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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Protests Intensify After Police Officers Killed In Gang Violence; Chiefs And Eagles Set To Square Off In Super Bowl LVII; Murdaugh Trial Resumes With New Testimony. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired January 30, 2023 - 05:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: CNN's Patrick Oppmann has more.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN HAVANA-BASED CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a city largely run by gangs where lawlessness is a part of daily life this was an unusual day in Port-au-Prince. Protesters blocked roads and stormed Haiti's main airport venting their fury at the country's prime minister, Ariel Henry -- faces shielded by scarves and helmets.

The protesters included members of the Haitian police force who say they are outraged by the recent deaths of several officers by gangs. The protesters say the police need help like better weapons and helicopters to fight off the gangs, and more support from the government.

UNNAMED POLICE OFFICER (through translator): We are the future of the country. Without security, a country does not exist and cannot achieve development. We are on the streets to fight against acts of banditry.

OPPMANN (voice-over): The United Nations estimates that about 60 percent of Port-au-Prince is controlled by gangs and the toll on police officers has been high. One human rights organization says at least 78 police officers have been killed, an average of four a month, since Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry came to power a year and a half ago.

Henry says he is aware there must be change but appealed for people to act calmly.

ARIEL HENRY, HAITIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): In this difficult moment we have to move forward. I call upon all of you to not mistake your enemies. We have to fight the ongoing insecurity. We have to unite to fight it together.

OPPMANN (voice-over): The wave of killings triggering a lawsuit by the Haitian police union against the prime minister and other top officials accusing them of failing to help police officers in danger. The prime minister's special adviser has denied accusations by the police union that the government is responsible for the deaths because its arming gangs. And if the murders, rapes, and kidnappings that come with gang rule

weren't enough the U.N. says gangs have blocked access to food and water in some communities increasing the suffering of people affected by earthquakes, cholera, and rampant food insecurity.

More than three months ago the Haitian government asked the international community for a strike force to help combat the gangs but, so far, no nation has stepped up.


OPPMANN (voice-over): The U.N. appealing again last week for countries to do more.

LA LIME: We're still not doing enough to be able to win this fight at this stage. We will not win the fight without significant levels of additional support. The police simply need that.

OPPMANN (voice-over): So far, the U.S. and Canada have pledged to provide aid and equipment to Haiti, but with a police force outgunned and overwhelmed by gangs the U.N. says Haiti needs much more than that.

Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Havana.


ROMANS: All right, Patrick. Thank you for that.

Quick hits around the globe right now.

Bomb-carrying drones have attacked and damaged a military plant in central Iran. The Iranians claim their air defense destroyed two drones. They are not saying who might be behind that attack.

Lunar New Year travel surging in China since COVID restrictions were lifted in December. State media says domestic trips have increased 74 percent since last year but still well below 2019 levels.

At least four people have died from devastating flooding in northern New Zealand. A state of emergency remains in place for Auckland as the country braces for more heavy rain this week.

All right. Next, courtroom drama as jurors get to watch the first police interview with Alex Murdaugh after his wife and son were found murdered.

And bad breaks and a bad call setting up a classic Super Bowl matchup. The Bleacher Report, next.



NFL ANNOUNCER: -- on the run to the end zone.



ROMANS: All right, Super Bowl LVII is set. The Kansas City Chiefs will take on the Philadelphia Eagles in Arizona.

Coy Wire has this morning's Bleacher Report. And you know my 12-year- old just loves the Chiefs.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I do remember that. I think I brought you some confetti from the last time --

ROMANS: You did.

WIRE: -- they won the --

ROMANS: You did.

WIRE: -- Super Bowl.

Let's talk about the AFC, Christine. Kansas City and Cincinnati -- it has all the makings of the next great NFL rivalry. Two, let's say, effervescent fan bases, two phenomenal young quarterbacks, and plenty of playful trash-talking.

Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow squaring off at Arrowhead in a rematch of last year's AFC Championship game. Mahomes gritting it out, Christine -- limping on an injured ankle all game and still able to do what he does best, and why your son and so many others are such a big fan.

He fires a touchdown pass to Marquez. The ball (INAUDIBLE). That puts the KC up 20-13 in the third. But stone-cold Joe Burrow answers KC's defense, harassing them all night -- five sacks. But Burrow has ice in his veins. Ja'Marr Chase there for the touchdown.

Setting up this plunge by Samaje Perine and that ties the game at 20 apiece, but KC had the ball. And check this out. Mahomes trying to run, getting to field goal range, and a late hit by Joseph Ossai made that happen. Ossai crying after the game after seeing Harrison Butker kick a 45-yard game-winning field goal ending the Bengals season.

A 23-20 win for Kansas City, avenging last year's overtime loss, heading to the Super Bowl for the third time in four years.


PATRICK MAHOMES, QUARTERBACK, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Whenever you thought you were the underdog when you're playing at Arrowhead Stadium it gets guys ready to go.

Yes -- I mean, Burrowhead -- I mean, they beat us last time. They were talking about we've got to play them. There was a lot of stuff. I mean, the mayor came at me, man, and I mean -- I mean, I understand he's the mayor of Cincinnati so he has to think about something.

But, I mean, it's something that you've just got to play the football game and then let your play do the talking.


WIRE: Over in the NFC the Eagles putting an end to the magical run by the 49ers in third-string rookie quarterback Brock Purdy. Things got ugly for Purdy -- knocked out in the first quarter with an elbow injury -- hit by Haason Reddick there. Josh Johnson, the 49ers fourth- string quarterback, struggled before he left the game with injury, too.

Philly -- my goodness, they just poured it on. They wear down the NFL's best defense this season with four rushing touchdowns, rolling to a 31-7 win and securing a spot in the Super Bowl, Christine, for the first time since winning it five years ago.

Star quarterback Jalen Hurts was so happy he could sing. Well, kind of.



NICK SIRIANNI, HEAD COACH, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: Whether you were dreaming about it when you were two, 10, 14, 18, or when you got into the NFL, this is something we all dream about. And we get to do it because we did it better than anybody else in the NFC this year.

HURTS: This is not a time for reflection. It's hard -- it's really hard for me to do that. I try to, what you guys say, enjoy the moment but my joy comes in winning. But I know the job isn't done.


WIRE: Loads of incredible storylines --


WIRE: -- and great fashion in this Super Bowl.

Head coach Andy Reid, for the Chiefs -- he's playing against his former team in the Eagles.

And it's the Kelce bowl. Travis Kelce for the Chiefs and Jason Kelce for the Eagles --


WIRE: -- the first brothers to ever face off in a Super Bowl. Who do you root for if you're mom and dad?

ROMANS: You root for all. You love all your kids the same. I can -- I can vouch for that.

And Brock Purdy -- Iowa State's -- the pride and joy of Iowa State University, Brock Purdy. Great season for them. Too bad the 49ers didn't make it.

WIRE: Yes.

ROMANS: Nice to see you, Coy. Thanks.

WIRE: You too, Christine.

ROMANS: All right, here is today's fast-forward look ahead.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will be in Israel soon. He will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and call for de-escalation after an alarming spike in Israeli-Palestinian violence.

A Virginia elementary school will be open again three weeks after a 6- year-old shot his teacher. A metal detector has been installed, students will have to use clear book bags, and the principal has been reassigned.

The double-murder trial of Alex Murdaugh resumes today. Prosecutors have showed the court Murdaugh's first interview with authorities after his wife and son were found murdered.

CNN's Randi Kaye has more.


ALEX MURDAUGH, ON TRIAL FOR THE MURDER OF HIS WIFE AND SON: We had a wonderful marriage, wonderful relationship.

POLICE OFFICER: And yours and Paul's relationship?

MURDAUGH: As good as it could be.

RANDI KAYE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is Alex Murdaugh being interviewed in the investigator's car hours after his wife and son were murdered.

MURDAUGH: I mean, I pulled up and I could see them. I could see it was (crying). And I could see his brain. And I ran over to Maggie and -- actually, I think I tried to turn Paul over first. I tried to take their -- Paul's own -- both of them. And, you know, I called 911 pretty much right away.

KAYE (voice-over): That conversation took place at nearly 1:00 a.m. on June 8, 2021. For the first time, we hear him explain how he says he tried to reach his wife and son with no luck.

MURDAUGH: I got up. I called Maggie and didn't get an answer. And I think I texted her. And she's very good about answering the phone so that was odd -- or calling me back. So that was odd but it wasn't that big a deal.

I checked -- texted her at 9:08 -- "Going to check on M. Be right back." And then I texted her at 9:47. That must be when I started to come back. I think I called her before that but let me make sure. I'm pretty sure that I called her at 9:45. And then I tried Paul. KAYE (voice-over): Alex Murdaugh told investigators that he tried to check the pulse on both his wife Maggie and son Paul, yet Alex didn't appear to have any blood on him, this investigator told the court.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see anything that appeared to be blood on his shoe?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see what appeared to be blood on Alex Murdaugh's hands?


KAYE (voice-over): And when the defense lawyer asked her why she thought his clothes were freshly washed --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's sweating and they are dry, so I would say yes.

KAYE (voice-over): Still, on cross-examination, the defense tried to poke holes in the idea that Alex Murdaugh may have washed his clothes after allegedly killing his wife and son.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, let me ask you. In your mind's eye that night on June 7, did he look like someone who had just blown his son's head off, spatter going everywhere?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Again, I can't say that for sure.

KAYE (on camera): Also in court a crime scene investigator testifying for the prosecution pulled out Paul Murdaugh's bloody sneakers he was wearing the night that he was killed. That was certainly a dramatic moment. That same witness also testified that Alex Murdaugh's home wasn't searched until September 13, 2021. That would have been more than three months after the double murder.


No doubt when the defense cross-examines that witness on Monday they will use that to continue its theme of an alleged sloppy investigation.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Walterboro.


ROMANS: All right, Randi. Thanks for that.

Coming up on "CNN THIS MORNING" the SCORPION police unit shut down permanently as we learn more about their controversial past on the streets of Memphis.

And next, right here, 2023 shaping up to be the year of the electric vehicle. Tesla suddenly has a lot of competition.


ROMANS: All right, your Romans' Numeral this morning, $26,500. That's how much one of the cheapest electric vehicles on the market cost -- the Chevrolet Bolt. The electric hatchback promises a range of around 259 miles on a single charge. And buyers may be eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500. Much more on the EV market in a moment. Don't go away.

But looking at markets around the world right now, a mixed Monday in Asia. European markets have opened lower awaiting European and U.S. central bank decisions this week and eurozone GDP and inflation numbers.


And on Wall Street stock index futures leaning down this morning after another strong week for stocks. The Nasdaq finished up four percent, on track for its best month since last July.

A busy earnings week. Tech giants Apple, Amazon, and Meta will report fourth-quarter results. Also up this week, a critical meeting of the Federal Reserve. A quarter-point rate hike is expected. And Friday's jobs report may show slowing job growth. That would be a sign the Fed's medicine is taking some of the air out of the hot economy.

On inflation watch, gas prices steady overnight at $3.50 (sic) a gallon.

All right, from gas prices to this. In case you haven't noticed, electric vehicles are everywhere and Tesla is no longer the only game in town. Take a look at this explosive growth in EVs. They made up about 1.4 percent of the U.S. market in 2019. Fast-forward three years. Electric vehicles now represent almost six percent of the market.

CNN's Peter Valdes-Dapena is our man in the field testing EVs. Take a look.




ROMANS: That's him on assignment. He's here with me now. Nice to see you this morning.

VALDES-DAPENA: Good to see you.

ROMANS: You drove me in a Mach-E -- a Mustang Mach-E. I liked that little car.

VALDES-DAPENA: I did. I liked that car.

ROMANS: The EV market has now surpassed five percent, similar to the U.S. market share of Hyundai. The supply is there -- the demand- supply. I mean, can you get an EV if you want one right now to get one of these tax credits?

VALDES-DAPENA: Yes. Right now it's a little tough and the tricky thing is you've got to get it -- to get a -- because a lot of them are eligible temporarily for the full $7,500 that won't be once rules kick in about where the --

ROMANS: Right.

VALDES-DAPENA: -- batteries and the battery components come from. That happens in March. So if you don't get it before March you get less of a tax credit. So that's put a big rush for a lot of people to try to find an EV during this sort window.

And yes -- I mean, the auto industry is recovering. And the computer chip stuff --

ROMANS: Right.

VALDES-DAPENA: -- and all that -- that is recovering. But still, you know, supplies are tight.

ROMANS: There are a lot more EVs on the market. It's not just a Tesla game anymore.


ROMANS: Let's walk through what you need to know about that tax credit because it's $7,500 in the Inflation Reduction Act because of some rulemaking snafus. There is this brief window --


ROMANS: -- where a lot of people are eligible for the first -- for the full $7,500 rebate -- tax credit.

You have to make $150,000 or less for individuals. Three hundred thousand is the income cap for joint filers. And then, after -- so we're talking like the Chevy Bolt thing is going to be a like a $19,000 car.

VALDES-DAPENA: It could be, yes. If you can find one, yes, that could be a real bargain even as Tesla lowers the prices on some of their models because there are price caps on the cars, too. Tesla lowered prices on some of their models so some of those are going to start to become available.

And basically, right now it's -- the main thing is it has to be assembled in the U.S. And also, they're still working out (INAUDIBLE) Consumer Reports yesterday of who does their government affairs.

If you lease the rules are looser if you're leasing but the tax credit goes to the dealer --

ROMANS: And this is -- VALDES-DAPENA: -- or the financing company. And then you can negotiate to get that taken off.

ROMANS: And this is a new, right, where you could -- if you lease and EV you can see some tax benefits. That hasn't ever been in the books before I don't think.

VALDES-DAPENA: For leases, I don't think there have been ever --

ROMANS: Right.

VALDES-DAPENA: -- anything in the books.

Before, you could, actually. But same deal. Like if it was eligible for a tax credit I believe you could get it if you leased, but it went to the financing company and then would come out of your lease rate.

Here again, it's going to go to the dealership or the financing company. They have to -- you have to negotiate that to get them to pass that savings on to you. But the rules -- because the way tax rules are written the rules for what vehicles are eligible seem to be looser if you're leasing than if you're purchasing.

ROMANS: So with or without this new tax credit of $7,500 you say last year was the tipping point for EV --


ROMANS: -- in the U.S. And global EV sales were like 10 percent of the market. So --


ROMANS: -- the rest of the world is a little faster --


ROMANS: -- than the U.S.

VALDES-DAPENA: China and -- China, in particular, where they're really pushing EVs, and Europe also, which is set to in a few years go fully EV. They're ahead of the U.S. on transitioning.

But you're right. Five percent, researchers say, seems to represent kind of a tipping point where once you pass that --


VALDES-DAPENA: -- it seemed like to people they start to seem normal. It doesn't seem weird anymore. You see them around. You see different brands around.

And then people started to think OK, I could do that. And then -- and things really start to really, more quickly ramp up in terms of market share.

ROMANS: Are people getting over their range anxiety?

VALDES-DAPENA: I think so. Look, I've driven a lot of electric vehicles. Right now -- I'll tell you right now if you get more than like 300 miles you're fine. I think the issue right now I would say is more charging anxiety.


VALDES-DAPENA: It's -- the range is fine. Who needs 300 miles every day or 250 --

ROMANS: Right.

VALDES-DAPENA: -- miles even?

But the problem is well, the chargers aren't as reliable as they should be. They're still not as frequent as they should be. And I think that's where the focus really needs to be and is shifting now --

ROMANS: All right.

VALDES-DAPENA: -- to more of those public chargers.


ROMANS: Peter Valdes-Dapena, thank you so much -- our car guy. Nice to see you.

All right. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the Middle East right now as Israeli-Palestinian violence escalates.

And who will NASA send to the moon? A CNN exclusive on the secret selection process coming up on "CNN THIS MORNING."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And liftoff of Artemis 1.



ROMANS: All right, it's Monday. Our top of the Monday morning for you, the top movies at the box office right now.


Clip from 20th Century Fox "Avatar: The Way of Water."


ROMANS: Seven weeks in a row for "Avatar: The Way of Water." It is now the fourth-highest-grossing movie of all time globally.


Clip from Universal Pictures "Puss In Boots: The Last Wish."


ROMANS: "Puss In Boots: The Last Wish" is number two.

And number three --


Clip from Sony Pictures Entertainment "Otto."