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New Day Saturday

Doctors Warn Of "Unprecedented" Surge In Respiratory Illness; Infrastructure Attacks Leave Parts Of Ukraine Without Power; Federal Appeals Court Pauses Biden Student Debt Relief Program; January 6 Committee Subpoenas Trump To Testify; Videos Of Alleged FL Voter Fraud Arrests Show Confusion, Distress; Ethan Crumbley Expected To Plead Guilty For Fatal Oxford Shooting; Michigan Family Disappears After A Mysterious 911 Call; Mortgage Rates Rise Again, Creeping Closer To 7 Percent; Three Candidates Lead The Pack To Replace Liz Truss. Aired 8- 9a ET

Aired October 22, 2022 - 08:00   ET



ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: So, the good news is we'll see that shift, but also, we do have the potential for some strong to severe thunderstorms, including the potential for large hail and damaging winds.

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

The next hour of "New Day" starts now.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Buenos dias. Good morning and welcome to your "New Day." I'm Boris Sanchez.

WALKER: Hi, Boris. I'm Amara Walker.

An alarming surge in respiratory viruses among kids leaving pediatric wards overwhelmed. We'll tell you what's behind the spike and what kinds of things parents can do to keep their kids safe.

SANCHEZ: Plus, Russia unleashing a new round of strikes in Ukraine targeting civilian infrastructure. We're going to take you live to Ukraine for the latest on these new attacks.

WALKER: And as the midterms get closer, President Biden is out pushing his agenda, one of his big talkers, the Student Loan Forgiveness Program, but there's just one problem, it's on pause. What happens now?

SANCHEZ: Yes. And there are new rules from the IRS that could mean more money in your pocket. We're going to tell you about changes being made to tax brackets and what it could mean for your paycheck.

It is the weekend, Saturday, October 22nd. We're so grateful that you are spending part of it with us. We're learning a lot about each other this morning, including a hand licking saga.

Amara, you want to bring us up to speed.

WALKER: You know, I should not be putting my daughter on blast because she might be watching. So, Boris, I'm going to put it on you. Yes, she likes to lick her hands and then wipe her face, which is not sanitary, sanitary, because we're talking about, you know, this surging RSV cases, which is obviously very concerning. But I'm also learning about you and how you're a hand licker too.

SANCHEZ: Only when there's chocolate on my fingers.


SANCHEZ: That's the line right there.

WALKER: OK. That's the limit. Got it.

Well, as we were mentioning, there is a growing health concern for young children this morning, as cases of common respiratory virus known as RSV is surging across the country. Right now. 74% of U.S. pediatric hospital beds are currently in use with capacity filling up faster than at any other point over the past two years of the pandemic.

SANCHEZ: Cases are rising fast. During the first week of October more than 4,400 RSV infections were detected by PCR tests. That's more than triple what levels were just two months ago, triple. Some states are already in crisis mode. In Illinois, only 6% of pediatric ICU beds are still available. And space is running out so fast at the Connecticut Children's Hospital, that they've had to treat patients in hallways and in playrooms.

CNN's Brian Todd has more.


REBECCA, MOTHER OF 5-YEAR-OLD WITH RSV: The drive to the emergency room was really scary and really intense.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This mother of a five- year-old who was hospitalized with difficulty breathing told us of an anxious drive to the emergency room.

REBECCA: Things have actually gotten worse since we were admitted. I've seen starting last night that he's progressively having a harder time breathing.

RUTH KANTHULA, PEDIATRIC INFECTIOUS DISEASES SPECIALIST, MEDSTAR GEORGETOWN: RSV is one of the scariest infections to see in a child especially when it's in your baby. So, you'll see your baby breathing really, really fast, and you feel like there's nothing that you can do.

TODD (voice-over): Around the country, doctors are reporting a spike in cases of RSV respiratory syncytial virus, a common respiratory illness that is occasionally severe in babies and young children. Pediatric hospital beds are more full now than they've been in the last two years. Some children's hospitals are overwhelmed, scrambling to make space using tents. And it's only October.

Why is it spiking this year? Experts say one key reason is because kids are back in school after the pandemic. Many children haven't built up their immune systems and masks and social distancing are a thing of the past.

KANTHULA: So, for these kids, this is the first time they're seeing a lot of these viruses.

TODD (voice-over): RSV symptoms sometimes seems similar to cold and flu, runny nose, decrease in appetite, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and fever.

KANTHULA: You should think about bringing your child to the emergency room when you notice that your child is having what we call respiratory distress or increased work of breathing. And so that's typically characterized by breathing really fast and a difficulty catching their breath.

JIM VERSALLOVIC, PATHOLOGIST-IN-CHIEF, TEXAS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: That should be an alarm for any parent. We can see this disease rapidly progressive children need attention quickly.

TODD (voice-over): There's no vaccine and no specific remedy, but severe cases can be treated in a hospital with fluids, oxygen, or even a ventilator. And ice packs to bring down the fever.


ZOEY GREEN, MOTHER OF 4-MONTH-OLD WITH RSV: I don't know how that she slept with those ice packs on top (INAUDIBLE).

TODD (voice-over): Four-month-old Lindy Green was taken by ambulance and admitted at Cook Hospital in Houston.

JEFF GREEN, FATHER OF 4-MONTH-OLD WITH RSV: Started running, running a pretty significant fever not eating as much.

TODD (voice-over): Doctors say to avoid RSV, clean surfaces in your home have kids wash hands, cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing. Don't share things like toys and cups and avoid close contact like kissing or cuddling. For cases that don't require hospitalization, keep a child hydrated and give Tylenol or Motrin if they have a fever.

KANTHULA: Day five is the peak of symptoms. So parents will notice that their child might be more uncomfortable at day five, and then their symptoms resolved and they get better.

TODD (on-camera): Dr. Ruth Kanthula says, what worries her about this uptick in RSV cases is that unlike in previous years when the virus was seasonal and predictable, this time she says it has the potential to circulate beyond next spring when it might normally subside and extend it to next summer or possibly even beyond.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington. (END VIDEOTAPE)

WALKER: And new this morning. Serious destruction reported in southern Ukraine after another night of airstrikes targeting energy infrastructure in the country,

SANCHEZ: This hidden energy facility and an industrial area leaving parts of that region without electricity. It's the latest in another round of unrelenting attacks from Russia that have crippled Ukraine's infrastructure and power sources that has forced widespread blackouts across the country.

We want to take you there now with CNN chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward, Clarissa, what is the latest from the ground.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, the Ukrainians are saying that they managed to intercept 18 missiles today. But even if they intercept like 85% of the missiles that are incoming, and the drones that are incoming, that still means that 15% are hitting their target, and they're doing it with devastating effect on Ukraine civilian infrastructure. The deputy head of the office of the presidency here today saying that more than 1.5 million households are currently without power, some 40% of the country's power plants have either been destroyed or severely damaged. And it's really nearly two weeks now that we have had this kind of relentless targeting of civilian infrastructure, which by the way is prohibited.

The UN came out last night and a meeting of the Office of Human Rights and said that they're now really fearful that you're talking about millions of ordinary Ukrainians who as temperatures get colder this winter could be facing severe deprivation, if not life endangering conditions. So, make no mistake about it these, this new tactic is having a real impact on the ground, and Ukrainian authorities are trying to get their arms around it by asking for more help with air defense systems. But it is complex because there are many different types of missiles and drones that they are facing and that all need different kinds of responses.

Boris, Amara.

WALKER: And Clarissa, as you noted earlier, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been accusing Russia of criminally deporting or forcibly evacuating Ukrainians into these remote areas of Russia, including more than 200,000 children. And we should note that CNN cannot independently verify the number of deportations. But what more are you learning about this?

WARD: So, this is a phenomenon that's been going on for a while but appears to be kind of picking up speed whereby the Russians will try to say that they are liberating and taking care of Ukrainian children, many of whom who are living in foster care or some kind of orphanage or home that they are being brought to Russia and being given Russian identity or Russian citizenship. Again, that could potentially constitute a war crime, because these children don't have any agency and making that decision for themselves. And many of them even if they are living in foster care, or orphanages, or homes of some sort still have family members here in Ukraine who say that they want them back and that they never agreed to this kind of forcible deportation to Russia. It's very difficult, as you mentioned, to get any sense of the actual numbers here. Certainly, it appears to be in the thousands.

We've seen Russian state TV, and the past few weeks sort of trumpeting these images of young Ukrainian children arriving in Russia to sort of, you know, Russian grandmother types with Teddy Bears who are welcoming them with open arms, but the reality is, beneath the facade, this is a very sinister tactic, indeed, but one that is very difficult also to combat.

WALKER: Yes, absolutely. Clarissa Ward, appreciate you being there. Thank you so much for your reporting.

Let's bring in CNN military analyst and retired Major General James" Spider" Marks for more analysis.


First of all, General not that Russia has any rules of engagement really. But what is the purpose of targeting civilian infrastructure?

MAJ. GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, this is a battle of wills as Russian desire to continue the fight and the Ukrainian ability to resist and really try to push the Russians back. These attacks have little effect on the tactical engagements that are taking place in different locations in the southeast. What this goes to, is really trying to push President Zelenskyy into a position where there might be an opportunity for some type of a negotiated settlement.

Both sides are working to try to achieve a position that will give them an advantage going forward, because what we're seeing clearly is they're setting the conditions for what the fight in Ukraine and the conditions on the ground and Ukraine will look like over the course of the next few years. Although Zelenskyy does not want to acknowledge that a negotiated settlement is possible. And I would suggest it's not right now. But there could be the possibility of a ceasefire and what those conditions look like.

So as the Russians continue to pound indiscriminately against civilian infrastructure, then that goes directly to those private conversations between Zelenskyy's advisors, and then what Zelenskyy is going to say publicly.


MARKS: But all along presidents, he said, I want the Russians out of Ukraine. I don't know that that is possible. Clearly, he is achieving great success on the ground. But I don't know that ultimately moves all Russians basket back across the border.

WALKER: It's got to be very concerning, though, for the civilians, right, who winter is near and a lot of them without heat and electricity at this time. Zelenskyy is also warning that Putin is plotting an attack on a critical hydroelectric dam that would flood nearby towns create catastrophe really. And even endanger the Zaporizhzhia plant, the power plants, and then blame it on Ukraine. How likely do you believe this potential false flag operation might be?

MARKS: Well, clearly, what Russia wants to try to do is make every, every they want -- they're making every effort to try to tell the world that they're humanitarian in this effort, right. And the world understands completely that this is a sham. Putin is really communicating with his domestic audience. I mean, that's what it's all about. He is trying to ensure that his power and his influence internally is not challenged. That's the big risk that he runs. Now the likelihood of blowing apart again, creating great damage as a result of flooding their hydrologic studies in terms of what that's going to look like and what the downstream effects are going to look like and the challenges that that's a legitimate concern, clearly.

So, what are the Ukrainians doing to ensure that that doesn't take place? Those kinds of attacks against that type of infrastructure? Russia is very good at right. They've demonstrated that. So that's essentially where we are in terms of what Russia is trying to achieve in that regard.

WALKER: And, you know, Russia and Iran denied us but of course, the U.S. State Department says that there's sufficient evidence that, you know, Russia has received dozens of drones from Iran, the self- detonating drones that they have been using. First off, how does Russia benefit from implementing these, these drones? And what more do you expect the U.S. to do to help Ukrainians defend themselves from these kinds of drones?

MARKS: Well, first question, I mean, the second part of your question is Ukrainians are doing a magnificent job in their own right. They're fighting for their sovereignty, independence, and so all manner of personnel are stepping up, those that have not been in the service or saying I'm going to serve, so they found --

WALKER: OK, it looks like our picture has frozen there with CNN military analyst and retired Major General James "Spider" Marks. Thank you for that conversation, sir.


SANCHEZ: Still to come this morning. An appeals court is pumping the brakes on the Biden administration student loan relief plan. It's a major midterm talking point. But President Biden is already looking past November, what he's saying about 2024.

Plus, the January 6 committee ramping up pressure on former President Donald Trump issuing a formal subpoena. Will the former president testify, and will lawmakers get the documents they're demanding?

Also coming up, a chance to boost your retirement fund like never before. The IRS planning to boost the amount you could put into your 401k? We have details surrounding the change straight ahead.



WALKER: A federal appeals court has put a temporary hold on President Biden's student loan forgiveness program. And this comes the same day the President touted the program as a part of his midterm messaging to voters.


JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: I want to be clear who's going to benefit most, working people, middle class folks. Not a dime, not a dime we'll go to the top 5% of incomes period. It goes to people who really need it.


WALKER: CNN's Jasmine Wright joining us live now. And Jasmine, I mean that that forgiveness program was a key point the White House was hoping to motivate voters, but that plan is now on hold.

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, Amara. Look, it's a major blow for the President. Now the question that many are asking is how long is it going to last? Because the White House had initially said Sunday was the first day that some borrowers could potentially see their debt canceled, but of course the appeals court has given the White House until Monday to respond to this administrative hold. And then those who brought the contest those six GOP states have until Tuesday to respond to the White House. So obviously be pushing this now days and days ahead.


Of course, it comes at a precarious time here, we're just under three weeks to the midterm wherein finally, we saw President Biden really leaning into this controversial executive order, really he touted the benefits of it, who is going to benefit from it. He touted that 22 million people signed up in the first week, of course, as it really tried to galvanize the Democratic -- galvanized the Democratic base, but also young voters with an eye to young black voters.

So of course, Biden he touted the benefits of it, and he also slammed Republicans who are trying to stop this plan. So, in response, we know that the White House on Friday just after that ruling came down. They encouraged people to continue to apply on the website and Karin Jean- Pierre, White House press secretary she said in a statement that, we will continue to move full speed ahead in our preparations and compliance with this order. And the administration will continue to fight Republicans, officials suing to block our efforts to provide relief to working families. So, they are not yet backing down despite this hold.

Amara, Boris.

SANCHEZ: And Jasmine, President Biden clarified his position on running in 2024. He's been criticized by some Democrats who say that he should let someone else run during that election cycle.

WRIGHT: Yes, Boris and he gave his most succinct answer yet really a window into his thinking when it comes to 2024. He said that he had not yet made a formal decision about running for 2024. But it was his intention to do so in this MSNBC interview.

Take a listen.


BIDEN: The reason I'm not making a judgment about formally running and not running, once I make that judgment, a whole series of regulations kick in, and I have to be -- I have to treat myself as a candidate from that moment on. I have not made that formal decision, but it's my intention, my intention to run again, and we have time to make that decision.


WRIGHT: Now, of course, that decision is going to factor into the 2022 midterms, really, as Democrats try to hold on to their majorities in the House and the Senate, both whether or not he runs and of course his age, he's 79, the oldest president today. So those two things are going to be immensely powerful when it comes to how voters are voting when it in a just a few weeks 2022 midterm elections.

Boris, Amara.

SANCHEZ: Jasmine Wright. Thank you so much for that reporting.

So, the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection made good on its promise to subpoena former president Donald Trump, formally serving him on Friday. It comes as part of an effort to try to get him to testify and handover a litany of crucial documents and communications by early November. Trump's testimony though rare for a former president they say is necessary to close the investigation.

CNN Capitol Hill reporter Annie Grayer joining us now with the latest. Annie, walk us through what is in the subpoena.

ANNIE GRAYER, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: The January 6 committee's subpoena to Donald Trump really lays out the committee's belief that Trump was at the center of a multi-step plan to overturn the 2020 presidential election. And the subpoena presents a lot of evidence that the committee has previously shown in its hearings to make that point. It details the wide-ranging pressure campaign that Donald Trump enacted throughout our government from the Department of Justice to state officials to his former Vice President Mike Pence, to try and get his way with the election. It talks about how Trump oversaw the plan to submit fake electors to Congress on his behalf.

And it cites Trump as being partially responsible for summoning this violent mob to the Capitol because the committee says Trump knew that protesters in the crowd were armed and he did nothing to stop the violence for hours as he was watching it unfold on TV. So, in addition to laying all that out, the committee requests a wide range of documents from Trump, including his conversations on January 6, and whether or not he spoke to any of the witnesses that have also testified to the committee. And those documents are due to the committee by November 4th. And the committee's asking for his under- oath deposition to happen either in person or virtually November 14th.

SANCHEZ: Annie, the safe bet is that Trump is going to fight this and trying to try to run out the clock so to speak on the committee. Has he given any indication about how he might respond, how his legal team might respond?

GRAYER: We don't know yet exactly how Trump is going to handle this. He's assigned lawyers specifically to this case who have acknowledge receipt of the subpoena and have said they're working through a more formal response. But we know this is going to be a real legal battle and time is not really in the committee's favor as it's set to expire by the end of this calendar year. But they believe Trump has necessary testimony relevant to their investigation. They're willing to fight for it.


Listen to what Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren said on our air yesterday about this.


REP. ZOE LOGREN (D) JAN. 6 HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE: He has a legal obligation to come in and talk to us but just as importantly, as a legal obligation to respond to the documents that we've ordered him to produce, all of which are important to finishing our investigation. So, let's see if he lives up to what the law requires of him.


GRAYER: So really snap to see how this plays out.

WALKER: Yes, we'll be watching closely with you. Annie Grayer, thank you very much.

Up next confusion in Florida over felon voter eligibility, and it's leading to arrests for alleged voter fraud. The crackdown that some are calling a political ploy ahead of the midterms.



AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: A lot of finger pointing and outrage after a newly obtained body camera video shows police in Florida arresting convicted felons for allegedly voting illegally in the 2020 election.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: The arrests are part of Governor Ron DeSantis' operation to crack down on supposed voter fraud and it shows the defendants confused and upset. They argue the state misled them after voting rights were restored to most felons in 2018.

CNN's Leyla Santiago has more.


RONALD MILLER, MIAMI RESIDENT ACCUSED OF VIOLATING FLORIDA'S VOTING LAWS: A hot conniving slap in the face by the state of Florida.

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's what Ron Miller says he felt when he was accused of voter fraud. He was one of more than a dozen arrested as part of a far-reaching state operation to crack down on supposed voter fraud in Florida, arrest that left many confused.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Voter fraud? I voted but I ain't commit no fraud.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is wrong with this state, man? What are you talking about voter fraud?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's this all about?

SANTIAGO (voice-over): Newly released body camera video first reported by the Tampa Bay Times gives a fresh glimpse of the confusion in the many questions from those arrested.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: These folks voted illegally. They are disqualified from voting because they just convicted of either murder or sexual assault.

MILLER: It wasn't my mistake that was me. I trusted in the state of Florida to let me know what's going on. And they failed me.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): He says he thought he was allowed to vote. Miller has a list of convictions under his name, including second degree murder. But he tells us he's tried to stay out of trouble since his release.

And then in October of 2020, he tells us he was approached by someone registering voters at the grocery store who told Miller he could restore his voting rights. Miller signed off on the registration and then this voter ID came in the mail a few weeks later, just in time for the November 2020 election.

MILLER: I was happy that I was able to vote again. Wow.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): So he voted, he says, even kept his I Voted sticker. But then two years later --

MILLER: You're going to like this at my door.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): In 2018, nearly two-thirds of voters passed amendment for -- in Florida. It restored voting rights for those convicted of felonies, not including murder or felony sex offenses. Legal battles ensued, confusion spread, voting eligibility remained unclear for many.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As if I had robbed a bank or something.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): Adam Goodman is the attorney defending Nathaniel Singleton also among those arrested.

ADAM GOODMAN, ATTORNEY FOR NATHANIEL SINGLETON: Seems kind of improper that the government is saying, hey, go ahead and do this. We got you. Now, you're in trouble. It seems like you're taking advantage of people.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): In Florida state law requires the state to notify local supervisors of elections about voters convicted of a felony are not eligible to vote. In the five counties where these voter fraud arrests occurred, local election officials tell CNN the state did not inform them. The arrested individuals were not eligible to vote before they cast a ballot in 2020.

TONY PATTERSON, TAMPA RESIDENT ACCUSED OF VIOLATING FLORIDA'S VOTING LAWS: What are they doing this now, and this happened years ago?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. I have no idea man.

PATTERSON: It's crazy, man.

SHARON AUSTIN, POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF FLORID: I think it's not coincidental that these arrests occurred right before the midterm elections.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): A voting rights expert we talked to called this a political ploy.

AUSTIN: The danger as I see it is that it's intimidating and that it is voter suppression. It is I think designed and targeted at a lower- income voters who also disproportionately tend to be men and women of color for.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): For Ron Miller, he wants nothing to do with the election process anymore after the arrest.

MILLER: I want him to drop the charges on me and just leave me alone.


SANCHEZ: Well, our thanks to Leyla Santiago for that story of which we have an update. At least one Florida man charged with illegally casting his ballot in 2020. Had those charges dismissed. There was a judge in Miami that says the prosecutor in the case did not have jurisdiction over the alleged offense.

We want to dig deeper now on this issue. Neil Volz, the Deputy Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition joins us this morning. His group is working with attorneys to review these cases and potentially help some of those who were arrested.

Neil, we're grateful that you're sharing part of your weekend with us. In 2018, you and your organization were involved in the effort to help Floridians with certain felony convictions regain the right to vote. I'm curious what was your reaction to seeing these arrests?

NEIL VOLZ, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, FLORIDA RIGHTS RESTORATION COALITION: One, Boris, thanks for having me on the show and shining a light on this important issue. I mean, those videos were heartbreaking. They really put a human face on a broken system. I mean, at the center of the story are Florida citizens, people who are getting arrested for voting despite the fact that they talked to the government, they interacted with the government, they got government voter IDs.


And, you know, that's a verification from their perspective that they were registered. And then years later they're being arrested. It's very jarring to see that take place in your state.

SANCHEZ: Neil, are you aware of who might be liable? Because it seems as in the case of one Miami-Dade man, he was told that he could sign up to vote when he was getting his driver's license. He did, despite his felony conviction. Who should be responsible for figuring out whether these former convicted felons have the right to vote?

VOLZ: Well, there's a lot of moving parts in the election system. But ultimately, that state is responsible for updating the -- and managing the voter rolls and verifying voter eligibility. And what these stories show us is that the system that we're dealing with is broken specifically on the front end of the process where that voter verification process takes place.

The truth is, none of these people should have been arrested in the first place if the voter verification process was working properly. I mean, think about it, I'm somebody with a past conviction. If I were to go register for food stamps, or some sort of government services, very quickly, they're going to tell me I'm eligible or not eligible, and the front end of the process, and everything else takes its course from there.

We're talking about something much more sacred than government services. We're talking about people's voices in our democracy, we should be able to have a standard that exists in other states where they have a voter verification process on the front end and a statewide database that works. That's not asking too much. And we believe this is the moment where we can challenge people that lead, make this a priority.

We can spend money fixing this problem on the front end, rather than spending money on law enforcement and the courts and seeing our own fellow citizens in such pain. There's a better way to do this.

SANCHEZ: It seems like, at the very least, a serious clerical error if somebody's getting a voter registration card, who apparently should not be. Do you get the sense that these arrests are causing fear among folks in the community that may have been convicted of a felony that now legally have a right to vote?

VOLZ: Yes, I mean, to your point, and if you can't trust the government to verify your voting eligibility, who can you trust? That's who we go to for this. And in terms of the reaction in the community, yes, we definitely see people who are confused, we see heightened anxiety among people who are, you know, unsure whether they can or can't vote. But we're also seeing something very powerful happen.

Individuals who are unsure about voting are encouraging their friends and their family members and their loved ones. Hey, I might have to sit this one out. But I need you to go be my voice in this process. So we're also seeing energy gathering that we think is going to turn out a lot of people from our community who might not have done so before.

SANCHEZ: And, Neil, what do you make of the argument that the timing of this is political?

VOLZ: Yes, I mean, I'm somebody with a felony conviction label, I'm very sensitive about but assuming other people's intent. But it does seem like ever since we passed this in 2018, every two years, we find ourselves right here on the front lines, this battle over democracy. So we take it as a responsibility of ours and an honor that we have to the 1.4 million people impacted by Amendment Four to try and educate people in our system.

And our system is broken on the front end. It sounds technical, I know, but we can fix this. Other states do this. With leadership and courage, we can make sure that we can follow the old adage of all law enforcement professionals who will tell you the best way to fight crime is to stop it from happening in the first place.

Let's get that front end of the system fixed. And if we have to talk about it during the campaigns and within political dynamics, then that's a responsibility we all have.

SANCHEZ: We're going to keep following these cases closely. And we hope Neil Volz, that you'll come back and chat with us against once we figure out what's going to happen to these people.

VOLZ: And we're really grateful for the time. Thank you so much for shining a light on us, man.

SANCHEZ: Of course. Thanks so much.

Stay with New Day, we'll be right back.



WALKER: All right time now to get check us some of the top stories we are following. In Michigan, prosecutors say Ethan Crumbley is now expected to plead guilty Monday in the deadly Oxford high school shooting. The 16-year-old suspect previously pleaded not guilty to 24 charges in the attack, including one count of terrorism and four counts of first-degree murder.

Crumbley will not receive a plea deal as a result of a change. He was 15 years old at the time of the attack. Four students were killed, seven people injured in the November 2021 shooting.

SANCHEZ: Officials in Michigan are searching for a family of four who they say disappeared nearly a week ago. Investigators say the father Anthony Cirigliano called 911 asking for help on Sunday. Later that day, his family left their home unexpectedly.

Authorities say the family was seen again the next day about five hours from their home getting gas and food. According to investigators, the two sons that were just on your screen are autistic and the family left an elderly relative with dementia home Alone before their disappearance.


WALKER: A school district in Virginia says nearly 1,000 students at a high school were out this week with flu-like symptoms. Officials with Stafford County Public Schools canceled all activities through Sunday at Stafford High and they will reassess the situation on Monday as they, quote, continue to work with the local health department to identify the root cause of the illness.

This is just the latest school to be hit by a flu-like illness in recent weeks, as cases have spiked early in the flu season across the country, prompting warnings from health officials.

SANCHEZ: So the IRAs is making changes to 401(k) rules. There's an unprecedented boost to how much you can save for your retirement now, starting next year, you can contribute $2,000 or roughly 9.8 percent more into your retirement accounts. The new cap is 22,500 bucks.

WALKER: It's a pretty significant high contribution limits to traditional IRAs and after-tax Roth IRAs boosted as well to $6,500. The jump is largely due to inflation and comes days after the agency announced changes to tax brackets for next year. So the upshot for anyone with earned income, a likely boost in take home pay.

If you're looking to buy a home, you'll probably want to think that over. This week's -- this week, mortgage rates on another hike creeping closer to 7 percent. And since the beginning of the year, mortgage rates have more than doubled.

SANCHEZ: Look, it's an effort by the Federal Reserve to try to tamp down inflation. But higher rates are now putting home purchases more and more out of reach for many Americans. CNN's Rahel Solomon explains.

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Boris, Amara, mortgage rates are more than double what they were at the start of the year when the average 30-year was closer to 3 percent. This means that buying the same house today cost much more than even just a few months ago.

For example, if you bought a $390,000 home today and put down 20 percent, that same home costs an additional $700 more every month, and that's causing buyers to sit out this market. The data this week shows that sales of existing homes in September fell nearly 24 percent compared to last year and down 1.5 percent compared to the previous month. So why are mortgage rates rising so much? Well, like many things in this economy, the answer lies with the Fed. As the Fed tries to cool inflation by slowing spending, it's been raising its key interest rate. That then impacts borrowing costs for us, consumers, including mortgage rates.

And in the housing market, we're absolutely seeing a slowdown and spending. Existing home sales have fallen for eight months in a row. But what about home prices? Well, supply is still tight, so prices have yet to slow in a meaningful way. Prices are still on average higher than they were a year ago, although slowing on a month-to-month basis.

So what's a buyer to do? Well, I talked to Dottie Herman she's a real estate pro with Douglas Elliman who said if you can still afford to buy, you might have better luck negotiating with the seller in this market. But the key words are, if you can still afford to buy. Boris, Amara.

SANCHEZ: Rahel Solomon, thank you so much.

The countdown is on. Those looking to replace Liz Truss as Prime Minister are going to have to soon declare their candidacy as attention shifts to a potential political comeback for the other major Boris, Boris Johnson. We're live in London with the latest.



WALKER: Britain's Conservative Party is moving quickly to choose a new leader and Prime Minister by next week with as little drama as possible. Outgoing Prime Minister Liz Truss abruptly resigned Thursday after the fallout from a disastrous budget proposal.

SANCHEZ: And now three candidates are leading the pack to replace her. Let's take you to London now, and CNN Salma Abdelaziz. Selma, the clock is ticking for a replacement to be found.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What an absolutely extraordinary turn of events, Boris and Amara. It was just a few weeks ago that Boris Johnson was forced out of 10 Downing Street, mired in scandal. His own Conservative Party essentially turning against him seeing that he is unfit to lead and now the country is abuzz with talk of a Johnson comeback.

Boris literally rushing from his holiday in the Caribbean landing in London just a few hours ago amid these reports that he will try to get that top job back, that he will put in a bid in this leadership contest. And if the Conservative Party right now which needs stability, if the Conservative Party is looking for that stable unifying figure, I can tell you many critics of Johnson will tell you he is not it. He is absolutely a divisive man. He is absolutely a controversial man. And perhaps most importantly, he is a man under investigation.

Johnson is still under parliamentary investigation. He stands accused of lying to the House of Commons over parties that were held during lockdown, during pandemic lockdown at 10 Downing Street, his own residents. If he's found to have indeed lied to Parliament, he could potentially down the line face a vote to expel or suspend him from parliament. I mean, just imagine if he was sitting in office while all of that is taking place.

And that's exactly what his rivals are going to say. They're going to say Johnson is still way too mired in political scandal to lead this country. He has two contenders, two rivals that he's likely to face if he does go ahead with this bid. One is Rishi Sunak, that is a former close ally, the former finance minister of the country, somebody with a strong economic background that could guide the country through the current financial turmoil.

And then the other is Penny Mordaunt, they're a lesser-known figure. Whoever it is, they have to get 100 MPs to back them by Monday, 2:00 p.m. All of this leading to know who the country's next prime minister is by Friday.


SANCHEZ: That is incredible, Salma Abdelaziz, just the fact that Boris Johnson -- that the door is open for him to potentially return tells you everything you need to know about the state of U.K. politics right now. Thank you so much, Salma.

Well, Amara, it has been a fun morning so far. We're going to come back in about an hour, but Michael Smerconish is going to take over in just a bit.

WALKER: We'll have more fun in an hour. Before we go, though, make sure to catch an all-new episode of "Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy" tomorrow night at 9:00 right here on CNN.