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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Retired Ukrainians Refuse To Leave War-Torn Homes; Biden Arrives For Meeting With U.K. Prime Minister In London; U.S. Labor Market Cools Off, 209K Jobs Added In June. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired July 10, 2023 - 05:30   ET




BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Friend Valentina pictures of the potatoes I grow back home in Italy, prompting Nina to show off her tiny garden of herbs and onions.

Still, emotions flood back when I ask what she hopes for most.

NINA, SIVERSK RESIDENT: (Speaking foreign language).

WEDEMAN (voice-over): "We're waiting for the day," she says -- "the minute when the war ends."

On this day, Siversk was quiet. All we heard was the occasional faint thud of distant shelling. Russian lines are six miles away, yet the air of tranquility is deceptive.

VALENTINA, SIVERSK RESIDENT: (Speaking foreign language).

WEDEMAN (voice-over): "It's not quiet," insists Valentina. "They were firing all night long."

Those who remain are an eclectic group like Sasha, an aging rocker -- a great fan of 70s classics.


WEDEMAN (on camera): Bee Gees -- all right -- "Stayin' Alive."

Olexandar never goes anywhere without his dog Malesh (PH). Does he have high hopes for Ukraine's counteroffensive? No.

OLEXANDAR, RETIRED TRAIN DRIVER (Speaking foreign language).

WEDEMAN (voice-over): "Putin," he tells me, "will keep pushing ahead even if he has to kill every last Ukrainian. Russians are like a bear. They sit and wait, and then.

Olga has the task of distributing loaves of bread to her neighbors brought in by volunteers. The powerful will do what they will do. Here, the priority is staying alive. Ben Wedeman, CNN, Siversk, Eastern Ukraine.


RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN ANCHOR: Quick hits around the globe right now.

Twenty-two people are dead and dozens injured after an airstrike in Sudan -- this according to a Reuters report. Fighting between Sudan's army and paramilitary forces since April has just continued and turned into a brutal conflict.

Israel, meantime, bracing for more nationwide protests. That's ahead of a vote on its controversial changes to its judiciary. Protesters are planning a day of resistance Tuesday if the bill passes the first reading.

And no fireworks for France ahead of the upcoming Bastille Day weekend. French officials have banned sales, fearing renewed riots after the violence following the police killing of a teenager last month.

Well, any moment now, President Biden meets with U.K.'s prime minister. We continue to watch that. That is 10 Downing Street, of course.

Plus, Aretha Franklin's sons in court over her estate.



SOLOMON: Welcome back.

Any minute now, President Biden will meet with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London. Here is a live look at 10 Downing Street. As soon as he arrives we will, of course, bring it to you.

But Biden and Sunak are expected to discuss Ukraine ahead of the start of tomorrow's NATO summit in Lithuania. That is just one topic, but we know that there are sure to be several topics -- many topics for month men to discuss.

Let's bring in CNN's Arlette Saenz. She is live in London.

Arlette, as you know, this is the sixth meeting between the two in six months. What are we expecting today? What are you seeing out there? Bring us up to speed.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rahel, President Biden has actually arrived here on site. We are just waiting for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to come out to greet him for this meeting at 10 Downing. This will actually be President Biden's first time at 10 Downing as president. He's been here in the past before in former titles that he has held.

But really, this meeting, the White House says, will be a continuing of the discussions that President Biden and Sunak have had over the course of the last year. We've really seen a close relationship between the two of them develop, especially when it comes to the issue of providing support to Ukraine. The U.S. and U.K. have been among the top allies aiding in Ukraine's fight against Russia.

And really, this will also offer an opportunity for the two men to consult ahead of the consequential NATO summit where the future of the alliance and the future of Ukraine possibly joining the alliance will be up for discussion.

And this also comes as the president is trying to seek more commitments from other countries about the long-term security assistance they can offer to Ukraine.

One thing that President Biden recently did was authorize sending over cluster munitions -- a controversial piece of weaponry that is actually banned -- prohibited production and distribution of cluster munitions by the United Kingdom and over 100 other countries. It really presents a rare moment of differences between the U.S. and some of their allies. That is something that could potentially come up today and the White House has really tried to downplay any suggestion that it could present a fracture between the U.S. and the alliance.

Now, the two leaders are also expected to discuss climate change, artificial intelligence, as well as China.

And after this visit here at 10 Downing, President Biden will make his way to Windsor Castle where he will meet with King Charles -- the first time the two men will be meeting since the king's coronation in May. President Biden did not attend that coronation -- instead, sending his wife, first lady Dr. Jill Biden.

But at Windsor Castle, President Biden will be focusing on the issue of climate change, which is of personal significance to King Charles. But first, things will get underway here at 10 Downing as the president is set to meet with Rishi Sunak any moment now.

SOLOMON: And Arlette, as we continue to wait for the president to leave the vehicle and greet Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, remind us very quickly, if you might, the response from the U.K. about the U.S. agreeing to supply Ukraine with these cluster munitions.

Actually, I think --

SAENZ: So they're actually -- yes.

SOLOMON: Arlette, if I might jump in here, we do see the U.S. President Joe Biden arriving there at 10 Downing Street as he prepares to meet with his U.K. counterpart, U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. This is his first visit at 10 Downing Street but certainly not his first visit with Rishi Sunak. Let's see the two men shake hands and perhaps pose for a photo op as state leaders often do in these circumstances. Give a wave there.


And let's listen for just a moment. OK, so no comments there but we do, of course, expect comments at some point.

But Arlette, I want to pick up where I left off. Remind us, if you might, what the U.K. said in response to the U.S. supplying these cluster munitions because as you rightly pointed out, they are controversial. The U.K. does not agree necessarily with their use or production.

What did the U.K. have to say about this over the weekend?

SAENZ: Well, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke to reporters about that issue and didn't really criticize directly the United States' decision to send those cluster munitions. But he did state the legal position that the United Kingdom is in at this moment.

There are over 100 countries who have signed on to this plan that bans and prohibits and production and the distribution of cluster munitions. It's also these countries are discouraging the use of cluster munitions in the battlefields. The concern about cluster munitions is that they can scatter out over a large area and they scatter these bomblets that are of concern because it could impact civilians on the ground.

But the White House has really tried to downplay any type of rift between the U.S. and allies who do not support the use of cluster munitions. They have just simply been pointing that there are different ways for countries to support Russia's war -- or Ukraine's battle against Ukraine -- Russia in that war.

But the president really, himself, said that this was a difficult decision that he had to make. They have put it off for quite some time but he ultimately felt it was necessary given the conditions on the battlefield as U.K. is waging that counteroffensive against Russia.

SOLOMON: Yes, a counteroffensive that some believe is moving quite slowly.

Arlette Saenz live for us there at 10 Downing Street. Arlette, thank you.

And turning to sports now. The U.S. Women's Soccer Team heading off to the World Cup with a new win -- with a win and maybe a new star.

Coy Wire has this morning's Bleacher Report. Good morning, Coy.


They can certainly feel good about that 13-hour flight after a win over Wales in their final tune-up match before headed to the World Cup in New Zealand and Australia.

Megan Rapinoe lathering up the sunscreen in San Jose but sitting out, resting this one, after announcing Saturday her plans to retire.

But the future is in good hands. Trinity Rodman coming on for the second half and delivering a stunner. The 21-year-old's first goal coming off across from 22-year-old Sophia Smith. And then 10 minutes later, a laser. Rodman becoming the youngest U.S. Women's National Team player ever to bag a brace, scoring two goals.

The crowd of 18,000 erupting and loving Team USA's two-nil sendoff win. Rodman and crew -- well, they couldn't help but feel the love.


TRINITY RODMAN, USWNT FORWARD: You can hear it, right? I don't know. I -- this crowd is -- I've never experienced something like this. And they're here for us and you can hear them at all points in the games -- anytime -- bad games, good games. So it's amazing and it's nice to be sent off like this.


WIRE: The World Cup kicking off in 10 days' time with the U.S. facing Vietnam first on July 21.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Men's National Team in desperation mode. In the final minutes of the Gold Cup quarter-finals, down 2-1 to Canada, 114th minute, Gianluca Busio's shot denied. But check this out -- bouncing off a defender and in, tying it at two and sending it to penalties.

That's where Jesus Ferreira, cool as the center seed in a cucumber, unleashing the wrath of McKinney, Texas on that thing. Have a goal and a smile, big fella.

Now, Canada's Charles-Andreas Brym -- he tried to push it to sudden death but his shot went off the crossbar and USA moving on to the semifinals. They play Panama Wednesday.

NBA Summer League now. The number-one pick Victor Wembanyama reminding everyone why he's considered one of the most hyped prospects ever after looking a bit like a baby giraffe in his debut, only scoring nine points.

The seven-foot-five 19-year-old Frenchman found his footing in this second game last night. He said after his first game he didn't know what he was doing out there, but this time he sure looked like he did. Twenty-seven points, 12 rebounds, three blocks for the Spurs. Wemby looking fine.

All right. What a moment for Allisen Corpuz, 25 years old, second year on the LPGA Tour -- an island girl playing along the Pacific at the picturesque Pebble Beach. And now, she is a Major champion. Corpuz taking the lead early Sunday afternoon and never looking back, shooting three-under in the final round and claiming the $2 million prize. It's the largest in tournament history. She joins Michelle Wie West as the only Hawaiians to ever win a women's Major.

Corpuz calling the whole experience unreal.


ALLISEN CORPUZ, 2023 U.S. WOMEN'S OPEN CHAMPION: This week has just felt like a dream come true. And every few holes I just kind of looked out and said, you know, I'm out here at Pebble Beach. There's not many places that are better than this. My dad, especially traveled all the way from Hawaii and my mom's been traveling with me ever since I've been on tour. So I'm so grateful for their support and I'm so happy that I could get this win for them.



WIRE: Oh, congrats, Allisen.

And Rahel, listen to his. Former President Obama giving his fellow Punahou School alum a shoutout after the win, tweeting, "You make us all proud --


WIRE: -- and look forward to a round at Kapolei."

SOLOMON: Not a bad prize there, too, to get that sort of heads-up -- that cheer from President Obama.

Coy Wire, thank you.

WIRE: You got it.

SOLOMON: All right. Coming up on "CNN THIS MORNING" heavy rain, water rescues, and a state of emergency. Details on the potentially catastrophic flash flooding inundating parts of New York.

And next, right here, the U.S. job market -- it appears to be cooling off. So what does this mean for the economy? We'll discuss, coming up next.


SOLOMON: Welcome back.

In new video just in, of course, President Biden meeting with his British counterpart, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, in London. This was just a few moments ago. But the time there in London, as you can see, is 10:49 a.m. They look to be enjoying the outdoors. It's about 70 degrees in London, so the temperature quite accommodating.


So far, just exchanging pleasantries. We heard Prime Minister Sunak say great to have you here. President Biden then responding, "Seems like we're meeting once a month." He said that and then he listed some of the other places that they've met. He said that because this is the sixth meeting between the two leaders in the last six months, although this is the first time that U.S. President Joe Biden is actually visiting 10 Downing Street under Rishi Sunak.

After this meeting, we do expect to -- President Biden to then head to Windsor where he will meet with King Charles. And we'll have much more on "CNN THIS MORNING" in just a short time.

But for now, the newly-released June jobs report providing some fresh insights into the state of the U.S. economy. The U.S. job market added 209,000 jobs. That's nearly 100,000 less than May. It's also the lowest monthly gain since December 2020, although still outpacing the pre-pandemic average.

Let's bring in Mark Zandi. He is the chief economist at Moody's Analytics. Mark, always great to chat with you.

Before we talk, I want to play for you a small snippet of what Treasury Sec. Janet Yellen said on a program yesterday on CBS and let's discuss on the other side.


MARGARET BRENNAN, MODERATOR, CBS "FACE THE NATION WITH MARGARET BRENNAN": Is the risk of recession completely off the table from your point of view? I mean, where do you put the odds?

JANET YELLEN, TREASURY SECRETARY: It's not completely off the table but we would expect with the job market as strong as it is now to see a slower pace of ongoing job gains.


SOLOMON: Mark, do you share that view that we're not necessarily out of the woods yet about a recession?

MARK ZANDI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MOODY'S ANALYTICS (via Webex by Cisco): Yes, Rahel, I do. I mean, inflation is still too high. The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates aggressively to slow the economy and get that inflation back down. And historically, when we're in this kind of environment it often winds up in a recession, so recession risks are high.

But I agree with the Treasury secretary that recession risks are abating. The job market, in particular, is showing amazing resilience. You can't have a recession if we're creating lots of jobs, and that's what we're doing right now. So recession risks are high but I think we have a fighting chance to get through all of this without actually suffering one.

SOLOMON: When you say the recession risk is high, what's your probability, Mark, in terms of what we're looking at moving forward in terms of the risk of a recession?

ZANDI: Yes. I'd say over the next year, between now and let's say next July fourth, about one in three probability. I mean, but to put it into context, in a typical year the probability is probably about half that, right, because I think historically we have recessions once every seven-eight years. So a one-third probability is elevated -- it's high, it's uncomfortable.

And under any scenario, I think the next year we'll see periods of very weak growth. We're not going to feel very good about it. It's not going to be a great year.

But -- and another thing I'd say, Rahel, is if you had asked me this question, say, three-six months ago I'd probably say the probabilities were closer to a half, so we're definitely moving in the right direction.

SOLOMON: And what gives you a sense -- what gives you that optimism that we're moving in the right direction? Is it the labor market? Is it consumer spending? What do you see in the data that makes you feel like OK, maybe we're moving in the right direction?

ZANDI: Yes. Oh, actually, a bunch of stuff. I think the key to it all though is the American consumer. They're the firewall between recession and an economy that continues to grow, and the firewall is holding firm. Consumers are hanging tough.

Part of that goes to the job market -- that unemployment is very low at 3.6 percent. You've got to go back 50-60 years to see an unemployment rate consistently this low.

Wage growth is solid. It's actually now, believe it or not, stronger than the rate of inflation. So people's purchasing power is improving.

Leverage is low. That's debt -- you know, how much people owe on their mortgages and credit card loans, and auto loans. You know, I'm painting it with a broad brush. Lower-income households have more stress than higher-income households.

But here's the thing, Rahel, that makes this time very different. There's a lot of so-called excess savings that people built up during the pandemic because they couldn't spend -- they were sheltering in place. Couldn't go out to restaurants or ballgames and they saved cash. It's sitting in their checking account. And amazingly, consumers are judiciously using that extra cash to supplement their income to maintain their purchasing power and keep the economy moving forward.

SOLOMON: All right, Mark Zandi. Great to have your insights today. Thank you.

ZANDI: Any time.

SOLOMON: Well, coming up, President Biden in London today. It's something we've been watching all morning long -- sitting down right now with Prime Minister Sunak. Coming up a little bit later we will see him with King Charles. We have live coverage next on "CNN THIS MORNING."



SOLOMON: Welcome back.

Harry Styles just became the latest artist to get hit with an object while performing on stage. Take a look. This is social media video of his show in Vienna Saturday. You see Styles here walking on the stage as an object then -- yeah, you see him grab his eye there -- hits him square in the eye. He bends over to try to collect himself before continuing the show.

He now joins a mounting list of other artists also getting hit by objects on stage, including three: Bebe Rexha, Kelsea Ballerini, and Ava Max.

Well, now to our top of the morning -- the top movies at the box office.


Clip from "Insidious: The Red Door."


SOLOMON: "Insidious: The Red Door" opens at number one and knocked off "Indiana Jones"


Clip from "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny."


SOLOMON: "Dial of Destiny" drops to number two as ticket sales dropped off more than 50 percent.



Clip from "Sound of Freedom."


SOLOMON: And the sleeper hit "Sound of Freedom" number three, doing big business in America's Heartland and the south.

Well, thanks for being with us this morning, and thanks for joining us. I'm Rahel Solomon. "CNN THIS MORNING" starts right now.