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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

World Cup Semifinal Action: Argentina Versus Croatia This Afternoon; BTS Band Member Begins Compulsory Military Service; Mississippi State Football Coach Listed In Critical Condition. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired December 13, 2022 - 05:30   ET




ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): -- this man, former President Pedro Castillo, who only last week attempted to dissolve Congress to avoid impeachment. Hours later, though, he was impeached and arrested. Prosecutors accusing him of the crime of rebellion, a charge which he denies.

His arrest sparking anger on the streets.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We are here because they are violating the rights of our president. Pedro Castillo is still our president.

SOARES (voice-over): But not in the eyes of the law. His vice president, Dina Boluarte, has stepped into his shoes, though she hasn't had the warmest welcome. Boluarte says she's hoping to stabilize the country and regain support by bringing elections forward two years and promising to end corruption.

It's a political crisis that is now reverberating across Latin America with regional allies such as Bolivia and Mexico weighing in, only fueling further proof of political divide and threatening to set this tinderbox alight.

Isa Soares, CNN.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, quick hits around the globe right now.

In about two hours, South Africa lawmakers will debate a report that found embattled President Cyril Ramaphosa broke corruption laws and stole a large sum of money. They'll then vote on whether to impeach him.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has canceled his annual news conference, ducking potential questions about his failures in Ukraine. Putin has held a major news conference every December for the last decade. Hospitals in China are now being overwhelmed with cases of COVID-19. Widespread protests pushed Beijing to ease zero-tolerance restrictions this past week.

All right. The World Cup semifinals begin today. Argentina and Croatia are now just hours away from battling it out for a place in the Sunday finals, kicking off at 2:00 p.m. eastern. And reigning champion France takes on Morocco tomorrow.

Let's go to CNN's Amanda Davies live in Doha, Qatar. Amanda, it's Croatia's fighting spirit against the tough South Americans this afternoon. What are you watching for?

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yes, good morning, Christine.

And if you want to talk about the Gulf in footballing history between these two sides, the last time Argentina won the World Cup back in 1986, Croatia wasn't even recognized as a footballing nation. That only happened in 1992, a year after they gained independence from Yugoslavia.

And actually, Croatia -- this is just their fifth World Cup tournament, whereas Argentina have been in the final five times previously. That is what we are talking about. They have defied the odds and are looking to reach the final for a second-straight tournament after Russia 2018.

That, in large part, is why their coach, Zlatko Dalic, is talking about victory tonight as being what would be his country's greatest- ever footballing moment. Have a listen.


ZLATKO DALIC, CROATIA COACH (through translator): I tell the players to enjoy football because there is no success -- no results if you don't enjoy your job. Each of us who does our job must enjoy it and must be happy in the job, and my players are. The players of the Croatian squad are happy. We train with great joy as well as in all our preparations, meetings, and matches. And tomorrow, I will tell them to enjoy football.


DAVIES: I was surrounded by hundreds of Argentina fans on Friday night as they cheered. They were so excited that Croatia knocked out their great rival Brazil to get to this point. But you suspect here today, now, Argentina have the prospect of facing Croatia. They might be a little bit more concerned.

But the word from the Argentinian camp is all about fate at the moment because they, of course, have Lionel Messi, and so many people hoping that this might just be his year to claim that World Cup trophy.

ROMANS: All right, 2:00 p.m. eastern. We'll be watching. Thank you so much, Amanda Davies.

A tough year for Florida's orange crop. It hasn't been this bad since FDR was president. Plus --


BTS, K-POP BOY BAND: Singing "Dynamite."


ROMANS: From boy band to boot camp. The BTS singer heading off to the military.


BTS: Singing "Dynamite."




BTS: Singing "Dynamite."


ROMANS: All right, that's K-pop supergroup BTS sending off its oldest member, Jin, as he begins the mandatory military service in South Korea today. You're welcome -- the song is going to be in your head all morning now.

The official BTS Twitter account posted pictures of the members with short-haired Jin after chopping off his long hair ahead of his five weeks of basic training.

CNN's Paula Hancocks is live for us in Seoul, South Korea this morning. You were there at the Army base this morning. What were some of the reactions you got from fans?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine, it was interesting because Jin -- the management agency had actually asked fans not to turn up. The fans -- the army are extremely loyal and most of them didn't. But there were a few dozen there who wanted to send him off.

There was one, in particular, who had flown all the way from Hong Kong because she wanted to say goodbye.



MANDY LEE, BTS FAN FROM HONG KONG: We are here to -- I want to see Jin go into the military, and want him and wish him all the best and stay safe and healthy. And we will await him the 18 months.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HANCOCKS: So it's required of all able-bodied men here in South Korea 18 to 21 months mandatory military service. There was plenty of debate as to whether or not BTS would be exempted because of the soft power and the immense -- what they have achieved and what they have given to the South Korean economy. It was decided, though, that they should go ahead with this mandatory service.

The boot camp that he will be in for five weeks is very close to the DMZ -- just 10 miles south of the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.

I spoke to one person who had already been there last year during winter and he said it is brutal. We can confirm that. We were up there today. It is bitingly cold. And also saying it was what made him learn to hate snow.

So, certainly, he's not chosen the easiest boot camp.

ROMANS: All right. So nice to see you this morning, Paula. Thank you.

All right, Donald Trump told him to find the votes. Georgia's Secretary of State just subpoenaed by the Justice Department. And how inflation has changed dating.



ROMANS: All right, your Romans' Numeral this morning, 86 -- as in 86 years since Florida's orange production was this low. Blame a freeze last January, to hurricanes, and a citrus disease that has plagued the state for decades. That means more imported orange juice and likely, higher prices.

All right, looking at markets around the world right now, European stocks higher this morning. The EU striking a deal to tax imports based on greenhouse gas emissions. The European central bank and the Bank of England also set to decide on interest rates later this week.

Taking a look at Wall Street right now, stock index futures up just a little bit here after a big rally in the Dow yesterday. The Dow ending up more than 500 points. The S&P also adding more than one percent.

Investors, at least for now, optimistic that a smaller interest rate hike is in store when the Fed kicks off its two-day meeting later this morning.

Gas prices, by the way, fell another penny overnight. The national average now $3.25 a gallon. Average gas prices in 34 states now are lower today than on this day last year.

So the big question in money right now, is inflation peaking? The Consumer Price Index report comes out later this morning. The Federal Reserve meeting kicks off today ahead of a rate hike we expect tomorrow.

Let's bring in senior economic analyst at Bankrate, Mark Hamrick. Good morning, Mark.

So, what you have been seeing here in terms of inflation, can we say it feels like it's peaking?

MARK HAMRICK, SENIOR ECONOMIC ANALYST, BANKRATE.COM (via Skype): It feels like it has peaked, Christine, and with sort of the season of miracles, it feels like a miracle we can actually make that proclamation with a high degree of confidence.

And you're perfectly setting it up in the sense of that the Federal Reserve wants to see clear and convincing evidence that inflation has peaked. But as you know, they're not ready to take their foot off the brake in the sense of more interest rate increases to come with a likely announcement tomorrow on that point.

ROMANS: Yes. Let's listen to what the Treasury Sec. Janet Yellen had to say about where we are in inflation -- listen.


JANET YELLEN, TREASURY SECRETARY: I think we'll see a substantial reduction in inflation in the year ahead.

NORAH O'DONNELL, CBS ANCHOR: But for families who are paying more at the grocery store -- when 2023 comes around do they need to be worried about a recession?

YELLEN: There are always risks of a recession. The economy remains prone to shocks.


ROMANS: So what's your sense right now of where we're headed? If inflation is peaking, are we still sort of facing this recession risk sometime next year?

HAMRICK: Well, yes. And, you know, it's worth a reminder, Christine, that first of all, we're always facing a recession risk in the sense that the economy moves through expansionary cycles and recessionary cycles. And for me, the biggest question is how severe, how deep -- what is the duration of that recession?

And I think there is a growing body of thought that the next recession need not be nearly as severe as the previous two, and that's an important point. That means not as much job loss as would have been --


HAMRICK: -- seen during the previous downturns.

But, yes -- households need to be putting some emergency savings away just in case.

ROMANS: Yes. Recessions are scary but a mild recession next year could actually be -- I don't know -- less painful than the -- than the -- than the sharp inflation that we've already lived through, right? I mean, there are just different ways to measure what's happening in this economy.

And it's a really mixed picture still. The job market is still strong. Wages are still rising, which feeds into the inflation story.

Consumers say they feel miserable about the economy but they're still spending. I guess there's still -- there's still a hope here that the Fed could pull off the so-called soft landing.

HAMRICK: Well, I think there's still a chance. You know, keep hope alive. But the rate of consumer spending is really consistent with the rate of inflation, so I wouldn't want to make too much out of that. And we're talking about a real wide array of consumers of different qualifications in the sense of their financial resources.

And the job market is moderating. Not -- certainly not weak, but we have had a rather aggressive pickup in the number of job cuts and job cut announcements, I think because of the severance payments people are getting. We're not seeing that yet in the new claims for unemployment benefits. I do expect that to --


HAMRICK: -- show up, though.

And this is the cycle we're moving through. And to your earlier point, if this relieves us of the historically high and damaging inflation, and we have to make a slight trade-off for that --


HAMRICK: -- I think that's a trade that many Americans would make.

ROMANS: In the meantime, a very important reminder to build your emergency savings and do not be piling on the high-interest credit card debt at the moment. This is just not the time for that.


Mark Hamrick,, nice to see you. Thank you.

HAMRICK: Thank you, Christine.

ROMANS: All right, the other shoe drops for failed crypto boss Sam Bankman-Fried. Details on his arrest just hours ago in the Bahamas, next.


ROMANS: Nothing is immune to inflation in 2022, not even love.

CNN Business reporter Nathaniel Meyersohn is here. So, I mean, everything's more expensive. Going out on a date is more expensive. I mean, I guess you've just got to head to Costco for the samples, I guess. That would be a good date, and cheap.

NATHANIEL MEYERSOHN, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Right. So, inflation has killed the first date for dinner. Singles are swapping out the expensive white tablecloth meals for more casual activities -- maybe Costco or Trader Joe's.


So the cost of dating has skyrocketed. Singles are paying about $130 a month on dates. That's up 40 percent from a decade ago, according to --


MEYERSOHN: -- Match Group.

So more people are looking for casual activities. Thirty percent say they're looking for free dates. Twenty-nine percent say they're looking to go on dates closer to home to save on gas. So, ahead of cuffing season, when singles are looking to partner up, they're -- you know, they're avoiding dinner.

ROMANS: Avoiding dinner -- all right. Going and doing free stuff. Maybe go to a museum.

OK, Starbucks -- tell us about this -- rolling out a system where you can -- customers can tip the baristas with their credit cards in the stores. What are your tips for tipping, I guess?

MEYERSOHN: Right. So we're used to -- we need to talk about tipping. We're used to tipping at restaurants, at our bartenders. But now we have the option to tip when we go to the coffee store, when we go grab ice cream, when we go get a salad, and people are really stressed out about it.

And it's being driven by the shift from COVID. It's raised our expectations --

ROMANS: Right.

MEYERSOHN: -- for tipping to help keep these businesses afloat. And we're not using cash anymore. We're using our credit cards or paying with our phone, so workers -- they can just slide across that touch screen.

And we're kind of frozen. We don't know -- you know, do we tip 10 percent? Do we not tip? There's a lot of guilt.

ROMANS: What is -- what do you recommend?

MEYERSOHN: Right. So, the -- we spoke to etiquette experts. We spoke to --


MEYERSOHN: -- consumer behavior researchers and workers.

The first tip is to remove the guilt. You shouldn't feel any shame or embarrassment when your -- when you go to tip. Approach it like you would a tip jar. Would you live a -- if -- at the old tip jar, would you leave a dollar? If so, consider doing that on the touchscreen.

And then finally, tips are always encouraged but they're not an obligation. If you're a local -- if you go to the coffee shop every day, you don't need to tip every time. Aim for 10 percent, especially if you get a custom caramel macchiato type of thing and the worker has to spend a lot of time on it.

ROMANS: All right, Nathaniel Meyersohn. Good advice. Thank you.

All right, things going from bad to worse for the Arizona Cardinals, and quarterback Kyler Murray.

Andy Scholes has this morning's Bleacher Report. Hey, Andy.


Yes, it's just been a miserable season for the Cardinals and now they look like they may be without Kyler Murray for -- well, a very long time. Just 90 seconds into last night's game, Kyler was scrambling and he goes down with a non-contact knee injury. He had to be carted off. And the fear is that he tore his ACL.

The Cardinals -- they did, though, still lead this game at halftime. Mac Jones continuing to show some frustration with Patriots' offensive coordinator Matt Patricia. But the Pats did score 20 unanswered points in the game. And everyone for New England ends up happy in the end as they would win 27-13.


MAC JONES, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK: At the end of the day, this is a -- an emotional game. And I think everybody feeds off emotion and at times we're too flat. And that's what I try to do is motivate my guys and they responded really well -- the defense -- everybody.


SCHOLES: All right, the Men's Soccer National Championship between Syracuse and Indiana had high drama last night. They would go to penalty kicks tied at two. Both goalies coming through with saves. And after Indiana misses again, Syracuse buries the winner here. They win in penalty 7-6 to win their first-ever men's soccer national championship.

All right, Texas basketball coach Chris Beard, meanwhile, has been suspended without pay until further notice after he was arrested in Austin early Monday. He faces a charge of third-degree felony assault on a family or household member in which their breath was impeded. The charge carries a possible punishment of two to 10 years in prison.

CNN has reached out to Beard's lawyers for comment. In a statement to CNN, Texas Athletics said they are aware of the situation and are monitoring the legal process.

Meantime, the number-seven Longhorns took the court last night against Rice, with Rodney Terry serving as acting head coach. Texas, huge favorites in this one but needed overtime to beat the Owls 87-81.

All right. The sports world, meanwhile, continuing to pray for Mississippi State football coach Mike Leach and his family. Coach Leach is listed in critical condition after suffering a personal health issue that forced him to be airlifted from his home to -- in Starkville to a medical facility in Jackson on Sunday.

The Clarion Ledger, citing multiple sources, reported that Leach suffered a massive heart attack. Sources also tell the Clarion Ledger the situation is dire.

Former colleagues, players, and people across the college football world sending their thoughts and prayers to Coach Leach and his family while others also shared their favorite Coach Leach memories and moments. There are certainly many of those. Coach Leach arguably the most entertaining coach of all time.

Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with him and his family as well.

All right, that's -- that'll do it for this edition of EARLY START. "CNN THIS MORNING" starts right now.


SAM BANKMAN-FRIED, FOUNDER AND FORMER CEO, FTX: I didn't ever try to commit fraud.