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CNN International: Special Counsel Will Not Bring Criminal Charges Against Biden; Special Counsel Raises Concerns About Biden's Memory; Mild Weather, Rain, Snow, then a Big Warmup; Musical Artist Usher to Headline Super Bowl Halftime Show. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired February 09, 2024 - 04:30   ET



BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Bianca Nobilo. If you're just joining us, let me bring you up to date with some of today's top stories.

Donald Trump is another step closer to securing the Republican nomination for the presidency. CNN is projecting that Trump will win the Nevada caucuses, taking all 26 delegates.

Meanwhile, Trump appears poised for a big win at the U.S. Supreme Court. Based on their questioning, the justices seem inclined to overturn the Colorado Supreme Court's decision to disqualify him from running for office due to his role in the insurrection.

Plus, no charges for the U.S. president over his mishandling of classified documents. During an abruptly scheduled news conference at the White House are fired up. Joe Biden praised the special counsel for deciding not to pursue charges, but it also tore into him for including remarks in the report about his age and mental acuity.

More now on the special counsel's decision and President Biden's reaction from CNN's senior White House reporter, Kevin Liptak.


KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: President Biden making one of the angriest public appearances to date as president, forcefully rebutting some of the claims contained in special counsel Robert Hur's report, specifically relating to his memory. Those allegations suggesting that the president was having trouble remembering certain dates and details.

President Biden saying that those were extraneous, that the special counsel and his team didn't know what they were talking about, and angrily rebutting some of those allegations, specifically when it comes to one particular suggestion that Hur makes, that President Biden had forgotten the date of his son Beau's death. Listen to a little bit of what he said.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In addition, I know there's some attention paid to some language in the report about my recollection of events. There's even reference that I don't remember when my son died. How in the hell dare he raise that? Frankly, when I was asked the question, I thought to myself, it wasn't any of their damn business.

Let me tell you something. Some of you have commented, I aware since the day he died, every single day, the rosary he got from Our Lady of -- every Memorial Day we hold a service remembering him, attending by friends and family and the people who loved him.

I don't need anyone. I don't need anyone to remind me when he passed away or passed away.

LIPTAK: So, you hear that President Biden forcefully rebutting some of these claims about his memory. Now, we should say the special counsel, Robert Hur, declined to bring criminal charges and actually made a favorable comparison between Biden and former President Trump's own handling of classified documents.


But certainly, the political ramifications of this report will reverberate, I think, for days to come, and particularly when it comes to this question of President Biden's memory and his mental acuity. And it is, of course, occurring against the backdrop of an election in which the president's age is a central issue. Majority of voters and polls suggesting that that could be a deterrent for them as they head to the ballot in November.

And President Biden in this press conference tonight certainly flashing a lot of anger, but not necessarily doing a whole lot to dispel some of those concerns that voters have. And, in fact, in that press conference, when he was talking about the conflict in the Middle East, when he meant to refer to Egypt, he referred to Mexico instead.

Now, one of the defenses that the president and his aides have made when it comes to these questions about his mental recall during his interview with the special counsel is that it occurred in the days immediately after Israel's terror attack that occurred by Hamas on October 7th.

And one of the things they've said is that the president was wholly preoccupied by international events at the time, and that he was focused on calling foreign leaders and that he was focused on talking with his national security team. That is something that he mentioned in his remarks tonight.

But, certainly, this report, I think, will only buttress some of those concerns that voters have about the president's memory and his mental acuity. And it's something that the president, I think, will still have to work to rebut going forward into the election year.

Kevin Liptak, CNN, the White House.


NOBILO: The U.S. Senate is breathing new life into a foreign bill for Ukraine and Israel. On Thursday, it voted to advance a new bill that would send $60 billion of aid to Ukraine, plus money for Israel and other priorities. The move came after a larger bill that also contained a bipartisan border deal hit a Republican roadblock. The new legislation could still be days away from a final vote, and it still faces an uncertain future in the House.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is spelling out what standards foreign countries have to meet to get U.S. military aid. They include abiding by international humanitarian and human rights law. A senior administration official says the announcement is not motivated by Israel's operations in Gaza.

Five U.S. Marines are confirmed dead after their helicopter crashed on Tuesday. A military official says the focus is now on recovering their remains. The crash occurred in a remote area in Southern California, and early attempts to access the site were hindered by heavy snow and high winds. The helicopter went down during a training flight, but the cause of the crash still is under investigation.

The Federal Aviation Administration and JetBlue Airlines are both investigating a collision between two planes at Boston Logan International Airport. The FAA says the left winglet of one Airbus A321 hit the right horizontal stabilizer of a similar plane while they were on the tarmac.

They were in a de-icing area controlled by the airline, not air traffic controllers. JetBlue says no one was hurt, but both aircraft suffered minor damage. A passenger posted these pictures of the damage and a piece of debris on the ground that he said came from one of the jets. There it is.

And if the very thought of weighing your checked bags at the airport gives you anxiety, this may not be for you. European carrier Finnair is weighing volunteer passengers and their carry-on bags at their departure gates.

It's an effort to better determine weight estimates for planes before they take off, which is not uncommon in the industry. For example, Korean Air and New Zealand conducted similar programs just last year.

Volcanic eruptions in Iceland appear to be slowing down. Just ahead, scientists say the lava flow may be decreasing slightly, but the danger is not over.

Plus, winter is fading fast across parts of the U.S. -- Chad.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: A few showers out west, a little bit of mountain snow and big changes in the forecast. That coming right up.



NOBILO: The National Weather Service says there were at least three tornadoes reported in the Illinois and Wisconsin region on Thursday night. That includes the one captured in this video in Evansville, Wisconsin. This is the first tornado ever reported in February in that state.

There were no injuries reported, thankfully, but power was knocked out in the area. There were also reports of large hail and high wind gusts across the Midwest. Survey teams from the National Weather Service will be out in the morning to assess the number, strength and path of the tornadoes.

And after that rough weather, the forecast across most of the U.S. appears to be a lot smoother as we head into the weekend. CNN's Chad Myers has the forecast for you.

MYERS: Fairly tranquil day overall. I mean, some showers out west still in the lower elevations and some mountain snow. The rain begins across the Deep South and it's going to be heavy by the end of the weekend. And then some very mild air makes its way into the Great Lakes. So mild that we likely will even break some records.

Here we go, though, by Saturday afternoon. There's the rain across parts of the Deep South in places that they needed it a couple of weeks ago but have seen so much now that we really don't need this big stripe of two-to-four-inch worth of rainfall down here across places that have almost seen some flooding.

It's been close. Rivers are rising, but not out of their banks in most spots because it has been so very dry there. The drought very much entrenched across the south. The water will soak in at least a little bit here, but we could still see some rising rivers once again.

Backing up to the west, yes, that is snow across parts of Texas and Oklahoma. That is big snow. That's six to eight inches of snow by the end of the weekend. And then it will eventually melt, and quite rapidly in some places, because much above normal temperatures are going to sit right over the eastern half of the U.S. as we get into the forecast Saturday and into Sunday. 150 record highs may be broken across the east just by today and tomorrow alone.

Only 22 percent of the U.S. is covered in snow because you can't get snow when it's going to be in the 40s in Omaha, 47 there. You don't get snow very much in Minneapolis, even at 36. You can, but it's usually heavy wet and doesn't last very long.

Temperatures are going to be that warm for the rest of the week, even for Louisville, 66 degrees later on this afternoon. And for the Deep South, Atlanta will make a run at 70. Normal high for this time of year is 57. So that's 13 degrees above normal. All of these cities here are well above where they should be. St. Louis, 71. You should be 43. Enjoy it, I guess. Have a great day.


NOBILO: Weather forecasters will be keeping an eye out to see if El Nino becomes La Nina in the coming months. The current El Nino is now one of the strongest on record, bringing warmer than normal conditions that would dramatically flip if La Nina develops.

The weather phenomenon is characterized by cooler than average temperatures and a more active hurricane system. Historically, strong El Ninos are usually followed by La Nina conditions about 60 percent of the time.

The eruption from a volcano in southern Iceland appears to be subsiding, but it's not over. The Icelandic Meteorological Office says there's every indication that the eruption is starting to slow down, but it was difficult to say whether it was ending, technically. And while the pictures are impressive, the danger is very real.

Air travel appears to be largely unaffected, but nearby schools and other facilities are set to close today due to a lack of water following Thursday's eruption.

Scientists are calling it excellent and ominous detective work. They say a 2,000-foot-long ice core reveals that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet seems to have shrunk suddenly and dramatically by about 8,000 years ago -- compared to about 8,000 years ago. The study indicates if similar melting happens again, the ice there now contains enough water where sea levels could rise by 16 feet or 5 meters and cause devastating flooding in coastal towns and cities around the world.

The study's authors say this is the first direct evidence of such rapid loss of ice anywhere on the continent and the melting could happen to other sheets as well.

The lights will be shining bright at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas this weekend as the Kansas City Chiefs take on the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl.

Now, you probably know that, but you might not know that those lights will be powered by 100 percent clean energy. In fact, the stadium gets all of its energy from renewable sources, according to the Las Vegas Raiders, who play their home games there. A big chunk of it comes from a Nevada-based soda farm.

Still ahead for you, 30 years of music in 13 minutes. That is the challenge for Usher as he prepares for his Super Bowl halftime performance.



NOBILO: Singer-songwriter Usher says he's proud to be the first independent artist to headline a Super Bowl halftime show. Back in 2011, he appeared as a special guest with the Black-Eyed Peas. Then he'll hit the stage as the headlining act on Sunday. The 45-year-old says it's going to be a challenge squeezing 30 years of music into just 13 minutes. Usher recently completed a highly successful residency in Las Vegas, where this game will be played.


USHER, MUSICAL ARTIST: Las Vegas has been amazing for me. Having 100 sold-out shows at a residency and to have the next one be the crescendo, which is the Super Bowl, with Apple, has really, really, really given my time here in Las Vegas an incredible button at the end.


NOBILO: In the lead-up to football's biggest night, pop star Taylor Swift's possible presence has been politicized and scrutinized.

But if she does attend and cheer on her boyfriend, Travis Kelce, Swift would actually be the latest in a long line of off-field Super Bowl spectacles for those who aren't that interested in the football itself. There are the famous commercials and the legendary halftime performances, like Michael Jackson's epic live show back in 1993, which, honestly, I don't remember, but I'm told it's epic, so I'm sure it was. Some simply argue the Super Bowl has evolved into a national holiday and is bigger than any one star.

We're getting a look at some of those commercials for the first time, which are going for $7 million for a 30-second ad. Take a look.


JASON MOMOA, ACTOR: Sorry, party's canceled. Waiting on the cable internet guy.


That's Ackman star Jason Momoa joining the guys from Scrubs in a new ad for T-Mobile.


VICTORIA BECKHAM: So, David and I are going to be in a little commercial.



D. BECKHAM: Be honest.



NOBILO: Uber Eats is pulling out all the stops this year. This ad for the food delivery service features Victoria and David Beckham.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. I didn't know you could get all this stuff on Uber Eats. I don't remember that.

JENNIFER ANISTON, ACTOR: Well, you know what they say, in order to remember something, you've got to forget something else.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make a Logan, and that's how I remember ...


NOBILO: That's Friends star Jennifer Aniston in another commercial for Uber Eats.

Advertisers are expecting 110 million people to watch the game and the commercials, hence the high price tag.

Now to some stories in the spotlight. Disney says it will make a sequel to its multi-million dollar hit movie, Moana, after all.

The entertainment giant says that Moana 2 will hit theatres in November as a, quote, epic animated musical. Disney says the main character, Moana, will head out on a new voyage with a brand-new unlikely crew. Moana is the strong-willed daughter of a Polynesian chief.

Astronomers have made an exciting discovery in our cosmic neighborhood. They found a so-called super-Earth using NASA's survey satellite known as TESS, which is only a mere 137 light-years away.


The exoplanet is larger than the Earth. It's in a habitable zone where there could be liquid water on its surface, orbiting a star that's cooler and smaller than our Sun. What's more, a second planet similar to our size may also be orbiting the star. Such planets could receive enough warmth to potentially sustain life. It's nice to have options.

NASA's new mission designed to observe the Earth's oceans and skies is also now underway.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five, four, three, two, one, booster ignition.


NOBILO: This SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off early Thursday morning from Cape Canaveral in Florida. It carried a cutting-edge satellite that will look down and zero in on what NASA calls the invisible universe of microscopic marine life and tiny atmospheric particles. The mission is set to last three years and is designed to help provide more insights into how our planet's climate is changing.

And before we go, an emotional, bittersweet moment in Los Angeles on Thursday, where Vanessa Bryant, wife of the late basketball star Kobe Bryant, helped unveil the first of three statues honoring the Lakers legend.


VANESSA BRYANT, KOBE BRYANT'S WIDOW: For the record, Kobe picked the pose you're about to see. So, if anyone has any issues with it, tough s***.

(END VIDEO CLIP) NOBILO: Known as the Black Mamba, Bryant is the seventh player in team history to be commemorated with a statue. The date of the unveiling, 2-8-2024, coincided with the two jersey numbers Bryant wore during his playing career, numbers 8 and 24. While the number 2 represents the number that his daughter Gianna wore as well. Bryant and his daughter Gianna were, of course, among a group of nine people who died in a helicopter crash four years ago.

And that does it here on CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Bianca Nobilo in London. "EARLY START" is coming up for you next.