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New Day

Evgenia Kara-Murza is Interviewed about Her Husband's Detainment; Kevin Hassett is Interviewed about the Economy; John Berman Joins the Runners at the Boston Marathon; Philadelphia Reinstates Mask Mandate. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired April 18, 2022 - 08:30   ET



EVGENIA KARA-MURZA, WIFE OF DETAINED RUSSIAN OPPOSITION POLITICIAN VLADIMIR KARA-MURZA: Raise my voice in support of all those prisoners of conscience in Russia and against Putin's war in Ukraine. I will continue (INAUDIBLE) work for as long as it takes.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: So it's -- I imagine you two had some conversations about the possibility that he would be detained. And just for our viewers' knowledge, he has suffered through two incredibly debilitating poisonings in the past that appear to be linked to the Russian government. He's been through a lot. He knows what he's -- you know, who he's facing here with the Russian government. What were you conversations like with him about the expectations of what would happen to him in Russia?

KARA-MURZA: Well, we already went through terrible times, as you mentioned. And this is not just the beginning of persecutions against our family, against my husband. Yes, he was poisoned twice for his advocacy, for the introduction of the targeted -- of targeted sanctions and the Magnitsky laws that would target murderers and thieves in the Putin regime. He has been involved in this advocacy since 2010. And his close friend and colleague, Boris, himself paid the ultimate price for this advocacy because he was shot in front of the Kremlin in 2015.

My husband was poisoned twice, in 2015 and 2017. He barely survived, learned how to walk again and hold a spoon and went back to Russia. Because, as a Russian politician, he believes that he needs to be where his people, the Russian people, is fighting this regime against all odds. And we're see -- we see that this is happening. And, yes, they're not -- they're able to fight in big numbers. But even those -- imagine people who go out on these solitary actions. They are -- there are restrictive laws that are being introduced in Russia every day. There's a law that can send you to prison for up to 15 years for just calling this war a war and for spreading objective truthful information about the war.

And people -- despite that, people are prepared, they're willing to go out and protest and say, no, even though they know that they face those terrible things, that they risk their lives, their safety, their health, and they're still prepared to fight.

So, yes, my husband believes that he needs -- he needs to be where the fight is going on. And he has been trying to do everything possible to bring attention to what is happening in Ukraine since the beginning of Russian hostilities.


KARA-MURZA: And I know that he will not stop. He continues from jail. I mean he has sent me articles to be published in "Washington Post" about his detention, about what is going on. And I know that he will continue to fight.

KEILAR: Yes, he is -- look, he's asking people to fight and he's going to where the fight is. He is there now.

Evgenia, thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate it.

KARA-MURZA: Thank you for having me here. Thank you very much.

KEILAR: It's the question that the American people want to know and economists are working overtime to figure out, is a recession coming or not? We'll ask a former top White House economic adviser, next.

JOHN AVLON, CNN ANCHOR: But, first, the story of another fierce critic of Vladimir Putin, Alexei Navalny, who is currently imprisoned in Russia after taking on the Kremlin. Here's a preview of the new CNN film "Navalny."



ALEXEI NAVALNY (through translator): It's Alexei Navalny calling, and I was hoping you could tell me why you wanted to kill me?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Remarkably, Vladimir Putin faces a legitimate opponent, Alexei Navalny.

NAVALNY (on camera): I don't want Putin in president.

NAVALNY (through translator): I will end war.

NAVALNY (on camera): If I want to be leader of a country, I have to organize people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Kremlin hates Navalny so much that they refuse to say his name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Passengers heard Navalny cry out in agony.

NAVALNY: Come on? Poisoned? Seriously?

We are creating the coalition to fight this regime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you are killed, what message do you leave behind to the Russian people?

NAVALNY: It's very simple, never give up.

ANNOUNCER: "Navalny," Sunday at 9:00 on CNN and streaming on CNN Plus.




AVLON: Fears of a looming recession are growing among some experts following recent data revealing inflation hitting a 40-year high.

So let's discuss that with Kevin Hassett. He's the former chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers and a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Kevin, always good to see you.


AVLON: You were out front saying that the U.S. is on the verge of a recession, if not already in one.


AVLON: Now, certainly there are real pressures on the economy, especially inflation. But there are also some positive trends, unemployment being at a more than 50-year low and strong GDP growth in the fourth quarter. But you say it's actually that confluence that may be why we're heading towards a recession. So, please explain.

HASSETT: Right. Well, not to sound too much like an introductory economics class, let's think about it this way. Suppose you spend $10 and apples cost a dollar apiece, so you get ten apples, right? And then the next year you spend $10 again and you're thinking, oh, geez, that's great, I've got the same amount of money spent on apples, but the price of apples is $10 an apple. Then you only get one apple, right? And so, GDP is sort of the count of the apples. And when prices are going up a lot, then it's really hard for the purchases to sort of stay up with the prices because wages don't go up enough, incomes don't go up enough to keep up with prices.

And so what we're seeing is that real incomes, you know, your real ability to pay are declining right now really quite sharply because inflation is running at close to a 10 percent annual rate while wages are going up 5 or 6 percent. [08:40:10]

You mentioned the jobs numbers. And absolutely you're 100 percent correct, the jobs number don't look so bad, but that's pretty typical in a recession, that the jobs numbers don't start to go down until like maybe six months in. If somebody wants to Google it, the phrase is called labor hoarding and it's what businesses do at the start of a recession because it took them so long to find the worker that they're really reluctant to let them go even if they're losing money.

AVLON: This could be an extreme version of that.

Well, look, you're not alone in warning that there are storm clouds on the horizon about a recession, but counterpoint, chief economist for Jeffreys, an investment bank, told "The New York Times" that recession is unlikely, and he cited strong corporate profits, household savings, low debt load. What's your response?

HASSETT: Right. Well, again, we're in a wage price spiral. And the first thing that happens in a wage price spiral is that corporate profits actually go up because -- like, I don't know about you, but my wage gets adjusted about once a year, say, in January. And certainly hasn't been adjusted by, you know, the 10 percent inflation that we've just seen. And if it does get adjusted again, it will happen like next January. And so what happens in between is that firms get the higher prices but they don't have to pay the higher wages, and so their costs are low, their revenues are high, they make more profits.

But then what happens is the, you know, laborers get really aggravated about that. You see labor in places where they don't have much negotiating power start to unionize as you're seeing with Amazon. And then those unionized workers drive wages up and then costs go up and then prices have to go up even farther. And so that kind of spiral is what the Fed has to get out in front of and stop. But it's clearly just begun.

And so pointing towards employment or profits right now could be really giving yourself some false hope.

AVLON: You know, one of the other factors is that inflation is a particular problem in America, but not only in America. It's a global problem. So, us throw up a graphic here, it's up 7.6 percent in Germany year over year, Britain, 6.2 percent, and so on.

So, is this a global problem or an American problem rooted in policy?

HASSETT: Right. Well, it's both. It started out as mostly an American problem. But now everybody else is catching up, in part because of higher energy prices associated with the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. You know, that conflict is lifting the prices of a lot of things, from wheat, to nickel, to, of course, energy.

But another thing that happens is -- it's called competitive devaluation. That if there's one country that has inflation and their currency is weak, then the other countries try to, you know, bolster their own economies by making their own currencies weak so that they don't lose exports.

And so I think one thing that's happening is that the printing presses are sort of heating up all around the world to keep up with the U.S. inflation. And, of course, you know, there are some countries like Turkey and Argentina that have inflation in the 50s, you know, so that they make the U.S. look like pikers when that comes.

AVLON: Yes. Yes, their history there is not -- not too good.


AVLON: I'm afraid we're going to have to leave it there, Kevin, but I always appreciate talking with you. You're a straight shooter on the economy. Be well.

HASSETT: It's great to see you again, John.

AVLON: All right.

All right, so, why have 41 percent of math books in Florida just been rejected from next year's curriculum? We're going to explain.

KEILAR: And we are minutes away from the kickoff of the Boston Marathon.

Who is that?

AVLON: What?

KEILAR: He looks ready to run, that guy, right?

Thousands of runners heading to the starting line, including our own John Berman.

AVLON: Hey now.

KEILAR: He says he's going to run very fast today. We're going to see how he's feeling here in just a moment.



KEILAR: Time now for "5 Things to Know for Your New Day."

Russian air strikes hitting the western city of Lviv overnight, killing seven, injuries 11, and that includes a child. Regional military officials say three of the missiles hit military infrastructure.

AVLON: Police say a manhunt is underway for multiple gunmen after a shooting at a party in Pittsburgh left two teens dead on Easter weekend.

Also this weekend, at least nine people were injured during a mass shooting at a lounge in Furman, South Carolina. And another shooting at a mall in Columbia, South Carolina, left 14 people hurt.

KEILAR: Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Education say the state has rejected 41 percent of new math textbooks from the next year's school curriculum. They're citing references to critical race theory among the reasons for the rejection.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My sweetheart's alive. Oh, my God.


AVLON: That's the sound of a California mother realizing her teenage son, who was missing for three years, is still alive. Police body cam video also captured the moment the deputies discovered the autistic 19-year-old shivering outside a Utah gas station and alerted his family.

KEILAR: And after a two-year absence due to the pandemic, the traditional White House Easter Egg Roll is back and it is about to begin.

AVLON: How about that?

That's the "5 Things to Know for Your New Day." More on these stories all day on CNN and And don't forget to download the "5 Things" podcast every morning. Go to

KEILAR: All right, it's Patriots' Day.

AVLON: Hey now, what does that mean?

KEILAR: It is. That means that in moments here we have the 126th Boston Marathon getting underway.

So let's check in with our very favorite patriot, with one of 30,000 racers, he's one of them, and he's en route to the starting line.

John Berman is with us.

All right, John Berman, you look ready. Do you feel ready?


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I feel strong. I feel good. I feel like I've had more pasta and white bread products in the last 24 hours. I'm very bloated, which is actually probably a good thing. I'm carrying some extra water weight right now, but that's all going to go. You know, I'm lubed up. I've, you know, done all my chafing protection rituals. You know, I'm just -- I'm just ready -- I'm just ready as I can be.

AVLON: No one wants to hear about the chafing protection.

KEILAR: You have to do that, though. You have to.

BERMAN: You don't want to hear about it. But if you don't take it seriously -- yes, yes, it really is. It's the number one -- other than training, it's the number one thing. It may be more important than training.

AVLON: Training, pasta, chafing protection, in that order.

KEILAR: Chafing protection.

AVLON: I do want to say, though, you are -- you are running this marathon again in your home state for a very good cause, Team Beans. Explain.

BERMAN: Yes, Team Beans. Look, our dear friend, Andrew Kaczynski, you know, CNN the KFile, and his wife Rebecca, they lost their one-year- old daughter Francesca, just beautiful girl, to a pediatric brain tumor. And Andrew has just been a force of nature in raising money and raising awareness to fight pediatric brain tumors. Team Beans is running to raise money to support the Dana Farber Cancer Institute here in Boston, which is just one of the best organizations on earth. And it's been -- it's really been an honor to be able to work for Andrew and Rebecca and raise money for this and be a part of this team. I can't tell you what a good feeling it is to be doing this for them. It's a great cause.

KEILAR: Yes. And they have since welcomed another daughter.


KEILAR: And we've been tracking sort of the beauty of that as they continue to honor Francesca. But he's also -- he's also running with you today, right, Berman?

BERMAN: Yes, he's running. Laura Vigilante from CNN is running. They will both run much faster than I will and with less pain than me. But, yes, they are -- they're -- they're heroes and they're -- and they're going to do a great job. And I can't wait to see -- I can't wait to see them as they pass me on the course.

KEILAR: All right, well, look, professional men kick off at 9:37 a.m. So you better hurry up there. Better hurry up, John Berman, to get there.

AVLON: Good luck.

BERMAN: Professional men sounds kind of racy when you say that. I'm a -- I'm a -- OK, but that's totally different. All right. I'll let you guys go.

AVLON: Different conversation for another day.

BERMAN: A different discussion. Yes, a totally different conversation.

KEILAR: Oh, Berman, we hope you do well.

AVLON: Have a good day. Good luck.

KEILAR: I'm going to be following you online, which is an amazing, cool thing that you can do. So, Berman --

BERMAN: Oh, yes, look, and, by the way, you can still donate to Team Beans.


BERMAN: Like, go check out my Instagram and Twitter feed.



BERMAN: If you guys want to help out, please go and anyone can help out still.

KEILAR: Awesome.


KEILAR: OK, well, good luck, and we're going -- we've put it up here so that people can see what this is, to donate and benefit Team Beans and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Go to

Best of luck to him.

So, this morning, Philadelphia becomes the first major city to reinstate its indoor mask mandate. Will other cities be following?

AVLON: Plus, brand new video just in to CNN. Heavy artillery shelling underway right now in eastern Ukraine as officials say the nearby town of Kreminna has been lost to Russian forces.



AVLON: Philadelphia becoming the first major U.S. city to reinstate its indoor mask mandate after seeing a rise in confirmed Covid-19 cases. Now, over the weekend, a group of local business owners sued the city for going against the CDC's guidelines on indoor masking.

Joining us now from Philadelphia is Polo Sandoval.

Polo, what you got?


Really kind of a feeling of deja vu for many Philadelphia residents here as the city brings back its mask mandate for a third time since the start of the pandemic. As you point out, though, they're looking at these numbers that are certainly concerning health officials in terms of what they're seeing. But in terms of the mandate itself, basically starting today, it will require that all people in most public indoor spaces will have to wear those masks again. We're talking about local government buildings, schools, restaurants, museums. And the list goes on.

Now, there is a way around that. Some businesses and institutions, according to the city, that can actually ensure that everybody on the premises is fully vaccinated may potentially continue to go mask-free. But, still, that is certainly not enough for a group of businesses and some individuals that, as you mentioned, have recently filed lawsuit against the city of Philadelphia hoping to reverse this policy here saying that basically the city is overstepping its own authority and -- or going outside its authority and also going basically away from the CDC guidance now in terms of what may happen in the future. Well, we'll have to see if recent legal action against the city has essentially failed and the city basically moving forward with this.

But, at the end of the day, again, we'll have to see if some of those businesses decide to explore that vaccination rate or bring back that mask requirement indoors.

Brianna, John, back to you.

KEILAR: All right, Polo, thank you so much for that report.

AVLON: Yes, I mean, I think that's what's called changing tactics to fit facts on the ground.


AVLON: But it is controversial and I understand why people are frustrated.

KEILAR: I think people are -- they're just sick of masking, right? They've been doing it for so long. And they wish it to be over, but is it over.

AVLON: It's not over until the virus is over.

KEILAR: That's right.

AVLON: All right.

KEILAR: CNN's coverage continues right now.