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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Quake Survivors Coming To Terms With Painful Reality; Lawmakers Push For Code Of Conduct Amid Uptick In Cyberbullying; Consumer Prices Climbed 6.4 Percent In January From A Year Ago. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired February 15, 2023 - 05:30   ET




AMAL CEKIC, EVACUATED FROM QUAKE ZONE (through translator): -- constantly crying. She's my only daughter. She's changed a lot.

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): The chances of finding survivors beneath the rubble is getting slimmer by the hour. But in Turkey hope persists with more miraculous rescues over the past 24 hours. But as the days pass by the focus is shifting to recovering the dead and helping the living.

BASHIR (on camera): Well, as you can see here, these volunteers have formed a human chain to carry these boxes of donations into this truck that have been loaded and ready to leave this distribution center in Istanbul and head straight to southeast Turkey.

Now according to coordinators at this center, there are some 20,000 volunteers working around the clock across two centers here in Istanbul. They've been working for the last week sorting through thousands of boxes of donations all ready to be sent to people impacted by the earthquake.

BASHIR (voice-over): But coordinators here say they need more support and fear they will be forgotten by the international community.

BASHIR (on camera): Were you scared when it happened?


BASHIR (on camera): It was scary?

CHILD: Very.

BASHIR (on camera): Very scared.


BASHIR (voice-over): And while acts of generosity may go some way to help, for those who've lost everything the rebuilding is just beginning.


BASHIR: And look, Christine, there are thousands and thousands of families who have lost everything and made homeless by this earthquake not just in southeast Turkey, of course, but also in northwest Syria. And there is now a real emphasis on that humanitarian assistance program. There are calls for more support not only from the Turkish government but also crucially from the international community.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: A terrifying experience.

All right, Nada Bashir. Thank you for bringing us that family's story.

All right, quick hits around the globe right now.

Four men arrested and charged in Florida in connection with the 2021 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise. Prosecutors say the suspects were hoping to secure construction contracts in exchange for the killing.

Authorities in India raiding two BBC offices after the network's decision to air a documentary critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Critics call the move an assault on press freedom.

The credit crunch is deepening in Venezuela. Analysts say high inflation and government restrictions are making credit cards practically useless.

Later today, Nikki Haley kicks off her campaign for president. And social media under scrutiny on Capitol Hill.


EMMA LEMBKE, DIGITAL YOUTH ACTIVIST, SOCIAL MEDIA REFORM ADVOCATE: As a young woman the constant exposure to unrealistic body standards and harmful recommended content led me towards disordered eating and severely damaged my sense of self.




ROMANS: Welcome back.

Here is today's fast-forward lookahead.

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's campaign kickoff event takes place just hours from now. She'll speak to supporters in Charleston, South Carolina.

President Biden will speak to electrical workers in Lanham, Maryland today. The White House says the president will contrast his economic plan with the Republican agenda.

The acting FAA administrator testifies before a Senate committee today. Lawmakers want to know more about last month's unprecedented nationwide ground stop and recent close calls on airport runways.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are attempting to develop a code of conduct for social media companies. It's part of a bipartisan effort to protect children under the age of 16 from harmful content.

CNN's Brianna Keilar has more.


KRISTIN BRIDE, LOST SON TO SUICIDE DUE TO CYBERBULLYING, MEMBER, COUNCIL FOR RESPONSIBLE SOCIAL MEDIA: This is my son Carson Bride, with the beautiful blue eyes, an amazing smile.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Kristen Bride is one of a growing number of parents who have lost a child to cyberbullying. Her 16-year-old son Carson died by suicide in 2020 after he was harassed on a Snapchat-integrated app that allowed users to send anonymous messages.

BRIDE: I woke to the complete shock and horror that Carson had hung himself in our garage while we slept. We discovered that Carson has received nearly 100 negative, harassing, sexually explicit, and humiliating messages, including 40 in just one day.

KEILAR (voice-over): She's part of a group that testified on Capitol Hill about the dangers children face online.

LEMBKE: The constant exposure to unrealistic body standards and harmful recommended content led me towards disordered eating and severely damaged my sense of self. And there I remained for over three years mindlessly scrolling for five to six hours a day.

KEILAR (voice-over): The hearing coming just one week after President Biden's call to action during his State of the Union address.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We must finally hold social media companies accountable for experimenting they're doing running children for profit.

KEILAR (voice-over): The ubiquity of social media in kids' lives and the vehicle it provides for cyberbullying are also getting renewed attention as the CDC unveils a new report. It shows significant declines in youth mental health and increased suicide risk in 2021, especially among girls.

KATHLEEN ETHIER, DIRECTOR, CDC'S DIVISION OF ADOLESCENT AND SCHOOL HEALTH: The levels of poor mental health and suicidal thoughts and behaviors reported by teenage girls are now higher than we have ever seen.

KEILAR (voice-over): And as the story of Adrianna Kuch, a 14-year-old student in New Jersey who was attacked by four other teenagers in her school's hallway, has stunned the nation. Video of her attack was posted to TikTok. Her father said she died by suicide the following evening. MICHAEL KUCH, FATHER OF ADRIANNA KUCH: Getting hit in the face with a water bottle didn't hurt Adrianna. What hurt Adrianna was the embarrassment and humiliation. They just kept coming at her.


SEN. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R-TN): The social media platforms are operating in the days of the Wild West and anything goes.

KEILAR (voice-over): Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn and Democratic Richard Blumenthal are reaching across the aisle to try to get legislation passed after it failed last year.

BLACKBURN: Protecting our children is not a partisan issue.

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): I hope that outrage will finally be channeled into overcoming -- here's the really important point -- the armies of lobbyists and lawyers that big tech has mustered to counter and combat this legislation. No more.

BRIDE: There is absolutely no way that any one parent can feasibly manage the firehose of online harms that are being directed at our kids every day. We need help from the federal government and we need it now.

KEILAR (on camera): We see those vulnerabilities in the numbers of this new CDC report. One in three American teenage girls saying they've considered attempting suicide. One in five gay or bisexual teens saying they have attempted in the year before they were surveyed. They are clearly at a crisis point as they are navigating a sometimes perilous online world.

Brianna Keilar, CNN, Washington.


ROMANS: A critical story there, Brianna. Thank you.

All right. As the Michigan State community grieves the mass shooting on campus, fellow Big 10 schools stand in solidarity with the Spartans.

Carolyn Manno has this morning's Bleacher Report. Good morning.

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning. I mean, this is the time of year when college basketball fans in East Lansing are getting excited about March Madness. And now, across the entire conference, they are dealing with another terrible tragedy.

The Michigan State men's basketball team scheduled to host Minnesota tonight. That game is canceled along with all activities on campus this week while the community there continues to grieve.

Moments of silence were held during other Big 10 games played last night. Rutgers and Nebraska in Piscataway, New Jersey. Another moment held in Madison, Wisconsin where Michigan somehow managed to lace up and play. Afterwards, Wolverines coach Juwan Howard shared his thoughts.


JUWAN HOWARD, MICHIGAN BASKETBALL HEAD COACH: Despite the sport and how we both are rivals, but when it comes to a tragedy like that you put the sport aside and all you think about is that it -- those lost ones that unfortunately had to deal with that situation. And our prayers and thoughts are with the families. We'll continue to pray and support Michigan State as they deal with this sad tragedy.


MANNO: Michigan is scheduled to host Michigan State on Saturday. No word yet on whether or not that game will be played.

Elsewhere this morning in the NBA, Celtics and Bucks -- the teams with the two best records in the east, squaring off. Boston playing without most of its starting lineup but somehow managed to stick around. And in the final seconds, Sam Hauser threw up a wild 3-pointer to force overtime in the game.

But the Bucks' star power would take over in the extra period. Jrue Holiday getting the steal and then finished off with the slam. He also had a career high eight threes -- the last one putting Milwaukee up for good. Holiday finishing with 40 points. Giannis adding 36 as the Bucks escape with the win there.

And almost two years to the day since his crash Tiger Woods is ready for his latest comeback, teeing it up tomorrow at the Genesis Invitational. Tiger hasn't played since missing the cut at the British Open since last July. The 15-time Major winner admitting yesterday a little bit rusty and that his ankle is still bothering him a bit but his goal, of course, is to win.


TIGER WOODS, 15-TIME MAJOR WINNER: I know that players have played and they are ambassadors of the game and tried to grow the game. I can't have my mind -- I can't wrap my mind around that as a competitor. If I'm -- if I'm playing in the event I'm going to try and beat you. I'm there to get a W.


MANNO: Would we expect anything different from the greatest there has ever been? He tees off at 3:04 p.m. eastern tomorrow with Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas, Christine -- two of his pals.

And you wouldn't want Tiger to say anything other than that.

ROMANS: Right.

MANNO: He's not an ambassador quite yet. Even though a lot of people aren't expecting much he is back in the fold and he certainly still moves the needle.

ROMANS: All right, Carolyn Manno. Nice to see you this morning. Thank you.

All right, coming up on "CNN THIS MORNING" a survivor of the Michigan State University attack shares what it's like to survive two school shootings.

And next, right here, inflation on the menu. How much more it costs to dine out.



ROMANS: All right, your Romans' Numeral this morning 8.2, as in restaurant prices rose 8.2 percent last month from a year ago. Restaurants are raising menu prices faster than overall inflation to make up for shrinking profit margins. Are you tempted to ditch the night out and cook at home? Well, grocery prices are up, too. More on that in a moment.

Looking at markets around the world, Asian markets closed down. European markets are mixed. The U.K. inflation rate fell for a third- straight month.

And on Wall Street, stock index futures are also leaning down. The Dow fell and the Nasdaq rose yesterday after critical consumer inflation data. Annual inflation cooled in January for the seventh month in a row but prices are still hot enough for more rate hikes.

Also on inflation watch gas prices rose a penny overnight to $3.42 a gallon.

Today's main event, January retail sales. That comes in less than three hours.

All right, consumer prices rising 6.4 percent as you saw from last year, cooling but still hot. So what has become more expensive and what is cheaper?

Let's bring in CNN Business reporter Nathaniel Meyersohn. And Nathaniel, grocery prices are still climbing. What got more expensive in January? I'm thinking eggs and butter.

NATHANIEL MEYERSOHN, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Eggs and butter, Christine. So we're all feeling the strain of higher grocery prices right now. Grocery prices up 11.3 percent annually from a year ago.


Egg prices up 70 percent. We've talked a lot about how the deadly avian flu has tightened supply and pushed up prices. We do start to see wholesale numbers for egg prices start to come down so we should see that hopefully reflected --


MEYERSOHN: -- in the next couple of months. Butter prices up 26.3 percent annually. Bread was up about 15 percent. Fruit and vegetables got more expensive. Chicken got more expensive.

And there are a few reasons for this. Climate change and droughts have increased prices. The war in Ukraine has pushed up grain prices. And then suppliers are facing higher costs and they're passing that down onto consumers.

There are a couple of items though that got cheaper. Bacon was down four percent and beef was down three percent, so maybe look to the meat aisle to try to save on groceries.

ROMANS: And other things getting cheaper outside of the food world. I mean, televisions, smartphones. I think you can see where some of these supply chain snags are working themselves out.

MEYERSOHN: So, right. So used cars down 12 percent annually. Appliances like dishwashers down four percent. Some women's clothing -- dresses down four percent. T.V.s down 13 percent. And then smartphones down 24 percent.

So electronics, some women's clothing, but not essentials and not the food staples that we're looking --


MEYERSOHN: -- for. So we're starting to see maybe inflation come down in the wrong places.

ROMANS: Right. Adding to the inflation pain you've got 32 states now slashing these extra food stamp benefits starting next month. Why? What's happening there?

MEYERSOHN: So this is the temporary pandemic emergency food stamp benefits. About 41 million Americans rely on food stamps but 32 states, at the end of the month -- these temporary benefits are going to expire. That's going to mean about $90 less a month for the average SNAP household. So that's going to put a lot of pressure adding to these increased higher prices.

Hunger advocates are very concerned and food banks are going to feel the strain from this.

ROMANS: Yes. Food banks have been strained for several years now.

OK, talk to me about retail bankruptcies. We always have you on talking about the bankruptcy watch in retail. What are you seeing?

MEYERSOHN: So on Tuesday, yesterday, Tuesday Morning, the home furnishing retailer -- they filed for bankruptcy. And they're joining a number of retailers that have filed for bankruptcy recently. Party City; Serta Simmons Bedding, the large mattress company; and then a major independent pet store retailer.

This is a reversal from what we've seen the last few years for strong retail demand and good consumer spending. But now inflation has really pinched consumers and so these discretionary retailers -- they're starting to file for bankruptcy. So the retail apocalypse -- it's starting to come back, Christine.

ROMANS: All right, Nathaniel Meyersohn. Thank you. Nice to see you this morning.

All right, two states could loosen child labor laws to help meet hiring needs even in some dangerous workplaces. A bill in Minnesota would let 16- and 17-year-olds work construction jobs. A measure in Iowa would let 14- and 15-year-olds work certain jobs in meatpacking plants in freezers there.

Experts say employers prefer to hire younger, cheaper workers rather than increase pay and benefits to attract adults.

Today, the White House set to make a major announcement on expanding electric vehicle infrastructure. It includes opening at least 7,500 Tesla charges to all electric vehicles, nearly $10 billion in new funding to expand charging networks, and new partnerships with Hertz and BP for fast-charging infrastructure.

All right, Nikki Haley set to officially kick off her presidential campaign. Her pitch to voters ahead.



ROMANS: Our top of the morning, the top shows on T.V. right now.


Clip from HBO's "THE LAST OF US."


ROMANS: "THE LAST OF US" is number one according to's trending list.

Number two --


Clip from Paramount Network's "YELLOWSTONE."


ROMANS: That's, of course, "YELLOWSTONE." I can't wait for the second half of season five later this year.

And here is number three.


Clip from Peacock's "POKER FACE."


ROMANS: "POKERFACE." A new episode comes out tomorrow on Peacock.

All right, millions of Americans are bracing for a powerful one-two storm punch. We're talking heavy snow in some areas and even possible tornadoes.

Meteorologist Chad Myers joins us. Chad, who is in the path of these two storms?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Christine, it always seem to happen like this in the late part of winter, maybe early spring. You get snow on one side of the storm and severe weather, including tornadoes, on the other side. On the warm side and on the cold side.

We still have this clash between winter saying hey, I'm still here and spring saying hey, get out of the way. Didn't you hear Punxsutawney Phil?

There is Denver. You're starting to see the snow now. Also into the Rockies here from Colorado down to Santa Fe seeing the snow.

On the east side where it's warm, there will be potential for tornadoes and some of them could be very large today. There may be a few and the problem is Christine, they will be after dark. They will be on the ground after maybe even you go to sleep.

Taking you to 10:00 tonight we are seeing the brighter colors here -- Dallas, all the way to Memphis -- and by morning all the way to Nashville. For tomorrow, into parts of Alabama, Georgia. And even some of those storms heading on up toward the northeast into the Ohio Valley.

So yes, a spring-type storm. Even though it is still winter on the calendar, Mother Nature doesn't think so.

Here's your weather for today all the way to the Ohio Valley. And yes, the snow spreading across the Corn Belt, even back into parts of Kansas and Colorado. They'll take the snow in Colorado. This snow is going to end up in Lake Mead when it melts in the spring. That's great news.

All the way back up to the north though there's going to be some snow around Chicago, even toward Manitowoc, and even into Milwaukee as well. It's winter still up there for sure.


MYERS: Spring down here.

ROMANS: Wild. OK, two storms -- a one-two punch.