Return to Transcripts main page
CNN This Morning
Border Communities Bracing For Migrant Influx Ahead Of Title 42's Planned End; Lori Vallow Daybell Found Guilty On All Counts; U.S. Man Charged In New York City Subway Chokehold Death; Explosion Reported In Russian-Occupied City Of Luhansk; Germany Promises $3 Billion In Military Hardware To Ukraine; Newly Released Video Shows Officers' Response To Richneck Shooting. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired May 13, 2023 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone and welcome to CNN This Morning. It is Saturday, May 13. I'm Amara Walker.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Welcome to the best day of the week.
WALKER: Your favorite day.
BLACKWELL: Nobody just like Saturday.
WALKER: No one just likes Saturdays.
BLACKWELL: Even if you have to work, Saturday is pretty cool. Good heavy along. Here's what we're watching this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have to admit it's nice to be able to breathe one more time. But we can't let our guard down because we still know it's coming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: City leaders and workers along the U.S.-Mexican border say they are bracing for an influx of migrants after the COVID air border policy known as Title 42 expired this week. The concerns from officials and the legal challenges the White House is now facing after letting the policy expire.
WALKER: Quilty on all counts and Idaho jury convicted Lori Vallow Daybell in the murder of her children. The evidence they considered and what Daybell's family had to say after the verdict.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beyond just want to take out territory back. (END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: New explosions are being reported in eastern Ukraine this morning and an area occupied by Russian forces will take you there to the front lines as Ukrainian troops work to recapture territory taken by Russian troops there.
WALKER: Plus, the new recommendations that women should start getting mammograms much earlier than previously suggested the reason for the proposed changes coming up.
BLACKWELL: We started this morning at the U.S. southern border with Mexico for now communities they are not reporting the historic influx of migrants many expected after Title 42 expected.
But a surge could still be on the way. Several U.S. cities have declared states of emergency during these fears of potential overcrowding at border facilities. And the White House has vowed tougher consequences for illegal entry into the US.
WALKER: President Biden's border plan is already facing new legal hurdles after a federal judge blocked his administration from quickly releasing migrants without giving them a court date.
And already challenging humanitarian crisis is on the brink of becoming worse. At least that's the expectation and homeland security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas says Congress says to blame.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: The two primary constraints are as follows. One, a fundamentally broken immigration system that hasn't been fixed for more than two decades, and we need Congress to act. Two, we need Congress to provide us with the resources that we need that we requested and that we haven't received.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKERL CNN's Ed Lavandera is in El Paso, Texas with more.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): After Title 42 ended late Thursday night some migrants discovered they didn't make it in time. This father and son from Venezuela returned away but he says the goal is to get to the other side to find a way to reach the United States. But we'll have to wait and figure it out.
MAYORKAS: We've been very, very clear that there are lawful, safe and orderly pathways to seek relief in the United States and if one arrives at our southern border when it's going to face tougher consequences.
LAVANDERA: In the days leading up to last night's deadline, border officials saw a surge of migrants, more than 23,000 are now in CBP custody down slightly from earlier this week. But the end of Title 42 did not trigger the historic wave of migrants rushing to cross the border Friday that was predicted.
In El Paso, thousands were waiting to be processed outside of border gate.
CHIEF RAUL ORTIZ, U.S. BORDER PATROL: Prioritizing those most vulnerable populations. We're doing this as quickly and efficiently and as safely as we possibly can.
LAVANDERA: That number now down to a couple 100 says the city's mayor.
MAYOR OSCAR LEESER, EL PASO, TEXAS: After yesterday's spike at about 1,800 it came in yesterday. We've not seen any additional big numbers come in through the El Paso sector.
JOHN MARTIN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, THE OPPORTUNITY CENTER FOR THE HOMELESS: We had lane twos or TAs whatever term you want. He is literally all along the wall.
LAVANDERA: John Martin runs a network of shelters in El Paso and said the crowds have dramatically dwindled in recent days.
MARTIN: As of about 11 o'clock this morning. We had no new arrivals.
LAVANDERA: While he was surprised at the lack of influx the morning after Title 42 lifted, he doesn't expect it will stay this way.
MARTIN: I have to admit it's nice to be able to breathe one more time. But we can't let our guard down because we still know it's coming.
LAVANDERA (on camera0: In January, U.S. Customs and Border Protection opened this massive tent processing facility in the El Paso area, about 20 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border is designed to be able to hold about 1,000 migrants at a time.
And as you can see, construction crews are working to expand, and we're told by CBP officials in June they'll have room for another 1,000 migrants to hold at this facility.
LAVANDERA (voiceover): In Brownsville, dozens of buses lined up near an intake facility. But a major humanitarian group in the area tells CNN they only had one bus of migrants arrived today.
About 155,000 migrants were estimated to be in shelters and on streets in Mexico waiting to enter the U.S. a source familiar with federal estimate said. Migrants will still risk their lives to make it to the U.S. and from now on people who crossed the border illegally will face a tougher path to requesting asylum, many will be deported, like this group who were shackled and led onto a repatriation flight like this one leaving for Guatemala on Thursday.
LAVANDERA (on camera): In the days leading up to the end of Title 42, this alleyway behind a migrant shelter in El Paso was packed with migrants sleeping outside. All of that has changed. And what several migrant advocates tell us is that for now, they think that migrants on the Mexican side of the border are reassessing the border landscape trying to figure out when the next best opportunity might be to cross into the US. Ed Lavandera CNN, El Paso, Texas.
WALKER: Another federal judge, this time in Texas is being asked to stop the Biden administration from using a new policy that would release migrants from custody without a court hearing or formal charges if Border Patrol facilities get too crowded.
BLACKWELL: Well, a federal judge in Florida blocked the policy Thursday. CNN's Jasmine Wright is live this morning at the White House. Jasmine, how is the Biden administration reacting to the ruling?
JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, Victor Well, the White House is accusing Republicans of sabotage, as the President and this White House face a very challenging moment. Remember, President Biden continues to receive incoming criticism from both parties over his handling of the border.
So now the administration is getting a bit of reprieve as we just heard a talk about as the -- as even though they are seeing elevated numbers crossing at the border, they're not seeing that surge that was once expected.
But in their months long planning they had put in place processes to really try to speed up getting folks process in these custody centers and getting them out on the streets something that that tool that was blocked in Florida is able to do really trying to figure out ways to get more people out of the system, more people onto the streets so that they can make room in these facilities for more of their incoming and so the White House did not react kindly to that Thursday order.
Listen to Karine Jean-Pierre, White House press secretary here on Friday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It sabotage, it's pure and simple. That's how that reads to us. It is a harmful ruling, and the Department of Justice is going to fight it. Republican elected officials continue to play games here. They continue to have political stunts, and they don't want to solve this problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WRIGHT: Now, we heard those tough words from Karine. But of course, sources have told CNN that any type of litigation was kind of already baked into the calculus when officials were putting together some of these processing plans to try to get people out of the system quicker. Now, of course, they know that they're not always going to see this sort of lower numbers than expected at the border.
So officials are looking ahead to see what more they can do in the following days and weeks to try to continue to keep those processing times lower as they expect more people could possibly come to the border. Victor.
BLACKWELL: Jasmine Wright for us at the White House there. Thanks so much. Let's talk about the politics of all this now with CNN political commentator and spectrum news political anchor Errol Louis. Errol, good to see you.
We heard from Karine Jean-Pierre, she says that Republicans are playing political games here. Do you think that the White House was prepared for the criticism coming from inside the party? You got moderate saying that the administration is not doing enough? You've got some Democrats on the left of the President saying that they're doing too much with this new Title 8. I guess infrastructure that's over now, asylum seekers.
What do you see is the White House posturing as it relates to what they hear from their own party?
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning, Victor. The White House is in a very, very tough situation, because what is happening is that even those who are processed and then released, OK, they're not in federal custody anymore. Well, where are they? Well, they're on buses heading to New York and to Chicago into Washington DC, where there are Democratic mayors who are feeling overcrowded and underfunded and telling their constituents and telling the White House that there's got to be more federal money if you're going to buy have tens of thousands of people showing up looking for help and that's real.
So yes, this is a national problem. It's got national political implications. And the White House is bearing the brunt of a lot of it. There's, there's, it's almost a no-win situation, if you think about it, if you're tough at the border, and you make sure that people are not coming in and you take all of these steps to either detain or to repatriate them, you get one kind of criticism.
If you try to let them in, the Republicans will take you to court, and you've got another kind of a problem. So that's where we are. I mean, this is what happens 20 years after you failed to solve this problem.
BLACKWELL: And you know, you mentioned 20 years after failing to solve it. There is now the Biden border crisis. There was a Trump border crisis. There was the Obama border crisis with the unaccompanied minors coming in. There was in 2006, there was the flood that came in during the George W. Bush administration, they -- what secure the fence of build the Fence Act that was passed. How much does this mean to voters? Does this shift voters at all what they see? Or is it just the political cudgel that's used in Washington?
LOUIS: Well, you know, it's interesting that the politicians are responding to the immediate crisis, because that immediate crisis is what the voters most want to see action on. You know, it's one thing to try and talk to somebody about, well, who should we elect and who should control Congress or the White House with regard to foreign policy and Central America, or how to deal with Venezuela and so forth. That's an abstraction.
On the other hand, a bunch of people who are sitting downtown, you know, taking up resources from the local government, that's not an abstraction if they're filling up the homeless shelters in New York City or in Chicago.
And so I think, where we're just scrambling. We are treating just as you beautifully laid out a 20-year problem as if it was something that just happened last week. And that ensures maximum waste of money and ensures no solution to the problem and ensures that the politicians are going to have all of the wrong incentives to deal with the problem that's immediately in front of them. And that was the root cause of all of it.
BLACKWELL: Well, speaking of an immediate cause, let's talk about the debt ceiling talks postpone the face-to-face talks between the president and congressional leaders on Friday, but the staffs are still talking.
If they are negotiating their talks today, that suggests that they're negotiating what to cut. I mean, if you got one side saying nothing and the other side saying something, if there are discussions, it's what will be cut? How do you see where the debt ceiling talks are now?
LOUIS: Sure, look, the first round of discussion is, hey, I'm going to get up and walk away from this table. It's the same as if you're at a used car lot or at a flea market on the weekend. Right. So OK, we're past that phase.
Now, we are quietly hearing that. There are staff members who are talking about price. They're talking now about how much we'll be caught. The state of play, as I understand it right now is that the Republicans are insisting on cuts, other than Defense and Veterans benefits.
And so they want 8 percent cuts, while the White House wants to increase spending by about 5 percent. So 8 percent cuts on one side, 5 percent growth on the other side, they're going to arrive somewhere down the middle, and there's going to be a lot of pain and a lot of controversy in between.
One other part of this, though, Victor, that's worth keeping in mind is they're also now discussing whether or not this is going to last beyond the presidential election, meaning is this whatever agonizing compromise comes out of this will it last one year, or will it last two, so that we don't have to be back at the table talking about this all over again. But make no mistake, there are going to be cuts in some federal programs. A lot of people are going to be very unhappy about that.
BLACKWELL: Yes. Let's talk. George Santos. It's been a week for Jordan Santos. So Wednesday indicted on 13 counts, wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds making false statements. Thursday, he then confessed to stealing checks in Brazil have to pay about $5,000 in restitution and fines. McCarthy -- Speaker McCarthy now says that he won't support his reelection bid. So that's something there from the speaker. And yes, indictment is not conviction, Senator Menendez was indicted and acquitted and reelected by double digits. But should we have expected -- would you have expected more from Speaker McCarthy then just well, I won't support his reelection?
LOUIS: No, no, no, a vote, the vote is a vote. McCarthy needs every vote that he can. He had a very narrow margin by which he became speaker. And despite what everybody might be saying Republicans are relying on this speaker to be loyal to all of his members in the Republican conference until the very last minute. It's understood that that is part of the job you stand with your members until and unless they are actually convicted.
BLACKWELL: All right, Errol Louis, always good to have you to start on a Saturday morning. Thanks so much.
WALKER: Still ahead. The man accused of killing a homeless street artist after holding him in a chokehold is now charged with second degree manslaughter. But his lawyers claim it was self-defense. Can they prove their case in court?
Plus, Ukraine appears to gain ground as forces gear up for a counteroffensive against Russia. We're going to have the latest on the conflict and a new recommendation for when some women should get screened for breast cancer. We'll tell you who it could impact.
BLACKWELL: An Idaho woman has been found guilty of killing her two children and conspiring to kill her husband's ex-wife. Lori Vallow Daybell was charged with murder after her 17-year-old daughter and 7- year-old son went missing in 2019 and were found dead months later in June 2020.
WALKER: Her husband Chad Daybell is also facing charges. He is still awaiting trial.
Now the three-year long investigation included bizarre claims of zombie children and apocalyptic religious beliefs. CNN's Camila Bernal has more.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Answer guilty. Answer guilty.
CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Lori Vallow Daybell stood almost motionless as one guilty verdict after another was announced. She was found guilty on all murder, conspiracy and grand theft charges.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The jury and the court those (INAUDIBLE) been unanimous verdict.
BERNAL: The jury's decision closes the book on the month-long trial for the Idaho mother, who prosecutors say was motivated by money, power and sex to kill her two children and conspired to kill her husband's wife at the time. And while she decided not to testify, her lawyers argued she was innocent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen, just tell people what's happening. There's people around the country praying for your children.
BERNAL: The harrowing case, which involves a tangled web of family debts, and doomsday religious beliefs began in September of 2019. When two Vallow Daybell's children from a previous marriage 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and seven-year-old Joshua or JJ were last seen.
Shortly afterwards, she married Chad Daybell, whose wife died in her sleep just weeks before Chad and Lori's wedding in Hawaii. When authorities conducted a welfare check on JJ in November of 2019, police say Vallow Daybell told him her son was with a friend in Arizona. They returned the next day with a search warrant, only to find the couple had vanished.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just tell us where your kids are.
BERNAL: The couple was located in Hawaii in January of 2020. But JJ and Tylee his whereabouts remained a mystery.
After a month-long search law enforcement located the remains of the children at Chad Daybell's property in southeast Idaho.
ASSISTANT CHIEF GARY HAGEN, REXBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT: Chad Daybell, who resides at that residence has also been taken into custody.
BERNAL: Jay Bell and Vallow Daybell were ultimately indicted for murder in May of 2021. Chad Daybell's trial is being held separately. He's pleaded not guilty.
The couple's apocalyptic religious worldview was a focus throughout the trial. Prosecutors say they believe they were religious figures who use the system of reading people as light or dark.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't get in touch with kids.
BERNAL: But before the children went missing, Vallow Daybell's estranged husband Charles told police about her beliefs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She thinks she's a resurrected dating a god.
BERNAL: He filed for divorce. But prosecutors say Vallow Daybell's brother Alex Cox shot and killed Charles in July of 2019. She's facing a conspiracy to commit murder charge in Arizona in connection with that killing. Cox died in December of 2019.
Hearing the verdict was emotional for many who followed this tragic case, but perhaps none more so than family.
ULARRY WOODCOCK, GRANDFATHER OF VALLOW CHILDREN: JJ, I love you. Tylee, papa loves you.
BERNAL (on camera): And the judge said sentencing would happen in about three months she could face life in prison. JJs's and Tyler's grandfather, he spoke out after the verdict saying that he's going to be there for that sentencing to ask Lori, why and for what.
Now the defense they did not comment after the verdict. But the prosecution put out a statement saying they're pleased with this verdict. They also said they couldn't comment on this case, because Chad Daybell still hasn't been tried. They did though express their commitment to justice for all of these victims. Victor, Amara.
BLACKWELL: All right, Camila Barnaul. Thank you.
A New York man who held a homeless street performer in a fatal chokehold is now out on bail.
WALKER: Daniel Penny surrendered to police on Friday morning. The 24- year-old former Marine is charged with second degree manslaughter and the death of Jordan Neely earlier this month.
Now, Neely was a street performer who did Michael Jackson impersonations. He was restrained on a subway in Manhattan after shouting he was hungry and thirsty. He had nothing to live for.
Let's bring in CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson to talk more about this case and others. Hey there, Joey. Good morning to you. So the Neely family's attorney says that Penny should be charged with murder rather than second degree manslaughter. What do you make of the day's decision?
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, Amara, good morning to you. I think the DA's decision on these facts and under these circumstances was appropriate for the following reason.
Clearly, he did not need to die that is you know, Mr. Penny, this should -- would not have been a circumstance where he did die he did.
And so the question becomes what do you do as a prosecutor to find accountability as we look at the now defendant walking out in the courtroom? And I think in murder, what the prosecutor concluded is that you have to show, Amara, a specific intent that it was your goal, it was your aim, it was your objective to cause the death in this particular case.
I think the prosecutor assessed that and said, you know what, that would be a very difficult thing to prove. On the other hand, if you charge secondary manslaughter, which the prosecutor did charge, you have to establish that you were reckless, what does that mean? That you consciously disregarded that your behavior would result in death. What is that behavior? If you leave someone in an extended chokehold for several minutes, certainly, you could appreciate or should appreciate that they might die.
And I think that under these circumstances is a far easier thing to prove, not that anything would be easy here, but certainly under all of the facts that we know, leaving the chokehold, was it proportionate to what was happening? Was it appropriate? Was it necessary? Was it reckless? And that's what the jurors are going to have to hone in on if and when we get there. So that charged seems to be, Amara, to charge the charge in this case?
WALKER: Yes. And to that point, because I witnesses can be seen in the video of the incident telling Penny he was going to kill nearly. There was a lot of concern. But Penny's lawyers say their client was merely trying to protect himself and others on the train until help arrived. Do you think the court will see this as self-defense or excessive force? What do you think?
JACKSON: Yes. So you know, the jurors are going to have a lot to evaluate if and when we get there. And in doing that, what they're going to have to look at are few things number one, what was the immediacy of the danger and in the immediacy of the danger and an immediate fear, who is in immediate fear you have a right if you're engaged in self-defense, not only to protect yourself, but to protect others.
So if you look and see that under what all the witnesses are saying, what in addition to statements was he doing at the time, because that's Jordan Penny, that is. Did anybody really believe that they would die, number two, were the actions reasonable as it relates to the descendant grabbing him and putting him in a chokehold for extended period of time. Number three, were those actions proportionate and leaving you in the chokehold for that long, could you not know that there will be a death here?
And so all of that being evaluated the jurors will have to conclude whether that constitutes the reckless murder, which manslaughter in the second degree is on the New York State law.
WALKER: So let's turn now to another story that we've been following this week. And that is Joran van der Sloot. And you may remember that name, he's the prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Natalie Holloway, remember that in Aruba?
Well, van der Sloot has been serving time in Peru for the murder of a different woman, a Peruvian woman. He is now going to be extradited to the U.S. to face extortion and wire fraud charges, these federal charges. Talk to us more about these charges, because it does have to do with Natalie Holloway ways disappearance.
JACKSON: It does and this is a very big deal. Why? Because you would recall that years ago, right, we know that he, as you noted, is in jail for the 2010 killing and the 2012 conviction where he got 28 years of Stephanie Flores. That's a Peruvian woman.
And so there was a debate around about that time, but he also did is we look at him there is he called the mother Beth Holloway, Natalie Holloway's Mother, hey, I know where your daughter is. Oh, do you really? Yes. And if you give me 20 -- $250,000 I will let you know exactly where her body is.
And so what Beth Holloway, Natalie Holloway's mom did is contacted the FBI rightfully, sent him $100 initially, sent him another $15,000 which she wired to the Netherlands, as we look there, and Natalie Holloway. And then subsequent to that gave him another 10,000 in person.
We of course know that he led her attorney to where he said the body was that ended up being a lie. That's what we call extortion. That's what we call fraud. Last point. What happened was is it was felt or believed that he would serve his full prison sentence in Peru which would end around to 2 --2,040, 2,038 until he could face those fraud charges.
No. There was an agreement reached for his extradition such that he will be brought to the United States be held accountable for these charges and after that's adjudicated, he will be brought back. So Beth Holloway certainly is very pleased at the fact that he will face accountability here and now
WALKER: What a horrible emotional roller coaster she has been put through though. Joey Jackson, appreciate your expertise and all this. Thank you.
WALKER: Still to come, Ukrainian troops are making gains in Bakhmut and U.S. officials say they are preparing for an even larger advance.
BLACKWELL: Well, now to Russia's war on Ukraine. Early this morning, more explosions were heard in the Russian occupied city of Luhansk. Witnesses say the windows were blown out of homes, you could see the plume of smoke that was over the city. Now, just yesterday, the city's industrial zone was struck by two missiles, six children were injured in that attack.
WALKER: This morning as Ukraine prepares for a Summer counteroffensive, western nations are supplying the country with more assistance. Germany has just announced it will be sending $3 billion in military hardware to Ukraine, that includes 30 Leopard tanks and over 200 reconnaissance drones on the frontlines in Bakhmut.
Russia is reportedly trying to regain some of the ground it lost in recent days. Our Nic Robertson joining us now live from eastern Ukraine. Hi there, Nic, so what is the situation there like this morning?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, the Ukrainian small counteroffensive around Bakhmut is still underway to solidify and expand the gains that they made earlier on in the week. And the fact that we're seeing cities -- Russian-controlled cities like Luhansk 60 miles beyond the frontlines, behind Bakhmut being hit is an indicator of perhaps what military experts may call shaping operations for a future, broader coming offensive, very hard to know.
But there's been an uptick of those attacks in that city of Luhansk. This morning's was a military academy or a police academy, and that's an indicator, it's a military strategic target. We don't know how it's connected into that potential for bigger, broader, counteroffensive. But we went with the Ukrainian forces to take a closer look at the areas they've just captured.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys?
ROBERTSON (on camera): Yes --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Viet-farm(ph) --
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Amid shell-smashed trees, Ukrainian troops figure out how to get us close to their new hard-won gains around Bakhmut.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Surname(ph) --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go behind me, distance 5 meters. He's going --
ROBERTSON (on camera): At the rear --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last --
ROBERTSON: OK, how far from the Russian lines here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Closer, 800-900 --
(voice-over): What lessons here about a much-anticipated, bigger Ukraine counteroffensive.
(on camera): You can see here how the ground is drying out, how wet it was before and how hard it would be for the armored vehicles to get through. The battlefield is changing, now Summer is coming, and that's everything for the counteroffensive. So we have to go a bit faster here because they take a lot of incoming fire here. Thank you.
(voice-over): If not for the war, it would be a lovely walk. Little cover here from shelling.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, go!
ROBERTSON (on camera): I think a drone --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Along --
ROBERTSON: We've just come in here as we've heard a drone above, so we've got some cover in here. Hopefully they won't see us down here. Getting closer and closer to the Russian lines. (voice-over): This trench, one of several and a new mine field
positioned to block Russian troops about 600 meters away from a counterattack out of sight. North and south of here, more Ukrainian troops advancing, building on the recent gains here.
(on camera): Ukraine's western allies say that shaping operations for the big counteroffensive already under way. Commanders here won't say if this is part of that counteroffensive. But the gains they've had around Bakhmut are a huge morale boost for Ukrainian troops.
But how does it feel to be in the battle now, and to actually after all this time, taking more territory?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love it actually, I love it because I am with my family, with guys that's my family.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): But success, not all that's whetting appetite for victory, mounting Russian atrocities, fueling anger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all just want to take our territory back, and kill maximum possible Russians we can.
ROBERTSON (on camera): Do you think the Russians understand that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I don't think so. They are going to get killed, all of them.
ROBERTSON: It's going to be a tough fight for you though.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, also, but we're ready for this. It's our own.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): As we leave, there are more explosions. Then this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Run.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go --
ROBERTSON: We don't ask, we just run and keep running.
(on camera): We're hearing a drone so we're running.
(voice-over): They've got their armored troop transporter ready.
(on camera): Yes, getting back in now. Drones overhead, more artillery coming.
(voice-over): It's ancient Soviet equipment. More modern NATO armor busy elsewhere on the battlefield.
ROBERTSON: And I think what you really learn going into a situation like that is how hard it is for the troops, how difficult it will be to make those big gains. But if they can get those big punch through, through Russian lines, they hope to really be able to turn the psyche of the battle on the Russians and have them in disarray. That hasn't happened yet, but that's the big gamble on this big counteroffensive, when it does happen, that's how success will come out of it.
WALKER: Fascinating stuff, Nic Robertson, I appreciate your reporting as always, thank you so much. And just ahead, new guidance in the fight against breast cancer. Health officials now recommend women should get screened even earlier than before. The details behind their latest suggestion.
WALKER: Let's take a look now at some of the top stories we are following this hour. New body-cam video of Newport News police officers in Virginia responding to Richneck Elementary School on the day that A 6-year-old student shot his teacher. The short clips were shown during a fallen officer's memorial ceremony, depicting several officers body-cams as it guided children to safety on January 6th.
It was part of a longer video illustrating the positive impact police have as well as the dangers they face in their community.
BLACKWELL: In a new social media post, Jamie Foxx's daughter announces that the actor has been out of the hospital for weeks recuperating. Corinne Foxx initially alerted the public on April 11th that her dad was hospitalized in Atlanta after experiencing an undisclosed, quote, "medical complication".
And on Wednesday, Foxx also shared a brief message himself expressing his gratitude for the support he's received.
Women should be getting mammograms starting at the age of 40, and not 50, according to recommendations from a national health panel who say that more women are getting breast cancer in their 40s.
WALKER: The U.S. Preventative Services taskforce says earlier screenings could potentially save thousands of lives. CNN's Jacqueline Howard takes a closer look at the new guidance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER (on camera): For women at average risks, the taskforce sees more benefits than risks for them to start screening at age 40. And this draft update is available for public comment from now through June 5th. And we already know that based on current incidents rates, it's estimated that 12.9 percent of women born in the United States today will develop breast cancer at some time during their lives.
And it's important to catch these cancers early. That gives a better chance of survival. Now, meanwhile, this update does not change recommendations for women at high risks of getting breast cancer. Those women should continue to keep in contact with their doctors for what's best for them. But for all women, some topics to discuss with their doctors include your family history of cancer, whether you have dense breasts, when to ask for a breast exam, and when to start screening and how often. Back to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Jacqueline Howard, thank you very much. No championship repeat for the Warriors. LeBron and the Lakers sent the defending NBA champs home. See how it went down next. And what happened to San Francisco? Sara Sidner investigates how the once thriving city became tarnished by surging rates of crime and drug use and homelessness. A new episode of "THE WHOLE STORY" with Anderson Cooper airs tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. on CNN.
WALKER: LeBron James and the Lakers and the Warriors hopes of winning back-to-back NBA Championships.
BLACKWELL: Andy Scholes joins us now --
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes --
BLACKWELL: LeBron just said thanks for coming, guys.
SCHOLES: Right, it is just incredible what LeBron is still able to do. In his 20th season -- and guys, we have to remember, this Lakers season started off with them going 2-10. They had to win a play-in tournament game to get into the playoffs, but hey, look where they are now, onto the Western Conference finals. And 38-year-old LeBron still showing he can dominate.
He had a complete control of this game in the third here, he blocks Draymond Green, they watch him run the floor, he's going to get it back, lays it in, LeBron missed his fourth shot in this game, but 30 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson meanwhile, they both had miserable shooting nights as the Lakers eliminated the Warriors 122-101, the finals there.
Jalen Brunson meanwhile was trying to do everything he could to keep the Knicks season alive. He scored 41 points in game six, but in the closing seconds, down by 2, Brunson turns it over right here, he holds on to win 96-92 to take the series. Miami, just the second 8th seed ever to make it to the Conference finals. All right, and for the first time in 572 days, Brittney Griner was back on the basketball court in game action.
The Phoenix Mercury star getting a standing ovation Friday night in a much anticipated return to the WNBA. Griner finished with 10 points, 3 rebounds in a pre-season game against the L.A. Sparks. Afterwards she said she was grateful to be back. All right, and this week's difference makers, we talk to Shaquille O'Neal.
Growing up, Shaq found the Boys and Girls Club to be a safe haven for him, and it helped mold him into who he is today. Now Shaq has several named after him including in the Atlanta area, and he is passionate about helping kids stay on the right path.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHAQUILLE O'NEAL, FORMER BASKETBALL PLAYER: We're at the Shaquille O'Neal Boys and Girls Club of Henry County.
One, two, three!
CROWD: We want Shaq!
O'NEAL: They go around and we make sure the kids have something positive to do. The Boys and Girls Club was a safe haven for me, it was a place for me to cultivate all the characters you see today. They had a music room, DJ Diesel(ph), they had a gym, the great Shaquille O'Neal, they had an academic room, Dr. Shaquille O'Neal. And so I owe everything to the Boys and Girls Club.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nice dunking, go ahead.
O'NEAL: My mother, Dr. Lucille O'Neal always told me to help those in need, and these babies need our help. All these babies come from single parent homes, they have nothing to do, we want to give them a place to just come and just play games.
REGINALD SCANDRETT, SHERIFF, HENRY COUNTY: There's three areas in life that we're always going through. And with the inner storm just came out or about to go in. And a lot of these children are in a storm right now with respect to their lives and the way that they're growing up. And so if we can get them out of the storm, and they've learned something when they were in the storm, it prepares them when they're about to go in yet again.
O'NEAL: A lot of the times we sell these kids dreams, we don't give them the right information. Yes, practice 9 hours a day! No, you don't. You've got to listen to your mother when she says clean your room up, because that teaches you discipline. Now, when you get back on the field, you've got discipline and your coach says, go left, go right, the ball is going to be there, touchdown.
When I see people smiling, I know I'm making my mother happy. You can't win a championship by yourself, it's all about team. So Shaquille O'Neal Foundation, Henry County Sheriff's Foundation, Christian Academy Foundation and Icy Hot. Icy Hot put up most of the money for this. So I'd like to thank my teammates for making this dream come true for all the children of Henry County.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: Yes, Shaq is a big guy with a big heart. Guys, my favorite part about that whole thing was, he's like, you know, it wasn't just the courts at the Boys and Girls Club, it's the music room, that's where DJ Diesel(ph) can play --
(LAUGHTER) BLACKWELL: Yes, right --
WALKER: Love seeing what they do on the court as well --
BLACKWELL: Dr. Shaquille O'Neal --
SCHOLES: Yes --
WALKER: Thank you --
SCHOLES: All right --
WALKER: So much, Andy Scholes --
BLACKWELL: Thank you --
WALKER: All right, still ahead, a catatonic(ph) crisis, the macaroni mess totally need trouble, do you like the alliteration?
BLACKWELL: I do --
WALKER: Well, then call it what you want. What would you call it, Victor? Pasta prices are soaring across Italy, sending the government reeling.
WALKER: OK, so there is a crisis boiling in Italy over soaring pasta prices. The country's culinary staple jumped 17.5 percent in March compared to a year ago. That is more than double Italy's rate of inflation.
BLACKWELL: Well, on Thursday, government officials held talks to figure out a way to bring the prices down. Producers previously said high costs would be temporary, but they blame increasing costs of raw materials. And it's an important issue for the country. One consumer group says that the average Italian eats about 51 pounds of pasta each year.