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New Day Saturday

Explosion Damages Crimea Bridge; Uvalde School Police Force Suspended; Solar-Powered Town Withstood Hurricane Ian's Wrath; Breast Cancer Deaths On Decline; DOJ Says Trump Didn't Return All Classified Documents; Georgia: Fulton County Prosecutor Aims For Indictments As Soon As December. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired October 08, 2022 - 07:00   ET




AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone, and welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Amara Walker.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Amara. I'm Boris Sanchez. A fuel tanker explodes on a massive bridge linking Russia to the annex territory of Crimea. Why this is a big deal both strategically and symbolically, and how Ukrainian and Russian officials are now reacting?

WALKER: Also, a major shake-up in Uvalde, Texas. The school district suspends its entire police force and puts two officials on leave; how the families are reacting?

SANCHEZ: Plus, as Hurricane Ian blasted its way through Florida knocking out electricity to millions, one community in the storm's path never lost power. How they made it through relatively unscathed?

WALKER: And hopeful news in the fight against breast cancer. NEW DAY starts right now.

It's great to be with you this morning. It is Saturday, October 8th. Thank you so much for spending some of your morning with us. And Boris, sorry, are not, you're stuck with me now -- so.

SANCHEZ: That's right. We're grateful to have you Amara. I'm so pumped that this is your new home. Congratulations to Amara Walker being named the new co-anchor of weekend NEW DAY.

WALKER: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: We have, of course, we have a lot to get to this morning, and we were following a developing story out of Crimea, what appears to be a major escalation in Russia's war on Ukraine. There was a massive explosion that partially collapsed Europe's longest bridge linking Russia to the annex territory of Crimea.

WALKER: Now, the Kirche Bridge is not only logistically important, it's also a huge symbol for the Kremlin and its attempt to reunify Crimea with the Russian mainland. Now, Ukraine has not claimed responsibility. A defense official did tweet out this image though of the explosion alongside a video of, as you can see. Marilyn Monroe singing her infamous rendition of "Happy Birthday, Mr. President."

Let's get straight now to Nick Payton Walsh, the CNN International Security Editor on what all this means for the ongoing conflict and what we know about the source of the explosion, Nick.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Well, this is deeply symbolic that Marilyn Monroe, the rendition you heard there, because yesterday was Vladimir Putin's 70th birthday. And there had always been thoughts that perhaps Ukraine officials might have been trying to alter the conflict in some way to impact the symbolism of him turning in now to his eighth decade. This is a bridge which Vladimir Putin personally opened in 2018 by driving a truck across it and was essentially the symbol of Russia's ambitions towards taking Ukraine when it illegally annexed Crimea in 2014.

What do we know that happened overnight? Well, certainly, I think everybody agrees that two of the road carriages, road lanes across that bridge have now partially collapsed, are likely uncrossable, and there appears to be significant damage to the railway tracks that also form part of that bridge. Why is that important? We'll put the symbolism aside that Ukraine has managed to hit it seems without going on their front foot and claiming responsibility for this directly. Not only have they managed to hit an important part of Russia's transport infrastructure, symbolically, it also has a massive practical knock-on effect, because this is one of the key supply routes for Russia's entire presence, not only in Crimea, but in the south of Ukraine too.

That presence has been under significant supply issues over the past months or so. We've seen it ourselves how the inability for troops on the western side of the (INAUDIBLE) River, to be supplied properly, to be given fuel ammunition, causing them to fall back under the pressure of Ukrainian assault. Now this morning, we have extra added pressure in that there's now essentially one railway line that links these forces in Crimea where they're less under pressure, and in Kherson, where they are significantly under pressure with the Russian mainland. So, Russia supply are appalling, frankly, since the start of this war, now increasingly under greater pressure, and the question of course being: what choice is the Kremlin going to make now if any?


It's fair to say I think they cannot hold on to the west bank of the Dimitra River in Kherson, and the east bank of it too, and also expect to continue to defend and supply Crimea, and also hope they hold the land bridge that goes from their mainland areas across the Crimea, and also stopped the Ukrainian assault around Donetsk and Luhansk. I think few people imagined a moment where Ukraine would be pressing them simultaneously on so many different fronts, but that moment appears to be here and it's really down to I think Vladimir Putin to make the choice as to what he prioritizes and also accept the possibility that now this bridge has damaged Russia, presence in Crimea is potentially under threat, a sentence that seemed unthinkable before this war started in February. Back to you.

SANCHEZ: It brings to mind what kind of intelligence Vladimir Putin was looking at before he decided to launch this invasion. Ukraine stepping up in a way that many did not expect. Nick Payton Walsh, thank you so much.

Now, the White House, meantime, is defending and clarifying President Biden's stark warning about a nuclear confrontation with Russia.

WALKER: Now, the comments President Biden made at a private fundraiser seem to have caught some U.S. officials and the intel community off guard. CNN White House Reporter Kevin Liptak is following the president in Wilmington, Delaware. I mean, what more do we know? I mean, obviously, we know all presidents speak off the cuff, they feel a lot more comfortable in these more intimate settings such as fundraisers.

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, I think these comments still caught a lot of people off guard because it is so rare to hear any world leader, let alone the American President talk so starkly about the use of nuclear weapons. And just to read you a little bit of what he said, he said, I don't think there's any such thing as the ability to easily use a tactical nuclear weapon, and not end up with Armageddon. And that word, Armageddon, certainly not something you're used to I really want to be hearing from the American president. He also referenced the Cuban Missile Crisis. So clearly, that is on his mind, that event from the 1960s.

Now in talking to officials, they say that the President wasn't necessarily reflecting any change in intelligence about the likelihood of the use of nuclear weapons. But clearly this is a scenario that is weighing on the president. And it is something that officials have been watching with escalating concern. Over the last several months. Now, it did receive some blowback from the French President Emmanuel Macron. He said that we should be talking with prudence when it comes to nuclear weapons. Listen to what the White House Press Secretary, Press Secretary Korean John Pierre told us yesterday on Air Force One about the President's comments.


KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Russia's talk of using nuclear weapons is irresponsible. And there's no way to use, to use them without unintended consequences. It cannot happen. We want, we won't be intimidated by Putin's rhetoric. We have not seen any reason to adjust our own nuclear posture, nor do we have indications they are preparing to use them. But Putin can de-escalate this at any time, and there is no reason to escalate.


LIPTAK: Now, the other very important thing that the President said in his comments to those donors in New York City, was that he was trying to figure out an off ramp for President Vladimir Putin asking, how does he find a way out? And this is a question that the President his top aides, Western leaders have been weighing very heavily for the last several months. It's not clear at this point, whether they really have an answer, Boris and Amara.

WALKER: Yes, there is no diplomatic off ramp right now. So that's obviously very concerning. Kevin Liptak, thank you very much. New developments this week coming more than four months after the Uvalde Texas School massacre at Rob elementary school that left 19 children and two teachers dead. School District Superintendent Hal Harrell announced Friday his plans to begin the process of retiring with the closed-door school board meeting set for Monday to discuss the transition.

SANCHEZ: This comes the same day the district suspended its entire police force and placed the acting District Police Chief on administrative leave. On Thursday, the school district fired a newly hired officer after CNN reporting revealed that she was actually a former Texas State Trooper under investigation for her actions on the day of the school shooting. CNN Climate Justice Correspondent Shimon preoccupies has been leading the way on this story. He has more on the ongoing investigation into the Uvalde police force.


SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: The use of all the school districts suspending all of its officers pulling them out of the schools in Uvalde, and putting them into administrative roles. All of this of course happening after our reporting that a newly hired officer who came from the DPS she resigned from the Department of Public Safety and was hired by the school district despite the fact that she was under investigation for her response. While at the DPS, to the Robb elementary school, the school somehow someway hired her, even though they knew they were told by the DPS that she was under investigation.


Also, a school administrator by the name of Ken Miller, was also suspended. He retired because of that suspension, he decided that he's just going to retire. And then also Lieutenant Miguel Hernandez. He's the lieutenant. He's the commanding officer of the school police force. He also was placed on administrative leave. And what our understanding is, this lieutenant was the one who was behind vetting that officer, officer Elizondo the newly hired officer by the school district. And so, really the school district here responded, responding in decisive form taking all of their officers out, removing this administrator, and then also suspending this lieutenant.

Of course, this is all welcome news for the families who have been fighting for justice, who've been fighting for accountability, wanting the school to take this kind of action, certainly after our report, but also since the shooting they have not felt safe in that community with those officers and they've wanted accountability for the failures, but also the failures that they believe occurred by the school district. We're also told on a one final note is that the superintendent how Harold, he plans to retire. That announcement is expected sometime possibly on Monday. So, certainly, a big shake up there and Uvalde something that the families didn't think they would get, but finally some accountability for them, offering them some relief. Boris and Amara.

WALKER: Shimon, many things to your dog, good reporting. Let's discuss this more with CNN Law Enforcement Analyst Charles Ramsey. Good morning to you, sir. You know, firstly, I do want to reiterate and, you know, my heart goes out to these families and relatives who've been camping out protesting and their emotional reaction. It's just been so moving. They've been through hell. They clearly feel relieved by this move. What is your reaction to the Uvalde school district suspending the entire police force, this, this the shakeup?

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT: Well, I mean, a little more than four months have passed since the Uvalde massacre took place. This is a decisive action. But it's one that should have been taken a long time ago, in my opinion. And that was a massive failure of security that took place that day, not just on the part of the school district police, but the Uvalde Police Department, Department of Public Safety. So, this is an over even though this is the decisive move, there's still an investigation taking place. And there needs to be more action taken in the future. In the meantime, we need to look forward now and start thinking about building a new police force. And that's not going to be something that's going to occur overnight.

WALKER: Why don't you think this happened sooner? You know, the district cited that recent developments that were uncovered, you know, gave them additional concerns with the department operations. Do you think the protests, the family members camping out in front, these district offices played a huge role and this shakeup?

RAMSEY: Well, I mean, it may have played some role in it, but they've been camping out and protesting for a period of time. I think it was the CNN reporting of the hiring of that one officer that really made the difference that really forced their hand to do something. But the bottom line is they've done it, and now they've got to move forward. Again, it should have been done a while ago. Obviously, they've got serious problems not just within the police department, but their entire school, board and so forth. So, they've got a lot of work ahead of them. And hopefully, they're able to correct a lot of things but it's going to take time before people again begin to trust and feel safe.

WALKER: Yes --

RAMSEY: -- back to that community.

WALKER: Right. And back to our CNN reporting. I mean, Shimon Prokupecz has as (INAUDIBLE) say has been leading the way he uncovered that this officer, Crimson Elizondo, was hired as Uvalde school officer. She's at former Texas Department of Public Safety Officer, as seen here highlighted there outside the school during that massacre. As we said, she's under investigation with several others for her response or lack thereof to this shooting spree and she's since been fired. But, but how does this even happen? And obviously, that just highlights I guess, dysfunction and, and the way the school has been operating.

RAMSEY: It does highlight the dysfunction. And as they move forward, they need to hire a new chief obviously, and they need to start hiring new personnel but the community needs to be involved in this. And I mean, even involved in the interviewing of the individuals who are going to take on this new role, these responsibilities. They have a right to have a voice in this in particular after what took place. In fact, the school the department and the school board has already shown that they can't really make a whole hire and properly vet an individual.


So, the community needs to have a voice a seat at the table as they move forward. It's going to take time even with that before any level of trust is really there. Once again, I mean, these are our children. These are, these are elementary school children we're talking about here. When you drop your kid off, you should, you should know that you can pick them up at a particular time and they'll be safe while they're in school. That did not happen. And so, there's a lot of work that's going to have to be done. And they may, it may take a generation, quite frankly, before the trust is really fully there.

WALKER: Yes, I believe that it could take a generation. I mean, a long way to go to re-establish any kind of semblance of trust. Chief, Charles Ramsey, appreciate you. Thanks.

RAMSEY: Thank you and congratulations.

WALKER: Thank you very much. Still ahead, the U.S. job market remains hot, but there are still signs of it cooling off. What does that all mean for inflation and the future of the economy?

SANCHEZ: Plus, a new court filing shows the Justice Department has getting back the first batch of unclassified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago after the Trump team reviewed them. But what about those still unaccounted for the latest on a contentious legal fight still ahead. And many communities were ripped apart by hurricane in one place that felt the force of the storm sustain minimal damage, though. We'll tell you how.



WALKER: Leading our top stories today, a judge in Ohio blocked the state's six-week abortion ban indefinitely on Friday, granting a preliminary injunction against the new law that bans abortions performed after early cardiac activity is detected. That's typically around six weeks into a pregnancy before most women even know that they're pregnant except in medical emergencies.

The ACLU says that as a result of the ruling abortion up to 22 weeks of pregnancy will remain legal wild litigation continues. Ohio's Attorney General David Yost, a Republican, did not immediately say whether he intended to appeal the injunction.

SANCHEZ: The U.S. Embassy in Port au Prince, Haiti issued a security alert overnight calling on all US citizens to leave the country. The travel advisory came after the Haitian government called on the international community to provide an immediate special armed force to help restore security and peace in that country. Anti-government protests now in their seventh week. It paralyzed the country -- schools, businesses and public transportation, mostly shuttered. Haitians have been demonstrating against chronic gang violence, poverty, food insecurity, inflation and fuel shortages.

WALKER: The U.S. Postal Service announced new increased prices for the next year according to the agency to offset the rise of inflation. The price hikes include a $0.3 cent raise on stamps, a $0.4 cent increase to mail a postcard, and the changes amount to a 4.2 percent increase for first class mail. If approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, the changes would take effect January 22, 2023.

SANCHEZ: So, this was probably not a good week to look at your 401K statement. A lot of ups, a lot of downs. After major rallies, stocks plunged on Friday. The hotter than expected jobs market reignited fears that the Fed might again raise interest rates and potentially do unnecessary harm to the U.S. economy. CNN's Matt Egan has details.


MATT EGAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Amara, Boris, Wall Street started October with a bang but by the end of the week, most of that optimism had vanished with stocks falling sharply on Friday. The September jobs report reignited worries that the Federal Reserve will keep slamming the brakes on the economy with big interest rate hikes. Job growth did slowdown in September. The U.S. added 263,000 jobs ticking down from August. Directionally, this is a step in the right direction, but it's a baby step. Economists say the jobs market will have to slow much more to convince the Fed that inflation is getting under control. In many ways the labor market remains stubbornly strong.

The unemployment rate slipped to 3.5 percent; a half century low. Friday's losses on Wall Street slammed the brakes on what had been a big comeback meet for the market. Earlier in the week, the DOW and S&P500 log their best today stretch since 2020. But the rally stalled as investors priced in yet another three quarters of a percentage point hike in November. Rate hikes eat into corporate profits and could push the economy into recession. Next week, two big inflation gauges are on top. That should give us a sense for whether the Feds medicine which is designed to ease red hot inflation is working. Patience is running thin on both Wall Street, and Main Street. Amara, Boris.


SANCHEZ: Matt Egan thank you so much for that reporting. Still ahead, new details in the Georgia investigation and as some of Trumps allies and their efforts to overturn the 2020 election. We're going to tell you what we're learning about possible indictments in that case and how soon they can come.


NEW DAY continues after a moment.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back to New Day. So, CNN has learned that in recent weeks, the Department of Justice has demanded Donald Trump return any outstanding documents he may still have marked as classified, making clear they do not believe he's returned all materials taken when he left the White House and those they say they could not recover after the search of Mar-a-Lago. Joining me now to discuss is Former Federal Prosecutor Renato Mariotti. Renato, always appreciate having you on. How does the Department of Justice know that Donald Trump might still have those documents? And then, how do they go about proving it in court?

RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, that's the million- dollar question. I think that's, the -- I'm sure Donald Trump and his team would like to know the answer to that question as well. Clearly, the Justice Department has some source of information within the Trump camp, whether it's one of his advisors, someone who works for him and employee perhaps, or, you know, potentially Secret Service Agents who are protecting him. So, it's unclear exactly how they have that information, but we know that they had inside information to obtain -- that it led them to obtain the Mar-a-Lago search warrant.


Now, it appears that, that source of information -- the sources of information are telling him -- telling them that Trump already -- you know, are still -- is still holding additional classified information, obviously, a very major problem for the former president.

SANCHEZ: The blowback from the Mar-a-Lago search aside, what steps can DOJ now take to recover any documents that are still unaccounted for?

MARIOTTI: Wow. Well, the DOJ has a massive hammer, a lot of leverage here. Because they could indict the former president, and I think it's fairly apparent that there's sufficient evidence to do so based on what we know, publicly.

So, if -- you know, if I represented the former president, and I, you know, I do often represent people who've had their premises (ph) searched. But in his case, in particular, given the materials that are involved, I would negotiate with the government now and try to obtain something called, act of production immunity, which would immunize the production of the documents.

In other words, if you have something that the possession of which is, itself, illegal, and you give it to the government, it establishes that you have it, right? So, if you produce heroin to the government, well, then you're proving that you possess heroin, right?

So, similarly, here, you would want the government to not to go after you merely for giving them the documents. But I wouldn't negotiate that, and frankly, trying to figure out a way of resolving this more globally for the former president. So, that will get -- you could have a deal where he wasn't charged.

But I have to say the combative antagonistic approach that he and his team have adopted, I think is doing him a disservice.

SANCHEZ: And this case now is entangled in so many legal technicalities, making their way through an Appeals Court and the Supreme Court potentially as well. The federal appeals court is going to work on a parallel track with that filing, Donald Trump made at the Supreme Court.

How does that work exactly?

MARIOTTI: Well, so, there is a pending appeal in the court of appeals. That's ongoing. There is the fast track that appeal. They are going to consider the right -- the wide range of issues that had been appealed by the Justice Department.

And at the very same time, there is a very narrow question that was, was brought to the Supreme Court by the former president. I anticipate the Supreme Court is not even going to hear the case. But if that happened, the Supreme Court would resolve that one narrow issue. And then, the Court of Appeals would be dealing with a broader set of issues.

SANCHEZ: And Renato, I want to get your thoughts on the case in Fulton County, Georgia, because the D.A. there, Fani Willis has said that her investigation is going to go quiet until, at least, after the Midterm Elections to avoid any appearance of trying to interfere or influence the election.

I'm wondering if you think that is the right move, and out of the dozens of people that have been told they might be targets, who do you think might actually be indicted?

MARIOTTI: So, I do think that's the right move, because unless there is some reason to believe that someone's going to flee, or there's a statute of limitations issue, I don't see any reason why a prosecutor should indict shortly before an election, which is going to add to concerns and speculation that this was somehow politically motivated. So, I think that's the right move.

I really believe that the D.A. is going to indict the former president and a number of his top aides. I think she is going to indict, for example, Rudy Giuliani. So, I have to say that all signs have pointed to her taking a very aggressive approach here.

That doesn't mean he'll be convicted. I think she has got -- you know, she has got a difficult case, and a lot of work to be done on her end. But nonetheless, I think it's it definitely has to be a concern for the former president, because, at the same time, as we just spoke about a moment ago, he is dealing with an even bigger threat from the United States Department of Justice.

SANCHEZ: Right. Yes, we are anticipating a flurry of activity in that case, once mid to late November, December comes around.

Renato Mariotti, we hope you'll join us again then to walk through it all.

MARIOTTI: Thank you. We will do.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

WALKER: And this programming note, don't forget to watch an all new episode of the CNN original series, "THE MURDOCHS: EMPIRE OF INFLUENCE". That's tomorrow at 10:00 p.m.

Here is a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because Lachlan is in charge of the affiliate networks at the time, Ailes needs to go to Lachlan to get his sign off. Even though Ailes doesn't actually report to Lachlan. And for that matter, doesn't have any respect for Lachlan.

Lachlan says, no. And Ailes can't believe that he's being told no by little Lachlan Murdoch. Ailes goes to Rupert, behind Lachlan's back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rupert tells Ailes, don't worry about the boy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go ahead and do the show. You know, that is the most of sub stinging rebuke of his own son's authority as you can imagine, don't worry about the boy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those five words make their way across the globe, reaching Lachlan when he's in Sydney.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Soon after, Lachlan flies back to L.A. to confront his father.


WALKER: You can watch the full episode tomorrow at 10:00 p.m. right here on CNN. We'll be right back.



WALKER: OPEC's decision to slash oil production is prompting calls for the U.S. to crack down on the world's largest oil suppliers.

WALKER (voice-over): Now, OPEC Plus's production cut is expected to push gas prices up in the U.S. after falling steadily over the summer from record highs in June. And now, the White House says it's weighing all options as several lawmakers renew proposals to hold Saudi Arabia and the other OPEC nations accountable for price fixing. And this does seem to have, at least, some bipartisan support.

Joining me now is Jonathan Panikoff.

WALKER: He is a director of the Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative at the Atlantic Council. He's also a former deputy national intelligence officer with the National Intelligence Council.

Good morning to you, thank you so much for joining us.

Do you see this as a big slap in the face to President Biden, who visited Saudi Arabia this past summer, hoping to get the kingdom to pump more barrels of oil?


I think the timing of the policy is certainly a bit of a slap in the face. I think this policy could have been done, say five weeks from now after the U.S. midterms. And it would have had the same impact that the Saudis were looking for.

The policy itself, I think makes sense for the Saudis, they're incredibly concerned about the move away long term from fossil fuels and not having sufficient revenue to really turn their economy around.

Short term, they are concerned about a global recession that would have pushed down oil prices. But the timing and the intensity of the policy right now, I think is directed at the president.

WALKER: Right, because oil cuts are supposed to happen in early November, right before the midterm. So, is this a political dig at the Biden administration? And what do you say to, you know, what the U.A. energy minister told reporters at OPEC Plus in Vienna at the meeting there, he said the decision is technical, not political. Do you agree with that?

PANIKKOFF: I don't in terms of the timing.



PANIKKOFF: Again, I think the policy, itself, is technical. I think the policy makes sense for the Saudis, especially long term. But the timing -- the Saudis are not naive to the U.S. political environment, they've been following it for a very, very long time.

And if this had waited, you know, five weeks, I don't think anybody would be asking this question in the same way. I think that the timing of it certainly is directed at the U.S.

WALKER: And what about the message that's being sent? Because you say the Saudis are not exactly naive when it comes to the impact, the geopolitical impact of their decisions. And we know that Russia is also a part of OPEC Plus. Is this Saudi Arabia siding with Russia, or aligning with Russia?

PANIKKOFF: I think it certainly has to be read that way. I mean, the Saudis will tell you that their biggest goal is to ensure unity within OPEC and within OPEC Plus, the latter of which Russia is part of. But the reality, also, is the U.S. work behind the scenes for weeks to try to prevent this cut. Russia right now is using the money from the oil revenues to frankly fund the war in Ukraine.

WALKER: Right.

PANIKKOFF: This is going to ultimately help the Russians, at the same time, the U.S. was trying to put a price cap on Russian oil sales. So, I think it has to be looked ultimately, as the Saudis and Riyadh looking toward Moscow with preference right now over the U.S. policy preferences.

WALKER: So, what does this mean for you and me and for people at home watching? Gas price spike? And exactly, when?

PANIKKOFF: I don't think we know the exact timing. Some of it's going to be the actual size of the cut. It was announced to be 2 million barrels per day, it's actually going to be a little bit lower than that, because that was based on producers having being at full quotas, which they're not.

So, it will be about 1.2 million barrels probably per day. That is significant. I think you should and we should expect gas prices to rise through October into the elections and then beyond, and certainly through the winter, especially as you're going to see an energy shortage in Europe.

WALKER: And we -- you know, there seems to be bipartisan fury over this move, right? This decision by the OPEC Plus countries. President Biden is hinting at supporting a bill that would allow for the DOJ to essentially sue Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations for antitrust violations.

But there is a lot of risk to this as well. Right? I mean, and the way that it could backfire.

PANIKKOFF: Yes, it would certainly further undermine the relationship between the U.S. and Riyadh. Washington, though is going to have to determine what kind of long term relationship that it wants.

The Saudis are clearly sending a message here that they're not interested in the traditional strategic relationship, as has always been the case with critical allies. That they're much more interested in what I call a transactional relationship, not dissimilar to how Russia and China tend to engage in their foreign policy.

And so, the reality is, if Washington is ready to make a change to its policies and act in a more transactional manner, then they are going to hit back and they're going to need to hit back with politically and diplomatically, and that's obviously one of the options on the table.


WALKER: Well, not a lot of good news coming out of that decision. Jonathan Panikoff, thank you very much.

PANIKKOFF: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: From brutal wind to devastating storm surge, entire communities in Florida were ripped apart by Hurricane Ian.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): But one town hit by the storm sustained minimal damage. And now, some argue that more communities should emulate them. We'll explain next.


SANCHEZ: As Hurricane Ian wreaks havoc across southwest Florida, some cities were left unrecognizable.

WALKER: And yet, the town of Babcock Ranch, right in the storm's path didn't even lose power. CNNs Bill Weir with more.


BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Hurricane Ian brought gusts over 150 miles an hour, much of the power grid and its path did not stand a chance.

WEIR: Look at that.

WEIR (voice-over): And thanks for two feet of rain, even communities miles from the storm surge could not escape life altering floods.

But even as whitecaps ripped across the lake in Anthony Grande's backyard, he was chilled out in front of the T.V.


ANTHONY GRANDE, RESIDENT, BABCOCK RANCH: You know, that's one of the things I said to my wife when we were, were sitting there watching T.V., I'm like, I don't have any fear right now.

WEIR: Anthony and the 2,000 families around him never lost power and did not flood because they live in Babcock Ranch, a community about 15 miles from Fort Myers, which is 100 percent solar powered.

GRANDE: I even held on to my generator, not knowing what was really going to happen. So, my wife was like, get rid of it. I'm like, no, I'm not getting rid of it. I'm not doing it. And that's what we -- did we go through the test. And this was the test.

WEIR: This was the test.

GRANDE: This was a big test. So --

WEIR: And now, you can let go of the generator?

GRANDE: I did. I gave it to a friend.

WEIR (voice over): Jennifer Languell was nervous during the storm because with a Ph.D. in civil engineering, she helped design this place. DR. JENNIFER LANGUELL, FOUNDER, TRIFECTA CONSTRUCTION SOLUTIONS: I literally got my construction drawings out. And I looked at the wind load that my house was designed to, and I looked at my finished floor elevation, and I looked at the road elevation, and I just mentally was crunching numbers because I was like, this is going to be bad.

WEIR: And it was. But, their interconnected lakes and protected wetlands saved them from flooding. And the 700,000 solar panels in their 150 mega-watt array all held solid.

WEIR: I always assumed that solar panels and hurricanes don't mix. That it would turn them into projectiles. But you didn't lose any or --

LANGUELL: No. That's the beautiful thing about engineering, right? Is that you understand the wind loads and you understand the stress and the strain and you design to that.

WEIR (voice over): This place is the brain child of Syd Kitson, an NFL offensive lineman turned developer, who bought a massive cattle ranch, sold most of it to Florida as a nature preserve, and set out to build the cleanest, most resilient town in America.

GRANDE: Here is the elementary school. We have a field house over there which is now housing people as a shelter.

WEIR: Right.

I guess it's fitting that the mascot of Babcock High are the Trailblazers.

GRANDE: Trailblazers.

Everything's very well thought out here.

WEIR: I've got to say, my heart still breaks. I feel a little guilty leaving the damage.

GRANDE: Right.

WEIR: But it's a relief to come to a place unscathed like this.

GRANDE: Yes, we're feeling the guilt too being out here.

WEIR: Are you?

GRANDE: Yes, absolutely. Yes. I mean we've certainly got it really good out here.

LANGUELL: It's unfortunate to feel guilty about it. I feel relieved that we're not adding to what first responders have to deal with, and that we're able to help the community.

So, we have people here making meals, we're taking in laundry from sheriffs and firefighters that are in from out of town. Because we were resilient, because we were durable, we're able to help in that way.

GRANDE: So, yes, there is the -- here is the Tesla batteries. We never had to use them.

WEIR: For those people who say, oh, if you want to live a sustainable lifestyle, you've got to live in a yurt and eat straw and walk to work. This is kind of --


GRANDE: Right.

WEIR: A counter to that argument. You're not -- you're not lacking for comfort.

GRANDE: No. No. In the 21st century, you don't need to do that.

WEIR: Yes.

GRANDE: It's here. The technology is here. We just need to get everybody on board.

WEIR: Right. Right.

GRANDE: So -- and make it affordable for everybody to get on board.


WALKER: Incredible, completely untouched. What an inspiration. Our thanks to Bill Weir for that.

SANCHEZ: There is some hopeful news to share with you in the fight against breast cancer. Deaths are on the decline.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): But there is some concerning news for black women, in particular. We'll explain when we come back.


WALKER: A new report from the American Cancer Society shows death rates from breast cancer have dropped significantly over the past three decades.

SANCHEZ: And while that is great news, one trend that has not improved is the racial disparity. Black women continue to be more likely to die from breast cancer despite having a lower incidence of it.

CNN health reporter Jacqueline Howard has more. Jacqueline?

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: There is both good news and concerning news when it comes to breast cancer here in the U.S.

On one hand, the American Cancer Society report shows that breast cancer death rates have declined by significant 43 percent. HOWARD (voice-over): That's from the year 1989 to 2020. But then, the concerning news is black women are still more likely than white women to die from breast cancer. They are 40 percent more likely, even though they have a lower incidence of it.

Now, there are several factors as to why this racial disparity exists.

HOWARD: But American Cancer Society researcher Rebecca Segal offered some ideas. Have a listen.


REBECCA SIEGEL, SENIOR SCIENTIFIC DIRECTOR OF SURVEILLANCE RESEARCH, AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY: The evidence is consistent that black women receive short shrift in the health care system. Every -- at every point in the breast cancer care continuum. From lower quality mammography to delays between the time of diagnosis, and the beginning of treatment, to poor quality treatment when they are diagnosed.



HOWARD: And when it comes to diagnosing breast cancer early, most women choose to start their regular mammogram screenings around the age 40. But, of course, it is important to talk to your doctor about what's best for you and your own personal breast cancer risks.

Back to you.