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CNN This Morning

Rain, Storms Expected To Move Across The Northeast And Southeast; Early Voting Begins In Some GA Counties In Walker-Warnock Runoff; White House Blasting Trump's Dinner With Holocaust Denier; Elon Musk Vows To Restore Banned Accounts On Twitter; Experts Say Avoid Unfamiliar Retailers On Cyber Monday; Protests Erupt Across China Against Strict COVID Lockdown; U.S. Grants Chevron Limited Permission to Extract Oil in Venezuela; Orion Spacecraft Takes Selfie on the Moon's Far Side; Data from Webb Telescope on "Hot Saturn" Being Studied by Scientists; Argentina's World Cup Hopes Revived Thanks to Messi's Victory. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired November 21, 2022 - 07:00   ET




BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Buenos dias. And welcome to CNN this morning. I'm Boris Sanchez. And look at who we have here. The pride of Hialeah-Miami Lakes.

SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: Well hala. I'm Sara Sidner in for Amara Walker. Today, millions across the country are expected to head home from the holiday weekend. And unfortunately, severe weather can have a major impact, causing flight cancellations, delays and hazards on the road ways. We'll have your latest forecast just ahead.

SANCHEZ: Plus, if you're planning to store a Cyber Monday deal, buyer beware. We're going to talk to an expert about how you can say safe from -- stay safe from scammers. Easy for me to say.

SIDNER: And protests erupt across China over the country's zero-COVID policy. We'll have the latest as anger mounts and unusual calls for action targeted at the government get louder.

SANCHEZ: As SpaceX successfully launching supplies to the International Space Station after a setback earlier this week, we're going to tell you about the special delivery and how it could potentially change the way that astronauts operate.

SIDNER: It is Sunday, November 27. Thank you so much for waking up with us. We begin with the severe weather that could disrupt travel plans for the millions of folks returning home from their Thanksgiving holiday.

SANCHEZ: Yes. Weather across the Midwest, the Northeast and the MidAtlantic is expected to cause flight delays and cancelations. And there are a few western states that are also seeing some winter weather advisories. Already this morning, there are some 300 delayed flights, the rain and snow coming on what the TSA and AAA expect will be the busiest travel day of the year. AAA says nearly 55 million people are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.

SIDNER: CNN's Allison Chinchar joins us now. Allison, we talked earlier. You said the trouble spots are too many. You need to just point out the spots that aren't having trouble, but a lot of people want to know if they're going to have flight delays and problems on the road, what's happening out there?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. And I think part of that comes with the fact that it's multiple systems. And so, because you have so many different systems across the U.S., that's what's causing so many different problems for so many of the areas. But let's begin in the eastern half of the country.

This is the largest system here. You can see you've got rain stretching from Nebraska all the way over to Florida and up into Maryland. Now, a lot of this rain is very heavy at times. So do keep that in mind if you're traveling by road, that you're going to have some ponding there on the roads.

If you're traveling by air, not only will the rain cause some issues, but also the wind. It could be quite a bumpy flight for some areas, especially where you see this orange color where the winds are gusting up to 50 miles an hour. Now, this system is going to slowly make its way off to the north and east in the coming hours.

So by the latter half of the day today, now you're talking that heavy rain for cities like Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and into Baltimore. That's where we're going to see our biggest air delays. But even Detroit, Chicago, down to Orlando, also looking at the potential for some air delays.

And out to the west, from our other systems out there, Denver, Billings, Portland, and Seattle, also looking at the potential for some delays. It's a lot of snow out in the west, too. Here, you take a look. When you're talking those higher elevations, now you're going to be measuring it in 1 to 2 feet rather than inches, likely looking at some rainfall along the coast there.

But that system in the west is going to make its way across the east in the coming days, and on Tuesday, end up producing what could be a pretty significant severe weather event. We're talking tornadoes, damaging winds, and yes, the potential for some large hail. This includes cities like Memphis, Little Rock, Shreveport, and even New Orleans.

So Sara and Boris, certainly something we'll have to keep an eye on in the coming days.

SIDNER: Allison Chinchar, we appreciate you.

All right, let's go now to CNN's Gloria Pazmino. She is live at LaGuardia Airport in New York. Gloria, LaGuardia is one of those several airports expected to see some delays, but what are you seeing right now?

GLORIA PAZMINO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Sara, Boris. So far so good. Things here have been moving smoothly. No reported delays here at LaGuardia just yet, but definitely a big flow of people here this morning coming in to travel on their way home, back to school and back from the holiday break. It's going to be a massive travel day.


AAA estimates at least 54.6 million people will have traveled more than 50 miles away from home. And today, we expect a lot of those people to be making their way back. Now, we're also seeing an increase from the last couple of years, 1.5 percent increase over 2021 and 98 percent of pre-pandemic volumes.

And now I have been checking in with travelers here at LaGuardia Airport who were pretty pleased with conditions here this morning. Things have been moving smoothly. People are going back to school, going back to home after the holiday break. So far, no complaints from travelers.


ZOE MARTIN DEL CAMPO, TRAVELING AFTER THANKSGIVING: I think it's exciting that things are relatively back to normal, especially after the pandemic, being able to see family and connect again. It's been really, really special. And I'm grateful the lines don't look too bad quite yet. Definitely saw more people and I was traveling last week here.


MARTIN DEL CAMPO: But, yes, I don't know, it's kind of nice to see everyone back at it again.

GEORGE MARTIN, TRAVELING AFTER THANKSGIVING: You know, it actually feels pretty good. When we left Florida, we had heard the same thing, that there were 350,000 passengers and actually the airport was easy to get in and out of and this feels fantastic.


PAZMINO: Now both of those travelers I spoke to told me they specifically picked early morning flights to try and avoid the crowds. And certainly, with the weather being a possibility today, those people were trying to get out of here sooner rather than later, so that, you know, as more of the day goes on, they are not risking any kind of delays traveling back home. Sara, Boris?

SANCHEZ: Nice to see that things are calm right now. We'll see how they stand once conditions start to deteriorate. Gloria Pazmino, be safe out there. Thanks so much.

So early voting is underway in some parts of Georgia in the runoff between Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Hershel Walker.

SIDNER: A decision by the state Supreme Court allowed counties to begin early voting yesterday. CNN's National Politics Reporter Eva McKend has our details.

EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Boris, Sara, despite the long lines in some places, a steady stream of Georgians coming out to vote Saturday. This issue of voting access, that this whole battle over Saturday voting prompted a really galvanizing issue for Democratic voters.

One woman telling us that she left but felt motivated to come back because Democrats fought so hard for Saturday voting. Saturday voting also really key for college students. Saturday perhaps their only shot to vote. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought it was my responsibility as a college student to ensure that while I was home for break that I vote and make sure my voice is heard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I go to Boston College, so this is kind of the only time that I'm in Georgia and able to vote. I've had a lot going on in the past couple of days being back from college. So this is really the only time that I had available to vote. So I leave tomorrow. So really happy that I was able to get it in.


MCKEND: Now by law, all counties in Georgia have to provide early voting starting on Monday. But if Georgians don't have the opportunity to vote early, they can still vote on December 6. Boris, Sara?

SIDNER: The White House is blasting former President Trump's dinner with white nationalist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. Rapper Ye West, who has legally changed his name, also attended that dinner.

SANCHEZ: Yes. A source says that at one point during the dinner, Trump declared that he liked Fuentes. The Anti-Defamation League has identified him as a white supremacist. CNN White House Correspondent Arlette Saenz has more on how the Biden administration and the President himself are reacting.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Biden spent his Saturday shopping in downtown Nantucket as his administration tried to promote Small Business Saturday. And it was on that shopping trip that President Biden briefly responded to a reporter's questions about former President Donald Trump's recent dinner with a white nationalist, Nick Fuentes. Take a listen to what President Biden had to say.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, what do you think of Donald Trump having dinner with the white nationalist? What do you think of that, sir.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You don't want to hear what I think.


SAENZ: Now while President Biden did not elaborate on his comment, the White House has offered a more fulsome response on the former President's dinner with that white nationalist. White House spokesperson Andrew Bates telling CNN, quote, "Bigotry, hate, and antisemitism have absolutely no place in America, including at Mar-a- Lago. Holocaust denial is repugnant and dangerous and it must be forcefully condemned."

Now it comes as no surprise this is how the White House -- the Biden White House would be responding to former President Trump dining with a white nationalist. President Biden based so much of his 2020 campaign on the former President's response to those clashes down in Charlottesville, and he has spoken out against extreme hateful rhetoric as well as prejudice in this country.


Now on Sunday, President Biden is returning to Washington with a long to-do list for him to confront, including trying to fund the government, as that government funding is set to expire on December 16. The White House is also hoping to fold in additional funding for the COVID pandemic, Ukraine, and also disaster relief.

The President is also hoping he'll be able to sign a bill protecting same sex and interracial marriage once that comes up for a vote in the Senate later this week. And while here in Nantucket, the President expressed a desire to try to get some new gun legislation passed, including a possible ban on assault weapons in the wake of that spate of mass shootings in this country.

Of course, he is facing an uphill climb as at this time, the bill -- the votes simply don't exist for an assault weapons ban to pass in Congress. Arlette Saenz, CNN, traveling with the President in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

SIDNER: Experts are sounding the alarm about the rise of hate across this country. Prosecutors in Colorado are expected to file the equivalent of hate crime charges against the suspect in last week's shooting at a LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs. And two men in New York were arraigned last week on charges they were plotting an attack on a synagogue.

Joining me now is Jonathan Greenblatt, he is the CEO and National Director of the Anti-Defamation League. Jonathan, thank you so much for joining us this morning.


SIDNER: It's good to see you again as well. I do want to begin with what we heard about a meeting with former President Trump and now also a Republican presidential candidate meeting with Kanye West or Ye, who recently said he was going to go DEFCON 3 on Jewish people. And then Ye apparently brought along white nationalist Nick Fuentes, who is a Holocaust denier who met and had dinner with the former President. We've talked about this before --


SIDNER: -- but what do you make of what that says to this nation?

GREENBLATT: Well, Sara, if you think about the moment we're in, and as you just suggested in your intro, hate is up against so many different groups. The LGBTQ community is still mourning the deaths last week in Colorado Springs. Last weekend, as you noted, two men were intercepted and arrested at Penn Station for plotting to attack a synagogue. They had a high-capacity firearm, knives, bulletproof vests on them.

So for Donald Trump to dine with notorious white supremacists and unrepentant bigots, I think at a minimum, Sara, it's clarifying. He is trying to make America hate again and running arguably the most unapologetic white nationalist presidential campaign we've ever seen.

SIDNER: That is quite a statement, the most unapologetic white nationalist campaign that we've ever seen coming, in your opinion, from Donald Trump. I do --


SIDNER: -- want to ask you about the response. He has said -- he has come out and said on his social media site that, you know, he didn't know who this guy was. I know we've heard that before from him. Does that make any difference? I mean --

GREENBLATT: It makes no difference. I mean, it's demonstrably unprecedented when you can't demonstrate a basic knowledge of people in public life. In 2016, he told us he didn't know who David Duke was, which was implausible. In 2017, he thought he saw fine people on both sides in Charlottesville. Back in 2021, you recall, when he told the people who'd marauded through the Capitol wearing six WME sweatshirts, who sought to kidnap and kill legislators, Sara, that, quote, I love you, as they -- and they asked them to leave the Capitol.

So here we are today, where he is again, breaking bread with haters. And you simply can't credibly oppose hate when you make it your business to spend your time with the people spreading hate throughout America. Kanye West, Nick Fuentes? This is the bottom of the barrel, Sara. There's no other way to put it.

SIDNER: I want to ask you what you make of -- you know, the White House has come out and made its statement about this, but we haven't heard much from Republicans in general. Are you concerned about the silence surrounding this from those in leadership, particularly in the Republican Party? This is one of their presidential candidates.

GREENBLATT: Well, look, you know, Trump's own former ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, called this out. The Republican Jewish Coalition called this out. His former secretary of state spoke out. So, look, I think there's nothing political about calling out prejudice, right?


There's nothing think partisan about recognizing the danger that these people present to not just Jewish people, although that's a start, but to all minorities, all marginalized communities. So some important Republicans have come out, and I hope people on the left and the right, Republicans and Democrats, will also stand together, Sara, and renounce this clearly and cogently this morning, tomorrow, and for the rest of this presidential season.

SIDNER: Can I ask you about moving on to another subject? We've talked a lot about this over the years, about the language that is used, disinformation, hateful rhetoric, and we now are hearing from Elon Musk about him deciding to reinstate accounts even if they were kicked off for disinformation or hateful rhetoric on Twitter. Can you give me a sense of what you think that may do to this country? Will it have an impact?

GREENBLATT: Look, there's a reason why the Stop Hate for Profit coalition came out against, you know, Elon Musk re-platforming Donald Trump. It was in contradiction to something he said that he would do when we met with him, which was created clear and transparent process before reinstating anyone whose accounts had been indeed canceled, if you will, or suspended.

So here we are today, where apparently, he is going to let all the inmates back in the asylum, if you will. I find it really troubling, and I'm someone who was cautiously optimistic when Elon Musk took over the platform. But it's hard for me to make sense of where we're going.

And let's be very clear, Sara, as we've talked about over the years. I believe in free speech with the ABL (ph). We're a civil rights organization. We fight ferociously for the First Amendment. But freedom of speech isn't the freedom to slander people. Freedom of expression isn't the freedom to incite violence.

And we make choices with who we platform, with who we privilege, whether it's sitting at dinner with you at dinner at Mar-a-Lago, or giving them the opportunity to tweet on your platform. So I think if we don't want Twitter to descend into a, quote, hellscape, as Elon said a few weeks ago, he needs to keep the people at the gates of hell far away from the service.

SIDNER: Jonathan Greenblatt, we are going to leave it there. Thank you so much for coming on and discussing this difficult topic. I appreciate you.

GREENBLATT: Always good to see you, Sara. Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Still ahead this morning, if you're hoping to grab some Cyber Monday deals and discounts, you may want to watch out because online scammers love this time of year. We're going to talk to an expert about how you can stay safe online and avoid scams.

Plus, it's being called a full-fledged human rights crisis. Now, Iranian American women are trying to shine a light on the Iranian protests and government crackdown through their art. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


SANCHEZ: If you plan on taking advantage of all those Cyber Monday deals tomorrow, like so many other millions of Americans, you need to be sure that bad actors aren't trying to take advantage of you. Online scammers kick into high gear around the holidays. So what should you be looking out for?

I want to bring in Eddie Doyle, he's a global security strategist for Check Point Software Technologies. Eddie, thank you so much for sharing part of your Sunday morning with us. What exactly should people be looking out for as signs of possible scams?

EDDIE DOYLE, GLOBAL SECURITY STRATEGIST, CHECK POINT: Thank you very much for having me, Boris. Well, most spoofed brands and so, what people should be looking out for is don't trust brands that you don't know and the brands that you do know, like the Amazons, the DHLs, and the Microsofts of this world. Double check that the URL, the website address is the correct one. And if you get unsolicited e-mails -- so if somebody's reaching out to you, really always treat it with suspicion.

SANCHEZ: Well, I'm glad you brought up that point, because phishing attacks, especially with branded phishing attacks, are something that catch a lot of people off guard. Help us understand exactly what a branded phishing attack is and how bad actors use them to try to trick people.

DOYLE: OK, well, listen to this. The most spoofed brand right now is for DHL. So 22 percent of all phishing attacks use the DHL brand or attempt to use the DHL brand. Microsoft and LinkedIn are the next two with 18 percent and 11 percent of all phishing scams attached to those brands. And so what a thread actor will do is they will attempt to confuse an online shopper by using the DHL brands, the images from DHL but the website won't be DHL.

So what they'll do is they'll send out literally millions of e-mails, millions across the entire world, if they can. And this is all through the click of a button by a thread actor. And then what they're waiting for is if you send out millions, somebody's going to click that link. And so, one of the most important safeguards for people is to simply not click links in e-mails. It's an easy way to get business done.

But if you go to the website of the brands that you have been using -- because somebody's been using DHL, so they send out these millions of e-mails, they know people are using them, and they know a few people will just go ahead and click right on the link without actually looking. So instead of doing that, people need to watch out for typing the actual DHL website address into their web browser, or using their saved DHL website address within their web browser, and then they know they're going genuinely to that company.

SANCHEZ: Right, because you'll get an e-mail that looks pretty authentic. The branding is there. Maybe there's some perhaps broken English. What are the signs specifically that people should look for in those e-mails to discern whether they're real or not?

DOYLE: Well, you mentioned the English. Yes, spelling mistakes. I mean, I can't believe the thread actors are still using them, but they are. So that's good. Now, you know, the more sophisticated ones will not. So what you've got to watch out for is lookup to the URL, look up to the website address.

So let's take something that's well known like Amazon. Now a thread out towards change the letter O for a zero in Amazon. And then all of a sudden you can't quite see that.


If you think of the word Amazon, you see a zero instead of O, well, you might not see it. And then they've got you, they've captured you into that ecosystem. Another one to watch out for is any time somebody is asking you to make a payment on a separate platform. So think about the experience that you have with Amazon. You go in there, you select your goods, you go to the checkout, you pay and you're off.

Now if somebody said to you, select your goods and then go to this other website for payment, that's a red flag. That's very suspicious. And so -- and listen to this. In the first two weeks of November this year, one of every six e-mails was malicious and was specific to a shipping scam. Now a shipping scam is that DHL. They're saying, hey, you know, you've got a package that's coming, click here and surrender some kind of personal information. That's what they're looking for.

So, one in every six e-mails was malicious there. And also, we found a research group -- now listen to this, this is an interesting one, Boris. 15,000 bogus websites specific to handbags, just handbags, 15,000 completely fake websites got set up in the months of October and November just for this one item. It's because it's a very attractive item to me.


DOYLE: People want these handbags, these high-end handbags. And so with 15,000 out there, they're going to have some success rate.

SANCHEZ: Yes, that is an incredible number. And sadly, a lot of people are going to fall victim to this kind of attack. What should you do if you think you've fallen prey?

DOYLE: Well, if you've fallen prey to the attack, you can go to You can also look at forums on Reddit. These are actually very useful forums. People there are clubbing together and dealing with the aftermath of a particular scam. You can also go to both of those websites to see if something is a scam in advance.

You should immediately contact your bank, freeze your credit cards, don't use Zelle, right, PayPal and Venmo have buyer protection programs, although there is a little bit of suspicion about whether they are automatic. You might have to click a button to get that buyer protection program. So Zelle is like cash, don't use that. Don't pay in credit cards. There's another one for you. And basically, if a third-party website is asking you for credit card information, don't surrender it to them.

SANCHEZ: All good pieces of advice, perhaps the most important one is just to be vigilant and make sure that what you're buying is above board. Eddie Doyle, thank you so much.

DOYLE: My pleasure. Thank you, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

SIDNER: And still ahead this morning, protests continue across China in a rare act of defiance against the country's zero-COVID policy. The latest on this protest next.



SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Overnight, remarkable acts of defiance in cities of universities across China, as anger boils over against the country's strict COVID -- zero-COVID lockdowns.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking in a foreign language).

CROWD: (Speaking in a foreign language).


SIDNER: That video is from Shanghai. You hear protesters chanting "Step Down", aimed at China leaders, Xi Jinping, and his ruling communist party. That's an exceptionally rare sight in China given the communist party's ruthless crackdown on all expressions of dissent.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN NEW DAY WEEKEND ANCHOR: There's also new video just in to CNN this morning in Shanghai. It appears to show protesters, as you can see on your screen, being pushed, beaten, dragged away by police. People can be heard screaming, release them. Now, the video you see right now and others like it have been scrubbed by Chinese censors.

A full-fledged human rights crisis, that's what the United Nations' high commissioner for human rights chief says is happening in Iran as security forces brutally crackdown on protesters.

SIDNER: This week, Alex Marquardt met with the group of Iranian- Americans women who launched and exhibit with protest art. Highlighting the strength and bravery of the young Iranian who have taken to the streets.


GOLI GANJI, IRANIAN-AMERICAN ARTIST: It's just that anger and the bravery in her -- on her face, is just so beautiful.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Goli Ganji lived in Iran until she was 18 years, and is now one of the Iranian-American women behind a new exhibit that was here in Washington, D.C. called "Iran Rising". With works of protest art that have sprung up in support of the demonstrations that have swept Iran.

GANJI: I want to support my Iranian brothers and sisters. And this is -- if this is the only thing we could do to support them, to amplify their voices, this is it. Some people didn't understand the words but you can see these powerful images, you can see the pain and suffering of the people -- of Iranian people.

MARQUARDT (voiceover): The protest driven by young women are now in their third month, sparked by the death of a 22-year-old Mahsa Amini at the hand of Iran's so-called Morality Police. Thousands have been arrested and more than 400 killed, according to the Iran human rights group. The regime has started sentencing people sense sentencing people to death.

MARQUARDT (on camera): You must be incredibly proud of these young people, particularly the young women. But as an Iranian, do you feel any helplessness?

GANJI: It's amazing to see these young generation right now are fighting for their country. Fighting to get their country. Fighting for their freedom. It's beautiful. And it's -- I wish I could do more. I really wish I could do more.

MARQUARDT (voiceover): A portrait of Mahsa Amini is among the more than 160 works. Many of which were done by international artists. There's also Kian Pirfalak, a 10-year-old, who last week was shot dead, just one of dozens of children killed.


AZAR NAFISI, IRANIAN-AMERICAN AUTHOR AND SCHOLAR: Iranian people go into the streets and get killed and the next day and the next day.

MARQUARDT (voiceover): Azar Nafisi is a famous Iranian author who left Iran in the 90's because of the rule imposed by the Islamic republic on women.

NAFISI: They have already failed.

MARQUARDT (on camera): They've already failed.

NAFISI: Because something is broken. Within the system itself, there are defections. No matter what happens with these demonstrations, even if we lose the battle, we have won the war. This is a turning point in the struggle of Iranian people.

MARQUARDT (voiceover): Nafisi and others call what it happening gender apartheid. The world was reminded again this week of Iranian bravery when at their match, the member of the mens' World Cup team defiantly refused to sing the national anthem.

MINA, IRANIAN-AMERICAN ARTIST: I applaud them for doing that.

MARQUARDT (voiceover): Mina is another of the Iranian-American women behind the "Iran Rising" exhibit. She designed this wall with a pair of lions, a symbol of Iran. The lioness, a tribute to the movement's fearless female protesters.

MINA: Their bravery is outstanding and incredible.

MARQUARDT (voiceover): If you are in Iran, what do you think would you be doing?

MINA: I would be there right with them, right next to them. There's a protest chant that Iranians say, (Speaking in a foreign language). Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid. We are all together. We are all in this together.

MARQUARDT (voiceover): Alex Marquardt, CNN, Washington.


SANCHEZ: Our thanks to Alex for that report. Talking about an out of this world selfie. That's NASA's Orion spacecraft capturing itself as itself as it passed the moon. We're going to break down what's next for the mission with an expert after a quick break. Stay with us.



SANCHEZ: Welcome back. Here are some of the top stories we're following this morning. Miami is mourning the loss of Cuban businessman Felipe Valls Sr., the founder of the iconic restaurant, Versailles Restaurant. Valls opened the restaurant 51 years ago on Calle Ocho Street in Miami's little Havana neighborhood.

It quickly became a place to meet for activists and Miami's Cuban exile community. It's been visited by presidents, presidential candidates, foreign dignitaries, and, perhaps, less notably me and my family many, many times. It became a meeting point for political conversations and activists, especially regarding issues involving the island of Cuba.

Valls family did not provide details on his cause of death. Felipe Valls Sr. Was 89 years old.

SIDNER: I love that place. The U.S.'s second largest oil company, Chevron, has received limited authorization to resume pumping oil from Venezuela. The announcement comes after the Venezuelan government and the opposition group reached an agreement on humanitarian relief. The two sides will continue to negotiate for a solution to the country's chronic economic and political crisis, including a focus on the 2024 elections. However, a senior Biden administration official says, they do not expect the new agreement to have a tangible impact on international oil prices. SANCHEZ: U.S. space agencies have been busy the last few days. SpaceX is taking supplies to the International Space Station. The mission left yesterday, days late because of a weather delay. NASA's Orion Capsule, meantime, is making its way around the moon and sending back pictures to the earth along the way, including this space selfie from the far side of the moon.

SIDNER: The spacecraft is on the first in a series of Artemis missions. Meant to take human back to the moon and establish a path to Mars. Joining us to discuss is astrophysicist Hakeem Oluseyi, he's the author of "A Quantum Life: My Unlikely Journey from the Street to the Stars." Welcome to the show.

HAKEEM OLUSEYI, ASTROPHYSICIST: Good morning. Thank you for having me.

SIDNER: So, I just wanted to ask you, I love the title of your book. But it's been, kind of, a long time since we've seen a mission to the moon by NASA. How is Artemis program helping that?

OLUSEYI: Well, the Artemis program is a step-by-step process of getting human's back to the moon. And the very first thing that we want to make sure is that everyone is safe. So, what's happening right now is that there are no humans onboard but there are mannequins and there are a lot of sensors to understand exactly what type of stresses and what type of radiation environment astronauts are going to make face. So, this mission is uncrewed but the next mission is expected to have a human crew on board.

SANCHEZ: So, Hakeen, why is it important to have this unmanned mission first?

OLUSEYI: It's -- well, you know, it would look really bad if something bad happened.


OLUSEYI: So, you have to take every care that you can. So, you know, before you say, hey, you know -- it's like the Wright Brothers, right? You don't just build a plane and jump off a cliff. You know, you want to go down a gentle slope first to make sure that everything is going to work as expected. It's been a long time since we've had humans outside of low Earth orbit, right?

And so, the other thing is that there is a lot of new technology that's been brought to bear.


And so, you just want to make sure and take every, you know, every -- you know, cross every T and not every I and just make sure that everyone is going to be safe when they take that trip.

SIDNER: Now, the Webb telescope is further out in space. And scientists are kind of looking at details of an exoplanet that they call hot Saturn, not hot mess, but hot Saturn. Hot mess would be me. Why is this data considered a game changer? I just -- can I just say I cannot get enough of pictures from space.

OLUSEYI: I'm telling you, in a Webb telling scope -- you know, we had Hubble and that blew everybody's mind. And now we have Webb, it is doing even more, more spectacular images. Looking deeper into space. Looking where Hubble actually could not look because it's infrared.

And the thing getting the -- a profile of an atmosphere is that, you know, one of the goals is to identify light on another world. And in order to do that, you have to actually get what we call a spectrum, which is sort of like a barcode.

But, you know, what I always ask my students is, where does light come from? You know, and they'll say the sun. But I point out to them that matter makes it. And whenever matter makes light, the signature of what that matter is and what that matter is doing is encoded in the light. And if that light passes through something else, like the light from the star passing through the planetary atmosphere, the signature of the atmosphere is going to get imprinted on that light.

Now, knowing that is one thing. Actually, taking that data and seeing that pattern is a huge engineering and technological challenge. And so, before Webb, we sucked at it, right? But now, we're great at it.

SANCHEZ: That is some heavy stuff, Hakeem. I always learn something whenever we talk. I wanted to ask you about the SpaceX resupply to the International Space Station, obviously carrying food. And also, some experiments. What can you tell us about those? Which one stood out to you?

OLUSEYI: Yes. Well, again, you know, we're going back to humans in space. And what we're -- you know, what you have to do with humans is keep them alive. And so, you know, if you look at life in the universe, is has be hidden from space, right? Listen to nooks and crannies, under atmospheres, under oceans, under magnetic fields. But now, let's take you out of that protected cocoon and put you out in space. How do we keep you alive?

Well, one of the fundamentals is food. And, you know, we just had an experiment where scientists actually grew food in the moon soil which is extraordinary because it's not actually soil, right? It's what we call regolith. But they were able to do it successfully. Now, this mission, what stands out to me is that they're going to grow tomatoes in space. So, you know, that hasn't been done before.

But if we are going to have a lunar base, if we are going to have a Martian base, if we are going to take these incredibly long trips through space, then we'd to have a way of producing food. We're a few centuries away from "Star Trek's" replicator. So, you know, we have to do it the good old fashion way but in space which is no easy task.

SANCHEZ: Yes, I have enough trouble growing plants on my balcony. I can't imagine how astronauts are going to be able to do it.

OLUSEYI: Exactly.

SANCHEZ: Hakeem Oluseyi, thank you so much for the time, as always. OLUSEYI: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

A quick programming note for you, catch an all-new season of "This Is Live with Lisa Ling" tonight at 10:00 right here on CNN. This episode tonight is especially peculiar. You won't want to miss it. Stay with CNN. We'll be right back.



SIDNER: College football fans take note, Michigan is back.

SANCHEZ: Yes, the Wolverines absolutely pulverized the buckeyes in their own house yesterday. CNN's Carolyn Manno joins us now.

Carolyn, it's almost certain nowt that Michigan is heading back to the playoff.

You're right. Good morning.

There was so much on the line. I mean, this was built as one of the best matchups in this rivalry's history, just the fourth time in nearly 120 meetings that both teams came into the final game with perfect records and a play-in to that crucial playoff.

But instead, 100,000 Buckeye fans got to watch a coming out party for Wolverine's quarterback J.J. McCarthy, the sophomore former five-star recruit putting on the best performance of his young career shredding Ohio State's secondary with touchdown passes of 69, 75, and 45 yards on the afternoon before beating the Buckeyes into submission on the grounds.

You have Donovan Edwards who busted loose for at one point for 75 and 85-yard scores. So, the Wolverines take at 45-23, their second straight win over their rivals. Their first in Columbus since 2000.

Elsewhere for you this morning, Texas A&M pulling off a stunner in college station against number five LSU, Moose Muhammad, at the third, coming down with a spectacular one-handed touchdown cast on a perfect throw by Conner Weigman. The Aggies were ranked sixth in the pre- season AP poll. They end the season with seven losses but they finish on a high-note 38-23, ending LSU shot at the playoff.

Three other teams fighting for a spot in the final four cruising the victory yesterday after a slow start, Brock Bowers helping number Georgia pull away from Georgia Tech, pulling in a shoe string catch for the touchdown. The reigning national champs win by 23. Fourth ranked TCU finishing off a perfect regular season. Running rough shot over Iowa State. The high-powered Horned Frogs offense pulling up a season high 62 points against what had been the big 12's best scoring defense winning by 48.

And the USC Trojans who entered the weekend at sixth in the rankings could now find themselves on the right side of the playoff. While quarterback Caleb Williams had one passing touchdown but he scored three times on the ground in such an impressive 38-27 win over 15th ranked Notre Dame.

And lastly for this morning, elsewhere in sports, a world cup moment from none other than Messi, the magician.


The Argentina superstar with the perfectly play strike, breaking a scoreless tie with Mexico and lifting his country from the brink of elimination after their shocking loss to Saudi Arabia. So, they are now in control of they own destiny, winning 2-nil.

Of course, everybody waiting, guys, for Tuesday. Two days. The United States and Iran. It is win or go home. Close to 20 million people are watching across the United States on multiple platforms. So, you can imagine what's going to happen in just a couple of days.

SANCHEZ: A huge do or die game. A lot of expectations. Carolyn Manno, thanks so much for the update.

SIDNER: And thanks for starting your morning with us. It's been a pleasure to be here with you.

SANCHEZ: Sara, always great to join you. Again, the pride of Hialeah- Miami Lakes, always great to be by your side. Don't go anywhere, "Inside Politics Sunday with Abby Phillip" is up next.