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Officials: Signal Failure "Suspected" Cause Of Crash; Biden's First-Ever Oval Office Address Heralds Bipartisanship In Avoiding "Economic Collapse; Trump Subpoenaed For Records After Recording Surfaced Of Him Discussing Classified Doc On Iran; Zelenskyy To WSJ: We're Ready For Counter-Offensive; FAA Issues Temporary Flight Restrictions For Drones Near Site Of Partially Collapsed Building In Iowa; YouTube To Allow 2020 Election Denialism Content; Arlene Weakened To Tropical Depression; Churchill Downs Suspends Racing Amid Horse Deaths; Panthers, Golden Knights Face Off In Game 1; Bear Steals Cupcakes In Connecticut As Man Steals Cupcakes In Vancouver. Aired 1- 2p ET

Aired June 03, 2023 - 13:00   ET



PAULA REID, CNN HOST: Officials now pointing to signal failure as the suspected cause. CNN's Ivan Watson is in Delhi. Ivan, what is the latest on the search and rescue effort?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's after 9:00 at night, and they've called off the search and rescue effort at this point in India's Eastern Odisha state where this terrible train disaster happened. The rescue workers say they brought in a crane to help pick up some of these overturned train cars where they say there -- believe there are still bodies buried underneath there. And sadly, they say that hope of any survivors emerging is very small at this stage.

So you've just had this almost perfect storm of a crash of three separate trains, two passenger trains and a cargo train that happened Friday evening in the countryside, and the cause of this is going to be investigated, of course. We have -- Indian Railroad officials have told CNN, as you mentioned, that they believe that it could have been a signaling failure of some sort. And that could have either been human error or some kind of technical breakdown.

The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, he was supposed to be launching a brand new high-speed train today. And instead, he rushed to the scene of this disaster to meet with some of the survivors to express his condolences, and also to vow for some kind of justice saying whoever was responsible for this would have to pay for this.

Now, Paula, the Indian railroad network is massive. You have more than 13 million people a day who move around on trains in this country. And sadly, there is a track record for deadly accidents and disasters, but perhaps nothing quite on this scale, which has really stunned people. So you had long lines of volunteers who were trying to donate blood to help some of the survivors and coals, of course, for upgrading aging infrastructure and improving the safety records after this terrible accident, which still has people very much reeling, Paula.

REID: Ivan Watson, thank you.

And developing now, President Biden is preparing to sign the bipartisan bill to raise the nation's debt limit, averting a disastrous default. He says he plans to sign the legislation today. The bill cleared the House and Senate in bipartisan fashion following weeks of closed-door negotiations, led by Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. In his first ever Oval Office address last night, President Biden said the consequences of not getting a deal done could have been catastrophic.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: Passing this budget agreement was critical. The stakes could not have been higher. If we had failed to reach an agreement on the budget, there were extreme voices threatening to take America for the first time in our 247-year history into a default on our national debt. Nothing, nothing would have been more irresponsible. Nothing would have been more catastrophic. No one got everything they want, but the American people got what they needed.


REID: CNN's Priscilla Alvarez is at the White House. Priscilla, President Biden, he gave this sobering message that you've just heard some of last night. So what else is the White House saying about this deal?

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: A sobering message indeed, Paula, and it's important to note where he delivered that message. And that's from the Oval Office, really signaling the gravity of the moment and the fact that they did end up reaching an agreement on something that could have led to a default and the economic consequences that came with that.

So the White House, for weeks and months, had been underscoring how important it was to reach a deal to pass a bill before defaulting with the date this upcoming Monday. And a week after House Speaker McCarthy and President Biden reached a tentative agreement, President Biden is expected to sign that bill this afternoon.

Now, throughout his remarks, he underscored the gravity of the situation and the consequences had they not reached that agreement. And had there been a default for the first time in U.S. history, it could have led to a recession, it could have led to people losing their jobs.

And to get to that point, Biden said it was important that there was bipartisanship. And so that was a big message coming out of this remark is how Democrats and Republicans, and particularly Republican negotiators and White House negotiators had to work together. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BIDEN: I know bipartisanship is hard and unity is hard. But we can

never stop trying. Because in moments like this one, the ones we just faced, where the American economy and the world economy is at risk of collapsing.


There's no other way. No matter how tough our politics gets, we need to see each other as not as adversaries, but as fellow Americans, treat each other with dignity and respect.


ALVAREZ: Now, President Biden also commended House Speaker McCarthy saying that he negotiated in good faith and acknowledged that neither side got everything that they wanted. And on that front, the White House has received criticism from its allies on the left who say there were too many concessions, particularly on work requirements.

But the White House has fired back saying that they did all that they could to not give up too much, especially taking care of Medicaid and the elderly and not holding too much on work requirements. But all the same, President Biden is expected to sign that bill today to avoid that default come Monday and put the U.S. Treasury back on track. Paula.

REID: Priscilla Alvarez, thank you.

Now let's turn to the race for the White House. Nearly the entire field of GOP presidential candidates and contenders are in Iowa right now as the 2024 race begins to heat up. The Republican presidential hopefuls are attending Iowa Senator Joni Ernst annual Roast and Ride event. Former President Trump is skipping today's gathering, but all other leaning candidates, including Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, Tim Scott, and Asa Hutchinson are in Des Moines, as is former Vice President Mike Pence, who is expected to formally announce his presidential run in the coming days.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny joins us now from Des Moines. Jeff, this sounds fun. Set the stage for what we can expect from today's gathering.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, a few of the Republican presidential candidates are beginning to trickle in here. South Carolina Senator Tim Scott is shaking hands just behind me here, meeting these Republican voters. And really this is the -- feels like the beginning of this Republican presidential race here as hundreds of activists who will be among those making the first votes of the Republican nominating contest early next year.

But for now, these candidates are introducing themselves to voters. Several of them will be here. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis just arrived a few moments ago. This is pretty notable because he, of course, is trying to break out of the pack so he can have a one-on-one contest with former President Donald Trump. Of course, many Republican hopefuls believe that it's far too early to -- for this to become such a narrow contest. And we've been talking to Republican voters throughout the week here

in Iowa to get a sense of what they are thinking as they're weighing, supporting the former president or looking for a new hopeful. Have a listen here to two voters we spoke to that really set the parameters for this campaign to come.


JULIE MARLAY, IOWA REPUBLICAN VOTER: I want to go listen to each one of them. I've been a Trump supporter, still am, but I'm tired of all the chaos. So I'm looking for something different, something better. And I like DeSantis. I think he's showing leadership. And I like his stance, especially on the border. We got to get something done.

JANAE VANDERWILT, IOWA REPUBLICAN VOTER: DeSantis has a calmness about him that Trump lacks. He also has a humility about him that Trump lacks. Trump is fantastic at trolling people. He's fantastic at getting reactions. He did get some things done that I appreciate, but he totally lost the country over COVID stan.


ZELENY: So, again, these voters have been sizing up the candidates and each one of the candidates will be giving a short speech here today to make their case. The race really has been intensifying in the last several days, largely the back and forth between Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis. We will see if any of these Republican hopefuls try and draw distinctions with Trump themselves. Probably not the type of crowd for that, Paula, because this is a Republican gathering where, by and large, people have good feelings about the Trump policies, but they are ready to move on from the Trump personality.

But that, of course, is only a fraction of the Republican base in caucus. He, of course, still has many loyal supporters. But, again, the beginning of this summer-long contest here, and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is among the candidates and she'll be appearing tomorrow evening at a town hall here in Des Moines on CNN, again, giving a chance to have voters question and hear from these candidates. Paula.

REID: Jeff Zeleny, thank you.

And still ahead, a CNN exclusive report on a classified document former President Trump described on tape in 2021. But now, his attorneys can't find that material.

Plus new surveillance video shows the moments leading up to the apartment collapse in Iowa.



REID: Now to CNN's exclusive reporting on the special counsel investigation into former President Trump, and an audio recording of Trump discussing a classified document. CNN has now learned prosecutors subpoenaed Trump's legal team after obtaining that recording, during which Trump talks about keeping a classified Pentagon document about a potential attack on Iran. Trump's lawyers turned over some materials in response to the subpoena, but they were unable to find that document he's talking about.


REPORTER: Mr. President, why did you take classified documents concerning General Milley?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): CNN exclusively reporting former President Donald Trump served with a subpoena in mid-March, seeking any records related to the same U.S. military document he talks about on tape just six months after leaving the White House.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Special Counsel Jack Smith, Attorney General Merrick Garland's picked to oversee investigations into Trump trying to track down any additional classified materials still in Trump's possession.


The former president's attorneys turned over some material in response to the Justice Department's request, but not the document in question, the one Trump was recorded discussing in July 2021 at his Bedminster, New Jersey Golf Club. On the tape, he acknowledges he held on to a classified Pentagon document about a possible attack on Iran.


TRUMP: There is no crime. You know, there is no crime.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): That tape now in the hands of prosecutors, prompting them to subpoena all documents and materials related to Iran and Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


JIM TRUSTY, TRUMP LAWYER: I'm not going to try the case that's being set up by leaks that I don't believe are accurate.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Trump's attorney declining to address where the document is.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Has the document been returned to the National Archives?

TRUSTY: Same answer


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Throughout the investigation, prosecutors have expressed skepticism about whether they've gotten everything back from Trump over the last year. Trump's attorneys turned over 15 boxes to the National Archives. The FBI recovered more than a hundred classified documents from their search of Trump's Mar- a-Lago estate, and Trump's team found additional materials in subsequent searches of other Trump properties.


TRUMP: They become automatically declassified when I took them.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Trump denying any wrongdoing. And when asked if he ever shared classified information with anyone --


TRUMP: Not really. I would have the right to. By the way, they were declassified after --

COLLINS: What do you mean not really?

TRUMP: Not that I can think of. Let me just tell you, I have the absolute right to do whatever I want with them.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): In contrast, his former vice president striking a different tone after retaining classified materials.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Those classified documents should not have been in my personal residence. Mistakes were made.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): The Justice Department informing Mike Pence Thursday he will not face criminal charges for his handling of classified materials.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PENCE: And I take full responsibility.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): After a small number of classified documents were found at his Indiana home.


REID: While former Vice President Mike Pence will be able to hit the campaign trail without a special counsel investigation looming over him. The same can be said of President Biden or, of course, former President Trump. They're both still facing Special Counsel investigations into the possible mishandling of documents.

But, as we have seen from court documents in our own reporting this week at CNN, the legal threat facing former President Trump is far more significant.

With me now to talk more about these dramatic developments is Jamil Jaffer. He is a former Justice Department official and a former associate White House counsel to President George W. Bush.

All right, Jamil, legally, how significant is it that they can't find this document? I think we may -- we have may have -- all right. Let me try one more time. Jamil, how significant is it -- as a former prosecutor, how significant is it that they can't find this document?

JAMIL JAFFER, FORMER JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Well, you know, Paula, obviously it's a big deal that they can't locate the document and that they don't have their hands on it. Now they have the President obviously saying that he had the document suggesting that he may have taken it out and knowingly possessed it even after being asked for it back.

You know, the key issue here, Paula, is that the Espionage Act prohibits anyone from taking National Defense Information, keeping their possession and then not returning it when asked. That's part of the challenge the president faces. It's not just the Presidential Records Act, it's also this issue of the Espionage Act knowing you have this information and keeping it when you've asked for it back.

REID: And as we know, the Justice Department has expressed frustration with Trump and his team for not turning over everything out when they were first asked. So what do you make of this here? They're not even -- they're acknowledging that this may exist, but they can't even find it.

JAFFER: Well, that is what's really interesting about this. You know, the question is what happened to this document? Did the President have it in his possession in the first place? Was he just sort of saying it without actually having it? You know, on the tape, I haven't heard the tape, but based on the reporting we've seen, it sounds like he's rustling some sort of paper in his hand. He may very well have it on him. If he did, what happened to it then? We know that we've heard there are videos of boxes being moved. We

know the President has a penchant, Paula, for, you know, flushing documents down the toilet, you know, chewing them up and cutting them into pieces. So, we don't really know for sure. But the big question is, did he have this document? What did he do with it? And why doesn't the government have it back?

REID: Another important aspect of this recording from our reporting this week is that he sort of concedes that he does not have the power to declassify things. That undercuts all of the public explanations, all the public defenses. So, what defense is left at this point for retaining the defense secrets, classified information, and presidential records?


JAFFER: Yes, Paula, it's really hard to imagine what good defense he has remaining. I mean, look, the President certainly can, when he's in office, make the decision to declassify, he can't do it just by thinking about it, he can't do it just by walking out of the residence or wherever it might be, he has to make a decision. He has to tell somebody about it, write it down, you know, do something affirmative. He didn't do any of those things here.

Now I've got these after the fact justifications, none of which are valid, to be really clear. And so if he did, in fact, remove these documents, and they ran more along as we know that were, and he knew they were there, didn't turn them over, that subjects him to the liability. It's going to be very hard for the Justice Department to not prosecute him at this point going forward.

REID: And Trump also weighed in on his former Vice President, Mike Pence, not facing charges for his handling of classified documents, saying in part, "Just announced that they are not going to bring charges against Mike Pence on the document hoax. That's great. But when am I going to be fully exonerated? I'm at least as innocent as he is not." That, of course, flies in the face of the public facts. But does this decision about Mike Pence? I mean, is it relevant to the Trump case at all?

JAFFER: Well, I think it's relevant in a couple of ways. One, it demonstrates when you do the right thing, and you turn over the documents in, you know, you present the facts as they were, as Mike Pence did, that you're not going to be subject to liability. The problem is the President's done none of those things. He said he didn't have the documents, they ultimately found the documents. He had them in his possession, he may have even knowingly had them and moved them around. That's all the problems that make it harder now for the President to be exonerated.

The other thing, though, Paula, is, you know, we're talking about a former president who's running for reelection against the president whose special prosecutor might be prosecuting him. This is fraught with political challenges for the Justice Department, for the White House, for the special prosecutor, and Pence having now been exonerated makes it even harder to bring charges against President Trump because he says, look, you're already, you know, letting one guy go, why am I being targeted? It helps his case that he's the target, and it's not about what it is, which is he retained classified documents improperly.

REID: Well, given what we now know, especially this week, after our reporting here at CNN about the Trump investigation, how likely is it that he will face criminal charges in the special counsel's investigation in into Mar-a-Lago?

JAFFER: Well, look, I think it's pretty likely he's going to face charges. The question is just as when, and how hard they push because, again, with all the politics of this, we're coming up to a presidential election, he's the former president, President Biden's in the White House right now, and it's his special prosecutor. This is a very difficult challenge, but I think they have almost no choice at this point but to bring charges given what we know of the facts at this point.

REID: Jamil Jaffer, thank you.

And next, the President of Ukraine says his military is ready to launch its much anticipated counteroffensive against Russia. Buddy tells my next guest he's not sure how long it's going to take. Stay with us.



REID: Ukraine's President Zelenskyy says his country is ready for its sweeping counteroffensive on Russia. Zelenskyy made the comments in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. He didn't commit to an imminent start to the operation, but he added that Ukraine can't wait for months to do this.

The comments come as Ukraine's capital of Kyiv continues to come under attack from Russian missiles and drones.

Let's bring in Emma Tucker. She's the Editor-in-Chief of The Wall Street Journal and spoke with President Zelenskyy this week in Ukraine.

Emma, congratulations on the interview. Very newsy. And thanks for being with us.

EMMA TUCKER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Thank you. Thanks for having me on.

REID: President Zelenskyy obviously isn't going to tip his hat or his hand about when this counteroffensive will begin. But what else did he tell you?

TUCKER: Well, he was very clear, he said he told us three times that Ukraine is ready for this counteroffensive. He said he added that he expects it to be long, and he thinks it could be bloody. And he acknowledged that it might even be successful. He was very realistic about the fact that, you know, that he was honest about the fact that they don't have -- they would like more weapons, but they're there -- they feel they have enough to at least make a start.

REID: And I mean, Zelenskyy at this point, he is at the mercy of his allies in the West. So how important are interviews like yours in keeping his cause, all right, on the top of the headlines?

TUCKER: I think they're very important. You know, he was very interested in talking about the need to win over countries that are friends with Russia. He talked about reaching people in those countries to keep the mess -- to make sure that countries that are perhaps neutral about the war who aren't as brazenly supportive of Ukraine as some other countries such as U.S., or European countries, the importance of getting those countries on board.

So I think, you know, his whole approach throughout has been that of somebody who started life as a comedian as an actor, and he's really gone for that soft power, gone for the celebrity endorsements, and I think now, I mean, he's pretty exhausted, but he has to keep it up. He has to keep up the momentum. And he's very conscious of that.

REID: I want to take a listen to what Zelenskyy said to you about dealing with Vladimir Putin. Let's listen.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (on text): A cornered animal, he is afraid of losing his life. He must be afraid of the strength of the world. He understands power. If we are talking about the isolation of the Russian Federation and his circle of people, t hen it is necessary to do it powerfully. Not blah, blah, blah.


REID: So he's making the point there that Putin not only understands power but how much--






REID: So he's making the point there that Putin not only understands power, but how much support he needs from the West to really be able to push Russia out of Ukraine.

TUCKER: I think the impression I got was that he's looking for more conviction from the West. He's sort of saying, what are you waiting for? You know, this is about values. This isn't Ukraine versus Russia. This is about values.

So if you are a country that supports the idea of democracy, if you're a member of NATO or in the E.U. or whatever, you choose your side.

You could sense his frustration. He's grateful for the help they've got, but there is this very strong sense of, come on, West, get on with it, back us.

REID: Zelenskyy has also raised concerns about the West supporting a ceasefire. He told you that he's worried that it would give territory to Russia. Do you expect the Biden administration will ensure that Ukraine doesn't lose territory?

TUCKER: I think it's very difficult to know. I think, obviously, their position is they're not willing to cede any territory at all. I think it partly depends how the offensive goes. I think it also depends on what kind of security guarantees are given to Ukraine.

Again, he was very clear. He said, without security guarantees, proper written guarantees that offer some sort of path to NATO, if Ukraine doesn't get that, then he's essentially saying we'll be back where we were 15 years ago. And that means there will be sort of instability at the heart of Europe.

So now is the time to get on the front foot, offer Ukraine a path to stability, and put an end to this instability once and for all.

REID: How confident did he appear in the U.S.'s commitment? Obviously, we've given a lot, but going forward, does he have concerns about a long-time commitment from the U.S.?

TUCKER: He's very grateful for the incredible amounts of help the U.S. has given Ukraine.

One of the things he was very keen to stress was the support he's had from the American people. He talked about that a lot.

But he also expressed some anxiety about a possible change of administration. He was careful what he said, but he knows that the support he's getting from any administration is never guaranteed.

So he did expression some caution about the possibility, let's say, of a Trump win, in which case, the support Ukraine is currently enjoying might disappear.

REID: Emma Tucker, thank you.

TUCKER: Thanks.

REID: News just into CNN, the FAA has imposed a temporary flight restriction for drones near the site of the collapsed building in Davenport, Iowa, to ensure recovery efforts on the scene can continue. We'll take you there, next.



REID: New details in the investigation into an apartment building that partially collapsed in Iowa. According to an update today from the city of Davenport, the FAA has issued a temporary flight restriction within a mile radius of the site that prohibits drone operations.

Officials also say crews have started removing pieces of the building to control falling hazards.

Meantime, "The Quad City News" is reporting a man called 911 hours before the collapse to warn authorities about a portion of the wall of that building, he says, was, quote, "bulging out."


CALLER: One of my guys is working and he was cleaning up in the back parking lot and said that the wall is bulging out. It's been under repair. Someone is there working on it and told him to get out of the way because it's not looking good.


REID: This all comes as we're seeing new surveillance video that may offer fresh insight into what happened minutes before parts of the six-story complex came crashing down.

CNN's Adrienne Broaddus reports.


ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This video shows the moments leading up to the collapse. The actual collapse is captured on camera, but it's only a few short seconds.

That is because the power was knocked out, according to the person who owns this surveillance video camera and shared that video with us.

So if you look at the video, you'll see five support braces, one closest to the camera gradually bends in the minutes leading up to the collapse. You can see chunks of bricks falling from under a second- floor window.

That's not all. A lower portion of the wall also collapsed.

We heard from the fire chief and other officials on Friday who say the next phase will be recovery, but that is a delicate process.

RICK HALLERAN, CHIEF, IOWA TASK FORCE 1: And we need to be concerned for those that are in the site working as well as anyone else that could be inside. Some of it is -- much as we want to, it's just too unsafe to do it without waiting to install shores.

BROADDUS: Investigators say three people are still missing, including Brandon Colvin Sr, the father of the 18-year-old who bears his same name.

His son is supposed to graduate on Saturday but wasn't sure if he would be able to show up to his high school graduation.

Adrienne Broaddus, CNN, Chicago.



REID: Adrienne Broaddus, thank you for that report.

And officials at YouTube change course. Why the social media giant will no longer try to remove videos that contain election lies. That's next.


REID: In a major policy reversal this week, YouTube says it will no longer remove content from its platforms that include false claims about the 2020 presidential election.

The policy was put in place two years ago after a slew of lies claimed the election was stolen.

CNN's Clare Duffy has more.



CLARE DUFFY, CNN BUSINESS WRITER: That's right. YouTube says it's rolling back this policy that it put in made in December of 2020 amid widespread false claims of election fraud during the U.S. presidential election.

YouTube said it no longer plans to remove content with false claims of election fraud or errors in the 2020 election or previous elections.

YouTube says it has removed tens of thousands of videos under this policy, but it no longer believes removing such content reduces the risk of real-world harm or violence.

This comes as many tech platforms are trying to weigh how to protect users' free speech while trying to mitigate some of the risks of misinformation in the leadup to the 2024 presidential election.

YouTube says that other elements of its election misinformation policies still remain in place, including prohibitions on content that could mislead users about how and when to vote.

The company says it also plans to release additional information about its plans ahead of the 2024 presidential election in the coming months.

Clare Duffy, CNN, New York.


REID: And the European Space Agency is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the launch of the Mars Express orbiter. Part of that included hosting a historic and live picture show from Mars.

CNN's Tom Foreman has more.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The European Space Agency billed this as the first-ever live transmission of images from Mars. Live is a relative term here.

These were taken about every 48 or 58 seconds, still photos, then transmitted back and over 187 million miles. That took 16 or 17 minutes per picture. So not live like we would know it.

And it was taken from an orbiter going around the planet. It wasn't something on the surface. So in some ways, underwhelming.

But in other ways, really interesting because this was to celebrate the 20t h anniversary of the Mars Express orbiter, which has been up there going around the planet.

Helping us understand what surface conditions are like, what the geology is like. It's helped to research the ideas of water and ice on Mars and the general geology of Mars.

When you put that together with all the other exploration of Mars that has been done by other probes and satellites, some from NASA, things that have landed on the surface and looked around.

It's deepening our knowledge of this planet, the next one out from the sun beyond us, beyond that big asteroid belt and beyond Jupiter.

So it's deepening our knowledge of this planet and paving a way for what we need to know if we actually want to send people on that roughly nine-month voyage, depending on the position of the planets.

And have them walk on this very surface that we've only been able to see in pictures. And now, at least in a way, live pictures.


REID: Tom Foreman, thank you.

And happening right now, a flash flood watch is in effect in southern Florida. Tropical Storm Arlene has weakened into a tropical depression, but Floridians can still expect up to four inches of rain in some areas.

CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is tracking Arlene for us.

All right, Allision, where is she and what is she up to?


ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Arlene hasn't moved all that much in the last few hours. Part of that movement is south to southeast at about seven miles per hour. Sustained winds right now are about 35 miles per hour.

To put it in perspective, a tropical storm is 40 miles per hour. We're really not that much in terms of how the storm has weakened over the last few hours.

However, because of its proximity to Cuba and the United States, specifically Florida, those outflow winds are still helping to trigger some showers and thunderstorms across the southern portion of the state.

You've got a lot of showers, some lightning. Also, if you have any beach plans this weekend, we're also going to see an increase in high surf as well as rip currents in the area. Several things to watch for there.

The storm is expected to continue to move south and gradually more eastward over the next 24 to 36 hours. As it does so, it's still going to help produce more rainfall.

Most widespread areas likely to pick up one to three inches, but it's not out of the question for some locations in the southern half of the state to pick up four or maybe up to five inches total over that 48- hour time period this weekend.

That's why we do have several counties under flood watches, not only for today, some of them even carrying over into tomorrow.

But even the areas that aren't under the flood watch, Tampa, Naples, all the way down to Key West, all still have very high rain chances not only today, but also for tomorrow.

Elsewhere across the country, we have rain across the high plains and very warm temperatures across the Midwest.

One thing to note, though, even though we have the potential for several records, more of that heat finally begins to retreat by next week.


REID: Allison, thank you.


And straight ahead, the famed Churchill Downs racetrack, home to the Kentucky Derby, makes a big move as officials try to figure out why so many of its prized horses are dying. Our full report, coming up.


REID: A major announcement at one of the crown jewels of horse racing. Churchill Downs is suspending all racing operations following a disturbing series of horse deaths.

CNN's Carolyn Manno has more.


CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, as you might imagine, the home of the Kentucky Derby has been under tremendous scrutiny in recent weeks. And they are going to temporarily pause all racing operations beginning on Wednesday until they can figure this out.


Churchill Downs says it's going to conduct a top-to-bottom review of all safety and surface protocols. This coming after a dozen horses died in the past month alone.

The racetrack says that an internal review and investigations from regulatory organizations have not found a single factor that could be identified as a potential cause for the deaths, nor have they discovered a pattern to link them together.

So the races will stay suspended through the remainder of the Spring meet in July until they can find some answers.

Elsewhere in the sport, more devastating news. A 6-year-old horse died on Thursday at New York's Belmont Park ahead of next week's Triple Crown finale.

The horse injured his front leg after bumping into another horse. He was euthanized on the track. And that track was the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the Triple Crown a week from today.

And the Stanley Cup final begins tonight with the Vegas Golden Knights hosting the Florida Panthers. No matter how this one shakes out, it will be a historic moment for the winner as this will be the first championship for either of these teams.

For the Golden Knights, this has been a rapid ascension. They were founded six years ago. They reached the final in their very first season. And they were certainly the best in the west this year. The offense has continued to be incredible in the postseason. They are favored in the series.

But the Panthers look like a team of destiny in these playoffs. They came back from being down 3-1 to beat the Boston Bruins in the first round after the Bruins had just completed the best season in NHL history.


UNIDENTIFIED NHL PLAYER: You dream of playing in the Stanley Cup final and to know it's around the corner is exciting for not only us, but our families and everyone, too. Everyone is enjoying it, but obviously there's a job at hand and we're excited to get going here.

BRUCE CASSIDY, VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS COACH: Looking forward to it. They've earned their way. We've earned our way. So looking forward to getting going. We'll use these three days, two days, whatever it is here, and rest up. Like I said, focus on a new opponent. (END VIDEO CLIP)

MANNO: The Golden Knights have home ice to start when the puck drops tonight at 8:00 Eastern on our sister panel, TNT.

And after one of the most surprising playoff runs in NHL history, the Panthers looking to beat those odds one last time against Vegas.


REID: Carolyn Manno, thank you.

Get ready to watch the battle for the most iconic trophy in sports. Join NHL on TNT for the Best of Seven series filled with thrilling action, where the two best teams in the NHL had battle it out to be named Stanley Cup champions.

Experience the spectacle of the Stanley Cup final tonight at 8:00, only on TNT.

And two criminals, one on the West coast in Canada, the other on the east coast in Connecticut, breaking in to steal cupcakes. But while the one in Vancouver was a man, the one in Connecticut was a hungry female bear.

CNN's Jeanne Moos has more on these cupcake capers.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What does this Connecticut bear have in common with a half-baked burglar at a bakery in Vancouver? A sweet tooth for cupcakes.

The guy was caught on surveillance cam kicking in the door of a bakery called Sweet Something.

EMMA IRVIN, BAKERY OWNER, VANCOUVER, CANADA: You know it is a very Canadian break-in. He was really respectful.

MOOS: He toured the store, use the restroom, sat down for a rest, and then got a mop and a bucket and tried to clean up the mess he made breaking the glass.

MOOS: How was he as a mopper?

IRVIN: You know, he didn't do the best job. You can give him like an A for effort.

MOOS: This bear in Avon, Connecticut, likewise gets an A for effort. She entered the garage at a bakery called Taste by Spellbound, while a van inside was being loaded with goodies.

MOOS: How were you first alerted to the bear?

MIRIAM STEPHENS, BAKERY OWNER, CONNECTICUT: By one of my employees, making noises that I've never heard her make before. MOOS: Owner Miriam Stephens and one of her employees did an end run around the building to see if the bear was gone. Then, turned tail at the sight of her.

The bear dragged a container outside loaded with 60 cupcakes.

STEPHENS: I honestly think she ate the paper along with the cupcake. And she's just stuffing it down.

MOOS: Sixty cupcakes for the bear, six chocolate champagne cupcakes were taken by the guy in Vancouver.

He also used the store cell phone to take several selfies, wearing orange sunglasses.

MOOS: Are you going to press charges against the guy?

IRVIN: We've asked the police not to. Do they really care about the six-cupcake thief? Like we're not upset about it.

MOOS: And nothing upset the bear until an employee drove towards her, honking the horn. The bear was later caught in a barrel trap, then, released a distance away.


Both bakeries capitalized on the capers by selling cupcakes decorated with orange sunglasses and bears. Just think of the advertising potential. We dreamed up this ad.