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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Soon: Israel And Lebanon To Sign New Maritime Border Agreement; Natural Gas Prices Plunge Amid Sudden Surplus In Europe; Bears Player Fights Tears After Teammate's Trade. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired October 27, 2022 - 05:30   ET




OLEKSANDR TRUKHIN, UKRAINIAN MP: You know, when even somebody is dying, his family continued to live. And they cannot live normally if they know that they don't have a place where to come for their son.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thanks to their efforts, Joshua's mother, Misty Gossett, in Tennessee, will soon have the chance to say goodbye to her son.

MISTY GOSSETT, MOTHER OF U.S. FIGHTER KILLED IN UKRAINE: Joshua was -- he was a soldier. He was a born soldier. He was named after the battle of Jericho and he proved he lived up to his name so valiantly. And I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off of me.

WARD (voice-over): A name and a life that will be remembered even half a world away.


WARD: Christine, at least five Americans have been killed fighting here with the Ukrainian Foreign Legion in this war against Russia.

And those two lawmakers who we spent the day with -- they said that there are at least two Americans who are still alive who continue to be held by Russian forces. And their hope is that after the success of yesterday and against the broader backdrop of recent prisoner swaps that potentially, they might be able to try to release those Americans soon and all other foreign nationals who have been captured fighting with the Ukrainians -- Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Clarissa, what an emotional story. Thank you so much for bringing us Joshua Jones' story. Thank you.

All right, the White House says U.S. officials are seeing signs that Russia may be advising Iran on how to crack down on the nationwide anti-government protests.


Iran protesters. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: National Security Council spokesman John Kirby confirmed the White House statement but did not provide evidence.

Russian forces have been pummeling Ukrainian cities with what the U.S. says are Iranian-made drones. The State Department says the deepening of Moscow and Tehran's relations should be seen as a profound threat.

All right, next, Elon Musk visits Twitter. So why is he carrying a sink? And the sudden surplus of gas in Europe.



ROMANS: All right.

Elon Musk paying a visit and dropping an anything-but-subtle hint at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco. Musk posted this pun-tastic video showing him carrying the bowl of a sink through the lobby -- the Twitter lobby with the caption, "Visiting Twitter HQ. Let that sink in."

Musk has until the end of the week to close his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter or face a trial. He's reportedly planning to tie up the deal tomorrow. Banks have already begun transferring money for the deal.

In another sign Musk means business, he changed his Twitter bio to, quote, "Chief Twit."

Longtime enemies Israel and Lebanon are about to sign a historic maritime border agreement after years of talks brokered by the U.S. These are two countries technically at war right now.

CNN's Hadas Gold live in Jerusalem. Hadas, what exactly did the two countries agree on?

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Christine. Well, these two countries consider each other enemy states so they never defined what their maritime border would be. And for years, different administrations have tried to negotiate a maritime border between them.

But now, there are billions of dollars' worth of oil and gas in this part of the Mediterranean Sea. And when you have Europe needing new sources of energy because of Russia's war in Ukraine; you have Lebanon economically falling apart, needing new sources of revenue; and you have Israel, which wanted some security peace on its northern border because of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant group there, which has in the past vowed to destroy Israel, there was a lot of motivating factors to finally get this done.

And this is negotiated by the United States and it's being hailed as historic by all sides, including by U.S. President Joe Biden, who met with the Israeli yesterday at the White House. Take a listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Israel and Lebanon are going to sign an agreement to establish a permanent -- a permanent maritime boundary between your two countries. I think it's a historic breakthrough. It took a lot of courage for you to step up and step into it. It took some real guts. And I think it took principled and persistent diplomacy to get it done, and I compliment you and I compliment the government.


GOLD: And Christine, this morning, both countries formally ratified the agreements internally. Now, the Israeli team is, as we speak, going up north and the two sides are going to meet at a U.N. base on the border between Israel and Lebanon at a place called Naqoura where they will have a signing ceremony along with the U.S. mediators.

We still don't know whether the two sides will actually shake hands with one another because these agreements are actually each side individually with the United States, not directly with one another.

But it's fascinating because already, the Israeli gas field has starting pumping gas. The Lebanese gas field is not yet online yet but the Lebanese are desperately hoping that just having the possibility of pumping gas will bring some much-needed investment into their country.

And then after the signing ceremony, the two sides will actually submit these border coordinates to the United Nations. This is the first time, essentially --


GOLD: -- Lebanon and Israel, de facto, recognizing one another and this border.

ROMANS: That's remarkable.

All right, Hadas Gold. Thank you so much for that.

In Europe, warmer weather there has fueled a surge in the supply of natural gas heading into winter. It's welcome news for consumers. It means prices are falling. European national gas futures have plunged 20 percent in a week.


CNN's Anna Stewart has more from London.


ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER (on camera): European benchmark gas prices have fallen by more than 70 percent since their recent highs in August, now at just $100 per megawatt-hour. Given Europe is in the middle of an energy crisis that may seem surprising. In some senses it shows just how hard Europe has worked to bolster its gas supplies before winter, procuring more LNG to make up for the shortfall from Russia, who it used to rely on for around 40 percent of its natural gas.

Demand is also lower than years past right now due to milder temperatures, but there's no doubt that the EU has smashed its target for gas storage. It wanted facilities to be 80 percent full by November first. They're well over 90 percent full now.

Unfortunately, this may be where the good news ends. This chart shows you how prices have fallen, but in many ways, it also reflects Europe's limitations. Europe simply has more gas right now than it knows what to do with. Limited LNG terminals and infrastructure, and storage facilities, which means it's actually struggling to accept more LNG right now.

And according to data from Vortexa, as many as 35 LNG vessels are either floating or slowly sailing toward ports in northwestern Europe and the Iberian Peninsula because there is simply nowhere for them to offload in Europe.

And while lower prices and high levels of storage are a reason to celebrate right now, looking towards the start of next year, prices start to rise again.

Anna Stewart, CNN, London.


ROMANS: All right, Anna. Thank you so much for that.

It's the new magic number. Next, what Americans now say they need to retire. And the billion-dollar losses just revealed by Facebook's parent company.



ROMANS: All right.

A million dollars isn't what it used to be. Romans' Numeral this morning, 1.25 million -- the new magic number to retire, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual. That's 20 percent more than a year ago. A brutal year in the stock market has the average amount in a retirement savings account right now down 11 percent to just under $87,000.

When can you retire? Survey says 64 years old compared to 62 years just last year.

All right, looking at markets around the world, you can see Asian shares have closed mixed. Europe has opened mixed. And on Wall Street, stock index futures at this hour are also mixed. That's the trend. Stocks finishing the day mostly flat Wednesday, but the Nasdaq dropped more than two percent on disappointing earnings from Facebook parent Meta.

New home sales dropped more than 10 percent from August to September. Rising mortgage rates slamming the brake on the housing market. The housing market down 17 percent from last year.

Gas prices held steady overnight, now sitting at $3.76 a gallon.

On recession watch, the first reading of third-quarter economic growth comes out in just a few hours. Wall Street expecting a positive GDP report after two consecutive negative readings.

All right, joining me now is Mark Hamrick. He's a senior economic analyst at Nice to have you here in the studio.


ROMANS: All right. So, the economy likely grew more than two percent in the third quarter. But I know looking forward -- and that's a rearview mirror kind of --


ROMANS: -- kind of reading -- looking forward, your quarterly survey of economists finds, what, a 65 percent chance of recession in the next 12 to 19 months. Could this be, as one of our writers said, the bump before the slump in the economy?

HAMRICK: I think that's a good way of putting it. Maybe the last hurrah in a sense, and maybe we won't even get a lot of hurrahs at this point. We might get some hur-rumps because people are so distraught about the current economic situation.

And we know we had those two contractions in the first two quarters of the year and there was this ongoing, I would say largely fruitless debate about whether there was a recession then. I think all eyes are on the future and whether we do, indeed, have a recession.

And an important point here, Christine, is the next recession need not be like the calamitous previous --

ROMANS: Right.

HAMRICK: -- two. And I think there's a reasonable chance the next recession -- if it starts next year or even if it starts here in the fourth quarter -- need not be nearly as severe as what we experienced before.

ROMANS: Recessions are scary. I mean, job loss and businesses close, but entrenched inflation can be scarier than a mild recession, essentially.

HAMRICK: Absolutely. And so, that's why I've tried to wave people off of this whole question about whether there was a recession or has been a recession in the first half because inflation is bad enough. What do recessions and inflation have in common? They part people from the ability to buy the things they want and need. And in this case, the inflation issue has really affected --


HAMRICK: -- more people than a larger number of unemployed would in that situation.

ROMANS: And recession can kill inflation, which is maybe something you want down the road anyway.

Let's talk about some of the signals we're seeing from corporate earnings. Facebook's parent company Meta posted its second revenue decline in a row. The company blames the decline in demand for advertising. Google ad sales also took a hit.

When you're looking at the advertising spending environment, is that kind of a canary in the coal mine for you for the economy?

HAMRICK: Well, certainly, for technology. And we know that technology led us into this bear market.

But the other part is that the technology sector, broadly, has been so outperforming the rest of the economy, and among stocks, outperforming the rest of the stock market that some sort of, let's say, reversion to the mean was overdue. Whether that is necessarily indicative of a sharp downturn, I wouldn't necessarily be looking at that as an indicator. But it certainly tells us that in the technology sector, some of the boom times are behind and they're going to have to revert to more normal growth rates.

ROMANS: Next week, the Fed meets. You'll be in the room --

HAMRICK: I will be.

ROMANS: -- when they are having the press conference and the Fed chief Powell talks to reporters.


What are you expecting from the Fed?

HAMRICK: Well, we know that Chairman Powell and his colleagues have really been telling us that they are dead serious about trying to whip inflation now, to bring that phrase back around from the '70s. And what they're going to do is more than likely give us another strong dose of medicine -- another 75 basis point rate increase. And we think that, indeed, they may give another fairly strong dose of medicine at the year-end meeting as well.


HAMRICK: So, the benchmark rate right now is not above the rate of inflation and that's where they need to be. ROMANS: Yes. So far, you've really seen the inflation-sensitive housing market react to those higher interest rates. But the job market has been pretty strong. We'll get jobs claims --

HAMRICK: Absolutely.

ROMANS: -- later today.

Nice to see you, Mark Hamrick.

HAMRICK: Great to be with you. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right, a troubling new revelation about the St. Louis school gunman. How his family tried to get him help. And the Arizona governor's race rocked by a reported break-in at campaign headquarters.



ROMANS: All right, two unhappy customers are suing a California marijuana company, alleging their product didn't get them high enough. They claim the makers of pre-rolled Jeeter branded joints advertise much higher levels of THC than they actually contain. Packaging for the Jeeter pre-rolls says it's the one joint that will get you to Mars quicker than Elon Musk. The suit alleges unfair competition, false advertising, and negligent representation. The company, Dreamfield Brands, calls the claims baseless and ridiculous.

All right, Lakers superstar LeBron James is off to an 0-4 start for just the second time in his NBA career.

Coy Wire has this morning's Bleacher Report. Hey, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: What's going on, Christine? The last time LeBron James went 0-4 was back in 2003, his rookie season. And this is just the fourth time ever that the Lakers have gone winless this long to start a season.

Russell Westbrook out for the match-up in Denver with the Nuggets with an injured hamstring.

And for LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and the rest of the Lakers, it was a lot more of the same. Lots of missed shots -- specifically, 3- pointers. They were eight for 30 last night. And despite that, L.A.'s 3-point percentage is still just 22.3 percent, the worst by any team over any 4-game span in NBA history.

The Lakers lost 110-99.

And LeBron didn't shy away from addressing the issues after the game.


LEBRON JAMES, LOS ANGELES LAKERS FORWARD: Probably make some shots. Some of it is early-season stuff, obviously. Obviously, like I said, it's a new system. It's a new group of guys together. We're still trying to get familiar with one another.

DARVIN HAM, LOS ANGELES LAKERS HEAD COACH: We're four games in. It sucks to lose. But having 78 games left is plenty of time for us to right the ship, and it starts now.


WIRE: In Milwaukee, this elbow by Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo that sent the Nets' Patty Mills flying in the third was not called a foul. And look at the reaction it evokes from Brooklyn coach Steve Nash -- a look that shook the Twitterverse all night long like Lionel Ritchie -- frightening -- in time for Halloween. Nash showing the type of fiery passion, Christine, that once made him a 2-time league MVP.

He's held back by the assistants and eventually ejected for the first time in his coaching career. He was tossed twice in 18 seasons as a player.

His Nets lose to the Bucks 110-99.

And afterwards, Kevin Durant says he was surprised it took this long for Nash to get thrown out.


KEVIN DURANT, BROOKLYN NETS FORWARD: (INAUDIBLE) he's talked crazy to the refs. My first few years, Steve used to talk so crazy to the refs. So when he didn't get a tech as a coach, I'm like where is that (bleep) at? Because he's feist.

So -- but, I mean, you handled yourself differently as a coach but sometimes you -- you know, you just want to go out there and fight for your guys. And I think that's what he did tonight.


WIRE: And finally, Christine, Bears linebacker Roquan Smith reminding everyone that pro sports are so much more than just a bunch of games, breaking down in the middle of his news conference yesterday after finding out his teammate Robert Quinn had been traded away to the Eagles.


ROQUAN SMITH, CHICAGO BEARS LINEBACKER: I need to take a second for a second if you don't mind. No, I have a great deal of respect for that guy. Damn. Crazy.



WIRE: I can say, Christine, his emotions are powerful. They're unexpected. These are guys who go through a season -- the highest of highs, the lowest of lows --


WIRE: -- the pains, the joys. Your families aren't around sometimes for holidays and you're having Thanksgiving with them. So it's just a reminder that these guys are humans even though they look superhuman at times.

ROMANS: I know. I mean, emotional rollercoaster is such a cliche, but wow. That just really shows you what these guys go through.

WIRE: Yes.

ROMANS: All right.

WIRE: Absolutely, Christine.

ROMANS: Coy Wire, thanks for joining us.

I'm Christine Romans and "NEW DAY" starts right now.