tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN April 29, 2022 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
success. sam kiley joins us now live from kramatorsk, ukraine. we're seeing video not far from where you are of an important ukrainian rail hub and supply line shelled by the russians. what are the russians seemingly trying to do here? >> well, i think they're trying to do two things. they're attacking an area in a village where the ukrainians say they're still holding on in spite of very deliberate bombardment. almost all civilians have left that area and indeed the villages nearby just handfuls left behind. there's a large power plant there at the end of a railway system that is still functioning. it's a coal fired power plant and it needs coal deliveries to continue to function. the extent to which this region relies on that power plant is unclear because there are others in the region, but clearly, it's a major strategic prize for the russians. on top of that, they want to be able to prevent the movement of
equipment that is being promised and indeed delivered from nato and from the united states and other nato countries coming to this arguably the most important battlefront in terms of the ukrainian defense against the russian invaders. so they're going after those very important railway lines with these bombardments. i have to say on top of that, though, the railway bridge that links leman to the other side of the donetsk river was also blown today. it's not clear, though, jake, whether it was the ukrainians or the russians that blew it because we do know that the ukrainians do have a tactic of blowing bridges in order to slow russian advances. they are going to use in all probability the donetsk river as a line of defense if it comes to that. there have been very substantial troop movements among the ukrainians on the ukrainian side throughout this region over the last 24 hours. and clearly an effort at least at re-enforcement is under way. a lot of movement of troops.
a lot of concentration of ukrainian troops, arguably exactly what the russians want to do because they're probably going to try to drive south from the area that you referred to there, a little further west, the town of izyum, and try to cut off this region. >> sam, the russians have been heavily bombing along the, quote, entire line of contact in the donbas region of southeastern ukraine. is it clear who has the upper hand on that battlefront? >> no, i think that's an absolutely key question, who is going to get the upper hand here, jake. the troop numbers clearly the russians have more. in terms of sophistication of equipment, the ukrainians will increasingly have the edge. and it is also clear from the use of caliber missiles we have seen recently fired into what believes to be caliber cruise missiles into kyiv, they're not that accurate. some of their bombing is presishz. some of it is using dumb bombs,
particularly around mariupol. and so as a consequence of this, there is a very finely balanced maneuver war going on with a lot of artillery duels going on as both sides are trying to probe weaknesses. ultimately, the expectation is there is going to be a substantial attack coming in from russia over the next week or so. >> sam, we have heard reports of russian soldiers stealing wheat from villagers. do we know why? >> well, this is from reportedly from the south. it is frankly a typical act that will be very familiar indeed to ukrainians, echoing the what's called the red famine of 1932, 1933, when the forcible expropriation of grain from ukraine by russia resulted in the deaths of some 5 million ukrainians over the space of about a year and a half. it is something that the
russians are anticipated to have done. they have looted with gusto elsewhere in areas they have captured, and they have been shipping this into crimea which is parched. it doesn't have easy supply lines into russia, and it doesn't come as any great surprise to ukrainians, but the images of those trucks moving from territory that the russians have captured with the zed symbol painted on them has resonated across the country, and in fact, will probably increase the steeliness of ukraine's defense. >> sam kiley, thank you so much. >> the azauz stl complex is under attack. hundreds of people are wounded after russian bombs hit a makeshift hospital facility within the complex. as scott mclean reports, there are so many civilians still trapped inside the plant that
one local official says only a miracle can help them. >> these are russian troops making a break for cover near the azovstal steel plant. one is shot along the way. a fellow soldier attempts to pull him to safety amidst heavy fire. one ukrainian deputy commander says russia is not only bombarding the plant from the sky but now also attacking from the ground. >> translator: as of today, there have been attempted to storm the territory of azovstal. this is infantry, this is enemy military equipment, but those attempts have been beaten off at of this hour. >> the deputy commander of the azov regimen leading the fight from the plant says that recent bombing left some cellars and bunkers caught off by rubble. he's not sure if there are survivors trapped inside. he said bombing also hit a field
hospital, bringing the number of wounded soldiers to more than 500. the city mayor puts the number of injures at more than 600. >> how many do you think will survive the next day or two? >> i'm not going to say how long we could be here. but i'm going to say that we're doing everything we can to stabilize them. >> with the soldiers in the plant are hundreds of civilians. mostly elderly women and children, they say as young as 4 months old. ukrainian officials are also running low on food and water. thursday the u.n. secretary-general arrived in kyiv determined to broker a deal to safely evacuate civilians from the plant after securing an agreement in principle from vladimir putin in moscow. friday morning, zelenskyy's office announced an operation to evacuate civilians planned for friday, but no other details. a convoy was en route but had yet to arrive. he is also hoping for a deal to allow soldiers to get out,
though perhaps it's a long shot. would you rather die fighting than surrender yourself to the russians? >> translator: we are not considering the terms of surrender. we are waiting only for guarantees of exit from the territory of the plant. that is, if there is no choice but captivity, we will not surrender. >> an adviser to the mayor of mariupol says getting soldiers evacuated safely would take an international intervention or a divine one. >> i really want something, something like miracle. have to take the main brus from zaporiz zaporizhzhia, so driving with soldiers. >> you don't think that it makes sense for the soldiers at the steel plant just to surrender themselves to the russians? >> it might be.
>> that might be the best thing to do? >> yeah. >> and mariupol officials say that they have discovered three mass graves outside the city where the russian soldiers had been enlisting local civilians to help them dig in exchange for food. now, the mayor's adviser who you saw there says they have been in touch with some of those diggers who say they usually dig in about groups of 40. the reward is per person two carrots and six strands of pasta while the entire group of 40 has to share just one loaf of bread and about a gallon and a half of water. jake. >> scott mclean reporting from lviv for us. thank you so much. >> the emotional moment at the pentagon today when spokesman john kirby talked about the nerve of vladimir putin and his actions in the war. >> plus, the provocative political ad from the candidate beth known as dr. oz. how he's taking aim at anyone questioning his position on guns. stay with us.
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we're back with our world lead and a possible biden/putin showdown brewing now that russia's vladimir putin has accepted host country indonesia's invitation to attend the upcoming g-20 summit. president biden has previously said he thinks russia should be kicked out of the group. mj lee is live at the white house. mj, you asked press secretary jen psaki this afternoon about putin's plans to attend the summit. what did she have to say? >> no question that the confirmation that putin is now going to be attending this g-20 summit in november has created a diplomatic headache for the white house. of course, the context here is that president biden has made clear that he believes russia
should be kicked out of the g-20. and when i asked white house press secretary jen psaki about this moments ago, i asked for reaction and i also asked her, is there anything that could happen between now and six months from now when the summit is set to take place that could make the u.s. reassess this idea of kicking russia out, and she basically said that she has made clear the u.s. has made clear, both in private and in public, that they don't support russia attending this summit and being a part of the g-20 altogether. she also said that there are no indications right now that russia and vladimir putin is serious about diplomatic talks. it is unlikely, i should note, at this moment in time that russia would be kicked out of the g-20. namely because china has been so vocal in saying they don't support this. and then there's also the question of the host country, indonesia, you know, psaki said in her briefing that they bel believe indonesia extended the invitation to russia before the invasion began, but this is what
the president said. they said indonesia wants to reunite the g-20, don't let there be a split. it doesn't sound like a host country that would be eager to kick russia out of the g-20. jake. >> mj, there was an emotional moment today at the pentagon when the spokesman, rear admiral john kirby, was talking about the war, specifically about putin's depravity. tell us about that. >> this was a striking moment from the briefing today. john kirby was talking about the atrocities that we're seeing coming out of ukraine, the images that we're seeing of civilian deaths. let me just play that sound for you and we can talk coming out of it. >> it's difficult to look at the -- sorry. it's difficult to look at some of the images and imagine that any well thinking, serious, mature leader would do that.
so i can't talk to his psychology, but i think we can all speak to his depravity. >> look, obviously, john kirby is a professional spokesperson. he does this day in and day out. so just kind of striking to see somebody who talks about these issues all the time to reporters getting so choked up, just talking about these horrific images that have come out of ukraine. and i should note, just speaking to you from here, the white house, this is something that we have seen reflected from the president himself, too. there have been moments when he has spoken about some of these issues and has really spoken with emotions behind his words. and the white house officials close to him have talked about this as well, that sometimes when he is making these comments that are clearly sort of off the cuff, it may not necessarily reflect sort of the formal u.s. diplomatic talking points, that that often is because he, too,
is sort of emotionally moved by just these horrific, the nature of the images that we're seeing coming out of ukraine. just another reminder, not that we needed one, that these images are so haunting, so horrific, and there really is no rationale for vladimir putin and his continued unprovoked attacks across ukraine, jake. >> the slaughter of civilians is tough. the images that we bring you on cnn and other media organizations bring you people at home, i'm talking to, are rough and upsetting. and then there are the ones that we see but we don't bring you. and those are probably the ones that admiral kirby and president biden and others respond to when they get emotional. mj lee at the white house for us, thank you so much. appreciate it. >> a u.s. citizen was killed fighting alongside ukrainian forces this week. family members say the 22-year-old willy joseph cancel, a former u.s. marine from tennessee, was working with a private military contracting company when he was killed on monday. cancel's mother says the men
fighting alongside her son have not been able to retrieve his body. she tells cnn this about why he went to ukraine to fight, quote, he wanted to go over because he believed in what ukraine was fighting for. and he wanted to be a part of it, to contain it there so it didn't come here. and that maybe our american soldiers wouldn't have to be involved in it, unquote. cancel leaves behind a wife and a 7-month-old baby. may his memory be a blessing. >> coming up, how an anticipated supreme court ruling might impact the flood of new abortion bans throughout the united states. stay with us. ♪ we believe there's an innovator in all l of us. ♪ that's why we build technology that makes it possible for every business... and every person... to come to the table and do more incredible things.
in our politics lead, republican-led state legislatures across the country are advancing new bills that would make abortion nearly illegal entirely. oklahoma is the latest state passing a texas style bill that would ban abortions after six weeks and like texas, the law would also incentivize citizens to sue anyone who performs or helps someone get an abortion. let's discuss this with katie watson, an attorney and associate professor of ob obstetrics and gynecology. this bill will goat into effect as soon as the governor signs is, which he is expected to do. practically speaking, what will this mean for oklahoma? >> so the oklahoma bill is a copycat of the texas six-week ban. and the immediate effect is that approximately 12,000 women a
year will be displaced. i think of these folks as medical refugees. in texas, 45% of the patients who travel to escape that unconstitutional ban went to oklahoma. so the minute this takes effect, oklahoma women, approximately 90% of them, would have to travel, if they wanted an abortion. but in addition, we have the roug roughly thousand or so texas patients who are moving as well, and so yearly, i estimate it's about 12,000 texans and oklahomans who will now have to travel for abortion care. so it has a huge effect. it will be immediate. and if i may add, on monday, the oklahoma legislature is expected to pass a total abortion ban with this vigilante enforcement scheme. that will be more quickly
enjoined, i would imagine. but they just can't stop in oklahoma. >> so the u.s. supreme court in the next few weeks we're expecting the court will rule on the constitutionality of mississippi's 15-week abortion ban. what impact will that have on states, do you think, and can you read the tea leaves as to how you think court might rule? >> well, there are two factors there. one is exactly as you said. what the court rules there. it's possible that justice roberts could wrangle five conservatives into saying, we're upholding the core holding of roe, women have a constitutional right to abortionering but we're going to jettison the viability standards and states can decide when abortion is banned as long as they give women some opportunity. they could also just uphold the mississippi 15-week ban. but those are like the, quote, good scenarios for pro-choice
advocates. it's also very likely that even if it's with a five-member majority, the conservatives absolutely just reverse roe and it's a complete free-for-all in the states. the second element is this vigilante enforcement mechanism, which is still extraordinary. and i just think we have to not forget that. that if texas had said, oh, we're going to segregate the schools, but you can't see us that it's a violation of brown v. board because parents are the ones who get to enforce it. that part is so threatening to our democracy and our separation of powers and our judicial system. the implications are much larger than with just abortion. >> so the people who are passing these laws, they obviously argue they think abortion is immoral and more. are they succeeding in eliminating abortion or are they just driving the women who want
to get abortions to other states or to illegal secret abortions? >> they're increasing the hardship. so i think we're about after the supreme court ruling in dobbs v. jackson's women's health organization, moving to a system of free states and forced motherhood states where women's personhood is not recognized and therefore women have to flee to get abortions or they try to order abortion pills off the internet, or they try to self-induce in other more dangerous ways. what we're seeing in texas is that many who are seeking abortion are traveling or ordering pills from the internet, and having a miscarriage, what looks like a miscarriage at home. and that will get harder because as texas and states like it become more landlocked, so we know 59% of abortion patients are already mothers.
and we know half live under the poverty line, which is about $13,000 for a single person. imagine people in that category, say you live in texas and you could make it to oklahoma, that doesn't mean you can make it to kansas or elsewhere. and so as more states fall, as these dominos fall, it gets harder and harder to travel. so it is true that these laws are simply forcing women to endure more shame, more expense, and it's pushing them to later gestashz gestashal gestational ages. they ought to be against these laws. it's pushing women to later gestation. >> katie watson, thank you so much. appreciate your time. >> turning to our national lead now, growing alarm from press freedom advocates after los angeles county's powerful sheriff suggested a reporter was under criminal investigation for doing her job. l.a. county sheriff alex
veanueva attacked l.a. times reporter on tuesday, after she published a series of stories including one looking at a possible cover-up within his department. the l.a. times accuses the sheriff of abusing his position in an attempt to intimidate their reporter. cnn's nick watt reports right now, veanueva has a history of attracting controversy. >> an inmate gets punchy at a sheriff's department lock-up. in this footage recently obtained by the los angeles times. you see a deputy's knee on the now handcuffed inmate's neck or head. this week, l.a. county sheriff alex via veanueva announced a n investigation. an investigation into who leaked that video. he pointed at a picture of the l.a. times reporter who broke the story. >> is this los angeles times reporter under investigation by the department? >> well, the act is under investigation.
all parties to the act are subjects of the investigation. >> it was, you know, uncomfortable and bizarre and a little surreal to see my photo up there. it's obviously alarming, of course, when a powerful government official would do something like that. >> raises the question, why? well, this potentially excessive use of force by one of his deputies was kept from the public. the video only surfaced last month. but it happened more than a year ago, just as jury selection began in minneapolis for the trial of derek chauvin who murdered george floyd with a knee on the neck. the sheriff blocked and stalled an investigation, states one of the sheriff's underlings in a claim, to obstruct justice and avoid bad publicity for his re-election campaign. >> the foundation of this entire lawsuit is false. everything in this lawsuit is false. >> the scandal-prone villanueva faces voters in june. right now, questions over a helipad built by his home,
apparently without permission, reports the l.a. times, based on a department audit. also an investigation into alleged gang activity among his deputies. >> there's absolutely no actionable information on here for anybody. but it made for a good click bait for the l.a. times. >> on this incident, villanueva claims he wasn't shown the video until eight months after it happened. acting swiftly, launched an investigation, he blames subordinates for any earlier lack of action. >> yesterday, we heard for the first time an eyewitness who says they were personally in the room when saw him watch the video five days after the incident happened. >> a high ranking official, she says she didn't cover it up. villanueva did, and later tried to demote her. villanueva is the most powerful sheriff in the land. claims this is all a deep conspiracy against him. >> there's a lot of people working in concert and coordination. that includes the l.a. times, that includes people that
obviously want to defeat me electorally, that includes the board appointed inspector general and the civilian oversight commission. a lot of people working overtime. >> now, back in 2018, villanueva called himself a democrat and won, but he's moved to the right since then, refused to enforce vaccine mandate in his department, publicly blames democrats for the homelessness crisis here. can he win again appealing to a different constituency talking conspiracies involving the press? now, he declined our request for an interview, but he has since clarified on twitter that the l.a. times reporter is in fact not a suspect. and he's not pursuing criminal charges against her in his video leak investigation. jake. >> disgraceful. nick watt, thanks. >> also in los angeles, tonight an inside look at the real story behind the l.a. riots. why what happened is still relevant now. it's the fire that still burns. tonight at 11:00 eastern only
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that's the planning effect. from fidelity. and we're back with our politics lead. president biden is gearing up for a fight ahead of the midterm elections. biden is frustrated by his low approval numbers and he's railing against the people he thinks aren't helping. including fellow democrats. but a dozen sources familiar with the president and his inner circle tell cnn biden is eager to hit the campaign trail and go after republicans. let's discuss. i'm going to start with you, paul, just as the democrat at the table, give you an opportunity to defend what's going on here. so here's some of the cnn reporting from edward isaac debeer. quote, biden keeps telling his team if he can just get out of the white house more, he'll be able to convince more people, americans and lawmakers, to support his agenda. koifd and then russia's invasion of ukraine have been used as
splungsz splungs for why he hasn't followed through. persistent vows to get around have become something of a punch line. it's always a not hearing from the president enough. it's always what it is. no matter who the president is. >> in this case, it's a strategy problem. they try the strategy of bipartisanship. mostly failed. important infrastructure bill, which the republicans who voted for should get credit for, but mostly it failed. >> you never hear them talk about it. you have talked about it more on the show today. >> then they enter this phase where we're going to brag on our accomplishments. when 71% think you're moving in the wrong direction, that's not going to work. you go to the center dr. and say my shoulder is killing me, she says, no, it's not. that's not going to work. after attacking fellow democrats, they seem to fall on a strategy, democrats attacking republicans. >> brilliant. >> i have been saying it privately as well as publicly.
he needs to give not a single republican speech. not a single republican voted to put $1400 in your bank. not a single republican voted to make your obamacare cheaper, but every single republican voted to give there 2 trillion to wall treat and corporations. what's wrong with that? where is the law that says democrats have to attack democrats. >> there's nothing wrong with that, but i think it's not the economy stupid right now. i love kitchen table issues. i don't think democratvise a great answer for them, frankly. >> inflation, gas prices. >> yeah, and i don't think people want an economics lesson on inflation and how the gas prices aren't the president's fault. i think democrats need to ask one question. do you want more marjorie taylor greenes? if you do, we're not for you. keep moving. we're not going to get your vote. if you don't want more marjorie marjories, more lauren boeberts, more laws that attack women, more book banning, if you don't want that, get out and vote for
democrats. that's the message, that's it. >> the problem is the instinct to go tribal makes a lot of sense, especially when everything else is not working. this is just not joe biden. people are attracting to this president because he wasn't the former president. because he was uncle joe. because he worked with republicans, because he had a relationship with senate minority leader mitch mcconnell. that was sort of the allure of president biden. so he has to -- he has to sort of, i think, tread lightly if he is going to try to attack republicans as a new strategy. >> i still think that question of biden saying do you want more marjorie taylor greene? we have to acknowledge that's a big shift for democrats. when they came in, the midterm strategy was supposed to be the white house was going to deliver on this agendy and it's going to be see, we told you, with a unified congress and white house, you can get climate change legislation, you can get voting rights, you can get all of those things. we're now arriving to this midterms moment and they can't say that. >> exactly right. exactly. >> they cannot say that.
>> and so not only -- i want to stick with you. not only is biden frustrated with fellow democrats for failing to pass these items that you just talked about. sources tell cnn he's frustrated with democrats who are eyeing his job and the white house is annoyed, too. quote, senator elizabeth warren of massachusetts inspired the latest eye rolls in the west wing. this is according to edward isaac debeers' reporting. white house aides were annoyed to click on her "new york times" op-ed lamenting a stalled biden administration and getting things done. she could have used her platform to tout his achievements, instead, she talked about her own wish list agenda and to be asked if she's going to run for president in 2024. >> i can't speak to warren specifically, but there's an increasing feeling among democrats maybe breaking with this white house and this president is their midterm strategy. they need to say this was a failure coming from there, and that others will go above and
beyond. this is to your point, going back to democrats versus democrats, but that's where they are. >> progressives or moderates? >> i think they're looking at the same approval numbers that the rest of us, too. they're looking at the same stalled agenda. that's not an opinion. that's a fact. i think that is people reacting to that whether that annoys the white house or not. >> progressives are often the first ones to bear the brunt of criticism from democrats when they suffer big losses and fail. i see her as trying to get ahead of this. hey, don't blame us. don't come for me, don't come for alexandria ocasio-cortez. we told you what to do and you're not doing it. >> is that correct? i mean, aren't the moderates the ones that have stalled the agenda? is that not accurate? at the end of the day, yes, there was wrangling between progressives and moderates, but at the end of the day in the senate, weren't the moderates the ones to say i'm not going to vote for that? >> no, the republicans were. half of the senate are republicans.
biden can't be expected to get all 50 every time, get 100% of his party. >> why can't he be expected? >> because it's large and diverse party. when republicans lock down like that, to attack elizabeth warren, if elizabeth warren thinks she can strengthen the movement by attacking the leader, she is wrong. she needs to turn her fire on the people who stalled the agenda. it's her republican colleagues, not the president. >> listen, to answer your question, yes, moderates stalled his agenda, but they were also the ones who won the midterms. >> i want to get your thoughts because doctor mehmet oz, who is the trump endorsed candidate for senator, he has a new campaign ad about the second amendment and gun rights. take a listen. >> our second amendment is not just about hunting. it's about our constitutional right to protect ourself from intruders or an overly intrusive government. so as your next u.s. senator, i will fight for our const constitutional rights.
>> you had me on hunting, you had me on self-defense. protect from an overly intrusive government? >> like the one that's banning books right now. listen, two things. first of all, the eagle eyed gun owner in me noticed he's not wearing eye protection, a small thing but an important thing. >> not sure if he hit the clay pigeoneter. >> listen, this is not dumb, as i'm sure you know in the commonwealth of pennsylvania, it's disproportionately high in terms of gun owners and nra members. it's not a dumb strategy in a republican primary in the commonwealth of pennsylvania. the problem with it is it doesn't jibe with our image of dr. oz from tv, but i think, you know -- >> macho. the next ad, he's going to go on fox news and put his privates in a tanning bed. that's pathetic. what's dangerous is he knows this and he knows better. this is a violent time. our republican leader, the minority whip, steve scalise,
was shot by an animal who targeted him because he's a republican. gabby giffords was shot. there's a lot of violence out there. >> i didn't see anything violent in that ad. >> right to protect ourselves from an overly intrusive government. >> s.e.a.l. team six. >> i didn't see that inciting violence. >> thanks to one and all. have a wonderful weekend. when the water runs dry, the resources that cannot come fast enough to save the vital resource for tens of millions of people in america's west. stay with us. nd internet. like ultra-fast, ultra-simple wireless 5g business intnterne. you could get one month on us... and up to $1$1,500 to help cover the cost to switch. come in or book an appointment online today during verizon small business days. verizon small business days are going ultra, so your business can get more. everyone knows eating well and exercise are a big part of losing weight.
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u.s. postmaster general, lewis dejoy. attorneys general from 16 states and washington, d.c. are asking the u.s. postal service to hit the brakes on its planned purchase of thousands of gas powered trucks. the lawsuits say dejoy erred when he decided to replace the current fleet with 90% gas though, the usps tells "the lead" the confront is always open ended. the current fleet get about 8 miles to the gallon. the new fleet will get almost 15 miles to the gallon, that is without the air conditioning running. california attorney general rob bonta saying we will be stuck with more gas-guzzling vehicles on neighborhood streets for the next 30 years. there won't be a reset button. the american west, meanwhile, in
the grips of a climate change induced mega drought and lake mead and powell, lifeline for tens of millions of americans, c this n visited lake powell to find state and federal officials taking drastic measures to keep the water flowing and the lights on. >> reporter: this is lake powell the country's second-largest reservoir. and it's drying up. satellite images and cnn video from 2015, versus now, shows just how much water has vanished. piles of rock, also, tell the story. >> this ring we see, they call it the bathtub ring that's where the water leached out from the rock. that's how high the water was at some point. >> you said ub just sipts september, the water was four feet above this ledge that we are looking about here and that is just september. >> right. >> so the water is dropping quite dramatically, quite
quickly. >> it has. >> reporter: so does power production at the glenn canyon dam, which harnesses the force and volume of the colorado river and lake powell to generate power for as many as 5.8 million homes and businesses in seven states. >> we are knocking on the door of judgment day, i think. judgment day, being, when whe we don't have water to given anybody. >> brian hill runs the power utility in page, arizona, where the federal dam is located. 40% of the town's power comes from the dam. without it, they will be forced to rely on dirtier energy sources like fossil fuels, which are seeing skyrocketing prices, and customers will pay the price. >> we are probably looking an additional 25 to 30% in their power cost. >> in a worst-case scenario, the interior department projects the dam could stop producing power by january. the agency is now weighing an emergency action that would buy more time. in a letter to seven western states, the agency calls for
holding back the equivalent of 42.6 billion gallons of water in lake powell. that means deeper cuts to the amount of water people can use in arizona, colorado, nevada, new mexico, utah, and wyoming. 114 billion gallons of water have already been held back this year. this, as new images show lake mead, the country's largest reservoir, that gets its fill from lake powell, has dropped to such historically-low levels, that the lake's water-intake valve is now exposed. inside the dam, current water levels still produce power. >> these are the generators, and that spinning is a result of the water that is coming from the forebay from the reservoir side. >> reporter: but if water levels drop just another 32 feet, the spinning stops. the climate crisis, forcing feder federal and state governments to make tough choices and take
drastic measures just to keep water and power flowing to the southwest. well, jake, the glen canyon dam has lost 16% of its capacity to generate power. and early-next month, we expect that a final decision from the interior department will come out. we will learn exactly how they plan to handle this situation, so that, both, water and power keeps flowing to these millions of people in the southwest, who rely on it. but really, you finding that this climate crisis, as it intensifies, jake, the federal government, state governments, they are finding themselves in this very tough situation where they actually have to make choices -- tough choices -- and prioritize water, versus power. and it is getting more difficult as this climate crisis intensifies. jake. >> and still, so little will by our political leaders here in washington, d.c. to take any action. renee march, thank you so much. from mega drought to baseball-sized hail, wildfires, and dangerous winds, a recipe
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extreme fire threats across the high plains in southwestern united states fueled by a dangerous combination. >> strong winds, and incredible le dry conditions. at highest risk? northern new mexico, southeast colorado, and southwest kansas. peak-fire season does not hit until june. but many states are ahead of schedule. the same time, vsevere storms threat upon the midwest and plains over the next few days. meteorologists warn of possible
baseball-sized hail, strong thunderstorms, tornados, and damaging winds. coming up sunday on state of the union, alejandro mayorkas, and republican governor eva hutchinson of arkansas. our coverage continues now, with one mr. wolf blitzer in a place i like to call "the situation room." i will see ya monday. happening now. heavy shelling right now, in eastern ukraine, as russian forces make new gains at this -- the close of a critical week in the war to the south in mariupol. the city's last defenders are under -- they are under relentless attack right now. the besieged steel plant, where hundreds of civilians are also trapped, including babies. we are following an urgent push to evacuate, and strong fears of a new attempt by russia to storm the complex. also tonight, we are learning more about the first-known american killed
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