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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

U.K. Intel: Russia Lost A Third Of The Forces Committed To Invasion; Shanghai Claims City Will Return To Normalcy In June; Pennsylvania Senate Candidate John Fetterman Recovering After Stroke. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired May 16, 2022 - 05:30   ET




SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Russian forces are getting additional help. About 600 Chechen fighters and others described as volunteers are on their way to the war zone. Chechen units have played a prominent role since the invasion began.


MALVEAUX: And many Ukrainians started making their way back home. I had an opportunity firsthand to see them going from the border -- Poland into Ukraine -- two different checkpoints. The lines extremely long snaking around about miles or so. I had to go to a second checkpoint just to get in -- hours and hours.

I had an opportunity to meet a mother who had her 7-year-old son in the car, asking her -- front of the line -- how long had she waited to get there. She said four days -- four days that it took her.

This is simply a -- really, a demonstration of just the optimism. She said all she wants to do, no matter what she faces, is to get home.



JARRETT: All right, Suzanne. Thank you for being there for us.

Meantime, Russia may have lost as much as a third of its ground forces it committed to the Ukrainian invasion.

CNN's Clare Sebastian joins us live from London on this part of the story. Clare, what else have we learned from this British defense intelligence assessment?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Laura. This would be a significant problem, obviously, for the Russian forces in Ukraine if they have lost a third of their ground forces. We don't know exactly how the Ukraine Defense Ministry arrived at that estimate. The latest estimate before this from the British defense minister was 15,000 Russian casualties. That was at the end of April.

So if you imagine that there were about 150,000 Russian troops on the border of Ukraine before the invasion, according to U.S. and Ukrainian intelligence sources, that would be a significant uptick if we're talking about a third of that.

But they're not just talking about the loss of people in this assessment; they're talking about critical losses of equipment. What they call enabling equipment. Things like bridging equipment, drones -- everything that sort of enables a swift advance in a military context.

They're saying that the Russian forces have lost a significant amount of that kind of equipment and that is what is slowing them down. That, coupled with low morale, as well. And that is leading the British intelligence and the Defense Ministry to say that they're not expecting Russia to dramatically accelerate their advance over the next 30 days.

So, clearly, a difficult situation as they try to focus on the Donbass and the Ukrainian resistance really steps up.

JARRETT: All right, Clare. Thank you.

Just ahead for you, the U.S. governor pushing for a total abortion ban -- no exceptions. And, the U.S. Senate candidate you just revealed he's recovering from a stroke right before the primary.



JARRETT: Thirty-seven minutes -- back now.

Shanghai's government announcing plans to roll back its COVID restrictions next month after some seven weeks of being on lockdown there. Authorities say the reopening will happen in stages with the goal of returning to normalcy by mid to late June.

CNN's Anna Coren is live in Hong Kong with more on this. You know, the government has received so much criticism. What made them finally relent?

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, Laura, I've got to say not a lot of people are buying this. Yes, they have this 3- stage plan to return to normalcy, as you say, by the middle of next month, but there is really a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to anything that the Shanghai authorities are telling their people. That's because 25 million people have been locked up for the past seven weeks.

And this is all conditional on eradicating the virus. On Sunday, they recorded 938 cases. Yes, that was the first time since the end of March that cases had dropped below 1,000.

But I spoke to one resident this morning, Laura, who said we just don't buy it. We do not see an end in sight. We're almost conditioning ourselves to the fact that we basically live within these four walls.

Compare that to what's going on in Beijing, the capital, which recorded 54 cases on Sunday. If anything, Laura, they are ramping up restrictions there. There's talk of a soft lockdown being put into place in certain districts.

And the government has announced another further three rounds of testing this week. People have already gone through 15 -- lots of tests just in the last couple of weeks. It just goes to really show the level of paranoia from the government and their determination to abide by this zero-COVID strategy.

And I think, too, Laura what really perhaps sums up how long they think this pandemic is going to affect the Chinese people. The Asian Football Federation Cup, which is something that is hosted here in Asia once every four years -- China was due to host it next year, June and July, Well, they have just announced that they will no longer be hosting this Cup. They think they will still be affected by the pandemic this time next year.

COREN: Wow. Well, that's telling. All right, Anna Coren. Thank you.

Up next, the leading candidate for a U.S. Senate seat now says he is recovering from a stroke. And the Major League team that didn't allow a hit and yet, still lost the game, next.



JARRETT: Jury selection begins this morning for the trial of Michael Sussmann, the former lawyer for Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign. It's part of the special counsel, John Durham's, 3-year investigation of whether former President Trump's first campaign was unfairly investigated by the FBI.

Now, Sussmann is being charged with lying to the FBI by saying he was just being a good citizen when he informed authorities about what he thought were suspicious ties between the former president and Russia. This was two -- less than two months before the 2016 election. Prosecutors, on the other hand, allege that Sussmann was acting on behalf of the Clinton campaign.

To the fight over abortion now. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts says he will move to pass a total ban on abortion in his state if the Supreme Court strikes down Roe versus Wade. The Republican governor telling CNN's Dana Bash on "STATE OF THE UNION" that there would be no exceptions for rape or incest.



GOV. PETE RICKETTS (R-NE): So, Nebraska is a pro-life state. I believe life begins at conception and those are babies, too. So, if Roe versus Wade, which is a horrible constitutional decision, gets overturned by the Supreme Court, which we're hopeful of, here in Nebraska we're going to take further steps to protect those pre-born babies.

DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Including in the case of rape or incest?

RICKETTS: They're still babies, too -- yes. They're still babies.


JARRETT: More than a dozen states have so-called trigger laws on the books, meaning abortion will be almost immediately banned there if Roe versus Wade is overturned by the high court. Nebraska's effort to pass its own such law failed by just two votes last month.

Well, Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman is recovering this morning after suffering a stroke just days before the state's primary tomorrow. Fetterman, Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor, remains hospitalized this morning. He posted a video of himself and his wife at the hospital, and he also released a statement saying, "I'm feeling much better and the doctors tell me I didn't suffer any cognitive damage. I'm well on my way to a full recovery."

Polls show Fetterman with a significant lead over two Democratic rivals.

Let's bring in Dr. Salman Azhar, director of the stroke program at Lenox Hill Hospital here in New York. Doctor, so nice to have you.

Walk me through exactly what happened here, and what is happening in your brain when a stroke strikes.

DR. SALMAN AZHAR, DIRECTOR, STROKE PROGRAM AT LENOX HILL HOSPITAL (via Webex by Cisco): Sure. Thank you for having me on, Laura.

And I think, first of all, the lieutenant governor is very lucky that his wife made him go to the hospital when she -- when it happened because he got to the -- got to the hospital in time and they were able to pull his clot out.

And what ends up happening is that clots form in the heart because of this irregular heart rhythm, atrial fibrillation, that he says he had, and that was -- that sort of rockets this clot directly into the brain. And when it does so it can take out a large part of the brain. And so, if you're able -- if you get to the hospital in time that really pulls that -- they can pull that clot out and really salvage almost all, if not all, of his brain function.

So, what does it lead to? When the clot hits the brain it stops blood flow to that part of the brain and whatever that part of the brain controls suddenly stops working. So, for example, if a clot goes up to the left side of the brain, in most people, all of a sudden you can't talk or you cannot use your right side of your brain, or your face droops down, or your arms become weak and cannot move on the right side -- on that other -- on the opposite side of where the clot is. So that's really -- I mean, he's very lucky and I think, obviously,

time is everything here and getting him to the hospital in time was so important for him.

JARRETT: You say time is a huge factor. We know that. What else sort of physiologically determines whether you make a full recovery or not in a case like this?

AZHAR: So, it's really about two things. One, how fast can we get that clot out or how fast can we break open the clot by using medications? And two, do you have enough vessels or enough blood coming from other blood vessels to keep your brain alive for as long as it is alive? Because brain cells start to die almost right away. But if you have enough areas of -- enough blood vessels coming from other areas you can sort of stay alive, limping along until we're able to pull that clot out.

And that's really the name of the game. Time, getting him there, and getting effective treatment to him very quickly. And clearly, it has worked because it sounds like -- you know, most of these clots that come from the heart lead to very big strokes. So, clearly, he's doing very well and I'm very hopeful that he'll have a full recovery.

JARRETT: And Doctor, just quickly, anything people at home should do to assess their own risk?

AZHAR: So, clearly, if you have an irregular heart rhythm -- and sometimes you could -- it's -- what we're -- in an age right now with things like the Apple Watch and other wearable devices can really help us sort of diagnosis ourselves to some degree with atrial fibrillation -- this irregular heart rhythm. If you do, then getting to see a doctor right away is really important.

But most importantly, if you recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke so you can get to the hospital -- call 911 and get to the hospital.

And they're very simple -- BEFAST. B for balance. If you lost your balance all of a sudden. E for eyes. Your vision goes.

F is for face. If your face starts to droop. A is for arms. If your arms start to suddenly drop on one side. And then if your speech goes.

Any one of these one -- all you need is one symptom from here from BEFAST and I would say call 911, get yourself to a hospital, and get yourself evaluated as fast as you can because time is so crucial here and there are so many treatments we have now to reverse stroke that if you get to the hospital in time, we can actually save your brain.

JARRETT: All right, BEFAST. You heard it here, folks.

Dr. Azhar, thank you for getting up bright and early for me -- appreciate it.

AZHAR: Thank you. Thank you. Take care.


JARRETT: All right. Severe storms bringing damaging winds, hail, and a tornado threat to the East Coast later today. Let's get straight to meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. Pedram, where is this going?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, you know, we're looking at about 12 to, say, 14 hours from right now -- so later on -- about, say, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. tonight across portions of the northeast. A frontal boundary in place that skirts right up areas of the most densely populated corridor of the country and that's where the severe weather threat is going to be the highest here.

Again, into the evening hours and getting into the early afternoon -- early evening hours, I should say, where the storms push in. Boston, New York, Philly, Washington -- as far south as Richmond, VA here could see some thunderstorms. That's a level three on a scale of one to five for the severe threat, impacting about 30 million in that area indicated in orange. Another 30 million expanding into the area indicated in yellow, which is a level two.

The primary threats with this line of active weather we think are going to be straight-line winds, at times maybe up to 50-60 miles per hour with a few gusts. And some large hail possible maybe getting up to an inch in diameter in a few of these areas. A few isolated tornadoes scattered about this region as well. The possibility for that about a 5% chance within 25 miles of a point.

But you notice the last couple of days a similar setup. Lots of hail, lots of wind reports, and a few scattered tornadoes. So that's what we're watching across portions of the Northeast for later on this afternoon -- Laura.

JARRETT: All right, Pedram. Thank you.

JAVAHERI: Thank you.

JARRETT: Just ahead for you, the Buffalo shooting suspect's disturbing manifesto. The role of toxic rhetoric in this case. And the head of the FDA joins "NEW DAY" for an important live update on the shortage of baby formula.



JARRETT: All right, let's get to some sports. It was a game-seven bonanza yesterday and no city was on the edge of their seat more than Dallas.

Andy Scholes has it all covered in this morning's Bleacher Report. Hey, Andy.


So, yes, we had four game-sevens yesterday -- two in the NBA, two in the NHL. And Dallas fans, they were dealing with both. It was the first time ever two teams from the same city were playing in a game seven on the same day.

And the Mavs, though, giving their fans plenty to cheer about in game seven in Phoenix. Their defense was incredible. And Luka Doncic was just on fire. He scored 27 points in the first half leading Dallas to a 30-point halftime lead.


REPORTER: Were you aware at halftime you had as many points as the Suns?



SCHOLES: You don't hear a player admit that very often. Luka, as many points as the Suns as a team in the first half. He finished with 35.

The Mavs, at one point in the game, led by 46 points -- the first time in this series. The road team wins after 64 games -- winning 64 games and getting the top seed.

The Suns now out. Their fans booing them throughout this game as they lost badly, 123-90. The Mavs going to play at the Warriors Wednesday in game one of that series.

Dallas fans -- they were super close to one of the best sports nights ever. The Stars were up 2-1 on the Flames in game seven but Calgary tied it. We would go to overtime and in the extra period, off the rebound, Johnny Gaudreau is going to put it in to win the game 3-2.

The Calgary fans outside just going crazy. They advance. They haven't won the cup since 1989.

The Rangers and Penguins, meanwhile, also playing a game-seven thriller. New York's Mika Zibanejad ties the score late in regulation with a shot past goalie Tristan Jarry. Then Artemi Panarin comes up in the clutch in O.T. with the game-winner. Madison Square Garden just going nuts.

The Rangers become the first team in playoff history to have three consecutive comeback wins in elimination games within the same series. New York is going to play Carolina next on Wednesday in game one.

All right, back to the NBA where the Celtics have ended Giannis and the Bucks' title reign. This game was close until the third quarter. Grant Williams, one of the heroes from Boston. He made seven threes and finished with a career-high 27 points. The first time ever he led the Celtics in scoring. Boston pulls away to win this one 109-81.

Game one of the Eastern Conference Finals is tomorrow night in Miami.

All right. And finally, the Cincinnati Reds are the worst team in baseball but they may have hit a new low yesterday. They didn't give up a hit to the Pirates but they still lost the game. In the eighth inning, they walked three Pirates and then a run would come in when they couldn't convert the double play right here.

The Pirates win 1-0. And since they were the home team, they didn't have to bat in the ninth inning. So the Reds only pitched eight innings, which means it doesn't count as an official no-hitter.

It's the sixth time since 1900 and the first time since 2008 that a team hasn't allowed a hit and they lost. It's going to be a long summer there in Cincinnati.

All right, that will do it for EARLY START. "NEW DAY" begins right now.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. It is Monday, May 16. I'm John Berman. Brianna is off. Chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins here with me this morning.

We do have new information coming in this morning on a terror attack in America on Americans. Ten Americans killed, their ages ranging from 32 to 86. In fact, six of the victims were older than 60.