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CNN This Morning

Biden Calls on Republicans to Negotiates Debt Ceiling; Trump, DeSantis Visit Iowa as GOP Race Takes Shape; Paul Flores Sentenced To 25 Years To Life For Murder Of Kristin Smart; Dragon Endurance Headed To Earth After Five Months In Space. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired March 11, 2023 - 08:00   ET



VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: She says she almost lost her home and went into debt, returned to Starbucks, the highest paying job she's had would help her get back on her feet.

How will you feel if you get that opportunity to step back in there, put on your apron and start being a Starbucks employee again?

ANGEL KREMPA, FIRED FROM STARBUCKS: My aprons are still hanging in the same spot that they were lifted on April 1 of last year, waiting for me to put them back on and I'm ready to take it off that hook and put it back on and walk in and just smile at my coworkers be like I'm back. I'm here, like we did it.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Vanessa Yurkevich, thanks so much for that. The next hour of CNN This Morning starts right now.

Good morning, Buenos Dias. Breathe it in deep. The weekend is here and welcome to CNN This Morning. I'm Boris Sanchez.

PAULA REID, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Paul Reid in for Amara Walker. Boris, it's great to be with you.

SANCHEZ: Yeah, it's a good time. We appreciate you getting up bright and early as I think Amara is skiing somewhere in Europe. We know she would much rather be here. Here's a look at what we're watching this morning.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Overall, we've created more jobs in two years than any ministration has created in the first four years.


SANCHEZ: President Biden taking a victory lap following a strong jobs report where we are seeing those jobs. Plus, a stunning freefall that led to the second largest bank collapse in U.S. history. REID: And testing the waters, presidential hopefuls swarm Iowa this week as the GOP race heats up. We've got new reporting about when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis might announce that he's running.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He came in like, wake up, wake up and you're like, your house is flooded. And I look on the ground and they look like this flooding.


SANCHEZ: He seems to be in a smiling mood for a natural disaster, California soaked by another round of storms, those atmospheric rivers, washing out roads, collapsing bridges, and prompting folks to flee their homes, the latest on the damage and where this severe weather is headed next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've just been trying to make sense out of it for a whole week.


REID: CNN speaks to the families of two Americans killed in Mexico, how they're coping? Plus, the apology letter from the Mexican cartel responsible for their deaths.

SANCHEZ: So this morning, big news when it comes to SVB, Silicon Valley Bank, tech startups are scrambling after the sudden collapse of this bank. It is the second largest failure of a financial institution in U.S. history. And the shutdown caused a bit of a panic on Wall Street Friday that sent U.S. markets tumbling.

REID: But President Biden says the U.S. economy remains resilient and touted February's better than expected jobs report as proof that his economic policies are working. Now, CNN Chief Business Correspondent Christine Romans has more on this latest job numbers.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Boris, Paula, another strong month of hiring in American offices, malls, restaurants, hotels and construction sites. Despite headlines of layoffs in tech and finance employers added workers at a brisk pace cooling from January's huge half a million jobs, but still historically strong. The tight jobs market bringing bigger paychecks average hourly earnings up 4.6 percent on an annual basis. Economist and Fed officials anxious to see wage growth cool because it feeds into inflation.

The jobless rate ticked up to 3.6 percent. Still near the lowest levels in more than 50 years. Leisure and hospitality lead payroll gains adding 105,000 jobs. Every report another piece of evidence for investors and the Fed in its quest to slow down the economy and bring down inflation. The consumer price index for February retail sales, the Producer Price Index and consumer sentiment all on tap this week. Boris, Paula.

REID: Christine Romans, thank you. And President Biden says the labor market is headed in the right direction, but warned that the biggest threat to the U.S. economy isn't inflation, but the debt limit.

SANCHEZ: Now, President Biden called on Republicans in Congress to negotiate on the debt ceiling and his 2024 budget proposal which would cut the deficit by $2 trillion over the next 10 years, 3 trillion by some estimates. CNN White House Reporter Jasmine Wright is traveling with the President in Wilmington, Delaware. Jasmine, bring us up to speed, what else did President Biden say?

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yeah, Boris. Well, the President seem almost excited to tout the 311,000 jobs that were added to the U.S. economy last month. He said it was another sign that the economy was resilient and durable and that the U.S. economy recovery efforts that he spearheaded more than two years ago is working.


Now, President Biden he linked the jobs numbers that were better than expected to this ongoing fight that both key Washington Democrats are having against those House GOP Republicans on the economy, not only on the priorities that the President wants to see, but of course, on the national debt. Take a listen.


BIDEN: You know, they're threatening to fall on our national debt. In fact, planning to fall as some Republicans seem to be doing puts us very much at risk. I believe we should be building on our progress, not go backwards. So I urge our extreme MAGA Republican friends in the Congress to put their threats aside, join me in continuing the progress we built. We got a lot more to do. So let's finish the job.


WRIGHT: So these numbers will be used as a data point to show the President Biden feels that his party is right about this issue. Now, of course, White House officials are aware that these better-than- expected numbers could feel concerns that the economy is too hot. But we know that right now they feel very content with where the economy is, even happy. Boris, Paula?

SANCHEZ: And Jasmine, quickly, how is the administration reacting to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank?

WRIGHT: Well, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is really leading this effort. Yesterday, she convened an impromptu meeting with federal regulators from the FDIC, Federal Reserve and the office of comptroller really to address this issue. In a statement she issued she said that she was confident in the federal regulators' ability to respond to this issue and that they have the tools that they need to do so.

Now, when you talk to White House officials, they're very clear that this is not 2008. And since 2008, the guardrails and provisions had been put in place to respond to issues like this. So the White House is really projecting optimism about this really while they are monitoring this very, very closely. Boris, Paula?

SANCHEZ: Yeah, $209 billion in total assets, just kind of poof like that. Jasmine Wright from Delaware, thank you so much.

And the race for 2024, Iowa is ground zero right now for Republicans both declared and potential candidates flocking to the Hawkeye State.

REID: Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and of course former President Trump all making stops in Iowa. CNN reporter Steve Contorno has details on DeSantis' first visit to the state.

STEVE CONTORNO, CNN REPORTER: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis held two events in Iowa on Friday, his first ever trips to the Hawkeye State and fueling speculation that he intends to run for President later this year. During his visit, he was greeted by too enthusiastic standing crowds where he talked about the culture wars, he has been leading from Florida. Take a listen to what he had to say.


GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS, (R) FLORIDA: We're not teaching kids to hate our country or to hate each other with your tax dollars, no way. But you know what we are doing? We're putting out a positive vision. We are emphasizing and reintroducing American civics into the schools in a very big way. People need to be taught what it means to be an American.


CONTORNO: Of course, the big question coming out of these two events in Iowa is, will Ron DeSantis run for president? Now, the timeline we have been given is that he plans to make a decision by May or June but he was not just here to speak to Iowa voters, he was also talking to Republican senators, lawmakers, and even some operatives laying the foundation in the groundwork for a potential campaign if he decides to run.

Now, he's not the only one fighting for the hearts and minds of Iowa voters. We also have Nikki Haley making an appearance in the state this week. And then former President Donald Trump will be here on Monday. Boris and Paula?

SANCHEZ: Thanks to Steve Contorno for that report from Iowa. Let's get some perspective on all the week's top political headlines now with CNN Political Commentator and Republican Strategist Alice Stewart, and CNN Political Commentator and Democratic Strategist Maria Cardona. We should know they're co-hosts of the podcast Hot Mics from Left to Right.

I look forward to getting my invitation to be on the podcast with you at some point. It seems to be lost in the mail. Maria, first to you -- first to you, as Steve laid out for us, the battle for the Republican ticket is already underway in Iowa. DeSantis there yesterday, Trump headed there on Monday, which of those candidates do you think, Maria, President Biden would rather face?

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Well, first of all, let me just say that President Biden going into the 24-election cycle has got to be ready to face anybody. And we have to go into it understanding that it will be tough, it will be a challenge. This is still a very divided country and so we cannot take anything for granted.

Having said that, listening to every single candidate that is going through Iowa and making the rounds, what has become very clear, Boris, is that they continue to be focused on an extreme agenda that has frankly been resoundingly rejected by the American people in 2018, 2020 and 2022.


So if they continue to talk about how they are going to devalue and kick out immigrants, how they are going to go after our LGBTQ brothers and sisters in that community, how they're going to terrorize transgender kids, how they're going to ban books, how they're going to go after teachers who actually teach American history in the way that things actually happened, and how they're going to go after every single community that has been marginalized in this country, then that is a contrast and a comparison that President Biden and the Democrats will absolutely be gleeful about taking on when they have had a historically accomplished last two years, with Democrats and control of Congress until just now. And President Biden heading up a historic term when they created massive jobs, more than any other president in history and have a lot to show for it. So that's what they're going to be focused on.

SANCHEZ: And Alice, I found it interesting in our reporting, both Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis have been calling some of the same top Republicans in Iowa trying to either hire them or get their endorsement. Would that be a good indicator to you about which one might be leading in the Hawkeye State, which of those top Republicans in Iowa they're able to court?

ALICE STEWART, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Absolutely, Boris, that's how it worked. And I do know, speaking with many of my former colleagues in Iowa that a lot of them have been put on ice waiting to see what the Florida Governor DeSantis does.

I took a really close look at a poll this week from the Des Moines Register, and they are generally pretty spot on looking at the potential GOP field and the favorability have the different candidates. Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis have virtually 80 percent of favorable ratings amongst Republicans in Iowa. The key crosstab that I took out of that poll was when GOP voters in Iowa were asked, Would you likely vote for Donald Trump, only 47 percent of them said that they would, which is down 20 percent from two years ago.

And what that tells me, Boris, is that people in Iowa Republicans strongly have supported Donald Trump. They know exactly what they're getting with Donald Trump. They know what's in the bag, but they're window shopping. And what we're seeing is Donald Trump's stronghold on the Hawkeye State is absolutely loosening. And what I can really reject my dear friend Maria's characterization of what they're talking about, these Republican candidates are going through Iowa talking about what they can do to help improve the economy, what they can do to make their streets safe, what they can do to improve the education.

But we have also heard from former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is talking about a transformational change of younger fresher ideas. And the key that ticket for winning Republican candidate is to look at the policies that Donald Trump espouses, and has supported, but present them in a different tone and tenor that is much more agreeable to voters. And that way you keep his base on board, but you broaden the electorate to include the people that have been disaffected and disenfranchised, quite frankly, due to the tactics of Donald Trump.

SANCHEZ: Maria, let's talk about President Biden's budget proposal unveiled this week. This is an exercise in messaging, there's no way this thing is going to pass Congress. But he is proposing big investments in human infrastructure. And here's some of the items, expanding the Child Tax Credit, universal preschool, affordable childcare, capping insulin at $35 a month, no mention of in his budget, though of any increase in taxes or in spending for Social Security of fun that's going to get exhausted in a decade or so why not mentioned social security in this budget?

CARDONA: Well, what he has made very clear is that these are critical programs that the majority of Americans count on, and that he and Democrats will do everything in their power to protect them and to keep them solvent, Boris, and by increasing taxes on billionaires in the ultra-rich and making sure that corporations pay their fair share. And by making sure that we can get the savings out of Medicare that he has talked about, basically, in terms of making sure that they can negotiate drug prices down for American seniors, those are all ways that we can make sure that Medicare and Social Security stay solvent.

And what we have seen in the past, is what Republicans are proposing are to keep tax cuts and protect those ultra-rich millionaires and billionaires that are in their corner and the biggest corporations so that they continue to pay less taxes than teachers, then first responders than nurses. And they're going to focus on trying to cut Social Security, Medicare and all of the other programs that Americans count on, even though President Biden was able to get a promise out of them during the State of the Union that they would not touch such programs because they realized just how politically dangerous that was going to be.


And so that really gives a focus his agenda, Biden's agenda gives a focus in the contrast that I talked about earlier about how Democrats and President Biden are going to be focused on fighting for working- class, middle-class families, people that actually need the help. And they're going to be focused on making sure that billionaires and corporations actually pay their fair share of taxes. And the majority of Americans agree with that and support that agenda. SANCHEZ: So Alice, I want to jump off something Maria said about Republicans and Social Security and Medicare they have -- the majority of them have publicly ruled out touching those programs. However, they've also ruled out raising taxes on wealthy Americans. So if you're not going to cut funding to Medicare, or social security or defense, how are we going to balance the budget if you're not going to increase revenue by raising taxes?

STEWART: First off, Republicans are not going to sunset Social Security. They've made that quite clear and Medicare, they're not going to do so. That was one person's proposal that is not embraced by the GOP writ large.

And look, Washington D.C. does not have a revenue problem. They have a spending problem. And while the President wants to tax the job creators of this country, ultimately leading to billions of dollars in taxes for people that are creating jobs and expanding businesses in this country, we need to cut spending. And that's what Republicans are going to suggest and in this budget that the President has put out is basically DOA on the hill. But it is a good starting point. And I'm anxious to see the conversations about cutting spending, not just raising taxes.

SANCHEZ: Alice, Maria, always appreciate your perspective. Thanks so much for being with us.

STEWART: Gracias, Boris.

CARDONA: Open invitation to the podcast.

STEWART: Always.

SANCHEZ: I'd love to join. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

REID: And still ahead, millions remain under flood warnings this morning as parts of California are drenched by round after round of storms. The damage left behind and where we're tracking the threat for severe storms this weekend.

And the bodies of two Americans killed in Mexico are back in the U.S. as we're learning more about what happened to them. And the apology letter a cartel sent following their deaths.

Plus, a CNN exclusive our Christiane Amanpour speaks to an American man detained in Iran. He's urgent and heartfelt plea to the Biden administration, coming up.



REID: This is the worst-case scenario. That's how one county supervisor is describing the situation right now in Monterey County, California. This is what the Pajaro River looked like Friday afternoon, and as rain continued to fall it kept rising until it reached a breaking point. Overnight the river breached its levee sending even more floodwaters into the nearby towns. First responders had to go door to door to get the residents out.

SANCHEZ: And it's all because of a powerful storm system that's been inundating northern and central California with water. Some parts of the state seeing over a foot of rain on Friday alone. In Fresno County, three elderly women including a 104-year-old had to be rescued after they were stranded in a home. Officials are now warning residents to stay alert and keep themselves out of harm's way.


SHERIFF JOHN ZANONI, FRESNO COUNTY: Don't put yourself in a situation where you're going to need to be rescued. Don't create a problem because we have a lot of emergency personnel out there. But we need to make sure that they're available for actual rescues and people that are, you know, in distress. Don't put yourself in a bad situation and create an emergency.


SANCHEZ: And it's not just the rain, higher elevations that were already hammered by ferocious snowfall earlier this winter, they can get an additional eight feet of powder. CNN's Nick watt takes us to the hardest hit areas.


NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Water, everywhere, causing chaos across central California. Some 25 million are under flood warnings. The Kern River usually runs at about six feet, it's up over 17th. Snow is the issue up at altitude.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a quick sec when I lost control, but I caught that bad boy.

WATT: In SoCal, they're rushing to rebuild some sort of road for 450 households. This is their only way out. Springville's Pleasant Valley Road now anything bad. In my 40 years, never seen it like that. So the man who shot these images, a major artery in Oakland closed at rush hour nearby a peach coffee warehouse roof collapsed, killing one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Longtime employee beloved by everyone.

WATT: Around 25 times the volume of water that flows in the Mississippi is flowing through the air and this is the 10th so-called atmospheric river to hit California this winter. Low pressure from the north meets moist air near Hawaii. They call it a Pineapple Express, sounds fun. It's not. Essentially a fire hose aimed at this state usually famed for its sunshine.

Throw in a couple of other winter storms that dumped a couple of years' worth of snow on some upland areas. And this is the result. Today's storm is a warm one. So along with all this rain, some of that snow is melting. The residents of Felton flooded in January once more told to evacuate here and elsewhere yet more upheaval.

ALISA, NEWMAN, CALIFORNIA: Now, we have to go home, pack our stuff and leave once again when we were just able to come back a couple of weeks ago.

WATT: Good news, all the water this winter is significantly rolling back. The years long drought suffered in the West. Bad news yet another atmospheric river's forecast to hit this state early next week.



WATT: Well, Boris and Paula, some parts of California have had more than a foot of rain dumped by this storm alone. This little Farmington back six inches so far but it's not over and look at the damage already. The rain is going to carry on here on and off until sometime in the middle of next week. Boris, Paula?

REID: Incredible. Nick Watt, thank you. And right now more than 15 million people remain under flood watches across California. CNN's Britley Ritz joins us now. Britley, we know more rain will fall today but it's at least expected to be a little lighter.

BRITLEY RITZ, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely, Paula and Boris. We are watching these flood watches slowly taper back today as this atmospheric river comes to an end. But we are anticipating the next, even though this atmospheric river comes to an end we're dealing with westerly winds hence why we're still dealing with the slight risk of flooding today and tomorrow across the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada and then riding up onto the northern coastline of California over the next 24 hours, bringing in an additional one to three inches of rain of for the lower elevations but we get into the higher elevations feet of snow.

36 plus inches expected and all of that moisture from that river rolls eastward bringing in blizzard conditions to the northern part of the lower 48 and the southeast side of the states bringing in the threat for severe weather all within the next few hours.

For the northern parts. here we are in the northern plains with blizzard warnings in effect, extending we have all of the snowfall and bringing in very little visibility already this morning. And even ice moving through parts of the Central Plains. We get further south. You see that red box that's where we are expecting to deal with the severe weather late Saturday and into Sunday, you'll see the storm start to fire up across the south. Lower Mississippi Valley and into the southeast, Saturday night into Sunday. Hail being one of the bigger threats, wind and isolated tornadoes can't be ruled out either.

SANCHEZ: Not thrilled that that is heading in our direction on the East Coast. I never heard of an atmospheric river until this year and now I'm kind of terrified of them. Britley Ritz, thank you so much.

Still to come this morning, the bodies of two Americans killed during a kidnapping in Mexico are now back in the United States and Mexican authorities are apparently making more arrests. We have the latest on the fallout from this terrifying incident, when we come back.



SANCHEZ: A quick look at some of our top stories this morning. Paul Flores, the man convicted of killing Kristin Smart in 1996, has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison without parole. Smart vanished in May of 1996. Prosecutors argued that Flores raped or attempted to rape her and then killed her in his dorm room. Her body was never found and she was declared legally dead in 2002. In 2021 new evidence led authorities to arrest Flores and his father, though his father was eventually acquitted.

REID: And the SpaceX Dragon Endurance is headed back to Earth after more than five months in space. The spacecraft and its crew undocked from the International Space Station early this morning carrying a crew of four. Endurance is expected to splash down off the coast of Florida tonight.

SANCHEZ: We have an update for you now on this tragic, infuriating story out of the border with Mexico. U.S. officials are talking with the two Americans that survive being kidnapped in northern Mexico last week. Authorities say the survivors are back in the United States and the bodies of those two that were killed have also been returned to U.S. soil.

REID: And now, there have been arrests in the kidnapping. CNN's Carlos Suarez reports.

CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Boris and Paula, good morning.

News of the arrest came a day after the cartel released a letter apologizing for the kidnappings and the murders. CNN obtained a copy of the letter from a source who is familiar with the investigation. It reads in part, quote, "The Gulf Cartel apologizes to the society of Matamoros, the relatives of Ms. Areli," that's a Mexican national who died in the incident, "and the affected American people and families. The Gulf Cartel, Scorpion Group, was strongly condemned the events of last Friday. For this reason we decided to hand over those directly involved and responsible for the acts."

On Friday, authorities in Mexico announced the arrest of five men bringing the total number of people taken into custody to six. It's unclear if the five men arrested are the same group of men the cartel said they were going to turn over to Mexican authorities.

Now the family of one of the victims who survived the kidnapping reacted to the news. The mother of Latavia Washington at McGee told me they want to see more arrests, quote, "they need to keep getting them until they get them all." The father of one of the victims who died, Shaheed Woodard, said he had not read the letter and that the family was still trying to get their son's body back to South Carolina where the family lives.


JAMES WOODWARD, SHAHEED WOODWARD'S FATHER: Just been trying to make sense out of it for a whole week. Just restless, can't sleep. Couldn't eat, which is crazy to see your child taken, you know, from and certainly weighed on a battle lay like that.


SUAREZ: The body of his Zindel Brown has been turned over to U.S. authorities. Eric Williams, the other American that was shot in this incident, he is recovering in a hospital in Texas after being shot several times. Boris and Paula.

REID: Carlos Suarez, thank you.

And coming up, a CNN exclusive, Christiane Amanpour speaks to an American citizen who has been imprisoned in Iran for the last seven years. Why he says it feels that he has been abandoned by the U.S. and his message for President Biden ahead.



REID: In a world exclusive, Iranian-American, Siamak Namazi, speaks with CNN's Christiane Amanpour by phone from inside Iran notorious Evin prison.

SANCHEZ: He has been behind bars since 2015 and claims he's been left behind by the American government. And an unprecedented and heartfelt plea to the Biden administration, he asks not to be forgotten.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Boris, Paula, it was a late night conversation U.S. time into an early morning in Tehran where we got hooked up with Siamak Namazi, American-Iranian who's been in prison for the last seven years. And he told us, you know, that he's just so out of options, feel so abandoned, that he had no other route than to take this step to come to us, CNN, to try to get a message to the President, and all those who would be involved in doing whatever it takes to get the last of the Iranian-American hostages prisoners home. And he said that, you know, there's nothing else that he could do. And if he didn't do it this way, he might always regret not, you know, not calling on CNN to make this public. Here's what he told us.


SIAMAK NAMAZI, AMERICAN-IRANIAN IMPRISONED IN EVIN PRISON: I think the very fact that I've chosen to take this risk, and appear on CNN from Evin prison, it should just tell you how dire my situation has become. By this point. I've been a hostage for seven and a half years now. That's six times the duration of the hostage crisis. I keep getting told that I'm going to be rescued and deals fall apart where get left abandoned.

Honestly, the other hostages and I desperately need President Biden, to finally hear us out, to finally hear our cry for help and bring us home. And I suppose desperate times call for desperate measures. So, this is a desperate measure.

Today, I'm in the general ward now. This situation in the general ward is far better than the corner of hell that I used to be in, in a detention center. It's far from a pleasant place to be in, but everything becomes relative. My situation today is very different than the first 27 months of my arrest, when I was still being held at a detention center. There, my situation was really precarious. I did not feel safe at all.

And I want to mention that the Obama administration knew exactly, exactly how unsafe I was, I made sure that. At that point, it seemed my captors had made it their mission to strip me of any semblance of human dignity. I spent months caged. I spent months cages and solitary cell that was a size of a closet, sleeping on the floor, being fed like a dog from under the door. And honestly, that was at least my troubles. I, to this day -- I'm sorry, I didn't realize this can happen.

AMANPOUR: Siamak, you are under extreme duress.

NAMAZI: I suppose the positive side is someday, some therapist is going to make a good bit of money out of it. OK.

AMANPOUR: You are able to make those quips.

NAMAZI: OK. Just go on.

AMANPOUR: And there's some positivity to hearing the you're still robust, and you still have your strength. I want to ask you about --

NAMAZI: Absolutely.

AMANPOUR: -- other Americans, because what you've said is you just don't understand why you have been left behind, particularly over a period of years in which other Americans have been released in deals between Iran and the United States.


AMANPOUR: There were a release in 2016 around the Iran nuclear deal, including Jason Rezaian, the journalist, then again in 2019 and 2020. Each time you were left behind. Do you know why? Do you know why you were not included in that group?

NAMAZI: No, I -- you know, I've been in prison all this time and I obviously am not in touch with U.S. official. Now, I have served prison time, interestingly enough, with some people who were on the other side of the negotiation table during that 2016 hostage deal with the U.S. They also tell me that the Americans did not push very hard. Why? That's the question I really would love you to ask Secretary Kerry someday on my behalf.

AMANPOUR: Siamak, we will get your message out to the world. And thank you for being so brave as to talk to us at this time.

NAMAZI: I would really appreciate it if I can also -- if I could also get a chance to address the President directly.

AMANPOUR: Go ahead.


NAMAZI: President Biden, I certainly hear and I sincerely appreciate your administration's repeated declarations that freeing American hostages in Iran is its top priority. But I remain deeply worried that the White House just doesn't appreciate how dire situation has become. It's also very hurtful and upsetting that after 25 months in office, you haven't found the time to meet with our family, if just give them some words of assurance.

Sir, Morad, Emad, and I collectively languished here for 18 years. Our lives and families have been utterly devastated. We desperately, desperately need you to finally conclude that we've suffered long enough as Iran's hostages.

President Biden, you and you alone have the power to deliver on the Obama administration's broken promise to my family. I implore you, sir, to put the lives and liberty of innocent Americans above all the politics involved and to just do what's necessary to end this nightmare and bring us Thank you.


AMANPOUR: So that's just part of a 20-minute conversation that you can see online. And it's just, I defy anybody, not to be moved by what he said, the bravery, also his resolute nature, that he would continue to remain strong but needed the help of his home country, of the United States. And, of course, whatever happens will eventually come to the desk of President Biden.

So it's up to the President to decide whether or not he's going to take what might be an unpopular decision, given all that's going on between the United States and Iran. But knowing in fact that this has happened before, that previous American presidents have entered negotiations and deals with Iran to bring back their citizens.

Boris, Paula.

SANCHEZ: Incredibly powerful reporting from Christiane Amanpour there.

We do want to point out the Iranian government still hasn't responded to CNN's request for comment. Meantime, the U.S. government says that Iran's unjust imprisonment of U.S. citizens is outrageous and inhumane.

Stay with CNN this morning we're back in just moments.



REID: It's that time of year when we lose an hour of sleep to daylight savings time. And it turns out that that could have some long-term health impacts. According to the Cleveland Clinic, daylight savings time has been linked to an increase in car accidents, stroke and heart attacks. The effects can lead to sleep deprivation and sleepiness that can last for several weeks. So joining me now to discuss is Dr. Nancy Foldvary-Schaefer, Director of the Sleep Disorder Center and staff in the Epilepsy Center at the Cleveland Clinic.

Doctor, thank you so much for being with us. I want to start with a question on behalf of the CNN morning team. I'm here on the weekends and also here during the week. This whole team works early, irregular hours. So is daylight savings team is time harder on people who work odd hours?


Typically, daylight savings time is harder on people who are already chronically sleep deprived, and many of us are chronically sleep deprived.

REID: And what is losing just an hour of sleep have such an effect on people?

FOLDVARY-SCHAEFER: Yes, so it's not just the one hour of sleep that we're going to lose tonight. But during the course of daylight savings time, we don't sleep as well, we don't sleep as much. And that's because light in the evening will stimulate our brains and will suppress melatonin, which is the sleep hormone that promotes sleep.

So this can lead to lots of adverse consequences, including poor reaction time, which is why there may be an increased risk in motor vehicle accidents the Monday after daylight savings time. But it also leads to a chronic misalignment of our circadian rhythms. Our internal clocks are no longer aligned with the external environment. And that's believed to promote inflammation in our bodies. And that can lead to chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes and cardiovascular disease, stroke, depression, etc.

REID: Well, you have some suggestions on how to manage this. So what should we be doing?

FOLDVARY-SCHAEFER: Yes, well, certainly for this acute period tonight, we recommend going to sleep a little bit earlier if possible. Sometimes reducing light in the environment in the evening is going to help promote sleep. So I would avoid bright lights this evening, get off your electronics a little bit earlier, avoid caffeine after about noon time and avoid alcohol tonight. And then get up tomorrow morning at the same time you would otherwise get up.

If you're very sleepy tomorrow, and you need to take a nap, limit that to 15 or 20 minutes so that you don't prevent your brain from being able to fall asleep tomorrow night. And then it's important to be very hyper vigilant about protecting our sleep, which is so critical to brain health and total body health.

REID: And do you have any tips for parents? I have a nine month old, shout out to her, she's a great sleeper, but any tips to get through this?

FOLDVARY-SCHAEFER: Yes, so again, I'd avoid a lot of activity in the evening and avoid late in the evening. And try to keep your child or baby on their regular sleep schedule by having them wake up at the same time tomorrow and the same time Monday. That's the moral (ph) with.

REID: All right. Sounds like my favorite 48 hours for parents. Doctor, thank you so much.


SANCHEZ: Another health news. There is good news this morning for adults who suffer from migraine headaches. The FDA has approved a new nasal spray that may relieve pain as soon as 15 minutes after use. It's especially effective for those who experience nausea and is also safe for those who might have heart disease. The drug which is manufactured by Pfizer is expected to be available in pharmacies this July.


Thank you so much for being with us this morning.

Paula, I was just going to say, a routinely disturbed circadian rhythm actually happens to be my middle name.

REID: That makes so much sense now, so many things are coming together. But it has been great to be with you. And I look forward to be back with you in a little bit.

SANCHEZ: Just about an hour. So, Smerconish is up next. Don't go anywhere because we're back at 10:00, right, Paula?

REID: Yes, we are.

SANCHEZ: We'll see you then.