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New Day Saturday

FDA: Benefits Of Pfizer's Vaccine Outweigh Risks For Kids; Pfizer Says Vaccine Is 90.7 Percent Effective Against Symptomatic COVID-19 In Children Ages 5 To 11; Alec Baldwin Fires Prop Gun On Set, Killing Cinematographer; Haitian Gang Vows To Kill Hostages If Ransom Isn't Paid. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired October 23, 2021 - 08:00   ET




CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: I want to wish you a good morning and welcome to your "New Day." I'm Christi Paul.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Ryan Nobles in this morning for Boris Sanchez. The FDA say the Pfizer vaccines benefits out way its risks in children. The impact that could have ahead of a FDA meeting to considering Emergency Use Authorization of that vaccine for children.

PAUL: And there are new details in that deadly pop gun shooting involving actor Alec Baldwin. What we're learning this morning about how does entire thing played out.

NOBLES: And the warning signs from America's truckers who say the industry is in desperate need of drivers. How they're working to close the gap including getting more women and minorities behind the wheel.

PAUL: And it's pretty dire warning from the White House. Why climate change could be a threat to national security.

Saturday, October 23rd. Thank you so much for spending time with us this morning. So, we begin with these renewed efforts to get the youngest people vaccinated against COVID-19. As a new report from the FDA finding the benefits of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the risks, particularly to children, ages 5 to 11.

NOBLES: Yes, there's a lot of parents like me, Christi, that have been waiting for this news. While cases have been trending downward recently, this last week alone, about 131,000 children were diagnosed with COVID-19. And more than 637 children have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

Now, health experts continue to stress that vaccinations are the key to controlling the spread of COVID-19. But the number of Americans getting a booster shot continues to outpace those looking to get their first shot. This is a pretty incredible statistic. Only 57 percent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated.

PAUL: Yes. And the FDA is debating next week whether to approve the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. If it's approved, vaccinations could begin in early November. And the first children to receive their shots could be fully protected by Christmas.

CNN's Nadia Romero is with us now. Nadia, I know this information about kids and COVID-19 vaccinations is welcome news for a lot of parents who are concerned about it but walk us through what it really means.

NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good Morning, Christi and Ryan. And when you look at this potential for kids ages 5 to 11, some people, like Ryan said, some parents are excited for this to happen, to protect their children. But there's also a bit of hesitancy. It's one thing to talk about vaccines for adults. Something completely different for some people when you're talking about giving a vaccine to kids ages 5 to 11.

And the FDA says that the vaccine carries a theoretic risk for heart information for children. But Pfizer just released a new study just yesterday that says the benefits of this vaccine far outweigh the risks.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One, two, three poke.

ROMERO (voice-over): Friday, Pfizer releasing new data that shows its COVID-19 vaccine is about 90 percent effective against symptomatic COVID in children ages 5 and 11. Right now, the vaccine is only approved for children 16 and older.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: And we want to make sure that we outreach to the parents with trusted messengers, particularly, some of the most trusted messengers are the family pediatrician, who most parents have a good deal of confidence in. And we're trying to get people to realize it is for the benefit of the children as well as for the entire family unit to get the child vaccinated. The vaccinations and the vaccines in question are highly, highly effective and safe.

ROMERO (voice-over): Tuesday, an FDA advisory committee is scheduled to meet to discuss whether to recommend authorization for the Pfizer vaccine for kids 5 to 11. One FDA adviser makes this promise.

DR. PAUL OFFIT, MEMBER, FDA VACCINES ADVISORY COMMITTEE: And then we will consider it. I mean, I can promise you that when we have this discussion, that if we do end up recommending this vaccine, we would only do it if we would give it to our own children.

ROMERO (voice-over): Now, more guidance for expectant and new mothers. The director of the CDC urging eligible pregnant and nursing women to get vaccinated and get the booster shot, too.

DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL: You should get vaccinated if you are pregnant. If you are eligible for a boost and you're pregnant, you should also get your boost during that period of time and I would say for nursing as well. ROMERO (voice-over): Despite overwhelming scientific evidence of the effectiveness of the vaccines, fears over the vaccine and its side effects still persist. About 100 out of about 13 million people who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, developed a rare neurological syndrome, including Anthony Flint. While the FDA has not established that the vaccine can cause the syndrome, it noted an increase in reports of the condition.


ANTHONY FLINT, DEVELOPED GUILLAIN-BARRE SYNDROME AFTER JOHNSON & JOHNSON SHOT: Yes, and I really wrestled with it because, you know, this could easily freak people out. But you've got to come back and look at the numbers. And just how rare it is, it's 0.00008 percent chance of getting Guillain-Barre syndrome.

And GBS is triggered by other things, too. Not just vaccines. I think it reflects a rise in autoimmune disorders. So, talking about all of this, and how our bodies work, in the context of the vaccine, I think is really important.

ROMERO (voice-over): Friday, Kaiser Permanente research released a new study showing people who received the COVID-19 vaccine were less likely to die from any cause compared to unvaccinated people. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy doubled down on the Biden administration's vaccine mandate for federal workers.

DR. VIVEK MURTHY: Ultimately, we make sure we get through this pandemic and protect people from this scourge of COVID-19. The vaccine really is the best way to do that.


ROMERO: So let's talk about a time line here. Even if FDA vaccine advisers recommend Emergency Use Authorization, and if the FDA authorizes it, we're still far into November which means that kids will not be eligible, ages 5 to 11, to have that vaccine before Halloween and trick or treating. Christi?

PAUL: OK, good point to make there. Nadia Romero, thank you.

There's some new details we want to share with you this morning in the investigation of the deadly shooting on the movie set where we saw Alec Baldwin. According to a search warrant filed in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, the assistant director on the set of the movie "Rust", handed Baldwin a prop fire arm and yelled "cold gun", meaning it was safe to use. And that happened just moments before the actor fired and killed Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured Director Joel Souza.

NOBLES: Plus, the L.A. Times and others are reporting that 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 Lucy Kafanov has the latest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Actor Alec Baldwin says he's cooperating in the investigation into the fatal shooting on the set of the movie "Rust."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bonanza Creek Ranch, we've had two people accidentally shot.

KAFANOV (voice-over): Officials say they're still in the initial stages of their investigation into what led to the fatal incident when Baldwin discharged a prop weapon on set. Director Joel Souza rushed by ambulance to a local hospital with injuries. The film's director photographer Halyna Hutchins was pronounced dead after being transported by a helicopter to the hospital.

Police continued to interview witnesses and are looking into what type of projectile was fired from a prop gun, commonly used in movie sets that aren't without their own risks.

JOSEPH FISHER, PROP MASTER ON MOVIE SETS: Prop weapons do have a dangerous factor to them, even though they're a lot safer than using a live firearm on set.

KAFANOV (voice-over): 42-year-old Hutchins who posted on Instagram from a New Mexico location only days ago lived in Los Angeles with her husband and son and was credited in the production of dozens of film, TV and video titles. Today, Baldwin tweeting from the account he shares with his wife, "There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins. I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family."

These tragic accidents on movie sets have happened before. After Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee was killed in 1983 on the set of the movie, "The Crow", when a fragment of a dummy bullet became lodged in a prop gun, which fatally wounded Lee in the abdomen. Shannon Lee posting on her brother's verified twitter account, "Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza, and to all involved in the incident on "Rust". No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period."


KAFANOV: Christi, Ryan, good morning, we're told that a search warrant has been issued for the Bonanza Creek Ranch where the filming took place. The sheriff say they'll be combing (ph) the property throughout the weekend looking for clues. They don't expect to update the public before Monday. This, as investigators try to piece together how this tragedy could have taken place.

Christi, Ryan, back to you.

NOBLES: OK, Lucy Kafanov, thank you so much. We appreciate that.

Jury selection starting this week in the Georgia trial for the men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery. Arbery, a 25-year-old black man was fatally shot while jogging early last year. The men who chased him down and ultimately killed him, say they were conducting a citizen's arrest of Arbery who they suspected of burglary.

PAUL: And those three men have needed not guilty to felony murder and malice charges. CNN's Martin Savidge has been following this case from the beginning, and he has more on where we are right now.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good Morning, Christi, good morning, Ryan. The jury selection process has been obviously very, very slow for a number of reasons, sheer numbers. There were 1,000 juries summons that were sent out in Glenn County, normally for a criminal trial in Glenn County, they would seek about 150 potential jurors. So lot more people being involved.

We're also finding out that about 600 showed up for the first week to be questioned. Now there are safety concerns for COVID-19. And so instead of going to the courthouse, they go to a community center where they can all spread out and then are called over to the courthouse in groups of 20.

600 showed up Monday. By the end of the week, 60 had been questioned so far. So that's how slow things are. We're finding out that a lot of those potential jurors have already made up their mind, or at least that's what they say to the judge in this case.

On Wednesday, the judge was questioning a group of 19 potential jurors and said how many of you have already formed an opinion. 11 of them raised their hand. There's also a reluctance by many potential jurors who want to even be on a jury. They fear for their own safety. The judge is trying to assure their anonymity. But again, when the judge asked that same group, how many of you want to be on a jury? Nobody raised their hands.

And the other factor that comes into play is the fact that Brunswick, although not a small town, it's small city, and a lot of people do know a lot of people. And so it's quite possible that potential jurors do know the victim in this case, Ahmaud Arbery's family. Or do know the dependents or other key people who are likely to be witnesses or part of this investigation.

All of that is slowing down the process. Still, by the end of the week, they had managed to find about 23 people who they will now advance to the next level of scrutiny. It doesn't mean they're on the jury, it just means that the prosecution and the defense have agreed that this group, and they hope more, will end up in that final pool from which 12 jurors and four alternates will be chosen.

In other words, despite all of the publicity, despite even the outrage, the process is moving forward to find an impartial jury in the community. Christi and Ryan?

PAUL: Martin Savidge, such a great job following this for us. Thank you.

So, let's go to the political arena here. President Biden working the phones this weekend trying to broker and agreement on his sweeping social infrastructure plan. The President says he's optimistic about reaching a deal. This is a sentiment echoed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

NOBLES: Yes. You can see, it's starting to crack a little bit, Christi. Pelosi and Democratic leaders are hoping for a vote next week on the social safety net plan or the bipartisan infrastructure plan or maybe both. Can they bring Moderates and Progressives together and can they satisfy those two holdout senators, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema?

Well I know somebody that knows this topic very well. CNN Congressional Reporter Daniella Diaz joining us live from Capitol Hill. So Daniella, update us now where things stand.

DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Christi, Ryan, Democrats now seem to be on track to their next self-imposed deadline of October 31st. And that plan that they had to pass both this economic bill, this massive bill that would expand the nation's social safety net, and this separate bipartisan infrastructure bill that's being held up in the House by progressives.

Now there are still a lot of sticking points here. There's still a lot of things that are being negotiated. Mainly, let's be clear, between President Joe Biden, Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, the two Moderate Democratic senators who are holding the economic bill up. Democrats are now actively exploring a new tax on billionaires to help finance this package. The pay for for this package is one of the sticking points.

This proposal now would probably affect about 700 tax payers, specifically people who have had more than $1 billion in assets and more than $100 million in income from more than -- for three straight years. So, you know, the average American is not going to be affected by these tax increases, but more billionaires.

Other sticking points, of course, include whether there will be an expansion of Medicare in this legislation, something Senator Bernie Sanders really fought for, as well as how they're going to deal with climate change after the Clean Energy and Performance Program. A cornerstone climate policy is now out because Senator Joe Manchin oppose this. Also on the table for negotiations is prescription drug reform -- drug price reform, something Sinema is holding up.

But look, when we caught up with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday after votes, she expressed optimism that they might have some sort of vote on either bill next week, even though they don't have the framework for the economic bill yet. And she said Democrats are 90 percent there on where they agree. Take a listen to what she said.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So it was a drug price negotiation compromise they're working on, is that accurate?

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), HOUSE SPEAKER: There are many decisions that have to be made. But I would say that more than 90 percent of everything is agreed to and written.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over the last 10 years to the hardest, right?

PELOSI: Well, that's the way it is. Yes. But we've been working on and so we're now rolling for (INAUDIBLE). But I've told you all. We are different (ph) party with many points of view and we deal that consensus. I will get this done.


DIAZ: You know, apologies for that shaky video. I shot that video myself. But you can really hear how Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressing optimism that these negotiations that are taking place behind closed doors are working. It's happening.

You know, she actually met with President Joe Biden at the White House for breakfast yesterday. Senator -- Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer actually joined on Zoom. So it seems that she's optimistic. But the bottom line here is, the clock is ticking. The next deadline is October 31st, because some surface transportation funding is going to expire which the bipartisan infrastructure bill will fund.

So it's unclear right now whether they will have a vote on this. It just needs to pass the House before it goes to President Joe Biden's desk, but Progressives are holding that up because they want the economic bill. Ryan, Christi?

PAUL: Daniella Diaz, great job this morning. Thank you.

The global supply chain backlogs could wreak havoc on all of us these this holiday season. Prices are spiking, major shipping delays are happening and the shortages. Is there going to be any reprieve. We'll talk about it.

Also a stark warning from the U.S. Intelligence Community, that climate change poses a global security threat. More on that straight ahead.



NOBLES: A new survey reveals that supply chain concerns are on the minds of holiday shoppers, this according to the National Retail Federation. They say about 47 percent of consumers worried that they're going to have trouble finding some of their key items. A record number of shoppers will also start buying gifts before November. That's a 42 percent from last year. On average, people are expected to spend just a little less than $1,000.

PAUL: And there's no sign supply chain issues are going to clear up soon. Federal and state authorities we know doing what they can to ease the trouble. During this town hall on CNN Thursday, President Biden discuss what his administration is doing. He's ordered ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to go 24/7 operations.

Here's the thing. That can't happen, because there aren't enough drivers to move cargo around the clock. The President of the American Trucking Associations tell CNN, the industry needs 80,000 drivers.

Well Tamara Jalving is with us now, vice president of Safety with Yellow Corporation. Thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate it. So, when we say you need 80,000, and we see that there were 61,000 that were needed, drivers, prior to the pandemic, I know you've said that this has been a problem for a long time. Did COVID just amplify the existing problem then, is what I'm understanding?

TAMARA JALVING, VICE PRESIDENT OF SAFETY, YELLOW CORPORATION: Good morning, and thank you for having me. Yes, I would definitely say that COVID did amplify the problem. You know, as Americans started to order more online, the need for drivers only increased. And, you know, as an industry, we have to focus on recruiting more. Clearly, there's a need. We've hired thousands already this year, but every company is in need of more drivers.

PAUL: What do you think is the deterrent for being able to hire more?

JALVING: You know, often it's -- sometimes it's the talent pools that we're tapping into. So we're making changes in that area. But we're finding that people have a perception of the trucking industry that, frankly, needs to change. So as we tap into those different talent pools, to younger workers, to women, to underserved communities, we're really trying to change the perception of what it means to be in trucking and what kind of career options there really are.

PAUL: So explain some of those to us, then what are we -- what perception do we have that is incorrect?

JALVING: You know, first of all, many people when they think about trucking, they think that you're going to be gone weeks at a time. You're going to be away from your family. You're not going to be able to attend sporting events. You're not going to be home for dinner, and that deters younger workers, it deters women, or people that are just hesitant to be gone that long from the families.

But that's not necessarily the case. This is -- gone are the days where you're gone weeks at a time, although that's still an option, it's not the majority. So, you have those options to be home every night. You have those options to be home every couple of nights. You have those options to leave on Sunday and be home by Friday.

And whereas, many people in the past have thought that, you know, you're stuck sleeping in the cab of your truck. Again, although that's an option in some cases, in our case, many of those -- many of our drivers are sleeping in hotels every night, and hotels that we're paying for.

PAUL: You said the recruitment process has to change, how have you changed it?

JALVING: Well, again, we're tapping into a younger workforce. You know, the average age of drivers is about 55 years old and many of them are starting to retire right now. So we're educating the younger workforce about what it means to be a driver and how to become a driver.

You know, you can join our industry as a dock employee where you're driving a forklift, you're getting familiarized with a freight operations, you can join as a mechanic. And then if you're interested in becoming a driver, we'll actually pay for you to get your commercial driver's license.


We have career paths established. We'll pay for your training, we'll pay while your training, we'll pay all of your expenses for that training to make it easier for driver -- for those who are interested in driving to become drivers. Whether they're going to go over the road, you know, long haul or line haul, or if they wanted to be a local driver where they're home every single night.

PAUL: Well, I mean, that is such important information, because then a lot of us did definitely have a different perception of what you're describing there. Real quickly, based on the fact that you're talking about 80,000 drivers short, and the business that you're in, you are much better in knowing what the answer of the question I'm asking next. That is, give us a realistic expectation for people who are sitting at home right now as to how long this supply chain issue is going to last? And what should we realistically be doing as we enter the holiday season?

JALVING: Well, as you indicated earlier, this is not going to go away overnight. But I can tell you this, I can say this with certainty. Truck drivers are hardworking Americans. And when we think about the role that they serve during the pandemic and the way they served our country. We can count on them continuing to serve in that way through the holidays and through years ahead when Americans continue to buy more online.

So, order early. You know, I think we have to set realistic expectations. But the one thing I know you can do is count on truck drivers. They will be there to deliver.

PAUL: Tamara Jalving, I've learned a lot from you this morning. Thank you for taking time for us.

JALVING: Thank you.

PAUL: Of course.

NOBLES: U.S. intelligence officials are warning that not a single country will be spared from the effects of climate change. And that's the threats from climate change could put our national security at risk.


[08:31:41] NOBLES: No country will be spared. That's what the U.S. Intelligence Committee -- Community is warning in a new assessment of the national security threat caused by climate change. It's one of four reports released by the Biden administration this week, offering a sober analysis of the impact of climate change to vital U.S. security interests at home and abroad. The administration says the reports will be critical to the ongoing work of U.S. intelligence security and defense agencies.

And joining me now to talk more about this is the Director of the Center for Climate and Security, Erin Sikorsky. She previously served in a senior role in the U.S. Intelligence Committee focused on these climate issues. Erin, we're so thankful to have you and your expertise.

Let's talk about this report that emphasizes not only the direct threats caused by climate change, but also how it intersects with these already existing threats. How does climate change exacerbate other issues the U.S. faces like violent extremism, for instance?

ERIN SIKORSKY, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR CLIMATE AND SECURITY: Sure. No, thank you so much for having me this morning. So what this report does is it shows that climate change, as you say, will shape the national security landscape for the United States for years to come. And as it puts strains on governments that are already stressed, right, because of the COVID pandemic, because of ongoing corruption, because of other issues, conflict, climate is just another shock that then can provide violent extremists, opportunities to take advantage of that government weakness.

It can also provide U.S. adversaries and competitors opportunities on the world stage. And it will shape their behavior in a way that it's critical for our national security agencies to understand and plan for.

NOBLES: I wonder how this impacts our relationship with China. Obviously, there's fierce competition with China already. This report, though, details how the situation with China is complicated because China could actually take advantage of the issues that countries are dealing with as it relates to climate change, even though they are the largest single source of global emissions. How do we deal with China's role in all of this? And how can the U.S. alter its climate and foreign policy to stay on pace with China and actually counter that threat?

SIKORSKY: Yes. The first step is to make sure that when we're making policy and thinking about competing with China, that we bring an understanding of climate change and climate vulnerabilities to that assessment and analysis. You can't separate the two, right?

Sometimes you hear politicians say, well, is it climate or is it China? That's the bigger threat, but that's the wrong question to ask. The right question is, how do we think about how climate change shapes Chinese behavior, which the intelligence report and the defense report that were released on Thursday, they talked about. And they talked about going forward as we build U.S. strategy, the national defense strategy, other documents we need to bring that climate lens to it because you won't get the right answers about Chinese behavior on the world stage.

For example, if you don't understand the types of things these documents talk about, access to rare earth minerals, how climate change will actually affect China itself, right, in terms of sea-level rise, on the coast there, desertification in the central parts and water issues there.


So you need to understand that, otherwise, you're going to make wrong decisions and wrong choices.

NOBLES: All right. We only have about 30 seconds here, Erin, but obviously, the President going into a very high stakes climate summit here in the next couple of weeks. How important will those discussions be? And should national security be part of those conversations?

SIKORSKY: Those discussions are critical and national security has to be a part of it. Our research and these reports show that if we don't cut emissions in the second half of the century, the climate impacts are catastrophic to security. So cutting emissions is absolutely critical. And these documents help make the case, it's not just the scientists, it's also the security experts saying it's a real problem.

NOBLES: All right. We'll see if when President Biden goes there, if they've made any progress on Capitol Hill as it relates to the social safety net package and the climate provisions provided in there. Erin Sikorsky, thank you so much for being here. We really appreciate it.

SIKORSKY: Thanks for having me.

PAUL: So Democrats say a new Texas congressional map approved by Republicans is aimed at diluting minority voting power and consolidating the power of white voters. It would effectively they say eliminate political competition in the state's rapidly changing suburbs. CNN's Ed Lavandera has more for us.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Crews down Jefferson Boulevard in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas next to the iconic Texas Theater where Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested, and you'll see the color and flavor that makes it one of the most prominent Latino neighborhoods in the city. But civil rights activists in Texas say it's the kind of neighborhood severely impacted by the way Texas Republicans have redrawn the state's congressional maps. The activists say neighborhoods like Oak Cliff, are crammed into fewer minority districts to dilute the vote of Latinos, Blacks and Asians.

LYDIA CAMARILLO, TEXAS REDISTRICTING TASK FORCE: That growth in Texas is fueled by Latinos, 2 million of them and Blacks, Asians and other communities of color. If we don't take pay attention to this, and we don't demand that Latinos are represented, we will find ourselves with no representation. LAVANDERA (voice-over): Texas is the only state in the country that is getting two new congressional seats because of the state's population growth. Non-white Texans account for 95 percent of that new growth. And according to the latest census data, white Texans make up just under 40 percent of the population. Latinos are now about the same percentage of the population. The black population is almost 12 percent and Asians are about 5 percent.

Civil rights groups say the two newly created congressional districts in Texas are drawn to give white and likely Republican candidates an advantage. The white voting age population tops over 50 percent in 23 of the 38 congressional districts in Texas. The Latino voting age population is the majority in seven districts. Black and Asian voters do not make up the majority of the population in any congressional district.

(on-camera): The way some of these congressional lines are drawn does raise some eyebrows. Let's take a closer look at the map. Down here in this corner is the city of Denton. Lately, it's been trending bluer. But it's now drawn into a map that extends hundreds of miles out into the West Texas Panhandle, heavy Republican territory.

And if you take a closer look at the Fort Worth and Dallas area, look at this district and the way it's drawn, it stretches from Fort Worth, and kind of hooks its way around into Dallas County. And it surrounds another district that one person described to me that it looked like a dragon spitting fire this district right here. And when you zoom out, you realize that that district actually is a rural district that makes its way all the way out into East Texas.

(voice-over): Despite this, the Texas Republicans who led the redistricting efforts insist the new political boundaries for state and congressional districts are fairly created.

JOAN HUFFMAN (R), TEXAS STATE SENATE: The maps were drawn blind to race. Once they were drawn, they were checked for compliance. We were assured that all the existing minority opportunity districts whether they'd be Black or Latino, we're going to perform as such.


LAVANDERA: Civil rights activists say at least one of the two new congressional districts here in Texas should be drawn in a way to increase the likelihood of Latino representation. Nearly a dozen civil rights organizations have filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas in hopes of blocking these maps from being used in the upcoming midterm elections in 2022.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, Dallas,

PAUL: Ed, thank you.

So a Haitian gang leader is now threatening to kill that group of missionaries kidnapped a week ago. As the new police chief is vowing to fight the rising crime in the country, we have a live report for you from Haiti, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


PAUL: 44 minutes past the hour. In Haiti, the new police chief is vowing to fight the overwhelming crime and lack of security in the country. And he's actually asking the entire nation to help with these efforts. Here's the thing. Remember, this is happening as 17 American and Canadian missionaries including several children are being held hostage right now after a Haitian gang kidnap them a week ago.

NOBLES: Yes, the leader of the gang is demanding $1 million per hostage and threatens to kill them if he doesn't get the ransom money.


CNN's Joe Johns is live from Port-au-Prince, Haiti right now. Joe, give us an update on the very latest there.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi and Ryan, as you know, today marks one week, one week since those 17 people were kidnapped here just outside the capital of Port-au-Prince in Haiti. And over the course of that week, we have had several significant developments. You talked about some of them there, the $17 million ransom demand for every man, woman and child they're holding. Then there was a death threat against them.

The leader of the organization, holding these people saying that he's going to kill them if he doesn't get what he wants. And we've also had that upheaval now in law enforcement here in Haiti. The old police chief stepping down, heading off to the job he used to hold with the organization, American states up in Washington, DC, and a new police chief being installed. He comes in saying he's going to do something about the kidnapping, he's going to do something about the crime on the streets here in Haiti.

But if you talk to people who live here, everyday people, they'll tell you, they've heard it all before. And that not just the police department, not just law enforcement, but the government as well, all have a problem with corruption and credibility. And until those things get solved, they don't see anything really happening on the ground here in Haiti.

The other headline coming out today is that the U.S. Embassy, the State Department's put out yet another advisory, warning Americans not to travel here to Haiti, of course. And what they've said, essentially, is that the latest development is there's a demonstration occurring on Monday purporting to shut down the country. And that's another reason why Americans don't need to come to this country right now.

Back to you.

PAUL: Joe Johns, thank you. We appreciate it. We'll be right back.


NOBLES: And a quick programming note for you and all new episode of the CNN Original Series "Diana" premieres tonight. Here's a preview.


JULIE MONTAGU, VISCOUNTESS HINCHINGBROOKE, BROADCASTER: We all know how it ends, but it's a mistake to think that Charles and Diana's marriage was always sort of as bad as we all seem to think. In fact, early on, there was a real love connection and closeness.

CHARLES, PRINCE OF WALES: I was lucky enough to marry her. And we had many, many mistakes (ph). It's amazing what ladies do when you're back standing (ph).


NOBLES: Actually, we do have to wait one more day for that. A new episode of the CNN Original Series "Diana" is tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific.

PAUL: So let's talk about the reset because we've had a lot of conversations about how tough post-COVID is for kids. And let's be honest, for a lot of families, it's been exceptionally hard on parents. We've had to learn to reset, do things differently with our kids. Well New York Times best-selling Author Annie F. Downs saw that as well. So she started the Mini BFF Book Club on Instagram.


ANNIE F. DOWNS, AUTHOR, "WHAT SOUNDS FUN TO YOU?": We started it during a pandemic, when I wasn't able to read to my friends, kids like I normally do because we were all stuck in our own houses. And so the first week, I read a book every night like on five different facetimes, Christi. I was just like, I would FaceTime different families. And I was like, this is dumb. Why don't I do this one time on Instagram? And then let anybody watch.


PAUL: And that's what they're doing. And Annie's a former elementary school teacher, so she's read a lot of kids' books, and now she's written one. "What Sounds Fun to You?" helps us recognize what fun is, and that it's closer that we think.


DOWNS: What made me sit down and write as I thought, man, when I'm on out at the farmers market, and I'm getting what I need for the week, and I see all my friends, kids buzzing around, they're all doing different things. None of them are doing the exact same thing, but they're all having fun. How do we teach kids that what you think is fun is fun. And really teach them to fall in love with the way they were made that makes them uniquely them. We wanted variety and how the kids look from their skin color to their abilities, to their eye color, to whether they wore glasses and how we put our hair up or leave our hair down. And we want -- I really, really wanted kids to see themselves or see something close to who they are.


PAUL: And we should point out all the kids in this book are kids that are in her life.


DOWNS: It's so generous to me, Christi, when families will let people who are not married yet don't have kids yet be part of the family.


PAUL: Now one thing she's learned from kids that she wants us to know as parents is they don't always think we're boring.


DOWNS: Because I've been asking kids in my life, tell me about your mom being the fun mom, and every kid has an answer. Or I'll say tell him about your dad being the fun dad. And while we may not label ourselves as that, when they're reading through these books, they can find. And what sounds fun to you, they can find what's fun for them with their parents.

PAUL: Well thank you for letting me know that my kids might actually have something fun to say about me someday.


DOWNS: I mean, I think that's a valid question worth asking him say, when is one time you thought I was the fun mom? And just see what they say. I think it'll make a lot of our parent -- friends feel better. I really do. Because your kids think you're far more fun than you think you are, in general.

I think we should expose children to look at what these other countries are like and look at what this places like and look what that places right. But when you're talking about what sounds fun to you in your everyday life, let's make it things that are going to be very inexpensive and very local. Because everybody can go outside and lay under the clouds. After we all went through 2020, I wanted to keep it things that even a pandemic couldn't keep us from.


PAUL: So Ryan, you can still be a cool dad, just so you know.

NOBLES: I have a mission tonight to ask my kids if I've ever been the fun dad. I'm afraid of the answer, but I'm going to ask anyway.

All right. Well join us again in an hour for CNN Newsroom.

PAUL: Yes. "Smerconish" is up next.