Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

U.S. Sees Recent Spike In Little-Known Respiratory Virus HMPV; California Governor Could Face Key Senate Decision; South American Leaders Arrive For Regional Summit In Brazil; Western Nations, Human Rights Groups Condemn Uganda; China Launches Shenzhou-16 With First Civilian Astronaut; North Korea To Launch Spy Satellite Despite Opposition; Latvians Celebrate After Beating U.S. 4-3 To Take Bronze; Officials Call Emergency Summit On Racehorse Deaths; Intense Storm Batters Cruise Ship Off Charleston Coast. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired May 30, 2023 - 04:30   ET



MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN Newsroom. I'm Max Foster. If you're just joining us, let me bring up to date with our top stories this hour. Key vote of the U.S. House Rules Committee is set to take place later today. Lawmakers on the committee will decide whether to move the Biden-McCarthy debt limit deal forward to the rest of Congress.

And at least nine people are in hospital, including three children, after shooting erupted on the Hollywood Beach boardwalk in Florida. Authorities say the shooting was between two rival groups. One suspect is in custody. And officials are searching for others involved.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says many Americans may have been sick with a respiratory virus in recent months without even knowing about it. According to the CDC, cases of human metapneumovirus spiked during the spring, leaving people with symptoms similar to flu and COVID-19.

The problem is, many Americans aren't tested for hMPV, so they weren't aware that they had it. Experts say that children and senior citizens are most at risk of infection, and so far, there's no vaccine or medication to treat the virus. Doctors also say that you should consult a medical professional if you notice these symptoms, like a lower lung infection, hacking coughs, runny nose, sore throat, and fever.

The CDC also recommends that you wash your hands and avoid touching your face to help prevent getting the virus. So, Max, remember to wash your hands.

FOSTER: That's the advice. Thank you.


FOSTER: There is growing speculation and intrigue around the health of 89-year-old Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California. A new report details claims that she's become increasingly reliant on aides to help her do her job on Capitol Hill. Some California Democrats are lobbying Governor Gavin Newsom to keep his promise to appoint a black woman to replace Feinstein if she retires.

CNN's Kyung Lah reports.


GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM, CALIFORNIA: Good morning, Los Angeles.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): California Governor Gavin Newsom hit his party's top issues at the California Democratic Convention.

NEWSOM: This is the free state of California.

LAH (voice-over): But not the biggest question swirling among the Democratic faithful, especially in this room of black Democrats.

(on-camera): Are you confident that Governor Newsom will keep his promise?


LAH (on-camera): That's not confident.

MARSHALL MCKENZIE: I'm cautiously optimistic.

LAH (voice-over): She's talking about this.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: If, in fact, Dianne Feinstein were to retire, will you nominate an African American woman?

NEWSOM: We have multiple names in mind, and the answer is yes.

LAH (voice-over): Age 89, Senator Dianne Feinstein had been absent from the Senate for months, battling health issues. Now back on the job, she maintains she can fulfill her duties and will not resign. But should she step aside, Governor Newsom would nominate the person to complete her term.

With the razor thin Democratic Senate majority and judicial nominations in the balance, California Democrats are confident Newsom is aware of the states.

KIMBERLY ELLIS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I don't think he needs reminding. He knows why this is so important.

LAH (voice-over): Kimberly Ellis is one of a powerful group of black Democrats openly lobbying for Newsom to keep his word.

ELLIS: Black women are the margin of victory. We get it done. We believe that Gavin Newsom will keep his promise to fill that seat with a black woman. The only question is, which black woman? And from our perspective, it's Barbara or bust. LAH (voice-over): Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who has been in Congress since the late 90s. She is already running for Feinstein's Senate seat in the 2024 election.

(on-camera): Should you be that black woman?

BARBARA LEE, DEMOCRATIC U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: Well, let me say I'm focused on this campaign, and I'm not going to get involved in his process. He made a commitment, and I am running to win this campaign.

LAH (on-camera): How important is it for a black woman to sit in the Senate?

LEE: Representation matters. When you look at the fact that there's not a voice in the Senate who represents our diversity, it's outrageous.

You all want this picture.

LAH (voice-over): But choosing Lee isn't a simple choice for Newsom, it would mean elevating her above two rivals in the Senate race.

ADAM SCHIFF, DEMOCRATIC U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: And we're going to be friends during the campaign.

LEE: That's right.

LAH (voice-over): That's Congressman Adam Schiff. He is also running for the same Senate seat, the lead prosecutor in Donald Trump's first impeachment trial, backed by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

SCHIFF: My father gave me some very good advice, which is, focus on the things you can control, not the things you can't. So I'm focused on running my race. And I do think that, ultimately, voters want to decide this race, and they want that choice to make. And I think they will have that choice.

LAH (voice-over): Congresswoman Katie Porter, beloved by the progressive base, is also running for the Senate seat.

(on-camera): How much does that tip the scales if he selects representatively?

KATIE PORTER, DEMOCRATIC U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: I assume that Governor Newsom will keep his promise, but I can't speak for him or what he's thinking about. For me, this campaign is about -- not about the past, it's about the future. It's not just about the next six months, it's about the next six years, the next 60 years for California.


LAH (voice-over): A Newsom adviser tells CNN this is apolitically fraught choice he would like to avoid. His supporters say it would present a tough decision that could test Newsom's own standing within the party. VILMA DAWSON, CALIFORNIA DEMOCRAT: I know the governor has his mind on the future himself, and people have long memories as to whether or not they can trust someone to support, shall we say, promises that they made.

NEWSOM: We're proud to be here as Democrats.


LAH: There is another option here. Should Governor Newsom get the chance to nominate someone for this seat, it would be to nominate a non-political person or someone who pledges to not run in 2024. But among the Democratic activists that we've spoken to, they call that, quote, "under deliverance".

Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.

FOSTER: Now to the Brazilian capital where South American leaders have been arriving for a summit that starts later today.

NOBILO: They'll be discussing how to revive a regional alliance once known as the Union of South American Nations. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is onboard, calling the union necessary for the people of their continent. Brazil's president, who organized the talk, said partnerships are needed for economic development and to defend democracy.

The East African nation of Uganda is facing intense condemnation from western countries and human rights groups following its approval Monday of an extreme anti-LGBTQ law. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed the measure with a golden pen after parliament approved it.

FOSTER: It mandates the death penalty for so-called aggravated homosexuality, and simply engaging in gay sex could lead to life in prison. The law also criminalizes sex education for the gay community and encourages Ugandans to report LGBTQ individuals. Gay rights activists inside Uganda tell CNN they're now living in fear.

CNN's David McKenzie has more from Johannesburg.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly this law that was signed by President Museveni is one of the most draconian anti-LGBTQ laws in the world. It includes, amongst other things, a life sentence for those who are caught in the act of homosexuality.

And crucially, it makes illegal the promotion of homosexuality. And I'm using the words within that bill, which means that education could be curbed for sexual education. It also asks for people to out those who they believe are LGBTQ to the authorities.

Now, I've spoken to several activists today in Uganda who fear for their lives at this moment. They worry that people will take the law into their own hands. And there has already been an atmosphere of fear in the lead up to the signing of the bill. Now, the proponents of the bill say that this is an important moment for Uganda. This is a deeply conservative, mostly Christian country. And the man who put his name to the bill had this to say.


ASUMAN BASALIRWA, UGANDAN MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: So if we don't stand our ground as a country, as a people, as a community, then we will completely have seceded our sovereignty and independence as a country.


MCKENZIE: Now, Museveni has already faced a great deal of pressure not to sign the bill, and I'm sure he'll be roundly criticized by western governments and potentially face sanctions for this. Uganda is very dependent on support from the European Union and the U.S. for both humanitarian aid and, in the U.S. case, military support.

But he has stood firm and says this law should be put forward and these punishments should be meted out. Now, despite the talk of sovereignty, there's a growing body of evidence that U.S. groups were certainly involved in helping Ugandan lawmakers push through this law, Conservative groups. And the same is the case in Ghana, where a similar law is being proposed.

David McKenzie, CNN, Johannesburg.

NOBILO: Still ahead, China sends the fifth manned mission to its space station as it moves ahead with its ambitious space program. We'll have the latest on that when we come back.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Foreign Language)


NOBILO: China sends its first civilian astronaut into space as it launches the Shenzhou-16 mission. Officials say that the liftoff was a complete success and it marks another step forward for the country's ambitious space program.

FOSTER: The three crew members on board, the craft are set to manned China's space station, taking over from the previous Shenzhou-15 astronauts.

For more, let's go to Steven Jiang live in Beijing. A lot of people watching the lift off today.

STEVEN JIANG, CNN BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF: Yes, Max. Actually, according to state media, the spacecraft just docked with the Chinese space station, the Tiangong a few minutes ago actually now. Any moments now, we could be seeing six Chinese astronauts actually in the same structure, which is quite remarkable considering the country's first manned space mission was only launched 20 years ago in 2003.

And the space station itself, the core module, first entered orbit only in 2021. But by the end of last year, they had completed construction of this three module structure. And now there's already talk about expanding this structure to extend research capabilities. So that's a kind of a pace of development we have been seeing.

Now, this latest crew, these three astronauts, they are going to conduct a series of research and experiments doing their five months stay in space, but also, of course, installing, testing new equipment and conducting spacewalks. All of that has become increasingly common.

But one of the most fascinating aspects, as you mentioned about this crew, of course, is it's the first time China is sending a civilian into space. All the previous Chinese astronauts have been military personnel. And this professor, Gui Haichao, is from a prestigious aeronautics university here and he is a payload expert, but he's been actually raising quite a eyebrows because he actually wears eyeglasses.

So prompting officials and state media to explain, given the division of labor, astronauts tasks have become more specialized. So you don't have to have perfect 20/20 natural vision to be a astronaut. And I've already seen some facetious response online from parents actually complaining now they could no longer tell their kids, who are glued to their smartphones that you will never become an astronaut if you're near sighted. That line just won't fly anymore. Max and Bianca?

FOSTER: OK. Steven, live in Beijing, thank you.


NOBILO: Despite protests from its neighbors, North Korea says it will launch its first military spy satellite next month. It comes as Japan is warning Pyongyang it will use extreme force if North Korean missile lands in its territory.

CNN's Brian Todd has more on this.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A warning from North Korea's aggressive 39-year-old dictator. Kim Jong-un's regime has notified Japan that it plans to launch a satellite between this Wednesday, May 31st and June 11th. That's according to a spokesman for the Japanese coast guard. Japan has issued its own warning right back to Pyongyang.

HIROKAZU MATSUNO, JAPANESE CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY (through translator): The defense ministry and self-defense forces have already issued an order to prepare for destructive measures against ballistic missiles in response to the series of North Korean movements.

TODD (voice-over): South Korea also warning Kim's regime not to go ahead with the launch. Kim Jong-un recently inspected what North Korea claims is its first military reconnaissance satellite and approved it for deployment. Analyst David Schmerler believes Kim's new satellite won't be able to feed him images that are as high res or sophisticated as the ones from America's satellites can. Still --

(on-camera): What might Kim Jong-un be able to spy on that's sensitive to the U.S. and its allies?

DAVID SCHMERLER, SATELLITE IMAGERY ANALYST: So the North Koreans are going to be primarily interested in military bases belonging to the South Koreans, to the Americans in South Korea, and then likely installations for the U.S. and Japan in Japan and naval movements near the coast of North Korea.

TODD (voice-over): The launch of a spy satellite would be the latest in a pattern of aggressive moves by the North Korean strongman. Kim has test fired more than 100 missiles since the beginning of last year. Last month, he claimed to have fired off a long range intercontinental ballistic missile powered by solid fuel.

Analysts say a solid fueled ICBM would give North Korea more flexibility because those missiles can be launched more quickly than others. North Korea recently tested an underwater drone that it said was capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, and the regime test fired cruise missiles launched from a submarine.

Analysts say this new satellite is right up there in importance with all of those missile capabilities because it can provide the intelligence Kim's generals need to use those weapons in war.

SCHMERLER: If the North Koreans want to hit a location in South Korea, they have to know where the missile defense locations are.

TODD (voice-over): When he recently inspected the satellite he's now threatening to launch, Kim wore matching lab coats with his young daughter, believed to be about nine years old and named Kim Ju-ae. She's recently become a media sensation in North Korea, more and more often seen at her father's appearances.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're trying literally to teach her how to be a leader in the Kim family dynasty.


TODD: But analysts caution it's possible that Kim Ju-ae is not being groomed to be the supreme leader. They point out that South Korean intelligence recently said Kim-Jong-un also has an older son who's not yet been seen in public. And experts say it's possible that Kim could be waiting to unveil him until he's more of age.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

FOSTER: Just ahead, the Vegas Golden Knights are headed to the NHL Stanley Cup finals. We'll have highlights from their blowout victory against Dallas.



FOSTER: In the national hockey league, the Vegas Golden Knights are heading to their second Stanley Cup finals after a six to nothing blowout victory against the Dallas Stars on Monday. The Golden Knights will now play against the Florida Panthers, who also made the finals for the second time in franchise history. The two teams face off in game one in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Monday was national holiday in Latvia after the tiny Baltic nation took bronze in the Ice Hockey World Championship.




FOSTER: After Sunday's historic win over the United States, massive crowd celebrated the Latvian capital on Monday, a huge turnout for a country of less than 2 million people. Canada took gold in the tournament and Germany won silver, but Latvia still beat hockey powerhouse Sweden before topping the U.S. 4 to 3 in overtime to take third.

Latvia co-hosted the championship. The Finland and the Latvian president was in the locker room Sunday as the party began.

NOBILO: Authorities will gather today for an emergency summit after 12 race horses died at Churchill Downs in the past two months. The track in Louisville is home to the prestigious Kentucky Derby. Safety officials say they're deeply concerned by the unusually high number of deaths. Two horses suffered significant injuries and had to be euthanized on Saturday. Churchill Downs's CEO says the organization is fully cooperating with investigators.

And the stories in the spotlight this hour for you. A new study finds adding 500 milligrams of flavanols to your daily diet can help boost memory and possibly improve age-related mental decline.

FOSTER: What are flavanols, they ask.

NOBILO: They're a subclass of polyphenols.

FOSTER: So say compounds that give fruits and vegetables their bright colors. That can also be found in green tea and cocoa, which you drink.

NOBILO: And cocoa is my favorite snack. 100 percent cocoa dark chocolate.

FOSTER: Experts warn that eating a bunch of chocolate won't do the trick, though. You should be getting your flavanols from a variety of foods.

NOBILO: Yes, and they can include chia seeds, leafy greens, onions, red wine.

FOSTER: I'm going to try them all now.

Now, the Royal family saga may have ended when the series finale of "Succession" aired on Sunday, but a different family saga just started for "Succession" actress Sarah Snook, who played Shiv Roy on the show. She posted a photo on Instagram showing her and her newborn baby watching "Succession" on TV.

NOBILO: The caption on the post reads, "I just watched the final episode of the final season of something that has changed my life. And now my life has changed again".

Succession aired on HBO, which is owned by CNN's parent company, Warner Brothers Discovery.


FOSTER: It's one of those series I never started and keep saying, you know, these new series, I want to go back to the beginning --


FOSTER: -- but the more series that come along --

NOBILO: But this is the final --

FOSTER: -- the more time it needs commit.

NOBILO: So now it's four seasons.

FOSTER: So now I know what I have to commit to.

NOBILO: Exactly. You can munch on an onion. Getting your flavanols while you do it.

FOSTER: I'll do that.

NOBILO: The Carnival Sunshine cruise ship is safe now. But over the weekend, a violent storm threatened everyone's good time.

This was the view from the ship on Friday night. One passenger recorded the intense wind and waves from the deck.

FOSTER: This video posted online shows flooding inside the ship with objects floating about the interior hallways. You can see there. The storm delayed the Sunshine's return to port in Charleston, South Carolina. But cruise line officials say the ship is now sailing onto its next voyage.

I mean, they are sort of prepared for these events, I guess, but it must have been pretty scary for people on board.

NOBILO: I think so. I mean, nobody would expect to see on a modern cruise ship to have that amount of water or any amount of water floating down the corridors. FOSTER: It's wandering around quite calmly with a camera, meanwhile.

NOBILO: What would you do in this situation?

FOSTER: Probably scream and run upstairs.

NOBILO: I used to be a lifeguard, but I'm not sure how helpful I'd be in the middle of the sea. To be completely honest.

FOSTER: Thank you 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.