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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Biden And Xi To Meet Virtually As Early As Next Week; Day Four Of Testimony In Ahmaud Arbery Murder Trial; California Couple Sues Fertility Clinic For IVF Mix-Up. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired November 10, 2021 - 05:30   ET




LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett. It's about 30 minutes past the hour here in New York.

Breaking overnight, President Biden and Chinese President Xi are planning to meet virtually as early as next week. A source familiar with the planning of the meeting says specific details have not been ironed out yet but plenty on the table to discuss, including China's military aggression against Taiwan. Its recent testing of hypersonic missiles; cyberattacks, of course; the climate crisis; and the space race could also be on the table.

All right, to COVID now. As many kids are rolling up their sleeves for a shot before Thanksgiving with grandma, another high-profile celebrity is casting some doubt on vaccines, really, for kids. Actor and potential candidate for Texas governor, Matthew McConaughey, says while he has taken the vaccine, he's taking a beat before getting his younger children their shots.


MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY, ACTOR: So, I want to trust in the science but I think if there's any kind of scam or conspiracy theory -- hell, no, I don't. And right now, I'm not vaccinating mine -- I'll tell you that.


MCCONAUGHEY: I'm not vaccinating mine. I want to get some more -- I've been vaccinated, my wife has been vaccinated. We have a high-risk person in our household -- my mother, who is 90, and she's immune- compromised.

I couldn't mandate having to vaccinate the younger kids. I still want to find out -- I still want to find out more information.


JARRETT: And the truth is McConaughey is not alone here. Some parents say kids, on average, tend not to get seriously ill if they happen to get COVID. So, the argument is let's just wait it out, but the reality is after weeks of declines in cases, cases in children have risen six percent in the last week. And the longer that this virus circulates uncontrolled, the more likely it is that another variant emerges -- one that may actually stand up to our vaccines.

Here is the Surgeon General on this.


DR. VIVEK MURTHY, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: COVID is not harmless in our children and many kids have died, sadly, and hundreds of children -- thousands have been hospitalized. And as a dad of a child who has been hospitalized several years ago for another illness, I would never wish it upon any parent that they have a child who ends up in the hospital.


JARRETT: At the same time, many schools are suffering from their own form of what you might call long-haul COVID and shutting their doors.

Seattle Public Schools will be closed Friday, and public schools in Denver will shift to remote learning for at least two days this week, both due to staffing shortages.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Teachers, educators -- there's nowhere else that we want to be than with our -- in the classrooms of our students. But we're also so exhausted right now because so much has been added to our plate and nothing's really been removed.


JARRETT: There's also this growing trend away from masking in schools across the south here defying CDC guidelines. Students in Miami-Dade County and Broward County, two of the biggest school districts in the country, are no longer required to wear masks. And Texas schools aren't even allowed to require masks, although some districts have just ignored that rule.

All of this is part of why the Biden administration says the time is now to make such an aggressive push to boost the number of vaccination sites for children.

Testimony is set to resume in just a few hours in the trial of three men in Georgia accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery. Prosecutors have tried to undercut this defense argument about why the defendant chased this unarmed Black jogger in the first place.

CNN's Martin Savidge is on the ground in Brunswick, Georgia for us.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Good morning, Laura.

For a third straight day, the prosecution continued to hammer at one of the basic pillars of the defense, and that is that all three defendants, their attorneys say, were actually trying to conduct what was a citizen's arrest under the old Georgia law.

However, on the witness stand on Tuesday, who we heard from was actually the first police officer on the scene who got to interview Gregory McMichael. And the point that the prosecution, Linda Dunikoski, made in talking to this officer -- she kept saying well, did Gregory McMichael ever say that they were actually trying to conduct a citizen's arrest? Here's that exchange.

LINDA DUNIKOSKI, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY, AHMAUD ARBERY MURDER TRIAL: Did he ever tell you while you were talking to him that he was attempting to make a citizen's arrest?


DUNIKOSKI: Did he ever even use the word arrest?


DUNIKOSKI: What does he say the reason is he gets his gun?

BRANDEBERRY: I don't know if the guy is armed because the other night the guy stuck his hands in -- down his pants.


DUNIKOSKI: OK. And what did he say about that at the end of line 24 and 25?

BRANDEBERRY: I don't take any chances.

SAVIDGE (on camera): So, what we have had now over the past two days is three law enforcement officers talking to the defendants in this case, and at no time did those defendants ever say to law enforcement they were trying to conduct a citizen's arrest.

Meanwhile, the defense is pushing back and saying what really matters here is what was in the minds of the three men when they gave pursuit of Ahmaud Arbery. And they will say the men were thinking that Ahmaud Arbery had done something criminally wrong and that it was their duty to protect their neighborhood by pursuing him -- Laura.


JARRETT: Martin, thank you for that.

Another big trial. The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse -- that young man charged with shooting three people during protests last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin -- it's moving fast. The defense team is doing their able best to poke holes in various witness testimony.

Things got heated during cross-examine yesterday of a freelance journalist. He left out a key detail when he first spoke to police about Rittenhouse shooting a paramedic.


NATHAN DEBRUIN, WITNESS: He had his firearm out, pointing at Kyle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. And as the gun's pointing at Kyle, what happened?

DEBRUIN: Kyle shot Mr. Grosskreutz.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You saw Mr. Grosskreutz point his gun at Mr. Rittenhouse?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's nowhere in your statement.

DEBRUIN: Correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, that wasn't important to include in September 11th?

DEBRUIN: Like I said, I'm not a detective.


JARRETT: There's a chance Rittenhouse could take the stand as soon as today.

CNN's Omar Jimenez is in Kenosha.


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Good morning.

We are now headed into a seventh day of testimony in this trial and the second day for the defense. In total, the prosecution called 22 witnesses.

And a large focus at the end of its case really centered on the moments around the killing of Joseph Rosenbaum. He was the first of two people shot and killed by Kyle Rittenhouse back in August of 2020. Rosenbaum was shot four times -- once in the left thigh, once in the hand. He suffered a graze wound to his head and was shot in the back -- the lethal shot.

The prosecution focused on when Rittenhouse fired his weapon and from what position. Take a listen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it your opinion to a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the back to front shots to the head, and then the kill shot to the back would have been while he was falling or perpendicular to the ground?

DR. DOUG KELLEY, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST WITH THE MILWAUKEE COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINER: The only way that the trajectories of the gunshot wounds to the right side of the head and the back make sense is that he's more horizontal to the ground and that is occurring at the time that the last two gunshot wounds are heard on the video.

JIMINEZ (on camera): Now, the defense underscored that all four shots of that deadly interaction happened in less than a second and that if Rosenbaum was charging like a bull, to use the defense attorney's words, that downward bullet trajectory could still be possible.

Now, the doctor's testimony came with graphic pictures that were shown throughout the trial on Tuesday. And Kyle Rittenhouse, at many times, had to avert his eyes, visibly shaken by what was being shown, as did many of the jurors.

Then, after the prosecution wrapped its case, the judge issued a decision to drop charge number seven against Kyle Rittenhouse. That is the curfew citation charge. It rules that the prosecution didn't show enough evidence that a curfew actually was in effect back on this night in August of 2020.

Rittenhouse, though, still faces five felony charges that include murder and reckless homicide, along with the misdemeanor of being a minor with a weapon. He's pleaded not guilty to all of those -- Laura.


JARRETT: Omar, thank you for being there for us.

Now to a potentially devastating, life-changing mix-up at a fertility clinic. A Southern California couple has filed a lawsuit claiming that the clinic implanted the wrong embryos during in-vitro fertilization, causing two moms to deliver babies that weren't theirs.

Daphna and Alexander Cardinale say they entrusted the California Center for Reproductive Health and their doctor to help them after years of trying for a second child with no luck. They successfully went through IVF.

But once the couple's baby was born, they knew something wasn't right. The DNA test later proved that the child Daphna birthed was not related to her and not related to her husband, and they had to switch babies with the couple who had their biological daughter.


ALEXANDER CARDINALE, PARENT: Losing the birthed child that you know for the genetic child that you don't even know yet, it's a truly impossible nightmare.


DAPHNA ALEXANDER, PARENT: Instead of breastfeeding my own child, I breastfed and bonded with a child I was later forced to give away.


JARRETT: The story does have a good ending, though. The two couples ultimately agreed that the infants would stay with their birth mothers and fathers. We'll be right back.


JARRETT: So, it might just be the number-one issue on the minds of a lot of Americans as the holidays approach -- gas prices.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It hits your pocket. I'm just doing my best to drive less.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I spend, like, sixty per week -- so it's a lot. Before it was 20.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would say probably about $10.00, $15.00 more, which is significant if you drive long, long distances.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, it's driving all the prices up on my jobs and everything, you know, along with everything else.



JARRETT: Matt Egan joins us live from a shopping center in Paramus, New Jersey. Matt, good morning.

When something goes wrong everyone wants the president to fix it -- it's only natural. But what can he actually do here on gas prices, and what can he not do?

MATT EGAN, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Well, Laura, that's right. I mean, U.S. presidents have enormous power but they can't just simply make gas prices go lower. Really, there are no easy fixes here but let me run you through some of the options that are being talked about and some of the drawbacks for each.

First, he could get on the horn with OPEC again. OPEC has not been doing the president any favors. They have not increased production to the degree that the White House wants. So far, energy diplomacy hasn't really worked.

Two, Senate Democrats have urged the president to consider banning oil exports. Now, experts I'm talking to -- they don't think that's going to work. That could actually backfire because this is a globally traded commodity, and if you limit supply in the global market prices could actually be higher.

Three, the strategic petroleum reserve. That is the nation's stockpile of emergency barrels that's used during natural disasters, times of war. And there is pressure on Biden to consider tapping the SPR. But again, that's not a long-term fix. It does not fix the underlying issue of not enough supply and soaring demand.

There's another idea that maybe he could team up with other countries to release barrels from other reserves, and that could possibly turn up the pressure on OPEC. It may also have a little bit of a bigger impact on prices.

Another idea is that maybe the president could meet with the oil industry. Maybe he could cut some red tape and encourage them to pump more oil. But Laura, that's not going to happen because it would completely undercut his climate agenda. You know, in many ways, the president's climate ambitions are colliding head-on right now with economic reality.

JARRETT: Yes. So, bottom line, it sounds like he really can't do much but he's going to feel the heat politically no matter what.

Matt, I also want to ask you about this next big inflation report card due out today. It's the kind of thing that excites Christine Romans and you, I imagine. But for everyday people, all they know is that they're paying more for stuff and that's what inflation really matters -- and that's why it matters to everyday people.

What are economists telling you? Is this going to go away anytime soon or is it here to stay for a bit?

EGAN: Laura, unfortunately, a lot of people think that this is actually going to get worse before it gets better. And listen, sticker shock is real.

Let me run you through just some of the items that have gotten a lot more expensive over the last 12 months. Obviously, gasoline. We just talked about that. Forty-two percent over the last 12 months. Used cars, 24 percent. Bacon, beef, up nearly 20 percent. T.V.s, kids' shoes, rent.

Now, the latest inflation report due out in less than three hours is unfortunately expected to show an acceleration of inflation. Prices -- consumer prices expected to be up 5.8 percent over the last 12 months. That is a pick-up from what we saw in September.

Also, it would be the biggest 12-month gain since December of 1990 -- a little context there. Back then, George H.W. Bush was still in the White House, and Bill Clinton was the governor of Arkansas. So, it's been a very long time since we've seen an inflation number like that.

The irony here though is prices were falling in early 2020 when the pandemic erupted. Used cars, gasoline, hotels, airfare -- everything was getting lower. But that's because the economy was completely shut down. Now, demand is picking up, supply can't keep up, and that is why we've seen prices go up.

JARRETT: Matt, the holidays are on -- are just around the corner and shoppers are seeing something that they don't like -- out of stock. You see it everywhere. You're at that big shopping center. I can see the Best Buy behind you.

What are people telling you? You spoke to shoppers. What are they saying? EGAN: Well, Laura, shoppers that I've spoken to this week -- they say that they are concerned that some of the things they want may not be in stock. Some of them are shifting their strategy. They're going earlier, they're considering different items. Some of them have been forced to trade up to more expensive items.

Let's play the sound on some of the shoppers that I talked to.


RAMI SINGH, OWNS A PRIVATE PRE-SCHOOL IN NEW YORK, LIVES IN NEW JERSEY: You know, I'm a bit frustrated that prices are up. I think with so much competition you would expect them to be lower. So, it's quite frustrating with all the money being funneled into free money into the economy just causing inflation and everything. So, with that comes higher pay raises for my employees and higher operating business expenses for my business. So, it is quite frustrating but it is what it is.

BRADY MCREYNOLDS, WORKS FOR SMALL LITERARY AGENCY, LIVES IN BROOKLYN: I'm not doing holiday shopping. I'm shopping for, like, the small business I work for. Their printer selection is pretty bad and it looks like maybe they're getting like the chip shortage -- they're kind of affected by that.


EGAN: Now, the chip shortage, of course, is a big deal because chips go into everything that has an on-off switch. Everything from, obviously, computers, smartphones, to exercise machines.


Now, Best Buy, for its part, says that unlike some of its competitors, their inventory situation is getting a little bit better because they've been planning. They've been chartering their own transportation in some cases. Still, Best Buy says there could be some products that may be hard to get, including smartphones and Bluetooth speakers.

Online shoppers -- they're also having some issues with out-of-stock. Adobe has this report out showing that out-of-stock has been up 33 percent over the last year, 325 from two years ago.

Laura, big picture, this is going to take some time to sort out and that means that this holiday shopping season -- people are probably going to be seeing higher prices --


EGAN: -- and fewer options.

JARRETT: Yes, fewer deals, fewer coupon codes. Not great.

Matt Egan, thank you, though, for being there for us. It's really helpful to get your reporting. EGAN: Thank you.

JARRETT: And as we're talking about all this shopping, it's the end of an era for one American retailer. Kmart shuttering its last remaining store in Michigan, the state where the company launched in 1899. The latest round of closings leaves Kmart with only six locations in the continental U.S.

Kmart is owned by Sears, which purchased the chain out of bankruptcy in 2005. Sears is facing a similar challenge right now. This year, the company shuttered its last store in Illinois where it was founded in 1925.

All right, now to a little sports. Aaron Rodgers says he takes responsibility for misleading statements about his vaccination status.

Andy Scholes has this morning's Bleacher Report. What's he saying, Andy?


So, Aaron Rodgers -- he's making his weekly appearance on "THE PAT MCAFEE SHOW" yesterday and he says he feels better and hopes to be back on the field on Sunday for the Packers. And Rodgers also said he respects everyone's opinion on his vaccination status but stands by everything he said last week.


AARON RODGERS, GREEN BAY PACKERS QUARTERBACK: I shared an opinion that is polarizing. I get it. And I misled some people about my status, which I take full responsibility of those comments. But in the end, I have to stay true to who I am and what I'm about, and I stand behind the things that I said. I believe that people are entitled to their opinion and even if it's an opinion that's unfavorable to make.

I'm an athlete. I'm not an activist. So, I'm going to get back to doing what I do best and that's -- and that's playing ball.


SCHOLES: All right.

The NFL, meanwhile, completed its review of the Packers' COVID protocols yesterday and handed out a punishment. A league spokesperson tells CNN the team has been fined $300,000, while Rodgers and wide receiver Allen Lazard were fined nearly $15,000 each for attending a Halloween party despite being unvaccinated.

All right, to college football. Cal and USC will not play on Saturday after a series of positive coronavirus tests in the Golden Bears' program. This is the first major college football game to be postponed due to COVID this season. Cal was without two dozen players in last week's loss to Arizona. The game has been rescheduled for December fourth, the day after the conference championship. All right, college football's second playoff ranking of the year are out. Ohio State slides into the top four after Michigan State's loss to Purdue. They're behind Georgia, Alabama, and Oregon.

Michigan State gets dropped to seventh, a spot behind Michigan, despite the fact that they beat them 11 days ago. Undefeated Oklahoma -- they stay ranked number eight.

All right, the college basketball season tipping off last night with 340 games. Mike Krzyzewski beginning his farewell tour at Madison Square Garden, taking on Kentucky in the Champions Classic. Duke's talented freshmen leading the way. Trevor Keels scoring 16 of his 25 in the second half. The Blue Devils win that one 79-71.

And we already had a buzzer-beater on night one. Seventeenth-ranked Ohio State trailing by one in the closing seconds to Akron. The Buckeyes running an inbound play to perfection. Zed Key getting a bucket in the lane at the buzzer. Buckeyes win it 67 to 66, avoiding the big upset on opening night.

And I'll tell you what, Laura, great to have college basketball back and get those awesome buzzer-beaters pretty much every night.

JARRETT: I can tell you are a happy man. Thanks, Andy.

SCHOLES: All right.

JARRETT: Appreciate it.

Well, Crew 2 is back on land now. Crew 3 is a go for launch. SpaceX's next flight is set for tonight from Kennedy Space Center. Three NASA astronauts and one from the European Space Agency will head to the International Space Station for three months.

And "People" magazine has declared Paul Rudd the "Sexiest Man Alive." Rudd is known for his roles in movies like "Ant-Man" and "Anchorman." He stars in the new Ghostbusters movie due out later this month. People has been publishing its annual "Sexiest Man Alive" issue since 1985.

Well, thanks so much for joining me today. I'm Laura Jarrett. Christine is back tomorrow. "NEW DAY" is next.



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. It is Wednesday, November 10th. I'm John Berman with Brianna Keilar.

And breaking overnight, presidents are not kings, and the plaintiff is not president. What a ruling from a federal judge that former President Trump cannot use executive privilege to block the House January 6 Committee from obtaining documents related to his attempt to overturn the 2020 election. Trump had sued to keep the White House records secret but, at least by this judge --