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CNN This Morning

Los Angeles Sheriff's Deputy Shot, Killed Inside Patrol Car; Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton: The Truth Prevailed; Court Filings Details Separations At U.S.-Mexico Border; OSHA: More Airport Workers Suffering Injuries On Tarmac; Coach Primes Colorado Stays Perfect In Late-Night Clash. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired September 17, 2023 - 06:00   ET



AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to CNN THIS MORNING. I'm Amara Walker.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you.

WALKER: We begin this morning with the historic United Auto Workers strike against the big three U.S. automakers, Ford, General Motors and Stellantis. Union members say they had reasonably productive talks with Ford Saturday. But the union and the three major companies are still far apart on wages and benefits.

BLACKWELL: Yes. The companies are essentially offering half of what the unions are demanding as it relates to pay increases. Hundreds of workers walked off -- walked the picket lines, I should say. They are prepared to wait in order to get an agreement that suits them. CNN's Gabe Cohen is in Ohio with more.

GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor, Amara, Saturday we saw the first small signs of any progress in these negotiations between the union and any of the big three automakers. This after the union met with Ford, a source with the union telling CNN, "We had reasonably productive conversations with Ford today."

Certainly, no deal. But a big step in the right direction after days of this hostile back and forth between the sides. Ford saying in a statement that they are committed to reaching an agreement with UAW that rewards our workers and allows Ford to invest in the future.

But we are also starting to see the ripple effect from these three plants that are now shut down by this strike. General Motors and Ford announcing at least 2,600 workers will be laid off in the days ahead because their facilities can't operate while these three factories are on strike. Still, so many of the workers I have spoken with who are on the picket line right now making $500 a week in strike pay tell me they are ready to strike for as long as they need to.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Their $20.00 proposal to pay TPTs is ridiculous. Six years and I have not had a raise in almost two years now. I cap out at $19.28. So, I've been making $19.28 for two years trying to raise a family and with inflation, it's hard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It makes me hopeful that they are getting the message that, you know, we are on strike and we are ready for this and we have been preparing. And, you know, bringing a good offer to the table.

COHEN: Why did you want your daughter to be here today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, I just brought her to get her involved. Just so she knows, you know, what's going on with dad at work.


COHEN: And the head of the Auto Workers union, Shawn Fain, has said that more factories could go on strike in the days ahead depending how these negotiations play out. Victor, Amara.

BLACKWELL: Gabe Cohen for us. Thank you, Gabe. With roughly four months into the Iowa caucuses, Republican presidential candidates spent yesterday courting the state's conservative evangelical activists. Nearly all the major candidates address the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition at the fall banquet yesterday.

WALKER: Former President Trump confident in his poll numbers, did not show up for this event. His absence gave more breathing room for the other candidates to address key issues for social conservatives. CNN's Jeff Zeleny has more.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Amara, four months before the Iowa caucuses open the Republican presidential nominating contest the field of candidates were in Iowa on Saturday evening with the exception of frontrunner Donald Trump. The candidates were reaching out to evangelical voters, a critical part of the constituency here. But there were several distinctions that were made on key issues. Most notably on military promotions.

Of course, one issue on Capitol Hill in Washington has been Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville's blockade of military promotions. Well, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the only veteran in the race, said he supports the senator's actions.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes. I support what he is doing. First of all, what the defense department is doing is outside the law. They are breaking, violating the law by funding abortion tourism with tax dollars.


ZELENY: But former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, whose husband Michael is currently serving on a tour of duty, said she disagreed. And she said military members should not be used as political pawns.


NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So why go and create all of this and hold those who sacrificed so much for our freedoms? Why hold them as political pawns when all you have to do is get in there and ask for an up or down vote in the House and the Senate?



ZELENY: Those differences underscore an increasing sense of competition between DeSantis and Nikki Haley as they try and reach out to undecided Iowa Republican voters. Now, later in the evening, former Vice President Mike Pence said he unequivocally supported the House impeachment inquiry against President Biden.


MIKE PENCE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't -- I don't want to jump to conclusions about this but I must tell you where there is smoke there is usually fire in Washington, D.C. And the American people -- the American people deserve the facts. And I am going to be out there championing and defending House Republicans as they bring the facts to the American people and hold Joe Biden and his family accountable.


ZELENY: So, President Biden, of course, the center of much of the criticism. Former President Donald Trump not on hand and rarely spoken about. His supporters were here in force though and they say he will be campaigning aggressively. In fact, he is coming back to Iowa on Wednesday. The question is, can any of three rivals catch him or is this a race for second place? Victor and Amara.

WALKER: Jeff Zeleny, that is the question, can any of Trump's rivals catch him? Joining me now is Shelby Talcott, a reporter with "Semafor." Shelby, good morning. Thank you so much for joining us this morning.

I can't believe the time goes by so fast. So, the Iowa caucuses just about four months away. The Faith and Freedom Coalition's fall banquet it's really a marquee event for the Republican primary. As you saw there, in Jeff's report, abortion was a big topic. Any big takeaways from this event for you?

SHELBY TALCOTT, REPORTER, SEMAFOR: Yes, I think the abortion issue is still making Republican candidates nervous. So almost all, as you just saw, were asked about supporting a federal ban. And each supported a ban after 15 weeks of pregnancy, if not sooner, but they were split on passing some sort of federal ban. And Mike Pence gave the clearest answer on the issue which we, again, seen in the past.

But a lot of the other candidates were a little bit wishy-washy on the issue. DeSantis was a little bit unclear. Haley was the one who kind of broke from the group on the topic. And so, it's clear that this is a topic that they -- they would prefer not to address.

And then the second thing that stood out to me was as we saw Trump didn't show up. And that this indicates to me is he believes that his support among evangelical voters is firm and all of the other candidates right now are essentially fighting for second place.

WALKER: To that question that Jeff Zeleny put there, you know, can Trump's opponents catch him? I mean, is there a window, a timeline as to when this window closes for when, you know, these Republican hopefuls can catch up to Trump?

TALCOTT: Yes. I mean, I think the window is closing. It's certainly not, you know, it's a never say never situation. We never know what's going to happen.

Trump, obviously, has multiple indictments against him. He isn't campaigning as hard as these other presidential candidates but they are incredibly far away from him. And so, they need to be working on the ground, which they are, and start catching up soon in order to really have the chance.

WALKER: Now, DeSantis, while in Iowa, also brought up the issue of age. Listen to this sound bite from him.


DESANTIS: I don't think the presidency can be successfully discharged by somebody that's 80 years old. You will get eight years out of me where I'm in the prime. I'm rocking and rolling and we are going to get the job done. And you are going to see that in the campaign.

I think you have already seen it. You know, I'm the one that's here for 56 counties. You know, I will do more counties today than some of these other guys will do next month.


WALKER: All right. So, DeSantis is going to, I think, be 45 years old this week. Just a reminder, President Biden is 80. Trump 77.

Look, I mean, we know that DeSantis faces a lot of headwinds right now even though he may be, you know, in his prime, as he says. Poll show that age really is something that is on the voters' minds. Is that something that's really going to make an impact when people head to the polls?

TALCOTT: I don't think it's going to be the number one or two thing that voters are going to ultimately decide who they're going to vote for on but it's certainly in their minds. And it's going be, I would say, top three or four.

And when I'm out on the campaign trail I am hearing more and more the argument from voters that, listen, you know, we do want somebody new. We do want somebody a little bit older. Our leadership is aging. And for them, that's a problem.

And so, you see some of these presidential candidates going after the age issue in a way they haven't before. Ron DeSantis is really ramping up his attack and argument against Trump on this particular issue. The question is, is it a big enough issue for it to ultimately work?


And I have not seen that it is a top one or two issue for voters just yet.

WALKER: It definitely is a big issue at least anecdotally, you know, when I'm talking to people that I know and when they talk about the upcoming presidential election. Obviously, the big question is, well, don't we have other alternatives than, you know, these elderly candidates?

Let's turn to some of your reporting, Shelby. And you wrote a piece recently about Ron DeSantis, I guess, turning back to his culture war topics and hoping that it will gain traction nationally, even though it hasn't just yet.

TALCOTT: Yes. And so, his big things have been refocus on the COVID issue, which is, obviously, the topic that Ron DeSantis became extremely well-known for within the conservative movement, his handling of COVID during the pandemic in Florida. But the problem is, it didn't work when he launched his presidential run.

Now, part of this was because COVID at that point was so far away in voters' minds. Now, we have seen this kind of scattered mandates pop back up throughout the country. And I think the key word there is scattered. But Ron DeSantis is trying to capitalize on those scattered mandates and say, hey guys, listen, these scattered mandates suggest that, you know, the left could be bringing down mass lockdowns. There is no evidence of that, but it is something that is a big concern for Republican voters.

Now, will it continue to be a concern if we don't see mask mandates? I don't know. The second issue that he has been really big on is the LGBTQ issue, and he has been very strong with his stance on transgender issues. And so, his super PAC is trying to hit Trump on Trump's past support over some comments he made when -- during his first presidential run on transgender topics.

Now, again, that hasn't hit -- normally hit against a Republican candidate. Yes. But for whatever reason, the topics that normally hit don't hit against Trump.

WALKER: It's really remarkable, the dynamics this time around. Shelby Talcott, appreciate you waking up this early. Thank you.

And for more political news, "STATE OF THE UNION" will be on at 9:00 a.m. Eastern here on CNN. This morning's quests, 2024 Republican hopeful and former Vice President Mike Pence, and Senator Bernie Sanders. BLACKWELL: The number of those killed from these devastating floods in Libya is rising. The U.N. reports now that 11,300 people were killed in the eastern coastal city of Derna. They expect to find more victims as the search conditions.

WALKER: So far, workers have pulled dozens of bodies from the sea along the Derna coast. Search crews say most of the bodies were swept out to sea. And without proper equipment, it could become impossible to retrieve them. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is in Derna with the very latest.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Efforts here in Derna right now are focused on the search and recover operations to try and find the bodies of those who were killed in that catastrophic event last week. But hope is fading. Rescuers don't believe that they will be able to find anyone alive right now, so they are focused mostly on trying to retrieve these bodies. And this is an operation that has been make taking place both here on land and also at sea.

In the city, around the city, you see different teams at different sites digging through the rubble, trying to find bodies. We've seen Libyans, volunteers using their hands and whatever they could find to try and dig through the rubble of these devastated buildings.

You also have international teams that are also working with them. But we have heard from these international teams tonight from different countries, from the UAE, Egypt, Algeria, Georgia, Tunisia and others, and they say that their main focus right now is on the sea. That is where they believe most of the bodies have ended up. And it is a very difficult operation to try and recover these bodies, they say, most of them ended up in hard-to-reach areas, in coves, on rocks, and they just don't have enough manpower, enough equipment to deal with that right now.

They need more choppers, more boats, more people to help them with these operations. And it's also another challenge, they say that, a lot of these bodies right now have -- are severely decomposed. And this is something that we have heard as well from a Libyan volunteer who has been working at the sea front that has become the main staging area where they bring bodies that are recovered from different places, and this volunteer prepares them for burial.


And she says over the past few days these bodies that are being recovered from the sea they all are looking the same right now. It is very difficult, if not impossible to identify people by just looking at them. And this is devastating news for so many Derna residents who are still searching for their loved ones or their bodies to try and give them a proper burial. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Derna, Libya.


BLACKWELL; Jomana, thank you. WALKER: And if you like to help those impacted by the flooding in Libya, go to

BLACKWELL: Still to come, in Ukraine fierce fighting on the front lines near Bakhmut. We'll go live to Kyiv for the latest on the war.

WALKER: Plus, Texas' attorney general Ken Paxton survives the impeachment trial and he is reinstated, but his legal troubles are far from over.

BLACKWELL: Also, as air travel ramps up airport workers responsible for loading bags and servicing planes are facing a key problem. Details ahead.



WALKER: Russians forces launched a pair of attacks in Ukraine overnight. Missile strikes on the city of Kharkiv injured six people and damaged residential buildings. And a second attack in the Odesa region damaged agriculture facilities.

BLACKWELL: New video shows the brutality of the war for Ukrainians. The Ukrainian military released this video, the now destroyed settlement of Andriivka near Bakhmut, and it shows part of Ukraine's attempt to retake that region. You can hear one of the soldiers coughing there.

We're joined by senior international correspondent Fred Pleitgen live from Kyiv. Tell us about these latest efforts by the Ukrainians to retake that territory.

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Victor. Well, first all, I think a lot of people were shocked when they saw those videos as to what the fighting in that area which is south of Bakhmut has turned those little settlements into. That one that we just saw is a settlement of Andriivka which was very small to begin with. But we can just see as those forces are going through there that the fighting that has been going on there over the past couple of months has turned that area essentially into a moonscape.

We can see especially in that fog, you know, the few houses that were in that settlement, most of them reduced to just the foundations and rubble as well. Nevertheless, the Ukrainians say that the gains they have been able to make around Bakhmut are actually quite important for them. These are very small settlements, but they do allow the Ukrainians to target Russian supply lines into Bakhmut.

The Ukrainians are saying -- and I was able to speak to the deputy defense minister yesterday, that the Russians are trying to hold on to Bakhmut almost at all costs. It's a big political thing for them. A big P.R. thing for them. It's basically the last big victory they say that they have had on the battlefield. So, the Ukrainians say that right now around that Bakhmut area, that's one of the main areas of fighting. Now, with the Ukrainians making those advances, it is, of course, also very important for them not just on the battlefield, but also as the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is set to head to the United States this coming week to not only be at the U.N. General Assembly, but also, of course, to meet with President Biden as well. And the Ukrainians are saying from their vantage point they, obviously, want the United States to continue the current support that is going on.

And they say they especially need the longer-range tactical missiles called ATACMS with which they could attack the Russians' supply lines further than they have been. So far, F-16s is longer down the line. But one of the things that they keep telling us in the short term that they need to keep this offensive going that sort of sluggish in the south, picking up little pace in the east is ammunition, is 155- millimeter artillery ammunition and then more ammunition for HIMARS as well.

The U.S. has been supplying that. But the deputy defense minister told me yesterday that there are some areas on the front line where the Ukrainians are trying to advance but where they have 10 times less firepower than the Russians have, where for every shot that the Ukrainians take, the Russians are able to shoot 10 times.

Now, the Ukrainians say the western systems, of course, get you further, are more accurate. But still, that ratio is one that makes it very difficult for them. They do say that on the whole, yes, the offensive that they launched is somewhat sluggish, but they also say the fact of the matter is right now on pretty much all areas of the front line, the Ukrainians are the ones who have the initiative and the Russians are on the defensive. And they say that, in itself, is certainly something that helps their motivation.

And certainly, they say they will also take to the U.S. and its allies to say, look, continue that support. It's definitely making a difference, guys.

BLACKWELL: Fred Pleitgen for us in Kyiv, thanks so much. Let's bring in now CNN military analyst General Mark Hertling from -- retired from the U.S. Army. He is joining us now.

Good to see you. I've got a little preview monitor off to the side here. And as Fred was reporting, that because of the challenge of ammunition for every shot a Ukrainian soldier takes, a Russian soldier can take 10. You started shaking your head. What's your reaction to what you heard there?

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It's true, Victor, but as Fred followed on with the weapons supplied by the western countries, the U.S. and most of NATO are much more accurate, can hit targets precisely and you don't need as many rounds. So, this is a narrative that Ukrainians have been using to try and get more ammunition, more supplies, more equipment, but it is true that Russia uses and depends on artillery strikes.

You saw the scene from Andriivka there. That is what a modern battlefield looks like that has both rural and urban areas where rubble is everywhere and you have destroyed buildings and landscapes with artillery fire. It isn't a clean landscape. It has battlefield to treat us everywhere. And it's just unfortunate that we continue to supply forces and ammunition to Ukraine and they still have to face a withering Russian attack in some of these areas that are just -- it's monumental in terms of the artillery duels that are going on in all areas of the front of Ukraine.


BLACKWELL: Yes. That description from Fred of this is a moonscape was perfect when you look at the dust covering everything. And we talked for months about the, I guess, the prestige or the bragging rights that come with retaking Bakhmut. There really is no other value because there is nothing really left there.

You also mentioned the need for systems, for ammunition. "Axios" is reporting that there really is no plan while Zelenskyy is in the U.S. for the UNGA and his visit to the White House to announce there will be the ATACMS handed over to Ukraine, or those long-range missiles. Do you expect that this will eventually be added to the list of weapons, of systems that were an adamant reluctance from the U.S. and then eventually were handed over?

HERTLING: If I could -- Victor, if I could first address the Bakhmut situation.

BLACKWELL: Go ahead.

HERTLING: I am not one that agrees with many people who are saying that that is an irrelevant fight. The Russians are pouring a lot of forces in there. They are putting mobilized troops in that area. Ukraine has to fight in that area in order to regain the lost territory that Russia took, first of all, in 2014.

As to the ATACMS, you know, truthfully, I can't say. There is a lot of debate and discussion that goes into this kind of arms transfer or what's called a presidential drawdown. That equipment just isn't extra, Victor. It's allocated towards other contingencies and other fights. And in the case of ATACMS, there are very few weapon systems.

Now, you know, there has been a bunch of numbers thrown around that, oh, the U.S. has 5,000 missiles, they could give a few to Ukraine. These are long-range missiles that strike deeply buried targets with a great amount of destructive force, and they are used specifically for some contingency -- or planned specifically, I should say, for some contingency operations that the U.S. has.

Whenever the U.S. draws down equipment from any of their sources or from any of these plans, it puts things at risk. So, I am not going to say whether or not -- I can't say whether or not the U.S. will make the decision of giving some ATACMS, but truthfully there are a lot of other weapons systems like the Storm Shadow that are much more effective in hitting long-range targets than some of the ATACMS systems. But this has been a mantra from Ukraine of, give us the ATACMS. And everyone has picked up on that without really understanding what the ATACMS does, how it is used and how it can be countered by Russian electronic warfare and air defense systems.

BLACKWELL: I want to come back to weaponry if we have time. But first, I want to talk about President Zelenskyy coming to the U.S., going to the U.N. General Assembly, then on to the White House. He has to make sure that the world maintains this urgency that they continue to supply the support, economically, and also as it relates to the cache of weapons throughout the war. What do you expect to see and hear from President Zelenskyy this week?

HERTLING: Well, I think President Zelenskyy has been masterful in messaging his cause. He has picked up a lot of fans. And especially during a time when some in the United States -- I'm not going to say Europe, because the West and NATO is actually continuing to support with advances in ammunition and arms productions. But the U.S. seems to be waning. We have seen recent polls where a lot of people are saying we shouldn't give Ukraine as much or we shouldn't continue to support this is a deep pit.

I certainly disagree with that, personally. But what we're seeing is President Zelenskyy trying to continue to shore up support to what he knows will be a very long fight. So, he is going to address not just the United States and deal with not just U.S. representatives, but also the defense industrial base. But also going to the U.N. he may be sharing his message with parts of the world that haven't heard that message and haven't paid as much attention to it.

BLACKWELL: He has called for this forum in Kyiv coming in the fall. Eighty-six defense contractors from 21 countries as Ukraine tries to build up its ability to manufacture its own ammunition and weapons as this continues. Retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, thanks so much.

WALKER: Still to come, startling new details on the U.S. border patrol's treatment of migrant families. We're going to have more on what a new court filing claims.



BLACKWELL: Colleagues are mourning the death of a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy shot and killed while sitting inside his patrol car Saturday night. It's unclear who and what led to what the sheriff calls an ambush, but we do know that Ryan Clinkunbroomer was in uniform and on duty at the time of the shooting. He was found unconscious just outside of Palm Dale Sheriff's Station. His death is being investigated as murder. Anyone with information is asked to call Los Angeles Crimestoppers.

WALKER: In Maine, all tropical storm warnings have been officially lifted. However, in Eastern Canada, post-tropical cyclone Lee is still active, bringing heavy rains and winds, reaching speeds between 60 to 70 miles per hour. The coasts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are experiencing the full force of the storm as well. More than 100,000 customers without power this morning there and Maine still coping with the aftermath of the storm with over 50,000 power outages recorded. BLACKWELL: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was acquitted Saturday in

his state Senate impeachment trial. He faced 16 articles of impeachment over accusations he repeatedly abused his office to help his office to help a donor. Paxton said the allegations were political retribution for being a hardline conservative, and he said the truth prevailed. But Texas House members who impeached Paxton said the outcome showed a conservative Senate choosing to ignore the conduct of an ideological ally. Paxton was reinstated in his role shortly after the vote.

A new court filing is the latest development in the years-long court case over the treatment of migrant families by U.S. Border Patrol. Now, this filing details a pediatrician's observation that agents separated some children from the parents while in custody.


WALKER: Some of those kids were just 8 years old. Border Patrol Officials say the separations are rare. They blame overcrowding, but they're continuing to review the report. Priscilla Alvarez is there now with more -- is here, actually. Hi Priscilla, tell us more about the story.

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, this really underscores the humanitarian logistical challenges that President Joe Biden faces on the U.S. Mexico border. In this case, it's about overcrowding as officials have seen more border crossings in recent weeks. And in some cases have had to separate children from their parents while they're in custody because the family holding areas are already crowded.

Now, what we learned in this filing again from that pediatrician is that over the course of site visits to a facility in the Rio Grande Valley area, he interviewed children who said they had been separated from their parents, some for days and some as young as 8 years old and we're not aware of protocols to see or request to see their parents.

Now, a CBP official that I spoke with said that these are rare circumstances, that they try to keep those separations brief if they have to happen, and that the families are released together. It's important to note here. This is different from what we saw under the Trump administration where there were family separations. Those families remain separated, and in some cases, parents were deported without children. That is not the case here. But all the same, the pediatrician in this filing called it "profoundly traumatic for children."

Now, in a statement, a customs and border protection spokesperson said the following, "The health and safety of individuals in our custody, our workforce, and communities we serve is paramount. They went on to say that DHS and CBP prioritize keeping families together at every step of the immigration process and have protocols to that end.

But again, officials that I've spoken with have noted that over the last several weeks, there has been an increase in border crossings, especially families. And that is a vulnerable population that has posed a unique challenge to multiple administrations because these are short-term facilities. They're not equipped for people to stay long term and they are certainly not equipped for families.

And so, these holding areas -- there's family holding areas -- family -- holding areas for children, and also for single adults, as they become crowded, can create circumstances where children are separated from their parents. Again, as you noted from the top there, they are rare but it really underscores and highlights that this is an ongoing challenge and one that could get worse as those border crossings go up.

Amara, Victor?

BLACKWELL: Priscilla Alvarez there in Wilmington, Delaware, thanks so much.

Still to come, concerns about workers loading bags and servicing planes and airports who are increasingly getting hurt while on the job.



BLACKWELL: The transportation safety administration says that this summer has been the busiest ever for air travel. But there's also a new problem on the ride.

WALKER: Yes, the people responsible for loading bags and servicing planes are getting hurt at an alarming rate. Earlier this month, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a safety alert for aviation workers. CNN's Pete Muntean has the latest from Washington D.C.


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): One Courtney Edwards went to work on New Year's Eve. She had no idea she would become part of an alarming statistic. The mother of three was helping marshal a flight to its gate at the Montgomery, Alabama Airport when she was pulled off her feet according to an NTSB report and into an operating jet engine. Edwards was killed.

PETER GOELZ, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: It's a very tough job and it's dangerous.

MUNTEAN (voiceover): Employees working on airport tarmacs are now part of a troubling trend. Injuries among them spiked last year according to occupational safety and health administration data first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

ERNEST TANGA, RAMP AGENT FOR SWISSPORT: My leg went up to this level.

MUNTEAN (voiceover): This is what's left of an on-the-job injury that Ernest Tangas says could have been much worse. Tanga works at Washington Dulles as a ramp agent for contractor Swissport. In February, he was taking bags by hand from an Avianca flight when he slipped. His left leg stuck between the body of the airplane and a baggage loader.

TANGA: So, when I pulled my leg out, I sat on a box for about four to five minutes and it was just -- my leg -- my whole leg was burning.

MUNTEAN (voiceover): In a comment to CNN, Swissport says the health and safety of employees is the highest priority and it says it fully complies with all applicable labor regulations. The number of on-the- job injuries declined in 2020 when travel during the pandemic cratered. But OSHA figure show as flights picked up, injuries quickly returned to and exceeded pre-pandemic levels.

Just last month, Massachusetts State Police say a forklift operator at Boston Logan was pinned by a metal beam and killed while he was servicing a jet blue flight.

SEN. ED MARKEY (D-MA): It is absolutely essential that as we move forward, that we bring these workers out from the shadows.


MUNTEAN (voiceover): U.S. Senator Ed Markey, a Democrat for Massachusetts says his legislation to improve airport service worker pay will lead to less turnover and safer conditions.

MARKEY: The higher the morale, the more likely that safety standards will be, in fact, maintained at the highest possible level.

MUNTEAN (voiceover): Airlines have added employees since the pandemic downturn, but safety experts say there is intense pressure on contractors to quickly service aircraft with limited staffing.

GOELZ: I think you need more oversight, you need heftier fines, and you need a recommitment on the part of the air carriers to treat these people fairly.

MUNTEAN: Do you think it's getting less safe?

TANGA: I would say yes because people keep on doing -- one person will do a job of three people.

MUNTEAN (voiceover): Ernest Tanga is still working for Swissport, but on light duty. He thinks new protections for workers like him will be a heavy lift, but it could save lives.

TANGA: If things were done the proper way, I think people wouldn't be injured.



BLACKWELL: Pete Muntean, thank you for that really important story.

WALKER: Very eye opening. Deion Sanders has never been afraid to be himself and he's ruffled some feathers in the process. But it went to a whole new level last night as his Colorado team took on their oldest rivals.



WALKER: OK, while you were asleep, while you and I were asleep, Coach Prime, Deion Sanders and Colorado were taken to double overtime.

BLACKWELL: Coy Wire is here with us now. Plenty of pre-game fuel for this.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Deion Sanders made Colorado the hottest ticket in town. They were one in 11 last season and now here they are. They're still undefeated. He will not conform to the norm of what college football coaches should be. And Colorado State coach Jay Norvell took a dig at Deion's style during the week. Well, look what happened pre-game, lots of chirping, lots of cheapiness (PH), pushing and shoving, and that lasted all game.

But give it to the Rams. They rose to the occasion. Colorado State, they were up eight with under a minute to go, but Coach Prime's son, Shedeur Sanders, throws a dart to Jimmy Horn Jr., a 45-yard touchdown. They would need a converter, two-point conversion, and they did. They tied it at 28. The game went to double overtime. And Shedeur does it again. It's (INAUDIBLE) of the game going to Michael Harrison. Colorado State would have won last chance at an upset, but it's no good, intercepted in the end zone. 18th-ranked Buffaloes hang on, 43 to 35.

Victor, they had little wing come out and perform as the team was entering the field before this. Here's coach Prime after this narrow win.


DEION SANDERS, HEAD COACH, COLORADO BUFFALOES: To be great, you're going to have to be resilient. You got to overcome what's close to inevitable, tremendous amount of (INAUDIBLE) and we overcame it. I'm proud of my kids, but I'm proud of this team. This team is phenomenal. The coaching staff is phenomenal. They were resilient. I mean, we started off to me like hot garbage. Well, we got it right and we got the victory in the end. And that's all that counts. We got the W.


WIRE: Not hot garbage, coach. Not everyone avoided the upset bug. Number 11 Tennessee feeling that Florida heat all night long in a swamp, jaw-some. Gators running back Trevor Etienne gashing the Vols for 172 yards and a touchdown on the ground. And the defense, they had their way with this team. Coach Billy Napier picking up his first signature win in the SEC 29 to 16.

There was an epic ending between Mizzou and number 15 Kansas State, the rivals that date back more than a century. Tied with three seconds to go, look at Harrison Mevis lining up a 61-yard field goal attempt. It's good, SEC record, and a walk-off win in front of a first sellout crowd there in four years. The Tigers shoot down the Cougars. That's a shout-out to Brian Pepoon, a producer who went to Mizzou. Fans storming the field. That's awesome.

Finally, the University of Iowa beat the pants off Western Michigan, and one of their cheerleaders' pants, symbolic. Oh, look at this. He pulled those things up just as quick as they went down, didn't he?


WIRE: Good morning, lovely people. Happy Sunday. Happy NFL Sunday. And the Falcons today are going to be wearing their throwbacks. So, look out for my boys against the Packers today.

BLACKWELL: I was wondering why you brought that in. You just walk in with a helmet.

WIRE: Why not? (INAUDIBLE) beautiful ensemble.

WALKER: You want me to put that on?

BLACKWELL: Oh, please.

WIRE: Girl, this thing was (INAUDIBLE). My big head.

WALKER: Thank, Coy.

WIRE: It was a little -- a little -- yes, robust.

BLACKWELL: Coy Wire, thank you.

WALKER: I think that would fit your head too.

BLACKWELL: All right. Christiane Amanpour shares the story of the Ukrainian ballet dancers keeping art alive on "THE WHOLE STORY" with Anderson Cooper. Here's a look.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN ANCHOR: What does it mean to you to be on stage and to dance especially now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (text): Before we go on stage, we feel a great responsibility for Ukraine because we show the world the culture and the faces of Ukraine. And we strive to give a strong and emotional performance so that we don't fail.

IRYNA KHUTORIANSKA, BALLET DANCER: Dance it's our language to show that we're strong, we're fighting, we're powerful, to show that the support is the main thing that we need.


The whole story with Anderson Cooper airs tonight at 8:00 right here on CNN.

Coming up, a hospital in Kansas has come up with a unique solution to manage staffing shortages. After a break, meet Moxi the robot.



WALKER: Staffing is a struggle right now across most industries, including hospitals. But one Kansas City hospital is getting around by hiring a robot.

BLACKWELL: Moxi has the job of helping workers deliver and receive supplies. The hospital says the robot has already saved clinical staff more than 200,000 hours at other hospitals. So, that's Moxi, a robot delivering supplies. That's good.

WALKER: Hopefully, I'm not concerned about these robots reading the teleprompters.

BLACKWELL: No, somebody wrote that.

WALKER: They're not that lovable. Something -- I think one of our writers wrote that thinking that we're concerned. I'm not concerned.


WALKER: You've got to like it.

BLACKWELL: You don't want a robot, do you? No, you don't want a robot.

WALKER: Well, be right back.