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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Macron And Le Pen Set For Rematch Of 2017 In Upcoming Runoff Vote; Biden To Announce New Gun Regulation, Targets "Ghost Guns"; Shanghai Struggles To Contain COVID-19 Outbreak. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired April 11, 2022 - 05:30   ET





President Biden meets virtually today with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The United States has already made it clear that it does not want to see India increase its energy imports from Russia.

Let's bring in Washington Post columnist and CNN political analyst Josh Rogin. And Josh, how do you expect today's meeting to play out? The U.S. has been critical of India's not distancing itself from Russia.

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST (via Webex by Cisco): That's right, Christine. India, the world's largest democracy, has not sided with the democracies against the autocracies in this Russia-Ukraine war. India has a long history of being non- aligned. They have a deep relationship with Russia. They're dependent on Russia for lots of weapons and other economic and agricultural goods. So they're sitting on the fence on this one.

And I think this conversation will play out in two ways. One is on the sanctions piece and one is on the economic piece.

So, on the sanctions piece, I think the expectations of the Biden administration are quite low, actually. They don't expect Modi to join U.S. sanctions but they do expect him to at least not do the things that would get him sanctioned himself.

On the economic piece, I think there's more appetite for cooperation. There's a lot of things that the U.S. and India can do to mitigate the second- and third-degree effects of this war -- the agricultural disruptions, the economic disruptions, and the energy disruptions. And I think if they make progress on that, that'll be a good meeting.

ROMANS: I mean, I guess one of the things that they'll try to do is convince the Indians to not rely so much on military equipment from Russia. And maybe they're going to have to diversify because Russia's going to have to rebuild its military, right?

ROGIN: That's exactly right. Overall, the argument from Washington to New Delhi is how's that Russia friendship looking now? What is -- you're dependent on all this Russian military hardware. Well, how's that military hardware doing on the battlefield if you really want to wait in line for 10 years, as the Russian Defense Ministry rebuilds itself before it can export anything?

But these kinds of changes happen very slow and India looks at China and they say well, maybe we shouldn't get rid of all of our military hardware right now. So it is in a difficult spot. There's no doubt about that. But the political -- the geopolitical chessboard is changing fast, Christine --

ROMANS: Right.

ROGIN: -- and if there was ever a time to press India now would be it.

ROMANS: And you're right that the U.S. administration has already been making this case that the ever-strengthening Russia-China access is not good for India and its democracy.

ROGIN: Well, that's right. In the long run, this idea that India can be friends with Russia and enemies with China doesn't really make sense when you consider that Russia and China are best friends.

So that's, again, part of the argument that Biden is going to make. He's going to say listen, in the long run, India, you're on our side. You're on the side of free and open societies, or at least you should be. And the response of India will likely be sure, but we'll get there at our own speed.

ROMANS: All right, Josh Rogin, CNN political analyst. Always nice to see you bright and early this morning. Thank you.

All right. French President Emmanuel Macron and far-right challenger Marine Le Pen appear to be the top two candidates after the first round of presidential elections, setting up a rematch of their 2017 race in France.

Melissa Bell joins us from Paris this morning. How close was the race between these two rivals, and what happens next?

MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: What was remarkable about the result last night Christine is that Emmanuel Macron, on one hand, strengthened his position, and that was really not what anyone had really expected going into this first round. But, Marine Le Pen also strengthened her position compared to 2017.


A good score for this sitting president -- 28% percent of the vote. But when you consider that 50% of those voting voted for extreme right or extreme left candidates, it gives you an idea Christine of just how fractured France's political landscape has become.

And so now, we look ahead to this fresh campaign -- two weeks that will lead us to the 24th of April when Le Pen will face off against Macron. And Christine, you have to go back to 1974 to find a race in the

second round that was as close as the one the pollsters are predicting for April 24. What they announced last night after the results was that Macron is likely to beat Marine Le Pen by 51% -- her getting 49%. You haven't seen that since '74, and then it was the traditional right facing off against the traditional left. This time, you're really seeing two starkly opposed visions for France that will come very close to one another.

So, Emmanuel Macron is off campaigning already today in the north of France where Marine Le Pen scored such high figures, trying to convince her voters to change their minds. One of the big questions will be how the far-left voters who voted for Jean-Luc Melenchon to the tune of 21% -- how their votes will be redistributed.

A stark picture of what's ahead and many questions about which one will manage to convince the French on April 24. And as I said, a lot at stake, Christine.

ROMANS: All right. Melissa Bell, thank you so much -- in France for us.

All right. President Biden revealing a new plan to fight gun violence today. We'll have that for you. And the 8-mile Russian convoy in Ukraine spotted by satellite cameras.



ROMANS: All right. Later today, the president -- President Biden will announce new gun violence measures targeting so-called 'ghost guns'. These are untraceable firearms that can be bought online and built at home.

CNN's Jasmine Wright is live in Wilmington, Delaware. Jasmine, what do we expect to hear from the president on gun violence today?

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN REPORTER: Well, Christine, today's announcement from the president is all about trying to contain these privately- owned, privately-made guns. And now this comes, really, as the Biden administration is under pressure to do more about crime, about gun violence, as crime ticks up across the country. And some of these ghost guns, as they are called, are found in more and more crime sites.

So, these -- the regulations that he's going to announce today on ghost guns -- and now, these are untraceable and relatively unregulated guns made from kits. And we know that basically, these regulations are going to try to fill in the gaps that are unregulated by the federal government.

As you can see here, they're handmade or self-assembled firearms. They can be built in as little as 30 minutes using kits or parts. No serial numbers. Not registered. So these announcements are going to try to flip a lot of that. Some of

them are going to require background checks on those who were to buy the kits to then make the gun, something that is required for all other types of firearms. And then, other rules announced today -- they're going to be to add serial numbers to newly-made kits or already to existing ghost guns that gun dealers find within their shops.

And now, in another part of what we expect the president to announce today Christine, is he will announce his new nominee for the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms Bureau that Steve Dettelbach, former U.S. Attorney General -- and that is after the president had to withdraw his first nominee for that position back in September because of obvious congressional objections -- Christine.

ROMANS: All right, Jasmine. Nice to see you this morning. Thank you, Jasmine Wright.

Let's bring in Charles Ramsey, CNN law enforcement analyst and former Philadelphia police commissioner. So nice to see you, sir.

You know, on the front of the New York Post, this is -- this city is shaken by a ghost gun that authorities say was responsible for the death of a 16-year-old girl and two other people seriously hurt -- innocent bystanders.

Talk to us about the danger and the problem of these ghost guns and why they're such an issue.

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST, FORMER PHILADELPHIA POLICE COMMISSIONERS (via Webex by Cisco): Well, it's a huge issue and is growing almost every day. More and more ghost guns are being recovered on the street by police.

What makes it so dangerous is the fact you can buy them online. You can buy it at gun shows. There's no background check. So a person that's a domestic abuser, for an example -- a convicted felon. You could be on the no-fly list and get a ghost gun.

It doesn't matter. The age doesn't matter. Anybody can get their hands on it. And they're relatively easy to put together. Your reporter mentioned sometimes within 30 minutes or so.

And you're starting to find more and more of them. I think over the last five years close to 700 have been used in homicides, for an example, on streets across the city. So, it's getting worse and worse and there needs to be some regulation put in place.

ROMANS: So what action do you think the -- can the president put forward that would make a difference on the street with these ghost guns?

RAMSEY: Well, one thing that's going to be introduced is going to be an amendment to the definition of a firearm that ATF is going to propose that's going to include these gun kits. When you buy a kit it's about 80% completed. And so, with a drill, a drill press, you could easily put these things together.

And now, instead of straw purchasing firearms, there are people who are actually getting a lot of these gun kits, putting them together, and then selling them on the street. And again, there's no way you can trace it and it creates a tremendous problem for police at these crime scenes.

ROMANS: Yes, I can't imagine the challenge that is for law enforcement already struggling with gun violence and then ghost gun violence as well.

The president is expected to nominate Steve Dettelbach to head up the ATF. What should the top priority be if confirmed there at ATF?


RAMSEY: Well, again, they've got to push this through in terms of redefining or at least amending the definition of firearms and really tightening things up so that it can be regulated to an extent again. This isn't to take away people's guns but it's to make common-sense regulations to really keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them. And so, that's got to be a top priority.

ATF has done a good job in partnering with law enforcement agencies across the country to really aggressively attack gun violence, but much more needs to be done. Like many law enforcement agencies, they're understaffed and they're going to have to be able to increase the number of personnel in ATF to be more effective.

So, whoever gets that is going to have their hands full. There's no question about that.


All right, Charles Ramsey, CNN senior law enforcement analyst. So nice to see you this morning. Thank you so much.

RAMSEY: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right, 45 minutes past the hour.

Golf's top-ranked player now has his first Major victory and his first-ever green jacket.

Coy Wire has this morning's Bleacher Report live from Augusta, Georgia. Hi, there.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, Christine.

Scottie Scheffler looked ready. He seemed like as cool as the center seed of a cucumber having taken a 3-shot lead headed into yesterday's final round. But he revealed later that his stomach had been hurting for two days. And his wife told me they had to watch episodes of "THE OFFICE" with some Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute just to relax and get his mind right before the biggest round of his career. You would think that the 25-year-old nerves were going to be rattled early after seeing his 3-shot lead cut to just one after two holes, especially after hitting the ball in the woods on hole number three. But his third shot from about 30 yards out Christine was going to bounce and skip up right on into that hole. The lead was back to three and he was never really threatened after that.

Scottie's dad told me afterwards that it's his stick-to-itiveness -- a mental toughness that's fueled his success.

Scheffler winning by three over Rory McIlroy. He never won a PGA tournament until eight weeks ago, and now he has four wins, including his first Major.

But afterwards, he said he didn't feel ready to slip on that green jacket -- listen.


SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER, 2022 MASTERS CHAMPION: I cried like a baby this morning. I was so stressed out. I didn't know what to do.

I was sitting there -- I was telling Meredith I don't think I'm ready for this. You know, I'm not ready. I go, I don't feel like I'm ready for this kind of stuff. And I just felt overwhelmed, you know. I just can't believe that I can come back for a lifetime and get to enjoy this golf course.


WIRE: All right. Now, Tiger Woods getting a huge ovation from the gallery as he walked up 18 completely -- completing that incredible return to golf 14 months after nearly losing his leg in a car accident. Tiger finishing 13 over par but still had a huge smile on his face. You could see that gratitude just emanating. He was back at the Masters once again.


TIGER WOODS, 5-TIME MASTERS CHAMPION: This tournament has meant so much to me and my family -- you know, this entire tournament. I mean, it's been a tough road and one that I'm very thankful to have an opportunity to be able to grind through it. A lot of different things could have happened but at 14 months I'm able to tee it up and play the Masters.


WIRE: Tiger says he will play in June's British Open. It's at one of his favorite courses, St. Andrews in Scotland. He did not commit yet, though, to playing next month's PGA Championship.

All right, Christine, one more thing you have to see here. The biggest roars from the crowd at the 18th green came from Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa. Rory shooting eight-under on the day, capping off an incredible final round in style. The shot from the bunker goes in. Rory's pumped. I mean, he throws his club. Look at this emotion. I was

right there and we see the patrons erupting themselves, chanting his name. He finished a seven-under.

Now to his playing partner, Morikawa, from the same bunker. How can you top that? He has a line drive and it goes in. Now the crowd starts chanting his name.

Rory comes over for a big bro hug. It's certainly a moment they will never forget.

The Masters here from Augusta National Golf Club was incredible, delivering emotion, and inspiration from Tiger to seeing Scottie Scheffler win his first Major.


WIRE: It was awesome.

ROMANS: Another epic one in the books and you got to see it. Coy Wire, so nice to see you this morning. Thank you.

All right. Just ahead, a new commander and a brutal new strategy for Russia's war on Ukraine. First, 25 million people struggle to find food and medicine as a major city locks down due to COVID.


ROMANS: All right. COVID-19 is surging in Shanghai despite a weekslong lockdown under China's strict zero-COVID policy. More than 26,000 new cases reported Sunday, the fourth-straight day topping 20,000 new infections.

CNN's Anna Coren is live in Hong Kong. Anna, what is the Chinese government saying about this COVID surge and the lockdown? And I'm assuming there is frustration among the Chinese population.


ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There is enormous frustration, Christine, in Shanghai, a city of 25 million people who have been locked up in their homes since the end of March. I mean, as you know, this is the economic engine of China. It is the most populous cosmopolitan city in the country that up until now has really escaped China's zero-COVID policy.

They would have targeted lockdowns of compounds but nothing like the snap lockdowns we've seen in major cities around the country. But the surge in cases in March meant that officials had no other choice except putting people into lockdown.

We are hearing of food shortages, medicine shortages, and people have been taking to social media venting their anger and voicing their frustration, and how can this be happening. We have no food.

And I want to show you some video that was recorded on Friday of protests that took place in Shanghai in a residential compound. These people had broken out of their homes and were confronting police who were at the gate. And they were screaming "give us supplies."

You know, Christine, I've been speaking to local residents in Shanghai who tell me that this is real. That they have not had access to fresh vegetables, fruit, meat for days now. That they are living off canned food, they are living off instant noodles, and they are having to bulk buy through WeChat groups with their communities. Sometimes the food is delivered, sometimes it is not.

But she said it's gone from shock to anger, to utter despair because people are saying when is this going to end? There just seems like there is no end in sight.

For the government, Christine, they are doubling down on their strategy. Xi Jinping, China's leader, last week, said that this was a good strategy with great success. And we know that the vice premier is in Shanghai. She is overseeing this operation itself.

But certainly, for the people, they are growing frustrated. They are tired. They're exhausted. And people are just scratching their heads how can this be happening in Shanghai.

ROMANS: Yes. All right, Anna Coren following it for us. Thank you so much, Anna. Nice to see you.

Let's get a check on CNN Business this morning. Those lockdowns are at play when you look at markets around the world. COVID lockdowns and rising interest rates rattling global markets.

You can see Asian shares closing lower. Europe is opening mixed here. On Wall Street, stock index futures also leaning down -- just a little bit, though. I would not call that very decisive. It is, however, for Nasdaq. You can see that tech stocks leading a decline over there.

U.S. stocks closed mixed on Friday, ending the week in the red as the Federal Reserve hinted it would tighten monetary policy even more quickly. Tech stocks the big leader on Friday's losses. Chipmakers like NVIDA and Micron struggled with ongoing supply chain problems. And investors are nervous this points to impending -- an impending economic downturn.

Oil prices rose slightly Friday but they're down this morning, reflecting volatility in the midst of Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Also, those big lockdowns in Asia actually are good news for oil prices. It caused oil prices to cool a little bit.

And just moments ago, the credit rating agency S&P Global placed Russia under selective default on part of its foreign debt. That came after Russia offered to pay rubles on two bonds denominated in dollars. Those bonds were due April 4.

Elon Musk -- after all, Tesla's chief executive and the world's richest person -- will not join Twitter's board after buying a 9% stake in Twitter. Twitter's CEO made the announcement in a tweet saying "Musk remains the largest shareholder. The company will remain open to his input."

Initially, when Musk planned to join the board, he agreed to owning no more than 14.9% percent of the company's share. Theoretically, he could increase his stake beyond that now. All right, we'll continue to watch that one.

Thanks for joining us this morning. I'm Christine Romans. "NEW DAY" picks it up right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.