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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; Ukraine Prepares Spring Counter-Offensive; New Florida Law Allows Governor To Run For President Without Resigning; School Swaps Literacy Program After Student Scores Drop; Artificial Intelligence Could Change The Future Of Art; Tornado Warnings Issued For Parts Of Florida; TikTok User Writes Musical For Her Disney-Inspired Korean Princess. Aired 8- 9a ET

Aired April 30, 2023 - 08:00   ET



COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: 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. The Cowboys let dad make the call to his son to have this moment they dreamt about together.


CHRIS VAUGHN, DAD: Hey, buddy.

DEUCE VAUGHN, SON: How is it going?

C. VAUGHN: It's going good. This is dad. That my phone isn't working.

Look here, man, you want to come to work with me next week?

D. VAUGHN: I wouldn't mind that.


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

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: It's fantastic. It's fantastic. Coy --

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: You mentioned, by the way, he's -- this gentleman is --

WIRE: Five foot five.

WALKER: Is shorter than I am. That's incredible.

BLACKWELL: Coy, thank you.

WIRE: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Next hour of CNN THIS MORNING starts right now.


WALKER: Good morning, everyone, and welcome to CNN THIS MORNING. It is Sunday, April 30th. I'm Amara Walker.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell.

Thank you for spending part of your Sunday with us.

That's exactly what Coy gets, for trying to show off that he is lifting arms again. He's like, oh, I'm doing so much, I ripped my shirt in the process, and then lost his mike in the process. You are tearing up laughing.

WALKER: Do you have any rips on your shirt?


WALKER: From having those big muscles?

BLACKWELL: I'm still working on arms, too.

All right. Here's what we're watching for you this morning.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is a threat to the community and we need the community's help to hopefully locate him soon.


BLACKWELL: Texas police and the FBI are on the hunt now for a man who allegedly killed five others, neighbors, the youngest victim was just eight years old. The simple request that led, police say up to the deadly shooting.

WALKER: Private U.S. citizens trapped in Sudan amid the conflict are getting out of the country, at least some of them are. The evacuation comes amid growing anger from Americans who felt abandoned by the U.S. government as the conflict broke out. How this convoy came together.

BLACKWELL: A homeland security official tells CNN that detention facilities along the U.S. Mexico border are overcapacity. They concern some officials at this situation will only get much worse in the coming days.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Before, it was -- I can't do it, I can't spell, I can't read, to now, it's, oh, I know how to sound this out, and I know how to read this.


WALKER: Improving literacy in America's classrooms. The new approach the teachers across several states are taking to get kids reading at grade level. And we begin in Texas, where the search continues for a suspect

accused of killing five of his neighbors, including an eight year old child. Investigators are looking for this man, Francisco Oropeza. They say he shot his neighbors after they asked him to stop shooting his rifle outside, so their baby could sleep.

BLACKWELL: The five victims were from Honduras. And overnight, the Honduras foreign minister is demanding justice. He is asking for the full weight of the law to be applied to those who are responsible for the crime.

CNN's Brian Young is joining us now.

Where is this investigation? Do they have any leads?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, yesterday, we were talking about the story, we thought we were tracking the cell phone. At some point, the cell phone signal disappeared. They found the cell phone but they did not find the man. This manhunt is really coming down to putting the picture out and helping authorities in the search.

When you think about this, this is a simple request. Go next door to ask someone to stop shooting their gun upfront. Usually, when we think about a request from a neighbor, it's like, turn your music down. But this turned dramatic in seconds when apparently according to the sheriff's deputy, he walks in and starts shooting.

This is execution style shooting, without a year old being shot above the shoulders. So many questions about this. Yesterday, at this time, they hadn't released this picture. The picture is now out. Authorities were hoping that someone out there would see this may not make the quilting on one want to take a listen to the sheriff about the search that is ongoing right now.


SHERRIFF GREG CAPERS, SAN JACINTO COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: He could be anywhere now. We located the device that we were looking for, found it abandoned. There were some articles of clothing laying around. Tracking dogs from Texas department of corrections picked up the set and then lost that sent in the water or whatever.

So, at this time the area went from five or six square miles, it could be as much as ten or 20 depending on whether or not he crosses the highland mark.


YOUNG: Yeah, Victor and Amara, you have to think about whether not somebody was helping him out. The idea that he got in the water to try to bathe a little bit to get off him, so the dogs would not be able to find him, the fact that he got rid of that cell phone at some point. So, he knew he was probably being tracked.

When you put all this together, at one point, they were talking to his wife. They do consider him armed and dangerous. Let's not forget, there were two children that were also found at the scene below who had been shot and killed who seem to be protecting them with their bodies.


They were shot and killed. They do believe this man is still armed and dangerous, so everything about this is still one of those things that they do not want anyone approaching this man, they do want them to call 911 if they see him.

BLACKWELL: All right. Trauma for those children who are under those women who are killed.

Ryan Young, thank you for the latest on the investigation.

Let's broaden the conversation now about mass shootings in America. Now, more than 170 so far this year. It's still April. There's only been 120 days in 2023.

For a deeper look at gun culture in America, let's bring in now CNN contributor Jennifer Mascia. She's with me.

Jennifer, first let's talk about the type of shooting, because off the shootings we cover in national news is when they are mass shootings that banks or schools. But recently there has been this stretch of people showing up at a driveway, opening indoor. What we saw here, community shootings, retaliatory shootings.

Of course, there are the tens of thousands of suicides bygone. Let's talk about the difference between these types of shootings and what we often talk about.

JENNIFER MASCIA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, most mass shootings in America are these types of shootings that happen away from the public eye. Of course, public interest is always peaked when there's some kind of danger to the public. You know, a bank, some kind of public place where anyone of us could be a victim.

These shootings are happening behind closed doors. Most mass shootings in America are domestic in nature. That is enabled when you have Texas is one of 28 states where there is no background checks on private sales.

It's very easy to get guns, and when you have that and you have a lot of gun sales, which we've seen in the last few years especially since the pandemic, then you have easily accessible guns that are ready when someone is in crisis, whether that is suicide or domestic violence or we have seen over the last few weeks, where there is this brazen, like, gun culture that has almost turned into a paranoia, where people are shooting at their neighbors.

You know, this is something that we have all done, especially me, I live in New York City. You know, could you keep it down? Well, that could cost you your life in the country with 450 million guns as we are seeing.

BLACKWELL: Is this happening more often are we just covering it more often now?

MASCIA: We are covering it more often, which is good. We are covering different types of mass shootings, which is good, because it could affect anyone of us. But the truth is that this is happening more often. I've been covering this for decades and ten years ago there were 300 or something mass shootings a year. Now, there's twice as many.

You know, we've had so far, 176 mass shootings and 120 days. But we have also had mass murders, 17 mass murders. That's four or more people killed. That used to be more than we had in a year, if you remember 15, 20 years ago.

So the pace of gun violence in America is accelerating rapidly.

BLACKWELL: You mentioned one important detail here. This happened in Texas. And you mention the gun laws there. Red state Republican dominated legislature.

But when we look at Tennessee, where the Governor Bill Lee there signing executive order expanding background checks and calls for special sessions to increase gun restrictions, Republican governor, Republican-led legislature will see where the legislature goes.

Is there any potential? I kind of know the answer to this question when I ask it, of any progress on guns in Texas?

MASCIA: I think that even Republican lawmakers are feeling that, you know, they have to answer to their constituents. As we saw last year, when we do get some federal legislation passed that happened because lawmakers were going back to their districts and were being inundated with calls from pro-gun Republican constituents.

When lawmakers feel like they can lose their job over this, they tend to act. However, is it performative? You know, we do have a legislature that is very unlikely to pass any gun regulations in Tennessee and in Texas and in Kentucky. So, you know, it may be that the governor is saying something to just get him over this political hiccup.

But whether the legislature is actually going to act on that is an entirely different thing. And we both know that it is very unlikely to happen.

BLACKWELL: Jennifer Mascia, we always need the context around these shootings. I think you make a good point that it is good that we are covering these now because of how, often as we look at a percentage of the mass shootings in this country, we are seeing a lot of this type of community violence.


Thanks so much.

WALKER: Turning now to the crisis in Sudan. Eyewitnesses tell CNN that they heard gunfire close to the presidential palace in Khartoum early today. You can see the smoke rising over the city there as the fighting continues. Thousands of foreign nationals have left Sudan.

And now, the U.S. has carried out the first convoy to evacuate private American citizens.

CNN Pentagon correspondent Oren Liebermann has the details.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: This convoy for private American citizens out of Sudan comes with growing pressure on the administration and on the State Department to do more. Some of these American citizens in Sudan have spoken with CNN and describe the feeling of frustration and anger at what they see as a lack of action from the administration to get them out.

And that's compounded by the fact we have seen so many other countries go into Sudan and either into Khartoum or near Khartoum, to get out their citizens and some American citizens.

It was last week that we saw the U.S. sending military helicopters to get out U.S. embassy staff, family members and some other nationals. Since then, the administration has maintained it is simply too dangerous to go in, and the situation is not stable enough.

Now we see in the U.S. arranging its convoy. It's not run by military personnel. There is no U.S. military going in. But it is contracted through the Defense Department, with overhead surveillance from DOD and run through the state department.

The State won't say how many people were on this convoy, but they do say that over this convoy, other countries' convoys and other military aircrafts, hundreds of U.S. citizens have evacuated the countries. So they were taking from Khartoum to Port Sudan, hundreds of miles. There are U.S. Navy ships in Port Sudan and then those citizens were taking to Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia, where they will get assistance continuing on their way.

The process played out over several days. On Thursday, those American citizens in Sudan looking to get in touch with the embassy and have field travel documents. We were told essentially to be ready. On Friday got the heads up, have some food and water ready and a travel bag, that's when one convoy left later to try to get all of these some of these American citizens out.

The question, how many more want to get out? The State Department says if you're an American citizen in Sudan and want to leave, get in touch, suggesting there may be more efforts -- Victor and Amara.


WALKER: Sounds like a little bit good news there. Oren Liebermann, thank you.

New developments on the recent migrant surge here in the U.S. A Homeland Security official tells CNN, detention centers at the southern border are beyond capacity. BLACKWELL: In just about two weeks, the Biden administration will

lift pandemic era health restrictions that could spark a larger influx of migrants overwhelming Border Patrol facilities.

CNN's Priscilla Alvarez is at the White House with more.


PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: A Homeland Security official tells me that as of Saturday morning, there are more than 20,000 migrants in Customs and Border Protection custody along the U.S.-Mexico border. That is overcapacity. And while those numbers fluctuate it is an indicator that there is an increasing migrants crossing the U.S. Mexico border ahead of the May 11th date. That is when Title 42, a COVID era border restriction, will end.

And since March of 2020, that restriction has allowed authorities to quickly expel certain migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. They will no longer be able to do that after that May 11th date.

So, that means that the administration will go back to its decade-old protocols. Now, that is difficult at the time of an unprecedented mass migration in the Western hemisphere. And so, administration officials have been putting preparations in motion, that includes, for example, setting up regional processing center so that migrants on their way to the U.S. southern border can apply to come to the U.S. legally, doing the same thing with other programs for other nationality so they don't have to come to the U.S.-Mexico border and can apply to come from where they are.

But they're also reminding migrants they will restore legal consequences when this Title 42 restriction ends. Now, of course, this is an issue that has been a political vulnerability for President Biden and his open time up to criticism from Democrats and Republicans. So, all this is front of mind as the administration moves ahead in trying to manage the flow of migration ahead of that May 11th dates.

But even with all that in place, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas anticipated the next few weeks will be challenging, and also noting that smugglers are prone to spreading misinformation -- Amara, Victor.


WALKER: Priscilla, thank you.

Up next, Ukraine says it is gearing up for a spring counteroffensive against Russia, could have marked a pivotal moment in the conflict.

BLACKWELL: Plus Florida lawmakers passed a measure that will allow Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to launch his bid for president and keep his current job. We'll explain.

WALKER: And her music went viral on TikTok. Now, her Disney style soundtrack featuring a Korean-American princess is being made into a musical. She'll join us to talk about it.



WALKER: Ukraine says its plans for a spring counteroffensive are almost complete, and the operation could begin at anytime. The offensive could be a decisive moment in the conflict, but Russia has had time to prepare its defenses.

BLACKWELL: CNN's chief international security correspondent Nick Paton Walsh is joining us now live from Zaporizhzhia in Ukraine.

Nick, what more do we know about Ukraine's plan?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY: Little, if I'm being totally honest, Victor. And that's exactly the way they like it. But we've seen a lot of signs building up over the past week that something is afoot. You might call it the prelude to the counteroffensive. It might depend on how you to find that world, be the counteroffensive itself beginning in the east of the country.

Suggestions that we may be seeing more numbers of Ukrainian troops landing possibly in probing missions on the east bank of the Dnipro River, which is controlled by Russia. And then, over the past week, we had a number of explosions in that area, too, intensifying in the last 24 hours, around Nova Kakhovka, which it appears to have been a number of hits on important infrastructure around there as well.


Also Melitopol, a Russian occupied town in Ukraine, that is also seen a number of strikes, too. But significantly, an extraordinary blaze in Crimea, in Sevastopol, and the vital diesel storage facility that Russia holds in that occupied area, a blaze, extraordinary to see, took Russian forces there to put it out, and another example of the kind of pinpointed attacks on infrastructure across occupied areas that we are seeing from Ukrainian forces.

We've seen those over the past year certainly. This one in Sevastopol appears to have been a drone that caught through. It's building in frequency and precision and probably part of a wider plan to disrupt Russia's supply lines ahead of a broader land move.

When that comes, we simply don't know when that will come. There was an extraordinary warning from one of the most public figures in Russia side of the war here, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who runs the Wagner mercenary group. He gave an intensive interview in which he essentially said, look, we are running out of ammunition.

We're not getting what we need at all. This potentially puts us in peril to hold on to Bakhmut where a Wagner fighters are doing a lot of fighting over the past months in brutal battles in which they are sent prisoners from Russia to their death there.

But it's an extraordinarily stark warning in which he essentially said to Russian defense chiefs, give me the ammunition I need or we might face catastrophe, not something really you would really expect to hear from Russian officials so close to this vital Ukrainian push.

He has talked a lot of misleading things in the past but this statement is very pointed and the timing of them very key. We're going to see a lot moving in the days ahead here -- Viktor, Amara.

BLACKWELL: Nick Paton Walsh for us there in Zaporizhzhia, watching it all for us, thank you so much.

Coming up, Florida lawmakers are paving the way for the governor there in Florida, Ron DeSantis, to run for president, proposing some controversial changes to law to keep details of his administration from the public. We'll discuss, next.



BLACKWELL: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is likely a step closer to announcing a run for president after a number of new changes to Florida's election law.

WALKER: Yeah, this week, the state's legislature approved a provision that allows a Republican governor to run for president without having to resign his position.

CNN's Steve Contorno has more on the steps state lawmakers are taking to clear the way for DeSantis in 2024.


STEVE CONTORNO, CNN REPORTER: Amara and Victor, Republicans in Florida are paving the way for Governor Ron DeSantis to run for president one bill at a time. One measure that is moving ahead in the state legislature would exempt travel records from the state's robust public disclosure laws.

This bill would also make it easier for DeSantis to block records related to his visitors at the governor's mansion. Another bill would change the reporting requirements for state political committees from once a month to once every quarter. It is in one of these political committees that Governor DeSantis has stashed $85 million which is expected to be used toward a future political ambition.

And another bill that passed Friday, lawmakers are moving ahead with a change to the states resign-to-run law, to clarify that governor in Florida does not have to resign his seat to run for vice president or president.

This obviously would help Governor DeSantis hold his current job if he decides to run for president next year. Even if he gets the nomination, he can stay in office.

All of this comes as Governor DeSantis is laying the groundwork for a presidential campaign while taking his own steps to protect his public records from nondisclosure. Lately, his office has claimed executive privilege in a number of court cases to block the release of records and to keep certain staff from testifying.

Now, it is not typical for governors to claim executive privilege. That is something that has historically been reserved for presidents. And none of DeSantis predecessors have ever used that as an excuse to block the release of records. But Governor DeSantis has to use this on multiple occasions. And as we are seeing in Florida, it is becoming a trend as he gets ready to run for office that we see a watering down of the states robust public disclosure laws -- Amara and Victor.


BLACKWELL: Steve Contorno, thanks so much, for setting the table.

Let's discuss now with former Republican State Representative Juan- Carlos Planas of Florida. He is also an adjunct professor of law at Saint Thomas University.

Good to have you back. Let's start with clearing the way.


BLACKWELL: Good morning to you.

Clearing the way for governor to run for president while he is still serving as governor. There are people across the country who are saying, well, plenty of people run for president while they are in office. President Obama was in the Senate. President George W. Bush was governor of Texas.

Do you think this is a big deal that this has been changed?

PLANAS: I mean, the fact they are passing this is probably the only good news that DeSantis has had in what has probably been the worst week of his political career. But the problem with the change in resign-to-run is this is just in my memory since 2002 when I served in the House, this is the fifth time it's been changed.

We eliminated -- we created the federal exemption when I was in the state house, and then it changed back. This is the fifth change. The fact that, you know, Republican used this either to block or to allow folks that they like or don't like to run for office, I think it's what looks horrible. The fact that, you know, we can't just have one law and stick with it, and they seem to keep changing the rules.

I mean, this basically shows how DeSantis bullies the legislature to do what he wants.

BLACKWELL: I want to come back to what you call it the worst week of his political career because he was overseas. He wasn't even in Florida.

But one more on the laws here, and this law that would conceal information about the governor's travel, his meetings at the governor's mansion, Republicans say, listen, you've got a young governor with a young family. They are trying to protect security details and travel habits -- those who supported in the state house.

You say what about that?

JUAN CARLOS PLANAS, ADJUNCT PROFESSOR OF LAW. ST. THOMAS UNIVERSITY: Well, I mean he had a very public European trip, also to Asia. His book tour has been very public.

The truth is that Florida has very expansive public record laws in part because we put it into our constitution. Our Sunshine Amendment back in the early, early 70s after some scandals.

The truth is that if he wants to shield his children there are ways to do that without having to give away his travel schedule. This again is him trying to hide his political travel.

BLACKWELL: Yes. As a reporter who worked in West Palm Beach and Jacksonville, the Sunshine Laws are remarkably broad there for reporters.

Now let's get to this week. He traveled to Japan, Israel, South Carolina, the U.K. The reviews are not great. Politico spoke with attendees of this business meeting in London. The words that came out -- "horrendous, low wattage". One person said there wasn't any stardust. Another said nobody in the room was left thinking this man is going places. The best they got from someone was "fine".

Ok. So not great reviews. How much does this matter when for many in the Republican Party, the question is can Ron DeSantis beat former President Trump?

PLANAS: I think you have to take it in the totality of the circumstances. He starts off the week with a number of -- and you and I spoke about this last Sunday. He starts off with a number of members of Congress already endorsing Trump over him.

He ends up getting sued by Disney in the middle of the week.

The legislature is starting to show that they are not going to go with everything he wants hook, line and sinker. And then it's not just that he had horrible reviews in Britain, it's that he had no splashes whatsoever in Japan or Israel.

You know, a good sign of this is he always has these anonymous Twitter trolls and they were in full force after the Disney lawsuit. Anybody who criticized, you can always tell when these folks are cornered by the way that they're reacting.

I think he is realizing that it was not a very good week for him politically.

BLACKWELL: All right. Former Republican State Representative Juan Carlos Planas, always good to have you --

PLANAS: Thank you. BLACKWELL: -- from the Florida perspective there.

PLANAS: Thank you, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Enjoy this Sunday.

WALKER: Still ahead, some schools are changing their approach to teaching kids how to read after test scores show about a third of kids are reading below grade level.



WALKER: Just one in three (SIC) Fourth Graders is able to read at their grade level. That is according to a Department of Education assessment and some schools across the country are using what could be seen as a flawed method to teach reading to young learners.

BLACKWELL: Our Athena Jones visited one school where teachers went back to the basics of phonics and saw a difference in their students.



ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Before this school year 8-year-old Dream James (ph) was struggling to read. Now --

DEBORAH JAMES, DREAM'S MOTHER: She is reading everything.

DREAM JAMES: I just like to be him (ph). That's all.

DEBORAH JAMES: Before it was I can't do it. I can't spell. I can't read, too. Now it is I know how to sound this out and I know how to read this.

JONES: The third grader at Panther Valley Elementary School in rural Pennsylvania had a hard time learning the basics of reading. Her school had introduced a new curriculum a few years ago based on the balanced literacy theory, an approach used in some classrooms nationwide for over two decades, rather than learning to sound out letter combinations also called phonics, teachers focused on what's known as cueing, instructing children to use context and other clues to figure out words.

AMANDA KUSKO, THIRD GRADE TEACHER: This just explains to them what each syllable actually means.

JONES: Teacher, Amanda Kusko at first embraced this new approach.

KUSKO: But then as we started kind of digging deeper and getting into the instruction, you know, we sort of noticed something was missing.

JONES: So how did it work? KUSKO: As they are reading they are supposed to look at the picture. Oh, what's this word? Well, look at the picture. Do you maybe know a word part? What could that word be? What word would make center (ph)? So they weren't actually reading the letters, they weren't reading the words. They were guessing.

JONES: That didn't work.

ROBERT PALAZZO, PRINCIPAL, PANTHER VALLEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: We realized very quickly that students weren't acquiring the skills to actually sound out words, to call (ph) the words, spell words. They weren't actually learning to read.

JONES: By year end, just a quarter of Panther Valley's Third Graders could read at grade level. In fact, much of the country is facing a child literacy crisis. Just one in three Fourth Graders was at or above proficiency in reading last year with nearly four in ten performing below basic level.

DAWN BROOKHART, AIM INSTITUTE FOR LEARNING AND RESEARCH: It's a social issue for all of us. And it's an equity issue across America.

JONES: But a shift is under way. "Education Week" reports over the last decade at least 29 states and the District of Columbia have begun to require an evidence-based approach to reading instruction.


BROOKHART: Mississippi started back in 2013 when they enacted legislation and policies around requiring teacher prep programs to base their training on the science of reading. From 2013 fast forward to 2019, they have 10 points gained.

JONES: At Panther Valley Elementary Principal Robert Palazzo also changed course, replacing balanced literacy after trying it for just a year and a half.




PALAZZO: We have seen students in Third Grade with decoding skills, meaning sounding out words increase from 20 percent at grade level in the beginning of the year to approximately 60 percent currently.

JONES: Dream began the year reading at a First Grade level and is now closer to a middle or end of Second Grade level. She and her mother couldn't be more proud.

DEBORAH JAMES: Now, this is what she wants. This is what she likes. She loves to read. She's eager like, I can't wait to start Fourth Grade. I can't wait to -- you know, to do all this because she is not low self-esteem anymore.


WALKER: All right. Athena Jones, great reporting. Thank you.

Artificial intelligence is evolving rapidly and becoming part of almost every industry. One artist shows us how AI could change the future of art in today's "Innovate".


ALEXANDER REBEN, ARTIST: I've always been interested in how humans and machines work together.

I'm Alexander Reben (ph) and I'm an artist and a roboticist. I started my research looking into social robotics. That's robots that like talk to people or (INAUDIBLE) look in different ways.


REBEN: When I work with an AI there is many different types of processes like one could be (INAUDIBLE) curating (ph) a data set. Another could be curating output and then expanding from there.

So this is an interactive installation that allows visitors to my show to make their own artwork just by speaking their imagination. Unicorn in space with a cupcake.

My style is a bit eclectic. And I think now sort of my style is driven by the feedback I get from AI.

A lot of people have seen AI art just in a digital sense but I've been liking to bring it into the physical realm, working with like stream (ph) modelers and casters and sculptors. Involving a lot of humans in that chain to me is quite interesting.

I have worked with galleries before, various museums and different types of events. I think anything can be art depending on how people perceive art.

I'd like to see AI art enable more people to kind of express themselves and their ideas. I think AI is going to be powerful as a tool to spark imagination.




WALKER: We are following a developing story out of Florida. We now have tornado warnings in effect for parts of the state.

CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar is tracking them for us. So where are the warnings?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Right. So most of them are still in that central to southern region of Florida. All of this red area is still under a tornado watch until 2:00 p.m. Eastern time today.

We've got a tornado warning right now around Port St. Lucie and a severe thunderstorm warning just south of that headed over towards West Palm Beach. A lot of these are very fast spin-up tornadoes, meaning they're on the ground and then back up again very quickly.

So keep in mind that's likely still going to continue through the morning not only for Florida but we also have the potential for some severe storms across areas of the Carolinas, Virginia and up to Maryland and Delaware again.

Back to you, guys.

WALKER: Allison Chinchar, thank you.

Well, for better or for worse your child may be or may become obsessed with Disney Princesses at some point and researchers say these fairytales can have an impact on how some young ladies view themselves in society and even their self esteem, especially when girls of color don't see someone that looks like them.

Sure there's Princess Jasmine, Mulan, Pocahontas, Moana, and Tiana but for one Harvard Theater student that wasn't good enough. There wasn't a princess story that spoke to her Korean-American heritage so she decided to create her own. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All of the waves in the world can't rock me I'm on a mission and just watch me go. Dive, all that's left is to dive. don't forget to close your eyes


WALKER: I love that song. It's so catchy. And that is songwriter and composer Julia Riew with her viral hit "Dive". The song is now the title of a musical that's being developed into a musical. And a book based on a Korean folk tale called "Shimcheong", "The Blind Man's Daughter". That's how it will be translated.

Julia is with me now helping us kick off Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month beginning tomorrow.

First off, Julia, it's so nice to see you. I found you on social media because that song was super catchy and I love that you were able to create your own Korean princess.

You wrote the song, you composed the music, you sang it. And you say this is a Korean princess that you wished you could have seen as a child. Tell me why.

JULIA RIEW, SINGER/SONGWRITER: Absolutely. I think growing up Disney, of course impacted me just the way it impacted so many of my friends. I think that representation is so important for the way that we see ourselves growing up. And that was something that I never really had and it's always been my

dream to write for Disney and of course writing the Korean Disney Princess is part of that dream. So after a while, I just decided to go ahead and do it myself.


WALKER: Incredible, your talent and your drive to do that. I mean your musical is now called "Dive". It was picked up by the Massachusetts- American Repertory Theater. They've signed you and they will help you develop that musical. You'll be working alongside your role models, including a Tony award-winning director.

What does that mean for someone like you at your age just starting your musical theater career?

RIEW: I would say to say that it's a dream come true would honestly be an understatement. I have been such a fan of Diane's work ever since high school really when my high school put on "Pippin" my senior year. That was one of my (INAUDIBLE) and all throughout college completely just so admire her work.

So to be able to sit down in a room and work with her and talk about stories and now along with Diane's son as well, who is just a brilliant, brilliant playwright and TV show runner, it's really just a dream come true.

WALKER: How soon before we see "Dive" on Broadway -- seriously?

RIEW: So writing a musical takes a lot of time. Sometimes people say that the average period is around seven years, but we're hoping to follow our own timeline. We're completely reworking the story, so it's going to be a little bit, but we'll let you know as soon as possible.

WALKER: Tell me a little bit about the story because there are so many Korean folk tales. You chose "Shimcheong" which is about this young girl who throws herself into the depths of the sea to save her father's blindness.

RIEW: Right. So the original folk tale is a little bit different from our interpretation. The reason that it spoke to me is really that it's a story about reunion and a story about trying to find the way home.

And I think for me, especially third generation Korean-American, that message spoke to me so much because I've been trying to reclaim my identity as a Korean-American and trying to understand where home really is, or if it's even a place.

And so that's really where the story spoke to me the most and that's our launching point.

W5; Quickly, before we go, what was the response? I mean did you expect the kind of response that you did by creating your own music, your own musical on TikTok like that. And what's the response been?

RIEW: It was my hope that some people would see it, but I had absolutely no idea how many people would see it and how large of a community we would reach. And it's truly just been the warmest possible hug from any thing you could possibly receive.

WALKER: Julia Riew, it's so good to see you. I know you also have a book deal. So a big congratulations to you. We'll be watching out for your big star there on Broadway. Thank you so much.

Back after this.

RIEW: Thank you so much.



WALKER: We are just one week away from the coronation of King Charles III.

BLACKWELL: This week on "THE WHOLE STORY", CNN's Erica Hill travels to London for a look at what the moment and the man mean in a modern world.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is a great deal of similarity, I think, between the Prince of Wales at times raging against the machine and saying, well, I want to do this, and I want to talk about that. And by the way, I know what I'm talking about, and I'm not afraid to say it.

Who does that remind you of? Reminds me massively of Harry.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In his book, "Spare", Harry writes that Charles "had always been discouraged from hard work," he told me. "He'd been that the heir shouldn't do too much, shouldn't try too hard for fear of outshining the monarch. But he'd rebelled."

Is Charles a rebel? Does anyone feel he is?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wouldn't call him a rebel. I think that he has developed a sense of self-awareness and gone at things in a different way, but I wouldn't say that that would be -- I wouldn't call that rebelling.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he would like to see himself as a rebel and a revolutionary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: King Charles is not rebellious -- certainly not revolutionary. I wish he was. But I doubt he'd do anything to (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Charles had points when he was absolutely raging against the machines in exactly the same way Harry did. There are so many parallels.


BLACKWELL: "THE REIGN BEGINS, CHARLES AND CAMILLA". One whole story, one whole hour airs tonight at 8:00 p.m.

A fun night in Washington, everybody looking good at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. The event is held every year to celebrate the freedom of the press.

WALKER: Comedian and "The Daily Show" correspondent Roy Wood Jr. delivered this year's roast and he spared no one, not even President Biden.


ROY WOOD JR. "THE DAILY SHOW" CORRESPONDENT: Many of you, I don't even think you should be working that 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. Begging.


BLACKWELL: It's probably the funniest line of his whole stand-up. But of course the president had some jokes too. Listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I get that age is a completely reasonable issue. It's on everybody's mind. And everyone -- by everyone, I mean the "New York Times". Headline: "Biden's advanced age a big issue. Trump's however, is not." So that was the "New York Times" pitch spot. I apologize.

I had a lot of Ron DeSantis jokes ready. But Mickey Mouse beat the hell out of me and got there first.


WALKER: That's my first time hearing that. That was funny, too.

BLACKWELL: Yes, I think they were both really funny last night. There are some years where it's like, oh, it wasn't great --

WALKER: All flat.

BLACKWELL: Yes, yes. But Roy Wood Jr. was really good last night.

WALKER: He was on it. He was really on it.


BLACKWELL: Especially the jokes about Dominion and Smartmatic where he said let me just say right now, Dominion is my preferred voting system. If you haven't seen it, go online and find it. It was really worth it.

WALKER: Well, it was good to be with you. I know you're off to a grand vacation.

BLACKWELL: You tell all my business on television.

WALKER: I'm not telling everybody. I'm not telling them where you're going.

BLACKWELL: All right. Thank you so much for joining us this morning.

WALKER: That's why he's in such a great mood, you guys..

BLACKWELL: Have a great Sunday.

WALKER: "STATE OF THE UNION" starts right now.