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New Day Saturday

Warrant: Alec Baldwin Didn't Know Prop Gun Contained Live Rounds; Alec Baldwin Fires Prop Gun on Set, Killing Cinematographer; Who Is Eligible For Which Booster Shot; Michigan Aims To Replace All Benton Harbor Lead Pipes In 18 Months; Benton Harbor, Michigan Water Crisis Dangerously Similar To Flint; Facebook Papers Paint Picture Of Company's Role In Insurrection. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired October 23, 2021 - 07:00   ET




RYAN NOBLES, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, and welcome to your NEWDAY. I'm Ryan Nobles, in this morning for Boris Sanchez.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christi Paul. There are some new details we have to share with you in that deadly prop gun shooting involving Alec Baldwin.

What we're learning about how this entire accident played out.

NOBLES: And the FDA says the Pfizer vaccine's benefits outweigh its risks in children. The impact that could have ahead of the FDA meeting to consider emergency youth authorization of that vaccine for children.

PAUL: And there's a state of emergency in one Michigan city because of contaminated water. The long-term fixes likely to cost millions of dollars. And the mayor is with us this morning.

NOBLES: A newly released documents paint a damning picture of Facebook's role in the January 6th insurrection. Why some staffers say the company is partially responsible.

PAUL: Well, I want to wish you a good morning. Rise and shine. It is a NEW DAY here. Saturday, October 23rd, and we are grateful for your company as always.

NOBLES: Yes, and now we're going to begin this morning with the tragic accident on the set of Alec Baldwin's latest movie. Court documents obtained by our affiliate KOAT, reveal that before Baldwin shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, the film's assistant director handed the actor the prop firearm and yelled, cold gun, meaning that it was safe to use and had no live rounds.

PAUL: Also, the L.A. Times and other media outlets reporting several crew members quit the movie days before the incident due to concerns over COVID protocol and safety issues, including gun safety procedures. CNN's Nick Watt has more for us.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via telephone): We've had two people accidentally shot on a movie set by a prop gun. We need help immediately.

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the set, the director Joel Souza was injured, the director of photography Halyna Hutchins was killed.

"Two individuals were shot on the set of Rust", according to the Santa Fe, New Mexico sheriff's office, "when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin."

Baldwin distraught in the sheriff parking lot after questioning. "The investigation remains open and active. No charges have been filed." A prop firearm should shoot only blanks.

BEN SIMMONS, FIREARMS INSTRUCTOR FOR ACTORS: With a blank round, you have everything that you would normally have in a real round, but you don't have the bullet on the end of it. So that when it fire, you do get the flash, you do get the bang, you get recoil, you get explosion, but you don't get the bullets flying out into the gun. And it doesn't mean the blank round is safe.

WATT: Hutchins posted this video the day before she died. Horse riding on the day off. One of the perks of choosing a western, she wrote.

Born in Ukraine, Hutchins started out as a journalist, then, moved to the U.S. to study and work in the movies. Named rising star in 2019 by American cinematographer magazine. She was 42.

JIM HEMPHILL, FILMMAKER AND JOURNALIST: And she kind of brought that eye that she had from documentaries and nonfiction filmmaking to, again, action movies and horror movie. So, they have the sort of immediacy and realism as well as the site for beauty that she had. And it was a really unique look.

WATT: A death on set like this, rare, but not unique.

Brandon Lee was shot and killed on the set of The Crow in '93. Blank was fired but this large part of a live round stuck in the barrel. In '84 on the set of the show Cover Up, actor Jon-Erik Hexum jokingly put a prop gun to his head and pulled the trigger, the pressure and wadding from the blank killed him.


WATT: Rust, starring and produced by Baldwin hinges on the accidental killing of a rancher in 1880's Kansas.

This morning, Baldwin tweeted, "There are no words to convey my shock and sadness. I'm fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna." (END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Great reporting there from CNN's Nick Watt.

The district attorney, by the way, has yet to say whether charges will be filed in this incident.

So, millions of people are eligible now to begin receiving COVID-19 vaccine booster shots. Any of the three authorized vaccines in the U.S., Pfizer, Moderna, or the Johnson and Johnson may be used for that booster dose.

NOBLES: But it's a not a complete free for all. CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen breaks it all down.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The FDA and the CDC have now greenlit boosters for all three vaccines that are available in the U.S. Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson. Moderna is the most recent. Let's take a look at the rules at who's eligible for a Moderna booster.

COHEN (voice-over): If your original vaccine was Moderna, then, you're eligible for a booster, if you're at least six months past your second maternal shot. And, either your age 65 or older, or you can be any age, but a frontline worker such as a doctor or a teacher or someone who's more likely to become infected with COVID-19, or people of any age with an underlying medical condition: For example, being overweight is an underlying medical condition, or having certain heart ailments.

Now, the FDA and the CDC already OK boosters for Pfizer and J&J recipients. So, let's take a look at those rules: For Pfizer, the same conditions for what we just laid out for Moderna. For Johnson and Johnson, it's different. It's two months after the original shot, that's when you become eligible. And it's for all recipients. You don't have to be a certain age or have a certain medical condition.

Now, the FDA and the CDC had made it clear that, yes, vaccine immunity is waning, but really the vaccine is still quite good, it is still quite protective, will help keep you out of the hospital, will help keep you from dying of COVID-19. But still, for these groups, they're eligible to go out and get their boosters now.

NOBLES: All right, Elizabeth Cohen, thank you very much.

Residents of a small town in Michigan are experiencing this country's water crisis firsthand. This week, the city of Benton harbor declared a state of emergency due to contaminated water.

PAUL: Yes, people in the town say the water is going to unsafe for years, but many now rely on bottled water for everyday use: cooking and bathing. CNN's Miguel Marquez has more for us.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Courtney Sherrod and her family of five go through a lot of bottled water.

COURTNEY SHERROD, RESIDENT, BENTON HARBOR: We got there about 200 bottles a week.

MARQUEZ: A week.

SHERROD: A week. I have three children and a big husband at home.

MARQUEZ: She says they sometimes go to the gym in the next town over just for a shower.

SHERROD: My children had to go to school the next day, so we went to The Y, and we make sure everybody took showers at The Y, the night before, so, they go to school.

MARQUEZ: The why is in a different town?

SHERROD: It's in Safe Joe.


SHERROD: With the water is clean, and they pay lower water bills than us.

MARQUEZ: Benton Harbor, population, 10,000, the latest high profile American town dealing with lead in the water.

TONY SMITH, RESIDENT, BENTON HARBOR: I'm really concerned about it because I've heard the danger of it. So, we want to stay away from it as much as you can.

MARQUEZ: What do you use bottled water for?

SMITH: Drinking, cooking, and brushing your teeth.

MARQUEZ: Since 2018, samples of water taken from hundreds of homes here have shown lead above the federal threshold of 15 parts per billion gallons of water.

REV. EDWARD PINKNEY, PRESIDENT, BENTON HARBOR COMMUNITY WATER COUNCIL: Nobody, nobody should have water that they came drink, and have to pay for it. Nobody you have contaminated the water. This is America, this should not be happening into any community.

MARQUEZ: But Benton Harbor isn't alone. The natural resources defense council an environmental group estimates some million 22 million Americans, most in the Midwest and northeast may be getting their drinking water at least, in part, from lead pipes.

DR. MONA HANNA-ATTISHA, PEDIATRIC PUBLIC HEALTH INITIATIVE: They are concentrated in these older communities which also are disproportionately where we have more vulnerable populations, people who are poorer and predominantly people of color. MARQUEZ: Michigan's Democratic governor signed an executive directive to expedite the replacement of lead pipes here, asking for more money from the state legislature.

The Republican-led state legislature, so far, has responded by opening an investigation into the governor's response to the water crisis. None of it building confidence for those who live here.

The governor says they have a plan, they're going to replace all the lead pipes in 18 months. Do you believe it?




SHERROD: Nothing's happened all this time, so, what should I -- despite having any water pipes?

MARQUEZ: They're still working on it.

SHERROD: OK. There you go.

MARQUEZ: Miguel Marquez, CNN, Benton Harbor, Michigan.


NOBLES: All right. Let's talk more about this crisis now. Joining us is the mayor of Benton Harbor -- Benton Harbor, Michigan Marcus Muhammad. Mayor, thank you so much for being here. Good morning.

Let's first talk about Governor Gretchen Whitmer. She has said that she wants all the lead pipes replaced in Benton harbor within 18 months. That's until April of 2023, a year and a half from now. Why can't the work be done faster?

MARCUS MUHAMMAD, MAYOR OF BENTON HARBOR, MICHIGAN: First of all, I just like to thank you all for inviting me on the show. On behalf of the residents of the city of Benton Harbor.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed executive director -- directive as you know to take a whole government approach where every agency at her disposal will attack to address this problem. But at the end of the day, its money, we started out with 284,000 in 2018, now, we're up to 18.5 million. That's actually requested 20 million from the Republican legislator, and they sliced it at 10 million.

So, you know, and testifying before the House Oversight Committee which why I went, we requested the other 11.4 million, which replaces 30 million, and we'll be able to address this in 18 months.

NOBLES: So, let's talk about how your city is handling this. You have about 10,000 residents. 85 percent of your community is black. The comparisons being made to your city in Flint, Michigan are inevitable. What -- why do you think this situation has been allowed to be continued when we've seen a prior examples of cities and people are being forced to deal with this. Why wasn't the problem fixed when there was clearly knowledge that there was something wrong?

MUHAMMAD: Well, that's a great question. Environmental racism is something that has plagued not just the city of Benton Harbor, but the entire United States of America.

This is a wrong that must be corrected. And I think that Governor Whitmer, after previous administrations was finally leaning in to say enough is enough, we need to get this struggling community, we were in emergency receivership. 2010 to 2017 where a financial emergency was declared.

So, it was quite clear that we do not have the finances and she stepping forward to deal with. So, I don't think it's fair for people to try and play the blame game, you know, we all know that one individual, one government can do nothing. Even the president, he needs the Senate and the House, and she needs the Republican-led legislature the step up with heart, and say we're going to fix Benton Harbor.

Benton Harbor is going to be a model not just for the state of Michigan, but Benton Harbor will be a model for the country because this issue is nationwide.

NOBLES: So, let's talk about how you're just dealing with this problem on a day-to-day basis. The city put out a press release in August. Some residents say though that they weren't aware of the danger of the water and that, that lead posed within the water. How do you get this message out to your residence that they should not be drinking this tap water? Do you have to knock on doors? Do you visit schools? Do you do it through churches and places of worship? How do you make sure that your residents are safe?

MUHAMMAD: Well, recently, we passed a resolution declaring a local state of emergency to do two things. One, we wanted to sound the alarm. And as I said in Lansing, you know, I started out with a megaphone.

In 2018, when I said that 284,000 was not enough, we need more. But now, you know, I would just stand on top of the Capitol to say, we need your help. You know we're coping with it locally, the governor has authorized for with 30,000 gallons of -- or cases of water a week to come into the city. We're working with local churches and nonprofit groups. Were hiring residents to help with the delivery service. And it's just a community effort.

You know, that's why it's so critically important, Ryan, that there's cooperation, collaboration, and coordination. But, you know, for those who want to get consumed and, you know, the blame game, which nobody wins. And my focus on -- focuses on the residents and fixing the problem. Not pointing finger.

[07:15:05] NOBLES: I mean, just quickly before we wrap up. Most of us are going to wake up today be able to take a shower, drink the water out of our tap without having to think about it.

Just how much of a disruption is this for the people in your community? It must be something that they have to deal with constantly all day long. Just how difficult is it?

MUHAMMAD: Well, you know, it's many challenges in communities like mine. You know, we've handed out over 2,600 filters to the Berrien County Health Department, as well as the local (INAUDIBLE) inspector, (INAUDIBLE) hospital.

So, we've been doing all we can. I mean, it's an inconvenience, you know, how I share with my communities when you look at places like Haiti, when you look at what happened on Puerto Rico, when you look at what happened to Louisiana. I spoke with Mayor (INAUDIBLE) from (INAUDIBLE). Where those two dams broke, and she told me that she had to go door to door to let residents know that you must evacuate not tomorrow, but right now. You know, we're not quite at that point in terms of tragedy.

However, this is the issue that must be addressed immediately. I'm up for the challenge, I'm going to work with Democrat, Republican, whomever.

And hopefully, those Washington that watching this interview, because we need that deal to pass because communities like Benton Harbor, real people, real lives, will be impacted positively if we can get that (INAUDIBLE).

NOBLES: All right, Mayor Marcus Muhammad of Benton Harbor, Michigan dealing with a serious water crisis there. Mayor, thank you so much for being with us this morning. We appreciate it.

MUHAMMAD: We thank you.

PAUL (voice-over): So, a former associate of Rudy Giuliani was found guilty of campaign finance charges. Will he spend any time behind bars? That's still ahead this hour.

NOBLES (voice-over): Plus, leaked internal Facebook documents detail massive failures at shutting down extremist posts ahead of the Capitol insurrection. What we're learning from the papers, next?



PAUL (on camera): So another whistleblower has stepped forward lodging complaints against Facebook with federal regulators.

NOBLES (on camera): Yes, and a complaint to the SEC, the former employee claims executives at the social media giant knew of "illegal" and truly horrific activity inside Facebook groups. NOBLES (voice-over): But the whistleblower says executives were uninterested in fixing the problem. The new complaint backs up allegations made by Frances Haugen. Earlier this month, Haugen testified before Congress that Facebook put profit over safety.

And these new allegations come as we're getting a closer look at internal memos from Facebook.

PAUL: Yes, the papers paint a pretty damming picture of the conflict between what company executives were saying in public and what employees were saying internally. Here is CNN's Donie O'Sullivan.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On January 6th, Facebook executives condemned the attack on the U.S. Capitol, but internally, some employees began to push back.

Facebook, they suggested was culpable. One writing an internal Facebook company chassis, "All due respect, but haven't we had enough time to figure out how to manage discourse without enabling violence? We've been fueling this fire for a long time and we shouldn't be surprised it's now out of control."

Another wrote they were tired of thoughts and prayers from Facebook leadership. There were dozens of Stop the Steal group active up until yesterday," another Facebook employee responded.


AMERICAN CROWD: Stop the steal! Stop the steal!.

O'SULLIVAN: Stop the Steal, the conspiracy theory movement that helped fuel the insurrection had been organizing on Facebook for months.

How did you guys hear about this event today?


O'SULLIVAN: Facebook events, Instagram. How have you been promoting this?

SCOTT PRESLER, ORGANIZER, STOP THE STEAL EVENT IN FACEBOOK: Yes. Well, I created a Facebook event for yesterday's event. And I posted after the fact that we were again coming today. I will be again making another event in regards to tomorrow.

JOAN DONOVAN, RESEARCH DIRECTOR, HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL: Facebook provided the fundamental coordinating infrastructure. They were sharing rideshare information, they were sharing resources, they were talking about, you know, what they were going to wear, and if they were going to have Trump flags.

O'SULLIVAN: We now know that an internal Facebook report described the company's attempts to crack down and Stop the Steal as piecemeal.

That document leaked by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, who spent her final months at the company photographing thousands of internal documents and company chat logs.

DONOVAN: These documents are vindication that what we've been saying as a field has been true all along, and that Facebook knows it, and could take action on it, and decides not to.

LAWRENCE LESSIG, ADVISER, TO FRANCES HAUGEN: For many years, people have been talking about the Facebook effect. What Facebook is doing to culture, to society, to politics, but we didn't really know from data from Facebook whether these theories were true.

What Frances has given us is an extraordinary archive of material that helps us see exactly what's going on and what they know is going on. And it is the biggest and most important contribution to understanding this incredibly important problem that we've ever had.

O'SULLIVAN: The leaked documents many just becoming public were given to a consortium of news organizations, including CNN, form the basis of a complaint to the S.E.C., where Haugen alleges the company misled investors and the public about its role perpetuating misinformation and violent extremism relating to 2020 election and January 6th insurrection.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): Facebook executives like Nick Clegg will say it's unfair to blame Facebook for the insurrection.


DONOVAN: It's a red herring to say people are blaming Facebook for the entire thing. That's not what's happening here. You can't, at the same time, be Facebook and trying to take responsibility and being very proud of all the organizing work that you've helped, Black Lives Matter do or the Occupy movement or Standing Rock.

You can't take credit for all of that and then say, oh, that thing called the insurrection, we had nothing to do with that.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Another revelation from the documents an internal memo including details of a Facebook staffers setting up a test account to see what Facebook's algorithms were recommending to users.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): 2019, a Facebook employee set up an account designed to look like a 41-year-old conservative mom living in North Carolina, her name is Carol Smith. She likes a few pages, she likes Trump, she likes Fox News, but in a week, she is getting a QAnon recommendation.

I saw in there that after three weeks, there was actually a recommendation for a page that was the Three Percenters. The militia -- self-described militia involved in the insurrection.

LESSIG: Right. Yes. No, I mean, again, we've suspected this dynamic.


LESSIG: What's striking about what Frances has revealed is that we now know that Facebook itself saw this precisely.

So, these are like potato chips that they feed to somebody who's got a potato chip addiction and that is the reality of the platform. It is an addiction engine, and it profits the more I can manipulate us to consume what we want to consume us.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Donie O'Sullivan, CNN, New York.


PAUL: So, next week, Facebook is expected to announce plans to rebrand itself with a new name, focused on virtual reality and building the so-called metaverse. According to the verge, CEO Mark Zuckerman -- Zuckerberg, excuse me, wants his company to being known for more than social media, essentially. But the rebranding could also be an effort to overhaul the company's reputation following a number of whistleblowers coming forward recently as we just saw in that report.

On the negative effect the social network has had on some users mental health has also been talked about. Well, Kara Alaimo is with us now. She's an associate professor of public relations at Hofstra University.

Kara, we appreciate you being here. Thank you so much.

I want to specify something that you wrote in a opinion piece, saying this is a smart move from a branding perspective because public's lost faith in Facebook, but you write this. "A new name won't get to the root of the problem: Facebook's bankrupt reputation. Going by a different name won't magically create a brand in which consumers will place their blind faith."

How much do you know about how deep the problems on Facebook, and how it's impacting their bottom line, meaning, profits?

KARA ALAIMO, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS, HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY: Well, you know, Christi, nothing is more important to an organization than its reputation.

Research shows that CEOs worry about their reputations more than they worry about any other problem that could possibly befall them. And for good reason, the majority of the company's stock price is actually determined by its reputation.

I don't think that the problems for Facebook could run any deeper at this point. People are concerned about how misinformation and heat and conspiracy theories are spreading on the platform, and how it's really having a devastating impact on our society, on our elections, on our physical safety. There are concerns about how using social media impacts the body images of teens, in particular, girls, and young girls.

There are concerns about whether Facebook -- So, pretty much, across the board, users and lawmakers have lost trust in his company and it makes sense that they want to change their name now. PAUL: So, I want to ask you about the whistleblower Frances Haugen. You write that this piece shows there is animosity towards Facebook obviously within its ranks at and that's based on some of the papers that CNN, the documents that CNN has proved as well. How rampant do you think or know that animosity to be?

ALAIMO: I believe that Frances Haugen has opens the floodgates. And I think we will see more and more revelations from employees moving forward. I think that she's practically invited and I think that really goes to show just how deep this distrust is if your own employees. But you're not responsible, you've got a really, really big problem on your hands.

PAUL: CNN reviewed that -- and the internal documents, as I pointed out, and it suggested that the company was just unable or unprepared to stop, Stop the Steal movement.


PAUL: This is a company that is so vast, Kara. It's so strong. And you just heard that gentleman say, it's essentially addicting. Do you believe that their inability to prepare for this kind of misinformation movement is a sign of neglect, or do you think there is some intention to allow information like this to proliferate because it gets more eyeballs?

Oh, did we lose her?

ALAIMO: Christi, I lost you for a moment there. But you were saying that this is a company that's so strong. I think another thing we need to remember is that this is one of the richest companies in the world. This is a company that can get its arms around these problems if it chooses to.

It's just that so far it has not done enough to crack down on hate and misinformation and conspiracy theories. And that's what's led to all of these reputational problems.

PAUL: All right, Kara Alaimo, we appreciate you being with us. Thank you so much. Should point out that she also in this op-ed piece did call for founder Mark Zuckerberg to resign. We'll wait and see what happens there.

Thank you so much, Kara. Good to have you.

NOBLES: Well, the cost of regular unleaded gas is spiking, nearing seven-year highs. Is the supply chain crisis to blame? We'll have that coming up.



PAUL: 35 minutes past the hour this morning and a former associated Rudy Giuliani has been convicted now of campaign finance violations. NOBLES: Yes, that's right. Lev Parnas was found guilty of funneling money into U.S. elections and lying to federal officials about it. CNN's Kara Scannell has more on the verdict and what happens next.

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): After five hours of deliberations on Friday, the jury found Lev Parnas guilty on all six counts.

SCANNELL (voice-over): Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani, who was arrested on a one-way ticket out of the country during former President Trump's first impeachment was convicted of funneling over $100,000 from a Russian tycoon into U.S. elections to buy political favor for a cannabis business.

Over 4-1/2 days of testimony, the jury heard from 14 prosecution witnesses, but the toughest evidence in the case may have been the dozens of WhatsApp chats and text messages exchanged between the men. Parnas's co-defendant in the case, Andrey Kukushkin was also convicted.

Shortly, after the verdict, Parnas spoke about his family.


LEV PARNAS, FORMER ASSOCIATE OF RUDY GIULIANI: Obviously I'm upset, but at this time, I just want to get home to my wife and kids and deal with it. I want to thank my lawyers, Joe and Stephanie that put an incredible fight -- I mean, incredibly.

But I got to just reassess and get home. We got to reassess what happened in there and figure out what the next steps are.


SCANNELL (on camera): Parnas is facing a second trial on fraud charges. He faces as much as five years in prison on most counts. One of those counts, falsifying documents to the Federal Election Commission, carries as much as 20 years in prison. Kara Scannell, CNN, New York.

NOBLES: Kara, thank you.

Right now, we're paying more for everything. From shampoo to dessert. Up next, why experts say we should get used to the higher prices.

PAUL: And listen, be sure to watch the CNN special report tonight. On "GABBY PETITO: AND HUNT FOR JUSTICE". We have the latest news from investigators who are involved with the case. Tonight at 11:00 Eastern, right here on CNN.



PAUL: So, prices across the board are skyrocketing as the supply chain crisis intensifies and there are no signs that it's fading. NOBLES: Yes, you see it everywhere you go. Grocery store, gas station, and while demand is surging, there's just not enough product. Now, economists are warning consumers that they may have to get used to this for a while.

CNN's Alison Kosik has the story.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Good morning, Christi and Ryan. Sticker shock continues at the supermarket as just about everything is getting more expensive.

KOSIK (voice-over): Unilever, the maker of Ben and Jerry's and Dove soap announced that it had to raise prices four percent over the summer, and warned that increases would continue into next year to deal with costs of the supply chain chaos.

That follows Procter and Gamble, which makes Pampers diapers, Tide detergent, and Gillette razors. Saying, it's raising prices on certain grooming, beauty, and oral care products to combat its own rising costs.

Also hiking prices, Nestle, the world's biggest food and beverage company which sells everything from Nescafe, to Gerber baby foods to Cheerios. The company's CEO says prices will rise about two percent to offset the rising costs of transportation.

You're also seeing higher prices at the gas station, the national average for a gallon of gas is well above $3.30 per gallon.

KOSIK (on camera): This is all happening as the global economy recovers from the pandemic. Prices are going up because demand is surging and there isn't enough supply.

Our supply chain, the actual movement of products from point A to point B is under huge pressure. The raw materials that go into the stuff that we buy aren't as plentiful. Production slowed during the pandemic causing a shortage and higher prices for producers. That's just as consumers all at once are demanding more stuff.

There's also a shortage of workers along the supply chain. So, it's hard to keep up with the extreme high demand for the products that we're ordering online.

For example, there aren't enough truck drivers to move the goods. So, cargo ships packed full of stuff are just sitting lining up at ports, waiting to unload. That means higher shipping and delivery costs for companies.

And now, companies are passing down those higher costs to consumers.

KOSIK (on camera): How long will these higher prices stick around? We may just have to get used to it for a while. Moody's Analytics warned this week that stress in U.S. supply chains is only intensifying and shows no signs of fading anytime soon.

Christi and Ryan. NOBLES: OK, Alison. Thank you so much.

I don't think I'm ready for this. winter storm alerts are already in effect for parts of California this morning. How bad could it get? The forecast coming up next.

PAUL: Well, welcome to " CNN UNDERSCORED ". This is your guide for the best in tech style, health, and travel. And the editors at "UNDERSCORED", they work people to find and test and rate products to help you making formed decisions because it's your money that you're spending, and we want to help you do it right.


PAUL: So, Mike Bruno is the editorial director for "CNN UNDERSCORED", and we're talking about cookware, specifically as you can tell, knives. and I am amazed at how many are in this set, comparatively.

MIKE BRUNO, CNN UNDERSCORED EDITORIAL DIRECTOR (on camera): Yes. Yes. This is one of our -- my favorite picks of all of "UNDERSCORE" thus far.

This is the Chicago cutlery fusion, 17-piece knife block set.

PAUL: Wow.

BRUNO: You get 17 pieces, including eight steak knives, and a honing steel in this nice wood block that they go. It's $130 for a knife set that is as sharp -- pretty much as sharp as anything else we had. Real, nice, and balanced.

You get the full tang, which means the blade goes all the way from the -- from the tip all the way through. It doesn't stop partway through. Gives you nice balance, gives you a little heft for gliding through food, really good set for $130.

PAUL: So, what is your runner-up?

BRUNO: So, our runner-up here is the Zwilling. Now, you get into the German knives, you start to get a little more expensive. This is the Zwilling Pro-Seven-Piece Knife Block Set. It's a similar setup minus the steak knives to the Chicago cutlery, but this is about $350.

You're getting into a little bit more of a finer craftsmanship. It has a laser-honed steel blade on it. It was a bowtie sharp as the Chicago. One thing we'll say that we really like about the Zwilling is the chef knife was the sharpest of any that we tested.

And this is really your workhorse in a knife set. So, having a chef knife that was sharp was really important. So, we did want to kind of call that out.

The serrated knife was a little bit less, it's also really comfortable. It has this little fine grip that they advertised. We were a little skeptical, but your thumb and your finger kind of go real nice on the -- on the blade here. So, we really did like this. At $330 it is a bit of an investment, but very well crafted, very nice knife set.

PAUL: OK. So, he says that's an investment. I didn't realize. I mean, we have some knives, we've got some nice knives. We didn't spend as much as we're going to spend on this baby right over here.

BRUNO: Those are the wusthofs. Wusthof is a bit of the gold standard in knivery. This is a $550 set.

PAUL: Wow.

BRUNO: It's the Wusthof Classic IKON Seven-Piece. You only get six knives here -- I'm sorry, you only get four knives. You get a chef pairing bread, six-inch utility. They throw in sheers and a honing steel though too.

Look, this is Wusthof, it's as sharp as it gets. They say that robots sharpen them and that they should never need sharpening beyond. We didn't test the robots but we hear that. They're beautiful. They're just you could tell when you pick them up. They're real heavy. They're really good. These are like lifetime type knives.

It's only for knife set. You only get four knives in the beginning, but you do get this beautiful cherry wood block with --


PAUL: And -- so, I asked about this, right?


PAUL: Because I said, but there are two slots that are missing. There's nothing in them. And that means --

BRUNO: It's basically like you putting your $550, you start your set, you got a little room to grow, they give you some extra slots. If you want to have a Wusthof, set this gets you started. The four knives gets you started, you could pretty much do what you need to do, but you could build from there.

PAUL: Nice. All right, and now you know. Mike Bruno, thank you so much.

BRUNO: Thank you.

PAUL: Such great information. You can learn all about these products by visiting



PAUL: Get ready for a stormy weekend across much of the Pacific Northwest if that's where you are. NOBLES: Yes, heavy rains, strong winds, and yes, snow are all in the forecast. CNN's Allison Chinchar joins us now. Allison, what's causing this extreme weather?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST (on camera): It's something called an atmospheric river. It's basically a very narrow corridor that just funnels an intense amount of moisture targeted at a very specific location. And in this particular case, we're talking Northern California.

Now, that doesn't mean that the surrounding states won't get any moisture with it. We're still talking very heavy rain for areas of Nevada, Oregon, as well as Washington as all of this rain begins to surge in today, and especially as we go into the day on Sunday.

It's going to be a couple of different waves bringing all of that moisture in. So, at the end of the weekend, you're really talking a tremendous amount of rain. Focusing on these orange and red areas, you're here talking widespread four to six inches, but there could be some places to get more than eight inches of rain total before this system is finally said and done.

Now, on the bright side, 100 percent of California is in drought, so they need to have rain. The problem is you just don't want too much rain in a short period of time because not only does that lead to flash flooding, but also mudslides, especially around the areas that have burned scars from all of the wildfires that have been occurring.

Now, you'll notice here we do have the flash flood risk, the red area indicates moderate level three out of four. But there's even a little pink area up here. That's indicating a high-risk level four out of four.

I want to emphasize how rare high risks are. They only occur about 16 days out of the year, but they account for over 85 percent of flood damages. So, these are significant events when they do take place.

In addition to water, wind is also going to be a big factor. Power outage is possible across numerous states. Again, look at all of the wind as it surges once that low pressure system gets a little bit closer.

Today and tomorrow, you could be looking at winds in excess of 50 to even 60 miles per hour. Now, here's something to note. Is that system progresses East across the country? It's also going to produce severe storms.


So, we have the potential for severe storms today across areas of the central U.S., and then tomorrow it becomes enhanced. Again, that same system pushing through the West today will slide east on Sunday.

Tomorrow, the main threats we're talking about damaging winds, large hail, very large hail, and excessive, perhaps even golf ball size in some cases, and yes, even tornadoes, possibly for St. Louis, Indianapolis, stretching down to Dallas. Christi and Ryan.

PAUL: Wow. All right, Allison. Chinchar, appreciate the heads up as always. Thank you.

NOBLES: And coming up in the next hour of NEW DAY, a Hollywood tragedy. Actor Alec Baldwin is involved in a shooting death on a set in New Mexico. The 911 call made just after the incident coming up.