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Men's Final Four Set; Protests in Israel; Apple CEO Visits China; Jonathan majors Arrested in Domestic Dispute. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired March 27, 2023 - 06:30   ET




KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: The death toll is rising this morning after an explosion and massive fire leveled a candy factory Friday outside of Philadelphia. Seven people have been confirmed dead as officials say that the recovery efforts have now ended, but that authorities are still investigating the cause of the blast that you see here on your screen. The mayor says that three buildings near the factory are going to be condemned as a precaution. The city is planning a candlelight vigil as well for the lives who were lost.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: OK, get this, a Delta Airlines passenger was taken into custody for allegedly opening one of the plane's emergency exit doors and deploying the emergency slide. It happened as the plane was preparing for takeoff from Los Angeles to Seattle. Delta says the flight returned to the gate and the passengers were put on another plane. The FAA is investigating the incident.

COLLINS: All right, also, the Final Four is set. It might surprise you. Not exactly what we thought this was going to look like when March Madness kicked off. Miami and San Diego State are going to join Yukon and Florida Atlantic for a shot at the national title in Houston. That starts one week from today -- next weekend, we should note.

CNN Sports Coy Wire is joining us live.

Coy, these were not the names people were expecting to see exactly. My dad and I were talking about this last night. You had the fact that no one seeds are going to be playing in the Final Four. Are you surprised by this?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yes. No Alabama for you. No Texas for me. What's going on? There's no one, two, or three seed in the Final Four.

LEMON: Wah, wah, wah.

WIRE: Is that Don over their playing the world's smallest violin?

COLLINS: Yes, yes, yes.

WIRE: Hey, look. Look at these teams. Florida Atlantic, Miami and San Diego State, what, they're in the Final Four for the first time ever. Yukon is the only one with experience.

San Diego State was up two over Creighton with about 30 seconds to go, but Creighton's Baylor Scheierman steals the inbound pass and ties the game. Six seconds to go. Now, here's the moment Aztec's Derrion Trammell looking for the win, but Creighton's called for the foul. Just 1.2 seconds left. Trammell misses the shot. But the pressure is on for this senior. He locks in and nails his second one. It's the game winner. Creighton's last chance goes flying out of reach. Game over, y'all. Trammell played in front of fewer than 1,000 fans at Seattle University last year. Now he's sending the Aztec's to their first ever Final Four.

Here he is.


DARRION TRAMMELL, SAN DIEGO STATE SENIOR GUARD: It's all about believing in yourself. I feel like I put in the work. I had nothing to be nervous about. And then the game - it's just -- it's just a game. I'm doing this for my family. I'm doing this for people back home. My grandpa. My brother, who I lost. I'm just doing it for them.


WIRE: Now, how about the U. Miami down by as many as 13 to Texas in the second half, but comes roaring back, tied at 79 with a minute to go. Texas called for the foul. Boxing out for the rebound. But look at this. This sends Miami to the line. They make both free throws to take the lead, 81-79. And then that Cane's defense, they step up. They skip the steel and seal the deal. Come back complete. They take out the one seed Houston. Now two seed Texas. And now 73 year old coach Jim Larranaga looking like Don after he buys a new tie. Look out, baby. Don't hurt yourself, big man. Miami headed to the Final Four for the first time ever.

And Iowa's Caitlin Clark rewriting record books against Louisville, leading the Hawkeyes to their first Final Four in 30 years. She is savage. She's the front-runner for national player of the year. Forty- one points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists. The first player ever to record a 40-point triple double in tournament history.

And the other game yesterday. LSU, Don, into the Final Four. Your Tigers, they're drawing rings on their fingers with Sharpie, envisioning those national championship. How you feeling about that, big man?

LEMON: Manifesting. They're manifesting. That's what we do in Louisiana, we bring things to life just by manifesting.

COLLINS: Can I say, I'm obsessed -- I'm obsessed with LSU's -- the women's team's head coach. She is amazing. Her outfits at every game. If you haven't looked at it, people need to look it up.

WIRE: Kim Mulkey, yes.

COLLINS: But that Miami men's game, we were watching that last night. [06:35:00]

I was on my flight back to New York. Everyone on the plane was watching it. The fact that Miami was able to mount that comeback was incredible.

WIRE: And it happened like that. I mean, it looked like it was out of control for Texas, but here comes the Hurricanes and just making madness of March -

COLLINS: Look at that.

LEMON: Look at him with his basketball.

WIRE: Yes, you get jealous of me because I get to dance, I get to play basketball.

LEMON: Oh. Oh. Get it. Oh. Get it. Get it. Get it. Get it. Oh. Oh, yes.

WIRE: Look this, uh, don't stop. Hey. I mean, that's impressive, 73 years old.

LEMON: He's jamming.

WIRE: That's what it's all about.

COLLINS: I know.

WIRE: But we will be in Houston next weekend for a - for the Final Four. So, we'll be having some more fun.



WIRE: Dance a little bit.

LEMON: He's just a year younger than you, Coy. Wow. So -

WIRE: Let's do it.

COLLINS: Can't wait to see what happens in Houston.

All right, Coy, thank you so much.

LEMON: Coy, see you soon.

WIRE: Thank y'all.

LEMON: So, we need to tell you that we're still watching this. Take a look at this. These nationwide protests rocking Israel. Moments ago, takeoffs resumed at the nation's main airport, Ben Gurion. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu under pressure to back off of his controversial plan to overhaul the court system. What will he do next? We are live in Jerusalem for you. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


LEMON: All right, we want to get back now to Israel. Moments ago -- look at those protests, by the way. I mean, that is -- this is Jerusalem, live pictures. We also want to tell you that moments ago takeoffs at the -- Israel's airport resumed. This comes as these massive protests have rocked the country over the prime minister's controversial plan to overhaul the court system.

Let's bring in CNN's Hadas Gold, live in Jerusalem.

Hadas, it's very loud. It's very boisterous where you are. Can you remind our viewers why these protesters such a big deal.

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this judicial overhaul will be the biggest change to Israel's judiciary since its founding in (INAUDIBLE). It would give the Israeli politicians, the parliaments, so essentially whatever party is in power, immense power over the Supreme Court. Everything from how the judges are selected, to most notably even the ability to overturn Supreme Court decisions.

Now, there have been calls for reforms in the past. And even people who say that they do support some sort of reform say that the way this is being done, being pushed through at such speed, without the -- without input from the opposition party is just not the way to do it. And especially the divisiveness.

Now we've seen in the streets more than 12 weeks now hundreds of thousands of Israelis taking to the streets in protest. And especially in the last few weeks, especially in the last few days, it seems as though major figures from every - every single aspect of Israeli society, from the security stuff (ph), even the minister of defense, the bank of -- the governor of the Bank of Israel, the high profile figures in high tech, former prime ministers are all coming out against the way these reforms are being handled, saying at the very least (INAUDIBLE) need to be frozen in place. Stop the legislative process for a few weeks. Let the talks at the Israeli president's house commence. But so far we have not yet heard from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. There were reports - he was supposed to give a speech a few hours ago announcing that he's going to freeze the legislation, but yet it's been hours since those reports come out.

As we've seen, the airport came to a standstill. The courts have come to a standstill. Even McDonald's has shut down, joining this general strike. This country is at a standstill, and still you're not hearing anything from the prime minister.


LEMON: Hadas Gold in Jerusalem for us. Hadas, thank you very much.

It's going to be interesting to see if the prime minister does come out. He's supposed to. COLLINS: Well, and it's already almost 2:00 p.m. And what we had seen was obviously there's was a lot of people calling for him to back off of this, but the far right part of the coalition is saying, don't back down just because of the protests.

LEMON: This could change the judicial system there, or the legislative system there if like drastically if it does happen. We'll see what - we're going to continue to follow. We have Hadas there and CNN teams, of course.

In the meantime, Apple's CEO Tim Cook praising his company's relationship with China despite geopolitical tensions between Beijing and the U.S.

COLLINS: Plus, the actor, Jonathan Majors, has been arrested here in New York in a domestic dispute. We'll tell you about the charges he's facing, the evidence that his attorneys claim proves his innocence.



COLLINS: Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke at a government organized forum in China, where he said that Apple and China grew together over the last 30 years, saying that they have a symbiotic relationship. This is Cook's first trip to China, actually, since the zero Covid restrictions that ravaged supply chains and took a bite out of Apple's profits happened.

Meanwhile, this comes as the HOUSE Speaker Kevin McCarthy, is now promising to move forward with legislation that would ban TikTok citing security concerns with China. This was in a tweet just a few hours ago.

Joining us now is CNN media analyst and "Axios" reporter Sara Fischer.

Sara, I mean, it's obviously not a surprise that Tim Cook is praising China given how much Apple obviously relies on them, but it is interesting to see one of the biggest executives in the U.S. navigating this relationship at a time when the tensions between the United States and Chinese governments are so incredibly high.

SARA FISCHER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: Yes, it definitely puts him between a rock and a hard spot, Kaitlan. But just to give you an example of how much China is valuable to Apple. If you take a look at last quarter, about 20 percent of their sales came from China. Now that's just the sales output. You also have the labor and manufacturing resources in China. The vast majority of Apple products that you and I used today are manufactured there. So, China's a critical, critical market for Apple.

But, you're right, there's a huge, you know, shift right now happening between the us and China on the software side because of the Chinese expectations around content moderation, censorship, propaganda. We're running into real tensions around apps that, you know, leverage content. Things like TikTok. That does not seem to hold as well when it comes to the argument around labor and manufacturing. And that's why someone like Tim Cook can go to Apple, can praise that relationship, but someone like Shou Chew, the CEO of TikTok, is going to get grilled here in the U.S. over TikTok's presence.

LEMON: This is coming when he is admitting -- Elon Musk is admitting that Twitter is now worth half of what he paid for it, about $20 billion less. I mean, what gives here? Is he in trouble?

FISCHER: It's not looking very good, Don. Yes, so an internal email from Elon Musk to employees suggested that they could get stock grants valuing the company at around $20 billion. That's less than half of what he purchased it for, which was $44 billion.

I think the big picture here is that social media is going through a reckoning here in the U.S. you have Twitter, whose value has been cut in half. You have TikTok, which is getting potentially banned. Meta, which is formally Facebook, is going through a revamp of its whole business model. And the entire sector is being hit with layoffs. What was once one of the most lucrative and sexy industries in our country has now been turned upside down on its head. And the traditional tech companies, going again back to Apple, are the ones that look to be faring better.

LEMON: What is this social media reckoning? What's going on, Sarah? Is there any way to -- is it like the economy, you know, we don't have the tools to measure it or is it - was this needed?


Did they need to sort of re-jigger and re-figure out and try -- and figure out what's happening with social media?

FISCHER: Well, so it's a sector that's highly dependent on advertising, Don. And when the economy fell out, these social media darlings finally realized that they needed to diversify their businesses a little bit. And now what's happening is they're taking measures that make them look more like blue chip companies. You know, for so long these were the sexiest stocks that you could own. They were the fastest growing. And now they're starting to look a little bit more like traditional firms. They're focusing more on profit. They're being more measured about the number of people that they're hiring.

But I do think, from a big picture perspective, a lot of the reckoning that we're having here in the U.S. around the First Amendment, around free speech, is also having an impact on these companies.


LEMON: Interesting.

COLLINS: Thank you so much, Sara.

LEMON: I think that's something we need to really delve into. What is this sort of reckoning that's happening with social media companies. COLLINS: Well, and for TikTok itself, I mean, after the CEO appeared on Capitol Hill last week, Mike Gallagher, the Republican congressman from Wisconsin, said, it's only more likely they're going to take legislative action now that he appeared. Obviously, not what he was going for there.

Sara, thank you so much.

LEMON: Thanks, Sara.

COLLINS: Also this morning, we're going to track how more storms are on the way for the southeast. The latest threats are coming just days after powerful tornadoes killed 26 people. We're on the ground tracking the devastation as its extent is fully being uncovered in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, next.



LEMON: Welcome back, everyone.

Actor Jonathan Majors facing the fallout this morning after his arrest in an alleged domestic dispute. Police say the victim had minor injuries to her head and neck. In a statement, Majors' attorney is saying this, Jonathan Majors is completely innocent and is probably the victim of an altercation with a woman he knows. All the evidence proves that Mr. Majors is entirely innocent and did not assault her whatsoever. Unfortunately, this incident came about because this woman was having an emotional crisis for which she was taken to the hospital yesterday. We expect these charges to be dropped soon.

The U.S. Army is even pulling its ads featuring Majors. It's pulling them off of the air.

So, joining us now, the host of "Boston Globe Today," Segun Oduolowu.

Good morning to you, Segun.

So, you point out that this will matter most in the court of public opinion. What does this do to his career? He's now -- you know, he's in major movies. They're now pulling ads. At least one ad, the U.S. Army, off of the air. Regardless of the legal outcome, what does this mean?

SEGUN ODUOLOWU, HOST, "BOSTON GLOBE TODAY": Well, Don, first, thank you for having me. Unfortunately, it's under these types of circumstances.

You know, for too long women weren't heard, let alone believed. And so when an allegation like this comes in, our reaction now is to listen and try as much as possible to distance ourselves from the entity. And in this case, Jonathan Majors.

We don't have all of the facts in, right, but you see what the advertisers, the Army, are doing because the allegations are so serious. And I think that because of where we were before, and where we currently are now, where any story, credible or until proven otherwise, we have to give it the, you know, the weight that it deserves. So the Army has pulled ads.

Remember, Jonathan Majors is in two of the highest grossing films of this year, "Creed Three" and "Antman and the Wasp." So, his career was on a tremendous upswing. And for this to come and potentially derail it, we -- you know, it's going to be a fight, you know, no pun intended, because he was in "Creed," but it's going to be a fight to get it back on track.

I am asking and hoping that we will be patient. Let all of the facts come in. Because the court of public opinion is very different than the court of law. And if you go online, you are already hearing all types of stories, you know, that described him as an angel and stories that describe ride him as the devil. So, we need to be patient. We need to let all of the facts come in as best they can.

But, a tragedy has happened. A woman was either assaulted for whatever reason. She was hospitalized. An accusation was made. He was arrested. He was released. His lawyer is claiming that they have evidence that will prove his innocence. And we should let all of that come in. We were too quick with knee jerk reactions when it was Johnny Depp and Amber Heard and Johnny Depp was pulled from movie franchises until the court trial and tapes came in.

So, if there is evidence that proves Jonathan Majors did not do this, then let it come out and let his name be clean. But I still say this court of public opinion, they don't play by any rules. Stay off Twitter, stay off Instagram, because what you're going to get is conjecture.


ODUOLOWU: And we, in the news business, we deal with facts.

COLLINS: Yes. And we are waiting to see, you know, what this looks like and to hear more from -- from his legal team and what they've been saying, because they say there is that evidence.

Segun, I do want to, though, talk about something else that happened last night, on a lighter note. This is something a lot of people stayed up late for, which is the premier of "Succession." Season four. The royal family is back. We got to see it last week because we went to the premiere here in New York and I was obsessed with the first episode. But I wonder what your main takeaways were, since this is the kick off for the final season.

ODUOLOWU: Well, first, thank you for that humble brag that you got to see it a week early. All right, pick that name up that you just dropped, OK. You know, it's nice to have privilege.


But the reason that we love this family so much is because they make us feel better about ourselves because we're not as slimy and we're not as smarmy and we're not as dysfunctional as this family, or at least we hope we're not, right?