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New Day Saturday

Bannon to Defy Subpoena From Jan 6 Panel at Trump's "Direction"; McConnell Says He Won't Cooperate With Dems Again on Debt Limit; U.S. Now Averaging Fewer Than 100K new COVID-19 Cases a Day; U.S. Adds 194,000 Jobs in September; Women in Afghanistan Protest and Return to Work, School and the Streets. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired October 09, 2021 - 06:00   ET




BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Boris Sanchez.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Laura Jarrett in for Christi Paul. Nice to see you, Boris. Party infighting, a subpoena showdown and a fight for the truth. A chaotic week on Capitol Hill leaves lawmakers staring down a tsunami of challenges.

SANCHEZ: Plus, a potential turning point in the pandemic. For the first time in two months, the U.S. now averaging fewer than 100,000 new COVID cases a day.

JARRETT: Also, a major blow for reproductive freedom in Texas. A U.S. appeals court reinstates the abortion ban. What happens now?

SANCHEZ: Thank you so much for waking up with us bright and early this Saturday, October 9th. A pleasure to have you, Laura, and welcome you to weekend NEW DAY.

JARRETT: So great to be with you, Boris. You know I love mornings.

SANCHEZ: You're used to it, right? Yes.

JARRETT: Exactly.

SANCHEZ: Yes. Absolutely.

JARRETT: We're going to have fun. Lots of news to get to today.

SANCHEZ: That's right. Up first, chaos in Congress, lawmakers facing a wave of challenges, including a fight over subpoenas and executive privilege.

JARRETT: That's right. Former Trump's adviser, Steve Bannon, is defying a subpoena from the House committee investigating the January 6th insurrection because his former boss told him to. The former president claims certain documents sought by this committee are protected by executive privilege, but the current president doesn't agree. The Biden administration says it will not assert privilege over the documents that the House wants.

SANCHEZ: And if all of that wasn't enough, there is drama over the debt ceiling. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell -- I should say Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warning President Biden he will not cooperate on raising the debt limit when the issue comes up again in December.

JARRETT: CNN congressional reporter Daniella Diaz joins us live from Capitol Hill. Daniella, good morning. Let's focus here on McConnell. He's agreed to this temporary deal with the Democrats to keep the country from defaulting on its debts, but now he says to the president don't count on his help again. What's going on here?

DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Well, it's no surprise, Laura and Boris. Good morning. Happy to see you on Saturday morning, Laura. This is no surprise here because McConnell had already warned earlier this year that he would not help Democrats with raising the debt ceiling in the first place. You know, lots of tension here this week after McConnell reached an agreement with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to allow a suspension, temporary I should add, suspension to the debt ceiling so that Democrats would have to address this in early December again.

You know, this has been happening with not just the debt ceiling but government funding, the raising of the debt ceiling, this has been things that Congress keeps punting to December where -- December's going to be busy. They're going to have to address this.

But going back to what's happening with this letter that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sent to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, this is what he said. He said, "Senator Schumer marched the nation to the doorstep of disaster. Embarrassingly, it got to the point where senators on both sides were pleading for leadership to fill the void and protect our citizens. I stepped up."

You know, he made clear in this letter, Laura and Boris, that he is not going to help Democrats in December. Early December is when this deadline ends, when we reach this deadline. He's not going to help them again to address the debt ceiling. So now Democrats are going to have to figure out how to go at this alone and they did not want to do that.

Majority Leader Schumer wanted this to be bipartisan. It's been bipartisan since 2011 to raise the debt ceiling, but defaulting the nation, defaulting on its debt would be disastrous for the economy of this country and of the world and Democrats recognize that.

So it's going to be really busy these next few months as they figure out how they're going to deal with this and not only that, the massive tax and spending bill, the economic bill that they are trying to pass and of course government funding. So lots of deadlines that they're going to have to work on these next two months. It's going to be really busy here, Laura, Boris.

JARRETT: Yes. This letter from McConnell seems more obsessed with Chuck Schumer than it does actually address the debt, but we'll leave that for another day, Daniella. Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Thanks, Daniella. Let's get some perspective now from CNN political commentator and political anchor for "Spectrum News," Errol Louis. Good morning, Errol. Always great to see you. We'll talk about Mitch McConnell in just a moment, but first I want to get your take on the fight over subpoenas and executive privilege when it comes to the Select Committee on January 6th.

The former president, Donald Trump, trying to block documents and potentially testimony from the committee, giving cover to allies like Steve Bannon who refused to comply. It strikes me that Bannon hasn't worked at the White House since 2017. He's not in the executive branch, hasn't been in a while. President Trump is no longer the executive. So in your mind, is this just a delay tactic? Does this have any actual merit?


ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning, Boris, and thank you for pointing that out. Donald Trump, at this point, has as much right to invoke executive privilege as you or I. The privilege belongs to the office, not to an individual. This really shows more than anything that Donald Trump has a hold not over -- not only over the Republican Party but over his past aides and over anybody who wants to sort of act at the national level on the side of the right.

They do what he tells them to do at legal peril and at whatever cost without any thought to, you know, logic, common sense or what is inevitable. It is inevitable, Boris, that the information being sought by Congress will be had by Congress. The legal exposure that Steve Bannon is recklessly opening himself to is not going to work. It's not going -- they're not going to hide this information forever and to do so simply because Donald Trump told them to is incredibly not only radical but reckless and futile.

We are going to find out what happened on that day. There were too many witnesses, too many cameras, eyewitnesses who, in this case, happened to be members of Congress. We're going to get to the bottom of it and this delaying tactic I think just shows exactly how much of a hold Donald Trump still has over, again, not just the party but over his former staffers.

SANCHEZ: You know, Errol, I try to claim executive privilege all the time and nobody listens, but let's pivot now to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. He's in a bit of a bind, right? He's getting slammed by the former president for relenting and finally coming to the table on the debt ceiling. Some of his fellow senators have also been very critical, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham openly questioning his strategy. Do you see this as a moment of weakness for Mitch McConnell? Do you think his power is waning?

LOUIS: No, no. This speaks to, unfortunately, what politics has devolved to at the highest level, which is they were threatening to crash the economy, plunge this country into a depression almost without a doubt and to do so for purely partisan reasons that have nothing to do with actually getting the budget under control even if there were some kind of rationale behind this.

We're talking again about approving money that was already spent, that was already allocated by Republican-led majorities by the way over the last decade or so. They ran up the bill and to now act as if it's an acceptable partisan maneuver to default on it, you know, it would have implications that go far beyond this Congress, far beyond this decade. It would really be a very radical measure for members of McConnell's minority in the Senate to urge him to do this and to show public disgust because he didn't crash the economy, he didn't wreck the credibility of the United States.

It really just shows you kind of what a moment we're at because it's not over any principle that anybody has enunciated. It's simply over why didn't you do the best thing that you could to make life miserable for Democrats and, oh, by the way, if it destroys the economy or the credibility of the government going forward, that's a small price to pay. That's what radicals say and that's what radicals are attempting to do.

Mitch McConnell happened not to go along with it this time, but it's a remarkable conversation to be having at all.

SANCHEZ: Yes. And it's indicative of the state of politics when you note, as you did, that the debt ceiling has been raised by both parties. It was suspended for three years under Donald Trump, so it's not really an ideological disagreement at that point. Errol Louis, we got to leave the conversation there. Always appreciate your time.

LOUIS: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: We pivot now to some promising signs in the fight against COVID. Hospitalizations and daily cases are down, but experts warn this battle is far from over.

JARRETT: Plus, odd behavior. That's how police are describing the reaction from Brian Laundrie's parents after he initially disappeared. We have the latest on the manhunt next.




SANCHEZ: We've got some good news to share with you on the COVID pandemic. Health experts are cautiously optimistic that, as the seven- day average of new COVID cases here in the U.S. dips below 100,000 for the first time in two months, we may be getting closer to normal.

JARRETT: Well, and that's the hope and take a look at this: Hospitalizations, which we know are that lagging indicator, they're also at their lowest point since August with COVID patients taking up fewer than 25 percent of ICU beds nationwide.

SANCHEZ: The steady decline comes as Pfizer is seeking FDA authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11. CNN's Polo Sandoval has more.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The nation's COVID-19 hospitalization rate is at its lowest point in nearly two months. Add to that the average number of new COVID cases each day, which fell below 100,000 this week for the first time since August, it's clear to many health experts that most of the nation is on the right path with over 65 percent of eligible Americans to receive COVID-19 shots being fully vaccinated.

DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: There are some communities that are really well vaccinated and really well protected and then there are pockets of places that have very little protection and the virus isn't stupid. It's going to go there.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): That's what concerns both the current White House and the last. Admiral Brett Giroir served as COVID testing czar under the Trump administration. He agrees that the nation is at a promising point, but the war against COVID is far from over.

ADMIRAL BRETT GIROIR (RET), FORMER HHS ASST. SECY. FOR HEALTH UNDER PRESIDENT TRUMP: This was associated with an increase in vaccination rate, more testing and about doubling of the mask wearing. So the American people did the right things, but we are not out of the woods yet. As the surgeon general says, there are still a lot of Americans who do not have natural immunity and who have not been vaccinated. They are still susceptible.


SANDOVAL (voice-over): While most of the lower 48 seems to be turning a corner, Alaska remains on high COVID alert. This week, state health officials reported a COVID case count five times greater than the national average. According to the Health Department, 20 of the state's medical facilities implemented crisis standards of care. That's a last resort when medical personnel have to ration care.

Pfizer's race to secure emergency use authorization for its vaccine continues for children 5 to 11, as will its trials according to the company. Vaccine advisers at the CDC will meet in the next couple of weeks to discuss Moderna and J&J boosters and early November to discuss pediatric COVID vaccination. That reduces the likelihood that U.S. children 11 and under will begin receiving shots before Halloween. Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.


JARRETT: Polo, thank you so much for that. Joining me now to continue this conversation is Dr. Rob Davidson. He's an emergency room physician in west Michigan and executive director of the Committee to Protect Public Health. Doctor, thank you so much for joining me. Nice to see you.

So we know hospitalizations, deaths, even daily new cases are down. That's a good thing of course, but we've been here before and I think back to all the optimism we all had in the spring back in May. Have we now reached the point where our hope is actually grounded in something real because more people are vaccinated?

DR. ROB DAVIDSON, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: Listen, I try to be an optimist and I try to be hopeful, but I remember in March we had a big wave in Michigan and particularly in west Michigan and I remember a shift I worked where we had no COVID patients and high fiving my partner next to me, saying, listen, we're going to get through this. This may be the last of it for us because we knew vaccines were out there, we knew that we got past that wave.

And right now in west Michigan, I just don't see it. I saw a "New York Times" headline saying "Covid in Retreat" the other day and it just sort of triggered me because I had just worked a couple of shifts in a row where I had six, seven people sitting in the emergency department waiting for beds at other hospitals that didn't exist, waiting for ambulances that were, you know, six, seven hours away from being able to bring them to those places.

COVID and non-COVID because of course when the system gets completely overwhelmed, people with chest pain, people with other problems, they also have to wait to get their definitive care. And so, yes, I'm hopeful, but I still live in a county that's about 40 percent vaccinated and we don't see that number going much above that, you know, in the ensuing months.

JARRETT: Well, this is why it's so important to actually talk to people who are on the ground. You know, the numbers are one thing, but you're the one who's living this every day and you tweeted something this week that got my attention. You called it the untold story of COVID right now. Unvaccinated people in their 50s coming into your hospital, they end up on a vent. Thankfully they aren't dying, but they do end up with posttraumatic stress from this experience. Tell me more about what you're seeing.

DAVIDSON: Yes. I mean, that stemmed from a couple of days. I worked a shift in the ICU again because we're so overwhelmed. We have ER docs going and helping out in the ICU because there's too many patients and every patient I had that day was in their 50s, unvaccinated and had been on a ventilator for at least a month and so you get to a point as a patient when you're on a ventilator that long, they take the tube out of your throat, then they actually cut a little hole in your neck and put you on a ventilator through a tracheostomy.

And eventually the outcome is you end up in a long-term care facility doing rehab and trying to get back on your feet. We know a study came out of University of Michigan last week showing 25 percent of people who survived COVID-19 who spent time in the ICU end up with PTSD.

And then I worked a shift in my rural ER in west Michigan and I had to run upstairs and intubate a 50-some-year-old patient, unvaccinated, who I just had admitted the night before on a simple nasal cannula oxygen and now they were sort of heading down this path and I just need people to understand, I think we all do, that not dying from COVID is a great thing, but that isn't the only metric that we should be using. JARRETT: Yes. And the -- and the trauma there is real and it's significant. Finally, doctor, as we head into these colder months, as we head into the holiday season with this hope, what practical advice do you have for people who are vaccinated? Of course the advice for people who are unvaccinated is get your shot, but I'm asking you this because it Dr. Fauci and others caught some heat earlier this week for sort of equivocating about whether it's safe for people to get together for Christmas. What's your message to people?

DAVIDSON: Listen, I think people should be prepared to wear masks when they're inside, right? If you're amongst all vaccinated people without symptoms ...


DAVIDSON: ... feel free to take off your masks and live it up. But if you're in a situation where you just don't know, you don't know the status of those people, I think you should be prepared to wear a mask, I think we should be waiting to see -- when your time to get a booster comes up, we should do that and I think we should continue to champion those public officials who are supporting mandates for masks and mandates for vaccines because so many voices are coming out against these common sense approaches.


DAVIDSON: We need to have people stepping up in support of them.

JARRETT: That's what's going to get us out of this. Dr. Rob Davidson, thank you so much for your time, sir. Appreciate it.



SANCHEZ: Coming up, we have new details in the Gabby Petito investigation. Police now saying they were tracking Brian Laundrie before he disappeared. What that means next.


SANCHEZ: So after nearly a month of searching for Brian Laundrie, police say there are still no signs of him.

JARRETT: Yes. The search is centered in this nature reserve near Laundrie's home in North Point where his parents directed the police to go look. CNN's Athena Jones reports why police are describing Laundrie's parents' behavior as, quote, "odd" and how they refused to talk about Gabby Petito when they first reported their son missing.


ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the search for Gabby Petito's fiance Brian Laundrie approaches its fourth week, no police activity visible Friday at the Carlton Nature Reserve where Laundrie's parents believe he went before disappearing. [06:25:05]

Meanwhile, new details emerging about the period after Laundrie returned home in Petito's white van without Petito on September 1st and before Laundrie left his parents' home on September 13, telling them he was headed to the 25,000 acre reserve. North Port, Florida police now revealing they were watching Laundrie before he left but were limited in what they could do because he had not been charged with a crime.

JOSH TAYLOR, SPOKESPERSON, NORTH PORT POLICE DEPT.: If you talk to a lot of people who have experience in law enforcement, the guy goes for a walk in the Carlton Reserve, he's not wanted for a crime, I mean, what are we -- what are we supposed to do? We're going to tree to tree, tree to tree, following him back through the woods? I mean, you know, it just wasn't there with the information we had in this case.

JONES (voice-over): Petito's remains were found in Wyoming on September 19th, the coroner ruling it a homicide. Police say they never spoke with Laundrie before he left the home he and Petito shared with his parents. They did not see or speak with him during their visit on September 11th, the day Petito's parents reported her missing.

Authorities visited the home again on September 17th when Laundrie's parents reported him missing, but refused to answer questions about Petito's whereabouts, behavior police described as "odd." Police did not see or speak with Brian during that visit.

Police also confirming they do not have the cell phones Laundrie or Petito used during their cross country trip. CNN previously reported Laundrie bought a new cellphone from an AT&T store in North Port on September 4th and that he left it behind on September 13th. Laundrie has not been charged in connection with Petito's death, but he is suspected of using a debit card Petito's family says belonged to her to access over $1,000 after her death. A federal warrant has been issued for his arrest.

In an interview with "Fox News" that aired Thursday, Petito's family pleading with Laundrie to turn himself in.

NICOLE SCHMIDT, GABBY PETITO'S MOTHER: People want to know how I'm feeling and that's -- I'm feeling -- I'm upset, you know? I want to -- just turn yourself in. That's all I want. It's just getting more and more frustrating as days go on.


JONES: The Laundrie family tells CNN they are hopeful Brian Laundrie is still alive. Petito's family calls Brian Laundrie the missing piece of the puzzle. They believe he has all the answers to what happened to Gabby Petito. Athena Jones, CNN, New York.

SANCHEZ: Thanks for that report, Athena. The economic recovery hitting a roadblock after a second disappointing jobs report. What will it take for the job market to fully recover? We'll hear from an expert after a quick break.



JARRETT: Welcome back. President Biden is trying to frame the latest job numbers as progress in the nation's economic recovery.

SANCHEZ: Yes, progress, even though hiring fell well short of expectations last month for the second month in a row, just a 194,000 jobs added in September.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES: So in the past three months, we've seen a drop of 1.3 million long-term unemployed. That's the largest three months long-term unemployment since we started keeping records in 1948. More to do but great progress.


SANCHEZ: CNN's Christine Romans takes a deeper look inside the latest numbers and what they reveal about the state of the U.S. economy.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Laura, Boris, hiring slowed in September, a setback as the Delta variant raged through the American economy, 194,000 jobs added back well below the very strong hiring seen earlier in the Summer. The economy is still down 5 million jobs since this pandemic began. At this pace, it would take more than two years to recover the rest of those jobs lost. It is a disappointment, some economists thought now that enhanced jobless benefits have expired and schools reopen in person, that companies will be able to hire more workers.

Instead, hiring managers report labor shortages persist. Wages by the way rose a strong 4.6 percent from a year ago, employers are now paying more to attract and retain workers especially in low wage industries. Leisure and hospitality added about 74,000 jobs back, but that was less than expected. Meantime, the economy lost education jobs just at back-to-school time. The government noting that the pandemic has so distorted the jobs market, it is challenging to interpret these numbers, also hard to interpret are jobless rate that fell from 5.2 percent to 4.8 percent. That is a strong number, but 183,000 people simply left the labor market, they are no longer counted as unemployed.

Since the pandemic began, 3.1 million fewer people are in the labor force. COVID broke the jobs market, it will take more time to fix it. Boris, Laura?

SANCHEZ: Christine Romans, thank you for that. And joining us to get some analysis on these jobs numbers, CNN economics and political commentator Catherine Rampell, she's also an opinion columnist for "The Washington Post". Good morning Catherine, always great to have your expertise on the second month disappointing job growth. Experts had an outlook of I think half a million jobs. This is less than half of that. What stands out to you in this report?


CATHERINE RAMPELL, OPINION COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: I think the COVID pandemic. The Delta variant's fingerprints are all over this report. As Christine pointed out, there had been hopes that we would have somewhat of a rebound this past front in job growth because of the federal unemployment benefit expansions expiring and schools reopening and that meaning parents could finally have more of their child care issues put aside.

And instead, what we saw is that even healthcare lost jobs presumably in part because hospitals and other facilities are putting off elective or non-emergency care, and that costs jobs. We've seen that the school numbers are a little iffy as well, it's not clear in terms of educational hiring, it's not clear how much of that is just some seasonal weirdness because as Christine pointed out, it's a little bit difficult to properly gauge things when the calendar has shifted so much for schools in terms of when they're hiring. But that's also perhaps partly because schools are still shutting down, right?

There are COVID out breaks which is disrupting not only employment on those campuses, but the employment of the parents of those children who aren't being displaced once again.

SANCHEZ: Catherine, the unemployment rate as we've noted, 4.8 percent or still plenty of help wanted signs out there. But it appears that a lot of Americans are simply sitting on the sidelines. What's keeping so many people at home? Is it the Delta variant?

RAMPELL: I think it's a combination of things. Part of it is the Delta variant, some of these jobs continue to be high risk if they're -- you know, require face-to-face interaction with customers or other co- workers. So, that's part of it. And if you look at the data, it suggests that there are people who are saying I'm staying out of the workforce for now because I'm still worried about the pandemic, I'm worried about exposure to vulnerable members of my family, children who can't get vaccinated, et cetera.

But it's also, I think, kind of a giant reassessment by many workers about what their career goals and objectives are. You have a lot of people who have been burnt out in the past year and a half including in healthcare as I mentioned, that's had some difficulty in hiring. But in lots of other industries as well, people are re-evaluating what they want to do with their lives. Do they want a more humane job? Do they want higher paying job? Some people are saying, I want a break from the grind all together for a little while, and of course, as mentioned, you know, there are still major child care disruptions.

So, if you are a parent and you are trying to reliably return to work, that remains difficult because traditional child care facilities, pre- schools, et cetera, are still dealing with major closures and schools are having these intermittent closures requiring children to quarantine. So, for all of those reasons, people are sitting on the sidelines for a little while longer as things stabilize and as they re-evaluate their own plans. SANCHEZ: And we'll have to keep watching to see if at some point the

U.S. gathers momentum to try to make up for some of the losses across the pandemic in the jobs market. We have to leave the conversation there. Catherine Rampell, thank you so much.

RAMPELL: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

JARRETT: All right, coming up for you, a show of defiance and a sign of bravery. Women and girls return to the streets, schools and work in Afghanistan. We will take you there next. But first, this week's CNN Hero is a survivor of the Boston Marathon Bombing. Eight years ago, Heather Abbott was hit by one of the blasts near the finish line. On Monday, she will be back by the finish line.


HEATHER ABBOTT, SURVIVED BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING): I heard the first explosion just ahead in front of me, the next thing I knew, a second explosion occurred just to my right. And that was the last thing I knew before I went (INAUDIBLE) on the ground.

I was in the hospital for several days while doctors were deciding whether or not to amputate. It was hard to come to terms with the fact that I'm amputee at first, and had my injury not happened in such a public way, where there was so much assistance available, I never would have been able to afford multiple prosthesis.

These are my recent beneficiaries. So I decided to just do what I could to help people get those devices that simply couldn't get them because they were out of reach. It has been life-changing for them, and a lot of them remind me of that. It feels very rewarding to be able to do that.


JARRETT: Just an amazing story of perseverance there. To see Heather's full story, go to



JARRETT: For so many women and girls in Afghanistan, life isn't what it used to be now that the Taliban is back in control. And many fear that things will never be the same, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Yes, but in a show of defiance, many are now protesting and returning to work and school. CNN's Clarissa Ward has more.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A handful of women stand quietly, but defiantly. They're here to protest the Taliban's de facto ban on girls going to school after fifth grade, a small act of great courage.


Taliban fighters start to pour in, their heavily-armed presence a menacing question mark. A new arrival appears unsure of whether to get out of the car. For a moment, it seems the Taliban may have come to protect the women, but the illusion is quickly shattered.


WARD: Someone from the Taliban has just come in telling everyone to put away their cameras, it's getting a little tense over there. A senior Talib rips a phone out of one woman's hands, these men shove journalists back. We try to keep filming, but the Taliban don't want the world to see.

(on camera): They're ripping the women's posters. No, put it away. Put it away.


(voice-over): A machine gun burst sends a clear message, the protest is over. Mau Nadin Nasser Talal(ph) tells us, he is the head of the Taliban's intelligence services in Kabul, and that the women did not have permission to protest.

(on camera): Why does a small group of women asking for their right to be educated threaten you so much?

"I respect women's rights, I respect human rights", he says. "If I didn't respect women you wouldn't be standing here."

Would you have given them permission if they had asked for one? "Yes, of course", he says, "we would have." But permissions are illusive and previous protests have met a similar fate. On the streets of Herhana(ph) neighborhood, the consequences of one recent demonstration can still be seen. At almost every beauty salon, images of women's faces have been defaced as if to erase them from public life completely. The women inside this salon are too scared to appear on camera.


(voice-over): I asked them about the posters outside.

(on camera): Who did it?


WARD: The Taliban did it?


WARD (voice-over): The Taliban came and drove away the protesters. Then they cursed us and said to remove the posters, they tell me. They told us to put on a burqa and sit in our homes. But this city is full of brave women like Arzo Khaliqyar who refuse to do that. The activist and mother of five says she was forced to become a taxi driver when her husband was murdered one year ago, leaving behind his car but little else.

(on camera): Tell me a little bit about how life has changed for you since the Taliban took power?

ARZO KHALIGYAR, TAXI DRIVER (through translator): A lot of changes, too many. I'm sorry -- I'm sorry.

WARD: It's OK. Take your time. It's OK.

KHALIGYAR: Since the Taliban regime has come to power, it has become very difficult.

WARD (voice-over): She offers to take us for a ride. It's another small act of courageous resistance. While the Taliban have not officially banned women from driving, she says she has received threats, and that the militants hit her car two weeks ago as a warning.

(on camera): I see the men. They stare at you.


WARD: They look at you --


WARD (voice-over): It's not long before she picks up a fare. Usually she prefers to take women and stay in areas she's familiar with.

(on camera): Are you aware of the risks that you're taking when you go out every day and do your work?

KHALIGYAR: Yes, and some places where I see Taliban check points, I'm forced to go through a street or change my route, but I accepted this risk for the sake of my children.

WARD (voice-over): On the other side of town, English teacher Atifa Watanyar is also working hard to give her students a better future.

ATIFA WATANYAR, TEACHER: Please open your books --

WARD: The past year has not been easy. In May, a horrific bombing targeted the Syed Al-Shahada school where she teaches, taking more than 80 innocent lives.

(on camera): So, you were here when the explosions happened?

WATANYAR: Yes, I was in front of the door.

WARD: You were in front of the door, did you see it with your own eyes?

WATANYAR: Yes, I saw a very huge explosion in front of the other door. WARD (voice-over): Incredibly, the school reopened, but weeks later,

the Taliban swept to power and announced that for the time being, from 6th through 12th grade, only boys should come to school.


(on camera): It's just very striking that a bomb was not able to stop these girls coming to school --


WARD: But now, the Taliban has been able to stop them from coming to school.

WATANYAR: Yes, it's true. Every day I see Taliban in the streets I become -- I'd be afraid.

WARD: But you're still coming here every day, you're still teaching?

WATANYAR: Yes, what should we do? What should we do? It's just the thing that we can do for our children, for our daughters, for our girls.

WARD (voice-over): In the 5th grade classroom, the girls are excited to test their English skills.



WARD (on camera): I want you to raise your hand if you love school. Wow! Everybody loves school.

(voice-over): This may well be the last year they get to come and study, yet they are still full of hope for the future.

(on camera): Raise your hand to tell me what you want to be when you grow up? What do you want to be?


WARD: Doctor, OK. Who else wants to be a doctor? Oh, wow. There are a lot of doctors.

(voice-over): Sixteen-year-old Sanam(ph) used to have dreams, too. She wanted to be a dentist. The explosion at her school left her with serious injuries, but she was brave enough to go back for the sake, she says, of her close friend who could not.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I felt that I must go back and study for the peace of her soul. I must study and build my country so that I can make her wishes and dreams come true.

WARD (on camera): So, right now you cannot go to school. How does that make you feel? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I feel all of my dreams are

crushed and buried, for I won't be allowed to go to school and study. All my motivation is completely gone.


WARD: It's OK, take a minute. It's OK. If you want to stop, we can stop. It's OK.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): No, Taliban -- the Taliban are the people who -- they are the cause of the situation I am in right now. My spirit is gone. My dreams are buried.

WARD (voice-over): And yet recently, she has started to read her books again and study a little bit every day, just one more small act of great courage. Clarissa Ward, CNN, Kabul.


SANCHEZ: An incredible report from Clarissa Ward, thank you. Bundle up, it's only October, but a round of four storms could bring snow to some parts of the country. We're going to show you the map and tell you where it's coming next.



SANCHEZ: After a week of severe flooding and heavy rain in the southeast, relief is finally on the way.

JARRETT: And Boris, get this, I kid you not. It looks like the first snow of the season is coming. It's only October. CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar is tracking what's ahead. Allison, I don't even have a pumpkin yet. Where is this coming from? When are we going to see snow?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I know, technically, just a few weeks ago, we transitioned into Fall. But yes, take a look at this video coming out of Lake Tahoe, California. Now, this was from yesterday, a lot of that snow coming down, and this is the system that's now making its way over Intermountain West for today. So, this is going to be the main focus of this system at least for today. Now, this is one of two systems, however, that's going to make its way through this first one, not necessarily a huge snow-maker, it's really going to be the second system that's coming in on the hills of this first one.

That's where you're really going to get the bulk of the snow. So, through Wednesday, here's a look at your totals. You can see most areas in the valley, it's just a couple of inches, but the higher you go in elevation, now, you're starting to talk 10, 12, even 20 inches of snow. Obviously, you can't have snow without cold temperatures, and we've got some pretty cool significant areas looking at Salt Lake City, Reno for example, both about 15 degrees below normal.

Now, the flip side is on the other side of that system out ahead of the front. We're talking about extreme heats, we're talking 25 potential record highs today over 30 cities potentially having record highs today and tomorrow combined. Kansas City, Oklahoma City, all about 20 degrees above normal. Now, when you have that heat and that cold air crashing together, that is fuel for severe thunderstorms. So, we do have the potential for some severe storms today and the upper Midwest. For tomorrow, it's focused more into the southern plains.

Here is again, a look at that first system starting to slide in now. This one is mainly going to bring rain because again, these are the areas that are warmer than they are out west. So, you could be looking at several inches of snow here. So, Laura and Boris, we've got pretty much a little bit of everything for everyone on the map for today.

JARRETT: All right, Allison, thank you so much tracking it all, appreciate it.

SANCHEZ: Thanks Allison.

JARRETT: And a little weekend programming note for you here. The new CNN original series, "DIANA" introduces viewers to the person behind the princess. And reveals a life perhaps more complicated and fascinating than the world knew. "DIANA" premieres tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. right here on CNN, you don't want to miss that.