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New Day Sunday

Ukraine: 60 People Feared Dead After Russia Bombs School Shelter; President Biden to Hold Virtual Summit with Zelenskyy, G7 Members; Senate Votes Vote on Abortion After Leaked Opinion Draft; Major Teachers' Union Call for Sanctions on Meta for Targeting Kids; Ireland Welcomes 27,000+ Ukrainian Refugees. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired May 08, 2022 - 07:00   ET




CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: We are so grateful to have you with us on this morning on this Sunday, May 8th. Happy Mother's Day to all of you moms out there. I'm Christi Paul.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN ANCHOR: Happy Mother's Day to you, Christi. I'm Alex Marquardt, in for Boris Sanchez this morning. It is so nice to be back with you on this Sunday.

PAUL: Good to have you, Alex.

MARQUARDT: All right. Well, we are going to begin in Ukraine where 60 people are feared dead following a bombing on a school in the eastern Luhansk region. Local officials are saying that 90 people were sheltering in that school when a Russian plane bombed the building.

Thirty were rescued. That's why we believe up to 60 have been killed. A regional official says they are most likely dead.

PAUL: Now, President Biden is holding a virtual summit today with other G7 leaders and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. This meeting was deliberately scheduled ahead of Russia's annual victory day celebrations which is tomorrow. It marks the Nazi surrender in World War II.

President Zelenskyy today, though, releasing a video marking a day of remembrance and reconciliation. It's observed every year on this day on May 8th to honor the people who lost their lives during World War II.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): This year we say never again differently. We hear never again differently. It sounds painful, cruel, without an exclamation, but with a question mark, you say never again? Tell Ukraine about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MARQUARDT: Ukraine is saying that all women, children and the elderly have been evacuated from that steel plant, Azovstal, in the southeastern city of Mariupol that we've been watching so closely. More than 300 civilians have now been rescued, according to officials. A new round of evacuations is beginning today to rescue the wounded, medics and military personnel who are still inside.

PAUL: We do want to get more on the bombing of that school in the Luhansk region of Ukraine. It was being used a as shelter.

Well, Isa Soares is joining us now from Lviv.

Isa, thank you so much for being with us. What are you learning about -- about the school and the people there?

ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Christi.

This is just horrible, heartbreaking what we're seeing, the images of the school shelter really being turned into rubble with a Russian bomb -- Russians dropping that bomb on that school. This is what we know from officials. The Luhansk governor of which this village is part of, tells us 90 people were sheltering in the basement of this school.

And those 90 people is pretty much the entire population said of this village. They were in the basement sheltering from the Russian onslaught when the Russian bomb was dropped on that school. Now, he said 60 people are most likely dead and 30 have been rescued from the rubble. Of those 30, seven have been injured.

And just to put in perspective of where this is, this is about -- this village is about 10 kilometers or so from the front lines, where we've seen the intensity of the battle in the Donbas region, where we've seen that kind of push and pull. An official in that area in the Luhansk region told us they have seen weeks of artillery fire and air strikes, but Ukrainian troops are holding on.

But this is where we see and the intensity, particular, particularly in the last few days. So incredibly heartbreaking scene, these images, and, of course, it is just shattering.

Let me bring you up to date in what we heard the last few minutes. We have been hearing now from regional police in Kharkiv. This has just broken in the last two minutes or so, a convoy of civilian vehicles, 15, in fact, were making their way near Kharkiv -- from near Kharkiv to Ukrainian-held territory. They have been fired upon.

This is what we've heard. Several people have been killed. Kharkiv police saying that the convoy -- they lost contact with the convoy. Some people are missing and they've seen heavy fighting as they try to make that escape, where civilians try to escape.

Now, police all said -- the chief investigator from Kharkiv said to us that combat was ongoing. It was impossible to reach the column, but they found four corpses in the cars. The remains of a 13-year-old girl have also been positively identified.

Of course, we'll continue to get more details but this just breaking in the last few minutes -- Christi.

MARQUARDT: Just heartbreaking, Isa, so many developments. Thank you very much for staying on top of them. We'll come back to you later in the show if there's more.

Now, joining us to discuss the latest in Russia's war on Ukraine is CNN international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson. He's in the Finnish capital Helsinki.

And CNN global affairs analyst, Aaron David Miller. He's also a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment.

Aaron, Nic, thank you so much for being with me this morning.

Nic, Putin is expected to announce some kind of victory tomorrow during this May 9th commemoration. He's going to be speaking on Red Square. Putin's forces do control a large stretch of land in southern and eastern Ukraine stretching from Crimea, all the way to the Donbas.

Do you believe there's a chance that he stops there or do you believe there's signs that he will keep going, try to take Odesa, for example, in the Black Sea and try again for Kyiv?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Odesa would be the more immediate concern for the Ukrainians than Kyiv. Putin would have to have success along the whole of the Black Sea coast, but likely before he would want to turn and commit forces against Kyiv. If he had swift success, that might encourage him to do that.

The balance for him at the moment is to consider whether or not he continues calling this a special military operation or he decides to declare a war, which could imply conscription, of which there is a big anti-feeling against in some parts of Russia. A lot of young men wouldn't want to sign up for a war where the think they will lose their lives. I've met one of them fleeing Russia on the border here, between Finland and Russia just the other day.

But as far as Odesa is concerned, there does seem to be sort of what the military might call shaping operations, naval activity off the coast there. An increase over the past ten days or so of missile strikes in Odesa. But he would have to be able to move his ground forces to coordinate with the naval action as well to make a success there. Putin is not having a great deal of success in advancing forces on the ground.

Will he want to take it? Absolutely. Can he? That is really not clear at the moment.

MARQUARDT: Yeah, a huge question.

Aaron, tomorrow, we do expect to see, you know, the Russians parading these armaments all across Red Square. So much of the Russian military force has been committed to this fight in Ukraine. How closely will you and other analysts be watching what is actually paraded and parsing what is there in order to inform us about where Russia's military stands right now? AARON DAVID MILLER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I think American

intelligence will be monitoring that situation closely. The parades across Russia will likely be thinner than usual, in large part because so much of the equipment is redeployed elsewhere in Ukraine. The other interesting thing, Alex, is that there are reports that the Russians are considering having a military parade in Mariupol. No formal announcement has been made.

Clearly in Putin's mind, since he was pushed back out of artillery range by Ukrainian forces in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city, consolidating control over Mariupol, changing road signs, holding elections in towns and areas in the Donbas which Russians have controlled, it would be a victory he can package on a day that was supposed do be the culmination of Putin's brilliant invasion of Ukraine. So there's going to be a lot of spinning here, it seems to me.

MARQUARDT: Aaron, just staying for you in as second, because you mentioned U.S. intelligence. We just heard from the CIA director, Bill Burns, he said that President Putin is in a frame of mind where he doesn't believe he can afford to lose. So, if the CIA director is saying that, what do you believe we can expect to see in the next phase of the war that started a couple weeks ago? How much more brutal do you think it can get?

MILLER: You know, as a former ambassador to Moscow, Bill Burns is able to read Putin and clearly they're reading intelligence. There's no question about it. Whether or not the Russians have achieved what they wanted so far, Putin is in this for keeps. It's the end game for him. In his own mind, he cannot lose. It's a mix of grievances and an ideology about return to Russian greatness.

So, in answer to your question, I think the war in eastern Ukraine will be more brutal and we're going to see more of the Russian way of war, which is basically turning the entire country into a target, civilian infrastructure, schools in Luhansk as an example yesterday and this morning.


It's going to get a lot more brutal and it's going to be a long campaign, which is why I think the president is meeting today with Zelenskyy and the G7 in order to preempt and to demonstrate allied unity in the face of what is likely to be a conflict that will go on for months and months.

MARQUARDT: Yeah, so far, as you mentioned, President Biden meeting with G7 leaders. They invited President Zelenskyy along, he will participate virtually, of course.

Nic, we would expect to hear a strong message out of that virtual meeting. Can we expect any action out of it?

ROBERTSON: It's going to be continual action. It's going to be, you know, a coming together again, reminding leaders to work together again for the continuity of purpose, for the continuation of weapons supply, humanitarian support, financial support for Ukraine because it is going to be a very long war.

We can expect President Zelenskyy to do what he does when speaking to other leaders, and that is ask for more support, ask for more military support, ask for stronger sanctions against Russia. The European Union looking for a sixth round of sanctions that will hit banks, that will hit broadcasters, that will turn off a large spigot of money flowing to Russia.

By end of this year, they hope to stop importing Russian oil into the European Union. So, all of this, in fact, it's a continuity of message. It's maintaining the drive.

And, think about it, there's been such a huge energy and such a huge push over the past few months, that has to be maintained. There was energy at the beginning. This really has to be reinvigorated, regularly and routinely. This is part of that process.

MARQUARDT: Yeah, we have heard that message from President Zelenskyy over and over. Thank you for what you're doing but we need more.

Aaron David Miller and Nic Robertson, we've got to leave it there. Thank you very much for joining me this morning.

PAUL: So tomorrow marks Russia's commemoration of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. But this year's victory day, as they call it, takes on a different meaning in the midst of Russia's war against Ukraine.

CNN senior international correspondent Matthew Chance tells us more.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nighttime on the cobbles of Red Square. Russia's military plotting its next steps. This is a rehearsal for the annual victory day parade, every May 9th commemorating the Soviet defeat of Nazi Germany. It's also the dramatic stage for the Kremlin to showcase its military power and to celebrate it.

I'm looking forward to its grand scale, says this Moscovite. We will show the power and strength of our country, he says. Though who really needs a reminder.

These are the latest, brutal images from Ukraine where Russia is continuing what it calls its special military operation. The Kremlin says this is also a fight against Nazis. Even though Ukraine has a Jewish president, it's being drilled into Russians that their country's soldiers are yet again battling fascists. It's a comparison dismissed in the West but which many Russians seem prepared to accept.

Every year, I go to these rehearsals, says this man, who gives his name as Misha. But I think this year, it's more special because of the special military operation happening in Ukraine, he says. Today, I wave the flag to support our army. But I hope it will end soon, he adds, a hint of awareness, perhaps, at the horrific cost. This is what victory day is meant to mark. The Soviet Union's role in

the allied victory in the Second World War. Russia sustained millions of casualties, paying an enormous sacrifice.

But the power of a military parade to bolster national pride has never been lost on the Kremlin's leaders. Least of all, President Putin, whose victory day parades have, for years, heralded Russia's resurgence as a military power.

There's speculation this year's parade will form the backdrop for a major announcement on Ukraine. Victory day still marks Russia's triumphant past. What the Kremlin really wants is to celebrate that elusive victory in the present.


Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.


PAUL: So, Senate Democrats are promising a vote on codifying abortion rights into law after the leak of that Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe versus Wade.

Now, yesterday, abortion rights activists protested outside the homes of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

MARQUARDT: Now, this document that we've seen is only a draft. It was obtained by "Politico." It could be weeks before an official court ruling is released. But activists are already gearing up, demanding action from lawmakers.

Daniella Diaz joins us now.

Daniella, we are expecting to see a vote in the Senate later this week?

DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: That's right, Alex. We're expecting a vote to advance the legislation. It's a bill called the Women's Health Protection Act on Wednesday. Of course, we are not expecting there to be enough votes to break the 60-vote threshold for the filibuster even if every single Democrat senator signs on for the legislation. There are not many Republican senators at that would support this legislation. So, that vote is going to fail.

But that is not stopping Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for putting this to a vote anyway, because he wants all the senators on the record for where they stand on this issue. Other than that, the Senate is working on trying to pass a Ukraine supplemental bill that the Biden administration requested a few weeks ago. That's a priority for Republicans and Democrats.

Now, the issue is whether the Democrats should combine that legislation with a COVID-19 package that they've already written. The Republicans already pooh-poohed that idea of including the COVID-19 legislation included with the Ukraine supplemental package. But it's unclear whether Democratic leadership trying to do that anyway.

Now, separately in the House, we're also expecting a bill to be put on the floor that would allow Capitol staff to unionize. We're expecting that legislation to pass. Of course, it does need to pass the Senate for that to happen. That would be a major victory for labor activists that wanted that ability for capitol staff to unionize for years. It's going to be a very, very busy week this week on Capitol Hill and we expect this legislation to be put on the floor both in the Senate and the House -- Alex, Christi.

MARQUARDT: And you are going to have a busy week. Good luck being in the middle of all of that.

Daniella Diaz, thank you so much for all your terrific point.

Now, still to come this morning, despite a hot job market, people are still leaving their jobs. So is this a problem that is specific to the pandemic or is it a bigger issue with the workforce in America? We'll look at that next.



PAUL: We're going to share new data from the Labor Department. It shows a record 4.5 million workers here in America quit their jobs in March. Many of them left to seek higher pay, better benefits, and flexibility or just a new career opportunities altogether.

So, as the number of available jobs rose in March to an all time high of 11.5 million, all this movement in the labor market, American businesses are still having a hard time finding and retaining staff.

So I want to talk about this further with the president of working nation, Jane Oates. She's also a former U.S. Department of Labor official and served during the Obama administration.

So, Jane, thank you so much for being with us. I want to ask you about people quitting and are they going back to work? Are they just finding other jobs? I mean, is this a pandemic issue that really ended up highlighting an issue that had been existing all along?

JANE OATES, PRESIDENT, WORKINGNATION: Thank you very much for having me. Thanks for talking about this subject. I think normally, we have to remember some things. This number, while it's really high, is only 3 percent of the work force. And we normally see a quit rate of about 3 million a month.

I mean, during the great recession when I was at labor, as you mentioned, nobody was leaving their job. It dipped under 20 million for the first time. So, I think this is a part of a normal process but I think there are certain things are pushing the number up.

You know, you think about the kids who graduated from college or high school in 2019 and 2020, they had no opportunities. The labor market was pretty stagnant at that point. So they took jobs that were not what they wanted. I think we're seeing a lot of that.

Instead of people talking about the great resignation, this is a reset. This is people who took jobs during the recession to get by, to make ends meet. Now they're looking to restart their career.

PAUL: So, I know we've heard how employers had to reconfigure employment for Americans. Work from home, modifying hours and whatnot. Is that sustainable?

OATES: So, look, I think it's really positive that for the first time, you know, people seem to be considering -- employers seem to be considering workers' needs. More flexibility, certainly higher pay, we're seeing that. But they're looking at how do people like to work?

You mentioned remote working, but also giving them flexibility in their hours so they can get a better balance between their home life and their professional life. I think employers are looking at that. What I think is exciting is that employers are starting to invest in workers.

You read a lot of stories, you hear a lot on your station about employers who are using education as a benefit. Helping employees earn more by learning more. That's a great positive for us as a nation, in terms of our work force.


Now, I don't want to leave this question without saying a lot easier for a large employer to have their resources to do that. I do worry that small employers are having a difficult time keeping up. So, they've got to figure out another way to define flexibility that isn't as expensive, you know, as their larger employers can afford.

PAUL: I understand that retail and manufacturing sectors have been really struggling here to find good workers. Why those industries in particular having such a problem?

OATES: You are so good. I want to start with manufacturing because people have this crazy myth that manufacturing is dirty, and dark and dangerous. I mean, advanced manufacturing in the United States today is almost like working in an operating room. They're doing advanced skill level tasks, they're working in teams, they're working side by side with robots and automation. It's an exciting place to solve a problem.

And, by the way, manufacturing jobs are such good jobs. You know, you can -- if you're in a time when you need to make more money, you can work double shifts. You make a great salary with a great benefit package with small, medium and large-sized employers, you know?

So, I think that's a category itself. Let's debunk that myth, these are great jobs. Retail always had a lot of churn. They've always been a catalyst for people to get their first job or to build a work history.

So, I think, unfortunately, for a lot of retail employers, whether they've selling clothing or the ones we're most familiar with, grocery stores, you know, they end up giving people opportunity and part of it is, yes, they'd like to retain their great workforce, but they also recognize that they launch people on to careers in every sector.

PAUL: Yeah. Jane Oates, we appreciate that you took time to talk to us. Really learned something from you. Thank you.

OATES: Thank you so much.

MARQUARDT: Yes, we did.

Teachers taking on big tech. The harm they say Facebook is doing to kids and how plan to use their pensions to push for change. That's coming up.



PAUL: Well, America's second largest teachers union is taking on social media giant Meta. According to the American Federation of Teachers, its members pension funds hold a combined 30 million shares of Facebook, that equates to a value of $6.3 billion.

And now, they've using that financial leverage. They're calling on Meta to launch an independent investigation of the impact of Facebook and Instagram usage in children.

Randi Weingarten with us now, president of the American Federation of Teachers.

Thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate it, Randi.


PAUL: Happy Mother's Day to you as well and to all of the teachers, at some point they probably feel like moms in the classroom. We know that.

I wanted to ask you about that number. I mean, it's huge, $3.6 billion. What kind of power do you feel that gives you to really get some information for your students and to make a change here?

WEINGARTEN: So, look, you know, teachers -- teacher pension systems have been around for a very long time. But, you know, teachers really rely on those pensions so that, you know, for us to write a letter like this, you know, we have to really think through what it means and why it's important and it is important because what Facebook and other social media have done and the whistle-blower Frances Haugen has shown this, is that the way in which they're algorithms work, they actually make kids feel bad about themselves.

They have their own internal information, Facebook does, that found that 32 percent of girls who suffer from poor self-esteem feel worse after spending time on Instagram. The way in which these algorithms work, if you say something about food, all of a sudden you will see content about food anxieties and about weight issues. We saw this on other things as well.

So we basically are saying to Facebook, you know, actually have an independent auditor that looks at this. Be more transparent. We know that Facebook when it was started was about bringing us together. But it shouldn't be making people feel worse, particularly after a pandemic where lots of people were on their screens in a lot of time.

And we need to actually stop the loneliness and we need to increase self-esteem, not decrease it. That's why we did it. There's a lot of things that Facebook could do that's salutary, but we have to stop people from algorithm from making people feel worse. That's why we're doing it.

PAUL: Have you received a response from Facebook?

WEINGARTEN: Well, we're doing this for the shareholders meeting. No, we have not received a response from Facebook yet. We had Frances Haugen on a couple of webinars with us, including one this past week with parents and with doctors and with kids. You know, we're making sure that our members understand and frankly that parents understand how problematic these algorithms are. The algorithms are about making money and they choose the content that people see.

PAUL: So, what are you hearing from teachers and how all of this impacts their classrooms and interactions that they have?


WEINGARTEN: So, you know, it's not a secret that this has been a really, really hard year. Everyone, you know -- and we understood pre- pandemic that being in school is far better than remote education. I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to figure that out.

PAUL: Sure.

WEINGARTEN: And we have been trying since April of 2020 to figure out how to get back in school and get back in school safely. And this year, everyone was euphoric about coming back into school and being in person. But you can see so many, you know, emotional issues, social issues, loneliness issues.

And some of it is because of people weren't together and some of it is because of how much time kids spend on the screens. It's interesting that the tech companies themselves -- and I've seen them interviewed -- many of the CEOs of tech companies don't let their kids on screens very much.

So, teachers are seeing this. They're seeing this in the triggering. They're seeing this in the anxiety. And we want to help kids be kids.

PAUL: Sure. Randi Weingarten, it's a great point to make there. Thank you very much for taking time to talk with us this morning.

WEINGARTEN: Thank you. MARQUARDT: Such an important topic.

Now, the United Nations is saying more than 5 million people have fled Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion. Coming up next, we'll be taking you to one country that has been welcoming in Ukrainian refugees. And we'll show you some of the challenges that they've been facing.

Stay with us.



MARQUARDT: The U.S. State Department is, quote, "dismayed and deeply concerned" in their words over new orders announced by the Taliban, which is, of course, ruling in Afghanistan. Women in Afghanistan must now completely cover their faces in public, the Taliban says, meaning a traditional burqa, like the one you're seeing there covering their entire bodies, their heads and faces. If a woman does not follow this rule, they say, her male guardian will be visited and advised and could eventually be jailed and sentenced.

Women who work in government offices who do not follow the new decree, do not cover themselves will be fired.

Now, this is just the latest Taliban restriction on women after earlier crackdowns on driving and barring women and girls from education.

PAUL: First Lady Jill Biden is in Eastern Europe this weekend. She's getting a first-hand look at the Ukrainian refugee crisis there.

In fact, right now, she's in Slovakia. This is a part of her four-day tour. She visited a school a bit ago to mark Mother's Day and meet with students and teachers. She'll meet with the country's first female president at some point today.

Now, yesterday, First Lady Biden visited a school in Romania and heard heartbreaking stories from women and children who escaped the war in Ukraine. This school in Bucharest opened its doors to refugee stoops after Russia's invasion began in February.

And since the war began, more than 27,000 Ukrainian refugees have already been accepted to Ireland.

MARQUARDT: That's right. Ireland has pledged to place no cap on the number of refugees that it takes in. Irish-born son Donie O'Sullivan returned to his homeland to look into the challenges facing the land of a thousand welcomes.


DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This 15th century castle on Ireland's west coast is about as far from Ukraine as you can get in Europe. But for a group of Ukrainian families fleeing the war, it's now home.

MARIA NAZARCHUK, FLED FROM UKRAINE: It's really amazing, the castle. I never dreamed that I could live in castle in future, but now I live with my two boys, with my family.

O'SULLIVAN: The great hall.

BARRY HAUGHIAN, CASTLE OWNER: The great hall. This is where we have our celebrations and big dinners.

O'SULLIVAN: The owner Barry Haughian didn't have to think long about traveling to Poland to offer up his castle to refugees.

HAUGHIAN: We decided that we had to do something. We had no real plan. We were nervous and thinking how do we do this. It's pretty simple. You get your credit card out, book a flight and fly to Poland.

O'SULLIVAN: Per capita, the country of 5 million people has taken in more Ukrainian refugees than many of its neighbors in Western Europe. The country says more than 27,000 have arrived so far. The United Kingdom has had roughly the same number of refugees arrive despite having a population more than 13 times the size.

But not all refugees in Ireland received the royal treatment. The government has warned that resources are stretched.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, it's not ideal. It's not all the gold standard accommodation that we would like. But this is a crisis situation.

Most people are in hotels. Some people are in more basic accommodation. Yes, it is getting more difficult, particularly as it is clear now this war is not going to end any time soon.

O'SULLIVAN: Authorities have set up emergency camp beds in an arena in Cork. They also plan to repurpose student halls, holiday homes and former convents. Campaigners have praised Ireland's initial response, but say the government needs better long-term plans in place.

NICK HENDERSON, CEO IRISH REFUGEE COUNCIL: That we've been able to accommodate people with such short notice.


If you'd asked me that before the war, I would have said it was impossible. Now, we need to be thinking of what our long-term plan is for this. There's also this concern that why aren't we able to do all the thing we have done for Ukrainian refugees and apply that to all people seeking asylum in Ireland.

O'SULLIVAN: Former asylum seeker Lucky Khambule, originally from South Africa shared a room in a government-run facility for years. Living in limbo until his papers were processed. He now campaigns for better accommodations for all asylum seekers.

LUCKY KHAMBULE, CO-FOUNDER, MOVEMENT OF ASYLUM SEEKERS IN IRELAND: Shows all along that the government is capable of treating us better.

O'SULLIVAN: Unlike other asylum seekers, Ukrainian refugees were immediately granted the right to work and received welfare payments in Ireland. A lot of red tape also enabled thousands of Ukrainian children to be enrolled quickly in Irish schools.

HAUGHIAN: They had everything sorted for these guys within two hours. It was quite incredible. Makes you proud to be Irish.

O'SULLIVAN: Donie O'Sullivan, CNN, Galway.


PAUL: Donie, thank you.

So, there are some warm temperatures, high winds and dry conditions fueling fire concerns now in the southwest. We'll tell you what we know.

Stay close.



PAUL: In CNN's original series "STANLEY TUCCI: SEARCHING FOR ITALY", Stanley visits the region that made the dream of a unified Italy a reality.

MARQUARDT: And here's a look at how Piedmont puts its own spin on fondue.


STANLEY TUCCI, CNN HOST: If there's one dish they're famous for it's fondue. On this side of the mountains, it's called funduta. And over here, they make it a little differently.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The difference between, for example, Switzerland and France, they have fonduta with different cheese.

TUCCI: What do they use?


TUCCI: Greer?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): For us the rule is to make fonduta with fontina cheese. If it is without fontina, in the Aosta valley, we don't call it fonduta.

TUCCI: Italian fontina cheese from cows fed on sweet grass high in these mountains make the fonduta so luscious, it doesn't need the white wine they add in France or Switzerland.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MARQUARDT: Such a beautiful part of that country. What an amazing show.

You can catch an all-new episode of "STANLEY TUCCI: SEARCHING FOR ITALY", tonight right here on CNN, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Now, today, there are new fears that wildfires in the southwest could get even worse. Officials are warning that warm temperatures, dry conditions and high winds could fuel those flames.

PAUL: CNN's Allison Chinchar with us now.

Allison, walk us through what's going on.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yeah, we got rain close, it's just not close enough to the areas that really need it. You got some showers and thunderstorms expected in the upper Midwest, but just to the south of that, you got record temperatures and that's one of the ingredients that's going to fuel a lot of the fire concerns.

Now, yesterday we had 15 locations that set or tied records temperatures. Again, all spread across that area. Amarillo, Texas, actually reaching 101 degrees. Not only was that record for the day but it's also the earliest date they've ever hit triple digits.

And we got more areas that are going to see that heat. San Antonio likely hitting triple digits yet again today. A lot of other areas reaching into the 90s. And it's not just the temperature, keep in mind, that feels like temperature is likely going to be in the triple digits because of the humidity that's added into the air in some of those spots, especially the closer you get to the Mississippi River Basin.

Now, looking at over the next several days, starting today, all the way through Friday, over 200 locations looking at potentially setting some records. That's one of the ingredients that we're looking at that's going to fuel the fire concerns. You also have low humidities on the western side. So, you're talking areas of Arizona, New Mexico, and West Texas, and also very gusty winds, up around 40, 50, even 60 miles per hour. And that's a concern for a lot of those ongoing wildfires.

MARQUARDT: A major concern, and we know you'll be watching that closely. Allison Chinchar, thank you very much.

And, Allison, you got to stay with us for a second, because, of course, today is Mother's Day. We want to give a huge shout-out to all of the moms out there.

PAUL: Absolutely. This includes you, Allison, look at you, with your little guy here, happy Mother's Day to you. You are such a good mom.

MARQUARDT: Very sweet.

CHINCHAR: Thank you so much.

And happy Mother's Day to you, too, Christi.

PAUL: Thank you very much.

Alex, is that you?

MARQUARDT: I want to wish my mom, of course, a very happy Mother's Day. I think these pictures from our first Christmas together, such a beautiful, wonderful kind mother of five. I hope she's watching. If she's not, the first thing I'll do when I get off set is give her a call.

Mom, I love you. Happy Mother's Day.

PAUL: Aww, so sweet.

I have to say the same thing to my mom. She always gave me a beautiful place to come home to. Once you leave for college and go your own ways, there's something about going home. She always made it special.

So, Mom, I love you too. Thank you so much for all of your wisdom and your care, not just of me, but of your grand kids too.

And, Allison, again, happy Mother Day's, and happy Mother's Day to all of you out there too. We are grateful to spend this time with you, and we wish all of you some really good memories today. We hope that happens for you.

And, Alex, I hope you get to sleep in soon.


MARQUARDT: Christi, are your kids doing anything for you?

PAUL: Soccer and softball -- soccer and softball fields all day.

MARQUARDT: Very nice.

All right. Well, happy Mother's Day to the both of you. To my mom, to all the mothers out there.

"INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY WITH ABBY PHILLIP" is coming up next. Have a great Sunday, everyone.