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Kyiv Calls Putin's Ceasefire Bid An Attempt To Slow Ukraine Military; Memoir: Harry Calls Brother William His 'Archnemesis'; Damar Hamlin Awake, Showing Substantial Improvement. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired January 06, 2023 - 05:30   ET



SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Be changing today along the front lines.

And already, we are hearing from my colleague Ben Wedeman, who is in Eastern Ukraine right now, that they have observed both incoming and outgoing fire across the front line despite this so-called 36-hour ceasefire. And that is to be expected because the Ukrainians gave no indication that they would treat today as any differently.

And the Russians made very clear that they wouldn't allow this ceasefire to be an opportunity for the Ukrainians to improve their positioning at all on the front line. And they made clear that they would be returning fire as well.

The Ukrainians are so worried that this is some kind of a trap that even the governor of the Luhansk region where much of the fighting is taking place is warning people there not to go to Orthodox church services today, warning that this could be a trap and perhaps some of those churches could even be attacked.

I spoke to one woman here attending this service who told me that she read the wording of the Kremlin's statement very quick -- very carefully. And she says that look, they mentioned a ceasefire along the front lines. She didn't say anything about the rest of the country. So she's expecting that perhaps there could be missile strikes today.

The former president of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, said that the Ukrainians had rejected the Christian hand of mercy. One military major that I spoke with said there is nothing Christian about this war, Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Scott McLean in Kyiv for us. Thank you so much.

Prince Harry shedding some interesting new light on his rivalry with his only brother, Prince William. Here's what he tells ABC News.


MICHAEL STRAHAN, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: You refer to your brother as your beloved brother and archnemesis. Strong words. What did you mean by that?

PRINCE HARRY: There has always been this competition between us, weirdly. I think it really plays into or always played by the heir- spare.


ROMAN: The title of Harry's new memoir is "Spare."

Let's bring in CNN's Bianca Nobilo, live in London. You know, Bianca, siblings are competitive. Brothers fight, right? But might the term archnemesis -- what are people making of that?

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Well, perhaps it's less of an overstatement now that we're getting more and more details about what "Spare" really includes. The content is so dramatic, involving revelations and allegations from Harry's birth right up until the present day.

He talks about when he found out about his mother's death. About how he and his brother, Prince William, wanted to reopen the investigation into Princess Diana's death as well because they didn't think the conclusions were entirely plausible.

Then it discusses how this relationship became more tense when Prince Harry married Meghan Markle, escalating into this physical fight where Prince William allegedly hit Harry, pushing him to the floor, injuring him.

And then, we hear more about Prince Harry trying to connect with his mother, as well as salacious details from his early years, including how he lost his virginity, and rather personal details about his body.

It's quite shocking to hear from anyone this level of intimate personal divulgence on a global scale, let alone a member of the British royal family whose motto is "never complain, never explain." It runs completely counter to the way that the palace usually conducts itself by not addressing anything. Not saying anything. Certainly not being this personal.

And Christine, there's just more to come. The book is released next week but we have these hour-long, and more than that, sit-downs with Harry and broadcasters on the weekend and late-night shows we expect next week, too. So the revelations will continue.

ROMANS: You know, for a young man who grew up as fodder for British tabloids, who everyone told his story, it looks like he's telling the story now, and he's telling all of it.

All right, Bianca Nobilo. Thank you so much.

Quick hits around the globe right now.

Cartel clashes break out in Sinaloa, Mexico after the arrest of drug lord El Chapo's son, Ovidio Guzman. President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be in

Mexico City Monday for the North American Leaders Summit.

China will open its border to Hong Kong Sunday, the same day it drops COVID quarantine mandates for incoming international passengers. Hong Kong residents will still need to test negative. And airline passenger caps will apply in both directions.

Brazilian prosecutors submitting a formal request to revive a charge of embezzlement against U.S. Congressman-elect George Santos. He's accused of spending nearly $700 using a stolen checkbook and a fake name in 2008.

Just ahead, the first thing Bills' safety Damar Hamlin asked when doctors -- when he woke up.

And sinking shares and dropping sales. Is there any beyond for Bed Bath & Beyond?



ROMANS: All right. Damar Hamlin is awake and his doctors say he is showing remarkable improvement.

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


Such amazing news that Damar Hamlin is awake. And the first thing he asked was "Did we win?" And his doctor said that was huge because it shows the lights are on and he is home.

Hamlin still has a breathing tube but is communicating by writing stuff down. Doctors say he is neurologically intact but does remain in critical condition.

But the positive updates have been huge for the Bills. Coach Sean McDermott said yesterday Hamlin's dad spoke to the team Wednesday and told them that Hamlin would want the Bills to get back to work and get back to going after their goals. That message really helped the team.

And here was quarterback Josh Allen yesterday speaking about getting back on the field.


JOSH ALLEN, QUARTERBACK, BUFFALO BILLS: I think putting that helmet back on today was a really good thing for our team, and just to kind of go through that process. But I'd be lying to you if I didn't say some people are going to be changed forever after being on the field and witnessing that and feeling those emotions. But again, the best way that we can continue to move forward.

Obviously, the updates that we keep getting on Damar really lift our spirits. We're leaning on each other.



SCHOLES: Yes, and so many people were instrumental in saving Hamlin's life, but assistant trainer Denny Kellington is being called a true hero. He was the person who took charge and started administering CPR to Hamlin. Now, many of the Bills players praising Kellington on Twitter for saving Hamlin's life, and head coach Sean McDermott echoed those sentiments yesterday.


SEAN MCDERMOTT, HEAD COACH, BUFFALO BILLS: For an assistant to find himself at that position and needing to take the action that he did and step up and take charge like he did -- and there were others on the field as well -- is nothing short of amazing. And the courage that took -- like, that is -- you talk about a real leader, a real hero in saving Damar's life. And I just admire his strength.


SCHOLES: Now, the NFL officially announced last night that the remainder of the Bills-Bengals game will not be played and that game is a no-contest. That means the Bills and Bengals will have one less game in the standings, which matters for home field in the playoffs. Seeding will now be based on win percentage.

If the Chiefs win this weekend, they are going to be the one seed and get the bye in the AFC.

But the NFL Competition Committee has outlined a number of scenarios to help fix potential competitive inequities. The AFC title game is going to be held at a neutral site if the Chiefs and Bills both win this weekend. If they both lose and the Ravens win, or if they both lose and the Bengals win, then the Bengals end up in the AFC title game.

So all because they are playing one less game now, the Bengals are already AFC North champions based on that win percentage. But if the Ravens beat the Bengals Sunday and the two teams end up playing in the wild card round, they're actually going to have a coin toss to decide if that game is going to be in Cincinnati or Baltimore.

So I hope you got all that there, Christine.

ROMANS: I wrote it down to keep track.

SCHOLES: The owners -- it's not official yet, but the owners are going to vote on it later today in a meeting. But it's likely those are going to be the scenarios. So, the AFC title game, more than likely, could end up --


SCHOLES: -- at a neutral site. It's going to be like a mini Super Bowl.

ROMANS: All right, complicated. But I'm glad he's doing better and I can't wait for more progress --

SCHOLES: For sure.

ROMANS: -- from him.

All right, nice to see you, Andy Scholes. Have a great weekend.

SCHOLES: All right.

ROMANS: All right, more trouble at Bed Bath & Beyond. It's warning of possible bankruptcy. Sales have cratered. It closed dozens of stores last year to cut costs. It's a rescue plan that just doesn't seem to be working.

Let's bring in CNN's retail reporter Nathaniel Meyersohn. And what happened yesterday? What's gone wrong with this company?

NATHANIEL MEYERSOHN: CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Right. So, Bed Bath & Beyond said yesterday that the company has substantial doubt about its ability to continue. It's a really troubling sign. And it said it's going to be exploring all options, including a potential bankruptcy filing.

It caused its stock to plunge about 30 percent. It traded at under $2.00 --


MEYERSOHN: -- a share, an all-time low.

And this is just kind of the latest sign of trouble at Bed Bath & Beyond. It's been a long, steep decline. They've been squeezed by competition from Amazon, Walmart, Target. They didn't make the transition to online shopping.

You look at their sales numbers for the past few years. In 2018, they were at about $12 billion in sales, and that's dropped to $7.7 billion in sales last year. They were really hit hard by the pandemic. They had to close stores while the competitors stayed open. And they just didn't have that online -- you know, the online shopping tools that other companies had.


So if bankruptcy is a possibility here, you need to use your 20 percent off coupon.

MEYERSOHN: You better use those 20 percent off coupons, Christine. Everybody knows them -- they're ubiquitous. They're deep in our closets. So go out and pull them out because they're not going to be useful if the company files for bankruptcy and then potentially has to liquidate. And the coupons actually hurt Bed Bath & Beyond. They train shoppers to only buy if they had them and not buy at full price. And the novelty wore off. The coupons weren't as relevant if you could just check prices on Amazon --


MEYERSOHN: -- and they were cheaper, and you could compare them all- around.

ROMANS: I mean, I got through college going to Bed Bath & Beyond with a 20 percent off coupon, and that was a long time ago.

All right, Nathaniel Meyersohn. Nice to see you. Thank you.

All right. Still ahead, a deadly storm packing heavy rain and high winds. The forecast says more is on the way.



ROMANS: All right, welcome back with your Romans' Numeral this morning -- 6.48 percent. That's the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in America right now -- almost twice the rate this time last year, and it's the highest level to start a new year since 2002. It follows the Federal Reserve's succession of harsh interest rate hikes to tame soaring inflation.

Looking at markets around the world right now, European markets are mixed. Consumer prices in the EU fell sharply in December. That's a sign inflation is easing across the region.

On Wall Street, stock index futures at this hour are mixed.

A one percent decline on Wall Street yesterday. The Dow fell more than 300 points. Strong jobs data was the reason. It's a sign further interest rate hikes may be necessary.

On inflation watch, gas prices holding steady overnight, now at $3.29 a gallon.

And the final jobs report of the year is due out later this morning. Two hundred thousand new jobs are forecast for December. That would be the lowest monthly employment gain in two years but still a very big number. If that number holds, it means 2022 was the second-biggest year in American history for job creation. Think of that.

Let's bring in John Leer, chief economist at Morning Consult. Good morning.

So what do you think this jobs report --

JOHN LEER, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MORNING CONSULT (via Webex by Cisco): Good morning.

ROMANS: -- will tell us?

LEER: I think the expectations are largely right that things are still fairly -- that the economy is still growing and people are still adding new jobs.

But I think what's going to be really important is looking at the totality of the first quarter. I think we're seeing an inflection point. The rate of jobs growth is slowing. And a lot of these tech layoffs that we're hearing about I think are going to start materializing across the broader economy by the end of the first quarter.


ROMANS: Oh, you think those tech layoffs -- there may be a leading edge.

You know, I keep telling people, though, in normal times, 200,000 job creation -- that would be fantastic. That would be a solid job market. And that's why the stock market fell yesterday on some early signs of job market strength.

We're in this funny position where good news on the economy is bad news on Wall Street. Explain.

LEER: Well, I think the short answer is that as the economy continues to grow, particularly on the jobs front, that puts more pressure on the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates. I mean, one of the things that we've seen is that wage growth has been fairly strong and there's the fear that wage growth is going to ultimately drive inflation higher. So the Federal Reserve wants to raise interest rates to try to curb the demand for workers and, hopefully, bring down wages, which, in fact, will then ultimately bring down inflation.

It's a challenging balancing act, of course, because they don't want to drive the economy into a recession. But that's the challenging sort of line that they have to walk.

ROMANS: So you've got signs that inflation is peaking -- we just showed the Consumer Price Index there on the screen -- but still a strong job market.

I mean, I guess if you're looking at a 'slowcession' as Zandi -- as Mark Zandi called it -- or Moody's called it this week -- or maybe a stall in the U.S. economy this year -- I mean, can you have a recession in 2023 with a job market that is still this strong even though it may be slowing?

LEER: I mean, the short answer is no, you can't have a recession with really positive and strong jobs growth. I don't think that jobs growth is going to continue for the duration of 2023. And I think the first quarter and the first half of 2023 are going to be particularly challenging.

Right now, as workers are being laid off, they are almost immediately being absorbed because there are so many job openings. What we've started to see, particularly with small businesses, a decrease in the -- in their hiring plans. I think that's going to spread across the broader economy. And increasingly, it will become the case that these layoffs are not going to lead to people being rehired elsewhere but, rather, just going on unemployment benefits and being unemployed.

ROMANS: All right. Solid for now, but watch this space as we move into 2023.

John Leer, Morning Consult. Thank you so much. Nice to see you. Have a great weekend.

LEER: Thank you. Same to you.

ROMANS: All right, 11 rounds of voting and still no House speaker. What this historic stalemate means for the country, ahead.

And bullet holes in New Mexico and a big question. Is someone targeting elected officials in Albuquerque?



ROMANS: Our top of the morning this Friday, the top hits on Spotify.




ROMANS: That's Sam Smith and Kim Petras at number one with "Unholy."


SZA, AMERICAN SINGER: Singing "Kill Bill."


ROMANS: SZA, number two with "Kill Bill."

And at number three --




ROMANS: Who else? Taylor Swift and "Anti-Hero."

All right, one of the world's most active volcanoes is erupting again. Hawaii's Kilauea volcano began erupting again Thursday. You know, eruptions stopped just about a month ago after a 16-month run. Officials say currently, the eruption is confined to the crater and poses no hazard to communities, but they are elevating the volcano alert from watch to warning.

Back in 2018, an eruption at Kilauea was one of the most destructive in recent Hawaii history, forcing evacuations and destroying hundreds of homes.

A deadly winter storm slamming California with torrential rain, hurricane-force winds. Thousands of customers are now without power as people grapple with dangerous flash flooding, mudslides. And the storm is still far from over.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers joins us now. Is this storm improving drought conditions at all?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It is. In fact, now the highest level of drought -- the category four -- the extreme level -- is now out of California. But still, 97 percent of California is still in some type of drought, just not the highest level. And, in fact, we know this because the reservoirs are not filled up. In fact, they're still below where they should be this time of year.

So it's going to take more rainfall and we'd just like it to spread out a little bit. This has been the wettest 10-day period in 100 years or so in parts of California.

Now, the storm that did all the damage is into the Rockies. Then there's a break that we're going to see today. But there is the next system that gets in there tonight. And there's another one behind that. It's just one after another, like planes lined up trying to get into an airport.

The snow has tapered off for California right now. The rain has tapered off as well.

But look at Hearst Castle. Look how much -- eight inches -- eight inches of rainfall. And if you put that up into the mountains, like they did, that's an awful lot of snow in the higher elevations.

But the wettest period -- 10-day period in San Francisco history in 150 years. So, I hate to use the word historic when there was 14 inches years and years and years ago, but this is a lot. And certainly, memorable would be the word.

There is your drought map here. Still well into that category three, just not into the four like we were for so long.

Now, this happened last year, too, where we had a very nice start to winter. Then it just stopped. So let's just hope that it doesn't happen again this year.

More flooding rainfall expected over the next couple of days. Here it comes in and we'll see that rain coming in across Northern California today; all of California for tomorrow. And the snow in the mountains -- if you're going to the mountains, you

need to kind of keep it in between these storms because many of these roads.