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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

WAPO Profile: Texas Teen Who Wanted Abortion Now Has Twins; Kremlin: Geneva Conventions Do Not Apply To 2 Captured Americans; Bennett Stepping Down, Israel Facing Fifth Election In Four Years. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 21, 2022 - 05:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The group says people are ready for a break despite things costing more.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Definitely interesting.

ROMANS: Yes, it's sort of the story of the American economy right now, to be honest.

JARRETT: Yes, the pent-up demand.

Up next, the reality for women in Texas living with the state's abortion law. We have one 18-year-old's powerful story.

ROMANS: And President Biden meeting with the leader of Israel next month -- just not the leader he thought.



JARRETT: It has now been 10 months since the state of Texas banned nearly all abortions, and the women who were pregnant when that law passed back in September are now starting to have those babies.

One teen in Corpus Christie discovered she was pregnant just two days before the ban went into effect in Texas. Now, she has twins.

Washington Post reporter Caroline Kitchener profiled the now 18-year- old woman and she joins me now. Caroline, so nice to have you. Great reporting as always.

This story is just gripping and I think really revealing. And one of the things that stood out to me in your profile of Brooke -- she's the woman at the center of this -- is how that decision was really made for her.

And reflecting on her life now she told you this. "I can't just really be free. I guess that really sums it up. That's a big thing that I really miss."

What else did Brooke tell you? CAROLINE KITCHENER, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST (via Webex by Cisco): I mean, it's a really complicated story. It's a really complicated situation.

On one hand, I know Brooke things about everything that she lost. She had really beautiful plans to go to real estate school. She was going to get her real estate license and moved out of Corpus Christie and make this new life for herself in Austin. But at the same time, she now has these babies that, of course, she loves and she can't imagine her life without, you know?

Like, this is why this subject is so complicated. And it's really hard for Brooke to talk about the law and to really weigh the impact that it's had on her life.

JARRETT: I mean, you do such a nice job sort of painting the scene if you will, and walking us through sort of what happened when she showed up at the clinic and she kind of got swept away by her mom's excitement and the person who was doing the ultrasound. And you do such a really nice job giving us so much detail and rich reporting there.

Based on your reporting, I want to broaden this out a little bit. Are most women in Texas who want an abortion right now -- are they going out of state to get one or are they going through with having that baby?

KITCHENER: We have some data on this. I mean, obviously, it's definitely hard to collect. But we know that at least in the first few months after this took effect most women who wanted abortions were either able to get out of state or order pills online illegally. You know, we don't have the latest data on that.

And one big thing that has changed between now and when the Texas ban took effect is that now you can't get abortions in Oklahoma --


KITCHENER: -- and that's where the vast majority of people were going for the last many months. Now that's totally shut down. So it's really hard to say what kind of an impact that has had right now on people in Texas.

JARRETT: Right. So where -- so where are people then from both Texas and Oklahoma, I guess, going? What -- are they going to some other neighboring state?

KITCHENER: New Mexico, Kansas, but those clinics are filling up --


KITCHENER: -- really fast. So now those clinics that you would go to from Texas and Oklahoma, you're going to have to wait three weeks. And many of those states, too, are trigger-ban states. So that means that the minute that this decision comes down from the Supreme Court, abortion could be totally banned there, too. JARRETT: What do you want people to ultimately take away from this

profile? As I said, it's an incredible piece. I encourage everyone to read it.

KITCHENER: Well, I think that if this decision comes down in the way that we expect it to -- the way that the leaked draft opinion suggests and Roe is totally reversed, people are -- a lot of people are not going to be able to leave their state because the drive is going to be 600-700 miles. So you're going to have a lot more people in Brooke's situation where they are (audio gap) and really wanted to give people a preview of what that looks like.

JARRETT: Yes, and you did such a -- such a nice job in it just showing the reality of the situation for so many.

Caroline, I hope you come back -- appreciate it. Keep up the reporting.

KITCHENER: Thank you so much.

ROMANS: And it's interesting. In Texas, in particular, you have people who run nonprofits who have been really trying to game out what it's going to look like for Texas over the next year or so. What kind of needs people are going to have because you are going to see this shift -- these children -- babies being born, especially to low-income families who just can't --

JARRETT: Don't already have the resources -- yes.

ROMANS: No, they don't have -- they just don't have the resources. How is that going to change the economy of Texas? It's just fascinating.

All right. Just ahead, what the Kremlin now says about two captured American fighters in Ukraine.


JARRETT: And Ben Stiller gets a face-to-face with Ukraine's President Zelenskyy.


BEN STILLER, ACTOR, U.N. GOODWILL AMBASSADOR: It's a great honor for me.



ROMANS: All right, the Kremlin now claiming that the Geneva Conventions that protect prisoners of war do not apply to two Americans who were captured by Russian-backed separatists in Donetsk earlier this month.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DMITRY PESKOV, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN'S SPOKESPERSON: And they are soldiers of fortune and they were involved in illegal activities on the territory of Ukraine. And they were involved in firing and shelling our military personnel. They were endangering their life.

And they should be responsible. They should be held responsible for those -- for those crimes that they have committed.



ROMANS: CNN's Fred Pleitgen joins us live from Moscow now. Fred, what could this mean for those two?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it could mean severe punishment. It's quite interesting. If you look at the international law -- and there are actually some scholars who do believe that combatants can fall under the Geneva Convention even if they're not officially part of a military if they are, indeed, identified as military and then carrying weapons on behalf of a military. So certainly, all of that is very difficult to ascertain right now.

However, Christine, just a couple of minutes ago I was actually in touch with that same gentleman -- with the spokesman for the Kremlin and I did ask him where these Americans are being held and what could be the consequences for them. And he told me, "I don't know where they are being held and who is going to judge them. But the only thing that goes without saying is that they are going to be prosecuted and that they will be able to stand in court."

The big question, of course, will it be in Russia or will it be in one of these breakaway republics on Ukrainian territory? Of course, the Russians recognize two of those breakaway republics -- the Luhansk and the Donetsk People's Republic. And you already had three Brits who stood trial in the Donetsk People's Republic and they got a death sentence, which could mean death by firing squad.

So all of that is really unclear what is going to happen to these Americans -- what their immediate future is going to be. However, the Kremlin spokesperson just telling us either way they are going to stand trial. Obviously, a huge concern for the families and a huge concern for the U.S. as well, Christine.

ROMANS: All right, Fred Pleitgen for us in Moscow. Thank you, Fred.

JARRETT: On World Refugee Day, actor Ben Stiller, a U.N. goodwill ambassador, was traveling to Ukraine. Stiller met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv, telling him "you're my hero" in a video message. He says there is a global responsibility to protect those displaced by war.


STILLER: You're my hero.


STILLER: I'm meeting people who have been impacted by the war and hearing how it's changed their lives. War and violence are devastating people all over the world. Nobody chooses to flee their home. Seeking safety is a right and it needs to be upheld for every person.


JARRETT: Stiller also visited the ruins of Irpin. He says it's one thing to see the destruction of Ukrainian cities on T.V. but much more shocking to see it with your own eyes.

Also this morning, political upheaval in Israel. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announcing he is stepping down just after one year on the job, agreeing to submit a bill to dissolve Parliament sometime next week. If it passes, it would trigger a general election later this year -- Israel's fifth in just four years.

CNN's Hadas Gold joins us live from Jerusalem this morning. So, Hadas, did this decision by Bennett come as a surprise?

HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Well, this government has been fragile, teetering for weeks, especially after they lost their parliamentary majority in the last few weeks, but no one expected things to unfold this way.

The Israeli prime minister and the foreign minister announcing that they wanted to dissolve their own government. Take a listen to what they had to say last night.


NAFTALI BENNETT, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): In the last few weeks, we did everything we could to save this government. That in our eyes, the continuation of its existence was in the national interest. Believe me, we looked under every rock. We didn't do this for ourselves but for our beautiful country -- for you citizens of Israel.


GOLD: By doing this -- by dissolving their own government, Laura, they are taking that opportunity -- that political capital away from former prime minister-now opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu from doing this them -- from doing this himself.

Now, under the terms of the coalition agreement, the foreign minister, Yair Lapid, will now become prime minister once the Parliament is disbanded and new elections will be triggered -- the fifth time Israeli will -- Israelis will go to the polls in less than four years. Those elections will likely take place in the fall.

Of course, that does provide an opening for Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister, to try to come back into power. But the polls still don't show that he will necessarily have that majority necessary to have a governing coalition.

What this also means Laura is that it will be Yair Lapid who will be the one to welcome President Joe Biden when he arrives in Israel as part of his visit next month, not Naftali Bennett. And the White House is saying that despite this political shakeup they still plan to have that visit as originally planned -- Laura.

JARRETT: Just fascinating. All right, Hadas, thank you so much -- appreciate it.

ROMANS: OK, 48 minutes past the hour. Just ahead, the missed phone call causing additional anguish for the wife of a basketball star detained in Russia.



ROMANS: All right, Tuesday morning check of CNN Business.

Let's take a look at markets around the world. Asian shares have closed. A nice pop for Tokyo and Hong Kong. And European markets have opened solidly higher as well. Stock index futures also pointing to a bounce.

You know, markets were closed yesterday for Juneteenth. As the short trading week opens this morning we're going to be looking to see how the markets cope with the growing fear of recession. That's what was really the problem last week. Look, stocks tumbled last week. The S&P losing 5.8%. I think that was the worst week since March 2020.

This is after the Federal Reserve announced the biggest rate hike in decades trying to rein in inflation. Investors fear the aggressive move could tip the U.S. economy into recession. We'll hear more from the Fed chief Jerome Powell when he testifies on Capitol Hill this week. But at least for now, it looks like a bounce to start the short trading week.


Moscow finding a ready market for its oil despite all those Western sanctions. It's shipping its oil to the east. China's crude oil imports from Russia soared 55% in May versus the prior year. China says its imports were equivalent to roughly two million barrels a day. Russia has now displaced Saudi Arabia as the top oil supplier to China, although Russia had to slash its prices to do that.

JARRETT: Now to this. Brittney Griner's wife says she missed a chance to speak with the jailed WNBA star on their anniversary because no one answered the phone at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

Carolyn Manno is here with this morning's Bleacher Report. Well, that's heartbreaking.

ROMANS: Good morning, Carolyn. CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you can imagine -- good

morning to you both -- how upsetting this is for Griner's wife not just because Saturday marked the pair's 4-year anniversary but because she hasn't spoken to her jailed wife in the four months since Griner's arrest in Russia on drug-related charges.

Yesterday, Griner's wife learning that the WNBA star tried to call her 11 times over a period of several hours on Saturday but the calls went unanswered because the desk at the U.S. Embassy that Griner was attempting to reach is actually unstaffed on the weekends.

Griner's wife Cherelle telling the A.P. the anniversary she had been planning for weeks was instead spent in tears.

Griner's agent said in a tweet, "Imagine the heartbreak -- 123 days without hearing her voice. Holding out hope for a call. Finally getting that call just to have it keep ringing. My heart breaks into pieces every time I think of it but it's nothing compared to the reality that BG and her family are enduring" right now.

A State Department spokesperson said they deeply regret the logistical error, telling CNN the department has no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas.

Griner has been able to receive written correspondence from friends and family intermittently during her detention in Russia -- but so far, that has been it.

Elsewhere in sports today, the Tampa Bay Lightning striking back against the Avalanche in game three of the Stanley Cup Final in a 6-2 rout which featured goals from six of Tampa's players. That was two nights after being limited to just 16 shots in the 7-goal loss. The Lightning putting up four of those goals in the second period alone.

Tampa's bid for a Lord Stanley three-peat alive and well as the team looks to even the series tomorrow night at home where they have now won a franchise-record 8-straight playoff games.


STEVEN STAMKOS, TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING CENTER: It's not a true elimination game but this group was in this position last round and coming home, and we knew that this is pretty much a must-win game for us. So, had better effort for our group and we knew coming home in front of our fans it was going to be a little different, and it certainly was.


MANNO: Meantime, Tampa Bay's other team, the Rays, couldn't cool off the red-hot Yankees. Gerrit Cole was dealing like an ace does, striking out 12 and carrying a no-hitter into the eighth. That was broken up on a hit right up the middle by Isaac Paredes. The Rays would end up tying it at two, but the Yankees take the lead in the ninth on a huge RBI triple to right by Aaron Hicks. So the Yankees have won 17 of their last 19. They are the first team to 50 wins. Only two Yankees teams have reached 50 wins faster than 67 games. Both of those teams won the World Series.

We shall see. Looking really good right now. Some fist-pumps in our New York studio for that stat -- and that was (ph).

Hundreds of thousands of fans packing downtown San Francisco to honor the NBA champion Warriors. It's the fourth title in eight years for Golden State.

That core group of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and their whole cast of newcomers who shined so bright on the biggest stage, taking it all in. Thompson rocked the sailor hat after losing his hat on the -- a boat earlier in the day.

Steph Curry soaking up all the love from the fans. He had his MVP trophy in hand throughout the course of the day. Also, sporting a pretty valuable necklace -- his other championship rings draped around his neck.


STEPH CURRY, 2022 NBA FINALS MVP: I had to bring the jewelry back out. I don't look at it during the year, but that's a flex. It's got to be the motivation. But every so once in a while, you've got to remind yourself. We got four.

Hey, just so you know, when it's over --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the mic drop. Hold on.


MANNO: Star athletes -- they're just like us. You love to see everybody cut loose and bring the jewelry back out. You have to be careful with all those rings.

JARRETT: You know what? When you've won that many times a flex is OK.


ROMANS: It is OK. It looks like they were having a lot of fun.

Thanks, Carolyn. Nice to see you this morning.

MANNO: You, too.

ROMANS: All right, thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: I'm Laura Jarrett. "NEW DAY" starts right now.