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CNN This Morning

McCarthy Becomes Speaker After 15 Ballots, Intense Negotiations; 2022 Was Second-Best Year Of Job Growth Since Records Began; Affidavit Reveals New Information About College Student's Murders; Bill's Damar Hamlin Has Breathing Tube Removed; Police Investigation Underway After Six-Year-Old Shot His Teacher; Iran Executes Two More Men Who Took Part In Anti-Regime Protests; FDA To Allow Pharmacies To Dispense Abortion Pills; Study: Social Media Could Be A Brain-Changer For Teens; Chaos Breaks Out In Congress Amid Failed Speaker Votes. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired January 07, 2023 - 08:00   ET



ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN ANCHOR: -- I'm Alex Marquardt in today for Boris Sanchez.

After days of drama and 15 rounds of voting, the House finally elects a speaker. How Kevin McCarthy clinched the votes. And the next big order of business.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: New details in the horrific murder of four Idaho college students. What we're learning from a recently released affidavit. And we're also going to hear from one of the victim's fathers about why he thinks the group was hunted.

MARQUARDT: And there has been remarkable progress for Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin just days after collapsing on the football field last weekend. We'll be joined by a former basketball player who experienced the very same thing. We'll have his story and how he used that scary moment to help save lives.

WALKER: Plus, the new study that says social media could be changing your kids brains. That's all ahead on "CNN This Morning."

It is Saturday, January 7th. Thank you so much for waking up with us, especially you, Alex. Good to be with you.

MARQUARDT: Great to be back with you. So, how late did you manage to stay up watching all this drama unfolding?

WALKER: About 8:00 p.m. That was the latest for me. How about you?

MARQUARDT: About 9:45.

WALKER: All right, all right.


WALKER: You got more drop in --

MARQUARDT: Missed all the fun last night.

WALKER: Yes, so did I.

MARQUARDT: Well, it certainly was quite dramatic, as well as being historic and chaotic. Congressman Kevin McCarthy of California, he finally won the race for speaker of the House after 15, 15 rounds of voting, which ended earlier this morning.



REP. RYAN ZINKE (R-MT): The next Speaker of United States House Representative Kevin Owen McCarthy.


WALKER: McCarthy engaged in some intense negotiations, and he made some major concessions to secure the Speaker's gavel. But now he says it's about a commitment to the American people.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R) HOUSE SPEAKER: A commitment for the future that's built on freedom, where children come first and are taught to dream big because in America, dreams can still come true. A commitment for a government that is held accountable, where Americans get the answers they want, need, and deserve. Our system is built on checks and balances. It's time for us to be a check and provide some balance to the President's policies.


WALKER: So how did Kevin McCarthy manage to survive the opposition within his own party? CNN Washington correspondent Sunlen Serfaty joining us now from Capitol Hill.

Hi, Sunlen, it was ugly. What are some of the concessions that McCarthy had to make to get those votes?

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you. Yes, major concessions had to be made by Kevin McCarthy to score this major victory in the end of this very historic battle on the House floor. We saw it unfold over many days and certainly many hours last night into the wee hours of this morning, where finally, Kevin McCarthy notched the 216 votes that he needed to win the speaker's gavel.

He got there by, in the end, flipping those conservative Republicans that had voted against him. Those key holdouts, they switched their vote to vote present. That, in essence, lowers the threshold that Kevin McCarthy needs to win the Speaker's battle.

And he got there by making major concessions to House conservative, among them, the compromise now to have one vote needed to out the speaker the McCarthy Alliance Super Pac now not playing an open safe Senate -- excuse me, open House primary seats and 72 hours to review bills before they can come to the House floor, that's something that many House conservatives push for, as well as more seats on the House Rules Committee for members of the House Freedom Caucus.

Now, at the end of all of this, Amara, Kevin McCarthy joked that was easy hump. Certainly, even now that he is sworn in as the next House Speaker, the hard part for him, the legislating, the governing, starts now.

MARQUARDT: And Sunlen, with every passing round of voting, that's got more and more contentious. And that was really on full display, perhaps epitomized by that tense moment between Congressman Matt Gaetz and Congressman Mike Rogers. What happened there?

SERFATY: Yes, this was certainly an interesting moment, really underscoring just how motions were so high last night. This happened between the 14th and 15th round of voting. You see there some dramatic still photos of Congressman Rogers being restrained by another congressman after he lunged at Congressman Matt Gaetz. And that was just after Matt Gaetz had voted against Kevin McCarthy, to the surprise of many. Again, and you saw Kevin McCarthy walking away there, and then he actually had to return to that tussle on the floor.


So, again, just another very dramatic moment and something we certainly do not see much of here in the Congress.

WALKER: And lastly, Sunlen, I mean, yes, Congress or the House can now resume business. What happens next?

SERFATY: Well, certainly members will be taking the weekend off away in their home district celebrating now, officially they are sworn in as members, but they will be back 5:00 p.m. on Monday Eastern time to start the House's business. And first up is they have to vote through this rules package.

Now, some of the concessions that were negotiated as part of that rules package and that essentially sets the parameters for how the House will operate and then it's on to legislating governing. We heard some of that from Kevin McCarthy in his victory speech that was given on the House floor shortly after 1:00 a.m.

But all of this battle really underscores the moments that you will have in the next Congress as they try to broker deals on legislation, government funding, all these key debates with a very narrow majority in the House, he is going to continue to see these types of battles play out.

WALKER: Sunlen Serfaty, thank you very much live for us there on Capitol Hill.

Joining me now is the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, Larry Sabato. Good morning to you and thanks so much for being with us.

Look, you, along with so many Americans, witnessed this extraordinary four days of chaos and humiliation, really, that played out for Kevin McCarthy and the Republican Party. Matt Gaetz on Thursday told reporters, quote, this ends one of two ways. Either Kevin McCarthy withdraws from the race or we construct a strait jacket that he's unable to evade. So, it looks like the latter happened. What does this mean for how McCarthy will govern then, Larry?

LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, CENTER OF POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Well, he'll have to govern in consultation with lots of other people who probably won't agree with one another. You know, Amara, this was the easy part. This was the easy part of this upcoming two-year Congress.

Does anybody out there actually believe that they're going to be sweetness and light and not disagreed when we get to the hard policy issues that are going to be coming up? Also, it's as though they don't realize we have divided power in the United States. They're part of the Congress. The other half of the Congress, the Senate, is controlled by Democrats. And of course, President Biden, a Democrat has veto power.

So, a lot of this was Disneyland stuff. And I assume some of the new members who think they have more power than they have will find that out eventually.

WALKER: Yes, they may be in for a rude awakening. And speaking to your point of sweetness and light, McCarthy believes, you know, that the last few days Republicans learned how to work together. They're more united than ever. You know, on the other hand, you have Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader, warning that McCarthy's concessions are going to cause a government shutdown or default. And clearly you agree with Chuck Schumer.

SABATO: Yes. I don't know that it will result in that, but I think we'll get very close to a default or government shutdown, and that's disturbing in lots of different ways. And there you do need both Houses to come to some kind of agreement. One thing we've learned is a sizable faction of this Republican caucus in the House does not believe in compromise, which has been the genius of the American republic since it was founded.

WALKER: Yes, and well, it's incredible that such a small minority within a party can hold the majority hostage on, you know, a slew of things, and we'll see how that plays out in the coming two years. Regarding McCarthy's concessions, there was a whole slew of them. One of them makes it easier to oust a mass speaker. It just takes one person to call for a vote to do so. What are the implications of his concessions?

SABATO: He got the title, but not the powers we normally associate with the speaker. I think he's going to have to get permission to have each breakfast, and they'll argue about what items should be in his breakfast each morning. I'm exaggerating, of course, but this is really unprecedented. Part of it is the small margin. And remember, why do Republicans have such a small margin in the House? Because they projected an extreme image. Even Senator McConnell agrees with that.

So, they made their problems worse as a result of getting such a small majority, which resulted from looking too extreme. Good luck.

WALKER: So, what does this portend, then, for the future of the Republican Party? Right? I mean, is there a risk that it can split into two factions always Trump versus never Trumpers, especially looking ahead to the general election.

SABATO: They're more factionalized than they've been in quite some time. And it's what's remarkable Amara, is the Republicans, usually the more unified party, the Managerial Party, is in fact much more deeply divided than the Democratic Party, which used to be associated with the word disarray. Now Democrats are in array. Republicans are in disarray.


WALKER: What about Trump's influence?

SABATO: Well, he was calling around on the floor last night, as we saw, and at least one Republican congressman waved the phone away, wouldn't even speak to him. That's new. And it suggests what we've seen over the past six months or so, the decline of President Trump's influence. He still got influence, but not nearly to the extent that he once did.

WALKER: So, Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert clearly were the ring leaders in this fight to block McCarthy. What do you think will happen next in terms of consequences for them? Committee assignments?

SABATO: Well, that's going to be interesting. You know, remember, the symbol of the Republican Party is the elephant. And what do we associate with the elephant? Long memory. And so, the revenge doesn't have to come soon. It may come later. Revenge is a dish best served cold.

WALKER: Larry Sabato, wise words, as always. Thank you so much.

SABATO: Thank you.

MARQUARDT: U.S. labor market just saw its second-best year since they started keeping records all the way back in 1939.

WALKER: There were 223,000 new jobs created in December, and the unemployment rate fell back to a record low. But there was some more mixed news beyond those headline numbers.

Our chief business correspondent, Christine Romans has more.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): 2022 was another very strong year for the jobs market, the second strongest in history. In fact, 223,000 jobs added in December. It capped a year in which a very tight labor market seemed impervious to historic interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve. The jobless rate ending the year matching a 50-year low of three and a half percent.

For the year, a remarkable four and a half million jobs, four and a half million jobs were added in the year after 6.7 million were added in 2021. But wage growth, while strong, slowed, and December's jobs gains were the slowest in two years. Evidence, perhaps, that the Fed's medicine is beginning to work.

Looking ahead, more inflation gut check numbers are out this week. Consumer credit data, the Consumer Price index, and jobless claims numbers, all due out.


MARQUARDT: There is compelling information from police and a crucial witness that reveals new details this morning about the brutal deaths of four university students. Yesterday, we saw furniture from the crime scene in Moscow, Idaho, being loaded into trucks and taken away.

WALKER: The father of one of those victims believes his daughter was being, quote, hunted by her killer.

CNN's Veronica Miracle is on the scene for us as investigators try to work out exactly what happened inside that building.


STEVEN GONCALVES, VICTIM'S FATHER: He was stalking them. He was hunting them.

VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The father of Kaylee Goncalves, one of the four University of Idaho students killed, believes his daughter and her friends were hunted after authorities laid out the case against Bryan Kohberger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was just a person looking for an opportunity and just happened to be in that house, and that's hard to take.

MIRACLE (voice-over): Kohberger charged with the murders, may have cased the scene of the crime four months before the murders, according to new court documents. An affidavit released Thursday reveals police started looking for a white Hyundai Elantra like this one around Thanksgiving, almost two weeks before asking the public for information about the car.

JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT & INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: On December 23rd, they get the cell phone record showing the owner of that car has been, what appears to be, from the record, staked out in the area of that murder house a dozen times since August.

MIRACLE (voice-over): Still no details about why the 28-year-old suspect chose this house and whether he knew any of the four victims Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves. The affidavit also revealing around four in the morning, one of the surviving roommates heard crying coming from Xana Kernodle's room and a voice say, it's OK, I'm going to help you. That roommate then opened the door and saw a dark figure in black clothing and a mask walk past her, raising the question, why did no one call 911 until noon on Sunday?

GONCALVES: I do know that she was petrified, and I think people respond a little bit different. I think she was just scared, very scared. And, you know, it's not like Hollywood where everyone behaves like people think they would.

MIRACLE (voice-over): According to the affidavit, DNA evidence also led police to the suspect. A knife sheath was left one of the victim's beds that contained DNA similar to Kohberger's father's DNA found in the family's garbage, according to those documents. A law enforcement source tells CNN, as authorities were surveilling the Kohberger family home, they witnessed Kohberger putting trash in a neighbor's bin and were able to extract it for DNA comparison.


MILLER: The surveillance team that's watching from a pretty great distance sees him come out and clean the car from top to bottom, inside and out, using surgical gloves.

MIRACLE (voice-over): In court, on Thursday, Kaylee Goncalves' father was in the front row, and he was pointedly staring at Kohberger.

(on-camera): Since the beginning, there have been a lot of questions about why a 911 call wasn't made sooner, and I think this affidavit certainly raises even more questions. But I do want to mention I spoke with the Latah County coroner right after this incident happened and asked her, if a 911 call had been made sooner, could lives have been saved? She said no.

Veronica Miracle, CNN, Moscow, Idaho.


MARQUARDT: Our thanks to Veronica Miracle for that report. Now, it was a shocking moment when Buffalo Bill's player Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field.

And coming up, we'll be speaking with one former basketball player who experienced the same thing. We'll be asking him how he used that moment to help save other lives.

WALKER: Plus, police say a six-year-old boy shot his teacher at school? What we know about how this started and how the teacher's doing.

MARQUARDT: Plus, Iran has executed two more men who took part in the countrywide anti-regime protest. What we know about that and the dozens of other people who have been sentenced to death for their part in the same protest.



MARQUARDT: Just four days after suffering cardio cardiac arrest on the field, the Bill's safety Damar Hamlin has had his breathing tube removed. What's more, the 24-year-old surprises teammates in Buffalo yesterday, calling them by FaceTime from the hospital in Cincinnati, who laughing, smiling, even giving them a pep talk.

WALKER: Yes, it must have been so uplifting. Coy Wire is live in Orchard Park, New York.

Coy, what kind of impact did hearing from him have on the team?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: It has lifted spirits all around. I was in that building yesterday, and someone was telling me how on that FaceTime Damar Hamlin was himself. You know, how sometimes when someone is sick, injured, and they just don't look right? They said it was him.

So, the mood around here so much lighter yesterday the day started, as you mentioned, with coach Sean McDermott. He told the team they had a surprise. The treat was in store. When Damar Hamlin appeared on that screen with that video call, all the players jumped up. They started hooting and hollering. And so, it was a really good moment. Here's more on that moment from Pro Bowl lineman Dion Dawkins.


DION DAWKINS, BUFALLO BILLS OFFENSIVE LINEMAN: And we got our boy, man. You know what I'm saying? So that matters. We got our boy. The excitement was beautiful. It was amazing. It has given us so much energy. So much, you know, bright, high spirits, whatever you want to call it. It has given it to us to see that boy space, to see him smile, see him go like this in the camera, it was everything. So, and then to hear him talk to us, it was literally everything. And that's what we needed. Literally, that's all we needed.


WIRE: A much needed boost yesterday. Just over 24 hours from now, these players are going to have to step on that field for the first time since that haunting scene, right? There's going to be uncertainty. There are going to be doubts, fears, tears, any sign of injury across any game in this league this weekend. It's going to be met with bated breath.

But NFL players and fans, they will be inspired everywhere they look, starting with two games today, seeing Damar Hamlin's number three highlighted in Buffalo Bills blue or red at 30-yard lines in stadiums across the country. Players are going to be wearing a Love For Damar 3 t shirts before the game. And Bills players, they're going to have a number three patch right on the heart of their jerseys.

Amara, Alex, Coach McDermott said that tomorrow is going to be a celebration of life, and it is on that field, the best fans in the world. I pity the patriots. A little bit of a prediction for you. Bills by a billion in that one (ph).

MARQUARDT: A little bit of bias there. But really nice to see that show of unity at such a competitive stage in the season. It's going to be really touching. Coy Wire. Thank you so much. Appreciate it, sir.

And Damar Hamlin's harrowing injury stunned millions who watched that horrific site in real time, but it did serve as an all too familiar reminder for members of the sports community who have suffered similar injuries.

Joining us now is one of those athletes, former Appalachian State University basketball player Omar Carter. Omar, thank you so much for joining us this morning.

I want to put this in context for our viewers. After your college basketball career, you did suffer an extremely similar cardiac arrest incident. You were playing in a basketball summer league. This was in 2013, and after throwing a pass for a layup, as we understand, your heart stopped and for 13 minutes. So, when you saw what happened on the football field to Hamlin, what went through your head?

OMAR CARTER, SUFFERED CARDIAC ARREST DURING BASKETBALL GAME: Well, first of all, thank you for allowing to be with you today. It's an honor and a pleasure. Definitely grateful for this opportunity. But I was actually on the couch with my wife watching the game or not watching the game, just watching a little bit of TV and texting my brother. He's a huge Bengals fan.

And I started to get text messages and social media DMs, asking me was I watching the game and had I heard what happened. And I did a little research on social media and stumbled upon the video and realized that something serious did happen. And that's when I learned that Damar Hamlin, which is now confirmed as a sudden cardiac arrest.

I just immediately knew that feeling or seen that scene way too often for my own video. I just became warm, and my heart dropped, and I just became very concerned. Like I said, I know that feeling all too well, and I don't know him personally, but I just wanted to be there for him. I mean I knew there were questions that may arise, him and his family, and that was my main concern.


MARQUARDT: Everyone, of course, has been uplifted by the fact that the breathing tube was removed. We know that he's been smiling and talking to his teammates, but obviously see it's going to be a long road to recovery. What was your recovery process like?

CARTER: Sure. So, as you mentioned, I had a cardiac arrest in 2013. My heart stopped for 13 minutes. ICU nurse by the name of Kelly Thomas just happened to be at the game along with other amazing bystanders. And I was shot by three times by an NAD and taken to local hospital here in Charlotte Atrium Health.

And I was putting them medically induced coma too. And I say that because after learning about that, I went through a very heavy process of trying to figure out what happened. Right. Would I need a new heart? Could I play again? And my goal was to get back.

So, I started the Omar Carter Foundation to do just that. I wasn't sure what SCA was. I knew about CPR and AED awareness other than some classes I took, and it was actually my mom's idea to start the foundation.

So, I credit her, my family and my board. Talian Piper, David Pearson, Dr. Rohit Mehta and Brian Wisdom (ph) for doing that. And so, we've taught about 17,000 people by standing CPR, and virtually that's more along with placing AEDs, and that's been my recovery process.

We want to teach 1 million people bystander CPR, and its life saving technique. And I just, you know, pretty much have family around me all the time because it's a constant struggle. This was ten years ago and definitely want to just continue my walk.

MARQUARDT: Yes. Speaking of family, you know, as you were saying, this is not just a physical incident. This is not just, you know, about the physical recovery. Getting back to the shape that you were in before, what advice do you have for Damar himself as well as his family around him? And we've heard such wonderful things about the strength of his family as they go through his recovery together.

CARTER: Right. So, this is a very sensitive situation. I don't know them personally, I don't know Damar, but I would say, you know, I am here to go through this or speak through this, I should say. You know, if you have any questions or anything like that, the advice I would say is, you know, realize what happened to you.

This is your walk. The Lord doesn't make any mistakes. I'm a man of faith, and my faith got me through that. I prayed, I would say continue to pray, again, realize what happened to you, and keep family around you. As your fellow SEA (ph) or (INAUDIBLE), please reach out if you need me, but, you know, I love you, and I know you'll get through this. And should you need anything again, I'm here.

MARQUARDT: Well, Omar Carter, thank you so much for sharing your story. It's great to see you doing so well after such a horrific incident. Thank you for all you do with the Omar Carter Foundation, and I hope Hamlin takes you up on your offer and reaches out to you. I appreciate it. Thanks for your time.

CARTER: Absolutely. Thank you.

WALKER: All right. Coming up, a shooting at an elementary school in Virginia. And this time, the gunman is a six-year-old student. Why police say the shooting was not accidental.



WALKER: In our top stories today, some stunning news out of Virginia this morning. Police are investigating an incident at an elementary school in Newport news, Virginia, after a six-year-old boy shot a female teacher yesterday in a classroom.

MARQUARDT: According to the authorities, the student and teacher were in an altercation when the six-year-old, who had the gun fired a single round of the teacher and hit her. They say this was not an accidental shooting.

The teacher was immediately rushed to the hospital with life threatening injuries, but officials say that thankfully she has improved since she was admitted. That young student, again just six years old, currently in custody, where the police are saying that he will get the help that he needs. What a horrific, horrific incident.

Now Arizona police have released a picture of the man they say shot a Scottsdale police detective last night. They are now looking for 37- year-old Kenneth Hearn in a massive manhunt in phoenix. Police say they were trying to execute a search warrant on Hearn's apartment when he went into another room and began firing at the detectives through the wall.

One of the detectives was shot, then rushed to a local hospital. Police say he is expected to survive his injuries. Authorities say that Hearn is wanted for a number of criminal offenses and should be considered armed and dangerous.

WALKER: Fifteen million people across California are under threat of flooding this weekend as another round of storms threatened the West Coast. The storm is threatening to dump heavy rain on areas already struggling with flooding. Earlier this week, huge waves and powerful winds slammed into the village of Capitola, destroying the town's historic pier. At least two deaths are being blamed on the severe weather.

Nearly 40,000 homes and businesses are still without power, and crews across the state are working to repair damage from the last round of storms. But time may be running out.

MARQUARDT: And the Kilauea volcano is on its second day of eruption in Hawaii. After a brief pause. Kilauea stopped erupting last month for the first time since September of 2021, and has now just begun again after weeks -- after a neighboring volcano excuse me, erupted for the first time in decades.

On Thursday, the USGS volcano Observatory detected a glow in the summit webcam images indicating that the eruption had resumed. Authorities are also saying that the volcano increased earthquake activity beneath its summit and recorded ground deformation just before it started the eruption, and which currently poses danger to nearby communities.


Now, in Iran, the regime has hung two more men in connection with the protest that swept across that country.

WALKER: As many as 41 more protesters have been sentenced to death in Iran. That's according to statements from both Iranian officials and Iranian media. But that number could be much higher.

CNN's Nada Bashir joining us now with more. Nada, obviously a horrible news. What do we know about these two men? NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well, again, we're given the weeks of

brutal repression that we've seen at the hands of the Iranian authorities, it has long been feared that these two men would not be pardoned. Mohammad Mehdi Karami, a 21-year-old Iranian-Kurdish karate champion, and Seyed Mohammad Hosseini, a 21-year-old volunteer children's coach.

Now, both were convicted in November, less than a week after their trials had begun. They are said to have taken part in those nationwide protests which have swept the country and also, according to the Iranian judiciary, of killing a member of the Basij that is Iran's paramilitary force.

Now, according to amnesty, forced confessions were used by the Iranian authorities against the pair in the course of these trials. But amnesty has said that these trials bear no resemblance to a meaningful judicial process. Of course, we've heard from a lawyer who had been advocating on behalf of one of those who's executed this morning of Kerami.

He took to Twitter to say that Kerami was not issued the final right of being able to speak to his family before being executed. And in fact, he had been on a dry food hunger strike since Wednesday in protest against the officials refusing his chosen legal representation. And some of you as well remember we saw that video message from his parents in December pleading for their son's life and alleging that he had faced torture while in detention.

MARQUARDT: And those brave protesters been on the streets of Iran for four months now after that young woman, Mahsa Amini, was killed by the morality police.

Nada Bashir in London, thank you very much for that report.

WALKER: While more evidence that social media is bad for children's brains. Coming up, we talk live with the author of a new study that shows how social media could be reshaping the brains of adolescents.



WALKER: U.S. pharmacies are now signing up to distribute abortion pills after the FDA made a change to its rules. This week, the FDA said pharmacies that become certified to dispense the pills can do so directly to someone who has a prescription from a certified prescriber.

MARQUARDT: And major pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens say that they plan to seek certification to distribute abortion pills where legally allowed. This is the first time that outpatient pharmacies have been allowed to dispense the pill.

CNN's Dr. Tara Narula has more on this story.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DR. TARA NARULA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Recent changes by the FDA may increase access to abortion. Previously, patients had to go in person to a clinic, hospital or doctor's office to obtain the medication. Over the course of the pandemic, restrictions eased a bit, so they could have a telehealth visit or receive the medications by mail from a certified pharmacy. Now they will be able to visit any brick-and-mortar pharmacy that is certified. Many medical groups, including ACOG, have advocated for this for years.

Miferpristone is the first of a two-drug regimen which works by blocking progesterone, a hormone needed to sustain pregnancy, and it can be given as late as the 10th week of a pregnancy. Twenty-four to 48 hours later, the patient can take a second pill, Misoprostol, which causes uterine contraction and tissue expulsion.

People will still need a prescription, but many more doctors may be willing to prescribe this now that they don't need to stock the drugs in their office. We will have to wait and see how many pharmacies become certified, but certainly this is a big step to expanding access.


WALKER: Dr. Tara Narula, thank you.

So, social media could literally be a brain changer for adolescents and shape the adults that they might become. That is, according to researchers who studied 169 teenagers social media youth over three years.

And by looking at images of their brains, they discovered that children who grow up checking social media more often could be much more sensitive to feedback from their peers. The study's lead author, Dr. Eva Telzer, says that could have a profound impact on how their brains develop into adulthood.

Dr. Telzer joining us now with more. A very good morning to you. Thank you so much for your time.

As a parent that concerns me, first off, could you tell us more about how you gathered this new data and what the results tell us about our children's brain development?

DR. EVA TELZER, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY AND NEUROSCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA: Sure. So, we know that adolescents, at a time when social media behaviors are increasing substantially, teens report being on their phones almost constantly.

And this is happening at a critical period of brain development when the brain is becoming especially sensitive to social rewards in its environment, similar to what social media is providing adolescents in the forms of likes and comments and other forms of feedback. So, we're really interested in whether these behaviors online might be related to the way that adolescents' brains are changing during this really important developmental period. So, adolescents reported on how frequently they're checking the most common social media platforms. This ranged from less than once a day, all the way upwards of 15 or more times per day. And then we scan their brains every year for three years to see how their brains were changing developmentally.

And what we found is that adolescents around the age of twelve who are habitually checking their social media accounts are showing differences in the ways that their brain is developing over the following three years. Their brain is showing increases in sensitivity to this peer feedback. And this is really setting the stage for how their brain is going to continue to develop well into adulthood.


WALKER: This change in the brain, the sensitivity to the feedback, is that a good thing or a bad thing?

TELZER: So, we don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. We know that the way the adolescents environments are being experienced by teens, may be shaping their brain. And this is what we found here, is that these experiences online are related to changes in how the brain is developing. This could be a good thing or a bad thing.

On the one hand, if adolescents are becoming increasingly sensitive to receiving social rewards in the forms of likes or positive comments online, if this need is unmet and they're very sensitive to it, it could be related to downstream things like social anxiety or depression or more compulsive online behaviors.

But on the other hand, this change in the brain may actually be an adaptive thing that's helping adolescents to navigate their increasingly digital social worlds. Most of their interactions are happening online and their social behaviors are happening not necessarily face to face, but in these social online platforms. And so, it may be helping them to navigate that.

WALKER: Well, as we know, social media is not going anywhere. And I do want to show some data from the Pew Research Center which really speaks to that. So, nearly all teenagers surveyed in 2022 said they had access to a smartphone last year. That's up from 73% in 2014 to 2015. There's also this nearly half of all teenagers say they now use the internet quote, almost constantly.

That's also up from about a quarter in 2014, 2015. And when it comes to social media use, 35% of teenagers say they're using one of the top five online platforms nearly all the time. Do you think this is a healthy trend? And what's your advice to parents?

TELZER: Yes, so it's challenging for parents. There's this digital divide where many adults did not grow up in this same digital world, and so many parents just don't know what their teens are doing online. Like you said, it's not going away.

So, the biggest advice for parents is to have conversations with their adolescents and their children and understand what they're doing online and try to have an open line of communication. Setting some boundaries is a good idea, particularly in the nighttime hours when online behaviors may be disrupting sleep.

We know that sleep is key for brain development. So, this is another way that online behaviors can be impacting adolescents development in terms of how their brains develop is taking away from their ability to sleep.

And so, parents should certainly have these conversations with their teens and set some boundaries, although complete restriction is probably not realistic.

WALKER: Yes, it's so tough. Moderation is key, just how do you enforce that? Dr. Eva Telzer, thank you so much.

TELZER: Thank you for having me.

MARQUARDT: And there is more ahead on "CNN This Morning." But first, a quick programming note. "WHO'S TALKING TO CHRIS WALLACE" does return for a new season of conversations with newsmakers, Hugh Jackman and James Cameron join Chris for the season premiere. You can catch their interviews tomorrow night at seven right here on CNN.



WALKER: A lot was on the line, and important things stuck on hold during those dramatic speakers votes this week. But at times, it was hard not to laugh.

MARQUARDT: Leave it to our Jeanne Moos to find the wackiest moments amidst the chaos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Focus the binoculars. Pop the popcorn. The speakership fiasco has careened from extremely rowdy to extremely sleep-inducing baby, wake up. Democrats chanted their House leader's name like it was a football game.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS (in unison): Hakeem! Hakeem! Hakeem!

MOOS (voice-over): While Republican Representative Kat Cammack made accusations that had Democrats saying, what?

REP. KAT CAMMACK (R-FL): They want us to fight each other? That much has been made clear by the popcorn and blankets and alcohol that is coming over there.

MOOS (voice-over): OK, it's true that --

CAMMACK: The House is not in order.

MOOS (voice-over): But no alcohol was being ordered as vote after vote ended with the same words. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A speaker has not been elected.

MOOS (voice-over): Kevin McCarthy probably didn't appreciate the select all images with speakers joke. Democratic Representative Jimmy Gomez was wearing his four-month-old son as he voted for Hakeem Jeffries.


MOOS (voice-over): AOC gave the baby a congratulatory belly rub. Between speeches, members were shooting off their mouths and their fingers gesticulating madly. It left viewers trying to lip breed. And when AOC chatted with arch enemy Republicans, it inspired nonsensical bad lip readings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You heard of The Pied Piper? Well, in my dream, Pied Piper had toilet paper. One sheet of the cheap cut.


MOOS (voice-over): Democrats groaned when Matt Gaetz voted for a certain ex-president for speaker of the House.


REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): Donald John Trump.

MOOS (voice-over): Even hardcore Republicans couldn't keep a straight face. And check out the face of the newly elected congressman who got caught in a web of lies about himself, George Santos.


MOOS (voice-over): He didn't recognize his own name during one roll call.


MOOS (voice-over): George, who? One commentator wrote, the poor House clerk is dangerously close to running out of pencil. But one thing that wasn't out of order this kid's hair.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.



MARQUARDT: Our thanks to Jeanne Moos for that. Now join us again in just one hour's time.

WALKER: You'll see you then. "SMERCONISH" up next after a break.