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Scientists Make Major Breakthrough In Race To Save Caribbean Coral; Liz Truss Named U.K.'s Next Prime Minister, Replacing Boris Johnson; Son of Foo Fighters Drummer Participates In Tribute To His Late Father. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired September 05, 2022 - 07:30   ET




And I have to note, it's funny because when Bill Barr was first announced back in 2018 as the person who Donald Trump was going to select, I quote myself in my book as saying he's a good pick. He's solid, he's an institutionalist. I quote other people who said the same thing.

This is the Bill Barr I think we were expecting. Now, he didn't do it well in office -- we can't give him a pass -- but he's made a really drastic turnaround here.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Elie Honig.


BERMAN: Right. Well, I don't think those guys hang out --

ALFORD: No surprise.

BERMAN: -- very much anymore. I don't -- I'm just saying.

Natasha Alford, Elie Honig, thank you so much for being with us today.

So, scientists making a major breakthrough in the fight to save coral in the Caribbean. The new and exclusive CNN reporting this morning.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: And Harry Enten is hard at work on this Labor Day. We have the numbers behind the holiday next.



KEILAR: Scientists at the Florida Aquarium say they've made a breakthrough in the race to save Caribbean coral. They have reproduced elkhorn coral, one of the most important reef-building corals in the Caribbean, which is critically endangered. And this could help revitalize ecosystems while also offering protection from hurricanes.

CNN national correspondent Isabel Rosales is joining us now with this exclusive. This is fascinating and this wasn't an easy achievement for scientists. They had a really challenging time getting to this point.

ISABEL ROSALES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. It's such a fascinating story here and such a stunning achievement. And scientists over at the Florida Aquarium -- they are thrilled about this big breakthrough. They have done what no others before them have ever done and what some peers called impossible. But this is only the beginning.

Spanning about 350 miles, Florida has the third -- the world's third largest barrier reef. But right now, it is at risk from stressors like pollution, warming ocean waters, and climate change, period. Now, the Florida Aquarium says it is the first in the world to reproduce the threatened elkhorn coral -- and you see this video of it spawning right here -- using aquarium technology. This spawning right here produced a couple of thousand baby corals. Up to 100 of them are expected to live into adulthood.

Now, what is so important about this elkhorn coral is they're really -- they're really in a risky category. They are threatened. There is 300 of them left around Florida. They used to be the most dominant species in the Caribbean.

I want you to listen to what the lead scientist Keri O'Neil had to say about the scientific success.


KERI O'NEIL, SENIOR CORAL SCIENTIST, FLORIDA AQUARIUM: It just makes me emotional because I've seen the destruction of this species in my career. There is hope for coral reefs. Don't give up hope. All is not lost. However, we need to make serious changes in our behavior to save this planet.


ROSALES: Now, this breakthrough -- this is only a first step. The scientists are adamant this is not going to save the coral reefs, but they do hope that it will buy them time so that we couldn't prioritize climate change and changing human behavior, and helping that root cause to all these problems.

KEILAR: I was reading the notes on your reporting ahead of time -- this exclusive reporting -- and I laughed because it said that the coral was having sex --


KEILAR: -- they just weren't having babies.


KEILAR: But the other interesting thing was that it had to do with the moon rise. ROSALES: Right.

KEILAR: That they were able to fix that. Tell us about that.

ROSALES: Right. It is such a tricky business -- part of the reason why scientists said oh, that's impossible. They're not going to be able to pull this off. They are notoriously difficult to keep alive in aquariums. And in the wild, they're just not having babies successfully.

KEILAR: They're trying but they're not.

ROSALES: They're trying. They're not capable of seeing it through.

And it's so tricky in the lab. They have these LED lights that mimic nature -- sunrise, sunset, and moonrise. And back in 2021, they tried this but they failed. The elkhorn didn't spawn. So they checked their notes -- hey, what's going on here -- and they realized that the moonrise was off by three hours. That's it. That was enough for it to be a failure.

KEILAR: This is fascinating, Isabel, and this is great exclusive reporting, and we thank you for sharing it with us.

ROSALES: Thank you.

KEILAR: Isabel Rosales, thank you.

BERMAN: I think there are about to be a whole lot of Google searches for coral birth control. The idea raises, like, a ton of questions.

All right, it is Labor Day, which recognizes the many contributions that workers have made to the prosperity of the United States. No one works harder than CNN senior data reporter Harry Enten.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: I think you work harder than I do, to be perfectly honest.

BERMAN: No one besides a few people -- and maybe me -- work harder than Harry Enten.

All right, unions in the United States. We're talking about the labor movement here. There's been a little bit of a shift in public opinion toward unions.

ENTEN: There has been a little bit of a shift. Look at this 71 percent who approve of labor unions in the latest Gallup numbers. That is the highest since 1965. What we essentially saw over the last, say, 55 years before this year was a continuous decline yearly for labor union support. You could see it bottomed out in 2009 during the Great Recession at 48 percent. We have seen a clear recovery in the support for unions.

But the thing I'll point out is during this clear recovery for unions, the labor union participation rate has gone way down. It was 20 percent back in 1983. It is now just 10 percent in the latest numbers from the government in 2021. So, labor union support is up even as labor union participation is down.

BERMAN: One of the most important questions --


BERMAN: -- that people face, how to spell it.

ENTEN: How do you spell labor? Do you include the u or not? So, I did it worldwide because in this country, obviously, there is no u. I don't ever want to hear a u from anyone's mouth when they're trying to spell labor.

But if we go worldwide, what do we see? We see that the correct spelling of labor is winning out at 66 percent in Google searches. Just 34 percent are spelling it the wrong way -- at 34 percent.

So, right now, on the American Labor Day, I am happy to report that America's way of spelling labor is up and we are in a fantastic position. We are getting rid of those u's. We are being patriotic.


BERMAN: We win.

ENTEN: We win.

BERMAN: Yay, America.

ENTEN: America wins.

BERMAN: It's just more efficient, first of all.


BERMAN: If you don't need the extra letters why use them?

All right. One of the things people like to do today is to barbecue. Barbecue what, Harry?

ENTEN: Yes. So, after the show is done, John's invited me over to his house. He doesn't know it yet but he has just invited me over to his house for a barbecue. So what should we have?

Well, what are Americans' favorite foods to barbecue?

Beef, 39 percent. That is not where I want to go, John. I would much rather go in the chicken direction at 27 percent or the fish at 10 percent -- or you know what, John? I feel a little fat this morning. How about some veggies over here at 10 percent as well?

What about you?

BERMAN: Well, I would just say that these two are wrong. These two shouldn't even be polled. It's not a barbecue unless these are the three things being offered right here.

ENTEN: Is it -- is it -- is it steak or is it a hamburger when it's beef?

BERMAN: It could be either.

ENTEN: It could be either? See, that's the -- this is an all- encompassing category. I don't like that category.

BERMAN: Or beef franks.

ENTEN: Oh, yes -- a hot dog. You know, I like a turkey or a chicken frank.

BERMAN: All right, sides. What about the sides?

ENTEN: OK. So if we're going to go to sides and we're heading over to John's house for a barbecue, potato salad leads at 27 percent. But I'm a bigger fan of corn on the cob.

BERMAN: It's the season.

ENTEN: It is the season. It is corn on the cob season.

BERMAN: Maybe post-peak but close.

ENTEN: No, no, no. We're close enough.


ENTEN: I'm squeezing in those extra days of summer. I brought my bathing suit to the office. We're diving in right after work.

BERMAN: You're not coming to my house then.

ENTEN: Oh, no, no, no, no, no. You just don't know what's happening.

I also like macaroni salad, down at six percent. I do like my carbs. I like Italian food. I had a big plate of Italian food last night.

But also, coleslaw at 13 percent.

BERMAN: All right, the correct answer here -- just so people know, the correct answer is this, mac and cheese.

All right. Finally -- and actually, I really like this question. How do people feel -- what are their emotions -- not about the holiday itself but I think about what this day represents on the calendar?

ENTEN: Yes. So look, we had this discussion last week -- Labor Day essentially being the last day of -- or the unofficial last day of summer, though everyone at the barbecue I was at yesterday believed it was, in fact, the last day of summer.

Now, how does Labor Day make you feel inside as a human being? Happy, looking forward to fall leading the pack at 61 percent. Sad because it means the end of summer at 24 percent. The 61 percent is right. Football, baby -- leaves, kids back in school. BERMAN: All right, Harry Enten, we'll let you -- we'll let you go get

ahead of that one right there. Thank you very much. This is lovely. Happy, looking forward to the fall. We're looking forward to the fall with you.

ENTEN: Oh, thank you -- so sweet.

BERMAN: Moments ago, the United Kingdom learned the name of its new prime minister. Liz Truss set to replace Boris Johnson. Who is she and what does this mean for the U.K.?



KEILAR: Moments ago, the U.K. getting a new prime minister. Britain's Conservative Party voting for Liz Truss to succeed Boris Johnson after a series of scandals. Here is the moment.

CNN anchor and correspondent Bianca Nobilo is live for us outside of Parliament. Bianca, this is coming after a tough, tough leadership fight at a really critical time economically. This cost of living crisis that folks in Britain are enduring.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brianna, because not only is the party in disarray because of all those scandals that you referenced, but it is a real poisoned chalice that Liz Truss is going to inherit.

So, first and foremost for our international viewers, who is Liz Truss? She is the current foreign secretary to become prime minister tomorrow. Her supporters liken her often to Margaret Thatcher, an iron lady with an indomitable will who gets things done. But her detractors will say that she's had so many U-turns and changed her political beliefs so frequently in her life that nobody truly knows what she stands for.

There's also concern about her behavior on the international stage. She's quite gaffe-prone, a little bit like the current prime minister, Boris Johnson, and she certainly shares some of his attributes.

And as to why it's happening today, that is because Boris Johnson, after weathering scandals for a year -- finally, the last straw came about two months ago, which precipitated this leadership contest which, as you rightly mention, has been a bitter battle, quite unedifying for the Conservative Party.

But now that we're at this point, it means that Liz Truss goes ahead without a mandate. And that's because it's a real oddity in the British political system -- one of the world's leading democracies -- that today, the new leader of the country wasn't chosen by the British public en masse, but by a sliver of the electorate. Actually, less than one percent. Just the conservative membership base. And they are typically whiter, older, and wealthier than the average voter. So that's probably going to plague her a little bit going forward.

BERMAN: Bianca, one of the mechanics now of when she officially starts the job and how Boris Johnson exits.

NOBILO: So, tomorrow will be the big day. Unusually, and the first time in the queen's reign, she'll actually be doing the prime minister changeover in Balmoral in Scotland rather than in the heart of London, which is usually the case. We're told that's because of mobility issues.

So, Boris Johnson will go to visit the queen. He will then resign as prime minister. And then, the queen will appoint Liz Truss, who will fly to Scotland, see the queen, and will then have photographs of the event. She will then come back here to London and hit the ground running. And hit the ground running, she will have to because Britain faces a myriad of crises.


First and foremost, it's the cost of living crisis and these soaring energy bills, double-digit inflation. Most economists have been quite pessimistic about Liz Truss' plans but she is maintaining that tax cuts are the way forward. She wants to create growth in the economy.

She'll then quickly have to appoint a new cabinet. This will be a very difficult challenge because the Conservative Party is so divided now. She has been appealing to more of the right-wing. She'll need to include a broad church if she wants any prospect of success going forward.

So this is going to be a very rough ride. And there's really not much time or cause for this new prime minister to celebrate with war in Europe, this biting cost of living crisis, and a party at its most vulnerable point, really, in the last few decades, John.

KEILAR: Yes, and this is going to unfold so quickly, as we'll be seeing it here in the coming day or so.

Bianca, thank you for that report. We appreciate it.

From flood watches to triple-digit heat, millions of Americans are in for some severe weather. We'll have a look at conditions across the country ahead.

BERMAN: And the son of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins paying tribute to his late father.









KEILAR: There, on drums for the Foo Fighters, 16-year-old Oliver Shane, son of the late drummer Taylor Hawkins. Shane performing that song, of course, "My Hero," in memory of his father. The band hosted a tribute concert for Hawkins in London on Saturday and it was the Foo Fighters' first time taking the stage since the drummer's untimely death back in March.

Joining us now is Lisa France, CNN senior entertainment reporter. What a bittersweet moment. What did you think?

LISA FRANCE, CNN SENIOR ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: I was so moved because as Shane was playing, they were projecting photos of him and his dad up on the screen. I mean, just the perfect song, the perfect moment. And Shane is an incredible drummer just like his dad.

He had actually performed before with a band called The Alive earlier in the summer during Lagoona Beach Block Party, and he had done the same song and dedicated it to his father. So we had seen a little bit of that on social media. But to get that entire performance like that -- it was just -- I mean, it was so incredibly moving.

BERMAN: Look, it's stirring watching him behind the drums there. He is just all in. You can feel the emotion pouring out of him as he's playing. Remarkable to see. I get chills just watching it.

Other concert news. The Weeknd walked off the stage mid-song and then came back and said he lost his voice. That's kind of a bummer.

FRANCE: Yes, and not just a bummer for the audience but also for him. He was super upset about it.

I believe we have a bit of his statement that he tweeted out about how upset he was that he had to cancel. He said, "My voice went out during the first song and I'm devastated. Felt it go and my heart dropped. My deepest apologies to my fans here. I promise I'll make it up to you with a new date."

Some people actually thought it might have been part of a show that he's doing with HBO called "The Idol" because they had earlier seen his co-star on stage filming what appeared to be a scene from the show. So people, at first, weren't quite sure if it was really happening. And so, some people even, like, stuck around after it was clear that the concert was done because they were like well maybe it's a bit, you know, because he's been known to pretend he's had plastic surgery.


FRANCE: He loves to do makeup and stuff like that. So people weren't sure if he was being serious.

But he was very serious about it and extremely upset about it. He literally said during the concert, as he was announcing it, that it was killing him. So he hates to disappoint his fans.

KEILAR: Oh, yes. I'm a big fan and so is my family. My 6-year-old is always saying "Mommy, play that save your -- 'Save Your Tears' for another day song." And so, I do, often, in the car.

More than 50 years, Lisa, after The Beatles broke up they're still making news, actually. There's a piece of the wall from the Ed Sullivan show where they performed in 1964 that is up for auction this month, autographed by all four members of the Fab Four.


KEILAR: And the bidding starts at $600,000.

FRANCE: Yes, not surprised by that at all. I mean, this was a pivotal pop culture moment. It was what basically sent The Beatles into the stratosphere in terms of being one of the hugest groups of all time.

I'd like to go on the record, by the way, and say that you can actually love The Beatles and The Rolling Stones at the same time. I do.

But in terms of The Beatles, having this wall go up for auction is such a major deal. I think it's going to bring in tons of money. And we only have two of The Beatles left. We only have Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. So it's just the perfect piece of Beatles memorabilia.

So I feel like the three of us -- I feel like we should just put in together and buy it.

BERMAN: We can't even buy one letter of one of the names.


Like, no, we can't even, like -- are you kidding me? If someone wants to buy it and gift it to us that would be wonderful. I mean, I would be willing to accept it as a gift.

FRANCE: On board with that as well. On board with that as well.

BERMAN: Or we can buy the letter p. I mean, one or the other.

KEILAR: I will just -- I'd like one of the little faces -- one of the caricatures. That would be nice if anyone --


KEILAR: -- is shopping for us.

FRANCE: Just chip it out. Chip it out for us.

KEILAR: Exactly.

FRANCE: Why not?

KEILAR: Lisa, thank you. It's so great to have you this morning. FRANCE: Thank you.

KEILAR: And NEW DAY continues right now.

America's closest ally getting a new leader just moments ago.

Good morning to viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. It is Monday, September 5. I'm Brianna Keilar with John Berman.