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New Day Saturday

Severe Storms Across the Midwest; Aftermath After Heavy Storm Hit Kansas and Nebraska; Russia's War on Ukraine; Ukraine's Defense Against Russia; Russia's Intensifying Attacks on Ukraine; New Polling Shows Less Than Half of Americans Approve of President Biden; Kevin McCarthy Gets Standing Ovation from House GOP After Defending Leaked Comments About January 6. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired April 30, 2022 - 06:00   ET




AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. It is Saturday, April 30th. I'm Amara Walker in today for Boris Sanchez.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Amara great to be with you. I'm Laura Jarrett in for Christi Paul this morning. Thanks so much for starting your Saturday with us.

We begin this morning with a string of tornadoes ripping through the Midwest. At least 40 people are under the threat of severe storms. This follows a number of tornadoes reported across Kansas and Nebraska.









JARRETT: Authorities say at least one tornado touched down in the Wichita area yesterday damaging homes, cars, and at least 50 to 100 buildings.

WALKER: Yes, frightening images there. The worst damage happened in the town of Andover, where authorities say most of the roads are closed. But the fire chief says it'll take a little longer to figure out the damage in his city.


CHIEF CHAD RUSSELL, ANDOVER, KANSAS FIRE AND RESCUE: We know that there was a direct tornado strike that started in Sedgwick County and traveled into Andover. We had many buildings in Andover take very tough damage. Total in the path there were 966 buildings, we believe. We do not have a damage assessment on how many of those were damaged.


WALKER: CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar joining us now with more. Allison, that image we saw is really terrifying. We know at least 14 tornadoes were reported across Kansas and Nebraska. And we heard there from the official that we don't know the extent of damage just yet. But what do we know right now, Allison?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Right, I think the thing is the damage that you're seeing, that's just one of the possible tornadoes that came through late last night and through the overnight hours. This is a general map showing you where the vast majority of the tornado reports that we received in the last 24 hours where you can see several around Wichita, that's likely all from that same tornado where you saw the damage in Andover. But you have several other spots here where potentially tornadoes also touched down.

You also have over 80 damaging wind reports and 60 hail reports. One of those, by the way, being larger than softball size. So, you kind of have to understand this wasn't just tiny hail the size of dimes or quarters, this was substantial hail that came down in several places.

Now, here is the key thing to note, too, that April, so far, is above average for the tornado count. That marks the second month in a row where we had an above-average season month, rather, in terms of tornadoes. Here is a look at what's going on at the moment. You can see we still do have some of those stronger thunderstorms making their way through areas of Oklahoma, Missouri, and even Arkansas. Most of the big severe weather has calmed down at least for the moment. But we anticipate once the sun comes back out, we're going to start to see that tick back up again.

One thing that may complicate cleaning up a lot of the damage that's out there, is you've got these wind advisories and high wind warnings for a lot of the States that were impacted last night. Some of those wind gusts are 30 to even 40 miles per hour. Again, making the clean- up a little bit more difficult than you normally would have.

Here's a look at the forecast for today. That system is going to gradually shift off to the East. Now cities like Chicago, Indianapolis, St. Louis stretching down to Memphis, Little Rock, even all the way back into Waco and Austin, Texas, all looking at the potential for some more severe storms today. Damaging winds, again, some very large hail, and yes, even some tornadoes all possibilities today with this next round of severe weather as that line continues to push East.

Again, you have the storms on going this morning. But the bulk of the severe thunderstorms will really ramp up this afternoon and continue into the evening. But it's a multi-day event. Take a look, Sunday we've got the next system that arrives. The focus here becomes Texas and Oklahoma. Then by Monday, we start to see that shift a little bit farther North and even to the East, ladies. So, this is going to be something we're going to have to continue to watch in the coming days.

WALKER: All right. Allison Chinchar, thank you so much.

All right. Now to the war in Ukraine where Russian forces are intensifying their attacks in the East. But Ukrainian forces say they are holding off the Russian assault on several fronts. Ukraine saying its forces fought off 14 Russian attacks in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions over the past 24 hours.

JARRETT: Yes, that's right. Heavy shelling by Russian troops struck a key railway hub and supply line. Ukraine says Russia continues to strengthen its presence in the area by bringing in units normally based in the far Eastern part of the country. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says the people of Ukraine are fighting for their lives.



VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The occupiers are doing everything to destroy any life in this area. Therefore, the defense of our land, the protection of our people, is literally a struggle for life.


WALKER: And new drone video shows smoke rising from the steel plant in Mariupol, the last stand for Ukrainian troops defending that city. Hundreds of soldiers and civilians have been trapped in that plant for weeks now. A commander inside says Russian bombardment has been relentless and desperate efforts are underway to rescue the people there.

JARRETT: Let's go live to Ukraine and bring in CNN Correspondent Scott McLean who is with us live from Lviv. Scott, bring us up to speed at this hour.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Laura. Yes, according to the Ukrainians, there has been a massive Russian troop buildup in the Eastern part of the country, concentrated around the area of Izium. Many of these troops, many of this equipment, the Ukrainians say have been brought in from Russia's far East. They are pushing toward a town called Lemon (ph). The reason that this is important is because it is a key railway hub. It took shelling yesterday. You can see the images showing the fire on the tracks yesterday.

The Ukrainians, as you mentioned, say that they are holding their own which is perhaps why the Russians also struck a key railway bridge, blowing it up yesterday, which will hamper the Ukrainian efforts to resupply themselves. The Russians, according to the Ukrainians, are also shelling into villages in the far Northeastern part of the country. This is a part of Ukraine that's been pretty quiet for the last couple of weeks.

The Ukrainians though say that they managed to take back recently a suburb of the City of Kharkiv that was being used by the Russians to shell the city. Though unfortunately for the Ukrainians, the Russians still have plenty of other options to shell the city from.

You mentioned Mariupol, as well, in that new drone video that shows that massive steel plant. I spoke with a deputy commander of the Azov regiment which is leading the fighting from that plant who said that they are not only taking the bombardment from the sky but now Russian troops are also trying to storm the plant from ground level. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that there was an operation underway to try to get people out from under that steel plant. But as of yesterday, nothing had materialized just yet. And remember, there are hundreds, they say, of injured soldiers hiding underneath that steel plant. I asked the Azov deputy commander how much longer those soldiers could survive.


SVIATOSLAV PALAMAR, DEPUTY COMMANDER OF THE AZOV REGIMENT (through translator): I'm not going to say how long we could be here. But I'm going to say that we're doing everything we can to stabilize them.

MCLEAN (on camera): Would you rather die fighting than surrender yourself to the Russians?

PALAMAR (through translator): We are not considering the terms of surrender. We are waiting only for guarantees of exit from the territory of the plant. That is, if there is no choice but captivity, we will not surrender.


MCLEAN: Also, Laura, Amara, remember that officials in Mariupol say that they have discovered three mass graves to the East, North, West of the city where they say the Russians have been taking bodies to bury them with the help of the local civilian population in exchange for some food. Well, I spoke to an adviser of the mayor of Mariupol who says that they have been in touch with some people who've done the digging who say that the food they're getting per person is just two carrots, six strands of spaghetti while 40 people are sharing just a gallon and a half of water and a single loaf of bread.

JARRETT: That's hard to imagine. Scott McLean, thank you for your reporting, as always.

Well, the mother of a former U.S. marine killed while fighting alongside Ukrainian troops says her son just wanted to do the right thing. She says he made the family proud.

WALKER: Yes. 22-year-old Willy Joseph Cancel was working for a private military contracting company when he agreed to join the fight in Ukraine. His mother, Rebecca Cabrera says he had, "High moral value and wanted to help the people of Ukraine."


REBECCA CABRERA, MOTHER OF AMERICAN KILLED IN UKRAINE: That's one of the proudest days of his life when he was able to call himself a marine. And even before he left to go to Ukraine, you know, he was proud because he wanted to do the right thing and, you know, fight alongside the underdogs and help them with things that he thought was important. He knew they needed help. And it was just something that he felt that he could help in because he had the experience and the training and the knowledge to go and help them.



JARRETT: Cabrera says she last spoke with her son on April 21st, four days before he was killed. Willy Joseph Cancel leaves behind a wife and a seven-month-old baby.

WALKER: All right. Let's bring in CNN Military Analyst and retired air force colonel Cedric Leighton. Good morning to you, Colonel. You know, U.S. and NATO officials are saying that Moscow is slowly making progress on its assault in Eastern Ukraine as Russia has seen to learn from its mistakes and blunders from earlier on. They've apparently improved their ability to combine air and ground operations, resupply forces in the field. But as you were hearing from Scott McLean, Colonel, Russia obviously still facing stiff resistance. Do you expect that momentum to change in Russia's favor as a result?

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Good morning, Amara. The -- I think the biggest thing you have to look is this is a very fluid situation. So, the momentum could change very, very quickly. I think that what we're seeing is the Ukrainians obviously have the capability and the capacity to resist in particular, you know, looking at what's happening around Kharkiv, looking at what's happening around Izium. Those two areas indicate that the Ukrainians are, at the very at least, holding their own in parts of the Eastern area.

However, the Russians are coming in, you know, with fresh troops, with more equipment, with the kinds of things that you would expect them to bring in. And plus, they're also streamlining their command-and- control processes. Like you correctly pointed out, you have the capacity, you know, if you do it correctly from a military standpoint to integrate ground operations and air operations and that's the kind of thing that we're seeing here, the beginnings of that. But what was always surprising from the beginning of this invasion was the fact that the Russians did not integrate those capabilities very well, if at all. And that flies in the face of their doctrine and the way they developed their tactics and procedures.

WALKER: Yes. You know, the Department of Defense announced, I think it was just yesterday that another round of training for Ukrainian forces in Germany has begun. We know more weapons are expected to arrive very soon. And of course, President Biden calling on Congress for $33 billion in funding to support Ukraine. Sure, the West can send more weapons and heavy weaponry, but does that end the war? LEIGHTON: No, it doesn't. Not by itself. The war will finally end on the diplomatic front. You know, obviously, what both sides are trying to do is gain as much territory as possible. The Ukrainians need to hold territory and regain some of the territory that the Russians have captured. The Russians, of course, want to continue to capture territory. And what we're seeing unfolding here is right out of their playbook.

We know that the Russians want to create that land bridge in the South. We also know that the Russians want to take over more of the Donbas region and they're concentrating their efforts in those two areas principally. But, you know, their effort to create, in essence, what amounts to a landlocked and isolated Ukraine is going to meet with a lot of resistance from the Ukrainians with Western help.

But the issue that the Ukrainians have is that they need the manpower, they need the resources, they need the replenishment operations to continue. And frankly, it still remains an open question whether or not they can do this on their own. They've certainly had a great start compared to where we thought they would be two months ago, but this is a very different situation for them now in the East. And it's going to require a lot of difficult work. A lot of difficult efforts that, you know, we'll see whether or not the tide of battle can turn permanently in their favor.

WALKER: Yes, given that they're facing a lot of difficult work from here on out. I would imagine that you share the same assessment from Western officials that this war could drag on for many more months, even years as the NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg said this week. Are we at risk of seeing a widening war on, you know, many other fronts as we're already seeing it on the economic front, right, with Russia cutting off natural gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria?

LEIGHTON: Absolutely. And I think one of the big issues here is, you know, that widening of the war is going to take effect, not only on the economic side, you know, as you mentioned Bulgaria and Poland. In particular, look at this as being an act of war, the cutting off of gas supplies to those countries. And Poland was particularly vociferous in its denunciation of this Russian move. I think barring a change in regime in Moscow, I -- this is a -- it's a very distinct possibility that this war will continue for quite some time. I -- you know, with the West will continue to resupply the Ukrainians.


The Russians risk getting bogged down in, you know, any front that they are trying to maneuver in. And that spells, you know, that long timetable that will show up and it will be something that I think will cause some difficulties for them if the Ukrainians continue to be able to resist like they have.

WALKER: Yes. You know some sobering and really stark words that stuck out to me this week was from the U.N. Secretary-General who told CNN that this war will end when the Russian Federation decides it will end.


WALKER: Colonel Cedric Leighton, appreciate you joining us this morning. Thank you so much.

JARRETT: Still ahead for --

LEIGHTON: You bet. Absolutely.

JARRETT: Still ahead for you, parents who have been waiting so long to vaccinate their young children against COVID could soon get their wish. More on that next.

And later what we've learned after three weeks of testimony in Johnny Depp's defamation trial against his ex-wife. Next week she takes the stand.



Some good news for parents with young children this week. Kids as young as six months through five years of age may be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine as early as this June. Now, that's according to the FDA's latest meeting schedule. Here to discuss with me is Emergency Physician Dr. Anand Swaminathan.

Dr. Anand Swaminathan, so nice to see you again this morning. I want to start with that news from Moderna. They filed this emergency use authorization for this age group on Thursday. But there's a lot of questions I'm hearing from parents about efficacy. So, look at this data with me. OK. The two-shot regime we know is 51 percent effective at preventing symptoms in children six months to two years old. But that then drops down to 37 percent effective in kids two through five. Now, Moderna says these efficacy numbers are basically the same as adults if they're fighting up against Omicron. But if children were less likely to get sick in the first place, what do you tell a parent who might be skeptical about getting their kid vaccinated saying, what's the point, 37 percent?

DR. ANAND SWAMINATHAN, EMERGENCY MEDICINE PHYSICIAN: I think it's important to really look at what that vaccine efficacy means. Kids are just as likely to get this as adults are. Kids are less likely to get very sick from it. But what we've seen time and time again with these vaccines is that while they may only provide a small amount of protection or a modest amount of protection from any infection, they're extremely good at preventing hospitalization, severe infection, and death. And while kids are less likely for that to happen, we are seeing more kids getting hospitalized, going to the ICU, especially during this Omicron phase.

And so, what is really important for us to offer the best protection and I think that's the message that we need to get to parents is that this vaccine offers the best protection for your kids. It will be less likely they get sick, less likely they contract, less likely they spread, and also less likely they're going to need to be hospitalized. That's a really critical message for us to be communicating with parents. Pediatricians need to be out there because the most trusted people in the health community for parents is their kid's pediatrician. So, they really need to be on the frontline really talking up the protection against severe disease here.

JARRETT: And you never know if your kid is going to be that one who somehow finds, you know, themselves with a more critical case, even if the vast majority turn out to be just fine. You know, all these vaccines are based off of the original strain. And so, one of the things I've been wondering is what do you say to someone who might point to some of the numbers we have seen out of the CDC this week finding that nearly 60 percent of adults and 75 percent of children in the U.S. now have antibodies from COVID-19, which suggests they had COVID-19 at some point. So, if someone says, look, I already had COVID. My kid already had COVID. What's the point of getting a vaccination shot at this point? What's the point of getting a second booster shot at this point?

DR. SWAMINATHAN: Infection-based immunity definitely will provide some protection. So, if you had it before, you definitely have a little more protection than if you've never had it before. But it's still not as good as having had a vaccine. And it's definitely not as good as having had the infection and then having a vaccine where we see that hybrid immunity, which is probably the most robust.

So, I think we still need to be pushing. And look at those numbers and say, it's incredible that this virus has affected up to 75 percent of kids, who have had it at some point. That doesn't mean that vaccines still don't play an important role in protecting us against future infections. So, we still need to push forward getting those vaccines done to give the highest level of protection we possibly can. Also, remembering that vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of long COVID and reduce the severity of long COVID symptoms which is also a really important thing for us to look at going forward as we learn more about long COVID.

JARRETT: And, Doctor, finally before I let you go, you know, the White House Correspondents' Dinner is tonight after long last they've brought it back. Dr. Fauci has already pulled out. President Biden, we know, is going but he's not going to stay for the dinner. He's going to keep his mask on. Should he be going at all at his age?

DR. SWAMINATHAN: That's a really important question to ask. I think when we look at these events -- we look at the gridiron event and we see that that was really the push for it, can we do a vaccine-only large gathering? And the answer was no. Because almost 10 percent of people that were in attendance got infected. The White House Correspondents' Dinner is really an effort to say, can we do an event with personal choice?

So, somebody can say, you know, I'm too high risk. I'm going to stay home. That's what Dr. Fauci is doing. Someone says, well, I'm older, I'm at risk, so I'm going to go but I'll wear a mask. And that's what President Biden is doing. And some people are going to say, my risk is low. I'm just going to let it fly and see what happens.

JARRETT: Right. DR. SWAMINATHAN: But what we have to also remember is that there is another group of people who don't get that choice and that is those -- the staff that's working at this dinner. You have 2,000 people, a very large staff that doesn't really have a choice to protect their health.


I think what this is going to show us is that the personal choice model isn't the best way to do this. Instead, what we should be doing is saying, yes, vaccines are mandatory, so are boosters, and you've got to have a test the day of that's negative. And that provides a much safer environment for people to go to this event. Add to that, the layer of masking when you're not eating. And you really have a much safer event that can reduce the risk of transmission, reduce the risk of a super spreader. I think that's really where we should be moving towards. We're not there yet but that's what we should be looking at.

JARRETT: Yes, yes. That's certainly the goal. We will see what happens. Dr. Swaminathan, thank you so much for joining early this morning. We'll be right back.


WALKER: The midterm elections are just six months away. And President Biden is feeling the pressure to bring home wins for Democrats. Now, sources tell CNN the President is frustrated.


Six months away and President Biden is feeling the pressure to bring home wins for Democrats. Now, sources tell CNN, the president is frustrated. He thinks Republicans aren't being scrutinized enough as his own poll numbers dip. Joining us now to dive deeper into the fierce Midterm political battles ahead, CNN political commentator Errol Louis. He's always a columnist at New York Magazine and host of the You Decide podcast.

Good morning Errol, always good to see you. So, let's talk about --


WALKER: That dip in those poll numbers for President Biden. Just 41 percent of Americans approve of President Biden according to CNN's latest polling average. On top of that, you've got gas prices way up, inflation up, the housing market, a little crazy right now. The president reportedly wants Democrats to be talking more about what the party has accomplished instead of worrying about what it hasn't. OK --

LOUIS: Yes --

WALKER: So, what's the message Democrats will be running on?

LOUIS: Well, look, it's been about saying, well, shots in arms. That, this president and this administration delivered on their promise to turn things around with the pandemic. That is largely true, and they can, in fact, take credit for that. There's also a bunch of things that were related to that, the recovery, the recovery bills that were passed, the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

There's a ton of money that has swept through state and local government that has really made a big difference as well as historic achievements like cutting child poverty virtually in half, albeit for only six months. So, the Democrats do have a message that they should be comfortable taking to the people.

The problem of course is that, there are all these other problems about outshining those achievements, things like the war in Ukraine, the withdrawal from Afghanistan and of course, the inflation that people experience each and every day. So the Democrats and President Biden I think are right to be quite worried that they're going to have a hard time breaking through when it comes to the vote this Fall.

WALKER: Yes, and another thing to worry about, a recent Gallup poll showing that Biden's approval rating among black adults, they were talking about Democratic support from black voters, also going down. So it was at 67 percent, compare that to 87 percent support from black Democratic voters at the beginning of his presidency. Errol, what is going on?

LOUIS: Yes, well, look, that speaks more to whether or not people are going to turn out. The next Democratic candidate for president, like their several predecessors, is going to have the overwhelming majority of the black vote, 67 percent in almost any other scenario is nothing to sneeze at. The point though, of course, as you're suggesting is that it's normally upwards of 80 percent and closer to 90 percent.

They're going to need enthusiastic turnout from the Democratic base. That's really what that translates into, and the fact that there's disillusionment or there are people who are maybe a little bit apathetic about all of this is going to be a problem. And so, this president will have to do what we know he's going to do. He's going to sort of talk about the fact that he made history by appointing or pushing through the nomination of the first black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

And of course, he'll point to and rely on his Vice President Kamala Harris to get out there and really round up the votes, fire up the enthusiasm of the base.

WALKER: We also have reporting that Biden in terms of strategy, Errol, has adopted the line, don't compare me to the almighty, compare me to the alternative as his Midterms mantra. The alternative obviously meaning Donald Trump and the right-wing Republicans. But you know, some in the party worry Biden wouldn't do as well against a younger and less controversial GOP candidate. What do you think?

LOUIS: Well, that's probably true. I mean, you know, look, the problem with that strategy is that you've got to wait for the other side. You're giving way too much initiative to the other side. You say, compare me to the alternative? Well, the alternative has not been selected yet. And so, what that means is, as a Democratic Party, as an administration, as a candidate, Joe Biden will be there bleeding for the next four or five months at a minimum as the Republican field starts to shape up.

That's not really a winning strategy. What you want to do is define the alternative, not just wait for them to show up. Allowing Donald Trump to dictate the pace of the next presidential election would be a fatal mistake for Joe Biden. He has the powers of incumbency to not use them and sort of wait for the alternative and say, well, let's run 2020 all over again. Huge mistake. Elections are always about the future.

WALKER: Yes, it seems like more of a -- that would be a passive approach, right, than taking it by the reins especially when we know that there's a strong possibility that the Republicans can retake the house in November. Look, I do want to switch gears and talk about Minority leader Kevin McCarthy.


I mean, there are so many extraordinary points to some headlines that he got this week, number one, he got a standing ovation from house Republicans after defending those taped comments, warning of the danger some of his own members posed on January 6th, as concerns that they would incite more violence.

And he's gone to great lengths to ensure he has enough support to become speaker. We know he really wants to become speaker if Republicans take back the house. Can he pull it off? I mean, it's extraordinary to me that he doesn't think that this audio of him could hurt his chances.

LOUIS: Well, you know, the information that the rest of us need to worry about is the fact that it has not hurt him. The fact that an open, armed, violent insurrection designed to overturn the election is not a deal breaker for the mainstream of the Republican leadership. I mean, that's really all that means. Yes, you know, and so, well, slavish obedience to Donald Trump and anything that he wants, including extremism, violent extremism, including overturning the results of elections, this is not unthinkable.

This is, in fact, now a mainstream position of the Republican Party. And you know, Kevin McCarthy is not going to be the man to challenge that by any means. He made a couple of noises as if he was going to be sort of -- somebody who stood up for law and order and for the constitution. But that's all out the window. And so what we have is a leadership of that party that is charging so hard to the right, so far into the weeds of extremism.

WALKER: Yes --

LOUIS: It's hard to see where the guardrails are going to be. If you can't speak up against what happened on January 6th, it's unclear what we're going to have as far as the limiting factor that would stop people from saying, you know, that where they have people say as Kevin McCarthy briefly did, hey, we've gone too far.

WALKER: Yes, we're not talking about fringe elements here anymore. Errol Louis, appreciate you, thank you so much. LOUIS: Thank you.

JARRETT: So, we've heard three weeks of explosive and sometimes shocking testimony in the Johnny Depp defamation suit against Amber Heard. Next week, she takes the stand. We get a preview next.



WALKER: Another week of disturbing testimony in Johnny Depp's ongoing defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard.

JARRETT: Yes, that's right. Details including their explosive fights all spilling out into public view. But that's not all, CNN's Polo Sandoval has more.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was back to the witness stand for actor Johnny Depp at the start of week three in his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard. Both Depp and Heard are accusing the other of acts of physical violence during their relationship. They've both denied the allegations.

JOHNNY DEPP, ACTOR: The only person that I've ever abused in my life is myself.

SANDOVAL: Depp is suing Heard for $50 million over 2018 "Washington Post" op-ed which she described herself as a public figure representing domestic abuse. Depp was not mentioned in the piece, though, he maintains it cost him lucrative acting gigs. Depp sitting on the stand concluded on Monday, but not referring to his marriage to Heard as horrific.

He also recalled a recorded conversation between the two actors after an incident in which part of Depp's finger was severed off by a bottle allegedly thrown by Heard.

AMBER HEARD, ACTRESS: I really did think I was going to lose my life and I thought you would do it on accident. And I told you that. I said, oh my God, I thought the first time.

DEPP: Amber, I lost a -- finger, man, come on. I had a -- a mineral can, a jar, a can of mineral spirits thrown at my nose.

HEARD: I mean, you can see, tell people that it was a fair fight, and see what the jury and judge think. Tell the world, Johnny. Tell them Johnny Depp, I, Johnny Depp, a man, I'm a victim too, of domestic violence.

DEPP: Yes.

HEARD: And I -- you know, it's a fair fight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did you say in response when Miss Heard said, tell the world, Johnny, tell them Johnny Depp, I, Johnny Depp, a man, I'm a victim too, of domestic violence?

DEPP: I said yes, I am.

SANDOVAL: During cross-examination, Heard's attorney brought up a barrage of bad press that pre-dated the op-ed, that he argued may have been what derailed Depp's career.

BEN ROTTENBORN, AMBER HEARD'S ATTORNEY: "Where did it all go wrong for Johnny Depp after a string of flops and a ton of bad press, Johnny Depp's star power looks as wobbly as Jack Sparrow on a plank." Did I read that right?

DEPP: You read that very well.

SANDOVAL: On Tuesday, a forensic psychologist hired by Depp to assess Heard, told the jury that she suffers from several personality disorders, and that she does not suffer from post-traumatic stress from her marriage to Depp.

SHANNON CURRY, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: One of the primary things I learned was that she had a very sophisticated way of minimizing any personal problems.

SANDOVAL: Heard's lawyers in turn grilled the psychologist about possible bias towards Depp, and questioned her analysis. Also this week, Heard's op-ed piece dominated testimony as the jury was told about the ACLU's involvement in helping her draft it. You see, Heard continues to be an ambassador for the organization, focusing on women's rights.

Depp's attorney brought up ACLU e-mail, showing people inside the organization knew that when Heard wrote about alleged abuse in her marriage, she was referencing Depp.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it also true that there were some at the ACLU who expressed their belief that excising those references to her marriage and divorce from Johnny Depp made the op-ed less impactful, correct?


SANDOVAL: That line of questioning could be significant because Depp claims the public knew who Heard was writing about in her essay. However, it will be up to the jury to decide if that's Heard's fault and if it's defamation. Heard is expected to take the stand as her side's first witness with weeks still to go in the trial, it's unclear when that will be. Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.


WALKER: And a quick programming note, the second season of "STANLEY TUCCI SEARCHING for ITALY" premieres this Sunday at 9:00 p.m. You won't want to miss it.



WALKER: The feud continues between Florida Republicans and Disney. Their state's largest private sector employer. The question moving forward, who will pick up Disney's debt after their special district ends?

JARRETT: Now, Governor Ron DeSantis says it is, quote, "a process". Here is CNN's Leyla Santiago on what happens next.

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Amara and Laura, Governor Ron DeSantis vowing additional legislative action to get rid of the Reedy Creek Improvement District. And that's a special district that essentially allows Disney to operate as its own independent government in the areas surrounding those Orlando Theme Parks.

Now, there are still a lot of questions regarding the details. How exactly will this be done? You ask the Republicans, they will tell you this doesn't go into effect until June of next year, so they have time to work out those details. But still, there's a lot of concern especially for those counties that surround that special district. We're talking about Orange County as well as Osceola County.

And their concern is that if that special district goes away, that they will get stuck with the district's debt. Orange County tax collector telling CNN, that if they have to absorb that tax burden and it gets passed along as a property tax increase, it could be about a 20 percent to 25 percent property tax increase for the average Orange County resident.

Now, Reedy Creek did write a letter to its bondholders to say that they didn't think that the state could get rid of them without about a billion-dollar payout for their debt. And then you have the other player in this. You have Disney. And they have stayed pretty quiet, not saying anything since the governor signed the legislation about this last week. Amara, Laura?

JARRETT: Leyla, thank you for that. The U.S. women's soccer team has inspired generations of young girls to think, hey, I can do that, too. Now, an up and coming star says she's ready to carry on that legacy.



WALKER: This year marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title 9, that landmark law that's given generations of girls and women the opportunity to compete.

JARRETT: CNN's Carolyn Manno is with us now. Carolyn, the U.S. women's soccer is just such a prime example of how Title 9 can work.

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, good morning to you both. You know, the U.S. women's national team is the most dominant force in their sport, and women like Natalie Portman, Serena Williams, Billie Jean King along with more than a dozen former national team stars now own a majority stake in the National Women's Soccer League franchise, Angel City FC, and this is really important when you talk about investment in women's sports in the legacy of Title 9.

Angel City won their inaugural home opener in front of a sold-out crowd last night. Defender Sarah Gorden says, this is all a key reminder of how important role models are for the next generation.


SARAH GORDEN, DEFENDER, ANGEL CITY FC: Title 9 got passed somewhere around when my parents were in college, and my mom ended up playing tennis in college because of Title 9. She wasn't good at tennis, sorry, mom. But they needed more female athletes, and so she ended up being on the team.

You know, by the time I was getting recruited for college, it was very normal for female athletes to be getting scholarships. And now, looking back, it wouldn't have been like that without Title 9, you know, it wouldn't have been such a normal process.

I feel like, and I know a lot of my peers do as well, it's our job to keep girls in sports and to be role models for them, so they can kind of see, as the 99ers were for me, you know, it is possible and you can keep playing. Don't give up. And so, I hope that girls continue to play sports and look to become professionals.

And it is really special that our club is owned and founded by women. It's women sports, but that's actually a rare thing. We're so often owned and operated by men. And so, I think it's special to play for people that kind of in their own perspective, whether, it's business or sports, have broken down barriers and, you know, paved the path for women, and so, they understand us. They know what we're going through.

You know, it's no secret that our league has had some turbulence in the past year or two. And so, I think when you're owned and operated by women and women that have been through adversity and challenges and want to make, you know, this world and this sport a better place, it's like those kinds of things that have happened in the past years in our league aren't going to happen within our team. And I think that's so great to know. So, overall, I'm just really grateful to play for this club.


MANNO: And as Sarah alluded to there, and as you guys both know, while the United States women's national team settled an equal pay lawsuit with U.S. soccer earlier this year, there are still a lot of work to be done in the sport.

When you look at NWSL salaries, they max out at 75,000. Still, this team is really just such a thrilling example of the work that's being done to change the landscape, and it happens a little bit at a time. But investment, especially female investment is key.

JARRETT: Yes, more to be done, but progress, which is a good thing. All right, Carolyn, nice to see you, appreciate it.

MANNO: You too.