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New Day

Different Paths in the Supreme Court; Families Waiting for Husbands and Sons to Return from War; Tornadoes Push Across South; Workers Returning to Same Jobs they Left; Kentucky Derby Set for Tomorrow. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired May 06, 2022 - 06:30   ET



JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Opinion from Justice Alito on striking down Roe v. Wade. John Roberts was trying to find a middle ground, apparently, upholding the Mississippi law but not overturning Roe v. Wade. If Roberts -- if Alito's opinion becomes the opinion of the court, Roberts will be in the minority.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: How do the roles of the justices play into this?

TOOBIN: Well, this is a very important rule about the Supreme Court that I'm not sure everyone knows. When the court votes, the chief justice, his biggest responsibility when he is in the majority is he gets to assign the opinion, including often in big cases assigning it to himself. But when the chief justice is in the minority, the senior associate justice in the majority gets to assign the opinion. That's Clarence Thomas now. Clarence Thomas is -- he sits to the chief's right. That means he's the second -- the senior associate justice.

If the abortion case holds, that means that Thomas assigned the opinion to Alito. And that's a very different dynamic. Those are two culture warriors together on the court. And Roberts, increasingly, is with Kagan, Sotomayor and Breyer. Breyer, is, of course, leaving, to be replaced by Judge, now soon to be justice, Jackson. But the power in the court is really shifting away from Roberts because he's now aligned with the three liberals, and Thomas is aligned with the four other conservatives to make a new majority.

KEILAR: How have the dynamics changed since the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, since Amy Coney Barrett joined the court?

TOOBIN: See, this is really -- you know some -- some replacements on the court are -- all replacements on the court are consequential.

You know, when Stephen Breyer stepped down, and he's being replaced by Judge Jackson, that is important. But this was epic. This was epic in its importance because, at the end of President Trump's term, in 2020, Justice Ginsburg died. Amy Coney Barrett was rushed through by Mitch McConnell. And that changed the court from a 5-4 majority for the conservatives with Chief Justice Roberts in the majority, to a 6-3 conservative majority with Roberts increasingly siding with the three liberals. But he is increasingly irrelevant. And if the Roe v. Wade -- if the Hobbs case, the case from Mississippi, stands in the draft opinion that we've seen, that will be the most vivid demonstration because that means that Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett, the three Trump appointees plus Alito and Thomas, that makes a majority where Chief Justice Roberts is irrelevant and doesn't get to assign opinions when that's the lineup. That is an immense change in the court and it's all because Justice Barrett got promoted at the last -- in the last days of the Trump administration.

KEILAR: Yes, the transformation here just in a matter of a few years is stunning. It's almost unrecognizable.

Jeffrey, thank you so much for taking us through that.

TOOBIN: OK, Brianna.

KEILAR: The hardships of war are creating yet another test for families. CNN is on the ground in Ukraine as women and children await word from the battlefield on the men in their lives.

Plus --


AMBER HEARD, ACTRESS AND EX-WIFE OF JOHNNY DEPP: And I don't want to see him anymore. I don't want to see him anymore. It wasn't him. It was (INAUDIBLE). I have never been so scared in my life.


KEILAR: Another day of emotional and graphic testimony as Amber Heard describes the pain in her marriage to now ex-husband Johnny Depp.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN ANCHOR: And, getting antsy as a plane pulls into the gate, that's one thing. But a Chicago passenger got creative. Wait until you see what he did. That's coming up.



KEILAR: Less than two months ago they were snatched off the streets as Russian soldiers invaded their town. Now that soldiers are gone, it's become a gut-wrenching scene for families in Ukraine who don't know what happened to their husbands and sons.

CNN's Sara Sidner joins us live from Kyiv with this story.

Tell us what you're learning. Tell us what they're going through, Sara.

SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Look, about an hour from Kyiv, in a village named Bondoifka (ph), we met mothers and wives and children who talked about the fact that as the Russian invasion happened in their particular village, suddenly men started to go missing. And, in one case, the mother and children were there watching their husband and father being taken away. It's been now about two months and they've seen no trace of him.


SIDNER (voice over): Every single day, Valentyna Bobko waits for the moment her husband and son return home.

On March 11th I called them and Koya (ph) just said, hold on, wait a minute, and that's all.

SIDNER (on camera): What do you think happened to your husband and son?

SIDNER (voice over): I don't know. I have no idea. My husband and son won't hurt a fly. They are very kind.

Days before, Russian soldiers had had occupied the town. When she returned home that day, neighbors told her, her husband and son had been taken by Russian soldiers.


I want them to return my husband and son or at least tell me where they are now. Where did they hide my boys? I can't find my place in life. Where are they? How am I supposed to live now? Tell me how.

She is not the only one suffering through this. Across the street and just around the corner, other families are longing for the day their husbands and fathers return.

Yulda (ph) watched as Russians forcibly took their papa (ph) away, leaving them with just pictures for now.

The main thing is they took him and we don't know where he is. We hope we find him. And they, the Russians, will be punished.

They were relieved that this village is no longer crawling with Russian tanks, but it means there's no one left to ask where the men were taken.

In the rubble of war, Grygoriy Lyhogo has been searching for his brother. He says he was also picked up by Russian soldiers in the same timeframe as the others.

From a story we heard from a guy, we know he was beaten with a club.

We met the guy he's talking about who says he, too, was detained and held by Russian soldiers who said it was their job to beat them each day.

My hands were tied with this rope. Here it is, he says.

And another two guys were handcuffed. One of the men didn't make it out alive, he says.

In the morning, the Russians said that his body was already cold.

He reported it to police and it was determined that the man killed was Lyhogo's brother, though no body has ever been found.

They took the body away. Who knows where? We still don't know where he is.

SIDNER (on camera): After hearing all this, how do you survive this? How do you live with this?

SIDNER (voice over): It's very hard. Very hard.

We happened to be with Lyhogo when he got permission from the homeowner to go on the property where he says his brother was killed. We went down a set of steep stairs. At the bottom, he stayed merely seconds. The memory of his brother's last moments too much for him to bear.


SIDNER: And those children you saw there, Yulia's children, they had a message for Russia. And their message was, for God sakes, please send our papa home.


KEILAR: It is heart-wrenching.

Sara, thank you so much for that story.

For millions of Americans, what's old is new again. A deeper dive into the boomerang trend.

MARQUARDT: And new pictures are emerging of a powerful tornado which battered a community in Kansas. We're chasing that storm.



MARQUARDT: Powerful tornadoes and strong winds are causing widespread damage across several states. Look at this incredible video. That's in Kansas. Surveillance video capturing the very moment a tornado ripped trees out of the ground. At least 300 buildings were also destroyed.

Now, this morning, severe weather is moving into the southeastern part of the country. Let's bring in meteorologist Chad Myers.

Chad, those are just incredible scenes. What else are we expecting?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Truly, and there are some drone pictures out of that same storm too from storm chasers that were truly unbelievable.

Alex, now the weather from the west has to move to the east eventually. We know that. And that's the east coast turn today. All the way down toward Mobile right now, the severe weather, but it's going to spread all the way up into the Delmarva (ph), all the way up to you in Washington, D.C.

Move you ahead to 11:00. Radar begins to light up. In the warmer part of the day, around 1:00, that's where Atlanta, that's where you get involved. But notice this continues to move through Charlotte, through the low country of South Carolina, all the way up to D.C. later on tonight. Now by tomorrow it's long gone, but there's still going to be quite a bit of rainfall with this across parts of Pennsylvania where there are flooded advisories across the area. We're going to watch that. Could be four inches of rainfall. Talk about those hilly mountains there. Now that's when we see the water going down the hill. You have to watch that especially after dark.

For your Mother's Day, well, a little cooler than you might like, but at least it dries out for Sunday and Monday all the way across the east.


MARQUARDT: All right, we'll be watching that closely. We're already starting to feel those effects here in the nation's capital.

Chad Myers, in the Weather Center, thanks very much.

MYERS: You're welcome.

MARQUARDT: Now, scores of frustrated workers who left their jobs during the pandemic are coming right back. They're being called boomerang employees. It's a new description of worker behavior over the past two years.

Let's bring in CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich.


Well, it's been a wild two years in the labor market. First, we had record unemployment, labor shortages, the great resignation. Now, boomerangs, Americans looking for greener pastures only to find that the grass isn't always greener.


JIM KLIMAS, BOOMERANG EMPLOYEE: I am officially a boomerang.

YURKEVICH (voice over): And so are millions of other American workers today. A boomerang, someone who left an employer before choosing to return. Boomerangs, like Jim Klimas made up 4.3 percent of all U.S. job switches last year, up from 3.3 percent pre-pandemic according to LinkedIn.


YURKEVICH (on camera): Was there any resistance on your end initially?

KLIMAS: Definitely. Just being concerned that it would feel like a step back ward.

YURKEVICH (voice over): Klimas worked in HR at Adobe, but in 2020 he left for a new opportunity. Last year, he returned to Adobe after just 18 months. The average time Americans boomerang back is down from 22 months to 17 months.

KLIMAS: Part of it was during the pandemic it was harder to sink roots into a company. I missed some of the colleagues and the confidence that I could do important work and add value and have impact was the most important thing.

YURKEVICH: Boomeranging often carries a negative connotation, but that is changing, likely due to the more than 11.5 million unfilled jobs in the U.S. While a record 4.5 million Americans quit in March. The balance of power has shifted to the employee.

LAURA MAZZULLO, FOUNDER, EAST SIDE STAFFING: Historically, boomeranging was not seen as a positive thing. And I think it's the first time we've seen employers really welcoming that trend as well to say, we'd love to have you back here.

YURKEVICH (on camera): But is it desperation too?

MAZZULLO: Of course. Part of it is that they're so aware of the competition and they don't want to lose out.

YURKEVICH (voice over): Will Staney, CEO of Proactive Talent, recruiting firm, says he has three boomerangs working at his 50 person company and calls them the best untapped secret.

WILL STANEY, FOUNDER AND CEO, PROACTIVE TALENT: They've gone and gathered other skill sets elsewhere with the context of what they learned a your company. The on boarding is smoother. You know, the training, the culture fit is already determined. I think it's a great, low cost and high quality way of hiring.

YURKEVICH: It's also a gut check on the company's value and culture.

STANEY: A boomerang represents that we're achieving our goals as a company, that we're scaling and improving and growing.

YURKEVICH: Like many Americans, Klimas had option when he was looking for his next move. But, ultimately, the familiarity of Adobe, the impact he felt he could make and remote work helped him seal the deal.

YURKEVICH (on camera): Were you surprised that you ended up back in Adobe?

KLIMAS: Yes. Yes. And a lot of it goes back to the worry or the being careful not to feel like I was taking a step backwards. So, when I -- when it felt right, it was a surprise.


YURKEVICH: Now, the two industries with the highest percentage of boomerangs are arts and recreation and education. These are also the industries where people boomeranged the fastest within about a year. And recruiters say that's OK. You can still go back to your old company, ask for a higher title, more salary, more flexibility and companies are willing to meet their employee demands because they're so desperate for workers.

And, Alex, one recruiter telling us that if companies are not willing to be flexible, not willing to work with employees coming back, they are going to be left behind in the hiring and job market.


MARQUARDT: All right, Covid upending so much.

Vanessa Yurkevich, thank you so much for that report.

Now back with a splash, four astronauts returning to earth overnight after six months up in space.

KEILAR: And did U.S. intelligence help Ukraine send a Russian warship to the bottom of the Black Sea? The Pentagon is pushing back on that claim, but we're going to speak with John Kirby, the spokesman for the Pentagon, ahead.



MARQUARDT: Well, get those mint juleps and hats ready. It is time for the Kentucky Derby. That is taking place tomorrow afternoon.

Our Andy Scholes is live from Churchill Downs in Louisville with a preview.

Andy, this has got to be one of your favorite weekends of the year.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Oh, it always is, Alex. There's always just so much anticipation and fun here at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby. And this year, after two years, it's finally back to normal. They are going to be full capacity, around 150,000 fans expected here for tomorrow's race for the 148th Run for the Roses.

The one person that will not be here is Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. Baffert suspended rom Churchill Downs for two years after last year's derby winner, Medina Spirit, failed a post-race drug test. In February, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission announced that Medina Spirit was disqualified and Mandaloun was declared the winner of last year's race. Now, Mandaloun is trained by Louisville's own Brad Cox. Technically he won the 2021 derby. It was his first derby win ever, but he certainly didn't get that true celebration experience.


BRAD COX, 2021 KENTUCKY DERBY WINNING TRAINER: I didn't really. You don't really -- you know, I learned that, you know, we won through a text message. So it's not as -- it's not quite as exciting as winning a race and crossing the wire first.

We figured it out that, you know, to win the derby, you do it for the thrill, right? Like, that's the whole thing, the thrill of the victory, and we didn't experience that. So hopefully looking forward to someday doing that and it might be Saturday. We'll see how it goes.


SCHOLES: Yes, here are the top 10 favorites for tomorrow's race. Cox has three horses running in the race. Zandon, the current favorite, at 3-1 odds. He's known to start slow but closes fast. He's finishing the money in all four of his starts.

Now, Messier and Taiba used to be trained by Bob Baffert but they're not trained by his former assistant Tim Yakteen. So, in a way, Baffert -- a Baffert horse can kind of still win this Kentucky Derby.

And Taiba, Alex, has only run two races. If Taiba were able to win, he'd be the first horse since 1883 to win the Kentucky Derby in only its third race.


So, if you're looking to pick a horse, maybe go with Taiba because, hey.