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Dodgers Eliminate Giants; Pennsylvania Lawmaker's Role in Insurrection; Top Stories from Around the World; China's Second Space Station Launch; Northeast Bracing for Plummeting Temperatures; Harris Struggles with Immigration. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired October 15, 2021 - 06:30   ET



LOIS LOWRY, AUTHOR, "NUMBER THE STARS": A book that says the Dallas Cowboys are the world's best team. That's -- that's a subject on which there are different viewpoints. There are no different viewpoints about human integrity.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: No different viewpoints about human integrity.

The -- this bill, this law came into effect as a reaction to what some people call critical race theory. Other people just call the U.S. racial history being taught in classrooms. In general, do you feel as if this pressures teachers or pressures the education system to offer opposing views to things that maybe don't have them?

LOWRY: I just think this whole thing is inherently, potentially evil. I think it's a very dangerous situation. And people should step forward and put a stop to it.

BERMAN: Lois Lowry, as I said, I wanted to thank you for joining us this morning. I wanted to thank you again for all of your work.

Brianna and I were just talking, she's read "Number the Stars" three times. I did twice when my boys were reading it. "The Giver" along one of my favorites. We appreciate you being with us this morning.

I do want to read a statement that is coming from the superintendent of this school that explains or tries to explain what happened there. It says, during the conversations with teachers during last week's meeting, the comments made were in no way to convey that the Holocaust was anything less than a terrible event in history. Additionally, we recognize there are not two sides of the Holocaust. As we continue to work through implementation of HB 3979, we also understand this bill does not require an opposing viewpoint on historical facts. As a district we will work to add clarity to our expectations for teachers and once again apologize for any hurt or confusion this has caused.

So, clearly trying to clean it up but the confusion no doubt exists in some people's minds.

As I said, Lois Lowry, thank you very much. LOWRY: Thank you.

BERMAN: All right, we have new details on how a little known Pennsylvania state senator played a big role in fueling Trump's big lie.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, the Dodgers eliminated the Giants last night, but Giants fans are mad. They are mad at the call that ended their season.



BERMAN: It's not supposed to end like this. Yes, the Dodgers are a great team. They deserve to move on. But to beat the Giants like this on a questionable call?

Andy Scholes has this morning's "Bleacher Report."

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I mean, John, you just have to feel for Giants -- the Giants and their fans this morning. I mean they won 109 games this year. Best record in baseball. But their season coming to an end on a very questionable call.

Game five, tied at one in the 9th. Cody Bellinger, who struggled badly this season, batting .165, he comes through for the Dodgers with an RBI single. That put L.A. up 2-1 to the bottom of the 9th. In comes Max Scherzer to close things out. Two outs, runner on, Wilmer Flores. And this is the pitch in question. Checks his swing, but on appeal the ump at first says he went. Game over. Series over.

You watch the replay. Flores, no question, checked that swing. Unbelievable call to end the series and a rough way to end an amazing season for the Giants.


GABE KAPLER, SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS MANAGER: It's just a tough way to end it. I'm -- there -- there -- there is no -- for especially right now there is no need to, you know, to be angry about that. I -- I just think it's just a disappointing way to end.

GAVIN LUX, LOS ANGELES DODGERS OUTFIELDER: I don't know if anybody really thought it was a checked swing or not. So, as soon as we looked and saw him put his hand up, everybody hopped over the fence and, you know, started the party.


SCHOLES: Now the Dodgers move on to take on the Braves in the National League Championship Series. Now game one in Atlanta tomorrow night on our sister channel TBS. The ALCS between the Astros and Red Sox gets started tonight at 8:07 Eastern. But, John, back to that call, you know, the umpires do an interview after the game. Gabe Morales, the first place umpire, said he felt like Flores offered at the pitch. And asked, after seeing the replay if they felt differently, crew chief Ted Barrett said, quote, yeah, no, we -- yeah, yeah. He doesn't want to say.

BERMAN: Look, I --

SCHOLES: So the umpires didn't own up to it. Not sure it would have made Giants fans feel any better.

BERMAN: I -- you know, I really don't blame the umpire in a way. It's a really hard call to make when you see it once. You know, there's -- there's --

SCHOLES: It's -- it's a tough call, John, but I would have probably erred on the side of caution in that instance and not ended the series.

BERMAN: But -- but -- but use a replay. But use a replay. I mean a lot -- but they don't allow a replay on checked swings, right?

SCHOLES: Yes. Yes, they -- they do not. And if -- if that play was reviewable, though, I mean that would slow down baseball even more, which is something they don't want.

BERMAN: It's the season.

SCHOLES: But, I guess you want to get these calls right. Yes.

BERMAN: It's the season. Review it. Rewind. Play.


BERMAN: It's an easy call when you see it on video there. You know, the Giants deserve better. They deserve better. And I feel -- I feel very badly for them and all their fans, though the Dodgers are very good.

Andy Scholes, thank you very much.

SCHOLES: All right.

KEILAR: There's a new Senate report that is shedding light on the role of an obscure Pennsylvania state lawmaker played in the run-up that -- a role that this state lawmaker played in the run-up to the Capitol insurrection.

Doug Mastriano was a key behind the scenes player. He peddled Donald Trump's big lie throughout the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

And CNN's Sara Murray joins us now.

You know, a lot of people will not recognize this name, but this is an important person. SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is an important person.

And, you know, Mastriano has not been in the Pennsylvania state senate for very long. But he has certainly made a name for himself there. And now congressional investigators say his activities in the run-up to January 6th deserve a closer look.


MURRAY (voice over): As Donald Trump leaned on the Justice Department to help overturn the 2020 election.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Make no mistake, this election was stolen from you, from me, and from the country.

MURRAY: He also leaned on GOP allies, like retired Army colonel and Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano, to back him up.

DOUG MASTRIANO (R), PENNSYLVANIA STATE SENATE: Are we going to stand aside as these shenanigans go on in Philadelphia and Atlanta. It's time to rise up, Americans.

MURRAY: The new Senate judiciary report highlights Trump's faith that Mastriano was in his corner. According to the Senate testimony from Richard Donoghue, the former acting deputy attorney general, Trump told DOJ officials something to the effect of, people are trying to address this problem. Scott Perry and Mastriano. But they can't do it in their own capacities.

Now, the Democrat-led Senate Judiciary Committee says Mastriano's ties to January 6th are particularly notable and warrant further investigation.

In the days after Trump's call with DOJ officials, Mastriano wrote to Donoghue, election fraud is real and prevalent in Pennsylvania, Mastriano says, laying out his evidence of fraud, which has been repeatedly debunked, and adding, this election is an embarrassment to our nation.

Mastriano had already held an election hearing at home in Pennsylvania in late November featuring Rudy Giuliani and Trump by phone spreading election lies.

TRUMP: This was a -- very sad to say it -- this election was rigged and we can't let that happen.

MURRAY: He went on to organize buses to travel to Trump's January 6th rally in D.C. And while he condemned the violence later that day.

MASTRIANO: I join with all the other Americans in condemning what happened at the Capitol. There's -- what happened today should never have happened, and it's unacceptable.

MURRAY: The Senate reports says he and his wife took part in the January 6th insurrection, with video footage confirming that they passed through breached barricades and police lines at the U.S. Capitol.

Mastriano has said police lines shifted during the day and no evidence has emerged showing him inside the Capitol. In a statement to local news outlets, Mastriano called the Senate report biased and inaccurate. According to Mastriano, the hyper partisan Senate Judiciary Committee report is another attempt to distract from real issues that need attention at the federal level.

Mastriano, who won a state senate seat in a 2019 special election, represents a GOP-dominated district in southern Pennsylvania. He gained notoriety in 2020 from his protests against the Democrat governor's COVID restrictions.

MASTRIANO: It's time to open up Pennsylvania now.

MURRAY: In the months since the insurrection, Mastriano continues spreading doubt about the election, visiting Arizona's partisan audit --

MASTRIANO: I was impressed by what I saw in Arizona.

MURRAY: And trying to launch a similar effort in Pennsylvania.

MASTRIANO: As we go through the ballots, my desires is there have -- to recount them but also forensically analyze with photographic material whether the ballots were copied or filled in by a human.

MURRAY: But after irking members of his own party, Mastriano was stripped of his state senate committee chairmanship. Now, one of his GOP colleagues is leading the election review.


MURRAY: Now, even though Mastriano is not the guy who is leading this so-called audit in Pennsylvania, we are still seeing the fallout, Brianna, of all of these election lies. His Republican colleagues in Pennsylvania are trying to subpoena voter information. They still want to carry out an audit.

And, of course, we reached out to Mastriano's office to see if they wanted to comment on any of this, and they did not respond.

KEILAR: And he also seems to have a credibility issue. His shifting story over his participation, or lack thereof, but actually there was in January 6th.

MURRAY: Yes. He's -- he's put forth a lot of different statements about his activities on January 6th and when he left and, you know, where he was located. And we did ask him if he wanted to shed any more light about his activities that day, whether he went inside the Capitol. Again, no evidence has emerged showing he did, but they didn't respond to those questions.

KEILAR: A lawmaker who participated.

Sara, thank you so much for that report. MURRAY: Thanks.

KEILAR: China is on the verge of launching another team of astronauts to its new space station, as the space race between China and the U.S. heats up. CNN getting rare access to the launch site ahead.

BERMAN: And setting divorce to beautiful music. Adele is back, releasing the first single off her first album in six years.



BERMAN: Russian President Vladimir Putin mocking a female American journalist during a panel discussion on gas supplies.

CNN has reporters covering this and other top stories from all around the world.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Sam Kiley in Moscow where Vladimir Putin has been celebrated by Russian state media for a patronizing and mansplaining exchange with U.S. NBC correspondent Hadley Gamble, in which he suggested that she was perhaps too beautiful to comprehend some of the subtle nuances involved in his explanation as to why Russia was not expanding in any significant way its natural gas exports into Europe at the time of extreme gas shortage.

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I'm Barbie Nadeau in Rome. We're here in Italy, some of the strictest vaccine mandates are now in effect. As of today, everyone who pulls a paycheck in this country has to provide a green pass. That's a government-mandated certificate with a QR code that shows that they've been fully vaccinated or that they've had a recent negative COVID test at their own expense.

Now, a lot of people have protested against this, whether or not the government should be so involved in people's personal health care is at issue. But as of today, this is the law.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Melissa Bell in Kongsberg, Norway, a town still very much in shock after the events of Wednesday night. Espin Anderson Broten, a 37-year-old Muslim convert, is accused of having gone on the rampage with a bow and arrow. Five people were killed, four women and one man. A vigil still underway here in the town as the community tries to come to term with those shocking events. An initial hearing held this Friday morning at which the suspect did not appear having been handed over to health services after a psychiatric evaluation.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ben Wedeman in Beirut, a city which Thursday saw some of its worst violence in years. Fighting broke out after unknown gunmen opened fire on a protest against the judge investigating last year's Beirut port blast. For hours, parts of the city seemed to slip through a time warp back to the dark days of Lebanon's 15-year civil war.


Six people were killed. Up to 30 wounded. Friday, calm has returned, for now.


KEILAR: Here in just a matter of hours, China is launching its second manned space mission to help build its new space station.

And CNN's David Culver has a preview of what to expect.


DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John and Brianna, good morning to you from the Gobi Desert here in northwestern China.

Just over my shoulder here, this is the launch pad for Shenzhou-13, that means divine vessel. It's going to be traveling to, in just a few hours, Tiangong, to heavenly palace. That is China's soon to be completed space station.

Now, there's a lot of anticipation for this launch. And you may ask, well, why is China building this space station when there already is tine International Space Station. It's because the U.S. barred China from participating in the ISS. So they're constructing their own. And they're inviting other countries to take part. The one catch is, those astronauts from say European nations, including U.S. allied nations, are going to have to learn Chinese because all the operation interfaces are in Chinese.

Now, China has, compared to the U.S., seen remarkable growth in their space program, especially when you consider the U.S. has roughly a four decade head start in manned missions. China's first manned mission was in 2003. But since then they have seen first attempted successes when it comes to missions to the moon and to mars. And they've got big plans. In fact, they want to build a moon base with Russia. And they hope to send astronauts to Mars by the 2030s.

Now, proof of China waning to show the world how proud they are of their space program is our being here. This is pretty rare access, especially for foreign media. But they're proud, they're confident, and they want to show the world that they are a fierce competitor, especially with the U.S., both in this world and in outer space.

John. Brianna.

KEILAR: David Culver with a fascinating look at China's space program there. Thank you.

BERMAN: So, Vice President Harris assigned to address part of the immigration problem. The thing is, it turns out to be the wrong part of the problem. We have brand-new CNN reporting.

KEILAR: Plus, former President Clinton hospitalized this morning after a urinary tract infection spread to his blood stream. We are live outside the hospital where he's being treated.



BERMAN: Cold front moving through the Ohio Valley, bringing the threat of severe weather and rain toward the Northeast.

CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar joins us now.


ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, that's right. This is the front in question. You can see here, bringing rain and some thunderstorms across the Mississippi Valley, as well as the Ohio Valley, as we go through the day today.

But there is the potential for some strong to severe storms that will be mixed in. We're talking damaging winds, large hail that could exceed golf ball size and even isolated tornados. The concern, though, for the hail is really going to be limited and a little bit down farther south.

Memphis, in particular, has a little bit of a higher threat than some of the other areas for tornados specifically.

Here's a look at the timing of these storms. Again, as we go through the afternoon, you're really going to start to see a lot more of these begin to fire up. Once we get to around dinner time, now you're starting to see a lot of those lines begin to form, especially around say Little Rock, Arkansas.

By tonight, now you see the main line moving into areas of Louisville, Nashville, even over towards Knoxville, Tennessee. And, again, this will continue through the overnight hours as well before the front finally begins to make its way into the Northeast as we head into the day Saturday.

So, again, the same system will be shifting across different areas. Notice this, John, all of that cooler air that's going to be coming in behind the front, making it feel a little bit more like fall should feel in a lot of places.

BERMAN: All right. I was not planning for rain Saturday morning. I appreciate you warning me. Thanks, Allison.


KEILAR: The border crisis has been an uphill battle for the White House, and the administration's point person for addressing migration root causes is the vice president, Kamala Harris. Her initial focus was on Central America. But now seven months later, it's migrants arriving from even farther away in South America that is creating a larger problem to solve here.

CNN's Priscilla Alvarez is joining us with her brand-new reporting. I think this, you know, really speaks to the fact that this is sort of an evolving, dynamic problem.

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN REPORTER: It is. And it is an immense challenge for the administration for that reason because there are changes in who is coming to the U.S./Mexico border.

Del Rio, Texas, is a really clear example of this. Last month we saw thousands of migrants who amassed underneath the Del Rio International Bridge. They came from South America, not Central America, where the focus has been. So officials are going back to the drawing board and thinking through what they can do in this situation. And they're considering, for example, connecting migrants to economic opportunity in the region. The State Department is funding ads to deter people from coming to the U.S. southern border.

And we should note, Harris is, while all of this is happening, making inroads on Central America through her partnership with the private sector. They are setting up Internet access in rural communities. Most recently, they produced their first Honduras-sourced cup of coffee for Nespresso, which is important for farmers in the region.

But as a senior administration official told me, there are going to be ups and downs. That it happening now, as it is expected to continue moving forward.

KEILAR: This is such a political hot potato. You know, how is this affecting the vice president and the Biden administration?


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)Has there -- I mean they're trying to address a problem, but it's one that Congress doesn't really want to solve, it seems.

ALVAREZ: Well, immigration has vexed Democratic and Republican administration.