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New Day Saturday

New Satellite Images Appear To Show Massive Graves Near Mariupol; Russia Sets High On Southern Ukraine In New Phase; Georgia Representative Taylor Greene Testifies For 3-Plus Hours On Role In January 6th Riot; White House Makes Staffing Changes Ahead Of Midterm Elections; Police: Six Firearms Recovered From Inside Suspect's Apartment; DeSantis Signs Bill Stripping Disney Of Self-Governing Status; Aid Groups Helping Ukraine Face Both Cyber And Physical Threats. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired April 23, 2022 - 07:00   ET



CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: April, this late in the game we're talking about blizzard conditions. Alison Chinchar, thank you so much.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks so much, Alison. Don't go anywhere, the next hour of new day starts right now.

PAUL: You know, we're always so grateful to have your company here. Thank you for taking time for us this morning. It is your NEW DAY, Saturday, April 23rd. I'm Christi Paul.

SANCHEZ: And I'm Boris Sanchez. Christi, always a pleasure to be with you grateful that you're starting your weekend with us. We begin with what could be more evidence of Russian war crimes suspected mass graves outside of Mariupol. Ukrainian officials are pointing to these Maxar satellite images showing the ground in one area that's recently been disturbed. They also say that claims from a credible source indicate the site has been used to dispose of bodies. CNN is still working to independently verify these claims.

PAUL: In the meantime, Russia has revealed a new goal in the conflict to Russian military leaders saying the plan is to take "full control" of Southern Ukraine and the Eastern Donbass region to establish a land corridor to Crimea, which of course, remember Russia annexed back in 2014. We want to show you here, too, this new drone video, it shows a scene of just utter destruction in the small village north of Kyiv, house after house. Look at it -- just flattened. Ukraine says, the village played a major role in pushing back the Russian advanced toward Kyiv.

SANCHEZ: It's estimated that more than 100,000 people are trapped in Mariupol right now, including soldiers and civilians. Many have taken shelter inside a massive steel factory. Ukraine's deputy prime minister announced this morning that a humanitarian corridor is now open to evacuate women, children and the elderly. One little boy that has been hiding underground shared with CNN a simple wish. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to see the sun so that when our houses are rebuilt, we can live in peace, so we can live in Ukraine because this is our native home.


PAUL: We want to give an update Now from Ukraine; CNN Correspondent Scott McLean is with us from Lviv.

SANCHEZ: And Scott, what more can you tell us about this possible mass grave outside Mariupol?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Boris and Christi. Yes, so you know, in recent weeks, recent months, really, satellite images, drone footage has given us a pretty good idea of the scale of the destruction in Mariupol when we're talking about buildings. Of course, the human cost has been much harder to quantify, but these new satellite images, potentially, give us some clues. So, these images are taken in a cemetery, east of the city, in a small village there.

And you can see, there's freshly disturbed Earth, these trenches dug, or maybe 40-45 yards long. Local officials say that these are the sites of mass graves, though, as you mentioned earlier, CNN is yet to verify those claims. What is not in doubt at this point is the dire situation inside of the city, and specifically, that as I've saw steal facility where Ukrainian troops are making their last stand. And also, we know that some civilians are underneath the ground as well, in the cavernous underground of that facility taking shelter.

A new video from that site shows the conditions that people are living in those children, the soldiers bring them food, they bring them some candies that is a small relief. But those children are in remarkably good condition considering how long some of them have been sheltering underground, 40-50 days in many cases, and there's really no prospect at this point of them actually being able to get out.

There is a humanitarian corridor that's being organized from the western part of the city headed toward Ukrainian held territory, but Ukrainian officials are already warning about the possibility that Russian troops will try to push people in the opposite direction, which we know has happened quite a bit. We are also hearing from a Russian military commander, who spoke to Russian state media, who explained what the point of this invasion is and what the goals of this phase two are: which is to control the entire eastern Donbass and also the southern coast of Ukraine along the Black Sea.

There's heavy fighting, we know, in the eastern part of the country, even today, specifically the village of Popasna, which is in Luhansk region. Russian shelling has been hitting civilian infrastructure and local officials there say that there have been civilian casualties. Now, the significance specifically of that southern stretch of Ukraine is that it would link up with Transnistria. The problem there is that it doesn't belong to Russia, it doesn't even belong to Ukraine, it belongs to Moldova. There is a Russian speaking population there. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy says that that is not the Russian speaking population that Vladimir Putin not to be worried about. Listen.



VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translation): Although, to be honest, the territory in which Russia should take care of the rights of Russian speakers is Russia itself, where there is no freedom of speech, no freedom of choice, where there is simply no right to dissent, where poverty thrives and where human life is worthless.


MCLEAN: Now, this -- these comments are obviously not going over very well with the Moldovans, the Moscow and foreign ministers summoned yesterday, the Russian ambassador to his country to discuss all of this, stressing the Moldova is an independent country, that is a neutral country, and that Russia ought to respect its borders.

SANCHEZ: Not the first time that there have been hints from the Kremlin and its allies that Moldova may be next after Ukraine. Scott McLean from Lviv, thank you so much.

Let's bring in Retired Major Mike Lyons. He's here to help us walk through the latest in Russia's war on Ukraine. Major Lyons, we appreciate you sharing part of your Saturday with us. Let's talk about the news that Russia is trying to build a land bridge between Russia and Crimea -- their ambition to take full control over southern Ukraine and the Donbass region. What's the strategic value that the Kremlin sees there?

MAJ. MIKE LYONS, RETIRED U.S. ARMY: Good morning, Boris. Thanks for having me. I think this was their plan from the very beginning. This general officer just really said the quiet part out loud in some ways. They had Crimea. They were only able to get there through the sea before this invasion. So, this was always part of what that what they wanted to do.

Mariupol is right in the middle of that, and that puts a real kink in their plans, as they still haven't really taken that steel factory yet. I, I wake up this morning and look at British intel reports, and they're saying that there's still significant fighting taking place there. So, Vladimir Putin lies once again. He said he was going to bypass it and try to starve them out.

That's just not the case. But they have to have that city in order to have that, that land bridge. But then when the general officers said we're going to expand it further, to the west that's targeting Odessa, Transnistria, all those other places into Moldova. That again, I just don't understand where they think they have this capability to do that.

SANCHEZ: So, the White House announced a new $800 million package of aid for Ukraine, including 72 howitzer artillery systems, that is designed to shore up a weakness of the Ukrainian forces. Where do you see the biggest opportunity for the U.S. to help Ukraine on the battlefield?

LYONS: That artillery is going to make a very big difference, especially in the east, in the Donbass region. The question is, if can -- we can get it there fast enough? It's towed artillery, which goes with trucks and on those trucks will be the ammunition for it. 141,000 or so rounds to go with it, it's going to be a heavy lift, though, about 7,000 tons. So, it's a logistic challenge to get it from where the Polish border and about 300 miles into Ukraine for the fight. But then there's also other countries providing artillery as well. And this is what we're expecting, we're expecting artillery war to happen there.

You know, there's been a lot of analogies to World War II tank battles, they just haven't happened yet. Russia hasn't taken advantage of what their advantages is, and that's their tanks and their armored technology, and broken out anywhere within the east. Again, wake up this morning, no real advances that are going on there. So, if we can get that artillery to that, those troops, those Ukraine troops in the east fast enough, we could really blunt what will be likely a German -- Russian offensive here in the coming few weeks.

SANCHEZ: What does that tell you about the status of the war that Russia hasn't used; what apparently is a big strength to aid them in battle, and also the fact that you know, they are recalibrating their goals? They started out trying to get to Kyiv, Kyiv didn't fall. And now, they're, you know, re amassing troops in the east. What does that tell you? What's your assessment of where things stand?

LYONS: Well, as an analyst, you wake up and you scratch your head saying they have so much capability, but they keep deploying it in a singular fashion, and not synchronizing any of their fires not synchronizing their combat power, we keep expecting them to do this. I think the better World War II analogy right now is trying to fight a two-front war, and the fact that they really can't control the East.

They don't really control that area along the coastline just yet. The last time the Germans tried to fight that two-front war in Europe, look what happened there. And here's a superpower country against the non-peer competitor, not even able to muster the personnel, the logistics and all of, all of what it takes command and control to do this. They're having a problem with manpower right now.

We're hearing reports of them trying to take conscripts from Ukraine in order to fight against fellow Ukrainians. Again, I don't just see how that that's going to work. But at every turn, the Russian general staff all the way down to the lowest level is failing at their military mission. As a, as an extension of their foreign policy, if they're trying to get these goals in order to take over those areas in Ukraine, the military is not doing it.


SANCHEZ: Yes, it highlights the, the incompetence and the disorganization in the Russian military and also the strength and the valor and the resilience of the Ukrainian forces. Major Mike Lyons, we appreciate your time and perspective. Thanks for being with us. LYONS: Thanks for having me.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

PAUL: Well, still ahead, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene fighting to stay on the ballot. She faced a grilling why lawyers asked the judge to declare her a "hostile witness."

Also, for people hurt in a sniper style attack in Washington, D.C., what we're learning this morning about the suspect and the weapons that were recovered.

Also, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis makes good on his charge to strip Disney of its special tax status. What this means now, not only from Disney, but for taxpayers in the communities surrounding the park. We'll have that in here. Stay close.



PAUL: Well, new filings from the House Select Committee show then White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was warned, the rally on January 6th can turn violent.

SANCHEZ: According to the transcripts of testimony from a former White House official, Meadows was advised about the potential for violence that day. The filing is in response to a lawsuit filed by Meadows to block congressional subpoenas and avoid testifying in the Capitol Hill investigation. The filing also includes text messages that Meadows exchanged with Donald Trump Jr., as well as right wing hosts Laura Ingram and Sean Hannity.

Georgia Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene testified yesterday under oath for more than three hours. This was at a hearing to determine if she's constitutionally qualified to run for re- election, because of her role in the January 6th insurrection.

PAUL: She's the first member, we should point out, of Congress to answer questions under oath about their activities that day. And at one point, during her testimony this week, Taylor Greene was declared a hostile witness. Here's CNN's Amara Walker.


AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: An extraordinary day in court as Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene took the stand. In a hearing to determine if the Republican lawmaker is constitutionally disqualified from running for re-election because of any role she may have played in the January 6th insurrection. Greene's still pushing the big lie.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You believed that Joe Biden had lost the election to Mr. Trump, right?

REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR-GREEN (R-GA): Well, yes, we saw a tremendous amount of voter fraud.

WALKER: But continuing to deny prior knowledge of what would happen on January 6th.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were aware that people were going to make noise outside the capitol as a means to disrupt the proceedings inside the Capitol, is that fair?

GREENE: No, I have no idea what you're talking about.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prior to January 6th, 2021. Had you heard that people were planning to enter the Capitol Building illegally in order to disrupt the electoral count process?

GREENE: No, absolutely not.

WALKER: Greene also unable to recall her conversations with other lawmakers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn't talk to anybody in government, about the fact that there were going to be large protests in Washington on January 6th.

GREENE: I don't remember.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You spoke to Representative Biggs or his staff about that fact, didn't you?

GREENE: I do not remember.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about Representative Gosar?

GREENE: Sorry, I don't remember.

WALKER: Using the same defense when asked about some of her controversial social media posts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you like a post that said: it's quicker -- that a bullet to the head would be a quicker way to remove Nancy Pelosi from the role?

GREENE: I have had many people manage my social media account over the years, I have no idea who liked that.

WALKER: Greene frequently objected to the line of questioning.

GREENE: You sound like you have as many conspiracy theories as QAnon at this point.

WALKER: But maintain that her objections on January 6th were a political free speech not advocating violence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You use the term 1776 to describe in response to a question from the Newsmax broadcaster, right?

GREENE: I was speaking about objecting. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, you -- he asked you what is your plan? What

are you prepared to have go down tomorrow on January 6th, and your response was: tomorrow is our 1776 moment, right?

GREENE: I was talking about the courage to object.

WALKER: Greene's attorneys focusing on her own fears that day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you affected by the attack?

GREENE: Yes, I was. I was in the House chamber when it happened.

WALKER: Even though Greene still defended some of those charges in connection with the insurrection as patriots.

GREENE: Some of them are veterans. Yes, some of them definitely are patriots.

WALKER: At the core of the case, a provision of the 14th Amendment barring American officials from future office, if found aiding or engaging in an insurrection.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not politics. This is not theater. This is a serious case.

WALKER: The outcome in Georgia could set a precedent for similar challenges against other Republican officials for their roles in the insurrection.


WALKER: Including against former President Donald Trump if he runs again in 2024.

The judge is expected to make a decision sometime early next month on whether or not Marjorie Taylor Greene should be disqualified from seeking reelection. He will then make a recommendation to the Georgia Secretary of State who will make a final determination. Now, keep in mind, this insurrection disqualification clause of the 14th Amendment is from the Civil War era. That means, it has never been tested in modern history before, so this will be an uphill battle for the challengers. Amara Walker, CNN, Atlanta.


PAUL: Amara, great explanation there for us. Thank you so much. Tia Mitchell is the Washington Correspondent at Atlanta Journal Constitution of Taylor Greene's testimony. Obviously, Tia, it was pretty fiery, there were a lot of testy exchanges there. What's the takeaway of her testimony, I mean dissect what she said and what it meant?


TIA MITCHELL, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION: Yes, when we -- we saw in the package just now that there weren't a lot of takeaways because Representative Greene was reluctant to share much, she kept saying she didn't recall, she doesn't remember, or she would just dismiss certain questions as being outside of, outside of the boundaries of either her knowledge or inappropriate to ask.

And so, I think what the main takeaway is, is that Greene and her attorneys are trying to draw a line between wanting to dispute Joe Biden's win, wanting to object to his electoral college votes, even wanting to protest the acceptance of the Electoral College votes. That to them is on one side of the line in the breach of the capital, the violence is on another side of the line. And what they're trying to say is Greene was on the side of the protests in objecting to Joe Biden's win, but did not cross the line to the violence. So, the question is: is that something that judge will agree with?

PAUL: There were some moments of evidence through her social media posts that were brought up. How -- this may be new territory in some regard? I mean, how prevalent and potent is the use of what she said on social media versus what she said on the stand?

MITCHELL: So, I think it's, I think it's relevant. But again, for a judge, they have to determine, do any of those posts rise to the level of encouraging violence at the Capitol, and how much of the posts are just her exercising her First Amendment right to free speech to say I don't agree with this election, even, you know, unfortunately, or fortunately, you know, the First Amendment even gives us the right to be wrong about certain things.

And it gives it, the First Amendment protects speech that even is found to be misleading. And so again, what Greene's attorneys are saying is even those things, even if they may have come from her accounts, and may have come from her, they weren't encouraging violence at the Capitol. That's what Greene's attorneys kept stressing during the hearing is that she never directly encouraged violence at the Capitol on January 6th. But what the challenges are saying is that her posts helped, help precede the violence, they helped empower people who therefore carried out the violence.

So, you know, the judge, and ultimately, Secretary of State Raffensperger are going to have to decide whether those social media posts that encourage the protests, encouraged, not certifying election, despite so much evidence that the election was credible, and Biden did win. Do those posts, you know, amount to encouraging the violence that happened later?

PAUL: Yes. Did she engage in insurrection? That's what has to be decided. I know some of her own constituents are challenging her re- election standing. Do we have a good gauge of the support she does have in her district right now?

MITCHELL: So, you know, the challenge was filed by five voters in her district in Northwest Georgia. But Greene even said on the stand, you know, I've got nearly 800,000 constituents and there are five who filed this challenge. I will say, you know, there is -- she does have Republican opponents in the primary next month. And there are mixed opinions about her in her district, but she does have a lot of support.

She has worked really hard to campaign in her district, to show up at events, to hold town halls, do those constituent services things that that we expect from members of Congress, and all the indications are that she is very likely to win that primary and go on to win another term in Congress, if she's allowed to remain on the ballot.

PAUL: All right, yes. Tia Mitchell, we appreciate your insight on this. Thank you for being with us.

MITCHELL: Thank you.

PAUL: Of course.

SANCHEZ: With seven months to go before the midterms, the White House is preparing for a tough election season and the possibility of a Republican takeover of Congress. Now, we're learning the White House is bringing in additional staff as they brace for future investigations by Republicans. CNN's Kaitlan Collins has more.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning, Boris and Christi. It's still several months to go before those midterm elections happen. But the White House is already preparing, making some personnel changes, also bracing for what they believe could potentially be a Republican takeover on Capitol Hill. Of course, the GOP has promised to conduct multiple thorough investigations into President Biden and his policies if they do retake the House and the Senate, something that some experts have said they believe could happen, though, of course, it remains to be seen. And so, the White House is keeping that in mind as they are making staffing decisions.


Of course, there's a lot of natural turn over at this point in an administration but we have learned here at CNN that they are planning to bring back and Anita Dunn. She is of course a longtime member of President Biden's inner circle. She briefly worked in the White House before, and now we are expecting her to rejoin the ranks in the west wing in the coming weeks or months, potentially. It's still unclear exactly what the timing is going to look like, or exactly what her portfolio is going to be. But we should note that some close to Biden have said they believe that would be certainly a tactical move, given she is known as one of his fiercest defenders, of course, known as a Washington strategist here at the White House.

So, she wouldn't be coming back just because there's a chance Republicans could take back power on Capitol Hill, but it is certainly something that the White House believes would be helpful. One person close to the White House saying it would be a full-time job for someone in the White House to deal with these investigations if Republicans do retake the majority, Boris and Christi.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SANCHEZ: Kaitlan, thank you so much for that report. Making it

official, Florida's governor signing two bills into law targeting Disney.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): I don't think Walt would appreciate what's going on in this company right now.


SANCHEZ: More on Ron DeSantis, as so-called war on woke, next.



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): A suspected shooter in a rampage in Washington, D.C. that left four people wounded is dead.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): D.C. police say they recovered six firearms from inside the apartment where the suspect was found.

PAUL (voice-over): And it appears the suspect was shooting at people randomly when the shots rang out as opposed to shooting in some sort of pattern.

CNN's Polo Sandoval was live in D.C. for us. He's been following this story. Polo, what do you have for us right now?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Christi, Boris, in the neighborhood where this happened, there is sort of a business as usual feeling this morning, but I could tell you though, for many residents in this northwest, D.C. neighborhood, they are still confused, shocked, and wondering what a motive is behind this incident that took place yesterday.

That's because according to police, along with the suspect, that investigators say took his own life as police officers are moving in. Investigators also found what the police chief are describing as a sniper type setup in that fifth floor apartment in this neighborhood, basically a tripod with six firearms and rifles, also a pistol along with a large quantity of ammo.

Now, in terms of the pattern in all of this, which is really one of the most disturbing bits here, according to investigators, the suspect was basically just indiscriminately shooting at people on the street, according to the chief, intent on killing members of the community.

We do know at this point -- that investigators do know who this suspect is, they have not publicly identified him yet. The chief, however, did say that they did not have any history of actually encountering him in the past.

Now, in terms of the injuries, we know of three people shot. Among them a 12-year-old little girl. We are told that all of them are in stable condition this morning, a fourth victim was -- is also going to be OK, according to police, apparently, just grazed by a bullet here.

Now, in terms of just trying to paint a clear picture of what went down yesterday and those terrorizing moments for a handful of D.C. residents here, I want you to hear directly from an eighth grader at -- in this community as he recounts exactly what he heard, and what he saw yesterday as the shots rang out.


JEREMY KALFUS, EIGHT-GRADE STUDENT, EDMUND BURKE SCHOOL: Hearing the shots for the first time and not knowing what to make of it, seeing students screaming, yelling, and thinking, oh, maybe they're overreacting. There's just chairs that fell over and then being like, wow, like this is the real thing.

And most importantly, just cowering in the bathroom, just praying -- literally, just thinking about my life, and just thinking about like, I don't know, like how stupid it all is.

I was worried about a math test five minutes earlier that I just taken and honestly that's really what I thought about when I was in there is like how insignificant it all is compared to that.


SANDOVAL: That's Jeremy Kalfus, describing what it was like before he was reunited with his father.

Look, in terms of the investigation that is moving forward today, we do hope to learn if a person of interest that was identified publicly by investigators yesterday is possibly the individual that they found that taken his life in that apartment. But police again have not confirmed that, at least, not yet. Christi, Boris, back to you.

PAUL: All right. Polo Sandoval, thank you so much for bringing us up to speed.

SANCHEZ: DeSantis versus Disney, a feud that is now boiling over. Florida Republicans yesterday signed into law a new bill, eliminating an agreement with Disney that essentially allows the company to operate as an independent government.

The move is apparent retaliation after Disney CEO criticized a new state law in Florida that limits discussions about LGBTQ issues in schools. And the CEO declared the company would no longer make political contributions in the Sunshine State, where they've long given most lavishly to Republican candidates.

Joining us now is someone who literally wrote the book about Disney and Florida, Chad Emerson. He is the author of Project Future: The Inside Story Behind the Creation of Disney World.

Chad, thank you so much for being with us this morning. The new law passed yesterday, what it does is dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District. It means that Disney will no longer manage its own land, nor operate public services around the theme parks in the Orlando area. That Reedy Creek District.

What's the significance to you of that being dissolved?

CHAD EMERSON, AUTHOR, PROJECT FUTURE: Well, it's really unfortunate because it actually doesn't accomplish, I think what their goals were because it really hurts bondholders, it hurts jobs, and hurts really the taxpayer, especially Orange County and Osceola County.

It's going to be a critical stress on their budgets because they're going to have to pay for what Disney is currently paying for.

SANCHEZ: And give us an idea of what that is exactly, because it's not only managing land and construction around that area, but it's also services like police and fire, right?


EMERSON: Yes. Example, Reedy Creek provides emergency services for all of the Disney property. So, if there is an injury, a heart attack, you know, whatever happens -- a fire, Reedy Creek response, and they have some of the best response times in the country.

Now, Orange County is going to have to absorb all of those costs. And that's a very expensive thing that's going to be passed on to taxpayers because of what the legislature did.

SANCHEZ: You say it's very expensive. Some estimates show that Disney might get $116 million plus tax break per year from this, from not having to pay for those services, roughly a billion dollars of debt is going to be passed on to taxpayers. So how does the governor's office see this as a benefit for Floridians?

EMERSON: That's the complete non sequitur. It doesn't make sense. It's, you know, we've joked, it's like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute and wondering what's going to happen. You should know what's going to happen. This is going to hurt Floridians, rather than Disney. It's counterproductive.

SANCHEZ: And how about those services that people count on every day in these districts? The state hasn't really addressed how they're going to be replaced?

EMERSON: Yes, I think ultimately, the state's going to have to bail out Orange County and Osceola County. There's no way that they could absorb the services. So, I think you're going to see the state of Florida really paying Disney to operate Disney in some ways.

Ron DeSantis, though, remains one of the most popular governors in the country. He's up for reelection later this year. How do you think voters are going to respond to this?

EMERSON: I think when they realize what happened, and not just, you know, the whole political side, but they realize the increased taxes, potential defaulted bonds, lost jobs -- when they see this, I think it's going to be an eye opener about short sightedness and, and really, this is going to hurt Florida more than it's going to hurt Disney.

SANCHEZ: And Chad, you speak about the short sightedness of this decision. It doesn't go into effect until June of 2023. So, there's more than a year of time, essentially, for lawmakers to prepare.

Do you anticipate that at the state level, Republicans might rethink this?

EMERSON: Well, I think what's going to happen, it's the law of unintended consequences, right? They're going to realize what we just did cause more problems than solve.

And so, hopefully, they can use the next 365 days or so to unwind the mistake they made. Otherwise, it's going to really cost Floridians a whole lot of money.

SANCHEZ: Yes, I don't want to beat on this point. But other than retaliation for Disney's outspokenness, given the bill criticize this, the don't say gay bill.

Is there any practical reason other than retaliation for Ron DeSantis pursuing this?

EMERSON: Not really, and the ironic thing is getting rid of Reedy Creek, there was actually two brand new cities created at the same time in the 60s, so, they didn't even get rid of the cities which actually have a lot of the power.

So, they did something which didn't even do what they wanted to do. And they still have more to do, but it's again, they have created a mess. Hopefully, they can fix in the next several years or several months.

But the reality is this, when you create chaos like this, it interrupts the bond of the market, interrupts jobs, interrupts taxpayers, it's going to cost -- you know, if you live in Orange County, your property taxes will definitely go up.

SANCHEZ: It seems in an effort to keep corporations from getting involved in politics, which in a free market corporations are legally able to do, they've created a lot of unintended consequences.

EMERSON: Yes. I mean, if -- whatever their goals were, you know, I'm not a politician, but there might have been ways to achieve that, that doesn't affect the everyday Floridian.

And people that, frankly, fly into Orlando and visit them. Everything is going to be more expensive in Orlando because of what the legislature did.

SANCHEZ: Yes, it may no longer be the most magical place on Earth. Who knows? We'll find out. Chad Emerson, thanks so much for the time.

EMERSON: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Of course. So, attorneys have filed a federal lawsuit to block Florida's controversial Stop WOKE Act.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law yesterday afternoon, and the lawsuit was filed just minutes later.

The measure titled the individual freedom act restricts how schools and workplaces can talk about racism and bias. And the lawsuit attorneys for a group of Florida students and teachers say the measure violates their First Amendment rights.

The bill is set to go into effect on July 1st, but attorneys are asking for an injunction to stop that.


PAUL: Well, they are behind the scenes helping to provide aid to the people of Ukraine. But humanitarian groups are being threatened now online, and they have real concerns that those threats could turn physical. What's happening with that? Next.


PAUL: 44 minutes past the hour right now.

Humanitarian aid groups have been helping people during Russia's invasion of the Ukraine, of course. And they say beyond the danger of physical threats, they now fear the threat of cyber threats as well.

SANCHEZ: Cybersecurity experts have expressed concerns that scammers or spies could use hack data to re victimize people well into the future by extorting or surveilling them.

Let's bring in CNN cybersecurity reporter Sean Lyngaas for more on this. And Sean, many of these organizations, they don't have the resources to recover from a hack.


SEAN LYNGAAS, CNN CYBERSECURITY REPORTER (on camera): That's right, Boris.

I mean, many aid organizations are staffed by just a minimal number of people. And they're doing their best in already trying conditions. And then you add on the fact that there are -- that face potential hacking threats during this war.

So, I spoke to a number of people who have been following this, and the one aid organization based in Geneva, told me that, immediately, after they published a report on Russian attacks on hospitals in Ukraine, they started receiving a flood of phishing messages, and pornographic material on their personal phones, which were not public. And that was kind of a shocking experience.

The good news is they're able to get help from a -- in another nonprofit that focuses on cyber assistance to these organizations.

But they're trying to get the word out to say this is a real problem. And, you know, you need to take your cybersecurity very seriously.

Now, don't get me wrong, their main priority is keeping safe civilians fleeing the war in their own staff. However, if you think about it, that is also tied to their -- the cybersecurity of their data.

You know, there is some concerns along the -- about the Russians potentially accessing data stored by these organizations and using that to retaliate against dissidents or political activists.

So, it's really important and, you know, there are people that are trying to help and there are bigger organizations that have more resources like the Red Cross. But the Red Cross itself was targeted with a cyber-attack right before the war began. There's no connection to the war. However, they had to promptly recover their systems in order to make sure that the Red Cross's key program for helping Ukrainian refugees is unaffected, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Sean Lyngaas, thank you so much.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): We do have a quick programming note for you. The unbelievable true story of the man who took on Putin and live to expose the truth. The Sundance award winning film "NAVALNY" airs tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

PAUL (voice-over): Now, imagine how hard this fight is. New Mexico firefighters up against 90 mile an hour wind gusts. They're working to contain multiple wildfires in the state. We'll show you what's happening this morning.



SANCHEZ (on camera): Here is a look at some of the top stories we are following this morning. The National Weather Service is warning about some dangerously strong winds and dry conditions in New Mexico, which could fuel the multiple wildfires already burning throughout the state.

PAUL (on camera): Yes, officials there have already ordered the evacuation of more than 20 communities east of Santa Fe.

PAUL (voice-over): There are several others who are being urged to prepare to get out at a moment's notice.

Now, due to the 3,000-acre Calf Canyon Fire is the reason for this, and that remains zero percent contained this morning.

SANCHEZ (on camera): A bit of news from Wall Street. The Dow ended the week Friday nearly -- down nearly 1,000 points following comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell about a likely aggressive interest rate hike coming in May. All 30 stocks in the Dow ended the day lower led by Verizon, plunging more than 5.5 percentage points after a poor earnings report. The Dow has now fallen for four straight weeks.

PAUL (on camera): And multiple dash cam videos from police in Montville, Ohio captured some pretty terrifying moments here.

PAUL (voice-over): A truck driver lost control of his tractor trailer. Look at this, nearly crashed into a school bus that was loaded with students. This happened Tuesday morning as the bus was finishing its morning rounds.

Both the bus driver and another employee realized that that truck was racing down the road directly behind them and wasn't going to stop. Watch how the trucks sped by, really just in the nick of time. I think we're going to have that here for you.

The Ohio State motor carrier enforcement is now investigating why that truck was not able to stop.

PAUL (on camera): We're going to have more of New Day weekend after the break here.

First though, the polio epidemic put Paul Alexander and an iron lung.

SANCHEZ: Remember, for 70 years, with only the use of his head. He's broken barriers, and he's still going strong today. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta tells us his remarkable story in today's "THE HUMAN FACTOR".

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Meet Paul Alexander. He's one of the last people in the world still in an iron lung. The iron lung works to change the air pressure and stimulate breathing. It has been his home, keeping him alive for 70 years.

In 1952, Paul contracted polio and became paralyzed from the neck down. He was six years old.

A therapist promised Paul a dog if he could breathe on his own for three minutes.

PAUL ALEXANDER, SPENT 70 YEARS IN AN IRON LUNG: I tried to develop a way of coping in air and breathing. I worked on it for a year before I could reach that three minutes, but I reached it.

GUPTA: Eventually, Paul would be able to gulp or take an air for hours at a time, allowing him to leave the confines of the iron lung during the day, and accomplish more than anyone thought was possible for him: college, law school, and a 30-year career as a courtroom attorney.


Paul, wrote his autobiography, and he's working on a second book now.

ALEXANDER: I've got some big dreams. I'm not going to accept from anybody, their limitations all my life. Not going to do it. My life is incredible. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)