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Dozens Are Dead And Even More Injured After An Attack On A Moscow Concert Hall; Catherine, Princess of Wales, Announces She Has Cancer; ISIS Claims Responsibility for Attack at Concert Venue Near Moscow; Catherene, Princess of Wales, Diagnosed With Cancer. Aired 6- 7a ET

Aired March 23, 2024 - 06:00   ET




VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to CNN This Morning. It is Saturday, March 23. I'm Victor black.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Amara Walker. Thank you so much for being with us. We are following several developing stories for you at this hour. Russia says nearly a dozen people have been detained in connection with a terror attack at a popular concert hall that killed more than 100 people. New this morning what the U.S. is saying about that attack and the warning it gave to Americans traveling in Russia leading up to it.

BLACKWELL: Plus, messages of support are coming in from around the world after Catherine Princess of Wales revealed that she has been diagnosed with cancer. Our Richard Quest is live this morning at Buckingham Palace with the latest we'll get to him in just a moment.

But first, we're starting with the breaking news out of Russia, the head of the Russian security services 11 people have been detained in connection with a deadly terror attack near Moscow. A warning that the video we're about to show is disturbing.

And witnesses captured the attack at the concert hall as people ran screaming or they tried to hide from the gunshots. Russian authorities say four of the people they detained were directly involved in Friday's attack at the Crocus Complex, which left at least 93 people did that's the latest number this morning and more than 100 others hurt.

WALKER: Now, ISIS claims its members stormed the concert hall shooting people and then setting it on fire. This attack happened just days after the U.S. Embassy in Russia warned Americans to avoid large gatherings, citing reports that extremists were planning attacks.

Now, Russian President Vladimir Putin initially blasted those warnings saying they were trying to destabilize, excuse me, Russian society. The state media reported authorities thwarted at least three ISIS related attacks just in March alone. CNN's Ivan Watson joining us now from Hong Kong. Hi there, Ivan. What's the latest?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor and Amara. Grim news. In the last few minutes Russia's Investigative Committee has increased the death toll from this night of terror outside of Moscow to 115 people killed in something that bears all the hallmarks of a terror attack with authority saying that gunman broke into this concert venue and began opening fire started a fire that has been smoldering until now and collapsed the roof of this auditorium.

The scenes inside, you know, I witnesses have described trying to play dead to escape the gunfire. Take a listen to what one other man had to say about this very frightening night.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I was sitting in the hall upstairs where the balconies were we heard gunshots. At first we didn't understand what had happened. Then I personally saw how the terrorists came in started shooting everyone. In the end they threw a Molotov, everything was set on fire. We were led to the exit turned out the exit was locked. We ran all over Crocus City trying to find the exit but to no avail. We went into the basement of Crocus City Hall and waited for the emergency services and got out.


WATSON: Now overnight, there were desperate calls for blood donations, saying this was a matter of life and death scores of people injured. And we have a claim of responsibility coming from ISIS on an ISIS- linked account on the social media group app Telegram no evidence to back that up. And there have been developments. Russian authorities claiming that they have captured at least 11 suspects linked to this attack. Back to you guys.

BLACKWELL: Now, Ivan, has Vladimir Putin said anything about this? If so what?

WATSON: No, we have not heard anything from him and recall he was just declared himself the winner of an election for another term of President just days ago. But no, he has not addressed the nation now, more than 14 hours after the deadliest terror attack in recent history in Russia.

Instead, what we're starting to hear is the Russian Security Services trying to connect the people behind this to Ukraine saying they kick -- picked up four suspects that were on a highway on the way to Ukraine and claiming that they were trying to cross the border into Ukraine.


Now, last night, the Ukrainian foreign ministry categorically denied any links whatsoever to this attack. In fact, it said that they don't need to carry out terror attacks. They're fighting a trench war and firing projectiles across border at Russian oil refineries, for example. So that war is definitely going on right now.

Meanwhile, the Russian Security Services themselves they have been talking about the threat of ISIS just this month alone, as you've mentioned, carrying out at least for counterterror operations, saying that they had killed a number of suspected ISIS militants, who in one case, they claimed were plotting an attack on a synagogue in Moscow.

And we'd also had this warning coming from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow on March 7, saying that U.S. citizens should stay away from large gatherings, including concert venues, saying that there'd been chatter about possible threats from extremist, no surprise that this may get murky recall, Victor and Amara, that just last June, you had a Russian mercenary warlord who led a cross border attack from Ukraine, halfway to Moscow a deadly march there.

There is a long history of deadly violence coming from very different political ideologies in Russia. Back to you.

WALKER: All right, Ivan Watson, appreciate your reporting. Thank you very much.

We're also following developing news in the U.K., Catherine, Princess of Wales says she is now in the early stages of treatment following a cancer diagnosis. She revealed the news on Friday and an on camera message saying doctors found the cancer when she underwent surgery in January but she did not say what type of cancer she had or the prognosis.

BLACKWELL: Catherine (ph) not been seen in an official capacity since Christmas. And despite the palace initially announcing that she would not return to her royal duties until after Easter, speculation about a condition ran wild and attempts to quiet rumors only added to the frenzy.

CNN's Richard Quest joins us now from outside Buckingham Palace. Richard, what has the reaction been in the U.K. since this message was released?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think it's pretty universal in the sense of sympathy, sadness, and good wishes. Let me show you the major newspapers if I may. This is the Daily Telegraph. Cancer came as a huge shock is the main headline on that. The Times of London says Princess of Wales has cancer and says I'm going to be okay.

And if we look at for example, some arguably the more tabloid newspapers, here's the Daily Mirror, left leaning Daily Mirror. It has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louie and to reassure them that I'm going to be okay, that's a sort of common theme of all the newspapers, this mixture of I'm going to be OK, and this idea that I need time, peace, quiet for my recovery. And to explain to the children.

CNN's royal correspondent, Max Foster now reviews the way the princess told the world about her health.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A devastating announcement from the Princess of Wales.

CATHERINE, PRINCESS OF WALES: In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London, and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous. The surgery was successful, however, test after the operation on cancer had been present.

My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy. And I'm now in the early stages of that treatment.

FOSTER (voice-over): In a recorded message, the Royal said you'd began chemotherapy to treat an unspecified cancer. After weeks of speculation about Catherine's well-being this is her first official appearance filmed by BBC studios on Wednesday on the grounds of Windsor Castle, according to a royal source. She explained why it had taken some time to go public with the news.

CATHERINE: It has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that's appropriate for them and to reassure them that I'm going to be OK. As I've said to them, I am well. I'm getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal in my mind, body and spirits.

FOSTER (voice-over): A royal source telling CNN Kate and William had been waiting until their children began their school holidays, to share the diagnosis publicly to try to shield them from the news coverage.


Catherine hadn't been seen at any official public appearances since Christmas, off work and out of the public eye since then. In January, the princess underwent an unspecified abdominal surgery, and was in hospital for two weeks, a frenzy of conspiracy theories emerging on social media, but few guests that princess could have been dealing with such a serious diagnosis at the age of 42.

The princess's announcement comes just weeks after the royal family announced King Charles himself had cancer. The king today saying he's so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did, according to Buckingham Palace.

KATE WILLIAMS, ROYAL HISTORIAN: I think we are moving into a new royal world. It's totally unprecedented. The king was open. Kate is open and I think it really makes us think about the royal family. We can't always imagine their superhumans going on forever.

FOSTER (voice-over): Prince Harry and wife Meghan sent their wishes to saying we wished health and healing for Kate and the family and hope they're able to do so privately and in peace.

Despite Catherine's unprecedented openness, it's unlikely any further details will be shared by the princess about her illness. And she's asked to be given privacy at this time. Catherine has said she's in good spirits but are also said that she

won't return to full time duties until cleared by her doctors, Max Foster, CNN, Buckingham Palace, London.


QUEST: Now, we had expected to see the princess over the Easter break, maybe going to services with the rest of a church service or with the rest of the family. That's not now likely to happen. They're going to spend time with the family, with the children trying to come to terms with what they got. And of course, Victor and Amara, the princess is undergoing now that chemotherapy treatment, which in itself will take its toll.

WALKER: Yes, and Richard, you know, when you look at the parallels to her diagnosis with King Charles, I mean, King Charles announced his cancer diagnosis. I think that was in February.

What does this mean when you have two senior members of the royal family who now are both dealing with cancer so publicly and also having to I guess, reduce their royal duties for now?

QUEST: Excellent question. It has a major effect. We've already seen the queen, Queen Camilla, doing many, many more duties, so she had to take a break. She was in Northern Ireland last week. We now know why William didn't go to a memorial service, that he was expected to go to.

How you move forward. Remember the old adage, you know, the monarchy has to be seen, it has to be out there. But if the King and the Princess are not there, William and the Queen have to pick up the slack, and other members of the royal family like Princess and the Princess Royal. And of course, Edward and Sophie that you can judge us of course, but the way Edinburgh, by the way, this idea that Meghan and Harry are going to suddenly swoop back in to Britain and help them out with. I mean, it's not a feasible nor realistic. And I wouldn't put any credence in it.

BLACKWELL: You bring up Harry and Meghan. And they have been very vocal about the pressure that the British media, the paparazzi there placed on the royal family.


BLACKWELL: Of course, we know how much they hounded The Last Princess of Wales. Kate has asked for privacy. Are you confident that in this period she'll get it?

QUEST: I'm confident she will get it from the British media directly, yes. The mainstream media view will certainly follow the requests. They've only because they don't want to annoy the palace to such an extent.

However, and this is the big one, it is the online trolls, it is the influencers. It is those memes. They're the ones that won't follow. It's the paparazzi from overseas who will come in recognizing that a picture of Kate going in and out of hospital could be worth serious amounts of money.

It is only when those people take the photographs and nobody buys them. Because everybody says we're not touching it with a 10 foot pole. But I'm pretty certain -- well I know for example, at CNN, we will follow the rules to the letter. The mainstream media in the U.K. the BBC, ITN Sky, NBC, ABC, CBS, everybody will follow the rules and give her the privacy that they seek.

WALKER: Richard Quest, appreciate you joining us. Thank you so much. Of course, we'll check back in shortly with you and there is still much more ahead on CNN This Morning. A shutdown averted on Capitol Hill. Congress pushes through a last-minute funding bill to keep the government open and now it has to the President's desk.

BLACKWELL: Plus, we'll take you back to London for reaction to Princess Kate's announcement that she has cancer.



BLACKWELL: We're following more breaking news this morning. This from Capitol Hill early this morning the Senate voted on a spending package to avoid a partial government shutdown. A vote happened two hours after the midnight deadline and ended a long run I'm on Capitol Hill.


WALKER: And sure did, the bill is expected to go to the President's desk to sign and just a matter of hours. Let's get more now from CNN Capitol Hill reporter Annie Grayer. Good morning, Annie.

So this ends a very long and painful process that has dragged on much longer than it should what does it mean now?

ANNIE GRAYER, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Well, good morning, Victor and Amara. I think first, lawmakers are taking a collective sigh of relief because they have finally funded the federal government through this fiscal year. The Senate passed a bill at 2:00 a.m. that funded the remaining portions of the federal government that bill now heads to the President's desk. We're expecting him to sign it today, which means we're not going to see any lapse in federal funding.

Let's take a look at what was in this bill that funded the remaining parts of the federal government, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, you can see the breakdowns on your screen here.

But what this really marks is the end of a tumultuous process on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers we're sprinting up into the deadline multiple times passing these short extensions to get to this point.

And we saw Kevin McCarthy lose his job over his handling of government funding back in October. Speaker Mike Johnson now faces a threat from Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene over his handling of the appropriations process. And from a broader perspective, what we really saw is how difficult it

is to fund the federal government in a divided Congress. Republicans have a very narrow majority in the House, Democrats control the Senate. It was always going to be a showdown. But Republicans tried to pass a number of partisan measures that were going to go nowhere in the Senate.

So this really set up painstaking negotiations to get to this point. But lawmakers with this government funding behind them can kind of regroup before they have to do it all again in just a few short months.

WALKER: All right, Annie Grayer. Well, I'm sure talking to -- be talking to you about that in a few months as well. Thanks so much.

BLACKWELL: Still ahead. ISIS claimed responsibility for the terror attack and more than 100 deaths now near Moscow. Officials say that number will likely rise.



BLACKWELL: We've got more in the breaking news now out of Russia, the head of the country's security services, 11 people were detained in connection with the deadly concert hall attack near Moscow.

WALKER: Now this includes for terrorists who were reportedly directly involved in the incident at the Crocus City Hall Complex which left at least 115 people dead and over 100 hurt last night. According to the Russian Ministry of Health, dozens of people including two children who were injured are in serious condition. ISIS claims its members stormed the concert hall shooting people and setting it on fire.

Joining us now our CNN global analyst affairs analyst Kimberly Dozier. Kim, good morning to you. Let's start with the reporting that we're getting, especially from the Russian Security Services saying that four men suspected of this attack were detained near the Ukrainian border. What do you make of that? And also the ISIS-K claims of responsibility?

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, it seems that already, the Moscow apparatus is moving to defend Vladimir Putin, who had dismissed warnings by the U.S. and other Western embassies a few weeks back that extremists were planning some sort of attack like this. And they're slaving -- they're putting Ukraine as a leading suspect in at least supporting the attacks.

Because if it's true that the FSB, the Russian Security Services, knew that a plot was in the making, and failed to stop this, then what does that say about Vladimir Putin's ability to keep his own people safe? It might posit the argument that Russia is too focused on the war in Ukraine when there's a threat much closer to home. And the FSB has done in recent weeks that it stopped various ISIS plots. So it seems let this one through. BLACKWELL: Kimberly, it's almost unthinkable, especially here in the

U.S. that an event like this would happen. 115 people would be dead. And you would not hear from the leader of the country so many hours after this. What do you make of silence, not hearing from Putin himself so far?

DOZIER: Well, you've heard from various senior Russian officials, including the deputy prime minister saying things like Putin has sent his regards and best wishes to those recovering in the hospital. And one Parliament -- when Duma maker -- lawmaker has been out in public saying that Putin will speak after it's more clear who was responsible.

It speaks to a possible, you know, scrambling of how to handle this violence, how to pin it, possibly on Ukraine. That lawmaker was saying that, quote, unquote, 90 percent of the Russian public believes this is somehow linked to Ukraine, or that Ukraine helped enable this plot.

But let's remember that Russia has long been propping up the Assad regime in Syria with its own forces on the ground, where ISIS still hold sway in much of the Northern Territory and has conducted operations there and inside Russia against ISIS.


So ISIS did have a reason to attack and while some Russia visuals have been saying, oh, well, it can't be ISIS because this happened during Ramadan and it happened on a Friday. I can remember several attacks, including in recent memory, on mosques on a Friday, claimed by ISIS. And in some parts of the ISIS world, it is an extra blessing to attack during a holy period like Ramadan.

WALKER: Do you have any reason to doubt this claim of responsibility from ISIS-K? Because again, you're talking about the fact that ISIS-K did have and does have reasons to attack Russia. In fact, it's been fixated on Russia for a couple of years, as I've heard from some analysts.

And, you know, we also have heard from Ukrainian officials denying any involvement in this attack. And of course, the concern on that side is that Putin can use, you know, the allegations or accusations that Ukraine was involved to scale up operations in this war. Is that your concern as well?

DOZIER: Well, when you look at -- just to borrow language from the intelligence community, you've got the U.S. in advance warning of extremist attacking. You've got ISIS operations on Russian and Caucasus soil that the FSB has publicly spoken about in recent weeks. It looks like there's a high degree of probability that ISIS did carry this out.

But you're already seeing anonymous quotes in RIA Novosti, in TASS, making a connection between the suspects and Ukraine. So it seems that no matter who was actually responsible, Russia wants to turn this to its advantage, blame it on Kyiv, and somehow take the responsibility away from Putin for failing to keep his people safe. BLACKWELL: So ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the attack in Iran early this year. They've now acclaimed responsibility for this. What, if any, threat is there to the U.S.? We know that ISIS-K was responsible for that attack in Afghanistan that killed 13 U.S. service members. Is there some reason to believe that this will spread and they have goals to attack inside the U.S. as well?

DOZIER: Well, ISIS has also -- ISIS-K has also carried out recent attacks inside Afghanistan against the Taliban. But in terms of reaching the United States, U.S. intelligence officials were out testifying publicly before Congress saying that ISIS had called for attacks against U.S. targets because of U.S. support for Israel in its campaign inside Gaza after the Hamas attacks of October 7th. But what U.S. intelligence officials have been more worried about at this point is inspiring attacks, ISIS-inspiring lone wolves inside the U.S. to carry something out. It's much more probable that U.S. targets overseas, like where U.S. troops are based, are in more of a direct threat from some sort of ISIS violence.

WALKER: And just quickly, what will you be looking for when Putin does indeed speak to his country?

DOZIER: If he does lay this at the feet of Kyiv, what I'll be looking for next is for the U.S. to declassify and make public some of its intelligence showing that this was ISIS and not Ukraine.

BLACKWELL: Kimberly Dozier, always good to have your analysis. Thanks so much.

The U.N. Security Council is working on another resolution for Gaza ceasefire and hostage release after U.S. proposed resolution failed on Friday. It was vetoed by Russia and China. The U.S. has vetoed similar resolutions three times from other countries. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his war cabinet in Tel Aviv also on Friday as part of an intensive diplomatic push toward a ceasefire.

But Netanyahu has vowed to continue his Gaza offensive and send more Israeli forces into the southern Rafah region where more than a million people are right now.

WALKER: Up next, a heartbreaking time for the royal family. King Charles and the Princess of Wales both in the thick of a tough battle with cancer. We're going to discuss the health issues facing the monarchy in just a minute.



RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: We're continuing to follow the major news this morning. Princess Catherine of Wales has begun treatment after being diagnosed with cancer. In a message to the public, she asked for privacy.

Social media had taken over with wild conspiracies in the past few weeks about why the princess had been out of the public eye. Now Princess Catherine dispelled those rumors and world leaders and everyday Britons alike have voiced their support for the princess as her recovery gets underway.

Joining me now is the British broadcaster and the Royal Watcher, Bidisha Mamata.

And thank you. Grateful for your time this morning. And there's a sort of a -- sort of a shame-facedness, isn't there? That everybody was so prurient and voyeur about why we hadn't seen her, what was happening. Well, now we know the poor woman's dealing with cancer.


BIDISHA MAMATA, BROADCASTER & ROYAL WATCHER: Yes, I think that's absolutely completely and utterly correct. The lurid wild speculation, the strange gossipiness of it, the absolute horror of the U.K. media and not just the tabloid media rounding on this woman who really until now her public persona and I believe her private character have actually been about control, self-control, professionalism, discretion and absolutely understanding her role.

I very much hope that this public statement that Kate Middleton has made hasn't come as a result of all of this gossip and speculation and pressure. I think that she's so impressive for having presented this statement to the public with such self-possession.

QUEST: So, how do -- how do we all react in the sense of leave her alone so she can have her privacy. But as the morning, "The Sun" newspaper, of course, Britain's largest selling number, it says, we hope the trolls who continue their vile behavior hang their head in shame. From all of us get well soon. But how does this practically work out? Because the newspapers, even ourselves, there is a -- there is a wish to know what's happening and we will be seeking information.

MAMATA: Yes, that's the really terrible trial of being in the royal family. On the one hand, they have every right in the world to behave as a normal family does. That means privacy, bringing up children, marrying, living, loving, going on about your work and your duties.

And yet, of course, the public think, oh, we want to know everything. How dare these people with all their wealth and their privilege keep something from us? But I think that you mention of privacy and discretion are exactly right.

What we can do moving forward, all of us, is to not expect to see too many of the major royal family figures this year, to realize that both the king and the princess are undergoing very effective, I think, treatment for cancer. They have both said that they have the best medical teams. They have both said that they are focusing on health and recovery and friends and family. That's how we go forward.

QUEST: All right. Now, practically, the numbers of working royals was already diminished. Princess Anne, the princess royal, can only go so many. You've got the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, Edward and Sophie. But over the next six to eight months, they're going to be short on numbers for simply doing the day-to-day stuff of the royals. Now, the queen is in her 70s anyway. So what do they do, Bidisha?

MAMATA: I think that there will be less of a demand placed on the royals. If you remember, I think a few years ago, Queen Elizabeth II's sort of public duty schedule was released. And it was as if she had three different things every single day.

She was extraordinarily competent at showing up for every single one of her things. But even then, people thought, how are they doing this? I think over the next 18 months, because you have two of the major roles, as you say, in treatment, we won't be trying to swap in and swap out and bench and relegate players as if this is a sports game or a chess game.

There will be fewer public demands on them as a family. I think precisely because this is about cancer. This is about something which every person thinks about. You read the statistics of how many people are sufferers, patients, survivors. You know it could happen to you. It could happen to any of us.

And so to make demands, even on the royal family in a situation like this, it seems a little bit excessive. I think everyone will draw away. The public got their pound of flesh. The public got the amount of gossip that they wanted. And now we need to be discreet.

QUEST: Grateful for you, Bidisha Mamata. Thank you for your time this morning. And to you, Amara and Victor, back at the CNN Center.

BLACKWELL: Richard, thank you so much. Dr. Jayne Morgan is joining us this morning. She's a Cardiologist and Executive Director of Health and Community Education at Piedmont Healthcare.

WALKER: And we don't know a lot of details, obviously, about the type of cancer Princess Kate has or stage she's in. We don't know the prognosis. But here's what we do know.

In January, she had major abdominal surgery. At the time, the palace says it was thought to be non-cancerous. But then cancer showed up in tests after the operation. And she stayed in the hospital nearly two weeks. And then she began chemotherapy in late February.

So Dr. Jayne Morgan is here now in studio to talk more about this. Again, we don't know a lot. But I just wanted to get your take on this because, you know, the -- you know, we're hearing that she went in for major abdominal surgery. Doctors believe that the condition was non- cancerous. Do you believe, and then they found out after the fact and they performed some tests. So was this an incidental finding? Or do you believe she had gone in based on some suspicions?


DR. JAYNE MORGAN, CARDIOLOGIST: It does sound as if there were some suspicions, especially since she describes it as major --


MORGAN: -- abdominal surgery. That -- that descriptive term really stood out to me.


MORGAN: -- that it was major abdominal surgery for someone so young. And so why would she have gone in to have this surgery? So there was something that was concerning them that needed to be addressed surgically. And I think pathology, meaning looking at the type of tissue that was there within that type of surgery was something that they were trying to do. That was part of it.

They probably were not expecting perhaps it to be cancer, those results to be cancer, but it is always a possibility. And unfortunately, that's what it seems to be in this case. So it does seem to be less of an incidental finding. Of course, we can't rule it out entirely.


MORGAN: But for some reason, she already was scheduled for what she describes as a major abdominal surgery.

BLACKWELL: Preventative chemotherapy, is that especially common flesh out also that that term that people still do in that often?

MORGAN: So she used the word preventative, I think in -- in medicine, we call it adjuvant, which means it's not really preventive chemotherapy. It sounds as if whatever was there was removed. And then they come in afterwards with the chemo to kill any other microscopic cells that would not have been visible to the eye of the surgeon at the time, sort of blasting the area with chemotherapy, if you will.


WALKER: So what kind of issues could prompt a major abdominal surgery?

MORGAN: And so, you know, this term abdominal, I'm not certain what she means by it. So abdominal surgery could be many of the organs in the abdominal cavity, the liver, the pancreas, the gallbladder, the spleen, the intestines, the colon, but also the reproductive organs, the uterus, the ovaries, the cervix. And so all of that maybe is included. And what that means is -- is unclear. We certainly see an increased rate of cancer, unfortunately, in people under the age of 50 and under the age of 40. We see this continuing to rise, especially with colon cancer.

We see with the cervical cancer as well. There's been a decreased rate of cervical cancer in women in their 20s who were sort of this first wave to get the HPV vaccine. But beyond 20, 30s and 40s and 50s, we still see slight increases in cervical cancer.

And again, this human papilloma vaccine, the HPV vaccine, 90% protects you from cervical cancer. And men as well would need to get the vaccine because they can transmit the virus to their wives or their partners and increase their risk of cervical cancer. Of course, I'm not saying it's cervical cancer, but this is part of all that perhaps she is describing when she says abdominal cavity, lots of things in the abdomen, the pancreas as well.

BLACKWELL: It's important because, you know, in the interest of transparency, we don't know what type of cancer it is. She has kept that private. But without knowing that detail, is there any way to be certain or confident about the type of treatment she will face now without the detail of what type of surgery?

MORGAN: Right. So she has said that she's having chemotherapy.


MORGAN: So whatever it is, part of the therapy in moving towards a cure, I'm assuming, is the chemotherapy. Now, there are all types of chemotherapy, what we call cocktails. You can mix any number of things without knowing exactly which type of cancer it is. It's unclear what kind of chemotherapy she's receiving.

But chemotherapy in itself has toxicities, has side effects. And so we may be able to expect a change in her appearance depending on what she is getting infused, including hair loss. It causes an incredible amount of fatigue in many people as the cells are destroyed because normal cells are also destroyed in addition to the cancerous cells. And you become incredibly tired while your body tries to regenerate these new cells. You can get mouth ulcers.

And so it may be that we can expect a change in her appearance. Again, some chemotherapeutic agents are different than others. We don't know what she's getting exactly.

WALKER: Obviously, her statement hit home, right? I mean, same age group. She's a woman, mother with a young family. And when she said that, you know, she is taking the time to try to reassure her family, her children, that she's going to be OK, I mean, it must have been a very, still is a tough moment for her.

MORGAN: No, absolutely. And you have to talk about the children and make certain that you have some psychological assessment of everything that's happening within that family and how to manage it.

BLACKWELL: Dr. Jayne Morgan, thank you.

MORGAN: Thank you.



BLACKWELL: Soaking rain, damaging winds, the coastal Northeast braces for a severe threat that could bring dangerous flash flooding, we'll look at the forecast next.


BLACKWELL: Well, Mother Nature apparently has her seasons mixed up. Back-to-back storms bring more snow to the Midwest and Central U.S. than they've had all winter. WALKER: What? What is going on? And it's not even close to being over yet, even though it's the first week of spring. Meteorologist Allison Chinchar tracking all of it for us. What in the world's going on?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: And it's not a one-off. There's two back-to-back systems bringing a tremendous amount of snow. So yes, it's kind of weird to think that it is the first week of spring, but it's not going to feel like that.


BLACKWELL: That video should have the word file. This is from another time and place.


WALKER: Right, we hope it does not.

CHINCHAR: Yeah, so let's take a look. So right now we're wrapping up that first system. This is the one in the Northeast. You've got very heavy rain along the coast right now raining in New York and Boston, but you go just a few miles inland. It's that rain, snow mix, and also very heavy snow. Once you get up into upstate New York, also the green and white mountains, that's why you've got these winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories for more than half a dozen states.

You've also got some spread out for the next system that's set to arrive along the northern tier of the country. That's going to arrive later on tomorrow. Flood watches along the coast of Boston, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia. You're looking at all rain from this system. So we're talking about two to four inches total there.

The good news is this system moves out by the time we get to the latter half of the weekend. So Sunday is going to be much drier. Quite a different story in the central U.S. where Sunday is really going to be the trouble day, especially the central portion here. You can see that low pressure system making its way from the Dakotas, Nebraska in towards the Midwest by Monday.

And we're talking a lot of snow with this. For some of these cities, they could end up getting more the next few days than they did in all of winter.

WALKER: I don't know what's worse, you know, having it extremely cold like that or dealing with the pollen here. I mean, it's just admirable.

BLACKWELL: Oh, yeah, yeah, the pollen is here. I just -- for these people, it's like they're just ready to switch.

WALKER: I know.

BLACKWELL: It's over. You got to keep everything out. All right, Allison, thanks so much.

CHINCHAR: Thanks. WALKER: All right, still to come, more from the devastating scene on

the outskirts of Moscow. More than 100 killed, more than 100 others injured after a terror attack, the latest on the search for the suspects.