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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Second Ceasefire In Sudan Falls Apart Just Hours After It Began; U.N. Report: India To Surpass China's Population Mid-Year; RFK Jr. Launches 2024 Presidential Bid In Boston. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired April 20, 2023 - 05:30   ET




WILLIAM RUTO, PRESIDENT OF KENYA: Attacks on diplomatic installations and personnel, as well as targeting of hospitals, hotels, and other vital public and social spaces are deliberate, systematic, and tantamount to atrocities against humanity.

LARRY MADOWO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the fighting rages on into a day's long struggle it leaves residents to question when will there be an end to this war or if they will even survive it.


MADOWO: Earlier in the week a U.S. diplomatic convoy was fired at though nobody was hurt in that. Now, the U.S. assistant secretary for African affairs Molly Phee telling congressional staffers that the situation in Sudan remains so volatile that they cannot evacuate embassy staff even though Americans and embassy staff have been sheltering in place and guidance was renewed again earlier this week.

One option being considered here, Christine, is a way through Djibouti, which is next to Sudan. But so far, these people who are telling CNN -- several people in that room -- in that briefing say it's just not easy right now to pull them out to the airport damaged and closed and it is still contested.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, a seriously dangerous situation there.

All right, Larry, thank you so much.

The population of India is expected to soon surpass China's. U.N. data shows each country with more than 1.4 billion people by the middle of this year -- India slightly ahead by nearly three million. Together, the countries account for more than one-third of the world's population.

CNN's Vedika Sud joins me from New Delhi, and Kristie Lu Stout is live from Hong Kong.

So to Vedika first. Some potential positive economic implications with this but also some potential problems.

VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER: Christine, it could be a boon, it could be a bane. And I just want to go back to the bar chart you were talking about right now. If you look at that graphic you will see that the United Nations is now projecting that India's population growth will peak only after the year 2060, which means 1.7 billion is the estimate they have in terms of the population growth by then -- staggering numbers.

Now, here's the advantage that India has over China. As of now more than 60 percent of India's population is under the age of 30. That means the workforce community is massive, Christine. And this is something India can tap into only if the policymakers realize they need to generate more jobs, which will come with investments. It will come with health infrastructure being better, and education.

So there's a lot of challenges -- there are a lot of challenges that India has lying ahead. But also, at the same time, this workforce, if tapped well, will lead to perhaps the biggest labor force -- workforce in the world for India. Now, of course, over the years we'd have to see how that plays out, the success of the Indian government, and their policies -- Christine.

ROMANS: Yes, absolutely, and also diplomatic issues as well. This is a very big democracy so that is something that U.S. lawmakers, of course, like to align with.

Kristie, China has held the title of the most populous country since, what, at least 1950. What is China's response to potentially losing this crown?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine, the issue was addressed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs briefing that took place on Wednesday.

And the spokesperson, Wang Wenbin -- he emphasized what he called China's talent dividend. He said this. Let's bring up the quote for you. Quote, "We need to look not just at the size but also at the quality of the population. Size matters, but what matters more is talent."

Now, it was last year when China's population fell to 1.4 billion people -- the first drop since the 1960s. And there are a number of factors behind this drop, including changing attitudes towards marriage and family. Of course, China's one-child policy, which was introduced in the '80s. It was later scrapped in 2016. And the challenges and costs of raising children in China's expensive cities.

Now, China's shrinking population has, of course, economic implications. You've got a shrinking workforce. You have a shrinking consumer base as well, and that's going to make economic recovery all the more difficult for China.

Back to you, Christine.

ROMANS: Thank you both for such a great look at that, Kristie Lu Stout and Vedika Sud.

All right, quick hits around the globe right now.

American-made Patriot missile systems begin arriving in Ukraine not from the U.S. but from one of its allies, Germany, as heavy fighting intensifies in the east, including in Bakhmut.

Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, losing his temper after claiming a fellow lawmaker implied the 2018 stabbing attack against his father was faked.

Eleven Indonesian fishermen are rescued from an island off Australia's northwestern coast where they survived six days without food and water. Officials say their boats capsized in Hurricane Ilsa -- amazing.

Coming up, Kennedy for president. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. officially launches a 2024 bid. And Tiger Woods at any Majors in doubt after ankle surgery.



ROMANS: Here is today's fast-forward lookahead.

SpaceX set to try launching its Starship rocket again this morning. The first liftoff attempt of the most powerful rocket ever built was called off Monday because of a pressurization issue.

Today, Uganda's president is set to meet with lawmakers as he considers whether to sign into law or veto an anti-LGBTQ+ bill. That bill would sentence convicted homosexuals to the death penalty.

President Biden set to deliver remarks to the Major Economies Forum today. He's expected to announce new climate initiatives and call on partner nations to help meet climate targets.

All right, a new person with an old name has jumped into the 2024 presidential race. CNN's Jeff Zeleny has more on RFK Jr.'s just- launched campaign.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a political rally steeped in Kennedy family history with one critical missing piece -- most of the storied Kennedy family.


Today, in Boston, as he announced a longshot presidential bid --

ROBERT K. KENNEDY JR., (D) 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am going to take back this country with your help.

ZELENY (voice-over): -- Robert F. Kennedy Jr. evoked images of his father and uncle as he bluntly acknowledged his siblings wish he wouldn't be launching a campaign to challenge President Biden.

KENNEDY: There are other members of my family who are not here today.

ZELENY (voice-over): With a famous political name he plunged into the fringe of today's politics, railing against the safety of vaccines and what he calls corrupt corporate power in America.

KENNEDY: Many of them also just plain disagree with me on issues like censorship, on war, on public health -- and they are entitled to their beliefs and I respect their opinions on them and I love them back.

ZELENY (voice-over): He's the third-oldest child of Bobby and Ethel Kennedy, who once led crusades to clean up the Hudson and other rivers. But in recent years he's ventured deep into conspiracy theories, drawing strong rebukes from medical experts for linking childhood vaccines to autism and other illnesses.

KENNEDY: I am not one of these people who have spent their life saying I've got to be really careful because one day I'm going to be in the White House. I actually did the opposite.

ZELENY (voice-over): In a speech that went on for nearly two hours, Kennedy sought to tap into the lingering anger from COVID lockdowns -- a pandemic where he, too, gained new prominence.

JUDY MCINTYRE, MASSACHUSETTS VOTER: Don't fall for the one subject anti-vax thing. Keep an open mind. Listen to him Listen to his message.

ZELENY (on camera): Why do members of his own family wish he wasn't doing this and they've kind of denounced him? What do you think about that?

MCINTYRE: Well, I come from a big Irish family, too, and I think that everybody's entitled to have a feel. Agree to disagree -- that's what you have to do.

ZELENY (voice-over): Kennedy's younger sister Rory telling CNN, "This is a difficult situation for me. I love my older brother but due to a wide range of Bobby's positions, I'm supporting President Biden."

His campaign handed out signs saying "I'm a Kenney Democrat," but some of the loudest cheers for his candidacy are actually coming from the right, including longtime Trump adviser Steve Bannon.

STEVE BANNON, FORMER TRUMP ADVISER: The longer he stays in this the more his message gets out. It's going to resonate.

ZELENY (voice-over): Kennedy denounced any coordination with allies of the former president, saying, "I have never discussed a presidential run with Mr. Bannon."

Kennedy lives in Los Angeles but chose the family's one-time citadel of power to make his announcement. Visitors to the Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston were not moved.

TYSON HUMBLE, OREGON VOTER: I can't stomach the anti-vaccine thing. The Kennedy name isn't enough.

ZELENY (voice-over): For his part, Kennedy wrapped himself in the legacy of his family tree. By doing so, taking great liberty with historical comparisons.

KENNEDY: We need to bring this party back to the party of FDR, of JFK, of RFK, of Martin Luther King, and those values. In many ways, I have spent my lifetime preparing for this office.

ZELENY (on camera): President Biden and the White House declining to offer a comment about this new challenge in the Democratic presidential race. Of course, it was Robert Kennedy Jr. himself who said that he has a long personal relationship with President Biden and, of course, so many Kennedys are members of the Biden administration. But it is the relationships on the right perhaps from Steve Bannon and other allies of Donald Trump that makes this so interesting if this candidacy actually takes off.

But there is no doubt with the hundreds and hundreds of people on hand for the announcement that there is a message for this anti- vaccination, anti-corporate movement and it's an open question if that could lead another Kennedy to the White House.

Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Boston.


ROMANS: Jeff, thank you so much for that.

To sports now. The Grizzlies even up their playoff series with the Lakers and let the trash talk fly.

Carolyn Manno is here with this morning's Bleacher Report. Good morning.

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. You know what? It's that time of year, right?

ROMANS: Right.

MANNO: And for Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks, he'll say just about anything to anybody. That also includes the NBA's all-time leading scorer, LeBron James. Nobody is safe in playoff time. The pair going toe to toe in last night's game two.

And after LeBron drained this tough jumper here over Brooks midway through the third quarter, he had some words for him, right? A little back and forth. Dillon Brooks not scared.

And that continued down the stretch as well. Brooks drilling a big three to extend the Grizzlies' lead to double-digits. He stared down LeBron for several seconds, getting in his face a little bit.

And then with the win all but sealed for the Grizz, Brooks hitting that dagger three-pointer, letting everybody know about it. He kept the trash talk coming in the locker room after the game. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DILLON BROOKS, MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES FORWARD: I don't care, he's old. I poke bears. I don't respect no one until they come and give me 40. So I pride myself on what I do is defense and taking on any challenge that's on the board.


MANNO: That's the kind of attitude you need against the best in the game.

The Bucks did not have their best superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo for game two against the Heat, but it turns out they didn't really need him. Milwaukee making it rain from beyond the three-point line -- an NBA single-game playoff record-tying 25 threes. The Bucks cruising to a 16-point win to tie up that series. Game three is set for Saturday in Miami.


Three more games on the schedule tonight beginning with the Sixers and Nets on our sister channel TNT, so make sure you check that out.

In the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Panthers finding a way to cool off the hottest team in the regular season, the Bruins. Florida lighting the lamp four straight times in the third period -- two of those goals by way of Brandon Montour. The Panthers rallying past Boston 6-3, snapping the Bruins' nine-game winning streak and nodding that series at one apiece.

So things now shifting to Florida for games three and four tomorrow and Sunday. That would be a huge upset. Boston has been on fire.

A quadruple-header of game two is on tap later tonight. You can catch two of them -- Rangers-Devils and Jets and Golden Knights on TBS.

And lastly for you this morning, Christine, Tiger Woods underwent successful ankle surgery on Wednesday but his return to golf is unclear right now. The 15-time Major winner sharing the procedure on Twitter. This was an effort to correct arthritis from a previous fracture that he had.

He hasn't provided a timetable for when he might be back on the course. He says he is recovering and looks forward to starting his rehab.

But as you and I were saying in the break, it looked like he was in --


MANNO: -- a lot of pain at the Masters. And the PGA Championship coming up next month, I would say is in doubt.

ROMANS: He really -- he plays through some serious suffering.

MANNO: Oh, yes.

ROMANS: I mean, you can just see it on his face and in his walk.

All right, nice to see you. I'll be at the Rangers-Devils game tonight, so --


ROMANS: -- I'll report back.

MANNO: We'll toggle (PH) it. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right. Coming up on "CNN THIS MORNING" counting down to the new deadline for a Supreme Court decision on abortion pills. And next right here, Tesla cuts prices hoping to dominate the electric vehicle arms race. Is it working?



ROMANS: All right, your Romans' Numeral this morning is six. Tesla slashing prices for the sixth time. New cuts are coming to its Model Y and Model 3 cars in the U.S. Tesla started this price war to stay competitive but the lower prices are taking a bite out of its sales and profits. More on that in a moment.

Looking at markets around the world, Asian markets finished mixed. European markets are lower at this hour. Further rate hike concerns rattling investors in Europe. The U.K. enduring this 40-year high inflation.

On Wall Street, stock index futures leaning down here. Triple digits for the Dow futures right now. Markets finished mostly flat as investors go through all of these corporate earnings. The Nasdaq ending slightly higher.

On earnings watch today, Alaska Air, AT&T, and American Express will report first-quarter results.

On inflation watch, gas prices edge higher, up a penny overnight to $3.69 a gallon.

Weekly jobless claims, mortgage rate, and existing home sales all due out later today to give us a picture of the consumer here.

For more on Tesla, I want to bring in managing director and senior equity analyst at Wedbush Securities, Dan Ives. Dan, so nice to see you.

So they've cut prices six times. Will this price cut generate interest that will help them lead in what you call this arms race in EV?

DAN IVES, MANAGING DIRECTOR AND SENIOR EQUITY ANALYST, WEDBUSH SECURITIES: Sure. I mean, it's near-term pain, long-term gain. That's essentially what's happening. But it's a tough pill to swallow in terms of margins because it went below that 20 percent threshold and that's going to put pressure on the stock because it is an arms race but right now it's a tightrope -- really, a tug-of-war between margins and volumes. That's really going to be the focus.

ROMANS: This is what Elon Musk said about the margin dropping during that call with analysts -- listen.


ELON MUSK, CEO, TESLA: We've taken a view that pushing for higher volumes and a larger fleet is the right choice here versus a lower volume and a higher margin. However, we expect our vehicles over time will be able to generate a significant profit through autonomy.


ROMANS: OK, so what's that tradeoff? He's saying eventually, margins will improve because of automated -- the auto driving stuff.

IVES: Full self-driving.

ROMANS: Right.

IVES: And look, there's been a lot of issues with full self-driving. And I think for investors to have that patience. I mean, betting on Musk has been the right move but I think this is a time where ultimately, investors want to see demand being driven not just on price cuts and that's going to be this tug-of-war that's playing out for Musk in this EV arms race.

ROMANS: He says he expects to produce 1.8 million cars this year. We know that there were 440,000 vehicles in production in the first quarter. Deliveries fell a little short, maybe.

What about how many cars they're producing and whether they can be the leader in the EV world?

IVES: Yes. Look, right now, they essentially own EVs and they're continuing to flex their muscles in terms of what we've seen deliveries in, even in a soft macro. But it's really the margins and that's going to be the bounds here -- margins versus volumes. And I think this is really for what I view as a moment of truth, sort of, a few months ahead if we see more price cuts. And right now the street --

ROMANS: Do you think we will see more price cuts?

IVES: Look, I think we'll probably see one to two more price cuts and that's what's keeping investors up at night. That's why the stock knee-jerked. You're going to see that stock down today because margins --

ROMANS: It's down about six percent right now, yes.

IVES: -- because margins -- that ultimately is now going to now be the overhang in the story. ROMANS: But if people think there are going to be more price cuts do they hold back on buying an electric -- or a Tesla because they think it's going to be cheaper? I mean, right now, $46,000 was the average price in the -- in the first quarter compared to $52,000 last year. That's a big difference.

IVES: Yes, and ultimately, in the soft macro that's what they're sort of doing. I mean, they essentially ripped the Band-Aid off. They want to put an iron fence around their install base -- a smart strategy. But I believe right now there's a line in the sand. I think price cuts -- we're starting to get toward the end and that's going to be the focus for the stock and for Musk going forward.

ROMANS: All right, Dan Ives. Really nice to see you. Thank you so much.

IVES: Thanks for having me.

ROMANS: All right, extreme weather in Oklahoma. At least two people are dead after a tornado outbreak. Where the threat is headed next ahead.



ROMANS: Our top of the morning, the top T.V. shows today.


Clip from Netflix "BEEF."


ROMANS: "BEEF" tops Rotten Tomatoes' most popular list with a 98 percent average rating from critics.

Here's number two.


Clip from Netflix "THE NIGHT AGENT."



And my favorite right now is at number three.




ROMANS: The best dad -- the best dad award goes to Logan Roy. The final season of "SUCCESSION."


All right, Foo Fighters announcing their first album without beloved drummer Taylor Hawkins.


FOO FIGHTERS, ROCK BAND: Singing "Rescued."


ROMANS: That's the new song "Rescued." Hawkins died last year while on tour with the band at age 50. The band says a new album titled "But Here We Are" comes out in June. The best of luck to them.

Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans. "CNN THIS MORNING" starts right now.