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Democrats Edge Closer to Control Of U.S. Senate; Biden In Cambodia As Global Leaders Join Southeast ASIAN Summit; Kherson City Liberated After Months of Russian Occupation; A Judge Awards $473 Million in Punitive Damages to Sandy Hook Families. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired November 12, 2022 - 06:00   ET




AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone and welcome to CNN this morning. I'm Amara Walker.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning camera. I'm Boris Sanchez. Democrats are edging closer to control of the U.S. Senate with a key victory in Arizona last night. Votes are still being counted in another tight race though with razor thin margins. We'll tell you what that means for the balance of power as both parties look to the future.

WALKER: And President Biden is meeting with world leaders this hour at the ASEAN summit the major agenda items they will tackle and a preview of his high stakes meeting with President Xi Jinping of China on Monday.

SANCHEZ: Plus, cheering in the streets of Ukraine a celebration in Kherson after Ukrainian forces retake that key city. CNN is live there with reaction from residents and what this major setback means for Vladimir Putin.

WALKER: And Twitter turmoil, the questions surrounding the social media giants future after a chaotic week that saw massive layoffs, executive resignations and fumbled feature rollouts.

SANCHEZ: It is the weekend. We are grateful to have you this Saturday, November 12. Always great to be with you, Amara. Good morning.

WALKER: Great to be with you. Great to see that you look nice and refreshed. I know it's been quite a busy week, but good morning.

SANCHEZ: It has refreshed I think that's the illusion. That's the makeup. That's the, you know, the juices flowing. Yes. Yes, yes. So we started this morning with the question that everybody's been trying to answer since Tuesday, who is going to control Congress.

The State of Play shifted overnight when CNN and other major outlets called the Arizona Senate race for incumbent Mark Kelly a big boost for Democrats. Overnight, Kelly acknowledged the call tweeting out this picture with a simple message. Thank you, Arizona.

WALKER: Now the results so far showed Democrats and Republicans having 49 seats each in the chamber so it's going to come down to two races to determine who will control the Senate. First in Nevada, the Senate race between Republican Adam Laxalt and Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto. It's virtually tied a win in Nevada with secure democratic control of the upper chamber.

Also, the Senate race in Georgia is headed to a runoff next months after neither the Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock nor his Republican challenger Herschel Walker received more than 50 percent of the vote. Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver got just over 2 percent.

SANCHEZ: Let's dig deeper now on the midterm elections and how they could alter the state of play in Washington with POLITICO White House reporter Daniel Lippman. Daniel, always appreciate you joining us bright and early on a weekend. Let's start with parties sorting out the leadership question. That's even before we can say for sure which party is going to have control of Congress?

I'm really fascinated by these Republican senators, at least five of them pushing for a delay against a leadership vote. Do you think Mitch McConnell's position as leader is vulnerable?

DANIEL LIPPMAN, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, POLITICO: I don't personally think that he is in a position that he's going to lose that title, there is no plausible candidate who could dismount him from that job. And he's not getting a ton of the blame for why they came up short, or they might come up short in terms of getting a majority. A lot of the blame is shifting to Donald Trump. And to Rick Scott, the senator from Florida, who was the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

And they're saying that, you know, they pushed these weak candidates who were inexperienced, and were kind of amateurs and they couldn't even win in a year with record high in inflation and a message that, you know, they got dragged in by issues, you know, like Dr. Oz, whether he has, you know, how many houses he had and Pennsylvania, Herschel Walker with all of his personal baggage.

And so, McConnell I think, you know, they may delay it a little bit, but he is kind of seen as the master and he has a good control of his caucus.

SANCHEZ: Yes, Rick Scott was seen as a potential challenger before Tuesday night, a lot of questions about how the NRC spent money in different races across the country.

Let's talk about the Republican side on the house because they are Kevin McCarthy.


Boy, he's only got a few votes before he could potentially lose the speakership. He needs to court some of these more right leaning, you know, Freedom Caucus, folks. How do you think that might play out for him?

LIPPMAN: Yes, so you need a -- all to 18 votes when there is the formal speaker vote in January. And so he has been meeting with some of the Freedom Caucus, people hearing them out in terms of their demands, who they want, they have a long list of demands. They, you know, they want him to vote, you know, to endorse Trump early on even before Trump has announced for President next week. They want him to support Jim Banks, who is the congressman from Indiana in terms of his fight to become the GOP whip. He's a strong Trump ally.

And they want this motion that McCarthy was totally not in McCarthy's interest, which is that this ability to for any in a House member to call a kind of a confidence vote, and that would jeopardize the speakership, if he does one thing against the Freedom Caucus or other members in his caucus that pisses him off. And so he is confident that he can get this post. But it's, you know, it's going to be a slog.

SANCHEZ: Yes, if they do that, it seems like it'll turn the House of Representatives into like, the British Parliament or something.


SANCHEZ: I'm curious about Nancy Pelosi's future, the House Speaker, obviously, going through a difficult time following the attack on her husband. It appears that Democrats may narrowly lose the House when all votes are counted. She told CNN she's made a decision about her future. She would not reveal what it is. What are you hearing about her political future?

LIPPMAN: It's still up in the air. I, you know, if I remember that was an interview before like white -- right before the election with Anderson Cooper, I think. And so I think, you know, she is said to colleagues, in the last year that this was going to be her last term. And so she wants some new fresh leadership. If they, by any miracle for Democrats, they are able to keep the House, then she can kind of anoint the first black speaker of the House in Hakeem Jeffries, you know, 52 years old from New York, and a very dynamic political animal who has lots of support within the caucus.

His main rival is Adam Schiff, likely, who has been making calls to try to get members to support him as a leader. But those calls were kind of too little too late in terms of Jeffries has been seen as the standard bearer following Pelosi. And so I think she's waiting to make a formal announcement until we actually get the results of what's going to happen in the House.

SANCHEZ: Right, everybody waiting to see those key races and what happens there. You did bring up the potential for Donald Trump to declare that he's running for president widespread speculation that he has this special announcement Tuesday night in primetime, and that is when he's going to declare a 2024 run.

Curiously, though, even by Trump standards, some of his recent attacks on these popular Republican governors Ron DeSantis, and Glenn Youngkin. They've been bizarre. What do you think Trump is trying to accomplish there? And do you think that's working for him? LIPPMAN: I think some of the attacks this week, were trying to distract the media and his party in terms of happiness, not focus on how it was a very good night on Tuesday for Ron DeSantis. He won 20 points ahead in Florida. He is seen as Trump without the baggage, and so Trump was trying to just like, you know, throwing spaghetti against the wall insane. Let me attack him. Let me let me attack Glenn Youngkin. Let me, you know, kind of throw a million things out there.

But I think there's a lot of Republicans who are saying Why are you attacking your potential 2024 rivals even before you're entering the race, and it's seen as kind of dragging them down. And if Trump loses the, you know, primary campaign for president, then he might not even endorse to the over the Republican is and so he is kind of seen as, you know, really kind of flailing around in terms of trying to keep the party from defecting from him even though you have a lot of people blaming Trump for not having a strong enough candidates on Tuesday.

SANCHEZ: Yes, Donald Trump known to throw things at the wall.

LIPPMAN: Literally.

SANCHEZ: You could say if literally time. Yes. Daniel Lippman. Thanks so much, Daniel, appreciate you.

LIPPMAN: Thanks Boris.

WALKER: So as the election drama plays out here in the U.S., President Biden is in Cambodia for a meeting with Asian leaders it is the latest stop on his high stakes weeklong trip overseas.


The President arrived in Cambodia after attending the COP27 climate crisis summit in Egypt. The President told other leaders that the U.S. will meet emissions targets by 2030. He also touted the largest U.S. investment in fighting climate change ever.

WALKER: And the next stop on the President's schedule will be the G20. Summit in Bali, Indonesia, where he will hold his first face to face meeting with Chinese President Xi Jing ping since taking office. CNN senior White House correspondent Phil Mattingly is traveling with the president in Cambodia. Phil, great to see you. So what are we hearing from Mr. Biden during this stop?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, it's kind of a fascinating convergence of some just absolutely enormous elements that animate the President's entire term and office. You start obviously, with domestic politics, which are always kind of a backdrop for a major foreign trip, but perhaps never so palpably as they are at this moment.

In fact, just a few hours ago, the President making a phone call to Senator Mark Kelly, after his race was called very aware that the dynamics which could have gotten very poorly for the president heading into this trip, have certainly landed in a very different place, a place that when you talk to White House advisors, they hope will serve as a boost to President Biden as he enters these critical next two summits.

Now, he is currently at the ASEAN Summit, where kind of the other overarching issue of this moment hangs over every hour of his attendance here in Cambodia. The reality being that that meeting with China, with Chinese President Xi Jinping, in a couple of days is an animating feature of everything. With these ASEAN countries the President trying to make clear that this is a central component, Southeast Asian countries are a central component of the U.S. strategy in the Indo-Pacific.

He has attended the summit on a gala dinner later and they will have a very important meeting with the leaders of Japan and South Korea tomorrow morning before heading off to the G20. Kind of the entire thread of this Asia trip for the President really focuses on China, China's influence in the region, China's continued acceleration of its own military and economic efforts, all leading to that first face to face meeting White House officials know that is an extraordinarily crucial meeting and the international stage but also one that they feel like the President is going into with some wind at his back given what's happened on the home front, guys.

WALKER: Yes, absolutely keeping his eye here on the U.S. what happens here as well. Phil Mattingly, appreciate you. Thank you so much.

All right, so let's get some perspective now on President Biden's trip from CNN politics and national security analyst David Sanger. Good to see you, David. So as we just heard from Phil, who is in Cambodia, with the president, President Biden there for this summit, and as he is on this week long trip around the world, you know, we heard it there, CO27. Biden's message is clear that America is back. But our leaders asking for how long?

DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICS AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, first, thanks for having me in, first of all, remarkable thing to see an American president in Cambodia. Obviously, President Biden came of age politically at the end of the Vietnam War. And to see him meeting there with Hun Sen, who of course, emerge from that war, tells you that some things in global politics don't seem to change much, even if the landscape of Southeast Asia is very changed.

His commitment was a big one. And I think, you know, driven in large part by the fact that corporate America kept on a lot of the same goals for carbon emission, even during the Trump years, for, you know, very straight on commercial and marketing reasons. And the move to electric cars and so forth is making, I think, beginning to make a significant difference.

But you're right, the question that many are asking is, is Biden the blip? Will they go back to a Trump like candidate even if it is not Trump himself, and ultimately, a Trump like President? And, you know, on that this president can offer no assurances other than to say he had a good Tuesday.

WALKER: And of course, on this world trip, I mean, there's so many global issues and threats that President Biden will have to address including Ukraine, the global recession that we're seeing China, of course, but to just focus on climate change for a bit because we know Biden's trip to Egypt was quite short. But he did take the time to tout the Inflation Reduction Act and that $370 billion investment and clean energy and other alternatives.

And he, you know, urged countries to keep their eye on the ball. Do you think America's renewed leadership on fighting, climate change is going to make a difference?

SANGER: You know, there's a plus side in that and downside.


Plus side is that the rise in oil prices and gas prices which of course are helping fuel that inflation are also making renewables far more economically enticing alternative. Technologies that just looked too expensive when oil prices were low, suddenly seemed competitive. And that is working, I think, to some degree, to the President's advantage.

The downside is we have an inability to have a common agenda with China, the world's second largest economy, and obviously a huge emitter along with us. And so, you know, one of the interesting things to look for when the President meets with Xi Jinping is whether or not there is any effort by the two leaders to talk about those few things that regularly came up in U.S.-China meetings on which they could agree, and those would include climate, of course, containing North Korea and so forth. I'm not sure how much of that you'll hear in this mood, this atmosphere.

WALKER: Yes. Obviously, no one's holding their breaths, and they're going to be able to resolve you know, all their issues and you know, tamped down all of the tensions that we saw rise over the past several months.

So, you know, with President Biden just being in the you're saying it's remarkable to see him and Cambodia, right, he just had this bilat meeting with the Cambodian Prime Minister. But the simple fact that you have an American president in Asia for the first time in four years, attending this ASEAN Summit, and then the East Asian Summit, how significant is that? Because as we know, President Trump at the time, I mean, he skipped out on many of these summits.

SANGER: He did. He didn't have a whole lot of patience for them. He wasn't the central star of it. He didn't think they were big enough powers to be worth his time. So, it's important for several reasons. I was a correspondent, foreign correspondent in Asia for many, many years, when these countries were coming together as rising economic powers. They are now, of course, the core of the President's strategy to keep China in check. These are the nations with whom -- which China is vying for influence throughout the region.

And since the U.S. military presence in Asia still has a long way to be built up. And that's part of the agreement with Australia and other nations, that diplomatic engagement with them is all the more critical. And this is important as Biden heads into that meeting with Xi Jinping because he needs to say that look countries that China is trying to pick off like the Philippines, even places like Cambodia, which don't figure all that frequently in global politics, or places where the United States is now going to make a significant investment.

The question is whether that's convincing, and you've seen opposition take place even, you know, as far south as the Pacific Islands.

WALKER: Well, we'll obviously be watching very closely when Biden meets with Xi Jinping on Monday on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Bali. David Sanger, thank you so much.

SANGER: Great to be with you.

SANCHEZ: Still had a major defeat for Russia after Ukraine retakes the key city of Kherson what it will mean for Vladimir Putin is next military move. Plus, another big blow for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. We're going to tell you how much more a judge ordered him to pay the Sandy Hook families when we come back.



WALKER: New this morning Ukraine's Foreign Minister says there are no indications that Russia is seriously looking for negotiations at this point.

SANCHEZ: You know, comments come a day after Ukrainian forces liberated the key city of Kherson in a stunning defeat for Vladimir Putin. Russian forces have retreated to the east bank of the Dnipro River. But the concern now for Ukraine is clearing the previously occupied region of mines and explosives.

Let's take you there now with CNN international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson. He joins us live from Kherson. Nic, there are still people in the streets behind you celebrating this victory. Stunning because according to Russia, there was a referendum there and the majority of people in Kherson, according to the Kremlin wanted to join Russia.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, I don't think anyone in the square behind me really felt free at that time when Russia held that illegal referendum to actually express their real views. So I think what we're seeing today are the real views of the people of Kherson. There's an incredible feeling of relief, of celebration, of joy. People have been climbing up. The buildings around here, the cinema are over there putting a flag on the top of the cinema building over there.

There are soldiers Ukrainian troops driving through here, whenever they drive through, there's a huge cheer goes up from the crowd. I've seen a soldier signing autographs on the Ukrainian flag. I've seen people in tears. There's so much emotion here but I'm joined by Katerina (ph) and Andrew. Katarina, tell me how you feel today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm funny, I'm happier. It's the best day my day -- best day in my life. Because our town is free. Our street, my street is free. And every day I don't see these orcs, these -- ROBERTSON: Russians.

KATERINA (ph), KHERSON RESIDENT: Fascist, these soldiers. This occupation and --

ROBERTSON: Thank you, Katerina (ph). Andrew, tell me how you feel about this today.

ANDREW (ph), KHERSON RESIDENT: I feel really happy because now I feel a great relief. Because I was under occupation for eight months.


And now I feel that our people, our Ukrainian soldiers came by, and we're so glad to see them. We're so glad that they came by. You can show the people around, show that they're really happy.

ROBERTSON: Tell me how it was to actually have the Russians on the streets here and have to live your life with them ruling it.

ANDREW (ph): I have to recognize that it was not as bad as in Mariupol in Bucha.

ROBERTSON: Everyone was killed there. You survived.

ANDREW (ph): A lot of people was killed. But I think that lots of people were killed here. We just don't know that yet. I live near the prison. Some people told that bodies were taken off.

ROBERTSON: From the prison.

ANDREW (ph): From the prison. Yes. And it's just rumors. I don't know. But I --

ROBERTSON: Now you can find the truth.

ANDREW (ph): We will find the truth. Yes. And I think that truth will be horrible. And now I feel a great feeling of relief. Because it's our people. I am not afraid of our people with weapons with arms. Those people, they will not openly aggressive. But you know, we tried to step back from them. We never knew what to expect from them. Sometimes they helped our elderly people with some (INAUDIBLE). They gave some humanitarian aid to people. But today they gave humanitarian aid. Tomorrow, they will kill you. Our people, our soldiers, I'm not afraid of them. I'm happy that they're here.

ROBERTSON: And Katarina (ph).

KATARINA (ph): Yesterday, here, nobody, nobody, because all people sit in home.

ROBERTSON: Because they were afraid of the Russians.

KATARINA (ph): (INAUDIBLE) in home, in underground. Because we wait for Ukraine soldiers, for Ukrainian (INAUDIBLE).

ANDREW (ph): Authority.

KATARINA: Authority. We wait 18 months. And today we're free.

ROBERTSON: Congratulations. Thank you.

KATARINA: Thank you very much.

ROBERTSON: Congratulation. Freedom for the country. This is what people are telling us here. The euphoria here, you sort of have to be here to feel it. But I think for people it really is still only sinking in eight months of living under an occupation where, as Andrew (ph) said, you didn't know how people were going to treat you, how the Russians would treat you one day not, one day well, the next day they might kill you and stories that we have to chase up on about disappeared, people, people killed.

There's a lot that's going to sink into people here. But this is a city without electricity, without water. The TV station was burned down. There's no internet connection here. The dam is broken just up the river. There are so many problems here but a day are absolute euphoria for the people of Kherson.

WALKER: What a remarkable moment. And yes, we're not there with you, Nic, but we can definitely feel and hear the jubilation, of course the relief. Nic Robertson, thank you so much.

All right, so for more on this now, let's talk about this with CNN military analyst and retired Air Force Colonel Cedric Leighton. I mean, what a remarkable moment to hear from the people. You know, obviously this liberation is just more exciting than words. What is your, I mean, can you talk about the significance of the liberation of Kherson for the Ukrainians at how much of a blow this is for Russia?

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITAYR ANALYST: Oh, America. Good morning. This is a absolutely stunning where the Ukrainians with his means is they can move forward. They've got this momentum now. This operational momentum. They started to do that really all the way back --

WALKER: OK, it looks like we have a spotty signal there with Colonel Cedric Leighton and so we're going to have to leave it there. Unfortunately, again, a remarkable moment, as we saw there on the ground in Kherson as it has been liberated after eight months. I think it was the first and only major city seized by Russian forces. So obviously a very significant moment. And Cedric, you are back. Thank goodness. So please pick up on where you left off.

LEIGHTON: Sure, Amara. This is one of the most significant things because when you look at the progress that the Ukrainians have made, it really was summarized by the phrase of the people when they said (INAUDIBLE) is glory to the Ukrainian army. And what they're doing is the Ukrainians are moving in a very methodical way. They first of course, protected their capital, then they moved into the northeast to secure the area around Kharkiv.

And now they've actually recaptured the one provincial capital that the Russians had, which was Kherson, and now they're moving potentially into an area where they could even threaten Russian control of Crimea.


So that of course, is you know, perhaps literally a bridge too far at the moment for them. But the Ukrainians definitely have the momentum, and they are doing something very unique, very innovative with the western weapons that they're receiving, Amara.

And that, I think is a huge innovative approach to warfare that we're going to be studying for quite some time.

WALKER: Yes, lots of momentum, a huge morale boost, and I'm so glad that we have that map up there. Because if we can put that back up, you can see where Kherson is located in the south. And you know, this was a strategic prize for Russia at the time because it served as a land bridge, right?

Between Ukraine and, of course, Crimea, that was illegal annex -- illegally annexed by Russia in 2014. So Cedric, what do you expect the next steps to be for the Ukrainian military? Especially knowing that there are so many mined areas?

LEIGHTON: Yes, this is going to be a major urban operation. You know, it's probably not going to be classic urban warfare like you saw in World War II with the Battle of Stalingrad, but what you're going to see is a methodical operation to clear buildings of booby traps, of potential booby traps of mines, things of that nature.

The other thing that the Ukrainians are going to have to do, Amara, is they're going to have to move their systems forward so that they can counter any possible Russian artillery that is going to be on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River. So, when you look at where things are on the map right now, you can see that the Ukrainians have moved to that river bank.

They are now controlling that area. They'll have to mop up some remaining Russian forces, of struggling Russian forces that did not make it out of the west bank of the Dnipro River, but those that are there will probably either surrender or, you know, in essence be eliminated from the fight.

So, this is a very important point for the Ukrainians. They'll have to consolidate their victory here, and in order to do that, they're going to have to methodically move forward and, of course, also make sure that they document everything that the Russians did during this period.

WALKER: Absolutely. Really appreciate your insight, Colonel Cedric Leighton, thank you very much.

LEIGHTON: You bet, Amara.

SANCHEZ: Still to come, another expensive blow for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. A judge ordering him to pay another half billion dollars in damages to the families of Sandy Hook victims. More on that scathing condemnation next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


SANCHEZ: Former President Trump has sued the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th attack on the Capitol. The panel subpoenaed Trump for documents and his testimony concerning his actions in the weeks leading up to the insurrection.

In his lawsuit, Trump challenges both the legitimacy of the committee, which multiple courts have already upheld, he also claims he should be immune from testimony about the time that he was president. This latest legal challenge brings into doubt whether the committee will receive any information from the former president before it dissolves at the end of the year.

Meantime, there's another legal defeat for right-wing conspiracy theorist and "Infowars'" host, Alex Jones.

WALKER: A Connecticut judge has ordered Jones to pay nearly half a billion dollars over the lies he told about the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. CNN's Jean Casarez has more.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN REPORTER: Good morning, Boris and Amara. The judge awarded $473 million in punitive damages, and included within that are attorneys' fees and costs. Now, these are punitive damages, which are really punishment damages for the willful wanton, malicious misconduct to punish the defendant, and also a deterrence aspect so that other people out there do not think that they can get away with something like this.

I want to read for you a portion from the decision, so you can see the state of mind of the Judge Barbara Bellis in all of this. She said, quote, "this depravity, this cruel persistent course of conduct establishes the highest degree of reprehensibility and blame worthiness."

She also went on to say that the trial showed quote, "that Jones' use of Sandy Hook engaged the audience and drove up sales and profits, the spikes in sales revenue followings the article, quote, 'FBI says no one killed at Sandy Hook', and their use of the plaintiffs even during the trial to make money.'"

Now, the defense attorney for Alex Jones, Norm Pattis, said that this verdict is a tragedy, the ruling is a farce, and it makes our work in the appeal much easier. One caveat to all of this, Alex Jones has filed bankruptcy proceedings, filed in Texas, obviously in federal court. So all of these damages will be a part of that bankruptcy action, and so, there is much yet to come. Boris, Amara?

WALKER: Jean Casarez, thank you for that. All right, coming up, Twitter in turmoil. Uncertainty hanging over the social media giant following Elon Musk's recent acquisition and behavior. We'll take a closer look at the company's troubles. That's next.


SANCHEZ: This morning, Twitter's future is looking increasingly uncertain. The company has been embroiled in chaos, a soap opera ever since Elon Musk acquired the influential social network about two weeks ago.

WALKER: Yes, he's laid off half of its workforce, executives are fleeing and advertisers are pulling out. CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy takes a closer look at Twitter's troubles.

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: The real questions this morning about whether Twitter can survive Elon Musk, that's because the billionaire who took over the company just a few weeks ago has really thrown it into utter disarray.


Most recently this week, we saw Twitter executives, prominent executives, including the head of Trust and Safety depart the company amid the chaos, and that's not the only problem Elon Musk has. The FTC said it's deeply concerned about what's going on over at that platform, and said they're going to be looking into this.

And more broadly speaking, since Musk took over the company, advertisers have been very worried about whether their marketing campaigns are going to be placed next to hate speech and misinformation, and so they've paused their advertising campaigns, which is to say that Twitter really isn't generating as much revenue as it once was, because of all the companies which have basically fled the platform.

And with this new chaos, you have to wonder whether these advertisers are actually going to come back. This is a big problem obviously for Twitter, one that Elon Musk has himself acknowledged. He wrote in his first company e-mail to employees this week, that if they don't up the revenue, it's questionable about whether Twitter can survive this upcoming economic downturn.

And in a meeting with employees, he also raised the prospects that the company could be forced to declare bankruptcy if things just don't work out for it. And so, really just a big mess over at Twitter, which I should remind people is, one of the most important communications platforms in the world. World leaders use it to communicate.

Top news organizations use it to communicate and news gather. And so, this can have some significant ramifications if it were to no longer be alive. Whether Twitter manages to survive this perilous moment in its history, we'll see, but right now, things aren't looking so good.

SANCHEZ: Thanks to Oliver Darcy for that report. Still to come, a college hoops showdown on the USS Abraham Lincoln. Two perennial powerhouses going down to the wire in a game that was played on an aircraft carrier. Stay tuned for these highlights, we'll be right back.



SANCHEZ: A basketball game on an aircraft carrier. It is one of the coolest venues in all of college hoops, and it was back for the first time in ten years last night.

WALKER: That sounds cool. Andy Scholes is here with us now with his voice back, I hope, Andy.


Incredibly unique way --


WALKER: To commemorate Veterans Day.

SCHOLES: Yes, morning guys. This is always so cool. And this is the first time they've played a college basketball game on an aircraft carrier since 2012, and this year's game taking place on the USS Abraham Lincoln in San Diego. The visuals -- I mean, just awesome. Pacific Ocean in the background, yet, a full size court smacked out in the middle of a flight deck.

And the men and women of our armed forces gathering to watch two of the best programs in the country, Michigan State and Gonzaga and the second-ranked Zags actually needing a rally in this one. Down 12 early in the second half, and their leader Drew Timme stepping up.

The pre-season all-American scoring 22 points. Michigan State, they had one last chance in this one, but Jaden Akins shot, he's going to rim out -- outside shots quite tough on an aircraft carrier. Gonzaga to win this one 64-63. In the NBA, the Warriors get another huge night from Steph Curry against the Cavs. Steph, just ridiculous in this one, hits the three to tie the game with just over a minute to go.

Then moments later, Steph is going to hit another one to put the game away. After getting a nice screen from Klay Thompson. Warriors win 106-101. Steph, game by 40 points, became the oldest player with consecutive 40-point games since Wizards' Michael Jordan back in 2002. All right, we had a scary scene in college hockey last night.

Penn State taking on Minnesota, big hit near the boards, shatters the glass, sending shards flying into the stands. You can see the woman there in the front row clearly shaken up. Everyone appeared to be OK. But there was a delay for cleanup, and so that the glass could be replaced. Minnesota won that game 3-1.

All right, what's better than storming the court on a Friday night? How about doing it twice? So Temple fans storming the court after they thought they beat Villanova, the ref though said, get off because there was a foul call, so everyone had to leave.

After some more free throws though, they did officially win the game and the Temple fans got to storm the court again. This was Temple's first win over Villanova in ten years. All right, finally, slapping is going mainstream.




SCHOLES: So UFC President Dana White launching a slap fighting league called Power Slap, there's going to be eight events which will debut sometime early next year. You can watch it on our sister channel, "TBS".

And I tell you what, guys, any time I'm scrolling through social media and slap fighting comes up, I tend to stop and watch it, and it's so impressive how these guys don't just go to the ground, because I have a glass jaw and would not last one round in this thing.

SANCHEZ: It is mesmerizing to watch this right there in slow motion. Just watching --

WALKER: Yes --

SANCHEZ: Somebody's face shake that way --

WALKER: Get mangled.


SANCHEZ: Yes, and so they've had world slapping championships for some time. May not surprise you, I've been a huge fan specifically of this guy called Da Crazy Hawaiian. I wonder if he's going to compete in this league. Now, it's going mainstream. I mean --


Dana White is on to something.

SCHOLES: They've got a fan in you, I see, Boris.


You know, I'm certainly going to -- you know, it's definitely good TV. I'll definitely watch.

WALKER: All this violence, good TV. Got it. All right, guys --

SANCHEZ: Yes, Andy, glad you made it back from Houston after the World Series. We were worried that you may still be wandering the streets there celebrating in your underwear.

SCHOLES: Hey, it's the one-week anniversary that the Astros won the World Series. I'm going to sell -- I'm going to market every week.

SANCHEZ: Good reason to celebrate today --

WALKER: And you're still smiling year-to-year. My goodness. You were just elated. We could tell --


SCHOLES: It was an amazing night --

WALKER: By your reporting. Thanks so much, Andy.

SCHOLES: Got it.

SANCHEZ: Thanks, Andy. So bringing hope and help to the village where she grew up in extreme poverty. Top ten CNN Hero Nelly Cheboi is a software engineer using recycled hardware and innovative techniques to end integration -- intergenerational poverty, I should say, and lift up an entire rural community in Kenya. Take a look.


NELLY CHEBOI, SOFTWARE ENGINEER: Most of these computers are ending up in landfills. Well, we have kids here, myself included back in the day who didn't even know what a computer is.

We refurbish them, we install our own custom operating system that is dear to us, teaching our kids stuff, efficacy, troubleshooting and internet skills. We are working with institutions, colleges, companies, even individuals and then we bring it to the schools.

All of you are going to be graphic designers today

They can go from doing remote class with -- to music production, video production, coding, personal branding and so on. The thing that was really frustrating me growing up, not seeing change, not seeing hope, not even seeing progress. I feel like with these kids, I can see a path. Like I can see a way where they can make a living online, and that is really, like, why we're doing this work.


SANCHEZ: Don't forget to go to to cast your vote for CNN Hero of the year.