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CNN This Morning

Defiant Putin Visits Occupied Ukrainian City Of Mariupol; Top Republicans Rally Behind Trump Ahead Of Possible Arrest; TikTok CEO To Appear Before Congress As Lawmakers Weigh Ban Of App; FCC Cracking Down On Robotext Messages; Third Day of Protests Against Macron's Pension Reforms; Los Angeles County Schools Poised For A Three-Day Strike This Week; Rate Of Sadness Among American Teenagers Is High; Temporary Repairs Made To The Levee Breach. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired March 19, 2023 - 07:00   ET



COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: And Boris, I need to ask you who picked your bracket for you, my friend. You're currently tied for second in our bracket challenge for CNN. Well done.



SANCHEZ: Listen, I looked at some probabilities online. I'm not going to tell you what website. I had no, no real estate. I did pick Miami to win today. We'll see if that happens or not. Who knows? How's your bracket doing, Coy?

WIRE: Yes. Sorry, I couldn't hear you. Check one, two. Check, check.

SANCHEZ: A dumpster fire just like the rest of us. Coy Wire, thank you so much, man. Appreciate you.

WIRE: Yes.

SANCHEZ: The next hour of CNN THIS MORNING starts right now.

Good morning. Buenos dias. And welcome to CNN This Morning. We're grateful that you're starting your Sunday, March 19th with us. I'm Boris Sanchez.

WALKER: And I'm Amara Walker. We really appreciate all of you spending a part of your morning with us. Is it a really good morning, Boris?

SANCHEZ: It is a very good morning for me, Amara.

WALKER: It is a great -- because Boris is going to be getting a lot more sleep on the weekends. There's really no bad news. There is some breaking news. I guess the bad news is that you won't be able to see Boris bright and early in the morning, you know, saying Buenos dias.

But, but for all the Boris fans out there, you will be getting a lot more of Boris during the week. We don't want to disclose all the details. But look, I think you and I channeled each other because we're kind of in mourning with all of our black.

SANCHEZ: We're black.

WALKER: Sadly because we won't be together. That's the bad news.

SANCHEZ: You were too kind.

WALKER: The good news is you all are going to get so much more, Boris.

SANCHEZ: You are too kind. We'll get some more of that in just a sec. But here is what we're watching this morning.

WALKER: Yes, Russian President Vladimir Putin makes a surprise visit to the Russian occupied city of Mariupol just days ahead of a high stakes meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Our Ivan Watson is standing by with more.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: So I think this is an effort that's ongoing, never ending to destroy Donald Trump. Everything around Donald Trump.


SANCHEZ: And politicians on both sides of the aisle are reacting to the news the former President Trump could be indicted this week. How Trump's team and New York officials are preparing for that possibility and the potential fallout.

WALKER: Also the CEO of TikTok will testify on Capitol Hill this week. His testimony comes in calls -- amid calls from some lawmakers to ban that popular app. Let's talk about their concerns ahead of the hearing coming up.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a struggle. It's hard. You know, sometimes, like I'm thinking to myself, Lord, if I'm going to make it another day, you know, I'm like --


SANCHEZ: And a big story out west, schools in Los Angeles could be shut down for days this week as some support staff are planning to strike what they want from District officials coming up on CNN This Morning.

WALKER: A defiant Vladimir Putin visiting the Russian occupied city of Mariupol on a trip to Ukraine. Just a day earlier, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin accusing him of war crimes. And his trip to Ukraine comes ahead of his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping that begins tomorrow.

SANCHEZ: The Kremlin put out this video showing Putin reviewing plans for rebuilding the city that was devastated by his invasion. Let's get more on Putin's visit to Mariupol and his meeting with the Chinese president.

CNN Senior International Correspondent Ivan Watson joins us now live from Kharkiv. And we also have White House Reporter Jasmine Wright, who's traveling with President Biden in Wilmington, Delaware. Ivan, let's start with you. The timing of Putin's visit to Mariupol in Ukraine notable given the ICCs putting out a warrant for his arrest just a few days ago.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sure. And just ahead of his meeting face to face with the Chinese leader. And look, a year ago this time, Russian forces had encircled the city of Mariupol were bludgeoning it with rockets and artillery and airstrikes.

The residents of that city were hiding in basements, they were drinking rainwater. They were being killed in the courtyards of their own buildings and burying their neighbors in the front yards of their apartment building. This I heard, firsthand, from shell shocked residents who fled that city, fled the Russian assault.

Since then, the Russian military, it captured what was left of the city and the Russian government annexed Mariupol and other parts of occupied Ukraine to Russian territory. So now you have the surprise visit where the Russian president fresh from being issued an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court for allegedly kidnapping Ukrainian children and taking them to Russian territory.

He arrives by helicopter, drives himself the short distance from the helicopter landing pad to a newly constructed apartment block. He's briefed along the way by a top Kremlin aide, who talks about all the reconstruction efforts right now and meets with a handful of residents who thank him for their new apartments. One of them saying he had nothing left, clearly after Russia invaded, but now he's been given a new apartment.


I think to put salt on the wound, Putin and the top official talk about a new drama theater being constructed, where they hope to issue hosted performance. As early as April, the drama theater in Mariupol, it was a beautiful old building had been a place of refuge for some of the tens of thousands of residents who were hiding from the Russian artillery, and airstrikes. And then it was hit by long range weapons.

And I spoke to a survivor of that describing how terrifying it was for what was believed to be a place of sanctuary when the ceiling came in, falling in on the civilians. We've been gathering some reactions from people here in Ukraine, one lawmaker who questioned why Putin had to go there and visit by nighttime was he afraid.

Another person saying, you know, he wished that the Ukrainians had hit Putin during his visit with those long range rockets, the HIMARS that have been given by the Pentagon to the Ukrainian military. Boris and Amara?

WALKER: Yes, so many details to remember, especially the terrifying days, you know, as those residents had to endure just the decimating of the city by Putin, who wants to now rebuild it, ironically. Really appreciate that, Ivan.

Jasmine to you now, as we look forward to the meeting about to take place on Monday between Xi Jinping and Putin, I'm sure the White House is looking at this with a wary eye.

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, the White House is watching this very closely. And with this sense of deep skepticism here, especially when it comes to Chinese Xi Jinping's intentions, especially because we know that China has not condemned the war, and they continue to support Russia.

So as my colleague Kevin Liptak reports, the White House has been out early trying to reframe this trip that China really labeled as kind of a peace mission, saying that anything that comes out of it is going to be tilted toward Russia, and therefore, against Ukraine.

Now, even John Kirby, National Security Council spokesperson, he gave an example saying that a ceasefire could come out of this three day summit, but that that ceasefire would only be beneficial to Russia to allow them to regroup. So that's some of the things that we are hearing from the White House.

Now, officials say it's no surprise that this face to face meeting is happening. But there is concern here that it could deepen this No Limits partnership that Russia and China have described about their relationship, especially as we know that officials over the course of the weeks have really warned that China is considering providing lethal and military aid to Russia escalating their participation in this complication and this war here.

So those are things that the White House and that the U.S. officials widely are really watching over the course of these next three days very closely here.

SANCHEZ: And Jasmine, one of the notable things that the administration has pointed out is that despite Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin having all this communication, all these meetings, Xi Jinping has yet to speak directly to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. So if they put forward a peace deal, what's the validity if Xi Jinping hasn't taken Zelenskyy's point of view in any of the deliberations?

WRIGHT: Yes, and that's something that the White House and wider U.S. officials are trying to change, trying to encourage China to make some kind of connection with Ukraine, talk to President Zelenskyy really through those diplomatic channels.

Now the U.S. has really emphasized the fact that they're trying to keep some dialogue, continuing to happen with China throughout all of these actions because they feel that it's important. So now they're saying that to get a real perspective of the issue on the ground, Chinese President Xi Jinping should talk to Zelenskyy as they haven't spoken since the war is broken up. But of course, as of now, no official call has been announced. Boris, Amara?

WALKER: All right, a lot to watch for there. Jasmine Wright, appreciate you. Thank you so much for that. Let's get some insight now from CNN Global Affairs Analyst Kim Dozier. She is senior managing editor of the Military Times. Really appreciate you joining us. I mean, this meeting that's supposed to begin tomorrow between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, what is China's calculus here? They're trying to frame this as, OK, well, we're trying to play peace broker. Clearly, China is not an impartial party to this at all. What's the overall goal here?

KIM DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, this is absolutely a chance for China to make further steps on its path to supplant the U.S. as the leading global power. Something it intends to do in the next couple of decades in terms of military and economic power.


So this is dealing a march on the U.S., on Washington, D.C. diplomatically. Beijing already brought about that surprise, rapprochement diplomatically between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which was a bit of an insult to Washington, D.C., that Saudi did this without letting D.C. know about it.

And now Beijing is continuing to support Russia in the face of U.S. and Western attempts to drive Russia out of Ukraine. So it's all about that global choreography of Beijing saying, we are the boss now, we are the rising power, and you were the declining one.

WALKER: But to keep with its narrative that it wants to, you know, get a peace deal between Ukraine and Russia, do you anticipate that Xi Jinping will actually make that call to Vladimir Zelenskyy?

DOZIER: Well, the Ukrainian foreign minister said that he'd had outreach from the top Chinese foreign official ahead of Xi's visit to Moscow. So there have been reports in Ukrainian media that such a phone call between the Chinese and Ukrainian presidents is expected.

And basically, Ukrainian officials have reacted in a neutral fashion to Beijing's proposal, saying, you know, we need territorial integrity, but they're not going to turn off the possibility of someone being able to like reach in which possibly Beijing is the only one that can right now and influence Moscow's point of view.

WALKER: And would you say this No Limits partnership as it's been dubbed, it's one that's, you know, I guess, really dependent on each other right now, because we can't forget that China's economy was battered by COVID. We know how the economy in Russia is going with all those sanctions.

And of course, much of the Western Europe no longer purchasing energy and oil from Russia. It seems like this has become a win-win situation, at least for China, because it's getting some good pricing on energy.

DOZIER: Absolutely. There's been an incredible spike of business between Russia and China over the past couple of years, but especially last year. China is importing many goods to Russia, Russia needs those imports as sanctions starts to bite on several aspects of trade. But what this does, though, is put Russia in the increasingly junior partner position. It needs China more than China needs Russia, basically. And if you are an ally of Russia, like India, India used to rely on Moscow to offset Chinese power on its border. Now Russia is going to be beholden to Moscow or possibly -- sorry, Moscow is going to be beholden to Beijing for possibly decades to come because of this war. And globally, that only helps China.

WALKER: But when it comes to balancing its interests and its diplomacy, especially keeping it with the United States. I mean, can you fathom China actually supplying Russia with lethal weapons, something that the U.S. is concerned about and believes China is considering?

DOZIER: Well, China would face real blowback from European markets, Germany, its largest trading partner, it needs that market. And selling weapons to Russia would surely be uncovered. As Ivan Watson's own reporting revealed, a Chinese commercial drone was shot down by the Ukrainians and discovered.

So Beijing's got a way that I think instead Beijing will go towards supplying chips, supplying the various things that help the Russian war machine keep going without actually stepping into arming Moscow.

WALKER: It really has been fascinating, watching China's rise and audacity over the years. Really good having you on, Kim Dozier. Thanks for the conversation.

DOZIER: Thanks, Amara.

SANCHEZ: Politicians on both sides of the aisle are speaking out this morning following Donald Trump's unfounded unproven claims that he's going to be arrested on Tuesday. The former President offered no evidence that his arrest was looming and the Manhattan D.A. has not confirmed it.

His team of lawyers, though, say they do believe an indictment will soon come down. The case is in connection to a hush money payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels over an alleged affair that Trump denies.

Now, many top Republicans are coming to Trump's defense including his former Vice President Mike Pence, who's calling this a politically charged prosecution. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham says it's a biased prosecution that the president should fight. Listen to this.


GRAHAM: Is this really the most important thing going on in Manhattan, to be honest with you? So I think this is an effort that's ongoing, never ending to destroy Donald Trump, everything around Donald Trump. This is selective prosecution. If I were President Trump, I take this always to the damn Supreme Court.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SANCHEZ: Meantime, Democrats are condemning the former president's post, calling Trump's plea for protests reckless. CNN's Kristen Holmes explains how Trump's legal team is preparing for this possible historic indictment.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Boris and Amara. Well, former President Trump's team has yet to hear from the Manhattan District Attorney's office regarding timing around this potential indictment. They are very much anticipating this and preparing for it.

Trump's team has been huddled at Mar-a-Lago essentially going over various scenarios, one of which is how to get the former president in and out of New York. The other is whether or not to do a remote hearing, have Trump stay at his resort in Mar-a-Lago. And we know that some of Trumps legal advisers have urged Trump to ask for this kind of remote hearing citing security concerns.

But it's just not clear whether or not he's going to do that for a number of reasons. One of which is that he's mentioned that he might want to give a statement outside of the courthouse. The other thing that their team is working on is messaging.

I have learned from a source that they are considering hiring a TV friendly attorney, something that matters to Trump, someone who could communicate this to the media and that they have also already beefed up their staff to focus on the messaging.

Part of that messaging is that this is going to make former President Trump politically stronger. And what we saw all day on Saturday was Republicans really coming out and rallying around the former president and that included former Vice President Mike Pence, several of the 2024 GOP hopefuls, as well as Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, who said that it was outrageous -- the potential indictment -- and called on committees to investigate whether or not federal funds were used in this New York investigation. Boris and Amara?

SANCHEZ: Kristen Holmes, thank you so much for the update.

So this week, the CEO of TikTok is going to be on Capitol Hill and he's expected to testify amid a push by some lawmakers to get the app banned. The demands from lawmakers ahead of this week's hearing just ahead.

WALKER: And the FCC is cracking down on those spam texts. So many of us get on a daily basis, the new rules that could cut down on the number of texts and keep your personal data safe in the process.

SANCHEZ: Plus, a volatile night of protests in France with thousands marching, angry over new pension reforms. CNN's Sam Kiley is there and we're going to be back with him in just a short while. Stay with us.


[07:21:58] SANCHEZ: TikTok CEO is expected to get grilled by Congress this week over the social media platforms security and privacy practices. This highly anticipated testimony comes as the U.S. turns up the heat on this popular app. Reports say that federal investigators have launched a criminal probe into its Chinese owned parent company ByteDance. And a growing number of lawmakers are calling for a nationwide ban.

Joining us now is Adonis Hoffman, he's a former Senior Legal Adviser at the FCC. Adonis, thank you so much for sharing part of your Sunday morning with us. Do you think there's any chance, any chance that this testimony by TikTok CEO could do enough to change hearts and minds on this?

ADONIS HOFFMAN, FORMER FCC SENIOR LEGAL ADVISER: Good morning, Boris. You know, it's interesting. China policy is one of the few areas where Democrats and Republicans seem to have raging, raging bipartisan agreement. I think the testimony coming up this week is going to give Congress an opportunity to do two things.

One is to clarify the true intentions of ByteDance and TikTok. You know, is all of this -- are all these allegations merely coincidental, or is this in fact a coordinated, concerted effort by TikTok and, you know, actually, through chat by China through TikTok to do nefarious conduct -- nefarious spying activities on Americans?

SANCHEZ: So the Biden administration wants TikTok's Chinese owner to sell their stake in the app, but the CEO says that, that won't actually offer any more protections than a plan that they put forward. And that plan includes storing Americans data in the United States, and then handing their algorithm to Oracle, a third party to just monitor it and make sure that data isn't going to where it shouldn't go. What's your reaction to that offer, that plan?

HOFFMAN: We know we're told by security and technical experts that there is a way to strip away the algorithm and to allow for an American company, for example, to have control over the data. The real challenge is getting the Chinese government to allow that to happen.

I mean, the -- reports are that they don't want to allow for the technology, the algorithms to fall into American hands. And that suggests that there's some real sinister intentions going on here. So I don't buy the argument that it's technologically impossible to separate the, you know, the algorithms from the data, et cetera.

We have, in this country, enough of the capacity to allow companies to do that, protect America -- you know, protect data privacy at the same time and bring this company of, this technology into U.S. controls that where so citizens can feel secure in engaging with the app.


SANCHEZ: Now, some states have banned the use of TikTok on government devices. The federal government, though, has never banned a social media app before. And I know that lawmakers in Congress are now working on legislation that would facilitate the ability to do that legally. But how do you rate the chances of a ban actually happening? HOFFMAN: Well, you know, it's interesting, Boris. We're in a whole new era here, where there -- yes, it's unprecedented. And I do applaud the states for doing so because the more we know and sort of discover about China's intentions, whether it's embedding certain technology and commercial drones, for example, or the balloons that we just saw, or, you know, not it was software, we saw a wholesale ban on Huawei, for example, a couple of years ago.

So I don't think that it's -- while it may be unprecedented, it certainly may not be, you know, unwarranted at this point in time. We're in a whole new era. And, unfortunately, U.S.-China relations seem to be, you know, heating up rather than cooling down. And that's really unfortunate.

But I do think to answer your question, I do believe that, you know, we have the capability to do so. And I think that the Biden administration has a unique opportunity right now to show us a resolve on China. It's been, you know, there have been questions and criticisms as to whether China is strong, whether Biden is strong on China. Well, this is an opportunity to show that in a big way.

SANCHEZ: And perhaps, as you pointed out, an opportunity for rare bipartisanship as well. Adonis Hoffman, we got to leave the conversation there. Appreciate your time, sir.

HOFFMAN: Hey, Go Tigers --

WALKER: Appreciate that. Thank you.

WALKER: All right. The FCC is cracking down on spammy text messages. The agency voted to adopt the new rules for telecom companies unanimously citing a surge of consumer complaints. The move mirrors a similar effort by the federal government to shut down illegal robocalls effectively reducing the volume of calls in recent years. Well now it's doing the same for robotexts.

CNN's Brian Fung with more.

BRIAN FUNG, CNN TECH REPORTER: Boris and Amira, these spam texts aren't just annoying, they're dangerous. The FCC says they often come with links that may contain malicious software or that point to phishing websites designed to harvest your personal data. So now, regulators are unveiling new rules to block these sorts of texts automatically.

On Thursday, the FCC said it'll require phone providers to block texts that are, quote, highly likely to be illegal. The push appears to be focused on a tactic known as number spoofing, which is when a fraudster makes their caller ID look like someone else's real legitimate phone number.

The rules attack spoofing by forcing carriers to block text from numbers that are supposed to be inactive or that the government has said won't ever be used for texting. In a statement, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said the agency's approach has support from all 50 state attorneys general and Washington, D.C. And the vote to adopt the rules was unanimous. Rosenworcel said "These robotexts are making a mess of our phones. They are reducing trust in a powerful way to communicate." And that's just the start. The FCC is also considering additional rules that may apply do not call protections to text messages for the first time. Boris, Amara?

WALKER: Some good news there. Brian Fung, thank you so much.

Still ahead, thousands are protesting in the streets of Paris, showing their anger toward the government for telling people that they'll have to work two more years before they can collect their pensions. Latest next.



SANCHEZ: Some updates for you on the top stories we're following this morning. At least 16 people are dead and nearly 400 injured after a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Southern Ecuador on Saturday. Dozens of homes, schools and medical centers were damaged or destroyed. Including in Cuenca, one of the country's largest cities. Multiple roads were blocked by landslides. But officials, say that no tsunami warning is in effect for the area and airports to remain open.

WALKER: And a bit of good news this morning, California Governor, Gavin Newsom, has announced that he will -- his state will cut insulin costs by 90 percent, pending FDA approval. Officials say, a 10 percent milliliter vial of insulin will now be available for no more than $30. Plus, the governor also announced that California plans to start manufacturing its own naloxone , a nasal spray used to reverse opioid overdoses. The move is a part of Newsome's masterplan for tackling the fentanyl and opioid crisis.

SANCHEZ: And in France, hundreds have been arrested after thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Paris, Saturday, for the protests of -- to protest for the third day in a row. The unrest comes in response to president Emanuel Macron's government bypassing parliament, raising the retirement age from 62 to 64. Fires were set as protesters clashed with police who threw tear gas. And now, amid the rise in violence, Paris police have banned gatherings in the city's center. CNN's Sam Kiley is in Paris with the latest.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here in the Place d'Italie, this is the third day of spontaneous demonstrations against Emanuel Macron's policy of changing the pensionable age from 62 to 64. Now, there have been more organized demonstrations. The unions are asking people to get off the streets because they are worried about an increased level of violence.

And there is a great deal of pressure now on Emanuel Macron because this conjures up memories of the Gilets Jaune, the Yellow Vest Movement, they had to deal with for many, many months as part of the demonstrations against his attempts to reform the economic --

[07:35:00] -- and even the social structures of this country. Sam Kiley, CNN in Paris.

WALKER: And back to California, in Los Angeles County, schools there are poised for a three-day strike this week. Now, the district superintendent says, it could make it virtually impossible to keep the schools open. A union representing thousands of L.A. school cafeteria workers, bus drivers, custodians and teachers' assistants say they plan to walk out after nearly a year of negotiations over better pay and working conditions, and unionized teachers will join them. CNN's Camila Bernal has more in this report.


CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): The sign Jose Tovar making will be used, Tuesday, when a three-day strike is expected to force school closures in the second largest district in the nation.

JOSE TOVAR, L.A. UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRCIT CUSTODIAN: We're not asking for the world, but in this -- you know, to live above water.

BERNAL (voiceover): Tovar, a custodian with a full-time job at an early education center says he makes about $25,000 a year.

TOVAR: I love my job, especially I do it around 5-year-olds, 4-year old kids, and make sure to keep it clean for them. There's a time you'll appreciated and respect.

BERNAL (voiceover): And respect is what his union says this strike is about. While asking for more money, some members have reported harassment for doing so.

MAX ARIAS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SEIU LOCAL 99: Some have been harassed to the point where they have lost their job, they have lost income, or they generally just get -- some are intimidated.

BERNAL (voiceover): SEIU Local 99 is a union representing thousands of cafeteria workers, bus drivers, custodians, and other school workers. But the teachers union is also joining the strike in solidarity.


BERNAL (voiceover): LAUSD superintendent, Alberto Carvalho, is hopeful that the two sides will come to a monetary agreement. And says, harassment claims are being reviewed.

CARVALHO: We have not been presented with compelling evidence that there are widespread abuses. Are there issues? Yes. Each one of them is vigorously investigated and consequences are applied on the basis of merit of the allegation.

BERNAL (voiceover): The union says, avoiding a strike is unlikely. Instead, they want to shine a light on minorities in low-income workers who keep the schools running. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like what you did.

BERNAL (voiceover): They see this as a wake-up call for other districts in the U.S. to fund education.

ARIAS: Elected officials throughout the country, federal and state, should see what's going on here and think this is happening in just about every district in the country.

BERNAL (voiceover): The superintendent also believes that when they come to an agreement, the rest of the nation will use it as an example.

CARVALHO: I believe that it will be precedent setting for the country, and I will take pride in it as will the union, for these are some of the lowest wage earners in our community.

BERNAL (voiceover): Both sides worry about the students who may suffer greatly from school closures.

CARVALHO: Once you are forced to shut down a school, you eliminate some of the protections and rights children have. The right to food, the right to health, the right to social and emotional support, the right to mental support, the right to have their disabilities addressed in an adequate way.

BERNAL (voiceover): But the union believes people like Jose Tovar need to make more money.

TOVAR: It's a struggle. It's hard, you know. Sometimes, like, I am thinking to myself, Lord, am I going to make it another day, you know, like this?

BERNAL (voiceover): Because in the end they say higher salaries for school workers will lead to better schools and better education. Camila Bernal, CNN,


SANCHEZ: Our thanks to Camila for that report.

Still, ahead, you ever wonder how much social media is impacting our brains and even the way that we view ourselves? We're going to take a much closer look at that next.



WALKER: American teenagers are experiencing a rise in mental health challenges, especially among girls and those in the LGBTQ+ community.

SANCHEZ: A study from the CDC found that 57 percent of teen girls felt persistently sad or hopeless, double that of teen boys. And for LGBTQ teens, more than half say that they have recently experienced poor mental health. So, what's behind the high levels of sadness for teens? CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains how something called the selfie effect might be part of a big problem.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL SPECIALIST: Well, this term selfie effect was coined by Professor Sinclair-McBride, a psychologist at Harvard. And I think what she was really getting at when I talked to her was this idea now with so many selfies out there, we are constantly in this mode of comparing selfies, pictures of ourselves, to all the images that we see online, social media. Many of which, most of which, frankly, are probably altered in some way. They have filters on them. They have been photoshopped.

So, all of a sudden you are in a position where you are comparing pictures of yourself to unrealistic images of the outside world and it can lead to all sorts of different issues is our concern. It can lead to feelings of inadequacy. I can't possibly compare to the images I am seeing. But it could also have impacts on your brain directly where you are not getting as much joy you out of the things that used to give you joy.

So, you know, we talk a lot about mental health overall, the concerns of mental health, especially on the developing brain. There is -- it's a multifaceted, as we say, thing that's going on here. But the selfie effect may be one of the drivers of this.


And it's also, you know, it's worth pointing out that, look, unrealistic images of models and people like that in magazines, that's existed for a long time. We grew up with that, even if we didn't grow up with social media. What has changed though is the abundance of these images and the persistence. The abundance, that are constantly on our phones. The persistence, they stay on our phones, and again it's this real-time comparison that is constantly happening.

There is also this idea of what should the tech companies do? What are these filters actually doing to us overall in terms of the impact on society? And Professor Sinclair-McBride had an interesting, sort of, point of view on this.

KENEISHA SINCLAIR-MCBRIDE, CHILD PSYCHOLOGIST, BOSTON CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: A lot of filters, kind of, have a very eurocentric lens. So, it would be great if they did not make people's skin colors lighter or change the shape of their noses or change how big their eyes are or do things that make them more towards a certain beauty that may not be from the cultural background that they are from, right? Like, I think that would be really clutch.

It would be nice if, like, when you put a filter on, is that you are beautiful as you are, but you can play with this if you want, right. Like, it's just a tool. It's just something that it's here, but also, this picture of you without the filter is also really cool.

DR. GUPTA: I just want to emphasize again what she said. Is if you look at the filters, which we did, not all of them but many of them are increasingly creating this more conformist sort of look. Lightning people's complexions, changing the morphology of their faces, trying to create a more singular look. And, you know, whether we recognize it or not because we are so in the middle of it, that can have a detrimental impact, not only on individuals but on society as well.

I have three teenage daughters. This is one of the biggest topics of discussion in our home. And this selfie effect, I think, is something we all really need to pay attention to.


SANCHEZ: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, some incredible reporting. Insightful as always. Make sure to check out Sanjay's podcast, "Chasing Life with Dr. Sanjay Gupta". You can find it anywhere you get your podcasts. "CNN This Morning" will be back in just moments.



WALKER: The levee breach that caused devastating flooding in parts of Northern California has been temporarily patched. This is what the town of Pajaro look like when the levee along the river broke last weekend, sending water rushing towards the small farming community. Thousands were evacuated and hundreds more had to be rescued.

Well, this morning many are still out of their homes. Nearly 400 people remain in a shelter in Santa Cruz County, waiting for the homes to be inspected before they can go back. As floodwaters recede, now the question is, will the patch hold? And with more rain in the forecast, Pajaro officials are hopeful saying they do not expect there to be more flooding.

SANCHEZ: And while the west coast is preparing for yet another round of rain, the south is deal with the cold. Temperatures are running 15 to 25 degrees below average. CNN's Allison Chinchar is live in the CNN weather center for us.

Allison, when is it finally going to warm up?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, well, I think we're going to have to wait until the official start to spring, which is tomorrow, before we really start to see these temperatures rebound. Freeze warnings in effect for about 50 million people here in the southeast. But yes, there is light at the end of the tunnel. It's just going to take several more days before we see that warm-up.

Dallas, for example, likely to start getting back into the 70s by Tuesday, Atlanta by Wednesday, and then even 80s once we get towards the very end of the week. But the more widespread concern really is out to the west. Because we're going to have a number of systems begin to push through this area as we go into the outcoming week. You've got the first one already starting to bring some rain, and especially snow to the higher elevations right now.

The focus today is really northern and Central California. But the secondary system that will come in will then start to shift further south, really impacting the entire state of California and eventually in towards the intermountain west as these systems begin to move inland.

Here's a look at the forecast. Again, you'll see, for today, still expecting that rain and snow, that will continue to progress into Oregon, Nevada, as well as into Utah too as we go into the next couple days. But then there's that secondary system, and that secondary one is what we call a pineapple express. All of that moisture coming from Hawaii, spreading into areas of Southern California. So, certainly something we'll have to keep a close eye on in the coming days.

WALKER: All right. Allison Chinchar, thank you so much.

And it's time now to say goodbye. Not to all of our viewers just yet but to Boris. Look, I know a lot of people have been tweeting us and sending us messages on Instagram asking, what's going on. Well, look, this is our last day together on "CNN This Morning Weekend". And I say together because we have been a team. I know it's only been for a few months but I do want to say a few things to you, Boris. I'm know that I'm not a sappy person so trust me, you don't need tissue. And -- plus, you're not going far anyway.

But, look, working with you has been really fun, right. I mean, we wake up in these dark hours, 2:30 in the morning, and to be able to come in and actually have just such a good time, to hang out with my friend is how I see it. You know, doing the news together has really been a blast. And for those of you who watch every weekend, Boris, as you know, is consummate professional. He really cares about what he does. He's got a really humble and lovable personality.

And I don't think a lot of people know but I do want to thank you for really playing a meaningful role and being such a supporter allowing me to sit next to you as your co-anchor here on "New Day" -- not, "New Day", I'm reading "New Weekday" afternoon show. What I wanted to say was sitting next to you on weekend morning show. So, thank you. Hasta luego, friend.

SANCHEZ: Thank you so much, Amara.

WALKER: And look, thank you for letting me wake up with you bright and early every morning.


SANCHEZ: You have been are so incredibly kind and you have been since I met you at the station in Miami where I was interning. And I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't know if I had a future in this industry. And Amara was a hotshot reporter, clearly a star. And she made time for me in an industry where people don't have much time at all. We are all on a deadline.

So, thank you so much for that, Amara. Thank you to Christi Paul, to Sidney Wright, to Bethany, Evan, Bryce, all the people that get in my ear and say nice things. Look at us, it's when I visited Atlanta recently. Like you said, I'm not going very far. "CNN News Central" premiers next month. It's exciting. We're going to attempt things that have never been tried before on television. I just do it with my friends, Brianna Keilar and Jim Sciutto, so I'm pumped for that. I hope you'll join us. Also, Victor Blackwell is taking over this spot. I know you guys are going to take care of him the way that you guys have taken care of me. So, I am incredibly grateful.

And again, to you, Amara, I didn't have much to offer you when I was 20-something years old trying to figure out my way in this industry, but you gave me the best of you and I will always appreciate that.

WALKER: Oh, you're the best. I'm not going to miss you because I'm going to be seeing you around a lot during the week for sure. Thank you so much, Boris, for the time together.

SANCHEZ: Of course. And thank you so much for joining us on this weekend morning. "Inside Politics Sunday with Abby Phillip" is up next.