here in the United States are flocking to beaches for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, but the weather may not cooperate in some places. Along the southeast coast expect heavy rains, gusty winds, rip currents and coastal flooding. Parts of the Carolina coast are under threat of excessive rain in fact and flooding on Saturday. And severe storms are possible right across the Great Plains from Texas all the way to Montana.

Now, those storms could impact the holiday weekend. Air travel which has already reached the highest level in nearly 3-1/2 years. And airports right across the country are expected to be even busier for the next few days. Transportation Security officials say they expect to screen about 10 million passengers this holiday weekend. CNN's Pete Muntean has the story.


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): A summer of tests for air travel is already off to a record-setting start. From Atlanta.


MUNTEAN (voiceover): To Los Angeles.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are looking at a very busy weekend here at LAX.

MUNTEAN (voiceover): With the Transportation Security Administration screening 2.66 million people at airports nationwide on Thursday, the highest number since before the pandemic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just tried to prepare as much as I could with what I can control.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, the airport is really busy but, otherwise, no, it has been easy, relatively easy.

MUNTEAN (voiceover): A smooth start after airlines canceled 2,700 flights last Memorial Day weekend, kicking off a summer of more than 55,000 cancelations.


MUNTEAN (voiceover): Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is putting pressure on airlines, which insist they are now right-sized and right-staffed, hiring 48,000 workers in the last year, according to a CNN analysis.

BUTTIGIEG: We're doing everything we can to press airlines to deliver that good service. And if there is an issue, we have your back.

MUNTEAN (voiceover): Though airlines worry delays could come from the federal government, which is short 3,000 air traffic controllers. This week, back-to-back staffing issues in Denver forced the FAA to slow flights. United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby calls air traffic control shortages his number one concern.

SCOTT KIRBY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, UNITED AIRLINES: That doesn't just impact those flights; that bleeds over to the whole system for the rest of the day.

MUNTEAN (voiceover): For now, the FAA has opened up 169 new, more efficient flight routes up and down the East Coast. From its command center in Virginia, the agency is monitoring storms in Florida, warning of delays in Tampa, Orlando, Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As far as the risk to the Memorial Day weekend, it's looking pretty good.

MUNTEAN: Still pretty busy here at Reagan National Airport. And despite all this demand, travel site Hopper says airfare has actually gone down by 26 percent in the last year. The average domestic round- trip ticket this weekend, $273. But get this. International airfare has jumped by 50 percent. The average international round trip this weekend, $1,300. The big tip from travel experts. Try to book the first flight out if you can. That minimizes your chance of cancellations or delays.

Pete Muntean, CNN, Reagan National Airport.


NEWTON: OK. Much more to come here on CNN NEWSROOM including a look at how Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is taking aim at former President Trump his competitor for the Republican presidential nomination.

Plus, rescuers are no longer looking for survivors at a bombed out medical facility in Ukraine. We'll have the latest on the Russian attack in Dnipro.

And Ukraine's top commander posts a new online video with a possible message about the upcoming counteroffensive. You'll want to see this. Stay with us.



NEWTON: Russian officials are accusing Ukraine of striking a city it wants fiercely defended. They say two long range missiles hit Mariupol on Friday but didn't cause casualties or major damage. Ukraine is now officially claiming responsibility but Ukrainian political adviser says the target was the city's Azovstal Steel Plant where he says Russia had set up an ammunition depot.

The plant became a symbol of Kyiv's resistance to the Kremlin because Ukrainian troops fought there for weeks before surrendering last May.

Officials meantime say search and rescue operations are over at the site of a Russian rocket strike in the Ukrainian city of the Dnipro. The attack obliterated this medical facility on Friday leaving at least two people dead and more than 30 others wounded. Rescuers have finished clearing a three-storey building that was part of that facility. They say more than three dozen high rises and other buildings were also damaged in the attack including schools and kindergartens.

But there's no word on the fate of three people who are considered missing at this hour. Some first responders say there are no military targets in the area.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This is a residential area, behind us are facilities, playgrounds, a stadium, school. There are not even any regular factories here or have any defense needs. It is 100 percent a residential area.

(END VIDEO CLIP) NEWTON: The World Health Organization says Ukraine's healthcare system has been attacked close to 1000 times since the war began. And then almost 900 health facilities have been hit resulting in 97 deaths.


For more now, our Clare Sebastian is following the latest developments from London. I mean, a terrifyingly familiar pattern, right? With that hit. And then WHO numbers. We just went through just startling. You know, we have condemnations about this every time. And yet is there any indication that these kinds of attacks will stop?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You mean, Paula, potentially the only limiting factor here maybe Russia's stockpile of weapons, but we see -- we've seen they have a lot of different types of missiles they can call on and plus, they clearly have a pipeline to replenish their stocks of attack drones from Iran. So, it doesn't seem like that is going to stop things anytime soon.

And really, I think since the end of May -- since the end of April, and throughout the month of May, we've really seen an uptick in this aerial attack. Some of them it seems with military or sort of infrastructure targets. Kyiv, the capital has been a major target. But it seems at times that there isn't a target. This is just all part of the sort of strategy of attrition that Russia continues to execute here, trying to exhaust the Ukrainian people test their resolve.

So, it seems like that is continuing. And in terms of the criticism, Russia simply ignores it. They continue to say that they're not targeting civilians, continue to frame this conflict as a way of protecting Ukraine's people. I think these images here are a direct -- they directly refute that.

NEWTON: Yes, absolutely. And certainly, France has said so about that attack as well. Clare, the Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Valerii Zaluzhnyi released a new video this morning on telegram. He had a stark warning. It really is interesting the timing when this has been released. What more can you tell us about it?

SEBASTIAN: Yes. I mean, I think if speculation was already high around when and how Ukraine will launch its upcoming counter events, if this really just ramps it up, Valerii Zaluzhnyi is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces putting out this sort of epic movie-style video on his telegram channel. The caption particularly significant, it says the time has come to take back what's ours. And most striking I think about this video are the weapons on display there.

Some of the more high tech -- the most high tech, perhaps Western weapons that Ukraine has now taken delivery of -- we're seeing Leopard 2 tanks, HIMARS, things like that armored vehicles that it's been given by Western countries. I think this will ramp up speculation around the counteroffensive. The timing, of course, significant because it comes as we've seen a real increase in what appeared to be attacks, although mostly Ukraine does not claim responsibility for them, but attacks far behind Russian lines. Mariupol, as you showed there in your introduction hit on Friday, that was also heard a week earlier. We're hearing a report this morning from Ukrainian official that Berdyansk, which is the Russian occupied port on the Sea of Azov in Zaporizhzhia region also, very far from the frontline has been hit, perhaps we think for the second time in three days. So, it seems that the momentum here is building, Paula.

NEWTON: Yes. Things are shifting. And I will note as our viewers just have noted the production value on that kind of a video, this was certainly thought through before they released it. Clare Sebastian, really grateful for your updates there from London. Appreciate it.

Now, as Russian strikes keep pummeling targets across Ukraine and Kyiv gets ready for its expected counteroffensive. Some are wondering if there's a connection between the two. Now earlier, I spoke about this with CNN military analyst, retired Colonel Cedric Leighton. Listen.


CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: I think the Russians are going to be intensifying their attacks on the civilian infrastructure. And I think it's going to be something that will probably go in waves. You'll see a, you know, facilities like the medical facility in Dnipro, you will see perhaps moving to once again, the power supply and perhaps other installations. So, there are going to be some waves that the Russians will mount.

They're going to go in and to try to disrupt any preparations of the Ukrainians have for a counteroffensive.

NEWTON: Yes. A tall order at this point. We should also say that when we report on Ukraine, there are reporting restrictions in Ukraine in terms of us understanding exactly where they are with that counteroffensive. I want to move to a recent analysis conducted by the Royal United Services Institute, that's RUSI, a think tank in the U.K. And they point out in this analysis that Russia, in fact, can still prosecute this war quite effectively.

They can continue to claim victories and the reason is that their ground strength is changing. They are adapting. They are now getting better, right? In a year plus that they've been prosecuting this war. They are also pointing out that Ukraine's counter offensive will have to be quite dynamic in order to, you know, come across in the way that they want to. I'm wondering what you think of that analysis given the fact that Ukraine has already said look, our counter offensive will likely not be a shock and awe operation. We are still going to be going into what will be a fairly grinding assault here.

LEIGHTON: Yes. I do wonder about the idea of going into a grinding assault.


Of course, you know, you look at it from the standpoint of the Ukrainians and the capabilities that they have and, you know, that's probably a -- at least in their minds, the only thing that they can do. But if they can overcome that and if they can actually have a -- an area where they can move forward quickly with lightning speed, that would definitely be to their advantage. And it's something that, you know, as far as the RUSI report is concerned, I think there's some very interesting elements to that.

In particular, what struck me were the intelligence aspects of this, such as the ability of the Russians to intercept Ukrainian tactical communications and not only to intercept them but to decrypt them. That can be a game changer, potentially, if they can use the intelligence that they gained from that to their advantage. So that could adversely impact the Ukrainian effort.


NEWTON: Closing in on a deal. The latest on talks to raise the U.S. debt ceiling and avert a financial disaster.

Plus, Turkish voters are going back to the polls tomorrow in a runoff election that will determine the next president. We'll have a live report from Istanbul. Stay with us.


NEWTON: And welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Paula Newton and this is CNN NEWSROOM. Now, we want to get back to our top story this hour. The White House and House Republicans appear to be closing in on an agreement to raise the debt ceiling and avert a financial catastrophe in the United States. Now, a person familiar with the negotiations tell CNN they're hoping in fact to announce an agreement as soon as today.


And they have a little more breathing room to seal this deal. The Treasury Secretary now says the US has until June 5th before it runs out of cash to pay all those bills. That's four days more than previously thought.

There's a wave of optimism coming from the White House. CNN's Jeremy Diamond has more on that.


JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, as the White House and Republican lawmakers continued negotiating on Friday over a potential deal to raise the debt ceiling and cap spending, President Biden on Friday sounding downright optimistic about the possibility, the potential for reaching a deal, even as early, he said, as Friday night.

BIDEN: There's a negotiation going on. I'm hopeful we'll know by tonight whether we are going to be able to have a deal.

DIAMOND: And the President saying he thinks things are looking good in those ongoing negotiations. Now the president's comments come just hours after the Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, has finally set an exact date for when she believes the U.S. government will run out of money to pay its bills and pay its debt obligations. And that new date is June 5th, according to the Treasury Secretary.

In a -- in a letter to congressional leadership, including the Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, Secretary Yellen writes, "Based on the most recent available data, we now estimate that Treasury will have insufficient resources to satisfy the government's obligations if Congress has not raised or suspended the debt limit by June 5th."

And a senior White House official telling me on Friday that this new timeline doesn't fundamentally change the negotiations, but it certainly does inject a new sense -- an added sense, perhaps, of urgency to those talks.

This official also said that they are now in the final stages of negotiation and that they believe they are on track to reach a deal to avoid default by June 5th. Now, we know that one of the major sticking points in that final stage of negotiations has been this issue of work requirements for those social safety net programs.

I asked President Biden on Friday, as he was leaving for Camp David, what he says to Democrats, who tell him that they don't want him to bow to McCarthy on work requirements.

The president told me, I bow to no one.

Jeremy Diamond, CNN, the White House.


NEWTON: Florida governor and newly minted Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis is taking the gloves off when he speaks about his rival, former president Donald Trump. DeSantis' campaign raised just over $8 million in its first 24 hours. That was despite the glitch filled announcement on Twitter Wednesday. Since then, DeSantis has been swinging hard at Trump and a series of interviews. Listen.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He understands that I've got a good chance to beat him because he doesn't criticize anybody else now. It's only me. They know that I'm more likely to win the election. I mean, for him to say that we're not winning in Florida, no one has taken a state from being a swing state 4-1/2 years ago to now being a red state in such a dramatic fashion.


NEWTON: DeSantis told the conservative Ben Shapiro Show that Trump is weak on illegal immigration and soft on crime.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DESANTIS: Two million illegal aliens he wanted to amnesty. I opposed it under the Trump administration. You know, he enacted a bill -- basically a jailbreak bill. It's called the First Step Act. It has allowed dangerous people out of prison who have now re offended and really, really hurt a number of people.


NEWTON: Meantime, Trump hit back on social media calling himself the standard bearer for MAGA Republicans.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Republican Party needs to unite behind the standard bearer of the MAGA movement. With your support today we will lock up the Republican nomination so that we can focus all of our energy and resources on beating crooked Joe and winning back to the White House in 2024.


NEWTON: Voters in Turkey will head back to the polls for a presidential runoff election tomorrow. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan got most of the votes in the first round of voting two weeks ago but failed to cross the 50 percent threshold and that would have been needed for the outright win. Now his challenger, Kemal Kilicdaroglu were both on the campaign trail on Friday hoping to win over undecided voters.

CNN's Nada Bashir joins me now live from Istanbul. Nada, good to have you there for this. OK. So the polls open in less than 24 hours. I'm wondering what campaigning is looking like now because there's been a lot of movement in terms of how the expectation -- the expectations for the result will turn out certainly with this second round of voting now.

NADA BASHIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL REPORTER: Yes, absolutely. In the last few days, Paula, we've really seen that campaign efforts stepping up. There are just a few hours left now before campaigning officially ends later this evening in Turkey. And we've seen those rallies taking place across the country. President Erdogan and his opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu both taking part in these campaign rallies.


In fact, just yesterday here in Istanbul we attended a rally both one in favor of the opposition, another in favor of President Erdogan's A.K. Party. In fact, at that rally, the country's own interior minister came to visit supporters. So, of course, we have seen that real effort to sway last-minute voters ahead of Sunday's crucial runoff. And as you mentioned there, President Erdogan's party was just short of that threshold of 50 percent plus one.

They secure 49.5 percent of the vote. And some analysts believe that he is primed to secure another term in office, particularly after securing the support of Sinan Ogan earlier this week. He was the leader of the Nationalist Party which came third in that first round of the vote in two weeks ago. They secured around five percent of the vote. So that could certainly have some sway this weekend.

But it has to be said members of his own party have also expressed support for the opposition. Now they secure just under 45 percent of the vote. Not enough to get them over the threshold. But it is a significant feat for an opposition party alliance rather that has long been very fragmented, very -- not quite unified. This time they have managed to get six very diverse, very different opposition parties to back one single candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

And they are hopeful that this could be an opportunity for them to bring about change in Turkey.

NEWTON: Yes, certainly. And there is some suspense as what to happen there. As you rightly pointed out this really was a feat for the opposition in this case. You know, no matter what happens, a lot of challenges unfolding in Turkey, significant ones given the earthquake and obviously the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

BASHIR: Absolutely. Some huge challenges ahead for whoever secures the presidency. Of course, President Erdogan's party and government has faced real criticism over the state of the economy. That is a big focus of voters. The country is facing a cost-of-living crisis, soaring inflation, many experts blaming President Erdogan's unorthodox monetary policies for that inflation that we're seeing in the weakening of the currency here of lira.

Some questions around whether or not President Erdogan will change tax if he is reelected, who he will appoint as his finance minister, should he win the election? However, if the opposition does come into power, what will their economic policies look like on that front? That is a huge concern. But as you mentioned there, of course, many voters will be thinking about the aftermath of the devastating February earthquake.

More than 50,000 people killed. Millions of people still display, still homeless. The government has faced criticism for its chaotic and delayed response to that earthquake as well as questions around liability and the preparations. And of course, we can't forget this is a key NATO ally, a key powerbroker in the region, particularly as the war in Ukraine continues.

NEWTON: Yes. And for that reason, Nada, it is good to have you there. As you point out, this is consequential beyond the Turkish borders. Appreciate your update. And be sure to watch CNN Special Live Coverage of the elections in Turkey hosted by Becky Anderson. That's tomorrow at 8:00 in the evening in Ankara and 9:00 p.m. in Abu Dhabi.

A scare in the air has aviation experts wondering how could a panicked passenger actually open a door in flight? When we return, a look at that and other aviation nightmares that became very real.

Plus. Wow, a warning for your next trip to the beach after a wave of shark attacks in the United States. We'll hear from survivors next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


NEWTON: Authorities in the U.S. are urging beachgoers to stay vigilant in the water after several shark attacks over the past few months. Now, although experts say such attacks, we all have to keep in mind are in fact rare. The warning comes as people flocked to the seaside. Remember, it is Memorial Day weekend here. CNN's Miguel Marquez has our story.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tiger shark ram me.

MARQUEZ (voiceover): A close call in Hawaii. Shark attacks happening almost anyplace, anytime.

MAGGIE DROZDOWSKI, SHARK ATTACK VICTIM, NEW JERSEY: I realized my whole foot was like in its mouth and I was shaking my foot as hard as I could.

MARQUEZ (voiceover): Maggie Drozdowski was surfing in southern New Jersey, when she was attacked.

In the Turks and Caicos, a 22-year-old woman was snorkeling beyond the reef when a shark attacked, taking her leg. She was saved by a fast- acting captain from a nearby tour boat.

ANDY CASAGRANDE, FILMAKER AND HOST, DISCOVERY'S SHARK WEEK: There is a number of reasons why sharks will occasionally bite people. Sometimes eat people. And mistaken identity is one of these big factors.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was like right there, right in the whitewater.

MARQUEZ (voiceover): In an attack in Fort Pierce, Florida, a teen was sitting in shallow water near the shore.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's kind of just slipped in and got my finger and my arm. And it like swooped around and got my leg.

MARQUEZ (voiceover): New York State's taking no chances this summer, increasing the number of shark spotting drones and patrol boats.

MARQUEZ: How much respect do you have to have that this is their front and backyard?

CLARENCE TOBIAS, SURFER: Oh, 100 percent. 100 percent. I'm playing in their -- in their homes. I'm playing by their rules.

MARQUEZ (voice over): Toby Tobias has served for 35 years. He's closest contact with a shark right here in NYC.

TOBIAS: I just glimpse to my side. And I just saw like a fin. And I just like glimpse, and he came straight to me, and just like make a big splash and just turned away.

MARQUEZ (voiceover): And just this morning, a suspected thresher shark spotted by this frequent surfer.

NICK SZWARC, SURFER: It looked pretty big. So, it was like the size of my surfboard. So --

MARQUEZ: You were not going to mess with it.

SZWARC: Yes, I paddled in. Yes.

MARQUEZ (voice over): Miguel Marquez, CNN, New York.


NEWTON: Authorities in the U.S. are urging beachgoers meantime to stay vigilant in the water. Considering what has happened there as you saw from Miguel Marquez's reporting.

So, we're learning more about a terrifying incident on Asiana Airlines flight on Friday. A passenger opened an exit door on the plane while it was still airborne. South Korean authorities arrested the man. According to the Yonhap News Agency, he told police he felt suffocated and wanted to get off the plane quickly. CNN's Tom Foreman now has our details.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Wind howling through the cabin, 200 people on board, passengers gripping their armrest. These were the chaotic minutes before landing for that Asiana Airlines flight in South Korea.

Officials say the plane was still 700 feet in the air, traveling around 170 miles an hour when a man in his 30s grabbed an exit door.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Maybe the man tried to get off the plane. A flight attendant said, help, help, and about 10 passengers stood up and pulled him in.


FOREMAN (voiceover): Opening a commercial jet door in flight is supposed to be impossible.

The doors are locked and beveled so that air pressure inside the plane pushes them firmly into the door opening. Aviation experts say overcoming that pressure would be like lifting a car.

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: So, at altitude, you simply can't do it. There are 1000s of pounds of pressure on those doors, you cannot open and you can't open the overwing exits. FOREMAN (voiceover): But at very low altitude, on some older planes, experts say it might be possible. What we know for sure is the man on the Asiana flight was arrested and others have tried the same thing.


FOREMAN (voiceover): On a flight from L.A. to Boston in March, authorities say a passenger was restrained after he attacked a crew member, tried to open the emergency exit door, and said he believed the flight attendant was trying to kill him.

Soon afterward, a court ordered him to undergo a mental health evaluation.

TORRES: Where is the Homeland Security with the gun? Because I'm waiting for them to point the gun at me.

I will kill every man on this plane.

FOREMAN (voiceover): Other incidents that raised similar concerns in the air, including a woman who tried to open a door while flying from Raleigh, North Carolina.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The captain has --

FOREMAN (voiceover): And on the ground. In Los Angeles, authorities say a man opened the door of a park jet and jumped onto an exit slide.

And in New York officials say a couple with their dog opened the door and took an exit slide as their plane was preparing to leave.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


NEWTON: Super Typhoon Mawar is moving west, northwest over the open Pacific Ocean. It's been the strongest storm on the planet in years equivalent in fact, with strong Category Five Atlantic hurricane. It has weakened ever so slightly over the past few hours before casters say that may be temporary and it could still strengthen much more in the coming hours. Mawar is expected to turn away from the Philippines and slowly weaken as it moves further north over cooler waters.

Now earlier this week the storm lashed the U.S. territory of Guam with powerful winds and torrential rains, leaving significant damage and flooding but luckily not as bad as initially feared.

OK. Still ahead for us. Two leagues, two playoff games, one mission, win or go home. Andy Scholes with CNN Sport has our preview of today's NBA and NFL games. That's next.


BIDEN: What's the matter? What's the matter? I don't blame you. I'm bored with me, too. NEWTON: Good one, Mr. President. U.S. President Joe Biden there

getting some laughs as the White House celebrated this year's national champions in college basketball. The men's champions, the University of Connecticut Huskies. UConn presented Mr. Biden with his own jersey, number 46. Four of course, the 46th president. He praised the team for the grit and perseverance.

Now, earlier the President and First Lady Dr. Jil Biden celebrated the women's national champions. The Louisiana State University Tigers and they praised the Tigers for their record-breaking accomplishments and Vice President Kamala Harris congratulated the team for their first ever championship.

During his remarks, President Biden called on the country to support women's athletics.

Now to the NBA and NHL playoffs. They're giving sports fans in fact a win or go home option here and that includes a chance for the both Boston Celtics, let's hear it for the Boston Celtics to do something fewer than a handful of NBA teams have been able to do. That is force a game seven.


NEWTON: I've been -- you know I've been watching closely because we were talking about Boston last week.

SCHOLES: Yes. So, Paula no team in NBA history has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit. It's just never been done but the Celtics here, they are chasing history, you know, teams that fall behind 0-3, 0 and 150 all top. So, I mean, it's happened a lot of times and no one has been able to do it. But hey, Boston, they're just the 15th team to force a game six and they're two -- actually 2-1/2-point favorites tonight in Miami against the Heat in this one.

If they can win for a second time on the road this series, they'd be just the fourth team to push it to a game seven after losing the first three games. You take a look at the other three teams to do it. You got the 2003 Blazers against the Mavs, '94 Nuggets against the Jazz and the 1951 Knicks against the Royals. So, it's very rare to even get to a game seven but all of those teams, they lost that game seven.

They were all on the road. If the Celtics were able to get this series to a game seven, they wouldn't be the home team and we'd be just heavy favorites against the Heat on Monday night. But you got to get there first. But you got to think all the pressure is on Miami tonight to win at home in game six, but the Heat, they're playing it cool.


BAM ADEBAYO, MIAMI HEAT CENTER: Why would we lose confidence? When we started this journey, nobody believed in us. Everybody thought we were going to be out in the first round. Everybody thought we were going to be out in the second round. And now we are here, one game away. So, for us, man, we've always had confidence, and that's not going to go away." JASON TATUM, BOSTON CELTICS FORWARD: Being down 3-0, you understand how that's never been done is, you know, all the talk about that. It kind of gave us a sense of just like, you know, everybody is counting us out. You know, we're supposed to win. We're supposed to be done, and I think we started to play a little bit more free, relaxed.


SCHOLES: All right. Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars have a much steeper hill to climb in their series against the Golden Knights. They're down three one after avoiding the sweep. Been forcing you to game five tonight in Vegas. But unlike the Heat, the stars know coming back or like the Celtics, I just say, the stars know coming back from a 3-0 hole. Well, it's possible in hockey. Four NHL teams have actually already done that and won four straight after losing the first three.

Two of them actually happened in the past doesn't postseason. So, the Flyers did it back in 2010. The L.A. Kings did it back in 2014. But it's actually never been done in the conference finals.


PETER DEBOER, DALLAS STARS HEAD COACH: Well, we don't have much choice but to believe in it, right? I mean, that's where we're at.


There's always a team that puts himself in this spot and climbs out of it. It doesn't happen all the time but it happens in enough that why not us?


SCHOLES: Yes. So, we'll wait and see. I mean, you know, the Stars, they got -- yes, they got to win three more games. The Celtics just got to win too, Paula. So, we'll see if we get to see some history right now. I just hope they keep winning so that we keep talking about the series.

NEWTON: And you and I talked about Boston and the kind of sports season they've had in the last few weeks. So hey --

SCHOLES: Yes. Well, yes, after what the Bruins did after flaming out after that great season there.

NEWTON: OK. Major League Baseball, I've been really interested in this. They've had these radical rule changes in baseball. I mean, the most radical changes in a century. And the main rule here, if I got it right, it's this clock on the player. So, explain this to us and what's happened.

SCHOLES: So, baseball they set out. So, like the biggest complaints coming, you know, for years, they did a lot of surveys, biggest plates about baseball follower. The games were too long. And a lot of times it was boring. There wasn't enough action. So, baseball put in the new rules, the biggest one was the pitch clock to try to -- try to make the game more exciting, make the game more faster.

And this year, so far, the games are coming in at two hours and 39 minutes. That's almost a half an hour shorter than it was just last season. And it's about the same length the games were in the 80s. We haven't seen, you know, any of those marathon. Four, five-hour games at all this season. And also, stolen bases are way up. And this is because pitchers, they can no longer just throw over the first and second countless times with runners on.

They can only do it twice now. If they do it a third time, they either have to get that out or the runners get to advance. So, you're not seeing these endless pickoff attempts that we used to see. Pickoff attempts way down. And that means stolen base attempts or basically their way up. You're getting 1.8 stolen base attempts per game. That's the most since 2012. The success rate is way up. So far this season, Paula, we get the most stolen bases we've seen since 1999.

So, the game is faster, a lot more people running around the bases. All in all, the rule is really working.

NEWTON: Game on. It seems to work, right Andy?


NEWTON: Good to see you. I'm Paula Newton. I want to thank you for your company. For international viewers, Living Golf is up next. Everyone else, we will be joining North America here, CNN this morning. That's up next.