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Manhunt Underway in Canada for Suspects After 10 Killed in Stabbing Attack; Hundreds of Flights Canceled in the U.S. Over Holiday Weekend; Ukraine Claims It has Liberated 3 Settlements from Russian Forces. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired September 05, 2022 - 05:00   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world, it is Monday, September 5th, Labor Day, folks, I'm Christine Romans. We begin with a manhunt underway right now across three provinces in Canada after a mass stabbing attack that left at least 10 people dead, 15 injured.

The Royal Canadian Mountain Police say the attacks were spread around 13 crime scenes in and around the James Smith Cree Nation in central Saskatchewan. Now, authorities have identified two suspects they're looking for, 31-year-old Damien Sanderson and 30-year-old Myles Sanderson.


RHONDA BLACKMORE, ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER, SASKATCHEWAN RCMP: Let me be clear. We are still looking for the two suspects. We are asking residents across Saskatchewan and our neighboring provinces to be vigilant. At this stage in our investigation, we believe some of the victims have been targeted by the suspect and others have been attacked randomly.


ROMANS: CNN's Paula Newton live this morning for us in Ottawa. Paula, what do we know about the suspects and the victims here?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, Christine. You know, this is what has been so shocking and also so frustrating at this point in time. You just heard the RCMP commander say that as of this hour, they still don't know the motive. They don't know how this unfolded. What we do know is that those two suspects are still at large.

And when I'm talking at large, Christine, they are trying to cover a very large geographical area. The alerts now run through three Prairie Provinces. And they are trying to appoint certainly, people to a black Nissan Rogue. That does not mean that they are in it, but they are saying that they likely had this vehicle, had access to it, and they had hours. You have to think, Christine, we are almost 24 hours from when this

incident began and the details so horrific. They know that it started as you were saying at the James Smith Cree Nation, an indigenous community, but then went on to that village of Weldon, Saskatchewan. And what you heard from witnesses was the fact that people were attacked quite viciously.

And really people did not see it coming because there were more than a dozen crime scenes as well. It took hours, Christine, for police to actually piece this together. People took themselves to hospitals, clinics looking for help, not knowing what was happening throughout the community. It has been already an unnerving evening for so many people in those rural communities.

And right now, those two suspects still at large. I also wanted to let you know that Justin Trudeau tweeted, but then sent out a statement last night saying --

ROMANS: All right. We lost -- we lost Paula's feed there. But again, about 24 hours now with these two suspects still at large. More than a dozen people injured, 10 deaths and still looking for those two suspects in Saskatchewan. Paula, thank you, bring us any updates if you get them.

Now, another difficult weekend for holiday travelers, more than 400 U.S. flights have been canceled this Labor Day weekend, more than 10,000 were delayed. Let's bring in Lindsey Roeschke, travel and hospitality analyst for Morning Consult. Nice to see you. Thank you for coming by this bright and early this holiday morning, another holiday weekend. This has been the trend this year, right? Delays and cancellations. What do you make of this weekend's travel lows?

LINDSEY ROESCHKE, TRAVEL & HOSPITALITY ANALYST, MORNING CONSULT: Absolutely. I think flight delays and cancellations are really the story of the Summer in the travel industry. And the good news is, the level of delays and cancellations over this Labor Day weekend has kind of paled in comparison to earlier in the Summer especially Memorial Day weekend.

However, that's -- you know, not much comfort to folks whose travel is getting disrupted. So continuing delays and cancellation, but not quite to the level that we saw earlier this Summer.

ROMANS: Yes, I know that the airlines have tried to kind of take steps to make sure that they can preempt some of those -- some of those delays. Meanwhile, we have seen gas prices declining now for weeks. Do you think people -- $3.79, you know, today again. You know, gas prices have fallen so dramatically over the last two months. Are people going to go back to the good old car trip again?

ROESCHKE: Yes, I mean, typically, we see a kind of inverse relationship between air travel and car travels. So, when we see the number of folks who are planning to travel by air, decline, the number of folks who are planning to travel by car rise a little bit. And to be honest with you, the fall is a little bit of a slow time for air travel in general, typically referred to as the shoulder season. [05:05:00]

So, we'll likely see these kind of shorter weekend trips, more people traveling by car. And to your point, the gas prices coming down really does help the -- you know, consumers to do that.

ROMANS: Yes, where you spend one long day at an airport with a couple of kids, right? And then you're much more likely to try to take a car trip which has its own aggravations, you know, later. But it has been a really tough Summer for traveling, brutal for so many travelers. Do you think that the past few months have maybe been the worst of it? I mean, is it going to be a little bit better come this Fall?

ROESCHKE: Well, as I said, I mean, the number of folks traveling by air typically fall in the Fall in general. And so, I think those lower volumes will help the airlines to right the ship a little bit when it comes to, you know, getting things in order before the busy holiday season. I'm crossing my fingers that we are through the worst of it.

And I think all of the steps that have been taken including, you know, airlines trying to staff up, both pilots and also kind of ground crew support, customer service and also, you know, travelers just becoming more educated about what their rights are. So, of course, the Department of Transportation just last week launched a dashboard showing customers what their rights are, what they're entitled to if their flight is delayed or canceled.

I think having smarter consumers just helps all along, because you know, it makes you feel like you can get what you are entitled to if your trip is in fact disrupted. So --

ROMANS: Yes --

ROESCHKE: Hopefully, that will move the needle in the right direction.

ROMANS: Yes, don't take the last flight of the day and don't check a bag. Those are my two personal -- my two personal pieces of advice for this travel season, Lindsey, Morning Consult. Thank you so much, nice to see you. Have a good day.

ROESCHKE: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right, catastrophic flash-flooding in northwest Georgia, parts of Chattanooga and Floyd Counties recording 10 to 13 inches of rain, CNN weather is classifying this as a once in 200-year event. Governor Kemp has issued a state of emergency. Let's bring in meteorologist Gene Norman. Gene, the danger is not over for millions of people.

GENE NORMAN, METEOROLOGIST: Exactly right, Christine. It's a soggy start to the Labor Day, a stormy start for a lot of folks from the northeast, down across sections of Appalachia and all the way into the deep south. And that's going to continue on and off throughout the day. Problem is these are slow-moving storms, so they have the potential to produce flooding. There's a brand-new flash-flood watch that affects over 75 million

people from Maine, all the way down through, let's say central Georgia as well as southern Alabama. Now, it doesn't mean there's going to be flash-flooding in every place you see painted here green. It just means that these are the places that have the most likely possibility of that happening.

In fact, we already have a flash-flood warning just to the south of Cincinnati and one just to the north of Boston. We're going to put the forecast into motion for you. Watch these storms fire up today, and unfortunately, it means rain in the northeast. I know it's Labor Day, you all don't want to hear that, but it is good news in that, we need it because of the drought.

Anywhere from 2 to 4 inches is expected in sections of Massachusetts and Connecticut. Meanwhile, out west, the heat wave, the dangerous heat wave continues, exacerbated by climate change, the longest one so far this Summer, heat advisories and excessive heat warnings are in effect. Taking a wider view across the U.S. on this Labor Day, some of the best weather is in the Great Lakes.

Temperatures in the 70s, Minneapolis, Chicago, and fairly decent beach weather along the coast, from let's say, Ocean City down to about just north of Daytona Beach. And I tell you what, Christine, very rarely do we go through a Labor Day without tracking storms in the Atlantic. There are two out there --

ROMANS: All right --

NORMAN: But thankfully, there are no threat to land.

ROMANS: All right, Gene, we'll take that. Thank you so much. All right, later today, President Biden takes his midterm message to two key battleground states. Plus, the United Kingdom about to learn the identity of its next prime minister and the Ukrainian military raising its flag once again over a town that was lost to the Russians.


ROMANS: All right, with the political wind seemingly at his back, President Biden today heads to Pennsylvania and Wisconsin where the White House says he will, quote, "celebrate Labor Day and the dignity of American workers."

Translation, he'll campaign for Democrats in key Senate and gubernatorial races with the midterm elections two months away. Let's bring in Julian Zelizer, CNN political analyst and co-author of "Fault Lines: The History of the U.S. Since 1974". Nice to see you. Thanks for getting up early for us, Julian.

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Nice to be back, good morning.

ROMANS: All right, so another stop in Pennsylvania. Why the intense focus on that state?

ZELIZER: Well, this is now one of the battleground states. This is a place also where some of the more controversial candidates who are associated with the former president are running. And so, I think the president wants to reiterate some of the themes we've heard in the last few weeks, both about what Democrats offer and, secondly, the dangers he sees from a Republican Congress.

ROMANS: So the stops in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are after the president's speech against what he called MAGA Republicans, right? Is focusing on instability within the GOP enough to resonate with voters come midterms, do you think?

ZELIZER: Well, it was in 2020. I think it's a powerful theme in part because the former President Donald Trump has injected himself very aggressively in the campaign, and so, I do think it could be a potent theme. And I think poll shows there's concerns about how Republicans would govern.

ROMANS: You recently wrote about how Biden needs to keep his MAGA Republican rhetoric from becoming, you know, a Clinton basket of deplorable situation. Do you think he's been successful at getting his position across?

ZELIZER: I think overall he has, I think his speech was relatively effective. It drew predictable criticism from Republicans, but he laid out very clearly what the threats are and how to shore up the electoral system.


So I think he has to continue to do this, and he has to do it in a way that separates Republican leaders from Republican voters.

ROMANS: So fascinating. I would have thought if you'd asked me a few months ago, I would have thought that inflation and the economy would have been this just this talking battering ram, you know, from the Republicans right now. But they really have been pushed off message by both Biden and his, you know, MAGA Republicans, semi-fascist comments.

You know, they're responding to that. But also the former president is in, you know, the midst of all kinds of legal drama that I think they've had to defend against instead of talking about the economy. Am I right?

ZELIZER: I think that's right. It's very hard for the party that has control of the White House to shift the tension away from the president during midterms. Midterms are often a mandate about, are voters satisfied or not with the president, but in this midterm cycle, we've seen a very decisive shift towards former President Trump, and I think Trump himself has made this possible.

And so it's been a dramatic turn in terms of what the issue agenda is, and what voters are going to be thinking about going into the election. Inflation will still matter.

ROMANS: Yes --

ZELIZER: The economy will still matter, but it's now competing with this other issue.

ROMANS: Yes, the battle for the soul of democracy as Joe Biden puts it, Julian Zelizer; CNN political analyst, nice to see you, have a wonderful rest of your day.

ZELIZER: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right, coming up, what Pope Francis now says about abusive priests. And Ukraine's military now recapturing territory from Russian forces.



ROMANS: All right. Ukraine's president says the Ukrainian military has driven out Russian forces and re-captured three settlements in the southern Kherson region. An image on social media shows Ukrainian soldiers raising a flag on the roof of a building, although CNN cannot independently verify the location.

Our Melissa Bell is in Kyiv tracking the latest developments. And that photo really is sort of spreading around the world here this Monday morning.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. That photograph that Ukrainian officials here in Kyiv says is of the Ukrainian flag being placed back on the roofs of the buildings in Vysokopillya. Now, that is a town of some 5,000 people, Christine, to the north of the Russian-occupied territory, that is to the north of the city of Kherson, and that Ukrainian forces are trying to take back on that front line.

So good news and powerful symbol, of course, that was tweeted out last night by an aide to President Zelenskyy. But we also have the suggestion from the Russian side that Russian forces have withdrawn through pro-Russian propaganda -- sorry, pro-Russian channels speaking of the tactical withdrawal of Russian troops from that same town.

So, a suggestion there from both sides that, that may well be what has happened. President Zelenskyy, Christine, speaking about the liberation of two towns, not just that one, but another in the Kherson region, but also, interestingly, of one in the Donetsk region. And that is important, of course, because this counteroffensive was really focusing on the south.

That there should be advances along that line that had been considered to be progressing more on the Russian side, a very good news to the Ukrainians as well. But this is a counteroffensive focused not so much on territorial gains, this is something Ukraine has been at pains to emphasize. It is all about degrading the Russian military capability, and the infrastructure that allows them to re-supply troops in Kherson as they try to defend it.

Some news also from Zaporizhzhia this morning, Christine. And that is, that, four of the inspectors, the IAEA inspectors that were there have left according to the Ukrainian nuclear provider leaving just the two that will now remain as part of a permanent presence at the plant.

And this of course, after a weekend of more shelling left just one of the reactors functioning, but more importantly and more alarmingly, the last of the outside power lines damaged. Which means that the entire plant is just functioning without reserve line --

ROMANS: Wow --

BELL: That goes to a thermal power station not very far away, that allows also electricity to come back to the plant, but extremely important situation there that the IAEA continues to keep an eye on. We should -- we expect according to the Russian-backed military administration around the plant be getting that first report from the IAEA tomorrow with a better idea of exactly what's gone wrong and what needs to be done to protect this nuclear facility, again, on an active front line, Christine.

ROMANS: Nuclear facility on an active front line. That says it all. All right, Melissa Bell, thank you so much. All right, today, the Israeli military set to release the findings of its investigation into the death of "Al Jazeera" journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. CNN and other outlets have concluded the fatal shot came from the Israeli military. CNN's Hadas Gold live in Jerusalem with more. Hadas, what can we expect in this report?

HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine, we are expecting this report to be released in the next few hours. And the Israeli military signaling that it will include its final conclusions on the death of the "Al Jazeera" journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. As a reminder, Shireen was killed in May while covering an Israeli military operation in Jenin in the West Bank.

She was wearing her full flak jacket and helmet including with a press insignia and identifying her as well as she was with several other journalists identifying all of them as members of the press. Another journalist was injured, but he survived. And her death has had major reverberations not only here, but across the world because she was such a well known and well respected and beloved journalist.

President Joe Biden, while he was here, mentioned her during his visit in the West Bank, because also she was a dual American citizen as well. Now, as you noted, investigations by CNN and several other media organizations have concluded that it was likely an Israeli shot that actually killed her.


The U.S. examination of both the Israeli and the Palestinian investigations also came to the same conclusion. Although, they did say that a ballistic examination of the actual bullet that killed Shireen was inconclusive because it was so badly damaged. Now, since the incident, the Israeli military has said, has maintained that it cannot definitively conclude yet whether it was Palestinian gunfire or Israeli gunfire that killed her.

So, what we're going to be looking for in this report is whether it will come to a definitive answer, about whether it was an Israeli or Palestinian gunfire that ultimately killed her. And if it comes to the same conclusion that nearly every other organization has come to, that it was Israeli gunfire that killed her, will there be any sort of major consequences or some sort of punishment to whoever fired that fatal shot, Christine?

ROMANS: All right, Hadas Gold, thank you so much, keep us posted. Right, Britain's Conservative Party about to reveal the name of the next prime minister and corporate America turning up the heat on employees to come back to the office.