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New Day

David Culver Leaves China after Two and a Half Years; Apple No Longer Most Valuable Company; Meatpackers Misled on Shortage; Crime Wave is Years in the Making; Heat beat 76ers in Game Six; Brian Greene is Interviewed about a Black Hole. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired May 13, 2022 - 06:30   ET



DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Heard the flight attendants, the Dutch flight attendants, speaking to o ne of the other ex-pats who was on board, saying, what you've been through, it's been traumatic. You know, we're here. Welcome home. Welcome out. And I thought, what was that guy -- what did he go through? And then you sit and you realize everyone on that flight is in the eyes of these flight attendants with an escape story to share. And that's how they perceived this. And yet you do really sit with this mixed emotion because a lot of these folks are leaving behind after five, 10, 15 years a great life in China and in Shanghai and they're seeing this moment as historic because they really feel like they're on their way out and they may not go back in.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Look, being able to see what's been happening there the last two years, important not just to CNN, but, again, important to the world. You've done such important work. I'm so glad that you get a little bit of a break.


BERMAN: I mean, if anyone has earned it, it's you.

CULVER: I really appreciate you saying that. It's not a solo trek, as you know. We've got an incredible team that surrounds you. And if not in-person, at least you feel it emotionally.

BERMAN: Well, great to see you. Get some rest, if you can.

CULVER: Thanks. Yes, it's good to be back. Appreciate it.

BERMAN: Thanks, David.

All right, just in, Elon Musk says his bid to buy Twitter is currently on hold. We're just trying to figure out what this means.

Stay with us.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, Apple is no longer the world's most valuable company. We'll tell you which company is now number one.



COLLINS: This morning, Apple has been dethroned as the world's most valuable company. The iPhone maker is worth $2.37 trillion, but at a whopping $2.43 trillion energy giant Saudi Aramco once again holds that title.

CNN's Christine Romans joins us now.

And, Christine, what can you tell us about how Apple has been pushed off this spot that held for so long?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, those record high gas prices, right, they're awful for consumers, profitable for oil companies. And so oil stocks are the winners here. Saudi Arabia's state oil company takes the crown as the world's most valuable company, edging out Apple, which was worth $3 trillion earlier this year.

Kaitlan, it's the shifting fates for energy and tech producers. Oil prices are surging. Global oil prices up 35 percent this year. Producers ratcheted back production and refining, remember, during the pandemic crash. They just haven't cranked back up enough as the economy has resurged. And then factor in Russia's invasion of Ukraine disrupting supply. Oil companies are raking it in.

Tech stocks, though, are in a deep bear market. The Nasdaq is down 27 percent. Apple down nearly 20 percent with major supply chain issues, particularly in China.

Tech is getting creamed in this year's Wall Street selloff. Amazon, Alphabet, Meta, Netflix, they are all down double digits. Higher interest rates make these high value stocks less valuable. The Fed has been raising interest rates, of course, to fight inflation. So, the S&P also amid it's longest losing streak since 2011, shedding more than $7 trillion in market value this year. But for some perspective, the S&P, since that terrible great financial crisis, right, is still up almost 500 percent.

COLLINS: It's remarkable.

And I also want to ask you about something else this morning that Elon Musk just tweeted, of course. He's supposed to be taking over Twitter, but he just tweeted that the deal is on hold. He says, the Twitter deal is temporarily on hold pending details supporting the calculation that spam, fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5 percent of users. Of course, he says he wanted to get rid of spam bots if he bought Twitter.

What do you make of all of this, Christine?

ROMANS: So, we're trying to make what these 21 words -- these 21 words basically have Twitter shares down 20 percent at the worst this morning. This is someone who's trying to seriously buy this important asset,

but is just throwing a tweet out there that is disrupting the whole process. He is saying his purchase is on hold.

He's tying this to a Reuters report that Twitter is estimating its spam and fake accounts as only 5 percent of users. And as you point out rightly, Kaitlan, he has said one of the reasons he wanted to buy Twitter and take it private is because he wanted to get rid of these fake -- handle these fake spam bot accounts.

It's unclear what happens next here. It's unclear if he's serious. There's a lot of criticism of Elon Musk that morning, that he is playing with an asset that many people hold in their portfolios, and that's just not fair to investors.

COLLINS: The power of a tweet from someone who wants to buy Twitter.


COLLINS: Christine Romans, thank you for the update.

BERMAN: Yes, look, it really is amazing we're doing this forensic analysis of 22 words to figure out something that's costing people millions of dollars.


BERMAN: All right, a new congressional report claims the nation's top meat packing firms lied to the Trump administration about beef and pork shortages in the early days of the pandemic. And this report says they did it to keep their plants open despite knowing the health risks. Hundreds of workers died.

Laura Jarrett, "EARLY START" anchor and attorney at law, joins me now with this.


LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR, "EARLY START": So, John, we all remember at the height of the pandemic workers at these meat companies were on the front lines. CNN and others did plenty of reporting on how these crowded plants had become really a hot bed for Covid-19.

But this new congressional report says things were even worse than the public knew and that the companies were actually put on notice that the working conditions were not safe. In at least one example, a doctor near JBS's facility in Cactus, Texas, emailed an executive back in April of 2020 saying this, 100 of all Covid-19 patients we have in the hospital are either direct employees or family members of your employees. One hundred percent of patients. The doctor warned, quote, your employees will get sick and may die if this factory continues to open.

And that's not all. The report says that meat packing companies directly lobbied the Trump White House to dissuade workers from staying home or quitting. And, finally, you might remember some of those dire warnings from meat suppliers that closing the plants could put the U.S. meat supply at risk.


Well, this report calls those warnings flimsy if not outright false.

Now, in response to CNN's request for comment, the North American Meat Institute, that's an industry trade group, criticized the committee's report here as partisan and said it was just cherry-picking data. The companies told CNN that they are either reviewing this report or they tried to point to precautions that they took to keep their workers safe.


BERMAN: Well, very interesting. Again, remember how many people at these plants did get sick along the way.

JARRETT: Yes. And the question is, could they have done something about it and could they have done better.

BERMAN: All right, thanks so much for that report, Laura.

Just in, we've got some big, political news developing over just the last few minutes, Pence versus Trump. A new proxy battle opens up. The former vice president announces he will campaign for the current Georgia governor. Donald Trump is backing the opponent. We are waiting for reaction from Trump world.

COLLINS: And I have a feeling we will get it.

Meanwhile, look at this video. Those are two small dots that are pilots. The FAA has just grounded them both for this dangerous and botched stunt.



COLLINS: With crime rates increasing across the nation, one former officer says that this violent wave has actually been years in the making.

Joining me now to explain is CNN law enforcement analyst and former D.C. metropolitan police officer, Michael Fanone.

So, tell us what you -- what you mean when you say this has actually been years in the making, this is something that -- that you kind of saw coming.

MICHAEL FANONE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I mean, for purposes of the current spike in crime that we are dealing with today, I look at it as going back to 2014-2015. For me, in my career, Ferguson and the civil unrest that resulted from the police shooting really brought about an end to -- or a dramatic end to proactive police work. We saw a retraction of patrol officers, uniformed police officers, from conducting proactive stops and we also saw the disbandment of many proactive units, including a vice unit which I was a part of for almost my entire career.

COLLINS: And so why was that such a turning point? And I guess a question would be, what kind of effect has it had, do you think?

FANONE: Well, proactive police work is what generates thousands of arrests for violent criminals and also the seizure of tens of thousands of illegally possessed firearms on the streets. That's had a ripple effect. And it's not something that can reverse course quickly. You know, with the disbandment of those units, you lose that veteran perspective and experience, and also the intelligence gathered by those particular units.

COLLINS: Yes. And I know this has been a huge focus for this White House. President Biden's going to be talking about money invested in community policing today.

I do want to switch subjects, though, because you saw this breaking news that happened on Capitol Hill yesterday where Kevin McCarthy and several other Republicans have now been subpoenaed by the January 6th committee because they want to talk to them. It seems pretty unlikely that they are going to cooperate since they've said that they believe it's an illegitimate investigation, that's driven by Democrats. But, I wonder what your take is on them actually taking that unprecedented step of subpoenaing sitting lawmakers.

FANONE: Well, I mean, I'm not a politician and I'm not a political analyst, so if you're looking for sympathy for, you know, whatever political ramifications that might have, you're not going to find it with me.

As far as Kevin McCarthy calling it an illegitimate investigation, I've heard those words before from every criminal that I ever investigated as a police officer. So, you know, the events of January 6th were violent. It was an insurrection. Congress has a duty to investigate what happened on that day, the days leading up to it, and the days after and telling the American people what they've discovered.

COLLINS: Yes. And we know they're going to have those live hearings with all of that next month.

Michael Fanone, thanks for joining us.

FANONE: Thank you.

COLLINS: We have new video of a Russian helicopter being destroyed by a Ukrainian missile strike on Snake Island.

Plus, there are reports of Russian forces who are in retreat. That's ahead.

BERMAN: And they are calling it the beating heart of the Milky Way. For the first time, astronomers have captured an image of the massive black hole at the center of our galaxy.


BERMAN: The Miami Heat headed to the Eastern Conference finals for the second time in three years.

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

Hey, Andy.


So, the Miami Heat the first team to clinch a spot in this year's conference finals with a convincing win over the 76ers. And Jimmy Butler and the Heat just seemed to want it more last night. Butler scoring 23 of his 32 points in the second half. Watch him here. Misses the shot, gets his own rebound in the middle of two Sixers players and then he's just going to make a three right in James Harden's face. Harden, once again, not showing up for a big playoff game. He had just 11 points, only took two shots in the second half, missed them both. The Heat would win 99-90. And Joel Embiid saying after the game that Harden isn't the player he once was.


JOEL EMBIID, PHILADELPHIA 76ERS CENTER: Obviously, I'm sure, you know, since we got him, everybody expected the Houston James Harden, but that's not who he is anymore. He's more of a playmaker. I thought, you know, there are times, you know, could have been -- as all of us, could have been more aggressive.


SCHOLES: Yes. And so James Harden, John, has a player option for $47 million next season. He says he wants to be back in Philly. But, man, after what they just dealt with, with Ben Simmons over this last offseason and this whole season, it looks like it's going to be another long offseason there in Philadelphia.


BERMAN: Yes. Andy, we're all shaking our heads here asking, did Joel Embiid just say that? I'm here with a Columbia astrophysicist and we're both shocked that Embiid said this about James Harden, he's not the player he used to be.

SCHOLES: I mean you've got to feel really bad for Joel Embiid, John. I mean he's out there with a fractured face, a busted up thumb, giving it his all. And, you know, I think he's just, for the second straight year, kind of looking around just like, man, you know, this is what I have to deal with? So, it was surprising to hear him say that he's not the player he once was. Maybe something you don't want to say right there in that moment considering all the sports talk everyone's going to get out of it now.

BERMAN: Yes, it's unusual to call out a teammate like that. Andy Scholes, great to see you this morning. Thank you.

SCHOLES: All right.

BERMAN: All right, now I do want to show you something that I guess until yesterday no one had ever seen before. This is the first image of a super massive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. This is really about us, so pay attention. It's called Sagittarius A. It's about 27,000 light years from earth and roughly 4 million times bigger than the sun.

Joining us to explain why this is such an important picture is a professor of physics at Columbia University, and founder of the World Science Festival, Brian Greene.

Professor, thank you so much for being with us.


BERMAN: That's a crazy picture to see.


BERMAN: Now, you were telling me, we strongly suspected there was a black hole at the center of galaxy, but to see it, why is it so important?

GREENE: Well, Einstein's theories of gravity, the general theory of relativity, 100 years ago, 100 plus years ago, predicted -- the math predict that these incredibly massive, dense objects should be out there in space. We had indirect evidence that they were actually out there. But to actually see this one at the center of our galaxy, right next door, in our neighborhood, it's absolutely thrilling and a tremendous achievement by this team.

BERMAN: Because they're kind of invisible, right?

GREENE: They're black, right? They don't give off light. That's the point, the gravity is so strong that anything that gets too close, and that includes light itself, cannot escape. If light can't escape, it's dark, you can't see it directly.

BERMAN: Now, I remember from 1979, I learned all of my information about black holes from the film "Black Hole" in 1979, which scared me because it made me think we were all going to get sucked into something.


BERMAN: I don't know if we have a clip of that. Do we have a clip of the 1979 film "Black Hole," which is really some of the best -- let's play that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An (INAUDIBLE) force in the cosmos, where time and space converge, where the here and now may be forever, an unavoidable hole moving through space, swallowing everything in its path. Now, man is about to enter the black hole.


BERMAN: It's actually kind of dead on because, as you were saying, the black holes are weird.

GREENE: Yes. No, you've inspired me to go watch that film, I've heard bad things about it but apparently you love it.


GREENE: But, yes, the idea is that it's as if there's a sink in space itself, a drain through which everything flows and nothing can get out.

BERMAN: Does that mean, like in the movie, which you, I know, will go see, I mean, are we going to get sucked into this?

GREENE: No. So, a black hole only sucks things in if they get too close. So, if you're careful, you can actually go right up to the edge, the so-called event horizon of a black hole, which is where the name of this telescope comes from. If you don't cross over the edge, you're fine. In principle, you can get away. You cross over that edge, inevitably you get sucked to the center. That's the way it works.

BERMAN: And, again, a black hole, in a way, is like a time machine.

GREENE: It is. That's the amazing thing. So, Einstein's idea showed that black holes warp the arena of space and time so enormously that when you hang out near the edge of a black hole, time for you slows down. So, if you spend a year there, say, time is so slow for you that it's 10,000 years or a million years back on earth. So this, in principle, is a time machine. Spend time near a black hole, come back and you'll be in earth's future.

BERMAN: It really is an amazing picture to see, and you just made me even more excited about it.

Professor, thank you so much for joining us this morning.

GREENE: A pleasure.

BERMAN: And I know how you -- how surprised you were along with us that Joel Embiid said that about James Harden.

GREENE: That's, yes, kind of crazy.

BERMAN: You can't say that stuff about a teammate.

GREENE: Yes, right.

BERMAN: All right. Thanks.

NEW DAY continues right now. Good morning to our viewers here in the United States and all around

the world. It is Friday, May 13th. I'm John Berman. Chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins is in for Brianna this morning.

And we do have new details coming in about a notable Russian retreat this morning. Remember, there was the failed advance on Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, the largest city in the country. Well, now the Russians are pulling back from the second largest city, Kharkiv there. This is very significant. There is new analysis of key satellite images that tells the story here. I want you to look at this.


These are pictures, satellite pictures now, of two of three of the bridges around Kharkiv that have been destroyed.