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King Charles First Visit to Ireland as Monarch; Consumer Inflation Eased Last Month; Columbia Admits to Inaccurate Data Submission. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired September 13, 2022 - 08:30   ET




JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, "5 Things to Know for Your New Day."

The Ukrainian rapid counteroffensive against Russian troops in the east and south has gained a remarkable amount of ground since the start of September. President Zelenskyy says about 2,300 square miles in total. No way to verify that. Analysts say that's nearly 10 percent of the territory lost to Moscow since the start of the war.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: The Justice Department has issued more than 30 subpoenas to those in former President Trump's orbit, including former White House political director Brian Jack, former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien and Trump's former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino. Meantime, the House January 6th committee is set to meet in person today as it debates whether to invite Trump and former Vice President Pence to appear.

BERMAN: Amtrak is preemptively suspending some of its cross-country connections ahead of a possible rail strike. Some 60,000 engineers are threatening to walk off the job as soon as Friday in a dispute over personal time. The White House is speaking to both sides in hopes of averting any labor action.

KEILAR: Some 15,000 nurses are making their rounds on the picket lines again today in Minnesota. It is the second day of a three-day work stoppage. They say management isn't listening to their concerns about staffing shortages and patient care. Hospitals are scrambling with replacement nurses. No new talks are scheduled.

BERMAN: A big night at the Emmy's. "Succession" took home best drama. "Ted Lasso" best comedy again. And "The White Lotus" led the night with five awards, including outstanding limited series. "Squid Games" star Lee Jung-jae took home the top acting prize, becoming the first star in a foreign language show to win best actor in a drama.

KEILAR: That is "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. BERMAN: So, for first time, Columbia University admits it admitted

inaccurate data to the "U.S. News and World Report" in 2021. The data resulted in a jump in ranking so extraordinary that one of the university's own math professors said it did not add up. Here is what U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said about the rankings system last month.


MIGUEL CARDONA, EDUCATION SECRETARY: Too often our best resource schools are chasing rankings that mean very little on measures that truly count. College completion, economic mobility, narrowing gaps in access to opportunity for all Americans, that system of ranking is a joke. In case I haven't been clear yet, allow me to restate it, we need a culture change in higher education now.


BERMAN: Oh, we'll come back to this.

Right now what you're seeing is King Charles in the Throne Room in Hillsborough Castle, in northern Ireland.

ALEX MASKEY, SPEAKER OF THE NORTHERN IRELAND ASSEMBLY: King Charles, during this period of public mourning for Queen Elizabeth, we are mindful that you and your family grieve on the passing of a mother, a grandmother, and a great grandmother. I hope that you and your family can take comfort from the appreciation and the warmth that has accompanied the tributes to the queen from across these islands and indeed across the world.


I would like to sympathize with you at this difficult time.

On the walls of parliament buildings (INAUDIBLE), there are images from two of Queen Elizabeth's visits. The first during the coronation tour in 1953, and the second for the Diamond Jubilee in 2012. It's extraordinary to consider how much social and political change Queen Elizabeth witnessed in the time between those visits and indeed throughout her long reign.

Yesterday an assembly of unionists, republicans, nationalists and those for whom the constitution is not a main focus united to pay tribute to the late queen. When she first came to the throne, no one would have anticipated an assembly so diverse and inclusive. Nor, I imagine, would it have been contemplated that someone from my own background and political tradition would be in this position in front of you today as speaker.

We can, of course, never forget that over the last decades too many have experienced tragedy and sorrow which will never leave them. And we have to understand that there are those for whom our political process has not yet been enough to ease their hurt and their pain. Thankfully, with the Good Friday Agreement, and other significant developments, in that time we have also seen great efforts to build a peace for the future as painstaking and frustrating as it may at times be.


Queen Elizabeth was not a distant observer in the transformation on progress of relationships in and between these islands. She personally demonstrated how individual acts of positive leadership can help break down barriers and encourage reconciliation.

Queen Elizabeth showed that a small but significant gesture, a visit, a handshake, crossing the street, or speaking a few words of Irish can make a huge difference in changing attitudes and building relationships. Her recognition of both the British (INAUDIBLE), as well as a wider diversity of our community was exceptionally significant. And all of this she personally underlined that one tradition is not diminished by reaching out to show respect to another. Of course such acts of leadership do not come without risks or the need for courage and determination to see them through. We are thankful for Queen Elizabeth's commitment and encouragement to building peace and reconciliation across these islands and indeed for all of those who seek to keep us moving toward that goal.

With the queen consort at your side, you now lead an institution with a long history on tradition. I represent the elected assembly of a society which has struggled with the legacy of our past and how to move on from it without leaving those we have suffered behind. During her visit to Dublin, Queen Elizabeth said that whatever life throws at us, our individual responses will be all the stronger for working together and sharing that load. Let us all pay heed to that.

As we remember Queen Elizabeth's positive leadership, let us all reflect that such leadership is still needed. And let us be honest with ourselves enough to recognize that too often that leadership has been lacking when it has been most required.

I want to acknowledge that your own words and actions over the years have already shown that you are seized of the importance of reconciliation and are committed to playing your full part in that. The challenge for all of us now is to renew the work that you and the late Queen Elizabeth have already done, and the responsibility on all of us as to work together to build a future for our whole community. In the time ahead, we will, of course, focus on that at the future of the -- on our future at the start of this new era.

However, the next few days will rightly be focused on a family, a nation and a world paying its respects on saying good-bye to Queen Elizabeth. Yesterday, in parliament buildings, members expressed the condolences and sentiments of those they represent in out community. The thoughts and the prayers of the assembly are with you and your family in your grief.


May she rest in peace.

KING CHARLES III: My lords, ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of all my family, I can only offer the most heartfelt thanks for your condolences.

I am here today at a time of great personal sorrow as we mark the death of my beloved mother after a life most faithfully dedicated to the duty to which she had been called. It is fitting that we should meet at Hillsborough, which my mother knew so well, and whose beautiful rose garden she always took such pleasure.

In the years since she began her long life of public service, my mother saw Northern Ireland pass through momentous and historic changes. Through all those years she never ceased to pray for the best of times, for this place and its people, whose stories she knew, whose sorrows our family have felt, and for whom she had a great affection and regard.

My mother felt deeply, I know, the significance of the role she herself played in bringing together those who history had separated and in extending a hand to make possible the healing of long held hurts.

At the very beginning of her life of service, the queen made a pledge to dedicate herself to her country and her people, and to maintain the principles of constitutional government.


This promise she kept with steadfast faith.

Now, with that shining example before me, and with God's help, I take up my new duties, resolved to seek the welfare of all the inhabitants of Northern Ireland.

During the years of my mother's reign, it has been a privilege to bear witness to such a devoted life. May it be granted to us all, to fulfill the tasks before us so well.

BERMAN: What you just saw was a remarkable moment of a kind of delicate diplomacy and grace. The speaker of the Northern Ireland assembly, someone who has been anti-royal for decades, a former member of Sinn Fein, someone who spent his life, in a way, seeking independence from Britain and the royal family, offering condolences to King Charles and the royal family for the loss of Queen Elizabeth.

And King Charles, who has made dozens and dozens of trips to Northern Ireland, but the first today as king, reciprocating with also a message of grace and looking forward to healing the wounds, the very real wounds from over the last several decades.

Clarissa Ward, to you first, that was a very unusual and important moment.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It absolutely was. And some of the words you heard there, from the speaker, that the queen was not a distant observer over the incredible, enormous and profound changes that have taken place over the past few decades. That she was able to break down barriers and encourage reconciliation often with small, symbolic gestures, speaking a few words of Irish, as she famously did, a handshake that in reference to the famous four second handshake that she had with the former leader of the IRA, and her ability with these sort of subdued but symbolic moments to kind of assert a leadership and promote a unity that has been so sorely lacking. And he alluded to the tensions, of course, that still exist in this part of, you know, Northern Ireland and in Ireland, particularly in the wake of Brexit, but he also emphasized that this moment and the coming days are all about marking the death and expressing condolences to the family, to the nation, and to the entire world as they go about mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

And you heard King Charles, I think, really reciprocate that notion as well, saying that she had a unique ability to bring together those who history had separated. And I think there's a very real understanding that that mantle and that duty and responsibility now weighs on his shoulders. And talking to the crowds here outside Buckingham Palace, there does seem to be a sense of confidence that he can step up to this moment and continue that kind of subdued apolitical statesmanship with all the importance of the symbolism that the monarchy brings to the table.

KEILAR: Catherine, I think of a moment, I believe it was 2015, right, where then Prince Charles actually went to the village where his uncle had been assassinated. Obviously, so many years later. But someone who is so important in the family. So when you're talking about reconciliation, and you're talking about peace, this is something that is very personal to the monarch and has been modeled by the queen, the late queen, and by him as well.


CATHERINE OSTLER, FORMER EDITOR, "TATLER MAGAZINE": Yes, absolutely. That was an amazing moment of sort of visible forgiveness.

I think what we're seeing, what we got from the queen and what we're now seeing from Charles is this incredible kind of unique combination of sort of self-effacement and spectacle where we get these wonderful sort of magnificent sort of visible signs of constitutional monarchy. But also the sense that it is about duty and conciliation and the power of something being above politics and how they can say the words, he just put it beautifully though himself I think when he said, he was talking about the healing of long held hurts, that they can go somewhere that no politician can go because they will always be on one side or the other. And how sort of -- really sort of magical that is.

And somebody wrote the other day, a constitutional monarchy is something the works and practice and not in theory. And I think that's absolutely it. People who call for republics, but then we can't really explain why this suddenly (ph) mystical situation that we have here has so much undeniable power.

BERMAN: You know, Emily, it's striking in a sense because it's one thing for republicans in Northern Ireland, including the house speaker, Alex Maskey there, to accept the presence of Queen Elizabeth. She had a 70 year reign. Her reign predates the troubles. There's a -- you can understand an acceptance of that in a way. But this is a unique moment where in a way you are having, because of your now official position, to welcome in a new monarch.

But what was striking to me was how both the speaker and the king, they move beyond that by making it personal. The speaker reached out to offer his personal condolences and his personal appreciation for what Queen Elizabeth had done. And King Charles, again, reciprocated on a personal level.

EMILY NASH, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: Absolutely. There was so much humanity on both sides there. And I think, particularly for Alex Maskey, I thought it was very striking that he acknowledged the fact that Charles had also brought a lot to the table in terms of working toward reconciliation. It's almost as though he's saying, you know, you've not come in -- out of the cold on this. You have been doing the work behind the scenes and we appreciate that. And it has been something that Charles has been working on for many years on his regular, regular visits. And it's something that he's very keen to continue.

KEILAR: Our Nic Robertson is in Belfast.

Nic, how do you think this visit, this day with King Charles, his first to Northern Ireland as monarch, will be remembered?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: I think for the moments that we've just heard there, both from the speaker of Northern Ireland's assembly, Alex Maskey, who, obviously, as we're discussing here, represents a party that is opposed to the monarchy, that is pro- United Ireland, to speak about what the queen did when she came here, back in 2012. I was here that day, remember that day, where she shook hands with the former paramilitary leader turned politician Martin McGuinness. It was a powerful moment. Alex Maskey, I remember when he was the first Sinn Fein, the first pro-United Ireland mayor of Belfast, voted in. I was in the chamber that night, 2002. And there was a huge raucous outcry.

But now, 20 years later, here he is the man giving that important speech there. And speaking about the importance of speaking in Irish. And he spoke in Irish. And that would be almost an anathema to some parts of the community here. And the importance, he said, that the queen had spoken in Irish. And sort of laying that on King Charles as well.

But I thought what was absolutely the most striking, particularly for people here from all sides of the community, was in the -- in the very subtle detail and nuance in what King Charles said, and I'll read it here. He was talking about his mother, the queen, saying, she prayed for a better life and times for this place and its people. He didn't say Northern Ireland. He didn't say Ireland. He said, this place. So, he didn't have to address that thorny issue of, do you see yourself as part of the United Kingdom or do you see yourself as part of Ireland?

And then he went on to say, as we've mentioned here in this discussion, the queen's important role of bringing together those who history have separated.

[08:50:00] Now, to the pro-United Ireland part of the community here, that might almost sound as a tip of the hat towards a United Ireland. These are such carefully nuanced words designed not to bring people together necessarily, but not to offend either side. And I think that's the significance of what he was trying to achieve here, of appealing to everyone. And I think very significant, again, that you had Alex Maskey of Sinn Fein, a political organization, opposed the monarchy, whose para militaries were responsible for killing King Charles's great uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten, here giving the speech. It represents how far people have moved on here and how much, and the king emphasized that, still needs to be done.

BERMAN: Yes, we just saw Alex Maskey right there with a look on his face, almost as if saying, I can't believe that I'm really here. But he was.

What an important moment where every word, almost every syllable matters so much.

Nic, Clarissa, Emily, Catherine, all of you, please stand by.

There's other big news here in the United States.

Moments ago, a key inflation report released giving us the latest snapshot in the economic recovery. We're going to break down the numbers, next.



BERMAN: All right, this just in, the August inflation reports.

CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans has the numbers.

What are you seeing?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Four words, cooling but too high. You've got the overall inflation number, 8.3 percent. That's a year-over-year number for August. Look, it had been higher than that, a 40-year high. So, we're glad to see the number wasn't the 8.5 percent from July. And month to month the increase was 0.1 percent.

But, John, I'm digging into some of these numbers. And it looks like, when you look at the line, that that looks like you're starting to see some peaking. And that's what we want to see. That's what the Fed wants to see. That's what the Fed's medicine is supposed to do.

But you get inside these numbers, some of the year-over-year increases here are really troubling. You've got gasoline prices up 25 percent year-over-year. Month to month, you know, you've seen some improvement in gas prices, and that's really important for the overall number. But, still, those numbers are really high.

Food, this category making some history here, the largest 12 month increase since 1979, going back to the bad old days were Paul Volker, then the Fed chief, had to really put the screws on the economy and almost shove it into a recession to get rid of the inflation there. And the shelter up 6.2 percent. That has been a sticky part of this inflation story here. You know, you can switch different kinds of meat at the grocery store, you can't just switch where you're living overnight. And so that's something that has been kind of enduring in the core inflation rate that we've been watching.

Again, core inflation, when you strip out volatile food and energy, that was - that was higher than we want to see for the month as well. So, I guess the overall story, signs of cooling, but the markets are reacting, you guys, as though the Fed still has a lot of work to do and a lot more medicine for this economy, John.

BERMAN: All right, cooling, but not as fast as the market was hoping. I think that can be sure this morning. The market doesn't really love what it saw over the last few minutes.

Christine Romans, thank you very much.

Other news this morning, Columbia University, again we mentioned this before, admitted that it is submitted inaccurate data to the "U.S. News and World Report" in 2021.

Rahel Solomon is with us to explain what happened.


RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, so this is a scandal not just for - and a black eye not just for Columbia University but really the whole system of ranking colleges.

So, this all began in February when a math professor at Columbia, his named is Michael Thaddeus, began questioning what was behind the university's meteoric rise from 18th place in 2020 to second in 2021. In a lengthy post on the university's math website, he said that initially, much like the rest of the university, he was pleased to see how well Columbia had ranked. He called it gratifying. But when he crunched the numbers in terms of class size and other metrics used in the rankings, the numbers didn't add up. He looked at data in key categories like undergraduate class size, percentage of faculty with the highest degree possible and student faculty ratio, and he compared what he found with what Columbia provided to "U.S. News and World," and he said that the discrepancies were at times quite large, but always favored Columbia.

So, in response to the controversy in June, the provost said that the New York Ivy would not submit data for consideration for 2022 and noted that it had changed methodologies for future submissions. It apologized. And on Friday added that the Columbia undergraduate experience is and always has been centered around small classes taught by highly accomplished faculty. That fact is unchanged. But anything less than complete accuracy in the data that we report, regardless of the size or the reason, is inconsistent with the standards of excellence to which Columbia holds itself. But the list has outlived the actual magazine, which stopped printing

in 2010. So you have to wonder if reducing universities to a single number or a ranking is the most effective or useful for students who are trying to understand, is this the best university for me or my major, or whether it's time for a different process all together. That same math professor saying later in that post that, look, Columbia is a great university. And based on its legitimate merits, it attracts students comparable to the best anywhere. But that by obsessively pursuing a ranking, it demeans itself.

BERMAN: Yes, look, and Christine Romans is here with us as well.

You talk to anyone in the education sector and they will tell you that they feel that these rankings have distorted priorities in the educational field in pursuit of higher learning.

ROMANS: Absolutely. There is a reach school rat race that I think is really harmful to students. That university, Columbia University, is $85,000 a year when you put all of the fees -- $85,000 a year and they're still scrambling to try to get to the top of that list. And I think that a lot of students stepping back from the ivies and stepping back from your reach (ph) schools, you know, that's a lot of money for a college education. And we've all kind of bought into this idea that you have to have the best, most expensive university to succeed in the American economy. And that's just not true. I heart state schools.

SOLOMON: And we -

ROMANS: I heart being able to pay back your debt in ten years or so. That's what you should (ph) strive for.

SOLOMON: We talked about this a lot with the student loan forgiveness program that just passed.


We know that higher education has doubled in the last 22 years, right? And so you have to wonder, has the value of higher education doubled in the last 22 years? It is really a head scratcher.

BERMAN: Look, I - the problem is, these schools can't unilaterally withdraw. These rankings still matter so much to them. So, this is something that needs to be dealt with.

Rahel Solomon, thank you so much.

ROMANS: Should be one data point for students. One data point.

BERMAN: Christine Romans, thank you, always, for your wisdom.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

BERMAN: CNN's coverage continues right now.