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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  April 24, 2022 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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hello, everyone. thank you for joining me. we begin with this breaking news. polls across france just closed. the presidential election expected to have major implications for the war in ukraine. incumbent macron and far right challenger le pen waiting for results to come in. macron has been a conduit for talks between russia and ukraine. and le pen has signalled she will take a softer stance on
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russia's invasion. meanwhile, intense fighting continuing across ukraine on this orthodox easter sunday. major bombardments in mariupol. ukrainian forces surrounded, and ukraine says a humanitarian corridor expected to open in the besieged city today could not because russia would not guarantee a cease fire. in odesa, new video emerging of a russian missile strike on an apartment building. eight people were killed including a three-month-old baby. and president zelenskyy says he is meeting with top u.s. officials in kyiv today. the secretary of state and secretary of defense. zelenskyy pulling no punches about what he expects from that visit. >> translator: why is it for leaders to come to us? i will give you a pragmatic answer. because they should not come here with empty hands now.
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we're waiting not for just presence. we're expecting specific things and specific weapons. >> let's get to matt rivers who is live for us in kyiv. matt, heavy shelling again today in russia. ramping up attacks in the east. >> yeah. unfortunately a lot more of the same of what we've been seeing over the past few days of this ramped up russia offensive in donbas and other parts of the country. we know according to the latest information, at least eight people killed in luhansk due to russian shelling. at least four civilians in the donetsk region. three civilians working in a garden in zaporizhzhia. and toward the southern part of the country, we know ukrainian officials are saying they're seeing an increased number of
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russian shelling and settlements around the area. that is just the overall view of what we're seeing across the country, and unfortunately, it's more of the same. in places lake kharkiv, the second largest city in ukraine also seeing a day today filled with artillery bombardment, shelling in places like mariupol. we've talked about that for a long time now. the last remaining pocket of ukrainian resistance centered on the steel plant complex. also under constant bombardment. that is the theme this orthodox easter sunday in ukraine. meanwhile, we are still waiting on any sort of word about a meeting today that president zelenskyy said was going to take place between secretary of state blinken and lloyd austin and the president himself here in kyiv. it was a surprise last night that zelenskyy previewed the meeting was happening. generally speaking when top officials like that under heavy
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security come to regions like this, the visits are not announced until after the officials have left the country. perhaps that's what we're waiting for. video or information coming out of that meeting until after those u.s. officials leave. that's going to be the top headline tonight that we're still looking out for. >> it will. keep us posted. matt rivers, thank you so much. let's get back to our breaking news. the historic election in france. cnn's diplomatic editor nic robertson is with us. nic, what will this mean, a victory for macron, or potentially a defeat? >> yeah. the incumbent macron gets reelected 58.2% to le pen, the populist right winger got 41.8%. so clearly trailing a long way behind macron. macron the first french president to be reelected. each president can have up to two five-year terms. he's the first president, french president to be reelected in 20 years. so pulling off something of a
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double victory there, if you will. in the context of france, it was tough, the turnout wasn't particularly high. there was quite a high absent rate. many people didn't feel like they had much of a choice between other candidate. not people they would necessarily pick. the socialists scored highly in the first rount, but not enough to make the final cut for the final e election today. there were a lot of people on the left wing, if you will, of french politics who didn't feel there was a candidate for them, but many of them seem to sort of have held their political noses. they didn't want a populist right winger so they voted for macron, and here in brufls, it would be a huge sigh of relief. le pen would have been divisive here and gummed up the workings of the european union. macron has established himself
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as one of the important political power players at the eu. so this will restore him to that position, give some momentum back to the european union, particularly dealing with russia over the war in ukraine. i think at the moment looking at these figures, the perhaps best way to analyze them is it is sort of back to business as usual in france. but that said, there is a huge amount of the population that are really feeling disaffected by electoral politics in france, and that's really represented in the relatively high ab tension rate over 28% at the moment. >> at the same time, despite this projected win, does le pen still promise to be a political force, someone macron will still have to deal with, appeal to her followers? >> he will have to deal with the
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populist right wing. he's had to deal with left wing protests on the street for several years. he'll have to deal with the disaffected part of the population that feels that the politics of france has really only handed macron his kroeners and the rich a better deal and the poor of the country have really been left out. but clearly, le pen is not going away. however, she's had now two elections where she's been in the final election. what does this signal for her? she has still got a lot -- a lot of political ground to make up. and it probably signals to the left wing that there will be opportunity with macron not being able to stand in elections in another five years' time. that there's perhaps opportunity for them, and they've got to look, perhaps, a little more to the center than they have.
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but le pen is not going away. and that sort of populist nationalist politics that is really gaining ground in europe, we've seen it in the uk, you know, we've seen it in other countries across europe. it's had its surges in italy as well. the afd in germany as well have done well. they've sunk away a little bit at the moment, but this is a new part, if you will, of european politics, and something that really grew, i guess you could say, and came to a stronger fruition in the past decade and no, it's not going away. >> and then nic, with this projected win, i wonder for macron, does it in any way change his approach with russia? >> he can certainly reengage. you know, he was very much engaged in the sort of diplomacy of trying to speak to zelenskyy, trying to speak to president putin before the war, during the war a lot of phone calls with
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putin. it didn't have any effect. macron really became disaffected by it. and putin at the moment, you know, widely sort of seen as not being particularly interested in trying to find a peace deal at the moment. macron once he begun to see, as he began to get into the election campaign in france and began to realize how tight the race was dropped out of visibility completely from the diplomatic scene dealing with russia and ukraine. so he's very likely to reengage there, but what kind of a difference he can make right now isn't clear. he was very afraid of losing political capital at home by too close of association with president putin. he can reengage there now knowing that he's won the vote. that there's sort of no immediate political danger for him on that account. but the reality is can he shift the dow with putin, and i think that the take away at the moment would be no, putin is on a set track and is not listening to
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anyone at the moment. >> and how, if at all, did le pen's ties to russia impact this election? >> well, they were one of the reasons that the european union was so worried not just that she was anti-european union. she didn't want to pull france out of the eu. she wanted to keep it in but change the european union, make french laws ascendant over european laws. the same thing sort of thing we heard from the uk when they went through brexit, but she said things while campaigning, in fact, in the sort of last tv debate just a few days ago, remembering as well that she's had secured a bank loan that she hasn't finished paying off from russia. she's seen as being soft on putin. she even said she didn't really see what harm russia's illegal annexation of crimea in 2014 had done. so there will have been a lot of
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french who would have felt very uncomfortable with that, particularly seeing what has happened with the war crimes in bucha and other towns across ukraine, that her proximity to putin might have counted against her, but saying that, it was not a particularly big electoral issue as far as campaigning was going, and it wasn't something it came up. her views, expressed, but it wasn't something that the voters seemed to particularly engage in as an important election issue. >> nic robertson, thank you so much. we'll keep tabs as the numbers continue to be tallied. all right, still ahead, fallout continues over the explosive leaked audio of house minority leader kevin mccarthy. why one senator is calling him a, quote, liar and traitor, next. plus blockades in shanghai
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welcome back. president zelenskyy says he is meeting with top u.s. officials in kyiv today. the white house has yet to confirm the meeting with us to discuss is general wesley clark. he is the former nato supreme allied commander and a cnn military analyst. so good to see you. so, if the secretary of state blinken and defense secretary lloyd austin are in kyiv today, what's the message the u.s. is sending with that visit? >> well, first of all, it's a message of support. secondly, it's probably an assessment of a couple 06 things. number one, how determined are ukrainians in their resistance? and secondly, what more do they need? secretary austin is going to have a meeting on tuesday. he's going to bring the ministers of defense of other nato nations and they're going to want to speak with fresh
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insights about the strength of ukraine. because that's what's going to bring the other nato nations into support. things have changed since the 24th of february. on the 24th of february, people thought that russia might just sweep through this country, and policy was holding nato together and do what you can, but the administrations are announcing a policy of working for russia strategic failure. this puts a lot more road on the united states and on nato to provide the assistance ukraine needs. >> still, president zelenskyy said yesterday when he made the announcement that these two cabinet members were making their way to kyiv. he says the u.s. should not come with empty hands. he says they know what ukraine needs. what it's already requested. so it doesn't sound like zelenskyy is hoping this is going to be a listening session. he wants results.
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what kind of delivery can be happening with these two secretaries visit? >> well, president biden announced a new package. now we're giving up to 90 artillery pieces, and so president zelenskyy understands they're not coming with empty hands. however, what he wants is more. and especially ukraine needs aircraft. so if you're going to give spare parts, why not give them the aircraft and take ukrainian violence and let them train and do the things necessary. >> you advocate that? you think the u.s. should be delivering the airplanes? not just the parts but the planes? >> right. right. i think that's one thing. and just the assurance of continued financial support is going to be very important. because this war is wrecking the ukrainian economy. and it's -- it impedes their ability to export their grain. so there are many ramifications
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here. >> yeah. so the white house''s position had been for a long time that supplying aircraft would be an escalation, but in that time, that's all we've seen. right? is escalation. i mean, russia is not backing down. by any means. so what does this set the stage for? >> well, i think that the only way -- end to that conflict, is to give ukraine what it needs to defeat the russian forces in the field in donbas, drive them out of the south, and do the negotiations. and without that, what you've got, it's basically blame the victim of forcing ukraine to try to stop a war when they've been brutally assaulted with terrorist activity in there, outrage. i think the ukrainians are really determined to resist. the united states says the new policy is strategic failure. well, that's a new policy.
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that's for russia, and that says that we are going to give them more of what they need to make sure it does feel in the bid to overrun ukraine. >> do you see it as realistic that there would be a visit by president biden? >> probably not. it could happen, but it wouldn't be the most important thing at this point. the most important thing is the messages that secretary austin and secretary blinken take away from the meeting with zelenskyy, and how they deliver the messages to our european allies to ramp up the level of support that's required. >> all right. let's zero in on some of the specific battles that we know of thus far. we're seeing bombardment of mariupol. continue the attacks on odesa as well. is there a way to put a finger on the russian strategy? >> well, i think there is. if you look at the map, what
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you'll see is the center of the map, and around that area, 40,000 to 50,000 ukrainian troops defending in more than 180 degrees of direction. so the russians want to hold the troops in position and then cut in behind them, isolating, encircle them and destroy them. this would permanently cripple or for a couple years cripple ukraine. so this is a really tough fight that has to be waged. and that's what's going on there. mariupol, on the other hand, is a political objective now for russia, because what they want is undisputed control of the south. they're looking ahead to their may 9th victory parade. they're also thinking about negotiations perhaps they don't like the ukrainian forces there, but it's been a humanitarian outrage, and it's really important that the ukrainians can muster the ability to drive a column and to relieve the siege of mariupol. it might be possible. >> yeah.
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and that's what's been described as that land bridge. all right. general wesley clark, good to see you. thank you so much. >> thank you. emanuel macron is projected the winner in today's closely-watched french election. what it could mean for the war in ukraine, and for the white house. we're live in paris with the latest, next. to protect your clothing from damage in the wash. like fadining, stretching and pilling. woolite has a first of its kind d formula that keeps today's fabrics looking g like new. woolite damage and darks defense. i'm ben affleck, and i want to thank you for joining me and supporting paralyzed veterans of america. i had st come home from serving over in germany. i had noticed my legs were swelling. next thing i know it was three weeks later, and i was paralyd. i joined the navy to serve my country as a navy seal. while parachuting with my platoon, my parachute didn't open. i broke my neck. it left me paralyzed for the rest of my life.
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zbl zbl zbljtds senator elizabeth warren lashing out to mccarthy. >> he's a liar and a traitor. this is outrageous, and that is really the illness that pervades
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the republican leadership right now. >> warren responding to audio record iings recordings -- and that mccarthy urged him to resign. before the release of the tapes, mccarthy denied he ever thought trump should step down. we are joined now from washington. eva, what else did warren have to say about that? >> senator warren blasted mccarthy for saying something in public and something else in private. he's not concerned what this progressive senator from massachusetts is saying about him. his issue could have been that the maga faction of the republican caucus. he wants to be speaker of the house if republicans take back the house in 20 22. in the wake of this audio, the former president and congressional republicans are sticking with him, but this very
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well could change. trump is not a reliable ally to republicans. we've seen him give enforcements only to yank them away. but this live from mccarthy was bold and remarkable. i think we should take note of maybe how the relationship between some lawmakers and the media have shifted that he felt comfortable lying so directly. >> and congress does return from the two-week break this week and president biden is expected to ask lawmakers for more funding for covid, and more aid for ukraine. so what more can you tell us about that? >> they'll get back to work this week. house speaker nancy pelosi expected to move quick on this funding request for ukraine aid. her office says she wants to bring it to the floor as soon as possible, but we don't have a specific timeline as yet. the funding measure is expected to have wide bipartisan support. but some of the open questions are if this will also include more covid funding, or if unrelated policy disputes that
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sometimes happens up here will derail progress. >> just on occasion. eva, thanks so much. and we're continuing to monitor breaking news. french president macron now projected to win his second five-year term. analysis of early results show him defeating his far right challenger le pen. cnn has correspondents at both campaign head quarters. let's start with cnn's jim bitterman at le pen head quarters where le pen concedes but says her result was victory. explain why she said that. >> reporter: well, because she doesn't believe this is a defeat. i don't think her party members do either. they've done better than they've ever done in the past, and they've gotten the score up increasingly one election after another. they see this as kind of a victory. what they're going to do, macron may have won the battle but not the war. what they're really going to do is move onto the legislative e
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ex-s which take place in june, and they're going to use those legislative elections as a way to frustrate macron, maybe to force him to compromise a little bit. he hasn't had this experience over the last five years as president. he's had his own way because he had a parliament that was of his party and would go his way. this time around, though, you've got not only the far right but the far left aiming to frustrate his plans. here's the way that le pen said that she's going to keep on fighting. >> we are going to form an opposition which is going to continue to defend and protect the cost of living, for example. more than ever, i will pursue my commitment to france and the french. with the determination and the will that you know that i have. >> so everybody expected -- it's
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assembly national to crawl away quietly into the night, their hopes dashed tonight. because obviously they're going to fight on. they haven't set aside their principles and le pen emphasized the concerns of the average frenchman which she said all during the campaign have been ignored, concerns about the cost of living and that sort of thing, that they're going to be continuing to fight for that. so it's not a defeat for the far right, but it isn't a victory either. >> jim bitterman, thank you so much. cnn's melissa bell is joining us on the phone, at macron head quarters. melissa, what can you tell us? >> reporter: i'm sorry i can't show you where we are precisely right now, but it got so chaotic that our cameras failed to function and cooperate. but we're at the foot of the eiffel tower. the crowd of macron supporters waiting for the french president to arrive to make his victory
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speech, ecstatic. this was a campaign that looked set after the first round of voting to be incredit wli tight. just two percentage points divided macron from his challenger and to those starkly different visions of france. that's why the last two weeks have been so closely watched and that's why also tonight in that crowd at the 58.2%, that flashed up on the screen a while ago, there was huge -- a great deal of real relief. because what you see in this crowd are french flags being raised. but also european flags. bear in mind, this was an election about much more than the future of france itself. it was the future of europe itself. given how different macron and le pen's visions are. you expect the french president to arrive shortly to make his speech in what we expect we'll hear is something we've heard a lot from the french president in the past couple weeks. this is a path who is well-liked
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and well-known outside of france inside france he's remarkable for how divisive he's proven over the course of the last five years, changing the political landscape, coming from nowhere to bring in a new kind of centrist policy in france. a lot of people didn't like his style. a lot of people didn't like his policies. that was expressed in the first round of voting. last couple weeks we've heard of a president who tends to speak his mind reaching out to that part of the electorate that either voted against him or chose not to vote at all. it's one of the lowest participation rates we've had in decades in france. he'll try to reach out to them tonight. and, of course, looking ahead to next month, legislative elections, he knows he has so much more support he needs to get if he wants to be able to govern effectively. >> all right. melissa bell. low turnout across the country, but certainly very excited from where you are, macron head quarters. all right. we're going to continue to monitor there. meantime a programming note.
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deaths in this latest outbreak. the municipal government in shanghai says the city will stay locked down until the spread is eliminated. david culver has more. >> reporter: if there was any hope officials here in shanghai were going to ease the lockdown restrictions, it's diminished by what we're seeing happening right now. social media videos are capturing work crews installing steel fences and blockades on public roads and inside residential compounds. now, they're using the roadblocks to keep people from traveling to other districts. and within the compounds, they're partitioning portions of housing to prevent people in buildings with reported positive cases of covid-19 from leaving. i've got a lesser version of that on my door here. i have a paper seal taped on, and in my community there's a covid guard on duty 24/7 to make sure we don't wander out of our homes without permission. some folks now have these fences
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being built so they're essentially being caged in. one social media post shows one residential building sealed off by newly installed steel fences caught fire on saturday night. the local fire department later con firmed no one was hurt, but it raises questions to the danger of physically locking people in as they're doing here. the latest em koran field surge has the city reporting more than 500,000 cases since the start of the outbreak in early march. china is standing by beijing's zero covid strategy. this goes all the way to the top. officials emphasizing once again that they will transfer every positive case to quarantine without exceptions. and there's concern growing out of shanghai. our colleagues in beijing saying folks are starting to panic as cases are climbing and fear is spreading that a shanghai-like lockdown might even happen in the capital city in china. a lot of uncertainty countrywide
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here. >> a lot of uncertainty, and frightening scenarios. david culver, thank you. cnn is learning in beijing the government is launching mass testing for 3.5 million people who live and work in one of the city's largest districts. this comes after just 11 new covid cases were detected in the past 24 hours. on monday beijing authorities will roll out three rounds of pcr testing followed by two more wednesday and friday. coming up, a movement demanding more worker's rights at amazon is gunning for its second major victory this week. we're live on staten island where union organizers hope to keep the momentutum going and a big vote tomorrow. where... ♪ pop rock music ♪ >> tech: he brought it to safelite. we repeplaced the windshield and recalilibrated their car's advanced safety system, so features like automatic emergency braking will work properly.
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a story from modern times. goliath is amazon and a lay your union that won a victory earlier this month. congressional allies bernie sanders and alexandria ocasio-cortez showing their sport today at a union rally where they met with workers set to vote on whether to join the union. we are tracking the developments. polo, a pretty incredible accomplishment. the amazon labor union or alu, is hoping to duplicate that april 1st win at another facility tomorrow? >> reporter: yeah, and to use the same parcomparison, the hops
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david will be able to slay goliath. we're talking about the faceoff between amazon workers and amazon. in terms of the voting, expected to begin tomorrow in this parking lot. likely going to last through the week. it's a facility you see behind me where folks are rallying, lbj-5. an amazon facility hoping to add itself to the amazon labor union which was founded earlier this month at a nearby amazon facility here. alu's organizing it. they have been sparked by tensions between the company and amazon workers. many of those advocates for the workers have alleged or at least insisted the company has gone with profits over people over their employees. and it's a call for improvement in wages and improvement in working conditions and benefits as well. it's really gained national attention even in washington d.c. as well. in fact, earlier today bernie sanders was among some of those speakers with some of the employees here.
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you'll hear from the vermont senator in a few moments. but you're also going to hear from a former employee who now serves as the president of the alu, and he really sees the formation of that union earlier this much as the first of the 27-year history of the tech giant will be a catalyst and will be really just another domino to fall. i want you to hear what happened earlier today. >> what you have done in taking on amazon and having this facility here in staten island, the very first amazon facility to unionize in the entire country is an extraordinary achie achievement. >> without these workers organizing, without this victory that we had on april 1st, without us spendsing the last year at this bus stop right over here, none of this would be possible. >> so in terms of amazon, they have repeatedly insisted the
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employees have the right to join a union if they so desire. however, they also responded to that vote earlier this month at the other facility calling it disappointing in nature. so we'll have to see how this latest vote turns out. in terms of how likely it is, that vote that took place earlier this month that was, again, the first unionizing effort in the company's history, that have about a 55% support for unionizing. it gives you an idea of more or less what we can expect in terms of what amazon has been doing to try to end with a different result, they've put millions of dollars into efforts to try to keep employees from unionizing. we'll have to watch in the coming days to see if the facility becomes the second and maybe to see if there's a third or fourth to follow. >> all right. you'll keep us posted. thank you so much. hours from now the first-ever all private mission to the international space station is expected to end after staying in orbit longer than expected.
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after several delays, the first all-private mission to the international space station is set to complete the final leg of the journey and splash down off the coast of florida tomorrow afternoon. the mission is a historic first for the commercialization of space. three of the four crew members
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are civilians who paid millions to take part of the inaugural mission for oxiom space. a retired nasa astronaut served as the commander as expetition 10 where he spent six months living on board the international space station is with us. good to see you, commander. >> good to be here. thanks. >> fantastic. this is the first commercial trip to the international space station. tell us about the significance of this new step for space tourism. >> this is the first time that an all civilian crew, if you will, has actually docked to the iss. some months ago we did see the first all amateur and special crew fly into space into orbit, but they did not go to the iss. this is significant because nasa has been wanting to help commercialize the space station for some time. so having the first commercial
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mission visit is a pretty big deal. >> so it's significant. do you like the idea? >> i do. i think it's a natural evolution. space flight being no exception that the government is able to create an innovate new technologies and new areas of commercial potential and then for the commercial companies to take over and start to take those roots and get into leveraging that to make commercial progress and make some money, frankly, and i also want to point out mike and i, the commander of the mission, we flew a space shuttle mission together. and today is the 17th anniversary of my return from iss. >> happy anniversary. great timing. you mentioned money. big money involved here. each one of these crew members had to pay an estimated $55 million each for the right to take part in this mission, but how sustainable is this kind of venture when you're talking about that kind of money?
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>> that's a really good question, and even the sub orbital flights which cost less, in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to touch space for a few minutes, you have to ask how sustainable are either one of these markets? it's a significant sum of money for the pool of people who can afford it. even for the pool of people who can afford it. but then you have to ask yourself well, after the first x numb of people go and do it, does the novelty wear off and is it sustainable? so that's what we're going to have to see, and maybe it is and maybe there's other ways that we're going to have to try to leverage space commercially for a more sustainable future. >> and as an astronaut who trained for years preparing to travel and spend time in space, what are your thoughts on these private citizens now undergoing abraefuated training for this kind of space travel? how do you draw the comparisons and ultimately do you feel like
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it's safe? >> well, ultimately it's difficult to compare the two, because you're right. people like me we're professionals. we trained for many years. went through rigorous selection criteria to get selected into our space programs and be assigned to missions and we're well-trained in all emergency procedures for the space station and the space station we fly up and down on. in the case of these participants, they get emergency trains on how to take care of themselves and the emergency suits in the event of an emergency. they're between. they did more than just buy a ticket to go, but i wouldn't call them professionals. there is a distinction, but as far as the safety goes, i'm confident that spacex and nasa made sure that they did receive the training required to operate safely. >> all right. commander leroy chow, good to see you. thank you so much. >> thank you. the next hour of the news
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room starts right now. all right. welcome back. and thanks for joining us for the next hour. we begin with this breaking news. results in the pivotal presidential election in france are now in. incumbent emmanuel macron projected to win his second five-year term defeating le pen for the second time. macron has been influential in talks between russia and ukraine as the war continues. and right now intense fighting underway across ukraine on this orthodox easter sunday. major bombardments in mariupol. ukrainian forces surrounded, and ukraine says a humanitarian corridor could not open in a besieged city today, because russia would not guarantee a cease fire. and in odesa, new video emerging of a russian missile strike on an apartment building. eight people were killed including a


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