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CNN This Morning

Biden Stands Firm On Rejecting Ceasefire At This Time; Unknown Number Of Casualties After Blast At U.N. School; WHO Team Describes Al-Shifa Hospital As "Death Zone"; Biden Threatens Visa Bans On "Extremists Attacking Civilians"; Protester Interrupts Biden At Fundraiser And Calls For A Ceasefire; Investigation Into Antisemitism, Islamophobia Claims At Schools; NYC Mayor Eric Adams Sets Up Legal Defense Fund; More Signs Volcanic Eruption May Be Imminent; 51% Indicate Won't Receive Updated COVID Vaccination, According To KFF Survey; Interview With Cardiologist And Piedmont Healthcare COVID Task Force Former Executive Director Dr. Jayne Morgan; KFF Survey: 3/4 Of Americans Don't Worry About Contracting COVID During The Holidays; This Year, Flu Season Started Early And Strong; Starship Rocket Fails Minutes After Launch; Explosion Occurs During SpaceX's 2nd Attempt To Launch "Starship" Rocket; Mission Data Will Be Utilized By SpaceX In Next Crewed Flights; Attempt To Save 40 People Stuck In Collapsed Tunnel, Rescuers Try Another Approach; Due In Part To Lower Turkey Costs, Thanksgiving Meal Will Cost Less This Year; This Week, Airports Are Expecting Unprecedented Volume Of Passengers; Rain From West Coast Flows Eastward Into The Rockies. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired November 19, 2023 - 07:00   ET



COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS HOST: Finally, cutest thing you'll see all day. BYU receiver Talmage Gunther creating lifelong memories on senior day where players typically have their parents with them. But Gunther celebrates by running out with his three-year-old son, Drew, before facing Oklahoma. Once in a lifetime moment.

He and his wife actually have two sons and they used to have to work full time early on on their college career to put themselves through school and very well celebrate a great moment on his last day on that filled.

AMARA WALKER, CNN HOST: That little boy kept up.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Yes, I was about to say. He still running.

WIRE: Shocking the world (ph).

BLACKWELL: Yes, it's the cutest thing of the day.

WALKER: He's so sweet.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Coy.

WIRE: Awesome. You got it.

BLACKWELL: Our next hour of CNN This Morning starts right. WALKER: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to CNN This Morning. It is Sunday, November 19th. I'm Amara Walker.

BLACKWELL: So good to be with you. I'm Victor Blackwell. Here's what we are watching for you. President Biden rejects calls for a ceasefire in Gaza again. Plus, what Israel's prime minister is saying about hostages still being held by Hamas.

WALKER: Republican presidential candidates are in Iowa and on the attack. What they're saying about President Biden and each other.

BLACKWELL: The most powerful rocket ever built lifted off from Texas then exploded, but some are still calling the launch a success. We'll tell you why.

WALKER: And if you're traveling and shaping up to be a wet week ahead with several systems that could slow you down across the country, we have your holiday forecast.

BLACKWELL: We're starting this morning with the reports out of Gaza where there was an explosion at a U.N. run school, and we have to warn you that the video we're about to show is graphic.

WALKER: The video shows dozens of bodies, including women and children. The school was being used as a shelter. One U.N. official called the carnage horrifying. A U.N. agency confirmed the school was hit Saturday, but not have further details.

President Joe Biden is once again rejecting calls for a ceasefire in Gaza. He says that would give Hamas an opportunity to regroup and rebuild their stockpile of weapons. CNN's Jeremy Diamond is live from Tel Aviv. Hi there, Jeremy. What's the latest on the ground?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you said, dozens of people appear to have been killed in a strike on a U.N. school in Fakhoura, which is in the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza. The scenes of this strike are absolutely devastating. We can see dozens of bodies in just one of these rooms.

You can see a dozen bodies on the floor covered in dust, and desks are smashed. There is a huge hole in the wall. It is not clear exactly at this point, according to the United Nations what -- who was responsible for this strike. Egypt and Qatar, as well as other countries have already blamed Israel for this, but the IDF for its part says that they are aware of this incident.

They say it is under review, but they had no further comments on whether or not they were responsible for this strike. But what is clear is that dozens of people are dead, including many women and children among them.

Meanwhile, at Al-Shifa Hospital yesterday, U.N. workers visited that hospital and described it as a death zone. They said that patients and staff who are at the hospital were afraid for their lives, were requesting evacuation. Today, we have a little bit of good news amid all of the devastation, and that is that those 31 premature babies at Al-Shifa Hospital were successfully evacuated to the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

They were evacuated in ambulances, organized by the Palestine Red Crescent Society, as well as the World Health Organization participating in that effort. And they were successfully evacuated, and they are expected to be taken into Egypt next via that Rafah crossing.

Meanwhile, Israel is continuing its military operations in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. We know that they're conducting clearing operations in a number of areas, including in Gaza City, trying to get rid of Hamas infrastructure, including those underground tunnels and they are still engaging in firefighters with Hamas militants in Gaza City and around that area as well.

Meanwhile, those hostage families are still waiting to see if there is going to be a deal to free dozens of women and children potentially in exchange for a multiday ceasefire. Tens of thousands of people rallied last night in Jerusalem and in Tel Aviv to not only plead for the release of their family members, but also to urge the Israeli government to reach a deal, to agree to a deal for a ceasefire in exchange for dozens of these hostages to be released.

The Israeli prime minister, amid all of that pressure from those families, agreeing to meet with them, he will meet with them tomorrow. But in the meantime, he says, that there is no deal as of yet, amid reports that there is a tentative agreement that is moving forward in these negotiations between Israel and Hamas, mediated by Qatar.


BLACKWELL: Jeremy Diamond for us there in Tel Aviv.

Let's go now to Priscilla Alvarez in Delaware. The President under intense pressure to support a ceasefire. But again, in this new op-ed in the Washington Post, he says no.

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: And that has been the position from the President and his administration, they have rejected calls for a ceasefire despite that mounting pressure. And in this op- ed, the President argues that a ceasefire could be exploited by Hamas. Now instead, the President and the administration has been pushing for humanitarian pauses, which would allow for the release of hostages held by Hamas, as well as for more humanitarian aid to get into Gaza.

But notably, the President touches on two other points in this op-ed, that includes, for example, a warning against extremists who are attacking civilians in the West Bank, saying that the U.S. is prepared to issue visa bans. This has all been an area of concern for the administration.

And also, the President taking a moment to call again, for a two-state solution. This has been an idea that the President has long endorsed and says is the solution for the Israel Hamas conflict. And in it, he says the following, quote, "A two-state solution to people's living side by side with equal measures of freedom, opportunity and dignity is where the road to peace must lead". He goes on to write, "Reaching it will take commitments from Israelis and Palestinians, as well as from the United States and our allies and partners".

Now, the President goes on to say that Israel should follow humanitarian law and protect innocent civilians. But zooming out here, the President acknowledging both the Israel conflict and the conflict in Ukraine, noting that these conflicts while they are unfolding abroad do affect U.S. national security and are significant and the U.S. support for these conflicts is important. And it is important too to not cede any ground to Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as to Hamas.

Now, the President and the administration have a supplemental request to Congress for billions more in funding to support both of these conflicts. That funding is currently stalled, so the President taking a moment in this op-ed to remind Americans why it matters now at what the administration sees as an inflection point. Victor and Amara?

WALKER: All right. Priscilla Alvarez, thank you very much.

The President's push for pauses over a ceasefire is drawing criticism from many. That includes some from within the Jewish community. Rabbi Jessica Rosenberg made headlines when she confronted the President earlier this month at a campaign fundraiser in Minnesota. Here she is.


RABBI JESSICA ROSENBERG, NATIONAL ORGANIZER AT BEND THE ARC: Mr. President, if you care about Jewish people as of Rabbi, I need you to call for a ceasefire or a breakdown.

ALL: No.



WALKER: President Biden did calmly respond, saying, "I think we need a pause. A pause means give time to get the prisoners out".

Rabbi Jessica Rosenberg is with us now from Minnesota. Rabbi, thank you so much for your time. As you know, the President, excuse me, hasn't budged from this position for anything beyond a pause. And President Biden wrote in part in The Washington Post this, "As long as Hamas clings to its ideology of destruction, a ceasefire is not peace to Hamas members. Every ceasefire is time. They exploit to rebuild their stockpile of rockets, reposition fighters and restart the killing by attacking innocents again." What would you say to the President now?

ROSENBERG: Thank you so much for having me. I called for ceasefire and I continue to call for a ceasefire because we cannot bomb our way to peace. We need a political solution, not a military solution. Palestinians are fighting for equal rights in the land. And as someone who learned from Jewish tradition that all life is sacred, that is what I'm fighting for, as well. And that's why I'm calling for a ceasefire. WALKER: You know, I'm curious to know what the reaction has been from your synagogue, the Jewish community in general, because I know you said that you were worried by confronting the President, you would be alienated from the Jewish community, what has been the feedback?

ROSENBERG: I have been incredibly heartened by so much support and care and love and that includes many, many people who agree with me. Many, many people who felt more empowered to take action after seeing my action, and also folks who will have actually a lot of questions about ceasefire and don't understand which is what some of what I hear reflected in Biden -- President Biden's op-ed, this idea that a ceasefire will enable Hamas.

A ceasefire is -- means all Israeli -- Israel and Hamas both stop the violence, that Israeli hostages come home and Palestinian prisoners get to come home and that we have have the space to actually negotiate a just peace that values the safety and freedom of all.


So I've actually -- since that event been able to have a lot of conversations with people to get to a better understanding of what ceasefire means.

WALKER: As you know, Rabbi, there are many in the Jewish community dealing with the trauma of the massacre, and of course, the hostages who have yet to return home. But they're also dealing with antisemitic attacks, perhaps, you know, you have dealt with that as well. We are seeing that just disturbingly across the world.

While you're calling for peace, what do you say to people in the Jewish community who are still dealing with all this pain?

ROSENBERG: Well, first of all, we get to grieve. We take all the space and time we need to feel the extreme grief and rage of the violence on October 7th. And to acknowledge all of what comes up when this happens, which is centuries of antisemitism, and killing Palestinians does not honor or bring back any of the lives of Israelis who are lost on the 7th.

And I want to say, I know there's many non-Jews who believe that supporting Israel in this war is how to stand in solidarity with Jews, or even make repair for the atrocities of the Holocaust. And I want to say that ending antisemitism in all the places that Jews live everywhere, that is how you stand in solidarity with Jews.

Antisemitism is real. And it is still very present primarily in our country from white nationalists and Christian nationalists. And for folks who want to support Jews and antisemitism, that is where we must look.

WALKER: And then I'm curious how would you have liked to -- how would you have expected or hoped Israel to respond on October 7th and beyond?

ROSENBERG: We need space and time to grieve the lives lost. And we need to work for equality in Israel-Palestine. Gaza has been behind a blockade for over 16 years, where there are really it's, you know, referred to as the largest open air prison in the world. And the conditions in Gaza are so bleak and dire.

We're also seeing the nonviolent boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which calls for equality. That's being outlawed in my state of -- my home state of Minnesota, it is illegal to support boycott. These are things that we can do, we need to make it possible for Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate. And the U.S. has a huge role to play in that.

Over $3 billion in military funding of U.S. tax dollars goes to Israel every year. That is money that could be spent here on our schools and our hospitals. And instead, it's being used to bond Palestinian schools and Palestinian hospitals. So that is some of what we need, is an end to the overwhelming enabling of Israel's violence right now.

WALKER: You know, you mentioned some of the very complex historical and political context to what's been happening for decades in -- and around Israel. But Hamas has and continues to be an existential threat to Israel. If your calls for a ceasefire are answered, would you be concerned that that could potentially put more Jewish lives at risk?

ROSENBERG: I'm concerned for Jewish lives and Palestinian lives and all lives and looking towards what is the future revisioning, it needs to begin with an end to occupation and equal rights for all people in this land. And until we have that, if Hamas is eradicated, a different group will emerge. Like that is when people are living without basic rights, that is the fundamental threat to safety in the region.

WALKER: We appreciate your voice and your perspective. Rabbi Jessica Rosenberg, thank you.

BLACKWELL: The ongoing war is turning up hate across this country, including at some schools and now the Education Department is investigating allegations of antisemitism and Islamophobia at seven schools. Here's CNNs Rene Marsh.

RENE MARSH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Amara and Victor, this is significant because these are the first campus hate investigation since the October 7th Hamas attack on Israel and it's also quite significant to have so many campus hate investigations happening simultaneously. It really speaks to the unprecedented level of hate boiling over at U.S. schools.

Now, the seven schools being investigated include universities like Cornell, Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania and one K through 12 school in Kansas.


And these investigations stem from complaints filed by students and advocacy groups five of them were antisemitic incidents and two were Islamophobic incidents that allegedly happened on campuses.

And as the agency is working to stem rising tensions at schools, here is the Education Secretary Miguel Cardona's message to parents.


MIGUEL CARDONA, EDUCATION SECRETARY: Your child should be unapologetic about who they are, expressing who they are. They shouldn't have to hide their identity to learn on campus or in a K-12 institution, and that it's our responsibility to protect them. And we're doing everything in our power to enforce that.

And if we see that there are places that are not doing it, we're going to open up an investigation -- we're going to provide support, but we're going to open up an investigation to make sure that we're doing our job as educators.


MARSH: Well, Cardona says he has never seen this intensity of hate on school campuses, and he anticipates that the agency will launch even more investigations. The agency will make recommendations for fixes at the schools. And if they do not comply, they do risk losing their federal funding.

CNN reached out to all of the schools under investigation, most of them responded saying that they will cooperate with the investigation. Amara, Victor?

BLACKWELL: Rene, thank you.

Coming up, former President Trump had some strong words for his successor on the campaign trail over the weekend.

WALKER: Also, as millions of Americans get ready to travel for Thanksgiving, new number suggests this could be the busiest travel season in years.



WALKER: Top Republican candidates converged in Iowa this weekend with only eight weeks left until the Iowa caucuses on January 15. Now, even though he is leading by a wide margin in the polls, former President Donald Trump told us a border Saturday not to be complacent and to get out and vote. He also gave some of his harshest attacks on President Joe Biden calling Biden a, quote, "stupid person" and attacked his mental fitness, suggesting without any evidence that Biden is on medication.

BLACKWELL: Governor Ron DeSantis is pursuing an all-out strategy in Iowa. He hopes a win in the state would build momentum to carry him through the other primaries. DeSantis's attacks on Trump are also becoming increasingly harsh calling the former president a lame duck and saying his candidacy for president is high risk, low reward.

In New York Mayor, Eric Adams is setting up a legal defense fund as he faces a wide ranging corruption investigation around his 2021 campaign.

WALKER: The FBI says it's focusing on campaign money, political favors and possible foreign influence and its probe and to Adams and his circle. CNN's Polo Sandoval has more.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Amara and Victor, good morning. The Eric Adams campaign quite upfront about why they're establishing this legal defense fund in an affidavit signed by Eric Adams himself and obtained by CNN. The campaign rights at the so called Adams Legal Defense Trust is, quote, "necessitated by and intended to defray legal expenses in connection with inquiries by the Office of U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York related to the operations of the Adams 2021 mayoral campaign committee".

Meanwhile, we should note that according to city regulations, any New York City employee is allowed to essentially fundraise to cover any legal bills. However, they do have to adhere to some very strict regulations and restrictions. I want to show you just a few of what those are. For example, donations -- individual donations, they cannot exceed $5,000. All of those legal expenses, they have to be disclosed.

Adams also cannot solicit any money from any subordinates or anyone doing business with the city and also they cannot accept any money from corporations or companies. So these are really just a few of those regulations that dictate who can donate and exactly how much and perhaps even when.

Meanwhile, Adams himself continues to maintain that he has not been accused of any wrongdoing, that we did retain that private attorney as this investigation process forward. Amara, Victor?

WALKER: Polo Sandoval, thank you.

Iceland has declared a state of emergency as a monitor of volcanoes rumbling under their southern peninsula.

BLACKWELL: The town of Grindavik had to be evacuated after it was rattled by more than 1,000 earthquakes over the past week. The video you're seeing here shows a damaged road steam you see there leaking up from underground. CNN's Fred Pleitgen has more.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning Victor, Amara. Well, the authorities here in Iceland do say that they believe a massive eruption could very well be imminent here in the south of Iceland. And as you can see behind me, there is a checkpoint there because that area is now completely cordoned off.

Of course, the main sort of focal point that the authorities are concentrating on right now is a town called Grindavik. And we've seen the footage from that town of streets that are already cracked, their steam coming out of those cracks, as it seems as though the magma in that area is trying to make its way to the top and burst through the Earth's crust. Again, the scientists here on the ground are saying they believe that that is something that could happen in the very near future. I want to show you around just a little bit because you can see right behind me, there is a sign here that says Grindavik and that is crossed out that's 10 kilometers away. So about, I'd say, about 6.5 miles. And also, of course, the world famous Blue Lagoon as well closed off.

But if we look in the distance, you can see there's a mountain back there with some steam coming up next to it. That is a geothermal power plant. And the authorities here are also very fearing that they believe that that power plant could be in danger as well from lava flows. And that's why they're trying to build sort of a trench system or barrier system to redirect the lava if and when the eruption does happen.


Again, the authority say right now big emergency situation on the ground. The town of Grindavik has been evacuated. There are some people who can go back for a short period of time and pick things up. But the authorities also say that that might stop in the not too distant future if the situation continues the way it has been, guys.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Fred.

All right, holiday time now. There are new numbers showing that a lot of people are not planning to get an updated COVID vaccine. We'll discuss the implications.


WALKER: A new survey shows about three quarters of Americans are not worried about getting COVID-19 over the holidays. Those numbers come from the Kaiser Family Foundation and they underline a clear trend and how attitudes about the virus has dramatically shifted.

BLACKWELL: You know people just aren't worried about getting COVID which means they are not as worried about preventing it either. About half of adults said that they were not planning on getting the new vaccine that became available in September.

CNN Jacqueline Howard has more.

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Victor and Amara, this lack of concern that's out there around COVID-19 is probably one of the reasons why we haven't seen much uptake of the latest COVID-19 vaccine. In this new KFF survey, it found that one in five adults it found that one in five adults, 20 percent reported that they have gotten vaccinated with the latest COVID-19 shot. 13 percent said they definitely will. 15 percent said they probably will get vaccinated. But the survey also found that 17 percent said they probably won't, and 34 percent said they definitely won't.


So, there is this shift in public opinions around COVID-19 compared with just a few years ago when there was a lot of concern and there was a lot of urgency to get. vaccinated. Now, where we are right now with COVID-19, earlier this month, there were around 14,700 people hospitalized with COVID. In comparison, around this same time last year, there were more than 23,000 people hospitalized.

So, it is good news that we aren't at those high numbers that we saw last year, but I will say last year, the week after Thanksgiving, we did see a significant rise in COVID hospitalizations. So, that will be something to look out for as we get closer to the Thanksgiving holiday and especially, Victor and Amara, as we get closer to the winter holidays.

BLACKWELL: All right. Thank you very much, Jacqueline.

I want to bring in now Dr. Jayne Morgan, a cardiologist and the former executive director of the COVID Task Force at Piedmont Healthcare here in Atlanta. Thank you so much for being with us.


BLACKWELL: OK. Three quarters of Americans do not fear getting COVID this holiday season. Are there reasons to be less afraid this year than in previous years?

DR. MORGAN: You know, what we've seen is just a general ambivalence as we've moved into this season, and we were hoping that this would be more of a transitional season where we would actually get out of COVID. But because of ambivalence, because of a confusing messaging and there's a polarization politically, as well as, kind of, a been there done that attitude that we really don't see the uptake that we would like to have seen. We are at maybe about 14 percent of people have gotten this updated vaccine to date.

But make no mistake, we never were at a great robust response at our peak variance. We were just under 70 percent nationwide of people who have received both vaccines. I know you have higher numbers with regard to people who are vaccinated, but those are people who received one dose of the original two dose series. And now I'm talking about people who actually completed the series and got two doses, that was less than 70 percent.

BLACKWELL: So, for the people who say that, you know, these three quarters of Americans who they're not afraid of getting it may be, and they don't have follow up here, but I've got the vaccine. I know that the vaccine will keep me out of a hospital and there isn't the fear of death. Is that sensible now that they say, maybe I've had COVID. It's not as bad as I thought it would have been in 2020 or 2021?

DR. MORGAN: So, one thing that we know is that the issue with COVID as opposed to other viruses like measles and mumps is that as it spreads from person to person it mutates. So, we're not able to get that herd immunity. We certainly had an opportunity early on in the pandemic to reach herd immunity, but we couldn't get enough people vaccinated within that time frame to reach that.

The other concern is the spillover effect that we see in our children with regard to vaccine uptake of all of our vaccines. So, for the first time since we've been tracking this with the CDC, we see that children have filed more than a three percent exemption out of getting these vaccines. And we need to have at least 95 percent of the population vaccinated to continue to have herd immunity.

And even more alarming, there are 10 states in the United States that have greater than that five percent. So, already are outside of what we deemed to be safe for herd immunity for measles. And there are 40 states that all have an increase. So, you can see what this spillover effect from COVID over to vaccinations in general and parents' attitudes towards them.

BLACKWELL: Yes, so make no mistake that that, as the survey found, more than half of respondents who say they probably or definitely would not get the updated shot has a public health impact for the rest of us.

DR. MORGAN: That's right.

BLACKWELL: That's how we got Delta, that's how we got Omicron and the mutations after that. Let's talk about the flu, and we're seeing an uptick in activity. There's a high activity -- and I looked at the map this morning, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, the highest across the country, a four percent increase week to week more than getting a flu shot. What, as we get back into airports and family gatherings, should we do with anything differently?

DR. MORGAN: So, let's talk about masks for a moment. And masks, you know, maybe have gotten a bad rap.


But something to think about masks, whether you're a pro-mask or anti- mask, masks scientifically have definitely been shown to decrease respiratory viruses. We are homo sapiens, human beings, so we live by breathing in oxygen. Masks are a barrier. The other thing to think about with these cold weather viruses like the flu is that mass keep the temperature of your nose elevated enough such that the receptacles in your nose can work and grab these viruses and bacteria that come in, it reduces your risk of infection.

Every nine-degree Fahrenheit that your nose drops in temperature, you kill off these vesicles that actually are there to sequester viruses and remove bacteria as it moves into your nose. And so, a mask actually keeps the temperature up as well, decreases your risk of getting ill.

BLACKWELL: I don't know if you all saw the light bulb over my head when you said that, but the idea that there's more blood and there's -- it's warmer than my nose can do its job --

DR. MORGAN: That's right.

BLACKWELL: -- for years when people have been saying, oh, I got a cold because the temperature dropped. I'm like, you don't get a cold from the temperature. But if your nose is colder --

DR. MORGAN: That's right.

BLACKWELL: -- the vesicles as you --

DR. MORGAN: That's right.

BLACKWELL: -- as they are --

DR. MORGAN: That's right.

BLACKWELL: -- can't filter out what's coming in.

DR. MORGAN: There you go. Grandma was always right.

BLACKWELL: Always right.

DR. MORGAN: Always right.

BLACKWELL: Dr. Jayne Morgan, thank you so much.

DR. MORGAN: You're welcome.

BLACKWELL: All right.

WALKER: Mama was right too.

Still ahead, a SpaceX rocket explodes just minutes after launch again. So, what happened and why are they calling it a success?



WALKER: SpaceX's second Starship mega rocket exploded after launching yesterday, just as it did during the first launch back in April. The mission for the uncrewed spacecraft came after months of rebuilding.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Kristin Fisher takes a closer look at what happened and how SpaceX says they will use what they learned for future missions.

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor and Amara. Well, SpaceX engineers are going to spend the next several days and weeks pouring over all of this data and trying to figure out what exactly went wrong. But it's important to note that this is what SpaceX likes to do. They like to push their rockets and spacecrafts all the way to the point of failure.

This is what they did on all of their previous successful rockets and spacecrafts. And now, they're trying to do it with Starship, the biggest rocket, most powerful rocket that's ever flown. And the ultimate goal is to put 100 people on top of this rocket, send them to Mars, and then colonize the red planet, that's the ultimate goal. But first, they have to figure out how to safely get this thing into orbit. Now, the test flight that we saw yesterday was a success. And that all 33 of the raptor engines ignited, the launch pad did not sustain any damage, there was a successful stage separation between the booster and the spacecraft, and it made it all the way up to the very edge of space, flying much farther than that first failed test flight back in April.

But then something happened, and that's why yesterday's test flight was also a failure. There were two big explosions. The booster and the spacecraft both exploded. And if this had all go perfectly, according to the flight plan, the spacecraft was supposed to complete almost one full lap of planet Earth before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. That clearly did not happen.

So, now this becomes what the FAA calls a mishap, and that's triggered a mishap investigation with the FAA. It will be led by SpaceX, but they now have to get the green light from the FAA to attempt to fly Starship for a third time, and we don't know how long that will take. But certainly, a step in the right direction.

The NASA Administrator, Bill Nelson, congratulating SpaceX yesterday. Calling it a big step forward. A sign of progress because NASA needs this Starship spacecraft because they're using it to land American astronauts on the surface of the moon for the first time in 50 years. It is a centerpiece of its flagship Artemis program. Victor and Amara.

WALKER: Kristin Fisher, thank you.

Still ahead, Indian authorities are now exploring new ways to rescue 40 construction workers who have been trapped underground for over a week.



WALKER: Police have ended a manhunt in Memphis after finding the suspect in several shootings dead from what appeared to be a self- inflicted gunshot wound. Police say, 52-year-old Mavis Christian Jr., inside his vehicle, after three women and a 13-year-old girl were killed and another teen wounded in several shootings yesterday. Police say, they happened across multiple locations in the city and said they believe Christian was related to at least some of those killed. Officials have not identified any of the victims or their relation to the suspect.

BLACKWELL: Rescue crews in the Indian Himalayas are now trying a new approach to reach 40 construction workers who've been trapped in a collapsed highway tunnel for a week now. The options include, constructing escape tunnels and drilling vertically from the top of the mountain down to the workers. Officials say, the trapped men are safe, they have light, they're receiving oxygen and food and water and medicines through a pipe.

Inflation may be slowing, finally, in the U.S., but it is still being felt at the supermarket as we approach Thanksgiving. Food banks are feeling the pinch.

WALKER: CNN's Rafael Romo is in Atlanta, where a charity that has been feeding residents for decades is holding a drive through turkey giveaway.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: About 800 families that were participating in this effort, they received a box like these behind me, they also got a turkey and ham. These families had to pre-register for this event, but it was open to everybody. And the reality is that many of these families are families in need. Many of them have lost their jobs. Some are recovering from the pandemic. Different situations that they're facing.

Hosea Helps was trying to make sure that these families got what they describe as a modest Thanksgiving feast. This is how they described the effort they were putting together to benefit families in the area.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The food is just the portal into the family. That's just the way we get them in the building. Then they meet with our case managers and we find out all domestic violences in this family. There's death. There's medical needs. There's children that are absent from school, et cetera.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Making a big difference. We will have a happy Thanksgiving and don't have to worry about what we're going to get the meal from.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, I was thinking about not even cooking on Thanksgiving, but now I have an opportunity to do so, and I'm so grateful.

ROMO: The good news for these families and families all across America is that food prices this year have indeed gone down a little bit. Just to give you an idea, a 16-pound turkey is a little less than $30. A food -- a meal for a family of 10 is about $60, that's about five percent less than last year.

But the reality is that many of these families are still in need, and that's what they've been telling us all along. They were very eager to get this kind of help. And that's what Hosea Helps was trying to do. And if the name of the organization sounds familiar, it is because it was founded by the late civil rights leader, Hosea Williams.

Rafael Romo, CNN, in South Atlanta.


BLACKWELL: Rafael, thank you. Coming up, weather could be a problem if you're traveling for Thanksgiving. Your holiday forecast next.



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN, the world's news network.

WALKER: All right. So, travel this holiday season is set to be the busiest in several years. Airports are bracing for record setting number of travelers.

BLACKWELL: More than 49 million people are set to hit the roads between Wednesday and Sunday -- next Sunday, I should say. CNN's Pete Muntean takes a look at the numbers.


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Here is the good news, the government shutdown was averted, which means that air traffic controllers and TSA officers will be working with pay, no impact on travel there. But the bad news is that this Thanksgiving travel rush is going to be busy.

TSA says, the rush has actually already started. It began on Friday. And they're expecting to screen about 30 million people through airports nationwide through the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, the 21st, 2.6 million people expected at airports. Wednesday before, 2.7 million people. The Sunday after Thanksgiving, 2.9 million people at airports nationwide, that would make it the biggest day ever for air travel.

Now, AAA expects 55 million people will travel 50 miles or more. That's a two percent increase over last year, making it the third biggest Thanksgiving travel rush since 2000. Now, airlines say there's a trend here. They're saying there's longer demand that is less concentrated. And AAA spokesperson Aixa Diaz says, remote work and hybrid schedules have really changed everything.

AIXA DIAZ, AAA SPOKESPERSON: The reality is, many people are leaving on Tuesday, on Monday, and also may be coming back the Monday after Thanksgiving because they know that Sunday is going to be such a mess on the roads and at the airports. So, people are being a little bit more flexible.

MUNTEAN: Even still, Thanksgiving's really more of a driving holiday. AAA anticipates 49 million people making road trips, that's a six percent increase compared to last year, thanks to gas prices being down about 10 percent compared to last year. The worst time to drive, Wednesday afternoon. That's when traffic in many spots, AAA says, could be 80 percent higher than the norm.

Pete Muntean, CNN, Washington.


BLACKWELL: Stormy weather along the east coast could cause some delays for people traveling as well this week, probably on the roads and in the skies.

WALKER: That same system is moving from the west coast into the Rockies today. Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is tracking all of it for us. Hi, Allison.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: And good morning. Yes, we've got a lot to talk about. So, let's start with right now. You've got some showers and even thunderstorms developing along the Central Plains. Out to the west, you've got rain and snow moving into the mountain west.

So, places like Salt Lake City and Denver going to start as rain and then see that transition into a rain snow mix overnight tonight as that system pushes eastward. You've also got rain going through the forecast Monday for Chicago, Springfield, St. Louis. And then on the southern edge, we actually have the potential for severe thunderstorms tomorrow. We're talking damaging winds, tornadoes and even some hail. Places like Shreveport down to New Orleans and even just south of Memphis as we go to tomorrow afternoon and especially into the evening hours.

And it's all because of this low-pressure system here that's going to be spreading eastward as we go through the next few days. So, by Tuesday, unfortunately, if you've got some air travel, a lot of the big connecting airports, Atlanta, Washington, D. C., New York, and Chicago all looking at rain in the forecast. Then as we progress into Tuesday night, you start to see a lot of that begin to push closer towards the east coast. So, Boston, New York, stretching all the way down the coast, likely going to have some travel problems.

Now, for today, it's mainly going to be the western cities. Wind is going to be a factor for Los Angeles and Las Vegas. As the system spreads further east by Monday, now you're starting to add Denver, Chicago. St. Louis on the possible delays. Once we get to Tuesday, you're talking Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., even up to New York. And then once we get to Tuesday night, you see the bulk of that really spreading in across portions of the Northeast as well.

WALKER: Allison Chinchar, thank you.

So, Santa came early this year for a Minnesota woman. She received more than 100 boxes of eyeglasses from Target by mistake.

BLACKWELL: Her name is Kelly Witter. She says, it started slowly last year with just a few pairs. And then it snowballed into this. Look at this.

WALKER: Oh, my goodness.

BLACKWELL: She called the company and she -- the way she's on the phone.



WALKER: What's so funny?

BLACKWELL: I mean, I don't know. The glasses on her. She called the company. She tried to return them. But they said it would cost more to do that. So, last weekend, more than a hundred boxes were delivered.


KELLY WITTER, RECEIVED EYEWEAR MISTAKENLY: Forget it. I'm just going to start, you get a glass. You get glasses. You get glasses.