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CNN This Morning

Five People Shot And Killed "Almost Execution Style" In Texas; Convoy Of U.S. Evacuees Reached Port Sudan On Saturday; Regulators Prepare For Takeover Of First Republic Bank; First Republic Bank On Brink Of Collapse After Receiving $30B Lifeline; King Charles To Be Coronated Saturday; Lawsuit Claims Ed Sheeran Copied Marvin Gaye For Hit Song; Pope Francis To Allow Women To Vote AT Global Bishops Meeting; Students Using Animation To Tackle Challenging Issues; Hollywood Braces For Writers' Strike As Contract Negotiations Stall; Nuggets Beat Suns To Start 2nd Round Series; Maple Leafs Win 1st Playoff Series In 19 Years. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired April 30, 2023 - 07:00   ET




ROY WOOD JR., COMEDIAN: -- hard. We should be inspired by the events in France. They rioted when the retirement age went up two years to 64. They rioted because they didn't want to work until 64. Meanwhile, in America, we have an 80-year-old man begging us for four more years of work.




AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: That was, yes, a good line. We saved the best for last, I guess.



BLACKWELL: He was really good.

WALKER: Really good.

BLACKWELL: He's good.

WALKER: Great delivery.

All right. The next hour of CNN This Morning starts now.

BLACKWELL: We'll have more from the White House Correspondents' Dinner throughout the show. Good morning to you. Welcome to CNN This Morning. It is Sunday, April 30th. We are wrapping up April already.

WALKER: I can't believe it.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell.

WALKER: I'm Amara Walker. I'm still smiling from Roy Wood Jr.

BLACKWELL: He's good.

WALKER: All right. Here's what we are watching for you this morning.


JAMES SMITH, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, HOUSTON FIELD OFFICE: He is a threat to the community and we need the community's help to hopefully locate him soon.


WALKER: Texas police and the FBI are on the hunt for a man who allegedly killed five of his neighbors. The youngest victim, just eight years old. The simple request that led to this deadly shooting.

BLITZER: Private U.S. citizens trapped in Sudan during the conflict are out of the country. The evacuation comes during growing anger from Americans who felt abandoned by the U.S. government as the conflict broke out. How this convoy came together and what happens next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It'll allows us to actually stop and listen to what's going on in the world of a child and have them offer a potential solution to that problem.


WALKER: From racism to immigration to climate change, the innovative program that is teaching students to use animation to tackle social justice issues.

BLACKWELL: And we could be on the verge of a major Hollywood writers' strike. The sticking points between the union and the studios and how a strike could impact your favorite shows.

Well, right now, there's a search for the man accused of killing five of his neighbors, including an eight-year-old child. The victim, they were all from Honduras and had recently moved to this home overnight. The Honduras foreign minister is calling for justice in the killings, demanding on Twitter that the full weight of the law be applied to those who are responsible for the crime.

WALKER: Investigators are looking for this man, Francisco Oropeza. He is accused of killing five of his neighbors after they asked him to stop shooting a rifle outside so their baby could sleep.

CNN's Ryan Young takes us through what led up to the shooting. RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Amara and Victor, this manhunt continues into the next day because police are still looking for the man that they believe shot and killed five people.

Francisco Oropeza is the man that the sheriff's deputies say was caught on a ring camera, walking into a home using an AR-15 style weapon, killing five people, including an eight-year-old child. What we learned is that according to the sheriff's deputies, the people next door asked Mr. Oropeza to stop shooting his gun on his front porch. When that happened, he apparently walked over, opened fire, killing the five people in the home.

The FBI, at one point, and the sheriff's deputies believe they were tracking a device. That device has been found, but the man hasn't. Take a listen to the FBI talk about this all out manhunt.


SMITH: We consider him armed and dangerous, and we're not going to stop until he -- we actually arrest him and put, bring him into custody. But he is out there and he's a threat to the community. So I don't want anyone to think that, that that's something different than that. He is a threat to the community, and we need the community's help to, hopefully, locate him soon and take him off the streets tonight.


YOUNG: Sheriff's deputies and the FBI believe Oropeza may have changed his clothing as well, so now they're hoping the public who sees this picture can help locate this man that they've been searching for. There was also two women who were found dead inside that home, who appear to be covering two other smaller children.

When you look at the ages of the people who lost their lives here, you're talking about a 25-year-old, a 21-year-old, a 31-year-old, an 18-year-old, and unfortunately, an eight-year-old, who was shot and killed execution style in this home after asking this man a simple request to stop shooting from his porch.

Victor and Amara, so many questions about what happens next, but obviously, the FBI has taken over on this manhunt.

WALKER: All right, Ryan, thank you.

Let's turn now to the crisis in Sudan and the first private U.S. citizens to be evacuated have arrived in Port Sudan.

BLACKWELL: And from there, they face a 10 to 12-hour journey to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.


CNN Correspondent Larry Madowo is in Jeddah with more on the evacuations. Tell us what's happening around you and how all this is playing out, Larry? LARRY MADOWO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Victor, this is a Saudi warship by the Saudi Royal Navy that just arrived here from Port Sudan. We were on that trip. We made the round trip from here in Jeddah to Port Sudan and back, and they evacuated some people, including one American citizen.

But this U.S. convoy, this is the first U.S. government organized convoy from the capital Khartoum over 500 miles to the Port Sudan, and where they say they will now organize travel for those eligible U.S. citizens here to Jeddah.

This comes after almost a week of criticism that the U.S. government evacuated diplomats out of Port -- out of Khartoum using the military, but many citizens felt abandoned. When other countries like the U.K. and Germany and France were evacuated their citizens. So the U.S. government communicated with all the U.S. citizens that had gotten in contact with them and gave them specific instructions about how to join this convoy and kept watch over them until they got to Port Sudan.

It can be a long journey. Sometimes, one person told us it took them 36 hours, but at least it wasn't just U.S. citizens this time. Also, some locally employed staff and nationals from other friendly countries that were part of this convoy that in Port Sudan. We don't know when they will get yet Jeddah, but it's another 10 to 12 hours across the Red Sea to get to Saudi Arabia.

And we know that U.S. officials have been telling Americans in Sudan, you've got to travel overland, you got to get to Port Sudan somehow. You're on your own until then. Do we know that once Americans get there that there will be more evacuations, more ships like this, to take them to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia?

MADOWO: There has to be some kind of government arrangement here because there are thousands of people in Port Sudan that are waiting to get on one of these ships. There's not enough ships considering the number of people who are there. So the U.S. government is saying that they're making those arrangements to get them across the Red Sea to Jeddah and Port Sudan.

They will have to jump in front of the queue because there's thousands of people there who've been sometimes there for days up to a week hoping to get on one of these ships and they don't qualify. So that's going to be the next leg of this step for the U.S. citizens who've been stuck in Sudan, how they can quickly get across the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia, where American Citizen Services has been receiving them here.

We saw some of them yesterday from the embassy providing assistance and getting them onto their journeys back to the U.S.

BLACKWELL: Long, arduous journeys, but they are moving out of Sudan.

Larry Madowo for us there in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Thank you so much.

WALKER: Turning now to the economy and fears are growing over the possibility of yet another bank collapse. Federal regulators are taking steps to prepare for a seizure of San Francisco-based First Republic Bank.

Reports say the FDIC is scrambling to find a buyer for the troubled bank following a disclosure that customers had withdrawn more than half of its deposits. Shares of the bank have tumbled by more than 97 percent this year, renewing concerns that the banking crisis may not yet be over.

Here with us to discuss, Better Markets President and CEO, Dennis Kelleher. Dennis, good morning. Thank you for joining us. Tell us about what's going on. I mean --


WALKER: -- is this crisis at First Republic different than what we saw at Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank?

KELLEHER: Well, the good news is it's pretty similar to Silicon Valley Bank, which itself had some unique characteristics which caused it to fail and required regulators to take over that bank. Signature Bank also had some similar characteristics, but First Republic looks very much like Silicon Valley Bank. And frankly, not that much like most of the other banks in the United States.

It had an enormous amount, something like 70 percent of uninsured deposits, and it had an asset mix that was highly sensitive to interest rates. So when the Fed raised interest rates, its value of its assets plummeted. So that caused a lot of depositors who were not insured to think, wait a minute, I better get my money out of there in case that bank fails.

Same thing as Silicon Valley Bank and the regulators are currently this weekend trying to figure out whether or not First Republic can be saved on its own or whether or not it's going to require a forced sale or the FDIC taking it over as it did with Silicon Valley Bank.

WALKER: You know, we all know that interest rates go up and down all the time. So were these just not calculated into these banks' investments? I mean, it sounds like the common denominator here was that these banks were unable to adjust to the higher interest rates. That seems like a very simple, but, you know, major mistake?

KELLEHER: Well, you're exactly right. I mean, both of these banks and frankly Signature Bank as well were grossly mismanaged. You had a executives who were taking very high risks and basically betting the bank, literally, that those interest rates were going to stay low for a long time.


And it was a high wire act because if you have a deposit base that's mostly under the FDIC in short amount of $250,000, which most banks in the United States have, then you don't have to worry about your depositors fleeing if your interest rates go up and the value of your assets go down. But First Republic, like Silicon Valley Bank, gambled irresponsibly and recklessly with with massive amounts of uninsured depositors while their asset values were dropping. And when that happens, stock price goes down. Your depositors start worrying about whether or not the bank is going to go bankrupt. And if you don't have insured deposits, you want to take your money out to protect your uninsured money.


KELLEHER: And so they put themselves in this very fragile condition irresponsibly and it's predictably they are where they are now. Unlike thousands of other banks who properly managed interest rate risk and didn't overly rely on uninsured deposits.

WALKER: Well, it does make me and others perhaps wonder, are there other banks out there who took this gamble as well, and we just have yet to find out?

KELLEHER: That is the key question. On the other hand, we do know that there are not a lot of banks out there with anywhere near these unique characteristics. There are some out there with a disproportionate amount of uninsured deposits and basically all the banks, as you said before, have assets that are going down because interest rates are going up.

But they have a more diversified client base. They have a more diversified geographic customer base. They have fewer uninsured deposits and they manage interest rate risk in their portfolio better. So there are a couple of other banks that have some similar characteristics here, but almost all of them do not.

The problem is that once one bank fails, depositors at other banks, even though they're not at risk, often get nervous. And when depositors get nervous, the concern is they're going to pull their money even if they don't need to.

WALKER: Right.

KELLEHER: And that's the problem, regulators fail. It's called contagion. And what they don't want is people panicking when they shouldn't panic. So they're kind of caught between a rock and a hard place where you don't want to reward grossly bad management like we saw at Silicon Valley Bank and at First Republic.

WALKER: Right.

KELLEHER: On the other hand, you don't want people to panic unnecessarily and cause other banks to go -- become, you know, endangered for bankruptcy when they shouldn't be.

WALKER: Yes, it makes sense. And on Monday, the FDIC expect -- we expect that they will release a report on whether the rules governing deposit insurance should be changed. So we will be watching for that.

Dennis Kelleher, thank you very much.


BLACKWELL: Still to come. Singer Ed Sheeran played to the jury literally. He played his guitar. He sang during the trial over a copyright dispute. You're going to hear his song. And then the Marvin Gaye classic that he's accused of ripping off. Is it copyright infringement?

WALKER: Plus, Pope Francis is in Hungary where he celebrated mass with a crowd of 50,000 appealing to people, welcoming and being welcoming to refugees and migrants.

BLACKWELL: Also, Hollywood writers are getting ready to strike for the first time in about 15 years. What this could mean for the industry and for your favorite shows? We'll talk about it.



WALKER: And here are five things we're watching in the week ahead. The Fed will hold a critical two-day meeting this week as it weighs weather to hike interest rates as it continues to try to bring down inflation. If so, that will be the bank's 10th consecutive rate increase.

Writers for TV, movies, and streaming shows could go on strike as soon as Tuesday after their union has so far failed to reach an agreement with major studios. If a strike happens, it would be the first since 2007 and could have wide ranging impacts for the industry. We will have much more on that coming up later this hour.

And protestors in France will once again take to the streets for the annual Labor Day march. The yearly demonstrations have been politicized this year due to President Emmanuel Macron's pension reform plans. Police have warn that tomorrow's March could be the most violent demonstration yet.

And we'll get another snapshot of the economy when the April jobs report is released. This Friday, last month's report came in just below analyst's expectations. And on Saturday we'll be watching the coronation of King Charles III. Charles will officially be crowned in a theatrical and deeply religious ceremony.

You can watch all of the festivities Saturday morning right here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: Ed Sheeran played to an intimate crowd in New York on Friday, a jury in a Manhattan courtroom. They will decide whether he copied Marvin Gaye's Classic "Let's Get It On" in his hit thinking out loud. We're going to play both of them for you now so you can hear the similarities.


(SINGING) BLACKWELL: It's really similar. Joe Bennett is a professor at Berklee College of Music. He's served as an expert witness in cases like this. All right, first, let's just ask the big question. Is this copyright infringement?


JOE BENNETT, PROFESSOR, BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC: Absolutely not. This is a very simple, commonplace chord sequence that appears in lots of songs and that's the reason we hear the similarity. If you listen really carefully, pass those four chords that keep ascending in a two bar loop, you'll notice that there are no lyrics the same. No melody the same in the verse or the chorus. So what we have is two completely different songs with slightly similar backing tracks.

BLACKWELL: You know, it's interesting, I've read that you said that often we're asking the wrong question here. The question should not be, how similar is song B to song A? Instead it should be, how original is song A? Explain that.

BENNETT: Yes, so obviously, let's get it on. It's a Stone Cold Classic and a fantastic, unique mead and a great lyric as indeed is thinking out loud separately. But the particular backing that it uses, that four-chord, two-bar loop. Appears in lots of songs. And because it appears in lots of songs, it's what courts and musicologists call a commonplace element that is therefore not protected by copyright.

So I'll just demonstrate on guitar if I may.

BLACKWELL: Yes, sure.

BENNETT: So you played -- you've played both of the songs there in that segment, mashed up into the key of D. They're actually in different keys, but so that we can hear the similarities, that's quite a, a common thing to do. So "Thinking Out Loud," as we heard, has this loop.

"Let's Get It On" has this lead. So similar but not identical. But if we just take "The Thinking Out Loud" loop --


BENNETT: -- which in this key is D, F minor, G and A. That, for example, is the same chords as Van Morrison's "Have I told You Lately?" From 1989, it is Georgy Girl by "The Seekers" from 1967, which is a little faster, but the same chords, kind of --

Lionel Richie's "Stuck On You". Shania Twain's "Still The One", I mean, there are so many songs that use this very well-loved chord sequence.


BENNETT: So you could do the same mashup technique with those and you'd get the same result. BLACKWELL: So I am fascinated. I don't know how much time the producer has allocated for this segment, but I got more questions now. So if, you say you've played these chords with so many songs that we all know, then when is there actual copyright infringement if we're talking chords and melodic phrasing, because we've got what, thousands, maybe millions of songs over the decades of song copyrights. Are there fewer legitimate copyright infringement awards than there should be, because you've got juries deciding this and not people like you deciding this?

BENNETT: Yes. And I think that's a problem that's very particular to the USA because most other countries when they hear in the courts or they hear cases of music, copyright infringement, litigation. A jury is not involved precisely because a jury is not a group of experts, songwriters, and that means because juries, by definition, are randomly selected.

That means that they are unable, without a lot of guidance, to separate a commonplace element that is like a chord loop that is not protected by copyright from a musically unique element that is something like a top line melody or a lyric. And they just hear subjective similarity and then jump to, in my opinion, the wrong conclusion that the only explanation for that similarity is plagiarism.

BLACKWELL: So then what's the line if we're not taking direct lyrics, right? I know you pointed out to one of my producers Diddy's -- what was it, "Missing You" and "Every Breath You Take", right? That was a direct lift. I mean, everybody who heard it knew, oh, he must be sampling this, but he didn't get permission, right, initially. But what's the line here if you are playing a chord that as you demonstrated, so many have used?

BENNETT: Well, in the case of that very famous example of plagiarism, that was an example of sampling. So in 1997, Diddy took an eight bar sequence, the very famous guitar riff from the police's 1983 track "Every Breath You Take and slightly pitch, shifted it, but actually just looped to that sample.

So, effectively in music industry terms, he was infringing two copyrights. The musical work that is the song and the sound recording because he was using the police's actual recording and inserting it into "I'll be Missing You" as a backing track.


So that was blatant. It was obvious he didn't ask permission and it cost him a hundred percent of the royalties. And I would say rightly so because there's no doubt about it in a case of obvious sampling like this.

But the point is, he wasn't copying a commonplace element.


BENNETT: He was actually taken from this very specific to "Every Breath You Take." And with cases like this, I think some plaintiffs are perhaps guilty of being a little opportunistic. Because they know that a jury is going to hear subjective similarity and they can kind of leverage that to, you know, try and get the defendant to cave on this case.


BENNETT: And full credit to Ed Sheeran, I feel like he's standing up for songwriters everywhere by sticking to his integrity and, you know, holding out for the truth.

BLACKWELL: Well, we remember -- and we've got to wrap here -- that there were just a few years ago, the Marvin Gaye's family, they were awarded 5 million after the copyright case involving Robin Thicke in "Blurred Lines" and got to give it up at Marvin Gaye's classic there.

Professor Bennett, man, this has been an education. I appreciate it. I'm going to request something. Can you play us off the break here?

BENNETT: Well, I'm happy to play you that chord loop so people can sing along with it.

BLACKWELL: Yes, let's hear it.

BENNETT: A song they would like.

BLACKWELL: All right,

BENNETT: Let's do it.


BLACKWELL: We'll be right back.




BLACKWEL: Pope Francis wrapped up the third and final day of his trip to Hungary. 50,000 people gathered outside Hungary's parliament today to celebrate mass. Since arriving in Budapest, the Pope has focused on the importance of remembering Christian values while warning of rising nationalism in Europe.

He's met with poor people there, refugees, young people, held a private meeting with an envoy of the pro-Kremlin, Russian Orthodox Church as well.

WALKER: And for the first time ever, women will be allowed to participate and vote at an upcoming meeting of Catholic Bishops. Until now, only bishops who are all male could vote, but changes to the meeting known as a Synod approved by Pope Francis will now include women and young people. Joining us now is Kate McElwee, she's the Executive Director of the Women's Ordination Conference, a group that advocates for women to be ordained as priests, deacons and bishops in the Catholic Church. Good morning to you, Kate. Thank you so much for joining us. So women will now be included in the Synod. I mean, how significant is this step?

KATE MCELWEE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WOMEN'S ORDINATION CONFERENCE: This is a very important step. For the first time, women will be able to vote alongside their brother bishops as equals. And although we're not at gender parody yet in the Catholic church, there's just about 10 percent of women will be in that meeting. It's an extremely important meeting.

At this Synod, the church is confronting some of the most urgent issues like women in ministry, LGBTQ, inclusion, climate change, young people. And so having women at the table, not just with a voice, but a vote is incredibly important. It's really a paradigm shift, and I think it shows that the church is able to listen to its people and change.

WALKER: And some very consequential and historical events and decisions have been made at these bishop's meetings. Can you tell us more about what issues and what decisions have been made in the past?

MCELWEE: Well, the Synod is a product of Vatican and so it's really a consultative body of bishops. So these meetings can confront all kinds of issues like, climate change, youth, family, but ultimately what the bishops and now lay people will vote on will be an advice to the Pope who can either take that to develop more doctrine or church teaching.

And so it doesn't have a huge authority, but it is a consultative body and a very significant way that the church makes decisions and evolves.

WALKER: So women will make a small minority said 10 percent of this group, but the Vatican hasn't made clear how these women will be selected. Do we know what methods will be taken?

MCELWEE: This is such new news. But we do know that each of the seven continents will be able to put forth 20 names to the Vatican, who will ultimately choose 10, five men and five women from each continent. And then in addition to that, there'll be 10c sisters or are women religious and 10 priests who will be representing religious orders.

So there's not a whole lot of transparency around that. And the Vatican does have the final say. But I think right now, we're in a nomination sort of process.

WALKER: And look, you -- most importantly, your group, advocates for women to be able to be ordained as priests. And and as, you know, you know, Pope Francis has upheld the Catholic church's ban on ordaining women as such. Does -- do you believe that this opens the door for, you know, eventually lifting the church's ban on women as ordained priests?

MCELWEE: You know, this is, evolution, not of revolution happening. But I do think anytime more women are in positions of authority and power within the Vatican, things change. We know that. And so I think that the more women are involved in these significant meetings and working alongside men, that crack in the stain glass ceiling will continue to grow.


WALKER: Yes. A shift in the paradigm. A good way to put it. And then an evolution, not a revolution.

Kate McElwee, we appreciate you joining us. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Ahead how some fifth grade students are trying to fight racism, gun violence, and global warming through animation.


BLACKWELL: Some of the issues that young people face, gun violence, climate change, there's a long list. They're tough to talk about, much less solve. Well, there's a program in California that's giving students a way to express their feelings.


WALKER: Yes. It allows them to use art and animation to share their experiences.

CNN National Correspondent Camila Bernal has more.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good morning. Buenos dias.

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The day begins for these fifth graders with the usual subjects, math, science, reading, and even PE.

Those may appear easy in comparison to talking about gun violence, global warming, bullying, racism.

CHRISTIAN LOPEZ, 5TH GRADE STUDENT: I chose racism because for me, racism is something really something that I see often and something that happens, and I feel like all people should be treated the same way. NARA, because they're different, because inside we're all the same.

BERNAL (voice-over): Christian Lopez is just one of the more than 505th grade students tackling these issues at the National School District just outside of San Diego. The students choose a topic.

AXEL VIVEROS, 5TH GRADE STUDENT: Yes, I did like world hunger. I feel bad. I really feel bad about because they don't have the life I have.

We can donate to help them get food and fresh water.

BERNAL (voice-over): And then use animation --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think guns should be allowed or, I don't --

BERNAL (voice-over): -- to explain their thoughts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Immigration is a problem for everyone. They separate individuals from one another. That's a form of injustice.

SHARMILA KRAFT, ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT EDUCATIONAL SERVICES, NATIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT: If these are the issues, these are the components that these young people will face as they become adults, then I believe that it is our responsibility to support them in learning how to maneuver some of the nuances.

BERNAL (voice-over): But maneuvering wasn't always easy, according to animator David Heredia, who created this five-week program.

DAVID HEREDIA, FOUNDER, HEROES OF COLOR: You know, it makes people uncomfortable when you put them in a situation to talk about something that is not their lived experience. And because of that, I think it's unfair to put a muzzle on a child who wants to express what they're feeling.

BERNAL (voice-over): So instead you allow them to talk through their art.

LOPEZ: Just because they're different race doesn't mean that you have to be rude or to like not, not to be nice to them because it's really hurtful for those people.

BERNAL (voice-over): They found ways to help solve or highlight the issues.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No matter what color we are, we all are human.

BERNAL (voice-over): And then they got to feel like celebrities as they share their animations with the world.

HEREDIA: It allows us to actually stop and listen to what's going on in the world of a child and have them offer a potential solution to that problem.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you're kind to someone, they're going to be kind to someone else or you. You should always be kind.

BERNAL (voice-over): The students feel heard and say they will continue to explore these social justice issues.

LOPEZ: We could still keep working on and progress to make it better.

BERNAL (voice-over): Camila Bernal, CNN National City, California.


WALKER: All right, still to come, Hollywood film and television writers could go on strike this week. We're going to take a look at what they are demanding, where this could go in a moment.



BLACKWELL: This morning, Hollywood is bracing for a potential writer's strike. The Writer's Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television have until tomorrow night. 11:59 p.m. to reach a new deal. If that does not happen, writers across the country will strike on Tuesday.

WALKER: CNN Senior Entertainment Reporter, Lisa France joining us in studio. What a treat. Lisa, first off, tell us what the writers are demanding.

LISA RESPERS FRANCE, CNN SENIOR ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: They want better wages in this era, streaming being king, they say that residuals are disappearing, and a lot of them made their money that way. So they want better wages because based on the data that they have provided writers' money has gone down by more than 20 percent in terms of their wages if you factor in inflation.

So they want better wages, better working conditions, because they say they're being asked to do more with less. And also they want protection from artificial intelligence. Lots of writers, myself include, scared to death of what's going to happen with A.I. So they have a concern that Hollywood is going to make A.I. the workhorse and have A.I. just start churning out scripts.

BLACKWELL: So if nobody wants a strike, neither side, we don't want it as viewers and consumers. They've been talking every day. How close are they to a potential deal?

FRANCE: Well, fingers crossed, because back in 2017 they narrowly averted a strike and they're hopeful that, you know, a deal can be struck in the 11th hour. But, you know, it's tough because it's not like in 2007 when they had the 100 days strike, because streamers have a lot more power and a lot more option.

Content is king. So, whereas before in 2007, there was concern about, you know, viewers having a bunch of reruns and getting really turned off to television. There's so much content out there. It might give, you know, the studios and the streaming giants a little edge over the writers.

WALKER: Well, what's the other side, because we understand it when you say the writers are asking for more money being asked to do, you know, much more with less. But what are the Hollywood studios saying to, you know, we want more money? I mean, it feels like they do make so much money. Where's it all going?

FRANCE: They're also pointing to the economy and the belt tightening. I mean, look at Disney Land off 7,000 employees. They're saying, you know, it's a tough time right now and you know, we just can't give in to all the demands because they say they're trying to make money. Just like the writers are trying to make money. But the writers guilt to, you know, there's never a good time to ask for more money. Yes. If you ask Hollywood, and last time they had a strike, apparently they lost more than $2 billion in the local economy. So it's right, it's right. You have to weigh it.

BLACKWELL: Yes. That strike went on for a 100 days.

FRANCE: A 100 days.


FRANCE: And I remember it.

BLACKWELL: Yes. A 100 days, $2 billion, are the writers? Are they willing to strike for that long?

FRANCE: Absolutely. They're -- I think they're willing to strike that long because they're saying that you have to be tough because the balance of power feel shifted towards the studios and towards the streamers.

So I think that, yes, but, you know, just like nobody ever wants to go on strike.



FRANCE: Nobody ever wants to be concerned that they're not going to have any money being made, but I think they feel like they have to take a hard stance if they're going to have any movement at all.

WALKER: And fans and viewers will feel it. They will notice it if the writers go on strike, which shows might go dark.

FRANCE: I mean, all the scripted shows might go dark. Well, would have to go dark because the writers are being told that you can't cross the picket line. You can't even discuss potential storylines. So there are lots of TV shows, including variety shows like Saturday Night Live. They depend on writers as well.

WALKER: Oh wow.

FRANCE: So, you know, whereas before we got a lot of reality TV out of this. This time, you know, I personally am going to be upset if I have to wait on more Abbott Elementary. I'm just saying. So I need Hollywood and the writers to come together and find -- and, you know, whatever they're going to do to make this happen and avert a strike so that I don't miss any of my favorite TV shows.

WALKER: Abbott Elementary, I'm writing that down.

BLACKWELL: I don't know if you're going to be impacted, but I need season six of The Crown on time.

FRANCE: On time. BLACKWELL: On time.

FRANCE: Thank you very much.

BLACKWELL: Right. I can't wait until 2025.

FRANCE: Exactly.

BLACKWELL: So the last one here, three negotiations happening right now.


BLACKWELL: Are they all going in the same, like parallel track here?

FRANCE: Yes. They've all been talking, first of all, these talks have been happening since March. So we're seeing round the clock movement right now in terms of them trying to keep, you know, communication open, because the hope is that they can, you know, maybe even close up to the deadline.


FRANCE: Come up with something that's going to keep both sides happy. Everybody has to give a little, so, you know, I'm sure the Writers Guild is hoping that, the Producers Guild gives up, you know, producers, alliance gives up more than a little bit. They, you know, they really want to feel like they have made some strides. And, you know, inflation is hitting everybody --


FRANCE: -- including Hollywood.

WALKER: Yes. I can't think of a more sophisticated term. I'm sure everyone is just freaking out, you know, especially the shows, right, because they're coming up right to the last minute.

Lisa Respers France, it's so nice to see you.

FRANCE: It's so nice to see you guys. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Thank you.

WALKER: All right. Be sure to tune in tonight for an all new episode of "Eva Longoria: Searching for Mexico."

BLITZER: This week, Eva explores Veracruz, the birthplace of Mexico's key ingredients.



EVA LONGORIA, ACTRESS (through translator): I'm in your homeland.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know. I'm so excited that you're.

LONGORIA: I can't believe it. This is a crazy, busy place.

La Parochia (ph) said to be Mexico's oldest cafe, is one of Anna's favorite haunts.

So Veracruz is super special to you. Obviously you're from here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I was born here and my family's still here.

LONGORIA: What is the rest of Mexico think of Veracruz?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are known as Malablados (ph) because I guess that we're pranks and we're always like --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- I (INAUDIBLE). So, OK, so we are known because of our sense of humor. We're very good also at dancing. The dancer (ph) is from here to Salsa (ph).

LONGORIA: Everything started here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exactly, exactly. A lot of first things happen here. You know, the conquest (ph), you know the Spanish came through Veracruz, the coffee. That's why coffee the first place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Foreign Language).


LONGORIA: Oh my God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Foreign Language)



LONGORIA: Yay. I'm a Veracruz, Anna.


BLACKWELL: Watch a new episode of "Eva Longoria: Searching for Mexico" tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

All right, NFL draft. There were lots of emotional moments, but none maybe better than a dad getting to draft his son. Coy Wire has that and more next.



WALKER: In sports this morning, Kevin Durant and his Phoenix Suns had a rough start to their second round series against the Denver Nuggets. BLACKWELL: Coy Wire is here with all the actions. So what happened?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Well, it was big deal in Denver. It was kind of like Janet Jackson and Taylor Swift being in the same city going at the same time.

BLACKWELL: Look, yes, look at this.

WALKER: I think your mic is on the floor.

BLACKWELL: Grab the cord.

WIRE: I was wondering why it sounded like I heard my flip topping.

BLACKWELL: Coy -- listen, Coy, took his jacket off to show us that he's lifting arms again and ripped his shirt, and then his mic fell off.

WIRE: That's called a mic drop moment. Let's go people.

Two of the best players in the NBA, Kevin Durant and the Suns going against Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets, and they're going toe to toe. Watch Durant. He comes up with this monster block here in the first against Jokic, but Jokic doesn't give up. He gets the hoop and the foul with the second effort.

Jokic had 24, Durant had 29. But the Nuggets Jamal Murray playing like the best things from Canada since Drake. Coach Mike Malone said afterwards that Murray is a bad man and they didn't have him two years ago when they were swept by the Suns, or last season in the playoffs when they lost for the eventual world champs.

The Warriors, Murray had six three pointers on the night, 34 points overall. Nuggets Cruise 125-107 win. Game two is Monday night. Now Sunday Slate starts at 1:00 Eastern with game one of the Heat- Knick series. Then it's Steph Curry and the Warriors heading to Sacramento to face the Kings in what could be a game seven for the ages.

Toronto fans speaking to Drake are buzzing this morning after an overtime thriller. The Maple Leafs playoff drought finally over. Look at John Tavares here, spinning, shooting the score in the game winner. Their bench goes wild. But look at the fans, Victor and Amara. This -- they win a playoff series for the first time in 19 years.

They'd lost 11 straight elimination games before this one, but now they're sending the lightning home after three straight Stanley Cup Final appearances.

Finally, check the bottom left of your screen here. This is Cowboy Scout Chris Vaughn in tears after the team tells him that they're going to draft his son Deuce Vaughn in the sixth round, and the Cowboys let dad make the call to his son to have this moment they dreamt about together.




C. VAUGHN: It's going good. This is dad. My phone wasn't working. Look at here, man. You want to come to work with me next week?

D. VAUGHN: I wouldn't mind that at all.


WIRE: In the room, that is what it's all about, those emotional moments.

BLACKWELL: Oh, it's fantastic. Fantastic.



WALKER: And you were mentioning, by the way, his the -- this gentleman is --

WIRE: 5'5.

WALKER: He's shorter than I.

WIRE: Yes.

WALKER: (INAUDIBLE). That's incredible.

WIRE: And he's drafted.

BLACKWELL: Coy, thank you.

WIRE: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Next hour of CNN This Morning starts right now.