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New Day Saturday

NASA Launch Team Stops Loading Hydrogen Into Artemis Rocket; Jackson Residents Without Clean Tap Water For Six Days; Biden Admin Asks Congress For Funding For "Critical Needs" Like Ukraine, COVID, Monkeypox And Natural Disasters; Biden: "MAGA Republicans" Threaten "Foundations Of Our Republic"; McCarthy Accuses Biden Of Trying To "Divide" With Critical Remarks; Airlines Tweak Policies To Offer Meals, Hotels For Flight Disruptions; Serena Takes A Bow After Bowing Out Of U.S. Open. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired September 03, 2022 - 08:00   ET



DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT CORRESPONDENT: The tournament will now continue without one of its greatest ever champions, but nobody will ever forget Serena Williams, the greatest of all time.

Don Riddell, CNN, New York.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Thanks so much to Don for that. The next hour of New Day starts right now.

AMARA WALKER, CNN HOST: Good morning, everyone and welcome to your New Day, I'm Amara Walker.

SANCHEZ: Good morning, Amara. I'm Boris Sanchez. We're counting down yet again NASA preparing for a possible launch of the Artemis 1 rocket into space. We're going to take you live to Kennedy Space Center for the latest on today's launch and there may be a minor setback.

WALKER: And residents in Jackson, Mississippi are fed up and frustrated with the ongoing water crisis, the latest efforts to get relief to residents in desperate need.

SANCHEZ: Plus, President Biden sharpening his attacks ripping into Donald Trump as his midterm message takes shape. Why he says MAGA Republicans are threatening, "The foundations of our republic."

WALKER: And despite getting knocked out of the U.S. Open, all eyes are on tennis star Serena Williams was last night's match the last one of her career. We're going to have a look back at her lasting, an incredible impact on the court.

SANCHEZ: Welcome to your Labor Day weekend, we're grateful that you're sharing it with us. It's Saturday, September 3. Great to be with you, Amara.

WALKER: Great to be with you. I'm not mad that I'm not on a plane off to vacation or anything, I'm just really happy to be with you, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Nowhere you would rather be than right here with us --

WALKER: Of course.

SANCHEZ: -- watching the skies, right? Because in a matter of hours, NASA is going to try to launch its uncrewed Artemis 1 rocket on a journey around the moon. We're going to look at live pictures right now, preparations underway at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Lift off if all goes according to plan is set at some point between 2:17 p.m. and 4:17 this evening. For now, the weather appears to be cooperating. But again there could be a minor setback, Amara.

WALKER: Yes. The Artemis program aims to land the first woman and first person of color on the moon within the next few years and eventually send the first astronauts to Mars. Now today's launch or scheduled launch will come after the first attempt was scrubbed Monday morning due to problems with an engine sensor and hydrogen leaks.

Both issues had been resolved. But now we're hearing that the NASA team has launched the stop -- they have stopped the flow of liquid hydrogen to the rockets. That core stage, that orange part of the rocket. This is according to the NASA broadcast.

So apparently there has been some kind of leak that has been detected. We are keeping an eye on that. But look, there is still a backup opportunity on Monday or Tuesday.

SANCHEZ: Yes, so let's go now to Kennedy Space Center and CNN Space and Defense Correspondent Kristin Fisher, who's live there for us this morning. Kristin, a bit of a delay again, but it's possible. It could only be a minor one that would only stall them about a half hour. What are you hearing on the ground there?

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So Boris, you can see the countdown clock right behind me is moving down towards the launch time. The weather looking pretty good for Florida in September. But yes, there has been a bit of a setback this morning. It is a different problem to what we encountered on Monday, but similar.

Basically, they're trying to fuel that main core stage, the big burnt orange core tank with this super cold propellant. It's a mix of very cold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. And once again, we have another hydrogen leak, it is in a different place.

It's now in the engine compartment. So this is different from where it was on Monday. And NASA says that this is a place that has with stained for previous tests. So that seal, this one particular place has held before, but this time, now there's a leak.

So they're troubleshooting right now, they've stopped the flow of liquid hydrogen, they're trying to warm it back up and cool it back down and hopes that they can get that seal to tighten.

But what this means is that they're now about 30 minutes behind schedule. And the reason that is important is because you've got this narrow launch window. It's two hours which is a decent amount of time, but now they only have about, you know, an hour and a half. So that's the bad news.


But the good news is the weather forecast is looking very good. We've got an 80 percent chance of favorable weather conditions at the end of that launch window. And that is so critical because you cannot have even the slightest bit of precipitation in the air for a launch like this. Listen to the Artemis 1 Launch Weather Officer when I asked her about precipitation just yesterday.


FISHER: How much rain is acceptable?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No rain is acceptable to fly through for Artemis. So if there's one drop out there, that's going to fall on the rocket, I'm going to give you a no-go for that.


FISHER: No rain is acceptable, not a single drop, Boris and Amra. So now we just kind of wait and see if NASA can troubleshoot through this problem. And we'll let you know if we get any updates from NASA. But as of now, the countdown continues. We just don't know for how long. Boris and Amara?

WALKER: Just keeping our fingers crossed. That's all we can do, right? Kristin, thank you so much.

SANCHEZ: Let's dig deeper now on the chance for rain and potentially any other weather in that area with CNN Meteorologist Britley Ritz, she's at the CNN Weather Center. Are we going to see a single drop of rain, Britley?

BRITLEY RITZ, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, we do have scattered showers out there into the Atlantic but that easterly wind is key. We do get an easterly wind, it can push that rain further inland, which would benefit for us, which is why we have that 20 percent chance of weather violation later on into the launch. And as Kristin Fisher mentioned, we have a better chance of actually making that happen.

Some primary concerns not just rain, but cumulus clouds. And it's not just a cumulus cloud, it's the cumulonimbus cloud, which produces rain and thunderstorms. Also the lightning, the lightning itself can happen within storms, but the friction from lift off from the rocket can actually trigger its own lightning.

So within 10 miles of Cape Canaveral, we have that lightning rule within 30 minutes. That cloud rule, 10 miles as well, 4,500 feet that ceiling.

So there are the showers off into the Atlantic trying to push toward our coastline. There's a good chance that we may have a few showers. But where they line up? That's the key. That's the big question. So with that southeast wind, we have a better chance of hitting a shower here along the cape. But with more of an easterly wind, which it's forecast to switch on

over as it heats up as the sea breeze kicks in, that easterly wind can push that rain further inland. And that's what we're expected to see around the time of liftoff within that two hour window.

So there's future radar minute by minute for you seeing the showers focused inland, but again, within that 10-mile spread. We'll have to keep an eye on this for you.

SANCHEZ: Britley Ritz, thanks so much for keeping a close eye on that.

Let's bring in Leroy Chiao now. He's a retired NASA Astronaut. Leroy, you are hearing as we are about this delay, the hydrogen leak again, but in a different place. What do you make of it?

LEROY CHIAO, RETIRED NASA ASTRONAUT: That brings back shutters from when I first joined NASA, you know, several decades ago. We had a rash of hydrogen leaks on space shuttle, and it was just bedeviling, and we finally did some of those problems.

So this is, yes, obviously of concern. Hopefully, the team will be able to get that seal to go ahead and see. And we can resume tanking and see a launch this morning.

But, you know, liquid hydrogen is probably the trickiest fluid to try to contain. And that's why it's so challenging when you use liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen. But again, it's the most efficient fuel as well, especially when you're, you know, coupling it the way NASA is with the solid rocket boosters.

So we're just going to have to wait and see. My understanding is that the team is going to go ahead and manually start tanking again, hoping that the URL is part of their troubleshooting plan to hopefully go ahead and be able to solve this problem.

WALKER: So it was that 30-minute pause, Leroy, enough time to ensure that the leak has been fixed?

CHIAO: Well, it's, you know, they're thinking, OK, let's -- let it warm up a little bit. Let the ceiling material expand and then we'll go ahead and start tacking again and see how it goes. You know, because there's very little they can do now with the vehicle partially fueled, you know, there -- this is, you know, they're figuring out the best plan possible in this. I think this is it.

SANCHEZ: Leroy, the scrub the other day also had to do with a faulty fuel sensor and apparently, NASA's plan is partly to just ignore the sensor and move forward. Did that surprise you at all?

CHIAO: Well, no, because at the moment in real time, they didn't have enough information or analysis to figure out what exactly was going on. Was it a bad sensor? Was there no actually no liquid hydrogen flowing through that core engine?

[08:10:01] And so afterwards they looked at all the data they had and the engineers took their time over the course of, you know, many hours in a couple of days, and decided based on all the evidence, all the data from all the different sensors that, OK, it looks like liquid hydrogen was flowing through that stage or that event engine, number three. And it was in fact, the faulty sensor.

So the Launch Control Center can mask that sensor to keep it from, you know, triggering a -- an alarm and a shutdown and things like that. And this is not something necessarily they would do for a launch involving astronauts on board, they may if they were confident enough, or at least confident enough in this flight test to say, we can go ahead and mask the sensor and proceed assuming that the flows are normal.

WALKER: So like you were saying, Leroy, you've been through this, right? You understand and empathize with the shutters that people may experience when they have to deal with these kinds of setbacks. It's par for the course, right?

There's millions of parts and factors that kind of have to line up perfectly for there to be a launch. So let's move on and say OK, let's just be hopeful. It's going to work out someday.

What are you most excited about once Artemis 1 is up in the air? Are you excited about the moon exploration, you know, like making habitat there? Are you excited about the Mars component? What are you looking forward to the most?

CHIAO: Well, ultimately, of course, it would be wonderful to see humans on Mars, that would be astounding and fantastic. But the shorter term goal is to get humans back to the moon.

And, you know, when -- way back when I joined NASA, when I was interviewing to join NASA way back in 1989 and President Bush 41 proposed the exploration program that would have seen us are projected to put us on Mars in 2019, with a stop at the moon first, that seems so far away. And now that day has already passed.

So in the medium term, getting back humans back to the moon, it's been nearly 50 years since Apollo 17, the last time we put humans on the moon, that would be really fantastic to see.

So I'm hopeful that this mission goes off well, and the rocket and spacecraft perform. And also, you know, this is an exciting time too because we've got these commercial companies doing some pretty astounding things as well. And so, I think we're going to infer a few exciting years ahead.

SANCHEZ: And Leroy, there are also enormous geopolitical implications to this launch and to NASA's immediate future. Bill Nelson, the NASA Administrator, was on CNN yesterday, he was asked about a space race with China. Here's what he shared with us.


BILL NELSON, NASA ADMINISTRATOR: Yes, there's a space race.


NELSON: Well, let's see. This is the first step. And this is the largest, most powerful rocket ever.


SANCHEZ: Leroy, why is it so important for the United States to lead in Space?

CHIAO: I think this is something that we've wanted to do and have done since the 1960s, the very beginning of the space program. The Russians, the Soviets got off to an early start by sending the first human into Space and making a number of firsts, including the first woman in Space and the first spacewalk. But then the focus became, OK, who's going to land on the moon first? And that's why there was such urgency during the 1960s, it was almost a war footing or war mentality.

You know, this is all or nothing, we've got to win this. And then after we did land first on the moon, we kind of declared victory. And, you know, we've been kind of the leaders in human spaceflight ever since. So now we've got other players, most notably China.

They've been launching astronauts into space since 2003. They're nearly finished building their own space station and have demonstrated they can fly long duration flights, perform research in Space, resupply that station, bring astronauts up and down on a regular schedule.

And they have made no secret that they intend to launch or land their astronauts on the moon sometime in the 2030s. So I guess in a sense, there's a bit of a race, but I wouldn't say it's the urgency of the Cold War back in the 60s when it was literally seen as life and death by, I would say, actually, most of the people in the U.S. and probably in the Soviet Union as well.

WALKER: Fascinating stuff, Leroy. Really good to see you. And thanks for joining us this morning, Leroy Chiao.

CHIAO: My pleasure. Good to be with you.

WALKER: And head over to for an interactive look at this historic launch. You can see the launch by the numbers from the miles the capsule will travel to temperatures it will have to endure. We'll have continuing coverage throughout the day as we count down to lift off.

All right, still come here this hour, Mississippi's capital is still without power -- water, I should say after nearly a week. Now more than 150,000 residents are forced to rely on bottled water, as a timeline to get the water supply restored remains uncertain.

[08:15:06] SANCHEZ: Plus, President Biden issuing a stunning rebuke of Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans. Ahead how his midterm messaging is taking shape.


SANCHEZ: Residents in Jackson, Mississippi are facing a dire situation. It's been nearly a week now since the city had a major water plant fail leaving thousands of people without access to clean tap water.

WALKER: Yes. Amid the crisis, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell traveled to Jackson yesterday to meet with state and local officials just as another effort to restore water pressure failed. CNN's Nadia Romero joins us now from Jackson with more. Please update us on the FEMA Administrator's trip and the latest on this main water facility and the repairs that are being done there.


NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Amara and Boris, good morning. And residents here in Jackson are waking up to day six of this water crisis with really no end in sight. There's no timeline on when this two-fold problem may be solved. So one issue is the low water pressure, that happened after recent flooding, that happened just about a week ago.

The other problem has been around for quite some time, and that is the water quality. There's been a boil water order here since the end of July. So there's a two-fold problem. So even if you're able to get water to come out of your faucet, you can't drink that water. It is so unsafe, you need to boil it.

And that's why we're standing outside of one of the state's largest water distribution sites here at the State Fairgrounds in Jackson, Mississippi. It opens up in about two hours. So no one's out right now. But we do see workers out getting ready for what we anticipate to be another day of long lines.

You know, we heard from the Governor of Mississippi Tate Reeves, who says that they've handed out some 2.8 million bottles of water so far, and they are expecting another 36 truckloads to come through today to drop off more water. But the mayor of Jackson is temporary expectation saying that even if we get some of the problems at this water treatment plant fixed, other problems may pop up. Take a listen.


MAYOR CHOKWE ANTAR LUMUMBA, JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI: I do want to forewarn you another issue we may experience as they're able to increase the pressure at the plant to levels that it has not seen in many years.

The challenge then becomes whether we have pipes that rupture across the city. We know that we have brittle pipes, we have aged pipes, just as our water treatment facilities are aged. And so that's a challenge that we're going to have to be on the ground and dealing with as time persist.


ROMERO: So that water treatment plant here that services the entire city of Jackson 150 plus residents here is so old and crumbling that two pumps failed. Well, those pumps are now out being custom made by a machinist and not custom made and like a cool way but custom made because they're so old and outdated. There's nowhere to go to get a new one or to replace parts so they have to be remade from scratch.

And then you heard the mayor talk about those pipes that are brittle, so they're expecting more leaks that could happen. There was an ammonia leak that was happening at the facility just yesterday.

Just another one of those many problems they're dealing with here in Jackson. And that boil water advisory continues, low water pressure continues across the city. Boris, Amara?

WALKER: Yes. I don't know that many people are boiling their water period, right. I was there right before you got there, Nadia, and I spoke to several residents who said listen, when I do have water, what comes out it's a brown tinged color water. Would you boil that water? I don't think a lot of people would want to use that to make coffee or cook with. So it's just an awful, inhumane situation.

Nadia Romero, thank you.

The Biden administration requests billions from Congress to address what they are calling for critical needs. But it's not the top priority for lawmakers when they return. We'll explain.



WALKER: So the Biden administration is focusing on four major challenges they say need -- they say they need more funding from Congress.

SANCHEZ: They're asking for billions of dollars to support spending related to Ukraine, COVID-19, monkeypox and natural disaster response. Let's get you out to the White House now. And CNN's Kevin Liptak who's live there for us. Kevin, walk us through exactly what's in this request.

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is a $47 billion request from the White House, Boris, and it does set up this potential showdown on Capitol Hill as lawmakers facing end of the month deadline to fund the government. September 30th is when those funds run out. And what the White House says is that once these emergency requests included in whatever the Congress can pass.

And so what is included in here, it's -- there is $13.7 billion for Ukraine for military assistance, economic assistance. The White House says that three quarters of the funding of that has already been passed by Congress has already been committed or dispersed. So that needs to get passed through. There's also $6.5 billion for

natural disasters, including flooding that was in Kentucky earlier this month. And so the White House is pretty confident that those two items will make it through.

What could prove a little more controversial is this money for public health. And that is really what is the bulk of this request. It includes $22.4 billion for COVID-19 response, including for vaccines, for treatments to refund programs where the money has run out.

That includes that free testing program where you could go on the internet, sign up for free tests, and it would be delivered through the Postal Service. That program has all been run out of money, the White House is winding it down. So this would sort of restart that program.

It also includes $4.5 billion dollars for monkeypox, including funding for vaccines for monkeypox that had been in short supply over the last several weeks now. That could prove more controversial lawmakers, particularly Republicans have been resistant in funding -- providing more funding for COVID-19 after that $5 billion -- trillion that has already been allocated to combat that pandemic.

Now, this will all come to an head as lawmakers returned to Washington over the next weeks, as they face this end of the month deadline to fund the government or face a potential government shutdown. Boris and Amara?

SANCHEZ: Critical battles ahead on the doorstep of the midterm elections, we should note. Kevin Liptak, reporting live from the White House, thank you so much.

Let's dig deeper now with CNN Political Analyst and PBS New Hour White House Correspondent Laura Barron-Lopez. Laura, we're grateful to have you this morning. We're about 10 weeks out before midterms.

I want to ask you about the messaging from the White House. But first, I want to get your notes on this $47 billion request that Kevin was just outlining. What are the odds that the White House gets what it wants?

LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look, there's not much time left in the legislative calendar. So it is going to be a mad rush, especially since as we know, a lot of lawmakers are preparing to run for re-election. So, getting everything on their list I'm a little bit skeptical of but it's definitely something that they're going to be pushing for in the final days of a legislative calendar.

SANCHEZ: So President Biden gave what amounts to a call to action for voters this week in his speech. Let's listen to a chunk of it.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represented extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic. They promote authoritarian leaders, and they fanned the flames of political violence, that are a threat to our personal rights, to the pursuit of justice, to the rule of law, to the very soul of this country.


SANCHEZ: Trump obviously isn't on the ballot in November, but Biden is putting him front and center. What do you make of this approach from the White House?

BARRON-LOPEZ: This is something that President Biden has talked about since he ran for the presidency in -- launched it in 2019 going into 2020. He ran because of Charlottesville, because he saw Neo-Nazis marching there.

Now, he didn't focus on the threats to democracy as much in recent months. And some of the historians that I spoke to that talk to him in the lead up to this speech, so that they think that because of all of his major legislative priorities getting done in Congress, that he was freed up to take this front on.

We hadn't heard from him on the issues of threats to democracy since January of this year when he gave speeches in Atlanta, and he gave a speech on the anniversary of the January 6 insurrection.

And now Biden, the big shift is that he's been very direct about what he's diagnosing as semi-fascism as authoritarian factions within the Republican Party. And he's saying that this poses the greatest threat to the Republic.

And a lot of the historians that I've talked to in scholars in authoritarianism and extremism, and in fascist government say that they have been waiting for the President to make a speech like this, because they see the strange within the Republican Party that is still being dominated by former President Trump.

SANCHEZ: We've seen Democrats try this sort of thing before. I remember Hillary Clinton in 2016, talking about a basket of deplorables, that ultimately galvanized a Republican support of Donald Trump and now House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is accusing Biden of vilifying millions of Americans. So do you think this could ultimately backfire and bring Republicans together?

BARRON-LOPEZ: That's certainly what Republicans are hoping for, it certainly what former President Donald Trump is hoping will happen, which is why we saw in the past week in response to the Mar-a-Lago search and as more developments have come out of that, by the FBI, that Trump got on his social media site to social and posted countless times about he should be declared the winner of the 2020 election, that - and if not, that there should immediately be a new election.

The one thing is that in 2020, that, you know, claims of potential election rigging, and what Trump ran on backfired on him because a number of swing voters and independents decided that they wanted the country to go in a different direction.

So we saw in Biden's speech that he tried to reach those moderate Republicans, and he tried to distinguish and make very clear that not all Republicans are a part of what he sees is this extreme wing and that he hopes that they join Democrats, like Congresswoman Liz Cheney has in trying to purge the country of what they see as a very -- very well damaged democracy.

SANCHEZ: Laura Barron-Lopez, we have to leave the conversation there. Appreciate your perspective as always.

BARRON-LOPEZ: Thank you.

WALKER: It's the unbelievable true story of the man who took on Putin and lived to expose the truth. Here's a look at the Sundance award winning CNN film "Navalny" which airs tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. on CNN.


ALEXEI NAVALNY, RUSSIAN LAWYER: Vladimir Alexandrovich. It's Alexei Navalny calling and I was hoping you could tell me why you wanted to kill me?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Remarkably, Vladimir Putin faces a legitimate opponent Alexei Navalny.

NAVALNY: I don't want Putin became president.

I will end war.

If I want to be a leader of a country, I have to organize people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Kremlin hates Navalny so much that they refused to say his name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Passengers heard Navalny cry out in agony.

NAVALNY: Come on, poisoned? Seriously We are creating the coalition to fight this regime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you are killed, what message do you leave behind for the Russian people?

NAVALNY: It's very simple, never give up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Navalny" tomorrow at 8:00 on CNN.




WALKER: More than 12 million people are expected to fly over the Labor Day weekend as the unofficial end of a summer. At the end -- unofficial end of a summer, excuse me, marred by frustrations over flight delays and cancelations. As of this morning, nearly 100 domestic flights have been canceled and

another 500 delayed. This comes as airlines rollout changes to help passengers when things don't go quite as planned.

Joining me now is Charles Leocha, President of Travelers United, a nonprofit passenger advocacy group. Great to have you, Charles. Thank you so much for joining us this morning.

So as we were saying, you know, airlines are tweaking plans to offer meals and hotels if flights are canceled or delayed. So what exactly is changing? What are the new protocols for these airlines that we should know about?

CHARLES LEOCHA, PRESIDENT, TRAVELERS UNITED: Well, the new protocols basically are that they're now starting to make more clear what they've actually are doing for the consumer.

And in the past, there's a difference between what we call a contract of carriage, which is the contract that everybody signs with an airline, which tells them that they are going to get from point A to point B.

But then you've got what they call the customer service plan, which tells them what's going to happen to you if you are delayed during your trip.

And the customer service plan is not a legal document. So that's the big -- that's the play that we're working with right now. And what the airlines are doing is they're now tweaking their customer service plans.

So let people know what they can expect if their flights are delayed. And that's not exactly according to the law. But it's what the airlines right now we're saying they're going to do.

WALKER: So what kind of tweaks are we seeing when it comes to, you know, specific airlines with a flight cancelation because if anyone's traveled over the summer, I would imagine you dealt with at least one major delay or cancelation like I did.

LEOCHA: Right. And like I did.

WALKER: Right.

LEOCHA: And so we're all facing a -- the changes with the putting in right now, which is small wins for the consumers are we get a meal, if the fight is going to be more than three hours like.

And overnight, the fight is going to be overnight and it's going to be late throughout the -- until the next morning, then you could also get a hotel reservation. And the airlines are being sort of cagey about it. They say if they're available, if the flight is significantly late, and so on.

So, we're still in the land of in between. There's no real law that says that the airlines must provide food and must provide accommodations. However, now they're going to at least say that they're going to try to give it to you. And that becomes a real problem when they've got a lot of people who are all delayed at the same time.

WALKER: Exactly. How are they going to meet all that demand, right? And so I was reading in United Airlines case, the airlines now offering meal vouchers for flights delayed more than three hours as opposed to four hours. So just quickly, a meal voucher when they get on the next flight or at the airport?

LEOCHA: Well, the meal vouchers are normally at the airport, and normally give you around $25 or $20 bucks.

WALKER: Got it.

LEOCHA: And, you know, you can buy at the airport for about $20, get a Snickers bar.

WALKER: Right. Exactly, or just a bottle of water for 20 bucks. So, I mean -

LEOCHA: Right.

WALKER: So, what's in it for these airlines to, you know, make these really, I guess, surface changes. I know that the Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, sent a letter to the airlines earlier this month, asking them to re-examine their customer service.

But there was also this letter signed by I think 38 Attorneys General, where they're asking Congress to pass a law that would basically, you know, force or put a lot of pressure on these airlines. Is that what's kind of putting a fire under all this?

LEOCHA: Well, it's a combination of things. Number one, we've got the problem right now, we've got the Labor Day flight crush, which is coming up. And at the same time, DOT has now come up with a dashboard, where they've got access in checkmarks. And all the airlines won't have as many checkmarks as they can.

So the places which were easiest for them to get a lot of checkmarks were to say, oh, we'll give you food if you ask for it. We'll give you an accommodation if you ask for it. And someone -- and we'll gives you a combination if they're available.


So, and if they're not available, they give you kind of airline flight credits which nobody really wants these days. All they want to do is get from point A to point B. And so that's one option (ph).

And now we're talking about the attorneys general. That's something where the local attorneys, state AG, don't really have any power. Because the entire, we'll say, the entire airline system is set up as a federal system. And it goes across state lines. And that's been a real problem for the attorneys general.

But now we're starting to push for them to be able to at least enforce the airline's rules, which are national rules -


LEOCHA: -- that they can now be enforced locally. And that's what we're trying to get done. And Travelers United has been in the leader, has been the real leader in this kind of action.


LEOCHA: And the other, we tried -

WALKER: Well we got to leave it there, Charles Leocha, because we're out of time, but I have to say we're very grateful for you this morning and for what you and your organization does. So thank you for that. Appreciate your time.

LEOCHA: Okay, thank you very much.

SANCHEZ: She's arguably one of the greatest athletes of all time. And last night, the world watched as Serena Williams played in what was probably her last tennis match. Hear her emotional farewell next .



SANCHEZ: Jane Fonda has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Legendary actress and activist posted the news on Instagram adding that she's now undergoing chemotherapy.

WALKER: Chloe Melas joining us now with more. Good morning Chloe, what else do we know?

CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Good morning, Boris and Amara, I mean, Jane Fonda's announcement caught everyone by surprise on Friday. You know, she's 84 years old. She is more active than ever. She's outspoken when it comes to politics and climate change and her activism. Like you all have said, she's not just an actress, she's an activist.

But, you know, she has so many projects in the works. So again, very surprising news. And she took this moment to say, in her lengthy message on Instagram, that she is appreciative to have health care to be able to be dealing with the chemotherapy quite well.

She says that she has six months of chemotherapy that she's already begun, and that she has a very high survival rate and that she really is focusing on the midterms and focusing on her activism and making the environment a better place for all of us. And that was like a really poignant part of her message that so many took away from that she used this as a teachable moment.

Some people from Hollywood took to social media, I mean, that Instagram post is flooded with comments, including her former co-star and longtime friend, Diane Keaton from their movie "Book Club" that some of you guys may have seen. She says "We love you, Jane. You are my hero. You are a warrior. All

of my life, I have been in awe of all that you do. I will continue to admire the crusader you have always been and always will be."

And she has a movie, Jane Fonda, premiering at the Toronto Film Festival called "Moving On." So she is not stopping. This isn't going to slow her down.

WALKER: Yes, absolutely not as we can tell from things that she said so far on social media. But yes, I was also taken by surprise, you know, going through Instagram and then seeing that post and I had to do a double take to actually believe that. So we wish her the best in this fight.

Chloe Melas, thank you so much.

MELAS: Thank you.

WALKER: Well, tennis fans giving a huge send off to Serena Williams last night as a superstar played what could be her final match at the U.S. Open.

SANCHEZ: CNN's Carolyn Manno was at the match and joins us for this morning's Bleacher Report. Carolyn, an emotional farewell from Serena on the court, potentially her farewell.

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think it is going to be, you know, her last Grand Slam even though she's left the door open. Athletes can't play forever, we know this, as much as we might want them to. And she's going to be remembered for being so gritty and so tough and just inspiring us all, I mean, to fight the way that she did. What better way to go out than that?

She's nearly 41 years of age. And so to play the way she did against a player 11 years her junior is just remarkable. And the crowd here last night was so loud. I mean, the loudest that I've heard this entire week by far.

They were trying to do everything they could to just will her to another when. She lost that first set to the Australian Ajla Tomljanovic. But she dug so deep like she has done so many times in her career. I mean, she wasn't going down without a fight.

She played some of the best points that she has played in the tournament to get to that second set and this incredible tie break. And even when she was struggling in the third set, she was never down and out.

I mean, she staved off five match points before she finally fell in this match. It was three hours and five minutes long. It was the longest match of her entire career and she did get emotional when thanking her family afterwards.


SERENA WILLIAMS, 23-TIME GRAND SLAM CHAMPION: It all started with my parents and they deserve everything so I'm really grateful for them

Oh my God, these are happy tears, I guess. I don't know. And I wouldn't be Serene if there wasn't Venus. So thank you, Venus. She's the only reason that Serena Williams ever existed.


MANNO: Serena tributes pouring in from everybody. Coco Gauff saying, "Serena, thank you. It is because of you, I believe in this dream. The impact you've had on me goes beyond any words that can be put together and for that I say thank you, thank you, thank you, Goat."


And Tiger Woods saying "Serena Williams, you're literally the greatest on and off the court. Thank you for inspiring all of us to pursue our dreams. I love you little sis." And it's also the first Saturday of college football, guys. The big game in Columbus number two Ohio State hosting number five Notre Dame.

Marcus Freeman starting his first full year as Irish coach at the place that he played in the 2000s. And some big news in college football, the college football playoff is getting set to expand as well. There will now be 12 teams in the playoff instead of four. That'll begin in 2026. But it could begin as early as 2024.

But just back to this moment here, Boris and Amira, you know, that sound from Serena was so emotional and vulnerable and honest. And we don't get to hear from her like that very often. But I think she was recognizing the moment and what that meant on the court to truly say goodbye and we might see her again. You just never know with the greatest of all time

SANCHEZ: Yes, 20 plus years of dominance just unrivaled in her sport and across sports. Carolyn Manno, thank you so much. We'll be right back.