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New Day Saturday

At Least 14 Tornadoes Across Kansas And Nebraska; At Least 40 Million Under Threat Of Severe Storms Across The Midwest; Pentagon Press Secretary Chokes Up Over Putin's Depravity; Family Demanding Sheriff's Office To Remove Graphic Videos, Pictures Of "Rust" Victim; Attorney: FBI Violated Suspected Shooter's Rights When Obtaining DNA; Marginalized Groups Fear Rise In Cyberbullying On Twitter Without Content Moderation Policies; Transgender attorney Alejandra Caraballo Talked About The Harassment They Face On Social Media And How It May Get Worse. Aired 7-8a E.T.

Aired April 30, 2022 - 07:00   ET



LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Yep, more to be done but progress, which is a good thing. All right, Carolyn, nice to see you. Appreciate it. The next hour of new day starts right now. Good morning and welcome to your new day. It is Saturday, April 30th. I'm Laura Jarrett in New York.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Amara Walker in Atlanta. Boris and Christi are off. Laura, great to be with you.

JARRETT: Always great to see you.

WALKER: We begin this morning in the Midwest where the governor of Kansas has declared a state of emergency after a string of powerful tornadoes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hopefully. Oh my gosh.


WALKER: And you can hear the oh my gosh is there at least 14 tornadoes were reported across Kansas and Nebraska. Authorities say at least one touchdown and the Wichita area damaging homes, cars, and at least 50 to 100 buildings.

JARRETT: Yes, the worst damage happened in the town of Andover, where officials say most of the roads are closed. But the fire chief says it's going to take a little longer to figure out the damage in his city.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unfortunately, we've been through this before, and it'll be years that we'll be recovering from this.


JARRETT: Years. CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar joins us now. Allison, at least 40 million people are still under the threat of severe storms. How many days are we talking about before things get better here?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It's a great question, because it's going to be a multi-day event. So, you're talking over a dozen states at some point being impacted whether it's today, tomorrow, or even potentially on Monday. But let's look at the last 24 hours, again, 15 tornado reports so far, over 80 damaging wind reports, and 60 hail reports.

Some of those were the size of baseballs, and even softball, so you're talking some pretty significant damage. And unfortunately, for some of these communities, you've got high wind warnings and wind advisories, meaning the cleanup process is likely going to take place today, you're going to have to contend with 30, even 40-mile per hour wind gusts throughout much of the day today.

We also still have that same line of thunderstorms that caused the issues yesterday, still ongoing. You can see some of those showers and thunderstorms in states like Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, and even Oklahoma, most of the major threat has died down for the moment. But that is expected to change especially once the sun comes back out.

You get the heating of the day that's really going to ramp things back up. So, this is going to be the focal point for where we anticipate the severe thunderstorms today.

You'll notice it stretches from Milwaukee all the way back down towards Waco in Austin, Texas. Basically, anywhere you see, this green color has the potential for some strong to severe thunderstorms.

But really, the focal point is going to be this yellow area here: Chicago, St. Louis, stretching down to Little Rock, damaging winds, large hail yet again, like we saw yesterday. And yes, even a few tornadoes.

Here's the thing, we've got those showers and thunderstorms ongoing, but you'll really start to see the bulk of the severe storms begin this afternoon and continue into the evening hour.

So, again, it could even be one of those things again, where after dark, you still have to make sure you have a way to get your watches and warnings, especially before you go to bed. But we talked about this. It's a multi-day event. It's not just today.

We have a second system that will be arriving on Sunday. The focus then really becomes that target point around the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandle as well as portions of Colorado and New Mexico.

By Monday we start to see that shift a little bit further to the east, but also spread north. So, you -- unfortunately, you're even talking some of the same communities that were hit last night now getting a secondary round of severe storms yet again on Monday. So, here's that first system. Sunday, you still got a chance for some

strong thunderstorms across West Virginia and Southern Ohio, that secondary system really starting to take shape on Sunday and continuing to progress as we go into Monday.

So, ladies, unfortunately, this is something we're going to have to keep a close eye on over the next several days.

JARRETT: Yes, that double whammy is really tough for folks. Allison, thank you for staying on top of it and tracking all of the storms. Now, to the ongoing 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 says its forces fought off 14 Russian attacks in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions over the past 24 hours.

WALKER: Heavy shelling by Russian troops struck a key railway hub and supply line. Ukraine says Russia continues to strengthen its presence in the area.

JARRETT: We are also hearing from the mother of a former U.S. Marine killed while fighting alongside Ukrainian forces. She says, he went to the, to fight in the country because it was the right thing to do.

WALKER: The situation is growing more desperate inside, that steel plant and Mariupol, hundreds of soldiers and civilians have been trapped inside the plant for weeks now. A commander inside says Russian bombardment has been relentless. And many people there are injured efforts are underway to try to get those civilians out.

Let's get the latest now on the situation inside the steel plant and of course other developments in Ukraine. CNN Correspondent Scott McLean, joining us live now from Lviv. Scott, what have you learned about the conditions, if any, inside that steel plant?


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Amara. Yes, I mean, things have been dire now for weeks, maybe months, and they're only getting worse there. That is what we're being told from the people inside of that plant. It is well known around the world.

It's even gotten the attention of the U.N. secretary general who was here in Ukraine just days ago trying to broker some kind of a deal between the Ukrainians and Russians with U.N. help to get people out of that area. So far, though, nothing has panned out.

Yesterday, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, announced that there was an operation underway to evacuate people from underneath of that steel plant. But by the end of the day, again, nothing had come from it. One of his advisors, Mykhailo Podolyak, said that the Russians don't want to give up that steel plant.

They don't want to let anybody out of there because for them, it is symbolic because leaving the fighting there is the Azov regimen. This is a former ultra-nationalist extremist militia that has now been folded into the, the regular Ukrainian military.

But they are also a proper, propaganda tool for Russia to try to make the point that Ukraine needs to be de-nazified in their telling of the story. And so, Podolyak says that the Russians simply have not been willing to talk to make any real meaningful concessions at all.

I spoke with the deputy commander of the Azov regiment yesterday who is actually inside of that steel plant right now. And he said that in recent days, they've not only been taking heavy bombardment from the sky, but yesterday, Russian troops also attempted to storm the compound from the ground.

And remember, they're not only citizens, they're as young as four months, they say, but there are hundreds of injured soldiers as well. And I asked him how long those soldiers might be able to survive.


SWATOSLAV PALAMAR, DEPUTY COMMANDER OF THE AZOV REGIMENT (through translation): 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: Would you rather die fighting, then surrender yourself to the Russians.

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


MCLEAN: So, I also spoke with an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol yesterday who said that even if diplomacy succeeds in getting the civilian population from, from out from underneath the steel plant, it is a much longer shot to imagine that the Russians would let the soldiers there, the armed soldiers there walk.

They say that they will not leave that steel plant unless they have a weapon in their hands. He suggested that they would need not only an international adventure intervention, but also a divine one suggesting that perhaps the pope himself might have to drive the bus to pick up those soldiers and take them out safely. Laura, Amara.

WALKER: All right. Scott McLean. Appreciate your reporting. Thank you.

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

JARRETT: 22-year-old, Willie Joseph Kansel, 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 just wanted to help the people of Ukraine.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REBECCA CABRERA, MOTHER: That was 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, and he -- 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. Willie Joseph Kansel leaves behind a wife and a 7-month-old baby. Retired Major General Michael Repass is here with us now to discuss Russia's war on Ukraine.

He was the commander for U.S. Special Operation forces in Europe. Sir, very nice to see you again this morning. I want to start here, Ukraine says, that its forces are holding off attacks on several fronts now, as new Russian forces come across the border.

CNN reports the Russian military has made some progress as they work to fix the problems that they faced early in the phase of this invasion, how would you assess just the relative strength of each side, we're now some two months into this crisis?


MAJ. GEN. MICHAEL REPASS, CNN MILITARY CONTRIBUTOR: For the Ukrainians, their ultimate strength is really the defense that they're in, in the unity of their people. Additionally, they've got almost unlimited supplies coming in from NATO at this point in time.

The supply line has been opened up, it's working rather efficiently and effectively, and providing armaments to the Ukrainians out on the front. They're able to use that and employ that to good effect against the Russians.

On the Russian side, now, what they have is they have numbers and they have the advantage of geography. Right now, they're using the numbers of troops that they have the various battalion tactical groups in an attempt to encircle Ukrainian forces in the east.

While they're fighting very viciously in the east, they're pressing hard from the south and the north to encircle those forces and defeat them in detail, which will be a catastrophic loss for the Ukrainians if they are allowed to do that.

JARRETT: Well, speaking of the east, Ukraine says the Russian artillery is hitting villages in the northeast, places that hadn't been targeted, frankly, in weeks. What does that tell you?

REPASS: It tells me that Russia is up to the same classic tactics that they've been using all along. To save time, you say using Chechnyan, and same ones they used in Syria. They bomb and destroy everything in front of it.

And then they slowly advanced their troops into that area declared of any civilian soldiers, anything that's left. They're interested in destroying everything that's in front of them. They're not interested in just maneuvering and pushing out the troops or killing the troops.

They want to push out the civilians and everything that is Ukrainian out of the area. They want to destroy anything that is Ukrainian in front of them. That is their mission. And it's been that way since the beginning of this thing.

The reason is that they don't want anything that looks like Ukraine, or has any tie to Ukrainian culture left when they pass through the area. They want to annex that area and make that part of greater Russia. It's their strategy. That's their objective all along here. So, this is exactly typical of what they've been doing since day one.

JARRETT: As you mentioned, though, Ukraine is getting help. Poland says it has sent more than 200 tags to Ukraine in the past few weeks. The U.S. has delivered more than half of the howitzers it's pledged in recent, in its recent weapons package.

How significant is this new aid from the west? And really, at this point, what do you think is most needed?

REPASS: So, first to Poland, it's very impressive, isn't it? What they've done. 200 tanks or so and those are badly needed by the Ukrainians. I mean, Ukrainians are taking those and using them to get effective. They've got to replenish their losses as well.

We think the, the Russians have lost about a thousand tanks. I think probably the Ukrainians have lost substantially less than that, probably in the range of 200 or 300.

So, another 200 tanks coming into the inventory to be used by frontline troops is a very significant addition to the capability there. The NATO capabilities that are being provided, not just the U.S., but we also got to take into account what NATO is doing, and other nations as well.

As an example, Australia has provided artillery pieces, similar to what the U.S. has done. So, it's more than just the United States. It's a NATO effort, plus NATO-friendly countries that are supplying the Ukrainian.

So, that, that's a significant effort in combination. The troops have been trained, they've trained the trainers, so to speak, for the artillery systems, and they've gone back and you're now training the troops on how to use the artillery systems that have been provided to them. So, we should see them put into action in the next week or two.

It's not a matter of just getting the stuff that you out there shoot the weapon. It's not like that at all. There's a lot of art and science behind this that has to be learned and acquired along the way.

JARRETT: Well, it's really helpful to have your expertise as always to help break all this down. It's a lot to digest. That is for sure. Major General Michael Repass, thank you so much, Sir, appreciate your time.

REPASS: Thank you.

WALKER: The brutality of Russia's invasion of Ukraine is shocking even to those who are accustomed to dealing with atrocities and conflicts. Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby got emotional discussing Vladimir Putin's depravity in Ukraine areas.


JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: It's hard to look, at what he's doing in Ukraine, what his forces are doing in Ukraine, and think that he any ethical, moral individual could justify that it's difficult to look at the -- sorry, it's difficult to look at some of the images, and imagine that any well thinking serious mature leader would do that.

So, I can't talk to a psychology, but I think we can all speak to his depravity.



WALKER: Kirby called Putin's justifications for the invasion, B.S. All right. Still to come this morning, President Biden is requesting additional aid for Ukraine to the tune of $38 billion, but he'll have to get Congress's approval first.

JARRETT: And next, a CNN exclusive the 80 Plus text messages that reveal the advice Trump's White House shared with a Fox host after the 2020 election.



WALKER: We're learning new details about more than 80 text messages between former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Fox Host Sean Hannity between Election Day 2020 and President Biden's inauguration.

JARRETT: Yes, we've seen some of these messages before but these new ones show Hannity supporter, former President Trump's big lie and offer a window into how he was reacting to the election and its aftermath. CNN's Brian Stelter has more details.


BRIAN STELTER, CNN HOST: Hey, Amara and Laura, these text messages really reinforce how right-wing media stoked Donald Trump's election lie and shows how Fox stars like Sean Hannity, were front and center. These messages were handed over by former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to the 01/06 Committee. CNN has reviewed all of the texts and Sean Hannity's name came up over

and over again with dozens of messages back and forth between Hannity and Meadows during that pivotal period of time, from November 2020 to January 2021.

There's a clear evolution in Hannity's thinking as one of the biggest stars in right-wing media. He starts out in November, believing Trump actually won the election saying on November 29th, "I've had my team digging into the numbers, there is no way Biden got these numbers just mathematically impossible.

It's so sad for this country, they can pull this off in 2020." So conspiratorial language from Hannity and meadows responding, "You're exactly right, working on breakthrough."

In other words, Meadows is saying he's trying to prove that the election actually was stolen. But by December of 2020, Hannity and Meadows' tone had shifted, they talked about what life would be like in the Biden years, they talked about possible business deals together.

And then in January of 2021, Hannity expressed real alarm during the riot of the Capitol. And then, after the riot, tried to, tried to manage Trump tried to provide guardrails around Trump for the final days of the Trump presidency.

These messages, they demonstrate how unusual the relationship was between Fox stars like Hannity, and the Trump White House. Of course, Hannity had a lot to say back then, but didn't have anything to say about this report he declined to comment.

And I think what really stands out more than anything else, is the difference between what Hannity was saying publicly on his television show and what he was saying privately, while he was booking guests and interviewing people on his show, who were stoking the big lie who were encouraging people to disbelieve that Biden was the actual winner.

In private, he was acknowledging reality by December and January, he was acknowledging Biden was going to be the president. He kept that from his viewers, and instead told a scary story on TV about the election being stolen from Donald Trump. Laura, Amara.


JARRETT: Brian Stelter, thank you for that report. Also, this week, President Biden formally asked Congress for $33 billion in supplemental funding to support Ukraine over the next several months as Russia's war enters a new phase.

But lawmakers on both sides of the aisle warned there are many issues that need to be sorted out that could delay this vote for weeks.

WALKER: CNN Congressional Reporter Daniella Diaz Joining us now. Good morning, Daniella. So, what does Congress need to flush out before making a decision? DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, of course, that supplemental request came from President Joe Biden, he laid out, Amara and Laura, what he wanted to see in this legislation.

But the Democrats need Republican support to be able to pass this through the Senate. So, it's going to take a couple of weeks as Democrats and Republicans flesh out what they actually can pass with Republican support.

Remember, it is a priority for Republicans to help Ukraine try to combat this Russian invasion, but that price tag $33 billion is a lot of money. So, they're going to try to figure out what they can do.

And another issue here, of course, being that Democratic leadership wants to couple this supplemental request, this legislation to help Ukraine with separate funding for -- to help COVID-19 or for COVID-19 to help businesses relief package, as well as funding for testing, funding for vaccines.

Senate already agreed on the $10 billion price tag. They tabled that after, before congressional recess that took place about couple of weeks ago. Now, Democratic leadership is figuring out whether they want to couple that $10 billion bill for COVID 19 relief with the supplemental request, but Republicans don't want that.

In fact, one very powerful Republican in the Senate John Thune said that that is a non-starter. So, they're going to try to figure out how to do that.

And also, the other question is, when they agree on what this legislation is going to look like, they have to write it. But the goal here for Democratic leadership is to try to pass this legislation by Memorial Day weekend, whether that happens or not remains to be seen. We all know things take a long time here at Capitol Hill, Laura and Amara.

WALKER: Yes, sometimes too long. Daniella Diaz, appreciate you. Thank you so much.


Seven live rounds. That is how many detectives found on the set of "Rust," the latest in the investigation of why the family of Halina Hutchins is furious with the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office.


JARRETT: Welcome back it's now been six months since the deadly shooting on the set of that movie "Rust" and still the central question at the heart of this investigation remains: How did live ammunition make it onto that set? Answering that question may take time but in a newly released interview, a detective on the case details just how many live rounds were found.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait, so there's two boxes with live rounds in it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're everywhere. I mean, they're in that box, there's one another box. Like I said there's those ones on the carts. There's one in belts. I think we have seven total.



JARRETT: They were everywhere. Joining me now is CNN legal analyst Areva Martin. Areva, so nice to see you this morning.


JARRETT: Let's start -- let's start with this interview. The film's prop master, her name is Sarah Zachary. She found live rounds in the ammo box that was being used to load the gun at the center of this shooting.

They found -- as you heard the detective there, they found live rounds everywhere. This is the first time we're hearing this publicly. What does it mean for the investigation?

MARTIN: Very troubling that guide rounds will be mixed in with the blanks. These are the rounds. We know one of the rounds was actually killed Halyna Hutchins. And to see that these rounds were mixed in with the blanks, very -- again, troubling revelation by this investigation.

We know that there has been so much negligence that was a part of this set. We know that when the armorer herself was interviewed, she said she had not received certain safety bulletins that were sent out.

She couldn't explain how the live rounds were mixed in with the blanks. We've even heard that there may have been sabotage that happened with respect to this set.

So, so many disturbing revelations, but still no answer to that central question as to how did those live rounds make their way to this movie set?

JARRETT: Yes, you certainly get a sense of justice sort of a casual atmosphere when people are handling a dangerous weapon.

Meanwhile, the family of the victim, as you mentioned, Halyna Hutchins, she's -- they are furious with the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office after investigators release videos and pictures earlier this week of Hutchins' final moment.

We're not going to show those moments. They want the images taken down.

In a letter to the sheriff's office, the family's attorney said they're released tramples on the constitutional rights of Hutchins. Is there anything to be done about this now from the family's perspective? MARTIN: I don't think so, as graphically, you know, horrific as some of this -- the evidence was that was released. What the Santa Fe Police Department is saying essentially, is that, look, we had a public records request for this information, and we are simply complying with that public records request in releasing this information.

And they also talked about transparency. And they wanted to release this information to demonstrate that they are being transparent with the respect to this investigation.

As horrible, again, as this is for the family, I don't think we're going to see the law enforcement agency retract any of the information that was put out to the public.

JARRETT: Fair enough. I want to pivot here to another high profile case, the attorneys for the suspected New York subway shooter, Frank James, they say that the FBI violated his constitutional rights when they took his DNA and failed to notify the lawyers.

Now, the federal prosecutors say they had authorization from a judge to get the DNA. They say they didn't violate his rights. Can you walk our viewers through what's the protocol in these situations in a criminal case for getting DNA? And does anything smell fishy here to you?

MARTIN: Yes, I have a couple of concerns. The protocol is getting a legitimate search warrant to be able to take a swab, which is what they did in this case, they took a saliva swab from his mouth and wanted to test his DNA. I'm not so concerned about that. They did that, I think a couple of weeks after he was actually in custody, but there was a legitimate search warrant for that swab.

What I'm a little more concerned about is if they question him, there seems to be some allegations that law enforcement agents actually questioned him outside the presence of his attorney.

We know he is represented by a federal prosecutors, and there shouldn't have been any conversations with him or any questioning of him without those attorneys being there, even though you've been accused of committing horrific crimes, you still have constitutional rights and those rights cannot be trampled on, simply because you're in detention, or again, the heinous nature of the crimes that you've been accused of.

So, if there were conversations with him -- if there were questions asked of him outside the presence of his attorneys that could be troubling.

JARRETT: All right, Areva Martin. Nice to see you my friend. Thank you so much.

MARTIN: Thank you.

JARRETT: We'll be right back.



JARRETT: New this morning, pushback from the justice department against a new Alabama law making it a felony for a doctor to provide gender-affirming health care to transgender minors.

JARRETT (voice-over): The DOJ challenge was filed Friday asking the court to issue an immediate order blocking that ban. It's supposed to go into effect on May 8th.

The justice department says the ban violates the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. This law just the latest in a trend from Republican-led states like Texas and Arkansas, targeting the lives of transgender youth.

WALKER (on camera):In his bid to change the culture of Twitter to promote what he calls free speech, some worry that Elon Musk's version of the social media platform will do more harm than good in the LGBT community.

There are fears that cyberbullying will only get worse. Now, back in 2020, Musk himself came under fire for mocking people who display their preferred pronouns in their Twitter bio.

Later, tweeting, "I absolutely support trans, but all these pronouns are an aesthetic nightmare.

Joining me now is Alejandra Caraballo, transgender attorney, activist, and researcher at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.

Good morning to you Alejandra.

So, right now, there are things in place like Twitter's content, moderation policy to protect users from hate and disinformation.


WALKER: Tell us more about what that exactly is, how it works, and do you expect or believe that, that could be either stripped down in some way or completely eliminated.

ALEJANDRA CARABALLO, ACTIVIST AND RESEARCHER, BERKMAN KLEIN CENTER FOR INTERNET AND SOCIETY: You know -- thank you. So, the content moderation right now on Twitter works mostly through user feedback. So, if any users engage in any kind of targeted harassment against anyone based on any kind of protected class, either on their race, their ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, user can report that those attacks or that content to Twitter, and Twitter can then take action.

One of the most common tactics that anti-trans folks use is they go into trans-people's Twitter accounts and then they serially misgender them and harass them.

And so, really over the last, particularly, month, since the bid for Elon Musk, one of the things I've seen myself, and anecdotally from a lot of my friends on -- trans friends on Twitter, is that there's been much more of a lighter touch in terms of the moderation around anti- trans hate speech, particularly around misgendering.

And, you know, given the media reports that Elon Musk purchased or decided to purchase Twitter, and kind of the last straw was the ban for the Babylon Bee for misgendering. Dr. Rachel Levine, the assistant health secretary. It's clear that there's at least some chilling effects already going on with the moderation around anti-trans hate speech.

WALKER: You know, private companies can set their own rules right for free speech. And we know that Musk has said that he would be very cautious or that people should be very cautious about permanent bans on these kinds of platforms.

And we know President Trump was permanently banned after his tweets on regarding January 6th, what are your biggest concerns as to what might be the effect or how Elon Musk's takeover potential takeover will impact your community?

CARABALLO: Right. I mean, I think we've already been starting to see it this week, some of the worst fears realized. I've already seen multiple tweets of people gloating that because Elon Musk has purchased the web site that they're going to purposefully and intentionally target, trans people on Twitter. And that's something I feel that already I've seen on my own Twitter account.

I ,for the first time, I had to go take my Twitter account private on Monday, because I had a tweet criticizing on Musk, and I was starting to get hate-mail to my personal work e-mail.

And so that kind of harassment is part and parcel of being a visible trans person online. And, you know, I think it's only --

WALKER: Did you flag it, Alejandra?

Were you able to report that? And was anything done? Or did you get any responses?

CARABALLO: Well, yes, I was able -- or at least, particularly with anything to my personal work e-mail, I was able to handle internally with Harvard Law on their I.T. system.

But in terms of the attacks on Twitter, I've actually seen almost negligible amounts of actual moderation by Twitter's team. I mean, there's been a noticeable decline, particularly since the beginning of April.

WALKER: If Twitter becomes a more hostile environment, again, we're talking theoretical. I mean, could that lead to more people signing off? Would you consider signing off completely?

CARABALLO: I mean, depending on how hostile it gets, yes.

I mean, we know what sites with lacks or no moderation look like. I mean, sites like 4chan, 8coon, and others.

And they are, you know, there's everything from just open racism, swastikas -- all kinds of Nazi content. So, at certain level, if you do not have moderation, you're not going to have a site that's welcoming to anybody that is not essentially, you know, a white supremacist, or just the most hateful parts of the Internet, and it will destroy the user base of Twitter.

It will be Tumblr 2.0. Or you will see a mass exodus of the core users. And essentially, Twitter will wind up being a shell of its former self.

You know, I was quite disturbed and astounded when I saw this report, you know, researching before my conversation with you from the anti- Defamation League in 2021.

It reported that 64 percent of LGBTQ people polled reported experiencing harassment online. That is the vast majority of them.

Is there another platform that the LGBTQ community can turn to, to feel safe?

CARABALLO: Yes, I mean, I don't think there's going to be a perfect replacement for Twitter and the function that it's had for the LGBTQ community in terms of organizing and finding community.

I know discord is another one which allows much more specific moderation because it's a specific servers. You know TikTok has been another one, although increasingly that's becoming more hostile as, you know, people are targeted by accounts like lives of TikTok, and targeted for harassment.


CARABALLO: And so, there's not really, you know, immediate replacement and that makes it particularly scary for a lot of folks that found community and found voice on Twitter.

WALKER: All right, well, look, this is an important conversation. We will stay on top of this, and I do wish you all the best. Alejandra Caraballo, thank you so much. Thank you.

JARRETT: Well, he is a master sommelier and a celebrated chef. Now, Carlton McCoy is adding T.V. to his resume, with CNN's new original series "NOMAD WITH CARLTON MCCOY".

In each episode, he gets to the heart of a city through food, music, art, and people.


CARLTON MCCOY, CNN REALITY SERIES HOST: Julien is the creator of French street food magazine, Fricote. And founder of Phamily First, a food-focused creative agency that pairs big brands and mega stars with bold new concepts.

We could have gotten the best table at any fancy restaurant in Paris. But instead, he wanted me to try his mom's home cooking.


MCCOY: Definitely a troublemaker.

PHAM: He's a troublemaker --

MCCOY: You can tell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cheers to that moment.

MCCOY: Cheers.




MCCOY: OK, what's in the inside?

PHAM: Sausage, (INAUDIBLE), black mushroom.



MCCOY: Beautiful.

So, this is --

PHAM: This is --


MCCOY: Chao tom.


MCCOR: From the sugarcane shrimp, or chao tom, to the fresh green papaya salad. This is a true Vietnamese family style meal.


JARRETT: Making me so hungry catch the series premiere of "NOMAD WITH CARLSON MCCOY" tomorrow at 10:00 p.m. Only on CNN.



WALKER: Taking a look at your other stories this hour, relief abounds for the Reed family, following the return of former Marine, Trevor Reed to the U.S. after nearly three years in a Russian prison.

Meanwhile, Brittney Griner, his wife Cherelle posted this note on Instagram. It reads, "As I do everything in my power to get B.G. home, my heart is overflowing with joy for the Reed family.

I do not personally know them, but I do know the pain of having your loved one detained in a foreign country."

The WNBA's Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia since February, accused of carrying cannabis oil in her luggage.

Her next court date is set for May 19th.

JARRETT (on camera): The FDA and CDC is investigating a baby formula maker Abbott Nutrition, after reports of consumer complaints and babies getting sick. Abbott has recalled and held back several powdered formula products made in its Sturgis Michigan facility while safety testing continues.

Friday, it said it would release some product locks that were had been put on hold. The FDA says products made in Sturgis from late January to early March carry a risk of contamination.

WALKER: In North Central New Mexico, an air quality alert is now in effect because of the thick smoke from a series of wildfires. Some that started in early April.

Almost 160,000 acres have burned across the state. Residents in San Miguel and more counties are now under mandatory evacuation orders as of Friday, as the Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak Fires continue to threaten homes.

JARRETT: The West is also in the grips of a megadrought fueled by climate change. And the clearest example of what's happening is Lake Mead, the largest man-made reservoir in the country.

WALKER: Yes, it's a source of water for millions of people and it has dropped to an unprecedented low. Here's CNN Stephanie Elam with a look at what's happening now for the first time ever.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Amara and Laura, sometimes it's hard to get people to understand just how the climate crisis is impacting us. But now, we've got something physical that you can actually see to know just how bad this mega drought out here in the West is.

Take a look at these images of the intake valve.

ELAM (voice-over): The original intake valve in Lake Mead, for the Southern Nevada Water Authority.

Now, this valve was put in in 1971, but they had to decommission it earlier this month, because it is now standing above the waterline.

ELAM (on camera): They saw this coming. So, in 2015, they started building a new valve and pumping station that went into operation earlier this week.

ELAM (voice-over): So, that is now taking in water from the very bottom of Lake Mead. But you can look at Lake Mead, and the images of Lake Mead and see how much it has dropped over the last couple of decades. And this is a big problem here.

And this is something that you're seeing across the region. I recently traveled up to the snowpack in California. And it was basically not there.

And this is after the state logged its first three months that are the driest of any year on record. So, this is what we are seeing here. And this is why they're asking people in Southern California to go ahead and start conserving water.

They're asking people to cut their water usage by 35 percent. This, as some regions in Southern California, are already going to be forced to cut back on their watering to just one day a week.


ELAM (on camera): And this is because that's snowpack is too small, and these are places where they don't get their water from the Colorado River Basin, which some 40 million people rely on for water.

And they're saying if these cutbacks aren't made and they're not steep enough, by September 1st, all watering could be taken off of the option of possibility for those people living in those regions of Southern California.

It's also worth noting, Laura and Amara that most of what people consume for water actually goes to outdoor watering.

They're saying 70 percent of it. That's the case there. So, for people who live here, and we are looking at this drought, thinking about what humans need is way more important than thinking about what your grass may need. Laura and Amara.

JARRETT (voice-over): An important story, Stephanie, thank you for that.

Still to come this morning, more than a dozen tornadoes, reported across two states overnight, but the severe weather threat is far from over. Where the system is headed next? After the break.