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CNN International: Private Rental Prices Soar to Record Highs across the U.K.; Federal Trade Commission and 17 States Sue Amazon; Ukraine-made "Vampire" Drones Target Russians; Former QB Colin Kaepernick Asks NY Jets to Sign Him. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired September 27, 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, you're just joining us, let's bring you up to date with the top stories this hour. A search for survivors is ongoing in Northern Iraq where at least 100 people are dead and 150 more injured after a fire broke out during a wedding ceremony.

And in the U.S., a New York judge has found Donald Trump and his adult sons liable for fraud for inflating the value of their properties and assets for roughly a decade.

NOBILO: One of the most influential names in American business is warning that the war on inflation is likely to get worse before it gets better. Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase tells the Times of India, if the U.S. Federal Reserve keeps raising interest rates to bring down inflation.

There will be stress in the system and he says the world isn't ready for 7 percent interest rates. The current benchmark over overnight rate is just above 5 percent and the Fed is predicting another increase by the end of the year.

FOSTER: U.S. financial markets are looking to rebound from a terrible Tuesday the DOW fell theorems in 88 points at its worst one day job since March. The NASDAQ in the S&P each lost about 1.5 percent. If we look at the futures, there's a bounce back. That often happens in these situations but they're looking positive for the open later on today.

NOBILO: The U.K. is grappling with a cost of living crisis that's throwing millions of Britons into financial insecurity. According to the latest economic report from the British government, private home rental prices are growing at record high rates.

FOSTER: Across Great Britain 42 percent of adults paying rent or mortgage is say they are finding it difficult to afford those payments. Isa Soares spoke to one family is feeling the pressure.


MATTHEW GREENWOOD, PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHER: Have to go. It's been a really tough six months. I've lost sleep over because you wonder where the next bill is going to come from.

ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's been a year of constant stress for the Greenwood family.

GREENWOOD: You see the cost and your, electric just trickling up and up and up. And it's not that you're doing anything different on the day to day.

SOARES (voice-over): And with that the anxiety sets in. It's a cycle that has left Matthew a 34 year old primary school teacher struggling. He lost his job at school Scott budgets and his wife who works 12 hour shifts is training to be a nurse. In between parenting and job searching he's counting the pennies, as the cost of living crisis squeezes the middle class.

SOARES: Did you ever consider I mean have you considered with rental prices going up and inflation and food inflation moving in with family members?

GREENWOOD: Yes, I think this was something that was on the cards last year. We really sort of put it to the board that that would be something we'd have to do because we didn't know where the extra money was going to come from to cover the increase in rent.

SOARES (voice-over): Matthew's rent went up last year like many others around the U.K. facing a similar problem. Since July 2022, private rental costs increased here by 5.3 percent. And now more than a third of adults are finding it difficult to afford their rent or mortgage payments.


The charity turned to us which advisors people financial difficulty is seeing firsthand the scale of the problem.

THOMAS LAWSON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE AT TURN2US: We're seeing people get into debt let alone holiday funds or saving for their children's University. They've already been spent. They're borrowing from family members. So people are making really hard choices about not only their long term future, but even a month away.

GREENWOOD: You're going to get takeout.

SOARES (voice-over): And that's the case for Matthew, who's dreading another rent hike.

GREENWOOD: There's no guarantee I'd be awful for that extra 50 pounds a month. A lot of people say, oh, it's only 50 pounds a month you can cut back on some things. But --

SOARES: What else -- cut back?

GREENWOOD: There's nothing else to cut back on. You know we are stripped to the bare minimum.

SOARES: What would you put in your ice cream?

SOARES (on camera): But just a few days after our interview, Matthew tells us that his worst fears have become a reality. Matthew, we saw your text message give us a sense of what your landlord has told you.

GREENWOOD: So we had a message off him a couple of days after you left, basically saying that he's really sorry, and he's got to put the rent up. So that does bring up another 50 pounds.

SOARES (on camera): Now that's stressful news for you.

GREENWOOD: Yes. Worst case scenario is we'll have to move out. But realistically, I don't know --

SOARES (voice-over): Isa Soares, CNN, London.


FOSTER: JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay $75 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Virgin Islands, alleging the bank enable Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking crimes. A federal judge will have to approve the settlements $30 million would go to support charities working to end human trafficking and to support survivors.

NOBILO: Epstein died by suicide in jail in 2019 after he was arrested on federal charges of sex trafficking dozens of underage girls JPMorgan Chase does not considered any liability but says it deeply regrets any association with Epstein. The U.S. government and 17 states are suing Amazon.

FOSTER: Oh yes, they accused online retailer of the online retail behemoth of using its market size and power to manipulate third party sellers and raise prices for consumers. For example, they say Amazon insists that merchants who sell on its platform not offer a lower price on other sites and that it effectively compels merchants to use as delivery and logistical services.


LINA KHAN, FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION CHAIRWOMAN: People are paying higher prices right consumers are paying more than they otherwise would small businesses are having to pay 50 percent Amazon tax right now. And so ultimately, the complaint is seeking to restore the lost promise of competition.

Greater competition will mean lower prices, better quality, better selection and greater innovation. And that's ultimately what this case is about.

(END VIDEO CLIP) NOBILO: But Amazon says the government's lawsuit could end up causing the very problems that it hopes to solve. This is not the Federal Trade Commission's only lawsuit against Amazon either. It's also suing the company and several of its executives over its prime memberships.

FOSTER: According to a new report by the International Energy Agency global demand for fossil fuels is likely to peak by 2030, but not nearly enough to limit the rising global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The agency says that achieving that target temperature would require a 25 percent decrease in demand for fossil fuels in less than seven years.

NOBILO: The report also estimates that investments in clean energy worldwide would need to more than double every year by 2030 to keep that target temperature. Scientists consider a warming of 1.5 degrees the threshold beyond which extreme weather conditions and shortages will have a catastrophic impact.

Still ahead, the plot thickens surrounding a top Russian Admiral. Ukraine claims he was killed in an attack on Crimea but Moscow says or rather not says but provides potential proof that he could still be alive.

FOSTER: Plus a CNN exclusive, Ukrainians of vampire drones targeting Russian forces along the front lines, what makes them so ominous and effective.



FOSTER: Top Russian Admiral reportedly killed in Ukrainian missile strike may not be dead after all. Russia's Defense Ministry released footage Tuesday that appears to show Viktor Sokolov in a video meeting.

NOBILO: CNN can't independently confirm if the video is real or when or where it was recorded. Ukraine says it is clarifying the fate of the Black Sea Fleet Commander. Ukraine had earlier said Sokolov and 33 others were killed in a missile strike on Friday.

FOSTER: Clare has been poring over these videos you've got a new one as well.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there's a new video that's just come out in the last hour, Max, on the Zvezda channel, which is the Ministry of Defense's TV channel you can see it here this apparently shows the captions as Viktor Sokolov it certainly looks like him speaking to reporters.

He's talking in very generic terms initially about how the Black Sea Fleet is fulfilling its orders. You know how much attention the heroism of the soldiers is getting. And then he talks about how they received a brigade and marine Brigade of the Black Sea Fleet received a military order which we've looked in that particular military order was given to it at the end of August's. Now, they weren't given more medals yesterday. So it's possible he's referring to that. As of yet, this is not I don't think conclusive evidence, although clearly, Russia is trying to get the message out with this video on top of the Ministry of Defense, images and video that surfaced on Tuesday that he is still alive, certainly given --

FOSTER: -- just confuse it.

SEBASTIAN: Right, are just confused.

FOSTER: Are they claiming a date or a time for this video?

SEBASTIAN: No date or time they literally just say it --

FOSTER: Could be old.

SEBASTIAN: It could be old, it could be new. But clearly this is a war of narratives now that we're dealing with both sides are manipulating or controlling the flow of information. And Russia clearly has an interest in the world believing that he is still alive, given that this is an admiral of one of the four fleets of the Navy and given that the naval war in Ukraine is ramping up.

FOSTER: In terms of the reaction from Ukraine, because obviously said that killed him to say that very decisively.

SEBASTIAN: It did. Yes.

FOSTER: So what are they saying now?

SEBASTIAN: So now they're saying that they are clarifying the situation they pointed out that Russia sort of urgently as they put it got out these images to show that he was alive. And now the Ukraine Special Forces operations are saying that they are clarifying it.

CNN's Christiane Amanpour also spoke to the new Defense Minister who didn't confirm or deny that said it would be good news if he was dead. And clearly, this again speaks to the phase we're in the war where the operations in Crimea that Ukraine has been carrying out the focus on the Black Sea.

And trying to prevent Russia from having free reign over that region is clearly a major focus.

NOBILO: When they say clarifying, do they mean investigating so as to clarify?

SEBASTIAN: That is the implication. Yes.

NOBILO: OK, because there's an interesting choice of, it's a slightly ambiguous verb.


NOBILO: Clare, thank you so much. Meantime, the Kremlin is downplaying the arrival of the first U.S. Abrams tanks in Ukraine saying that they will burn on the battlefield like other weapons, but Ukraine's military has resources on hand including the menacing vampire attack drones. CNN's, Fred Pleitgen has our exclusive report.



FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Rolling into battle as night falls Ukraine's army attacking in the east around Bakhmut.

PLEITGEN: For the Ukrainians, this is an extremely important but also very complicated and potentially very dangerous mission and we're going to be located very close to where the Russians are.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): We're with a frontline drone unit called code 9.2. Their drone the Ukrainian made vampire, the crew attaching the bombs, as artillery whistles over our heads. The Vampire is fully night vision capable and plays a soundtrack showing it means business.

The team leader's call sign is group and he confirms because Ukraine doesn't have a modern Air Force tonight. They are the Air Force. The drones see in the night like in daylight he says. We see the infantry we hit the vehicles cannons, everything we need to destroy. Groove also says Russians from the Wagner private military company have returned to the battlefield around Bakhmut.

Yes, there is Wagner here too. They swiftly changed their commanders and have returned here he says. We're breaking through their line of defense and hitting them well. As the drone takes off, the battle is already well underway. The Ukrainians using Western extended range artillery shells, and cluster munitions to attack Russian ground force.

Groove is already busy targeting the Russians. Oh, something's burning, he says, his unit also managing to take out a Russian main battle tank by dropping several bombs on it. The Ukrainian army now starting to push forward our Photo journalist Dan Hodge films powerful explosions as armored vehicles advanced lignite.

PLEITGEN: We're now hearing a lot of fire a lot of outgoing fire a lot of incoming fire actually also as well as the Ukrainians are trying to move forward and they say they want to take a key road away from the Russians.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): The Russians are fighting back firing flyers to unmask the Ukrainians advance and hit key U.S. forces. Groove remains unfazed, hunting a Russian tactical vehicle before destroying it. The code 9.2 drone team often hunts Russian armor here recently even destroying a modern T 90 tank and a highly complex operation.

After more than a half dozen missions, the drone returns a final time. But as we tried to get away from the battlefield, a tire burst on our Humvee. No time for sphere we push on.

PLEITGEN: We just witnessed an extremely tough battle between the Russians and the Ukrainians both sides going at it for hours with very heavy weapons and the area where we were shelf landed close to there on various occasions. Now we're heading back to base.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): Hobbled but rolling after a long night on one of Ukraine's most dangerous frontlines. Fred Pleitgen CNN, Bakhmut, Ukraine.


NOBILO: Now to Armenia where there's a growing humanitarian crisis and influx of refugees.

FOSTER: The Armenian government says, well now says more than 47,000 people from Nagorno-Karabakh region have arrived in the country, the vast majority of women children and elderly. That's also neighboring Azerbaijan defeated separatists in the breakaway enclave last week.

NOBILO: These latest figures mean that more than 1/3 of the ethnic Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh have fled the region. The International Committee of the Red Cross tells CNN it's working with officials to open more aid routes as there's only one road the latching corridor linking the enclave to Armenia.

FOSTER: And it is pretty jam packed. The British Museum is appealing to the public to help find stolen artifacts but not data on how many they've located so far just ahead.

NOBILO: I definitely want to be involved in this retrieval mission. Plus, the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show which I definitely -- is back, but it's undergone some major changes.



NOBILO: Baseball Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson has died. According to a statement from his family and the Baltimore Orioles born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Robinson joined the Orioles in 1955 and defended third base for 23 seasons. They included two World Series championships in 1966 and 1970, where he was also named MVP. Brooks Robinson was 86 years old.

FOSTER: To the NFL, where Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is asking the New York jets to sign him to their practice squad. The 34 year old hasn't played in an NFL game in more than six years. He drew controversy for kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality.

The starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers was injured in the first game of the season and backup Zach Wilson has been shaky filling in.

NOBILO: United Nations is slamming France's decision to ban athletes from wearing hijab at the 2014 Olympics. The agency's human rights commissioner says no one should impose on a woman what she needs to wear or not wear. FOSTER: The comments come after Fred's Sports Minister said on Sunday that French athletes will not be allowed to wear a hijab at the Summer Olympics next year arguing in favor of the country's "strict regime of secularism".

NOBILO: And some stories in the spotlight this hour. The iconic Victoria's Secret Fashion shows back after a five year absence.


But, gone are the Supermodels wearing over the top lingerie and angel wings strutting down the runway.

FOSTER: Instead, the show is now a feature length documentary called the Tour '23, which premiered on Tuesday on Prime Video, is spotlights four collections from independent designers based in London, Tokyo, Lagos and Bogota. Critics say the revamped show feels a bit disjointed. You've seen it -- ?

NOBILO: No, I haven't. No.

FOSTER: The British Museum is asking the public for help in finding and recovering ancient artifacts stolen from his collection last month. They're not showing full details about all of the missing items that the museum says the majorities are Greek and Roman gems and jewelry.

I mean, how they're going to find them if they don't really stick pills about them.

NOBILO: Yes, well, I wonder if we have any more information. Let's see. So the museum says anyone with information on the artifacts should contact them. 60 items have been returned so far, and the art loss register says 300 more have been identified and said to be returned. You make a very good point, because I'd quite like to get involved in this mystery and retrieval effort.

FOSTER: This was a guy working there, reselling them damaging them.

NOBILO: Well, I haven't been explicit that it's been linked to that, but clearly they've had some issues with going missing. And finally, Panera Bread restaurants are jumping on a TikTok trend by promoting a menu inspired by the Roman Empire. This started a few weeks ago when a surprising number of husbands and boyfriends said they thought about the Roman Empire.

FOSTER: Have you seen this -- ?

NOBILO: No, I haven't. -- I do think about the Roman Empire daily.

FOSTER: It's just I think the one I saw was a wife saying to her husband, do you think about the Roman Empire says yes, I think about it every day. I think it's just very ironic.

NOBILO: Yes! FOSTER: Now Panera says our fans can't stop thinking about some of its iconic foods such as macaroni, cheese and cinnamon crunch bagel and of course the Caesar salad. Thanks for joining us here on CNN "Newsroom", I'm Max Foster.

NOBILO: And I'm going to think about the Roman Empire. I'm Bianca Nobilo. "Early Start" is up next.