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Two Hostages Rescued in Rafah; U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Hospitalized; Trump Criticized Over NATO Remarks; Kansas City Chiefs Wins Super Bowl 58; President Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu Speak Over the Phone Discussing the War. Ukraine: Russia Using Starlink Satellites For Internet; Police: Two Wounded In Shooting At Houston Megachurch; Tennessee Police: Suspect Wanted For Fatally Shooting Sheriff's Deputy; Snow Expected To Sweep Into The U.S. Northeast. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired February 12, 2024 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States, around the world and streaming us on CNN Max. I'm Rosemary Church. Just ahead, a special operation in Rafah bringing two Israeli hostages home 128 days after they were first captured. Those scenes unfolding amid more devastation for Gaza with dozens reported dead after another round of Israeli strikes.
And the Kansas City Chiefs notched their third Super Bowl win in five years. We're live in Las Vegas with the highlights from the thriller in the desert.
Good to have you with us and we begin this hour in Gaza where the Israel Defense Forces says two hostages have been rescued from the southern city of Rafah during a special operation overnight. The two men are now at a medical facility in Israel where they are said to be in good condition. The IDF also says they conducted a series of strikes in one district in Rafah.
The Palestine Red Crescent Society says more than 100 people have been killed in those strikes and says the death toll may rise further with people still trapped under the rubble. All this comes as concerns are growing over a potential Israeli ground offensive in Raffa. Journalist Elliott Gotkine is following developments from London, but we begin with CNN's Nic Robertson who is standing by in Tel Aviv. So Nic, what more are you learning about this special Israeli military operation that successfully rescued two hostages?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It was complex. It was fast. The IDF say that this was something that had been in the planning for a long time, that they were waiting for the right conditions to execute it. They describe, the IDF spokesman describes the special forces going into the building where the two hostages were held. They were held on the second floor.
They're going in there as part of a covert operation that they got in that room into the building at 1:49 a.m. and then at 1:50 they got the call, the special forces got the call from the Air Force that the Air Force was beginning to conduct their bombing operations in the area, part of the cover to extract the team and they were told the team, the special forces team, where the two hostages were told they had to get out of the building immediately.
So, a very high-speed operation on the ground, the special forces in that room. According to the IDF, in an intense firefight with Hamas inside that building, and in the space of a minute, getting the hostages and then getting them out of the building. Fernando Marmon, 60 years old, Lois Har, 70 years old, taken out of the building under this covering fire that involved aircraft, helicopters.
And we now understand from the Palestinian Red Crescent that at that same time, air operations that hit a mosque, according to Palestinian Red Crescent, that hit houses as well, resulted in a hundred fatalities of Palestinians in that area, women and children among them, we understand. But the two hostages then taken to a safe place, given a medical check and very quickly put on helicopters and taken to a hospital just outside of Tel Aviv here.
And just to give you a sense again of how fast that operation was, the operation begins at 1:49 a.m. That's when the Special Forces troops go into the building where the hostages are held. At 3.30 a.m., the relatives of the hostages get phone calls saying, come to the hospital outside Tel Aviv, we've got your loved ones here, come and see them. And the son-in-law of one of the hostages, of Lois Har, said that he's already been to the hospital that he's been in, he's seen his father- in-law, he said his father-in-law is in bed and its sort of a bit of a state of shock but he said otherwise in good condition.
The IDF say both men are in good medical condition. And the son-in-law goes on to say that far from sort of being utterly traumatized by the situation, Lois Har is actually asking about his family members. He seems quite alert, although he's described as being very pale at this particular time.
The IDF say in this operation there was just one slight injury to an IDF soldier during the operation.
CHURCH: All right, a happy ending there for those two hostages and their families. Thank you for that Nic. Let's go to Elliott now in London. What more are you learning about Israel's deadly strikes on Rafah and its planned ground offensive for that city?
ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Rosemary, I mean these would appear to be the most intense strikes that Israel has carried out on Rafah since the start of this war on October the 7th with the Hamas terrorist attacks. But let's not forget that this isn't the first time that the war has come to Rafah. It's been a part of this war since day one, with Israel carrying out strikes every now and then.
And I suppose the countries and the leaders around the world who have been expressing grave concern about the possibility of an Israeli ground operation in Rafah will perhaps feel even more concerned after this operation to see more than 100 fatalities, albeit with a successful rescue of two Israeli hostages.
And I suppose the big questions which everyone is still asking is how exactly does Israel propose to evacuate more than a million Palestinians, more than half the population of the Gaza Strip, many of whom have been displaced multiple times and taken refuge in Rafah? How is Israel going to get that many people out of Rafah to enable it to carry out its ground operations? And where are they going to go?
And as far as the operations are concerned, Israel is convinced that there are four Hamas battalions remaining in Rafah and feels that in order for it to be able to achieve one of its key wartime missions, namely destroying Hamas militarily, it has to destroy those battalions. And Prime Minister Netanyahu in interviews over the weekend saying that anyone who says to Israel that you shouldn't go into Rafah is simply saying that Israel should lose the war and Hamas should stay.
And the other thing to note about Rafah is, of course, that it is on the border with Egypt. And it is believed and suspected by Israel that under the ground there, that has been where the tunnels that Hamas has managed to bring in so many materials and supplies and weapons to help its war machine keep running, where everything from fuel to the materials it needs to build that sprawling tunnel network to rockets, to rocket launchers, it believes that many of those would have come through tunnels under the ground from Egypt into Rafah, and that is another reason why this is a key part of Israel's war objectives.
But as we know, there is grave concern not just regionally, from the Saudis, from the Emiratis. The U.K. has expressed concern. We've had the EU's foreign policy chief warning of a potential unspeakable humanitarian catastrophe if Israel goes in on the ground. Now, Prime Minister Netanyahu has instructed the IDF to create or come up with a detailed plan of how to do so. And I suppose while everyone was focused on that, and this was also something that Netanyahu discussed with President Biden over the weekend.
You know, no one was really thinking that there might be the kind of operation that we've just seen happening overnight. And I suppose Israel will feel emboldened by that operation and hold that up as evidence of why it needs to go into Rafah. Rosemary?
CHURCH: All right. Tour thanks to Elliott Gotkine joining us live from London.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has transferred his duties to his deputy after being hospitalized. The Pentagon says Austin has symptoms, quote, "suggesting an emergent bladder issue." Biden administration officials were notified quickly, unlike Austin's previous stay at the hospital for prostate cancer treatment. Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks has assumed Austin's duties, and although officials did not say how long Austin would be staying at the hospital, he has taken unclassified and classified communication systems that are required for work. The U.S. Senate has taken a step closer to passing a more than $95
billion foreign aid bill with crucial assistance for Ukraine and Israel. The Senate voted Sunday to advance the critical bill with 18 Republicans backing the package despite opposition from former U.S. President Donald Trump. It comes after Republicans blocked a wider bill that included a bipartisan border deal. If the bill is eventually passed by the Senate, it's unclear whether House Speaker Mike Johnson would hold a vote on it. The bill is also expected to include humanitarian assistance for civilians in Gaza, the West Bank and Ukraine.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial comments on NATO are facing intense criticism from world leaders. The former U.S. President told his supporters at a campaign rally that he would tell Russia to do quote, "whatever the hell they want to any NATO member country that failed to spend enough on defense." U.S. President Joe Biden says Trump will quote, "abandon our NATO allies."
And CNN's Paula Hancocks joins us now live from Abu Dhabi. So, Paula, Trump's provocative NATO remarks have drawn strong international criticism. What more can you tell us about that reaction and what's being said in all?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, we know from when he was president that Donald Trump is no fan of NATO. He has threatened to pull the U.S. out of NATO while he was in power. He has also criticized some of the member nations for not spending as much money on defense as he believes that they should or not reaching the suggested 2 percent of GDP to put towards the NATO pocket.
But what we've heard is a very swift and a very stiff pushback from those within NATO itself and also from European leaders. We've heard, for example, from Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO, saying, quote, "any suggestion that allies will not defend each other undermines all of our security, including that of the U.S. and puts American and European soldiers at increased risk."
Now, the basis of NATO, at the core of NATO, is this Article 5, which stipulates that if one member nation is attacked, then all member nations act as though they are attacked. They would all come to the defense of that one particular country. Now, what we've heard from the former president over the weekend suggests that may not be the case if Trump were to be in power once again as well, and it is increasing concerns within NATO. Rosemary?
CHURCH: Paul Hancock's joining us live from Abu Dhabi. The Kansas City Chiefs have done it again. They're now back-to-back Super Bowl champions. We will go live to Las Vegas to see how they pulled off a miracle with Taylor Swift looking on.
[02:15:00] CHURCH: Welcome back everyone. The Super Bowl provided a thrilling finish. The Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers with a touchdown in overtime. The Chiefs have now won back-to-back Super Bowls. In Kansas City, thousands of Chiefs fans came together outdoors in very cold temperatures to cheer for their team. And the Chiefs' most famous fan, Taylor Swift, was at the game to congratulate her boyfriend, Travis Kelce, with a kiss.
CNN's Andy Scholes is live at the stadium. He joins us now. Good to see you, Andy. So, take us through all the excitement of Sunday's Super Bowl and the Kansas City Chiefs win against the San Francisco 49ers.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I mean, Rosemary, what a game we just had here in Las Vegas. You know, the first ever Super Bowl in Vegas certainly did not disappoint. It did look like that way for much of the game. You know, the first half was rather slow, lots of punting. A lot of people were like, yeah, this is not going to be one of the greater Super Bowls we've ever seen, but it certainly did not turn out that way because Super Bowl 58 is going to go down as one of the best finishes the game has ever seen.
To show you how it all went down, you mentioned Taylor Swift was here to watch her boyfriend, Travis Kelce, play in the Super Bowl. She got showed on the jumbotron and even started chugging her drink for all of her fans. Now, not a lot of offense in the first half picking up with the Chiefs down 10 to 6 and they were punting. But this play really changed the game. The ball hits a Niners players' foot. They can't field it. Chiefs recover just totally swung the momentum.
Very next play, Patrick Mahomes or Marquez Valdez scantling Chiefs take their first lead of the game, 13 to 6. Niners, though they would come right back. Brock Purdy to Jauan Jennings. So, the Niners go back on top, but Jake Moody's extra point was blocked, and that would be huge because the Chiefs would kick a field goal in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter to send this game to overtime, tied at 19. Just the second overtime game in Super Bowl history.
Niners get the ball first, kick a field goal. So, then Mahomes had a chance to go 75 yards to win it, and he did just that, finding Mecole Hardman for the three-yard touchdown to win the Super Bowl. Chiefs beat the Niners 25-22, their third Super Bowl title in five years. Taylor Swift on the field celebrating with her boyfriend, Travis Kelce, giving him a big smooch and some hugs. And for Mahomes, he wins his third Super Bowl MVP and he's already thinking about going for three titles in a row.
CHURCH: Just look at that cute couple. All right, Andy, so the Chiefs win back-to-back Super Bowls. Where does that put them in the history books? And where do they go from here?
SCHOLES: Well, you know, like I said, Mahomes, we had a sound bite that we were going to run where Mahomes talked about trying to win -- already thinking about trying to win three in a row. Do we have that sound bite? No, I have not. Well, he said they were going to try to already think about going for three in a row. And Travis Kelce talked about how they, you know, he doesn't care what people call him, but he knows that they've won three Super Bowls in five years and Rosemary, you know, that's some historic company right now. Do you think about, you know, America's team, the Dallas Cowboys, you know, when you know, I was growing up in the 90s, they won three Super Bowls, but they were considered one of the best teams in league history?
So that's where the Chiefs find themselves right now. They're the first to win back-to-back since the Patriots did it in 2005. Mahomes, just the fifth quarterback ever to have three Super Bowl titles. And Rosemary, Patrick Mahomes is only 28 years old. This team is just getting started, but just what a fantastic Super Bowl we had here.
And the Chiefs head coach Andy Reed He joked after the game, like he's done the past two times, he's won the Super Bowl. He's going to go enjoy himself a big old cheeseburger.
CHURCH: And Andy, we do have that sound of tape of Mahomes. Let's run that now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATRICK MAHOMES, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS QUARTERBACK: I'm going to celebrate tonight. I'm going to celebrate at the parade and then I'm going to do whatever I can to be back in this game next year and try to go for that three-peat. So, it's an ongoing thing in the NFL. I think Tom said it best, once you win that championship and you have those parades and you get those rings, you're not the champ anymore.
You have to come back with that same mentality and I learned from guys like that.
TRAVIS KELCE, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS TIGHT END: I don't care what people call us. I know I'm back-to-back and I won three in whatever years. You all can call us the dynasty, you can call us whatever you guys want. I know what we got is something more special than really what you see in the NFL. It's because the guys in this locker room in the head coach.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And Andy, there's going to be some big celebrations.
SCHOLES: Oh, I'm sure I was just going to mention, I'm sure Travis Kelce right now is leading a celebration somewhere. And if you're ever going to win a Super Bowl, right, Las Vegas is the best place to do it. I'm sure the Chiefs are having a grand old time right now. They're going to have a parade, Rosemary, on Wednesday. They've already canceled school. So, it's going to be an entire, you know, day of celebrations there in Kansas City.
Patrick Mahomes actually told me over the summer after winning the Super Bowl last year. He drank over 500 Coors lights. We'll see if he can top that this time around.
CHURCH: He likes to set records. Andy Scholes, thank you so much. Joining us live from Las Vegas, fantastic.
Well, U.S. President Joe Biden speaks with Israel's prime minister as concerns grow over a possible Israeli ground operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. Those details still to come. Stay with us.
CHURCH: Back to our top story. The Israeli military says two hostages held in Gaza are now back in Israel after a covert operation overnight. The two men, 60-year-old Fernando Simon Marman and 70-year- old Louis Har, are said to be in good condition and are now in a Tel Aviv medical facility. Israeli forces also say they conducted a series of strikes in Rafah.
The Palestine Red Crescent Society says more than 100 people have been killed in those strikes, with video obtained by CNN showing some of the aftermath. U.S. President Joe Biden voiced concern over a potential Israeli ground offensive in Rafah during a phone call with Israel's Prime Minister and discussed efforts to free the remaining hostages. CNN's Priscilla Alvarez has details from Washington.
PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: President Biden and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke over the phone on Sunday in what a senior administration official described as a call focused on the release of hostages who have been held in Gaza. Now, this call came amid tensions between the two leaders and at a critical juncture for hostage negotiations.
Now, according to the senior administration official, this call lasted about 45 minutes, two-thirds of it focused specifically on the release of hostages. Now, U.S. officials have been working around the clock to hammer out a framework that would include the freeing of those hostages as well as a humanitarian pause.
Now, there are significant gaps that remain, but it's unclear exactly what they are and what progress can be made in the days and weeks to come. But President Biden, according to the White House, re-emphasized the need to capitalize on the progress so far. This of course, following pushback from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called Hamas's recent proposals, quote, "delusional."
Now another important element of this phone call was about the military operation that Israel has suggested would happen in Rafah. That is a city that has more than a million Palestinians, many of whom have been displaced and have nowhere else to go.
Now, a senior administration official said that the U.S. has taken issue with this, noting that under the current conditions, the U.S. cannot see how this would happen. The U.S. being quite forceful on this point as Israel says that they would help with the evacuation of these Palestinians. But what remains clear after the phone call on Sunday is that both President Biden and the Israel Prime Minister will remain in close contact. Priscilla Alvarez, CNN, The White House.
CHURCH: Let's bring in Malcolm Davis, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Appreciate you joining us.
MALOLM DAVIS, SENIOR ANALYST, AUSTRALIAN STRATEGIC POLICY INSTITUTE: Thanks, Rosemary.
CHURCH: So, Israel's military says it rescued these two Israeli hostages during a special operation in Rafah, 128 days after their capture. How were they able to pull this off and what dangers would have been involved in doing this?
DAVIS: Look, I think this probably was in preparation for some time. This certainly wasn't something that was pulled off at the last moment. They would have had probably extensive intelligence surveillance reconnaissance support from drones or even satellites at the same time as they probably would have had special forces units moving forward undercover to identify not only the location of the hostages, but also the location of hostile forces, Hamas forces.
So, this would have been a well-planned, carefully executed operation. Everything that I've read about it suggests that is the case, rather than being some sort of opportunistic move to grab hostages off Hamas. And so, it's not necessarily certain that they can do this in the future.
CHURCH: And this hostage rescue of course offers relief for the two families involved, but more than 100 hostages still remain in captivity. And their families worry that the imminent ground offensive planned by Israel in Rafah could put their loved ones at risk. Could this special operation that released two hostages result in more rescues or could it put the remaining hostages in greater danger?
DAVIS: I think Hamas will be on their guard now, particularly with that IDF operation against them in Rafah. If Hamas still control those hostages. if they haven't transferred to other groups around the Middle East region, then they're likely to be in that southern area of Gaza around Rafah.
So, the question for the Israelis is, how do they identify the location of these hostages and extract them, as opposed to Hamas moving them again, or even worse , basically executing them?
I think that, obviously, the Israelis are going to go ahead with this big military operation against Rafah. I think the Israelis are determined to defeat Hamas. But as they move forward, the risks are growing that ultimately, the Hamas group could do harm to those hostages.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: And before this planned Israeli military ground offensive can take place in Rafah, more than 1 million Palestinians currently sheltering in that city need to be evacuated. How can that be achieved, and how dangerous is an evacuation on that scale given there's really nowhere to go and more than 60 Palestinians were just killed in Israeli strikes on Rafah while those hostage rescues were taking place?
DAVIS: I think there is nowhere for them to go. That is the problem, is you've got a large number of Palestinians in harm's way with nowhere for them to be extracted from that danger. The Egyptians don't want them on their side of the border. Same with the Jordanians.
The Israeli -- the suggestion that of moving them into Israel doesn't seem practical. There's been some talk of moving them into northern Gaza, but the Israeli defense force is still undertaking operations there against Hamas units. So there really is nowhere for these people to go, and they are very much in harm's way. Either as a result of Hamas deliberately putting them in harm's way as human shields, which we all need to accept does happen, or because the Israelis are undertaking military operations in densely urbanized, built-up areas packed with civilians.
I think what the Israelis may need to do is not repeat what they did today with that large-scale airstrikes. They need to actually end those strikes and simply go in on the ground, at greater risk to their forces, but it will also reduce the risk to Palestinian civilians.
CHURCH: So, Malcolm, what will likely happen to those Palestinians unable to get out of Rafah, and, of course, to the remaining hostages, if this Israeli ground offensive goes ahead in the next few days, perhaps hours?
DAVIS: I think they shelter in place. They find somewhere to avoid being exposed as a target, if possible. They shelter in locations where there is some degree of humanitarian assistance, some degree of international oversight through groups like the United Nations.
But it really is difficult to see how they can avoid risk at all. I think that as the Israeli defense force moves south, there is a greater risk that more civilians will be harmed. There's a greater risk for the hostages, that they'll be harmed.
And at the same time, the Hamas group will try to exploit every single civilian that is harmed for their benefit. So this is a really difficult situation. I do think that it's time for the Israeli defense force to stop with these air attacks and these artillery attacks and start going on the ground with precision and with recognition that they have to follow the laws of armed conflict which express proportionality and international humanitarian law. They cannot go in and indiscriminately kill civilians on the ground.
CHURCH: Malcolm Davis, many thanks for your military analysis, appreciate it.
DAVIS: Thank you.
CHURCH: An ancient art has become a highly competitive sport. We'll take you inside the world of lion dancing after a short break.
Stay with us.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [02:37:18]
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone.
Former Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb of the National Coalition Party won the presidential runoff on Sunday. Stubb is the man in glasses being congratulated by everyone as the results were announced. He is pro-European and a strong supporter of Ukraine. Finland joined NATO last year, and the country closed its border with Russia to prevent illegal entry. Officials say the border will remain closed until mid-April.
Ukraine claims the Russian military is using a satellite Internet service linked to Elon Musk. Ukrainian intelligence says it intercepted communications that prove Starlink terminals are giving Internet access to Russian forces in the occupied Donetsk region. Starlink is operated by SpaceX, which Elon Musk owns. SpaceX denies doing any business with Moscow but says it does investigate claims of unauthorized use. Ukrainian forces have been using Starlink during the war with Russia.
Well, you might be familiar with lion dancing from lunar New Year celebrations, but you may not know it's also a competitive sport.
CNN's Kristie Lu Stout brings us an inside look while visiting one of Hong Kong's top teams.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be a lion, you need agility, power, and control.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the Lunar New Year. Lion dances are breaking out all over the world, performed to scare away evil spirits and bring about good fortune.
But in many parts of Asia, the ancient art is also a fiercely competitive year-round sport.
At least three nights a week, members of Hong Kong's Yun Fook Tong team meet in this parking lot to become fearless lions.
LEE YUN FOOK, FOUNDER, YUN FOOK TONG (through translator): At its core, you need spirit. You need to show great energy. You can't just --
STOUT: Rooting his hours on practices in kung fu, Master Lee has trained some of the city's top lion dancers. They've racked up hundreds of trophies in the club's 40-year history.
LEE (through translator): The plum blossom pole puts the focus on jumping. It's more dangerous. You're jumping, flying more than two meters in the air. UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): When I started jumping, it
was hard to break through the fear. I must trust my partner 100 percent, because my life is in his hands. I'm the one always being lifted up high, so I have to believe in him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Originally, the traditional sport was male-dominated. Now more and more women are joining the sport. The competition is, of course, extremely intense.
STOUT: Lee estimates there are around 30 professional teams in the city, but clubs are struggling to keep the tradition afloat. Dancers have to hold full-time jobs, leaving little time to practice. And it isn't easy to find proper training venues. Despite challenges, Lee and others in the tight-knit community continue to teach.
LEE (through translator): The team gets along like a big family. Why do we like lion dance? Because it makes us feel like heroes.
CHURCH: And thanks for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. For our international and Max viewers, "WORLD SPORT" is coming up next.
And for our viewers here in the United States and in Canada, I'll be back with more CNN NEWSROOM in just a moment. Do stay with us.
CHURCH: Welcome back to our viewers here in North America. I'm Rosemary Church.
Police in Texas are trying to figure out why a woman armed with a long rifle entered the church of famed televangelist Joel Osteen and began firing. Two off-duty law enforcement officers who were there responded, killing the woman. Authorities say she entered the Lakewood church in Houston Sunday with a young child, who was struck in the exchange of gunfire and is now in critical condition. It's unclear if the child is related to the shooter. One man was also injured.
This took place in one of the largest mega churches in the United States.
For more now on the shooting from CNN's Jean Casarez.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This happened between services at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. The afternoon service had finished, people were leaving. But the Spanish service was about to begin.
According to the chief of police, Troy Finner, it was about 2:00 p.m. when a female shooter entered. CHIEF TROY FINNER, HOUSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: Approximately 1:53
p.m., a female approximately 30, 35 years old entered the property on the west side here in the parking lot of Lakewood Church. She entered the building. She was armed with a long rifle and a trench coat with a backpack, accompanied by a small child, approximately 4 to 5 years old. Once she entered, at some point, she began to fire.
CASAREZ: Houston's fire chief, Samuel Pena, says that the bomb squad was on scene, hazmat, they went through the entire building to make sure that nothing else was found. They did not find any explosives at all. They believe this is an isolated incident, but it is a criminal investigation that is just beginning.
Jean Casarez, CNN, New York.
CHURCH: Tennessee police say they will not stop searching for a suspect wanted for murdering an officer last week. More than 100 law enforcement personnel have joined in the manhunt for the suspect.
CNN's Rafael Romo has details.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Law enforcement officers have been searching for the suspect in a densely wooded part of Blount County, Tennessee, more specifically the wildwood area. Blunt County is located about 16 miles south of Knoxville, Tennessee, the area law enforcement have been focusing on. But it's also possible the suspect may have fled the state.
Forty-two-year-old Kenneth DeHart is accused of shooting and killing a sheriff's deputy and injuring another during a traffic stop on Thursday. The suspect is wanted on warrants of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The officer killed was 43-year-old deputy Greg McCowan. He was a father of two who had been with the sheriff's office since 2020. A second officer, 22-year-old deputy Shelby Eggers, was injured after returning fire. She was treated at the hospital and released. This is how Jeff French, the chief deputy of the Blount County sheriff's office, earlier described the efforts to catch the suspect.
CHIEF DEPUTY JEFF FRENCH, BLOUNT COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: We've had multiple law enforcement agencies -- state, local, federal, over 150 personnel, probably, searching dense areas, wooded areas. We've done search warrants and we've followed and -- up on every tip that we've gotten. No tip's too big, too small. We appreciate the community in sending us those. So we ask that you continue to do that, and we're going to continue to follow up on it.
ROMO: Blount County has published a photo on social media of McCowan's SUV parked in front of the sheriff's office, and decorated with flowers and a wreath, of course, to honor the memory of the fallen officer.
Blount County District Attorney Ryan Desmond announced Friday that DeHart's brother has been arrested and charged with accessory after the fact. Authorities also confirmed that a woman was also arrested in connection to the shooting and an official from a nearby county said she's the suspect's girlfriend. As we previously reported, the reward for information leading to the Hart's capture was increased to $100,000 on Saturday.
Rafael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.
CHURCH: Still in the U.S., the nation's Storm Prediction Center says snow is expected to sweep into the Northeast at the beginning of this week.
CNN meteorologist Elisa Raffa has the forecast.
ELISA RAFFA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Our storm is on the move. That severe risk is sliding east as we go into Monday from Alabama into Georgia and the Carolinas. That's where you're looking at that threat for the 70-mile-per-hour wind gusts, large hail, and a few tornados. Some heavy rain there, too. You can see that line continues to push east and then move north into the Carolinas into Monday.
And as we go late Monday into Tuesday, it starts to clash into cold air up in parts of the northeast going into New England. And that's going to pump some snow from central Pennsylvania, Upstate New York, and parts of New England. And we'll find that snow come with some gusty winds and could drop visibility late Monday, early Tuesday morning, and then going into Tuesday night, all of that starts to exit.
Here's your footprint of the snow. You see the deep pinks and purples? That's where we're looking at snow totals 6 to 8, even upwards of 12 inches of snow.
Snowfall rates could be 1 to 3 inches per hour. Couple that with a gusty winds, gusting to 40 miles per hour. You're looking at some really messy conditions, low visibility kind of peaking as we go into Tuesday, really, again, exiting Tuesday night.
Now, we haven't really seen much snow in the east. A lot of our snow depth so far this year has been to the west, 25 percent snow cover for the lower 48. And a lot of it from the Sierra Nevada's into the Intermountain West where we had that atmospheric river event unfold just a week or so ago. Seasonal departure from normal for snow has been well below average for some places from the upper Midwest and the Great Lakes area, then going into New England. Some places that you really typically see snow, like Minneapolis, Buffalo, haven't really seen too much so far this year. And part of the reason is, we've had a really warm winter. You see all
the red dots. A lot of these cities in the great lakes region and the northeast are looking at their warmest winter on record. It's just been kind of spring-like, really lacking a lot of the cold, lacking a lot of the snow. We know that winter is warming across the Lower 48 since 1970. You can see those same places, the Upper Midwest, great lakes, going into New England are some of the places with the biggest fever, 4 to 5-degree fever since 1970. That makes winter the fastest- warming season for a lot of these places.
CHURCH: Well, social media has made Stanley water tumblers a must- have item for many consumers. The president of the long-established company quips that it is a century-old overnight success.
But as CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich reports, with Internet popularity also comes scrutiny.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No way!
VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Screams, tears, waiting in the freezing cold.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely freezing, not my first time doing it.
YURKEVICH: Fights and arrests.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One woman in Roseville has been arrested.
YURKEVICH: All over a Stanley Cup. No, not that Stanley Cup. This one.
I don't get it. Can you explain it to me?
GABRIELLA RIBERIO, BARND STRATEGIST: TikTok and social media streams have an incredible ability to vault brands to a popularity that we haven't seen before. It also has an incredible ability to create FOMO. So once somebody sees one carrying it, somebody has got to have it, and it just continues to just show in their feed.
YURKEVICH: The Stanley Quencher took off and took over on social media, users proudly showing off collections, even making "SNL".
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Big dumb cups.
YURKEVICH: The company isn't laughing. Limited editions are selling out in minutes. For over a century, the Stanley brand targeted men, popular on hiking trails and construction sites.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's some kind of tough thermos. YURKEVICH: Today, their success is influencers and TikTok moms. The company's key demo is now women. Introducing lighter colors, it's now a fashion accessory. The company doesn't do much advertising. Their consumers do it for them.
PETER SHANKMAN, MARKETING CONSULTANT, MENTAL CAPITAL: Is it the best thermos in the world? Absolutely not. But it took advantage of a moment where everyone thought it was.
YURKEVICH: That insatiable need to own one has sent the company's revenue soaring from $70 million in 2019 to $750 million last year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are a 110-year-old overnight success.
YURKEVICH: But with that success comes scrutiny.
Stanley took advantage of the rise in popularity of social media. Is there a flipside to that?
SHANKMAN: There is. What the Internet giveth, the Internet can taketh away.
YURKEVICH: Just as fast as a group of TikTok moms put Stanley on the map --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I'm divorcing my Stanley.
YURKEVICH: -- concerns over lead in the cups spread across social feeds. Some TikTokers allegedly found small traces of lead by using at home lead tests. Stanley's website confirms lead is part of the vacuum seal at the base of the cups, but says there is no lead on the surface of any Stanley product.
Do you think that has caused any damage or enough damage to the brand to impact sales, impact popularity?
SHANKMAN: Well, keeping in mind that a year ago, their sales were here and now they're here. Even if they go to here, it's still a giant win for Stanley.
YURKEVICH: For some, the popularity may already be waning.
SARAH KAASE, STUDENT: I mean, it's a water bottle. Like I remember when hydro- plastics were like the fad. I feel like a lot a lot of people will buy them and then the hype will go down.
STEPHANIE ESPINAL, OWNS A STANLEY: I like mine. It's blue. It was a gift from my aunt for my birthday.
YURKEVICH: Would you ever decide to spend your money on it?
ESPINAL: No. No. I just feel like, yes, they're nice. They're cool to have. But there's just so many other things that I can spend $50 on.
YURKEVICH: Vanessa Yurkevich, CNN, New York.
CHURCH: And don't forget the lid.
In England, King Charles went on his first public outing nearly a week after Buckingham Palace announced he had been diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer. The 75-year-old monarch attended church Sunday with his wife, Queen Camilla, on his estate in Sandringham. The palace shared that King Charles would step back from public duties while he's undergoing treatment.
Charles has expressed his gratitude for the public's support, saying it has brought him, quote, great comfort and encouragement.
And thanks for spending part of your day with me. I'm Rosemary Church.
"CNN NEWSROOM" continues with Max Foster after a short break.
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