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CNN International: DeSantis Hoping to Distinguish Himself from Trump in Iowa; Passengers on Capsized Boat Linked to Security Agencies; NASA to Release Report on Unidentified Phenomena in July. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired June 01, 2023 - 04:30   ET



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

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Max Foster. If you are just joining us, let me bring you up to date with our top stories this hour.

The Biden/McCarthy debt limit deal is heading to the U.S. Senate after a victorious vote in the House late on Wednesday night. President Biden is urging the Senate to pass the bill so he can sign it into law.

And sources tell CNN, federal prosecutors have an audio of former President Donald Trump acknowledging to having a classified document from the Pentagon in his hand after he left the White House. This would mean Trump's comments on declassifying everything may not be true. The recording could serve as a key piece of evidence in the special counsel's classified documents investigation.

Now the field of the Republican candidates for next year's U.S. presidential election is already getting quite large. In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis is trying to position himself as the one who can topple the frontrunner, Donald Trump. CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports from Iowa where DeSantis just wrapped up a campaign stop.


RON DESANTIS, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We can't make excuses. But we have to be able to get the job done.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is trying to seize the reins of the Republican Party from the hands of Donald Trump, pitching himself as a fighter who can win.

DESANTIS: This bureaucracy has imposed its will on us for far too long. It's about time we impose our will on it, and that it answers to we the people.

ZELENY (voice-over): On his first full day of campaigning across Iowa as a declared presidential candidate, DeSantis made clear he would draw distinctions with the former president on his terms. DESANTIS: I am going to counterpunch. I'm going to fight back on it. I'm going to focus my fire on Biden, and I think he should do the same. He gives Biden a free pass. I'm focusing on Biden.

ZELENY (voice-over): But long before DeSantis can confront President Biden, he must first get through a Republican primary, in a growing field of challengers. Including former Vice President Mike Pence and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who are poised to enter the race next week.

But Trump still looms largest over the race. He arrives here to offer something of a rebuttal to DeSantis. The latest sign the race is intensifying, with the Iowa caucuses early next year among the first test for the strength of Trump's grip on the GOP.

Samona Yentes is among the Iowa Republicans weighing their options. And at this point, she is utterly undecided.

SAMONA YENTES, IOWA REPUBLICAN VOTER: I have a tremendous amount of respect for many things President Trump did in office. So, I have to keep that in mind. I also have a tremendous amount of respect for what Governor DeSantis has done in Florida.

ZELENY (voice-over): DeSantis addressed those Republicans directly. Bluntly saying Trump can't win a general election.

DESANTIS: I think our voters are looking at this and they say, you know, yeah, we appreciate what he did, but we also recognize there are a lot of voters that aren't going to vote for him. We have to accept that.

ZELENY (voice-over): Even as questions about his own electability remain unanswered, DeSantis touts his deeply conservative Florida record. As he introduces himself to Iowa voters, he stepped up his subtle contrast with Trump.

DESANTIS: At the end of the day, leadership is not about entertainment. It's not about building a brand. It's not about virtue signaling. It is about results.

ZELENY (voice-over): At his side was his closest political adviser, his wife Casey, who picked up the argument where he left off.

CASEY DESANTIS, WIFE OF RON DESANTIS: At the end of the day, I say that it matters in the moment. And you see how a leader conducts himself when the lights are on.


ZELENY: As the Florida governor heads onto New Hampshire and South Carolina to campaign this week, former President Donald Trump arrives in Iowa and will be campaigning on Thursday. But no big rallies this time. Instead he'll be meeting with small groups of conservative supporters, Evangelical supporters, trying to make the case that he is fighting for this Republican nomination in a new way. But there is no doubt as this Republican field keeps growing and growing, this could still be advantage Trump because that never Trump lane is fractured and divided by so many candidates.

Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Pella, Iowa.


NOBILO: And I've got some global industry news for you. Effective today staffers with Britons National Health Service will get a 5 percent pay rise retroactive to April. That's more than 1 million people from nurses to cleaning crews. A new union agreement comes after months of damaging strikes. In addition to the bump in pay, the U.K.'s Department of Health and Social Care says these workers will also get a one-time bonus to recognize the sustained pressure that they've been under since the pandemic.

Amazon's corporate workers sent a message about the company's return to office policy on Wednesday. Organizers say about 1,000 employees staged a walkout to push back against the requirement to be in the office at least three days a week. The group behind the move also wants Amazon to focus more on its impact on the climate.

The company says about 300 employees joined the walkout and it happened after Amazon laid off tens of thousands of workers.

Meanwhile, Amazon has agreed to pay more than $30 million to settle two federal lawsuits over violations of customers' privacy. U.S. regulators accused the company of keeping ring doorbell videos and Alexa voice recordings for years, along with geolocation info and often did so without consent. And in some cases unauthorized parties were able to access that data due to what the government called Amazon's lacks policies. Despite the settlement Amazon denies violating the law.

And Facebook's parent company Meta is asking a federal court to stop the U.S. government from imposing tougher rules after its landmark privacy settlement three years ago. Meta said the Federal Trade Commission does not have the power to reopen the matter or unilaterally impose sweeping new regulations and that its $5 billion settlement over the Cambridge Analytica fiasco was finalized. But the FTC says the settlement should be updated due to alleged violations of the agreement -- back to you, Max.

FOSTER: Thank you, Bianca.

Now a day on an Italian lake turned deadly when an overcrowded boat capsized. Now we're learning all the passengers on board had links to intelligence agencies. A live report just ahead.



NOBILO: Canadian officials are warning residents against violating a ban on burning anything in the open in Nova Scotia. They announced that on Wednesday, anyone who does so could be fined more than $18,000. FOSTER: 14 wildfires in the province has destroyed hundreds of

buildings and sent huge plumes of smoke into the air. Authorities say the hefty fine and provincewide burn ban are meant to convey the seriousness of the situation.

NOBILO: Officials say conditions are just too volatile. The forests are dry and the region has been struggling with record breaking heat. Firefighters from New York and New Hampshire are traveling in to help.

FOSTER: Also in Canada, a blunt health warning will soon appear on each and every cigarette sold. That makes it the first country in the world to do so.

NOBILO: Messages that will appear in English and French on cigarettes include tobacco smoke harms children, cigarettes cause leukemia and poison in every puff.

FOSTER: The government hopes that new regulations will reduce tobacco use nationwide to less than 5 percent by 2035. They go into effect on August 1, but will be phased in over the next two years.

The U.S. Food And Drug Administration has now approved Pfizer's first RSV vaccine for older adults. RSV is a serious respiratory illness with flu-like symptoms that can be life threatening for seniors. Another RSV vaccine was by drugmaker GSK was approved by the FDA just a few weeks ago. And Moderna is expected to submit its RSV vaccine for approval in the coming months.

NOBILO: A capsized boat on an Italian lake has left four dead and a mystery in its wake. Officials say all 21 passengers had current or former links to Italian and Israeli intelligence agencies.

CNN contributor Barbie Nadeau joins us from Rome. We've been getting a drip, drip of information about this, haven't we, over the past few days. So, what is the latest you got?

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, they're still working to bring that boat up from the water. They had a hard time raising it. Once they get it up and out of the lake, they'll be doing a lot more investigation. We took a closer look at just what happened. Let's listen.


NADEAU (voice-over): A peaceful day on a picturesque Italian lake turns deadly. A deadly accident turns mysterious.

Four people were killed, including two Italian intelligence officers and a retired Israeli defense official, when a chartered house boat sank in a sudden storm on Lake Maggiore Sunday.

The captain said a waterspout appeared in a sudden storm. The Italian captain's Russia girlfriend also died.

The Gooduria boat was listed on a boat-chartering website for 2,000 euros a day, with an advertised maximum capacity of 15 passengers. But on the fatal Sunday, there were 21 passengers, plus two crew members on board. All passengers, in some way tied to Italian and Israeli intelligence work, the prosecutor's office said.

The survivors said they were celebrating a birthday. Italians Tiziana Barnobi and Claudio Alonzi were active secret service agents, the Italian government confirmed.

The Israeli citizen Erez Shimoni was retired. Israel's prime minister's office called him a dear friend to the country's security forces.

The Italian prosecutor said passengers are not under investigation and would not comment on what they might have been doing on the boat. The captain is under investigation for culpable manslaughter.

Efforts to salvage the boat are being closely watched by Italian security officials and should provide more clues to the mysterious Sunday outing turned deadly.


NADEAU (on camera): And you know, what's really important I think to note here, is that we may never know what those 21 people, who are not related to each other, all connected to intelligence services, were doing that day. Because that's not part of the investigation.

FOSTER: Do we know where the agents are now?

NADEAU: Well, it is interesting, the 13 Israeli agents were basically ferried out of Italy on a private jet the day after they, you know, survived the accident. The dead Israeli has been repatriated as well.


The eight Italian agents are not allowed to speak to the press. But they're in Italy and they are part of the investigation in terms of talking to the prosecutor in charge of it. But the investigation is only into whether the captain erred in any way and we know he had the boat was overcapacity. We'll find out a lot more I'm sure, but I doubt we'll ever find out what they were doing on that day on the lake.

FOSTER: Exactly. Barbie, thank you very much indeed. We're not going to find out everything, are we?


FOSTER: A NASA task force plans to publish its first report this summer on unidentified anomalous phenomena, better known as UFOs or UAPs.

NOBILO: UAP is the new acronym.


NOBILO: Which I think is partly to remove the stigma of UFO tinfoil hat crowd. The team of independent scientists is creating guidelines to turn creepy stories and grainy footage into hard science and hopefully some answers. CNN's Tom foreman explains.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For many years, the U.S. government just denied all of these reports of people seeing things in the sky, the idea that there even were unidentified objects up there.

But now, government agencies in the past few years have come around to saying, yeah, there's clearly something there because we have video of it and we have too many reports of it, but what exactly is it?

This is NASA's time to come on board with all of that, with this committee they put together that's going to have a report out this summer basically saying, here's what we think is going on up there.

Now, they're not going to answer a lot of things because they -- they will say some things can be explained as balloons or flights of birds or maybe aircraft that people didn't know were up there. Some of it they'd say they can't explain. But more importantly what they're saying is they're trying to put together a roadmap going forward. A way to combine actual scientific observation of these things with the anecdotal observation you have. Because the problem is they have too much of that right now. There are too many people with iPhones and saying I saw something and maybe it looked like this.

Did they come up with a general idea of what these things look like based upon what they have heard anecdotally? Yes, they say generally the characteristics of these unidentified anomalous phenomenon -- as they call them now -- are they're round and small, white, silver or translucent, around 10,000 to 30,000 feet, stationary to Mach 2, twice the speed of sound, and there's no thermal exhaust.

But that is nothing but an average of a lot of people saying, well, I think I saw this. And what NASA is trying to say is, it's easy to say what you think you saw. If we really want to get to the bottom of what's going on here, we need to quantify this. We need to be able to say exactly what was happening. Where was it? How fast it was traveling? They think by doing that, they will get rid of a lot of the noise and get down to the few items that they really don't know. Are they advanced weapons systems? Are they surveillance systems from other countries or even the NASA people say, or are they from somewhere else, some other place out in the galaxy?

They don't think it's that. They don't think it's that. And even though many skeptics say even if they knew, they would never tell us, the NASA people at the end of all of this said, look, many of us spend our lives wondering if we can find life out there. If we can find it, we'd sure like to. We'll see what their report says later this summer.


NOBILO: Two U.S. Senators want aviation regulators to re-evaluate whether airplane seats are too cramped.

FOSTER: Well, they are on some planes, aren't they?

NOBILO: You're very tall. You must think --

FOSTER: Yes. They submitted legislation requiring FAA to conduct airplane evacuation tests in more real-world conditions. They say earlier tests involving passengers for most planes' quota, and they reportedly didn't account for senior citizens and people with disabilities. But the FAA says four years ago that the standard seat size was not an obstacle to evacuation. Exactly.

Still ahead, are you too old to play with dolls? What about playing a doll in the new Barbie movie? After Ryan Gosling responds to social media users about his role as the boy friend of Barbie. He is an actor in his own right, sorely not just a boyfriend.



FOSTER: The Cincinnati Reds are one of the hottest teams in the Major League Baseball right now with five game winning streak. They were in Boston on Wednesday night facing the Red Sox. Second baseman Enmanuel Valdez gave the home team an early lead with this home run over the green monster. The game was tied at three a piece in the seventh inning. Reds first baseman Spencer Steer blasted a two-run shot to left field to put Cincinnati ahead for good.

NOBILO: And now to New York where the Philadelphia Phillies were in town for a match-up with the Mets. Shortstop Edmundo Sosa got the scoring started for the Phillies with a solo home run in the third inning. But no stopping Met outfielder Mark Canha who launched this two-run shot to left in the bottom of the third. Canha would go on to drive in all of the Mets runs on the way to a 4-1 victory. And Phillies have now lost three games in a row.

FOSTER: Now to a recall involving the Ford Bronco and difficult to reach seatbelts. The automaker is recalling 176,000 of its SUVs from 2021 to this year. After the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that drivers and front seat passengers can have difficulty reaching the metal portion of the belt when it's in a retracted position. Did you keep up with that?

NOBILO: I did.

FOSTER: It warned that it could lead to drivers not using the seatbelts. The recall involves only the five-door version of the Bronco. It's very annoying when you can't get to the seatbelt. To be fair.

NOBILO: And also a big safety issue.

A long-lost cast member from "Sex and The City" is returning to the show, just like that.


KIM CATTRALL, ACTRESS, SEX AND THE CITY: You're not marrying the guy. You're making out with him. Enjoy it, don't worry about the label. (END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Kim Cattrall who played Samantha Jones was famously missing from the first season of the reboot amid reports of bad blood. Cattrall is bringing the sex positive publicist Samantha back for at least one scene in season two.


I don't really follow that having not followed the series. But I guess it's --

NOBILO: It's all very hush-hush. Like CNN and HBO is owned by parent company Warner Brothers Discovery. Do you think you're going to give this --

FOSTER: Was the sex safe?

NOBILO: No, sex positive meaning somebody that doesn't feel like people should be maligned for their sexual decisions and other theories that have been considered promiscuity.

FOSTER: Yes, I've learned something.

And in the spotlight, representatives of veteran American actor Al Pacino confirmed to CNN that he will soon be reprising one of his favorite roles. And no, it's not his gangster character from 1983's "Scarface."

NOBILO: One of my favorite films.

FOSTER: Brilliant. The Oscar-winning actor who is 83 is planning to become a real-life daddy again in the near future.

NOBILO: The woman on the left is 29-year-old girlfriend, Noor Alfallah, who is reported to be about eight months pregnant. It will be Pacino's fourth child. And coincidentally he joins 79-year-old "Godfather" costar Robert De Niro who recently welcomed his seventh child.

FOSTER: Quite a trend going on.

NOBILO: Certainly is.

Ryan Gosling is having a launch -- a laugh rather -- about a debate between some social media users who say that he is too grown up to play Ken in the new Barbie movie.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But not a doctor.

GOSLING: Can I talk to a doctor?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are talking to a doctor.

GOSLING: Do I need a clicky pen?


GOSLING: A sharp thing.


GOSLING: There he is, doctor.


FOSTER: The 42-year-old actor said in a new interview with GQ.

Quote: If people don't want to play with my Ken, there are many other Kens to play with. He says the debate is funny given that for six years no one ever cared about Barbie's sometimes boyfriend. Gosling says one of the many draws about taking the role was being part of a movie that put female characters out front.

The film is being released by Warner Brothers which is owned by CNN's parent company.

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

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