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820 Killed As Powerful Earthquake Hits Morocco; President Biden Attends Meeting Of Global Leaders In India; Judge Refuses To Move Meadows' Case To Federal Court; Rescue Teams Race To Free American Trapped In Turkish Cave; CNN Poll Raises Concerns For Biden's 2024 Hopes; Biden Administration Investing Millions To Help Prevent Close Calls Between Airplanes At Airports. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired September 09, 2023 - 06:00   ET




AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: We begin this morning with breaking news out of Morocco. More than 800 people have been killed after a powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck the North African nation.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: So that earthquake hit late last night. It was centered high in the mountains around Marrakech. Of course, you know that's a tourist destination. The tremors brought down, look at this, parts of buildings, historic homes there, and understandably, people just ran into the streets.


MOHAMED TAQAFI, WITNESS (through translator): The house rocked aggressively. Everyone was scared. And I was shocked and didn't understand what was happening. I thought it was only my house that was moving because it's fragile and old. I heard people screaming. Everyone went out of their houses. The street is full of people and women screaming, that's what happened. Even now people can't go back home because they're still afraid.


BLACKWELL: And look at this video, two men, you see them run when they feel the shaking. And then moments later, you see all the panic, more people running. And then this, rubble falling when the men had been just moments before.

WALKER: Wow. Wow. Nearly 700 people were reportedly injured in the quake. And now there is a race to reach the victims in the most affected areas. But officials say rescue teams are struggling to get to those places. CNN's Ben Wedeman is on the ground. Now, Ben, what's latest in terms of the rescue efforts?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, those rescue efforts have been intense over the last few hours. Unfortunately, you know, the epicenter is about 45 miles to the southwest of Marrakech in the High Atlas Mountains. I've been in that area. It is very rugged, very difficult to reach in the best of times. And what we've had here is this earthquake happened at 13 minutes past 11 in the evening, at a time when many people were in their homes, sleeping.

And this is an area that is certainly in the rural areas, it's very hard to reach. And so those rescue efforts are running into challenges. Now within the last 15 minutes, the Moroccan state television has announced that the death toll has reached at least 820. And of course, the expectation is, in fact that the death toll will continue to raise.

Now a little while ago CNN spoke with one man and one of those most affected areas. And this is what he said, he said four of my family members are dead. I managed to get out safely with my two children, but lost the rest. He said, my house is completely destroyed. In the area, there is no electricity. There is no running water. He said the authorities are trying to pull more people, survivors from the rubble.

But he basically said we are hoping for a miracle from the rubble. So this is a very difficult situation. This is the strongest earthquake to hit this area of Morocco in well over a century. But the worst earthquake in Morocco was in 1960 when an earthquake occurred in the port city of Agadir, killing at least 12,000 people. Amara, Victor?

BLACKWELL: Ben Wedeman for us there with the latest. And we can see the video of some of the rescue efforts. Ben, thank you so much.

On the phone with us now is CNN researcher Benjamin Brown. He was in Morocco when the quake struck. Benjamin, first, we are glad you are OK and you're able to speak with us. Give us an idea of where you were when it hit and just talk us through what you felt and what happened.

BENJAMIN BROWN, CNN RESEARCHER: Thank you. I was on the rooftop of my hotel when, yes, the ground started shaking beneath us. And admittedly it took me a few seconds to realize what was actually going on. I couldn't -- I'd never been in an earthquake before. This was a feeling that was quite foreign to me.

After that a large cloud of dust that had been shaken off the ground just erupted into the sky and covering, covering basically the entire sky in dust. When the shaking then stop, we, this is me and other guests in the hotel made our way to open ground far away from high rise walls and then toward buildings that may collapse obviously with the damage they've already suffered but also with potential aftershocks.

And, yes, that's really when the panic has really started to kick in for people, when people saw the true extent of the damage but also of the horrific injuries. I saw many people carried out of buildings and stretchers, one person wrapped in a carpet being brought into the streets.


And some of them was -- what appeared to be very bad head injuries, a lot of blood. And I even saw one instance in which woman had to be turned away by an ambulance crew because ambulance was full of injured people. And they simply said they couldn't take her in the ambulance. So yes, that's really the first minute I experienced of after that earthquake.

WALKER: Can you tell me what you saw in terms of damage? You were on the rooftop. So I imagine that you felt a lot of swaying. Talk to us about that. And also how the buildings around you and the building -- the hotel you were in fared.

BROWN: I love swaying that. That's absolutely correct. I mean, the most immediate impact on the rooftop was with glasses being shattered around us, one window breaking as well. So that in terms of damage that was immediate damage on the rooftop. And then once we'd reached the open areas and had a clearer view of the buildings around us, this is obviously at night, but well lit. So we did manage to see the damage.

And the walls had come down. In Marrakech, we're speaking about a 50 structure with many, many old buildings, old walls as part of what obviously is a tourist attraction of this place. Old walls that had their tiles falling off, at some extent, large rocks even had falling off. The century old city was just crashing into the streets below. So, yes, I saw a street lifted in rubble and littered in tiles and rocks.

BLACKWELL: What's happening now tell us about what you see as it relates to rescue and recovery efforts?

BROWN: So I've just spent the past hours outside of Marrakech A and B for emergency department of a hospital here. And the theme there in all honesty, we're very, very desperate. We were there for a few hours, we counted several dozens if not more, ambulances arrived. People are being treated outside. Triage is happening in front of the hospital in a courtyard, but not in the hospital building.

And some people with very, very serious injuries being treated in the open area. The hospital, obviously at full capacity and struggling to deal with the influx of people being brought in. Now and what's interesting, and what's changed during the day is that many of the injured people we're seeing brought into hospital now and not actually from Marrakech, but of some of these very rural mountain regions where the epicenter was who are only now being freed from the rubble and being transported down to bigger, more specialized hospitals here so. It's no longer Marrakech locals being brought to the hospital, but this rural population that was hit the hardest.

BLACKWELL: Eight hundred twenty killed. It's the latest number from Moroccan officials there, and the number expected to rise. Benjamin Brown, thank you so much for helping us understand what it was like when this quake struck. And again, we are happy that you are OK. Thanks so much.

Let's go now to CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar. Usually after major earthquakes like this, we hear about aftershocks. What do you know about aftershocks there? And are we seeing those? ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. We are. And that is it's one of the most common things that people think of afterwards. So the initial quake itself was a magnitude 6.8, depth was about 11 miles deep into the surface. I know that seems pretty deep, but for geological standards, that is considered extremely shallow. Here you can see where the epicenter was just to the southwest of Marrakech. But yes, just 19 minutes after the initial quake, there was an aftershock of a 4.9.

And I know 4.9 doesn't sound like it could cause that much damage. But what you have to understand is from the initial quake of a 6.8, now all of the structures have become compromised. So it doesn't take much to cause further damage even from something as small as a 4.9. So there was likely subsequent damage done just 19 minutes later, after the initial quake, it was felt as far away as Algeria and Portugal, both neighboring countries there.

And keep in mind since 1900, very few earthquakes of magnitude 5.0 or larger have actually occurred in this area. So that just goes to show you how rare it is. Now we've had that one rather large aftershock. We do anticipate more aftershocks. It is possible when you look at averages, there could be one of the 5.8 or stronger likely to pick up maybe about a dozen or so that would be about mid four range and above.

So again, more aftershocks are going to be expected and we talked briefly about that shallowness. Again, anything under 44 miles, guys, is going to be considered shallow. One thing to note, however, is we do anticipate seeing some significant damages incurred in terms of economic losses.

WALKER: Just a terrifying situation for people who are now seeping out side and, you know, not knowing when the next aftershock will hit so we'll be watching this closely with you Allison Chinchar as well so thank you for that.


In the meantime, let's turn to New Delhi, where the G20 Summit is officially underway. President Biden met one on one with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi fully embracing one of the most critical partnerships for the U.S. and a key regional ally to counter China.

BLACKWELL: Of course, absent noticeably from the summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The White House has called their absence a disappointment, but they intend to use the summit to strengthen relationships with the rest of the nations attending.

Now, as the President arrived for the international summit. His polling numbers back home are showing how shaky politically he's standing going into the 2024 election. CNN's Jeremy Diamond is following the president. He is in New Delhi for us. So tell us what's on the President's agenda today.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think there's certainly a packed agenda for President Biden here today in New Delhi. He's attending several multilateral sessions of the G20 alongside other world leaders, and we're already seeing the ways in which President Biden appears to be taking advantage of the absence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping in particular.

And that is that at the initial opening session of this G20, President Biden was set to deliver a forceful condemnation of Russia's war in Ukraine. And to talk about the ways in which this war is negatively impacting so many of the other countries that are around the table on issues like food security, global energy prices, and so much more.

That was a case that President Biden would have made with President Putin and Xi at the table or not, but certainly it comes with more emphasis at with those leaders absence. And the second point is that President Biden is also out stretching an arm to developing countries, if you will, showing that the United States are trying to make the case at least that the United States is the more reliable partner for the future.

And that is certainly an area where having Xi Jinping absent from this summit helps to drive home that point so much more strongly. And we saw that in one way in particular, were President Biden, alongside with the head of the World Bank, of which the President Biden is announcing a funding boost for the World Bank and several key reforms.

They did a photo op alongside the presidents of or the leaders of India, South Africa, as well as Brazil, which are the other countries in that BRICS grouping of nations, which China has really sought to lead. And so that was a powerful message about the role of the United States and helping some of these countries continue to develop further.

But there's no question that the divisions at this summit are still very much on display whether China and Russia are at the table or not at the head of state level, their representatives still are here. And these negotiations over the last several days have been ongoing over whether or not they can arrive at language for a joint statement or a joint communique about the giving a position of all the G20 leaders.

And one of the key sticking points has been the language over the war in Ukraine. Now we are told by a source of that diplomats hammering out this agreement have reached compromise language. Whether or not the world leaders actually sign off on that is another question. We expect to see that over the next 24 hours. Victor?

BLACKWELL: Jeremy Diamond for us here in New Delhi. Thank you, Jeremy.

The full special grand jury report released Friday provides some new insight into the 2020 election subversion investigation in Georgia. This shows that the panel wanted to indict more people in this racketeering case, 39 people were actually originally recommended for charges, including Senator Lindsey Graham, former Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. Also former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. WALKER: The new revelations come more than three weeks after Donald Trump and 18 others were indicted in the case. Later on Friday, a federal judge rejected former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows bid to move his Georgia criminal case to federal court. A ruling Meadows has now appealed. CNN's Paula Reid has more.

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Amara and Victor. It's interesting in this opinion, the judge notes this was a low standard, but still Meadows was not able to meet it. Now Meadows attorneys have insisted that everything that he did in furtherance of this alleged conspiracy, it was all part of his job as the Chief of Staff at the White House. And they insist that that should be removed to federal court where they hoped they could use federal laws that offer protections and some immunity for federal employees to get the whole thing dismissed.

But here, a judge concluded that what Meadows was doing these eight alleged acts and further into the conspiracy that are included in that indictment, that they were political activities. Interestingly, the judge even uses Meadows on testimony against him citing his testimony where he couldn't even define the limits of his authority as the Chief of Staff and also noting that the lawyers on that infamous call with the Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, those weren't government lawyers, those were campaign lawyers.


So again, his lawyers hoping that they could get this removed to federal court, but unsuccessful in convincing this judge that these were official duties. Instead, the judge concluded that these were political activities. And this is not a good sign for other defendants who are hoping to try this as well. Meadows was the first of five defendants hoping to remove their cases to federal court and have spoken to sources in this case lawyers representing defendants who told me they're not even going to file their challenge until they were able to see what happened with Meadows because they believed Meadows have the strongest chance of being successful here.

And they've told me, look, if Meadows isn't going to be successful, we may not even try. Officially the judge says that his ruling has no impact on other individuals, each case will be decided on its own. It's not a good sign for them. And former President Trump he is in a different situation is a slightly different set of facts. But this also not a good sign for him and his attorneys who have signaled he too will try to get his case removed to federal court. Amara, Victor?

WALKER: All right, Paula Reid, thank you.

Here to discuss with us now is Joey Jackson, CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney. Good morning to you, Joey. All right, so let's start with this major setback for Mark Meadows, the judge ruling that his actions were related to political activities, not his official duties as White House Chief of Staff. What's your take, Joey, on this ruling? And what are the implications for Trump who has already formally notified the judge that he too, would try to move his case to federal court? JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, so obviously, good morning to you Amara. It is a significant setback. A notice of appeal was filed by Meadows Friday afternoon. And so we'll see what happens in that regard. But I think the judge clearly gave an indication that these were political activities. And we know that there's a Hatch Act, which would forbid real political activities were being engaged in by federal officials. And the judge was concerned and as much as Mr. Meadows, as we see there was engaged with the campaign.

And to the extent that the campaign of the President is disconnected from your official duties as serving the President as it relates to your governmental functions. The judge said, no, I do not buy the argument that he was acting in the official capacity relating to his official duties under the color of law. And so that, of course, is the judge noted, Amara, in accordance with your second issue is that it's limited to him, right, this implications for this are not yet known, because others, of course, have not been tested, there has been no hearing relating to what activities they were or not doing.

And so we'll see it remains an open question as to whether others will be implicated, but the judge's decision limited to Mark Meadows.

WALKER: Yes. OK. Right. So, as you said, I mean, there are four other defendants trying to get their cases moved to federal court, including Trump, I'm sorry, including Trump's fake electors. We heard the judge say that, you know, this really did not apply to these other defendants. So do they have a different argument to make?

JACKSON: Well, they better, you know, the reality, though, is that there was an evidentiary hearing here, right, because any case, Amara, is going to turn on its facts. Of course, what Mr. Meadows was arguing is that he was a functionary of the president. He was carrying out his official responsibilities. He had a role responsibility and obligation on behalf of the President to act as he did.

The others who are not similarly situated to him will make other arguments in the event that they move forward. And it'll be an evidentiary hearing to determine whether on those facts they were acting under the color of a federal office or under that specific authority. But we just don't know yet.

WALKER: OK. And turning Now Joey to the unredacted Georgia special grand jury report that was made public just yesterday. And in it, we saw that the grand jury recommended charges against 39 people which included a long list of government officials, including a sitting Senator Lindsey Graham. But Fulton County DA Fani Willis ultimately indicted 19 of those 39 people, why?

JACKSON: So one could argue that she was incredibly restrained with respect to what she decided as a prosecutor to do. We know, Amara, that prosecutors have a vast amount of discretion and of course she can have exercised a discretion to charge more people she did not. So I think the first issue is prosecutor prosecutorial discretion. The second issue, Amara, is that this distinction between what a grand jury does and what a regular jury does. The -- at the end of the day a prosecutor charges those that you believe you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt committed a crime. Apparently a decision was made that hasn't related to some, she could not. The other issue then beyond that is what can you do in terms of others who might be involved who you could get cooperation from. And so I think instead of really indicting going forward, they made a decision as to who the core actors were, who we can use to prove our case who were not indicted.


And I think based upon that discretion, she moved forward on the 19 that she did, as opposed to the 37 or so who were named in the special report, and there were recommendations as to those to be indicted.

WALKER: Yes. And as we know, she is getting some cooperation from these fake electors. Joey Jackson, appreciate it. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Coming up, crews in Turkey are about to start to try to rescue an American trapped in a cave more than 3,000 feet underground. We have the latest on the operation.

Plus, as President Biden hits the world stage, he's fighting an uphill battle for the race for 2024. New polling suggests voters want the party to nominate someone else but if he is the nominee, will they vote for him anyway?



WALKER: Hurricane Lee has weakened to a category three storm this morning but it is still packing a major punch and could get stronger over the Atlantic Ocean. Lee currently has sustained maximum winds of 115 miles per hour. It's expected to pass north of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico in the next couple of days.

BLACKWELL: Now the region is also expected to face some huge swells that could cause life threatening surf and rip current conditions. Most of the eastern seaboard may see those dangerous swells too on Sunday and Monday.

Rescue teams are racing to free and American trapped in a Turkish cave about 3,400 feet underground. Experienced caver Mark Dickey has been stranded for more than a week. He suffered gastrointestinal bleeding during a dive. But look at this, he's in good spirits.


MARK DICKEY, INJURED AMERICAN TRAPPED IN CAVE: I look forward to working with everyone to see if we get myself out with their assistance. As you can see, I'm up on alert. I'm talking. But I'm not fueled on the inside yet. So I'm going to need a lot of help to get out of here.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WALKER: Well, doctors say Dickey is healthy and is ready to be transported, but it will be a tough process because of his injuries. Let's bring in the regional coordinator for the National Cave Rescue Commission, Greg Moore. Greg, good morning. I know you know, Mark personally, so this must be tough to watch, you know, carefully here. But in terms of the rescue, what are the biggest issues that the teams will be facing this morning?

GREG MOORE, NATIONAL CAVE RESCUE COMMISSION, NORTHEAST REGIONAL DIRECTOR: As you mentioned that the cave is a rather deep cave, one of the deepest in Turkey. And most people will think of this cave as, you know, 3,000 feet, simply a rope, palm straight up anything like that. But the reality is, there's going to be a lot of political challenges where they may have to haul them up 10 feet, translated over a couple of feet, haul him up again. So this is a very slow process that is time consuming, and that they have to be very careful as they do that.

BLACKWELL: Hey, Greg, we've spoken with and heard from several rescue experts over the last couple of days, but not many who know Mark Dickey personally. Tell us about him. As we see that video, he's 3,400 feet underground, he seems to be pretty calm. How do you think he is handling this based on how you know?

MOORE: You're having the screen now that smile on his face really kind of describes Mark. He's one of the most upbeat people I know. And every photo that we're going through trying to find for the media, he's got that big grin on his face. I'm sure right now he's cracking jokes with the rescue team and probably lifting their spirits as much as they're lifting him right now.

WALKER: The fact that he has this the gastrointestinal bleeding, this injury, what more do you know about how he sustained this injury? And how is that going to complicate the efforts I mean, bringing you up through these very narrow channels?

MOORE: It's definitely a concern. At this time, we have no reason to think that the injury was related to the caving at all. GI bleeds can happen to people on the surface, you just don't hear about them because, you know, you get to the hospital and treated very quickly. Being underground obviously complicates this.

At this point, he appears to be stable and able to move about somewhat on his own, which is a definite help in the rescue. But he will take it much more slowly than he's used to. And most people would expect someone to be able to move. And the concern obviously is that he remained stable and he doesn't overextend himself or get lightheaded.

In a vertical operation like this, a lot of times they have to hold a cave up in a vertical position. So they want to make sure that he's got, you know, adequate blood pressure and that he's not going to faint while he's in that position.

BLACKWELL: I read that for a portion of this, he will have to be on a stretcher as they bring him up and maybe he'll be able to get up and walk or climb himself. But four days or so is the length of it. Will there be opportunities to stop, to pause, to I guess because of the difficulty it's kind of reassess?

MOORE: Yes, definitely. They will be stopping and pausing both short term, you know, a minute here minute there to check how he's doing. And I also expect they've already factored in sleep schedules, both for himself and the teams because they don't want anybody getting overtired and risking injury as a result of exhaustion. So this is not going to be once he starts moving. He never stops. Forty-eight hours, my guess is that he will stop at some point, you know, nap as well, team members around him.

The cave is divided into seven different teams so that each team can move him through their section without getting tied themselves but even then they'll probably have one or two people that stay with him on a continual basis, just continuity of care and monitoring.


WALKER: Your organization, the National Cave Rescue Mission, you do not carry out rescues themselves. Tell us more about your role in this particular rescue mission and if you can help us piece together a timeline for this mission.

MOORE: Sure. Our role as the National Cave Rescue Commission is to teach and develop cave rescue techniques. In fact, I'm -- after this interview, I'll be teaching a class locally for a two-day class. Later next year, we're teaching a week long class. We also developed caches and maintained those and a list of rescuers.

So, soon after the word got to us, we started developing a list of qualified people who would possibly go to Turkey if get called out. And our other mission is exactly what I'm doing here to work with the media to try to get out accurate and up-to-date information where we can.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CO-ANCHOR, NEW DAY WEEKEND: Greg Moore, thank you for helping us understand what's going to happen over the next several days, again, expected to tart sometime today, and we, of course, will bring you as much as we learn about this rescue mission as it begins. Thank you, Greg.

WALKER: And good to see you, Greg, and our fingers are obviously crossed --

MOORE: Thank you --

WALKER: Hoping for the best. Thank you. All right, still to come, a new CNN poll raises serious concerns about President Biden's re- election prospects. And now some Democrats want him to sharpen his message. We're going to dive into Biden's polling problem, next.



BLACKWELL: President Biden is focused on international agenda in India for the G20 Summit. But back here at home, he's facing some rough polling numbers. CNN polling shows just 39 percent approve of the president's job that he's doing as president, that's down from 41 percent in July. Joining me now is CNN political commentator and political anchor for "Spectrum News", Errol Louis.

Errol, good morning to you. All right, so, these, of course, are in the context of the election. We are 14 months out. So, we always say there's a lot that can change, right? The economy can change. The war in Ukraine can change. Things that are happening in Congress can change.

One thing that's not going to change is Biden is still going to be in his 80s at the election, and he's going to be a year deeper into it right now. So when we look at the polling, and Democrats who are concerned, 49 percent of them say that they're concerned about his age. What can they do about that at all? Anything?

ERROL LOUIS CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning, Victor. Yes, there's plenty that the team can do, and we're going to watch them do it because they're going to have to. First of all, let's be clear. There are presidents who in their first term at a comparable stage, meaning a year out from election, a little more than a year went on to win smashing re-elections, easily -- easy re-elections.

That includes Nixon, that includes Reagan, that includes Bill Clinton, that includes Barack Obama. So Biden is in trouble, but he's not deep- deep trouble, at least, not yet. But also, to answer your question, to the extent that this is somebody who has to answer questions about whether or not he is up to the job, whether he has the vitality, the stamina, not just to govern, but even to run the campaign properly, these are valid concerns.

We've never had anybody this old, and he knows that he has to answer it. One interesting number though, you have to keep in mind, Victor, is that, of those who think that Joe Biden is too old to run for re- election, 83 percent cannot name an alternative. So, you know, you can't beat somebody with nobody. And so to the extent that, you know, you think Cornel West or Marianne Williamson or Robert F. Kennedy Jr. poses a real threat, the polls don't really back that up.

People are concerned as they should be, it will be up to the Biden team to sort of deal with those fears, and make it clear that he does have the strength and the stamina and the sharpness to serve another term.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and the president has often said that don't compare me to the almighty, compare me to the alternative. And you know, you got the 67 percent of Dems or independent -- Democratic-leaning independents who say they want the party to nominate someone else. As you point out, most of them don't know who that person should be, and most of them say if he's the nominee, they will vote for him anyway. Some of the passion may be comes from the alternative, on the other side of the ballot.

LOUIS: Well, that's right. Look, to the extent that Joe Biden -- I mean, when Joe Biden makes this race about Donald Trump, he does better in the polls. And to the extent that he already beat Trump, and he is looking for a rematch, he would love to have that be the entire conversation. It's not going to quite necessarily come down to that, though, because there are these other questions that have nothing to do with Donald Trump.

One of them is in fact the age, the sharpness and the stamina of the incumbent, as well as the policies of the incumbent. He's going to have to run on his record, he's comfortable doing that. But not everybody is happy with inflation, not everybody is happy with the handling of the economy. And so, you know, this is -- this is going to be an uphill fight. They're going to need some creativity.

They're going to need to calm down an angry public because people are not happy about inflation in particular, and he's got his work cut out for him.

BLACKWELL: So, let's look at the Republicans here. There's also the CNN polling that shows that President Biden is neck-and-neck in a general election against Pence, Scott, Ramaswamy, DeSantis, Christie. We've seen the Trump number, only Nikki Haley is outside of the margin of error, 6 points ahead of the president in a potential general election. She's still at 7 percent though. Does that change anything long-term, electability really has not been what has driven Republican base voters thus far in the process.

LOUIS: That's exactly right. I mean, look, well, I see that as reflecting, Victor, among other things is that, here are the growing demographics within the voting population. It's educated voters. It's women, it's younger voters, it's communities of color.


And you have all of that in the form of Nikki Haley. You also have all of that, by the way, in the form of Kamala Harris, another young college-educated woman of Indian descent, who Joe Biden had the foresight to make his running-mate. But it does show where the Republican Party could up if electability is what you want.

It just doesn't seem likely that she's going to be able to overcome the many hurdles to Donald Trump's kind of steamroller to the nomination.

BLACKWELL: Errol Louis, always good to have you, thank you, sir.

WALKER: Tomorrow night on CNN, follow 9/11 activist Jon Stewart and John Feal as they fight Congress to ensure that thousands of terminally ill first responders get the healthcare they deserve. Here's a preview of "NO RESPONDERS LEFT BEHIND".


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And one lady said to me, you have to forget about 9/11. I've got to take 32 pills a day. I never took pills in my life until I got sick. So I take the cocktail like Jon said, I put them in a -- basically, a shot glass, and I just do a quick hit, you know. I take four Xanax, this, I take four of these, you know, I got my heart, PTSD, lungs, the cough, the stomach, the gastro reflux. I take five for the heart, just to help me sleep. The Vitron, that,

the Aspirin, the Aeropro, Plavix. Six for the PTSD, cough syrup, and then all the Aspirin medications, with the inhaler, nebulizer, I've got to use this when nobody is around, because it's embarrassing.


WALKER: You can catch that tomorrow night at 9:00 right here on CNN. We'll be right back.



WALKER: The U.S. Open Men's Champion will be crowned tomorrow after a really thrilling end to the semi-finals on Friday night. I was in bed, but I did look at those headlines.

BLACKWELL: Andy Scholes joins us now with more. I am surprised.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, most people are. You know --

WALKER: Yes --

SCHOLES: Who is going into the men's semifinals, guys, you know, everyone thought we were going towards another Novak Djokovic --

BLACKWELL: I would have loved that!

SCHOLES: Carlos Alcaraz.


SCHOLES: Like you saw in Wimbledon.


SCHOLES: Because that final in Wimbledon was amazing.


SCHOLES: Most -- that's Jefferson(ph), you'll remember they've said not so fast. The 27-year-old Russian taking down the world's number one player in Alcaraz. Medvedev -- so, he won the first set in a tiebreaker, it was really close, then he would cruise to an easy 6-1 second-set win, kind of surprised that New York crowd. Medvedev would end up winning the match in four.

After losing to Alcaraz twice already this year, Medvedev said he was thrilled that he was able to play his best tennis and get the win.


DANIIL MEDVEDEV, U.S. OPEN CHAMPION FOR 2021: I said I needed to play 11 out of 10, I played 12 out of 10, except the third set. So, that's the only way. He's -- I don't know if he's still 20 or 21, but he's so young already, two grand slams, world number one for many weeks is just -- honestly, just pretty unbelievable.

And I think nobody has done it before him. So, to beat him, you need to -- to be better than yourself, and I managed to do it.


SCHOLES: Yes, playing 12 out of 10 will work. Medvedev now moves on to face Djokovic on Sunday, which will be a rematch of 2021 U.S. Open final. Medvedev, he won that match to claim his lone Grand Slam title. Now Djokovic meanwhile handling Ben Shelton yesterday winning in straight sets. Now, the 20-year-old American had been one of the best stories of the tournament, busting onto the scene, making his first grand slam semifinal.

But Djokovic just too much in this one. And check out what 23-time Grand Slam champion did after match point. So he mocks Shelton's hang- up the phone celebration, and here's what Djokovic had to say about that afterwards.


NOVAK DJOKOVIC, TENNIS PLAYER: I just love Ben's celebration. I just -- I thought it was very original, and I copied him, I stole his celebration.

BEN SHELTON, TENNIS PLAYER: And I think if you -- if you win a match, you deserve to do whatever you want. You know, as a kid growing up, I always learned that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So --


SCHOLES: All right, the women's title is going to be decided in just a few hours from now, 19-year-old American Coco Gauff set to face off against Aryna Sabalenka, she tries to win her first ever Grand Slam title. Gauff, first American teenager reached the U.S. Open finals since Serena Williams won that championship back in 2001. Women's final set for 4:00 p.m. Eastern at Arthur Ashe Stadium there in Flushing, New York. And guys, I'm going to go out on a limb --


SCHOLES: And say that the New York crowd is going to be cheering for Coco --


SCHOLES: Heavily in that one --

BLACKWELL: Absolutely. I mean -- but the last -- the semifinal was remarkable.

SCHOLES: Oh, yes, it's been really good. This entire time, it's been one of the best years Open in recent memory in my opinion --

BLACKWELL: All right, Andy Scholes, thanks --

WALKER: Thanks --

SCHOLES: All right --

WALKER: Thanks Andy.

BLACKWELL: Coming up, the Biden administration is asking for help after a series of near collisions at airports across the country. We'll details on the technology they want on planes to avoid more close calls.



WALKER: All options are on the table as the FAA looks to stop the string of close calls between planes during taxiing, takeoffs and landings.

BLACKWELL: The Biden administration plans to invest more money in aviation safety, and one of the possible fixes could be better systems inside the cockpit. CNN's aviation correspondent Pete Muntean is in Washington with more. Pete.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Victor, Amara, this has been a top priority for the Federal Aviation Administration, addressing these near collisions involving commercial flights that have been unusually high. They're known officially as runway incursions. And the National Transportation Safety Board has initiated seven investigations since the start of this year.

There's been an emergency safety summit, bulletins to pilots, bulletins to air traffic controllers, but now, the FAA is asking an industry-led committee to come up with new technology to help avoid more incidents. Here's what the FAA is telling its Investigative Technologies Aviation Rule-Making Committee. Recommend in-cockpit- alerting systems that could show three things, one, the aircraft is lined up with something that's not a runway, like a taxi-way, when it's aligned with the wrong runway, and one, a runway is too short.

In its letter, the FAA says one serious close call is too many, and every solution should be considered. Amara, Victor?


WALKER: All right, Pete Muntean, thank you. In the United States, nearly 1.5 million children have an incarcerated parent. This week's CNN Hero knows firsthand what they are going through. And she's dedicated to making college more accessible for students like her by providing scholarships and a network of support. Meet Yasmine Arrington.


YASMINE ARRINGTON, FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SCHOLARCHIPS: What we're ultimately doing is ensuring that young people who have incarcerated parents are overcoming systemic barriers and also changing the trajectory of not only their lives, by their family's lives and breaking the stereotypes and the stigma around having an incarcerated parent.

Getting ready for graduation? Yes! I know, congratulations, I'm so excited!

What keeps me going is that proud mama effect -- to see our scholars just achieve and accomplish, and over time gain a sense of healthy confidence, just a little bit of support can go a very long way. It really is a snowball effect.


WALKER: To learn more, go to We'll be back after this.