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tv   At This Hour With Kate Bolduan  CNN  May 13, 2022 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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♪ hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. here is what we are watching at this hour. the baby formula shortage. pressure mounting on the biden administration to fix the growing crisis. i will talk to a top white house official about it. war crimes trial. a return soldier accused of shooting an unarmed ukrainian civilian as russian forces are blowing up bridges in retreat. the cdc investigating dozens of mysterious cases of hepatitis in children. dr. gupta talks to a family whose toddler is battling it now. thank you for being here. we begin with growing frustration and what is turning
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to desperation for millions of parents nationwide as a shortage of baby formula has so many scrambling for ways to try to feed their children. coast to coast store shelves are showing up 'em pi. more than 40% of formula is out of stock across the country. eight states and d.c. particularly hard hit, reporting more than half of formula in those locations is out of stock. this crisis has been building for months due to pandemic supply issues as well as the closure of a major production plant in february. a lot going on here. the formula shortage is the latest pressing issue that's facing the biden white house, which is also very clearly under growing pressure to also fight inflation and the sky-high gas prices that we continue to track. let's start with cnn's arlette saenz live at the white house for us this hour. arlette, what is the white house saying and doing about the shortage and this crisis? >> reporter: kate, this baby formula shortage is causing anxiety for so many american families and the white house is
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scrambling trying to address the issue. yesterday the white house announced a series of very limited steps they're taking to try to address the shortage. that includes urging states to expand the types of formula that are available through government nutritional assistance programs. additionally, the u.s. -- the white house is pushing the ftc as well as states to look into price gouging and they're trying to find ways to import more formula from overseas. we are told that the white house is strongly considering the defense production act to try to boost supply. one thing that the white house is really concerned in this moment is the hoarding of formulas. they pointed to one bright spot in that more formula has been produced by companies like gerber and wrreckit prior to wh was being produced. the white house is struggling to answer questions what kind of guidance they can offer to families concerned about the
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shortages. gener jen psaki was pressed on the very matter yesterday. take a listen to what she had to say. >> we would encourage any parent who has concerns about their child's health or well-being to call their doctor or pediatrician. >> reporter: and the white house also has so far declined to provide a timeline for when things will return to normal, raising so many questions for american families trying to provide for this basic need for their families. >> arlette, thank you for that. abbott nutrition says it could take six to eight weeks as we now know to get products from the closed plant back on store shelves. to ease the shortage the u.s. government is planning to help boost imports of baby formula from overseas, but that might not be such a quick fix either. cnn's elizabeth cohen is joining me for more on this. how quickly could things get moving? >> reporter: kate, you would think it wouldn't be that hard,
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right? the u.s. has great relationships with other countries. pick up the phone say, please send us some of your formula, but here are the issues. those countries are using their formula. they may not have it. the u.s. is a big country. they would have to send a lot to fill in the gaps in the united states. i will get to those numbers in a minute. the other issue is that baby formula, as you might guess, is h heavily regulated and the requirements in the u.s. and europe are different, different requirements for how much of different vitamins or minerals need to go in it. there's not an easy pathway for importation. it is not like it has been done on a large scale for years and years. they have to make this more efficient, make it less dramatic. we all know how bureaucracies know. it may not be very quick. let's look at what the shortage looks like in the united states. nationally according to data assembly, we are seeing a 43% out-of-stock rate. 43% out-of-stock rate in the
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country, and the shortages are the worst in these eight metropolitan areas. it is more than 50% of the stock that should be there isn't there. kate. >> elizabeth, thank you for laying that out. joining me for more on this is white house communications director, kate beddingfield. kate, thank you for jumping on. how big of a problem do you think -- >> thanks for having me. >> -- do you think this formula shortage is? >> well, the president knows any family who is struggling to find formula, for any parent who feels like they can't find formula for their kids, it is incredibly stressful. so he is acting, the administration is acting. what you saw him do yesterday was get on the phone with two of the biggest manufacturers and say, what can we do to help, what can we do on top of what we've already been doing, what can we do to move things forward here. so what they said was that one of the most impactful things that he could do was to cut red tape to help people who are on the wic program be able to use their wic dollars to use
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whatever formula is on the shelf at their store when they get there. there are a lot of restrictions on how people on wic can use their money to purchase formula, and so what we're doing is pushing to cut the red tape so that people have more flexibility to buy what is in stores and so that the manufacturers have more flexible to produce quickly. that's one of the key things the president announced yesterday that he is pushing and that we anticipate the fda will make some additional announcements, excuse me, in the coming days. that's just one piece. there are others including trying to increase importation of additional formula from europe and taking some steps to crack down on price gouging. >> kate, at this point do you, does the white house consider this a crisis? >> well, i don't think it is about a label. i think it is about addressing directly the need that families all across the country have. listen, i'm a mom. i have two young kids. i'm not terribly far removed
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from the i toddays of feeding ms formula. we know, the president knows how important it is across the country. >> is there a hesitation against calling this a crisis if that's what it is? >> i can tell you there is no hesitation against acting, which is what the president is doing and it is what this administration is doing. remember, this is in part due to the fact that a major manufacturer, abbott, had to take a facility off line this february because of safety concerns, because, you know, the fda issued a voluntary recall saying, you know, the formula they're producing is not safe. there are steps that they need to take to get that facility back on line so it is safe. obviously the availability of formula is crucial but so is the safety of formula. that's what the president has pushed and continues to push and is working closely with manufacturers and doing everything in his power to ensure maximum flexibility for
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consumers and also to ensure we are getting companies -- or the companies, i should say, are getting product to the shelves as quickly as possible. >> republicans say that this -- you mentioned the recall back in february when this all happened. republicans say that this is a problem unfolding in slow motion over several months now and blames the white house for the way they describe it as essentially being asleep at the switch. but beyond republicans, democrats are asking a lot of questions as well now. congresswoman rosa deloro, she wants to know if the defense production act is going to be used. do you think that would make a difference, will make a difference? >> well, look, all options are on the table. the president is considering every tool available to him to try to move supply more quickly. so we are looking at all options. what i will say is when the president spoke to two of the major manufacturers yesterday, what they said is the most impactful thing we could do is to waive the requirements for how people can use wic.
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wic accounts for about half of the people who purchase formula in this country, and so what they told us was that the thing we could do that would move -- would have the fastest, most impactful impact on supply and on people being able to purchase -- to purchase formula in their stores is to waive these requirements. so we're moving quickly to make sure that consumers have maximum flexibility. that being said, the president is looking at every option and will continue to have announcements as we move forward. >> white house officials have been asked, and i have tracked it, multiple times now and have not answered the question of when you think formula will be essentially back to what people knew it as, back broadly back on shelves. why aren't you all answering that question, kate? is it that you do not know or is it an uncomfortable answer you don't want to put out there?
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>> well, i would say we have seen encouraging signs. for example, more formula was produced in the last four weeks than in the previous -- in the four weeks preceding the recall. we have seen gerber and wreck it have announced their production is up significantly so we've seen encouraging signs. what we're focused on is working to 'leaalleviate this as quickl possible. we are taking every action available to us to do it and we're working to make sure we are getting the product to shelves, that it is safe and people have maximum flexibility to purchase it. >> but, again part of this is what -- >> again, we're going to continue to attack the problem. >> i understand that. >> we're going to work to make sure the situation is alleviated as quickly as possible. >> i understand obviously there's a great will and effort to do that, but one thing i think parents want is to be able to get an expectation and plan when it will be better. is it the six to eight weeks? do you think that's the likely scenario because that's when
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abbott nutrition thinks they might be able to get their production back up or do you not know? i'm just trying to understand what timeline you guys are working with, when this is going to be back to normal. >> well, we are working to move as quickly as possible. that's the candid -- that is the candid, honest answer. that's the assessment. we're moving as quickly as possible to alleviate the situation and to ensure in the short term while we see the shortages around the country that we are doing everything in our power to help the companies move more product to people quickly. it is not about assessing how quickly we will be back to a certain level. it is about putting our heads down and doing everything we can to work with these manufacturers. >> isn't it though? >> to get this done. >> but on some level, kate -- >> again, the president focuses on this, the administration -- >> i totally get it. i know you are trying to do everything you can now. you have expressed that really clearly. isn't part of this figuring out what the timeline is when you
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think it is going to be fixed? >> and we are working to do it as quickly as possible. i'm not -- you know, i'm not going to stand here and tell your audience that i can give you a hard timeline that i can't give you. we are being candid about moving as quickly as possible and we are relentlessly focused on this. the president has taken some important actions. he is encouraging states, i should say, he is also really urging states to make these adjustments to wic. some of the states have, some haven't. he is really calling on them to do this because, as i say, we know it is one of the most impactful things that we can do to help streamline so that, for example, the companies are making, you know, one size, shape of container rather than multiple sizes and shape. it helps them streamline and get more product out the door. it helps people be able to show up at the store and buy whatever is in front of them rather than having to adhere to restrictions about what their wic dollars can purchase. so we are taking every step
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available to us. we are moving as quickly as possible and the president is extremely focused on this. >> and we'll continue to focus on it as well. kate bedingfield, white house communications director. thank you for coming up. coming this hour, ukrainian holds the first war crime trial against a russian soldiers. the latest live developments from ukrainian next. n next. nex. . .
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civilian who was just riding his bike when he was gunned down. cnn's melissa bell is tracking this live outside the courthouse in kyiv on this. what is the latest on this trial? >> reporter: well, this was a preliminary trial, kate, and to the events of the 20th of february it is the very first few days of the war. vadim shysimarin is accused of killing a civilian riding on a bike after his column coming down from russia was attacked. what was extraordinary about the preliminary hearing and seeing the young man in the court today was that it covers the events of the first few days of the war. it is the first war crime being held, but it is, kate, being held in a ukrainian civilian court, even before that very same war has been brought to an end, even as the fighting continues to rage. of course, one of the problems with international justice really generally or prosecuting war crimes particularly is that it tends to happen after the war has ended, it tends to take a long time. we spoke this morning just before we attended that hearing
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to ukraine's prosecutor general to ask her about whether this man could be expected to have a fair trial. she said that this was a trial, a prosecution based on facts being gathered by the many dozens of forensic teams that are gathering the facts here on the ground in ukraine with a view to the international prosecutions that are likely to take place, for instance the investigation that's begun at the icc, but she believes holding the trial even now, beginning to hold these trials and it is the first of many to come, will mean that russian soldiers here in ukraine fighting now will not feel that there can be any sense of impunity. >> these proceedings now can save lives of our ukrainian civilians on the south and eastern part of ukraine because these perpetrators who are now fighting will see that we will find all of them, we will identify all of them, and we will start to prosecute all of
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them. >> reporter: she is thinking there, for instance, of the 15,000 civilians cowering in the basements of the town in luhansk where ukrainian forces are on the back foot. around kharkiv, the counteroffensive has been going so well, so much so we've seen several bridges blown up over the last 24 hours, believe to be blown up by the russians to protect supply lines. >> thank you. retired major general james "spider" marx. beth saner also. general, i want to start with the war crimes trial. the prosecutor general in ukraine says they believe russia has committed almost 10,000 war crimes since the invasion began. what is your reaction to what we
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are seeing in this first war crimes trial as it gets under way? what are you watching for? >> well, i think it is a great first step, right. i mean clearly what russia has been displaying and what has been evidenced to the globe is that there are immense number of war -- i mean, look, let's be frank. it is really not military activity but brutality on the part of the russian military. i think two things, the ukrainians taking the step, it is and a ukrainian court, a civilian court, but they can demonstrate there's a form of accountability. clearly the russians never will do that. the second thing is that it is an opportunity for ukraine to exercise discipline. you know the old bromide if it feels good don't do it, that's what we're hearing. ukraine should not be in a rush to exact revenge, so move through there process very deliberately and i think it is a great first step. >> beth, there's important cnn reporting now that the u.s.
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intelligence community has launched an internal review about its assessments in both ukraine and afghanistan, essentially to really sum it up, underestimating the ukrainians prior to the invasion and over estimating the abilities of the afghans when we were talking about the withdrawal from there. do you think this review -- do you think it is needed? do you think anything will come from it? >> yes and yes. i think it is absolutely needed. this is the kind of thing that happened after the iraq wmd intelligence failure. the intelligence community did a really hard look, the cia did a really hard look and changed things pretty dramatically in terms of the operations and training. if necessary, that should happen here today. i think that there are a couple of things i want to say without being defensive. the intelligence community has been right both in afghanistan
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and in the ukraine about a lot. i was in charge of afghan analysis for three years and i have to say i was at war myself with a lot of generals who are very prominent today who did not believe us when we said that the afghan military wasn't doing well. so, right, but in this case we were wrong, the intelligence community was wrong and there needs to be a review of that. >> general, what do you think about this? >> yeah, well, having been a part of that, i was one of those generals a while ago, i was the lead intel guy when we went to war in iraq. i had wmd all over my portfolio as well as saddam's military and all of that. clearly there are challenges across the board. as beth indicated, you know, you can be right most of the time when you are not right on that one specific issue, it needs to be laid bare. that's what we're all agreeing to. my view of this is that, look, in order to determine will to
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resist, these are very human factors. this is not a capacity, a very specific kind of delineation of capabilities. this is an understanding, which means you are walking the street, you are smoking their cigarettes, you are marrying their well, you are eating their food, you are immersing yourself in their language. i mean this is what foreign area studies are all about, and, very sadly, i will lay it out, there the military does a magnificent job of training officers and noncommissioned officers in these fields. the difficulty is they then get cut off in their careers. they don't get promoted so there's no incentive to continue to invest in this. that needs to be corrected. i think things like this with general barrier in front of the senate demonstrating there can be a path forward that address these kind of deficiencies. >> it is good to see you both. thank you very much. also developing this morning, wnba star brittney griner's arrest and detainment in russia has been extended, now until at least june 18th.
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griner appeared briefly in court today where investigators asked she be held for another month. the olympic champion was arrested in february after russian authorities claimed griner was smuggling drugs into the country. the biden administration has called her an arrest an unlawful detainment. there's also this, a quick programming note for all of you. why is vladimir putin trying to destroy ukraine? can he be stopped? join fareed zakaria as he is looking to experts for answers to these big questions. "inside the mind of vladimir putin" airs 8:00 p.m. eastern. coming up next, the cdc is investigating dozens of mysterious hepatitis in children. a cnn exclusive is next. oh hi caesar. we w were just talking about y. yeah, , you should probably get out of here. ♪ ringcentral ♪
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now to a disturbing medical mystery. the cdc is investigating a hepatitis outbreak among children. more than 100 severe cases in 25 states with unknown causes. five children have died. one of the cases being
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investigated now is a 2 year old who required a liver transplant as a result of her infection. you see her there. dr. sanjay gupta has this exclusive report. >> what is this? can i take it? >> no. >> reporter: the first thing kelsey schwab wanted to show me is her 2-year-old daughter baylan had been fiercely independent. >> she toots her own drum and does her own thing. >> on april 22nd everything changed and a true medical mystery began. >> we woke up and she had hives all over her body. we took her to the doctor and they gave her epinephrine. they sent us to the er to be monitored and everything was fine and we went home. the next day we woke up and her eyes were a little yellow. >> she wasn't acting differently? >> no. a couple of hours later we got a call that we need to get to the hospital. >> over the next couple of days her numbers didn't improve.
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normal liver numbers are in 30s. at one point it was at 7,000. >> the doctor is a pediatric hep t hepatologist, one of the first doctors to treat her after she was airlifted to minnesota's masonic children's hospital. >> have you seen anything like this before? >> no, i have seen multiple cases of active hepatitis and active liver failure, but the fact there's so many in such less time i have not seen in my career. >> what happened to her is extremely rare, but at least 109 times over the past few months it has been the same story. a relatively healthy child whose eyes start to turn yellow, loses their appetite and within days their liver is severely inflamed. according to the cdc at least 98 children in this hepatitis
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outbreak have been hospitalized, 15 have had liver transplants and five have died. >> what is striking is the number of cases in the period of time and all over the world and following the huge pandemic. >> do you draw a connection then between the pandemic and what is happening with these kids, hepatitis? >> one of the things that i question is did these kids ever have covid, you know. kids can go asymptomatic with covid, but then have all of these inflammatory side effects. >> should that be part of the dia diagnostic testing? should they be tested for antibodies to covid? >> i do think it is something we should be testing so we can know whether it is related to that or not. >> baylin had covid, but for many others we don't know. for now the cdc isn't currently recommending testing for covid antibodies in these children and instead focusing on adenovirus, a virus usually linked to the common cold and more than half
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of the children tested positive for. the doctor isn't so sure because while baylin tested positive for adenovirus in her blood there was no evidence of it in her liver. >> this is a control and this is baylin's liver so it did not stain at all. >> but you weren't seeing it in her liver? >> in her liver. >> she would start shaking and had a hard time sitting up. she couldn't hold her head up. watching her go through that it is like this is not my kid. >> even though her doctor struggled to understand how this all happened, it was clear what needed to be done to save her, a transplant. within two weeks of baylin first breaking out in hives, remarkably, she had a donor, a 16 year old who was a match. >> my happiest day is their saddest day and that's been one of the biggest struggles for us, i guess, is trying to come to terms with tragedy is going to happen whether we need the liver or not. >> simply fitting the lobes was
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a challenge but a success. how quickly did her numbers return to normal, did it happen immediately? >> it happens within hours to days. >> how is baylin doing now? >> she is playing with play dough, startling to talk a little more and asking for food and asking for juice. so we're slowly getting back to baylin but i'm not very patient. >> so, kate, i mean it is a medical mystery. there is no known definitive cause. there are some things that investigators are able to start ruling out like the covid vaccine, for example. the median age of the kids is 2 so there was no vaccine that was available to them. even when moms were pregnant with these children, it was too early and there were no vaccinations authorized at that time. that's something investigators can take off the list, but, again, they don't know what is causing this, even if they know what is not. i should point out as well, kate, some 450 similar stories
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to the one i just told you have been happening all over the globe. it is not just happening in the united states. kate. >> absolutely, sanjay. thank you so much for bringing us that. what a sweet baby girl. best to her family in the long road ahead. coming up for us, a ukrainian military official and his plea for help. he says that his teenage son you see there was abducted by russian forces more than a month ago. his story next. ork, in a giant hole, in a mine. but then something amamazing happened. hello? carvana worked with my shift manager and got everything sorted out so i didn't miss out on the car. super helpful. i was over the moon, even though i was underground. we'll drive you happy at carvana. [bacon sizzles] [bacon sizzles] ♪ [electronic music plays] ♪
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♪ back to the war in ukraine now. an international crisis and, of course, a humanitarian one as well. the world has seen almost countless examples now of civilians being killed, tortured and also taken by the russians. one heart wrenching example is 16-year-old vlad. his family has not seen him in more than a month as they say he was abducted by russian forces as he was trying to evacuate for safety from melitopol in ukraine. his father is going public with the story to try to bring his son home. joining me is his father, oleg.
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you believe vlad is the only child abducted from your region in this conflict. why was he taken? is it because of who you are and because of your official position? >> translator: when he was taken it was by accident. vlad was in the vehicle, in the back of a vehicle. when he was in at the checkpoint, this was the last checkpoint and our area. he was -- the car was being checked and vlad was looking at his phone. and the people who were in his car said, these are children, they're just looking at their phones.
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and he got into some argument with the military. as a result he was taken to a filtration room. and when they were checking his documents they found out whose son he was. he was -- the whole car, the people in the car were questioned for three hours. they were threatening to hold the other people in the vehicle, the other well, the children, the other children. so they had to leave him behind and he was taken into a remand cell and since then he has been in detention. >> do you know how he is doing now? >> translator: i last spoke to him on the 7th of may, he phoned my mobile phone.
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mentally i think he is in despair. you need to understand that he speaks on a speakerphone and everything that he says is heard. so he says he has not been physically harmed, but there are certain things i know in addition and people who have seen him have told me. so i know what conditions he's being held. i don't want to hurt his situation, i don't want to speak publicly about that yet. >> have they laid out any demands to get him home? have they -- any options of
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getting him home? >> translator: yes, i am negotiating. next day after his detention i was invited to negotiate. they want a certain person whom i cannot name and i cannot offer this person because i can't find him. so this -- i also know that this person that they want in exchange is actually -- supports the ukrainian position and he doesn't want to go to russia. so i cannot physically exchange him.
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unfortunately, i cannot go into a lot of detail about that. >> oleg, before you go i have to ask you with everything, your responsibilities to your country, your responsibilities to your family and everything you have seen in this war so far already, are you hopeful that you will see your son brought home alive to you? >> translator: i am definitely going to see him. i will do everything i can to get my son back. if my son can hear me now, i am not going to leave you behind, son. i will get him back.
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>> i can see the pain in your face, the pain of any parent in the horrible situation that you are in. oleg, thank you so much for coming on. oleg, thank you. we will continue to follow his story. coming up for us, violence erupts at the funeral of the al-jazeera journalist killed in the west bank. a live report from jerusalem next.
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there are new developments now on the death of a journalist that we have been tracking. violent clashes. take a look at this. they broke out today at the funeral for the palestinian
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american journalist shot and killed in the west bank this week. israeli police using tear gas and batons on the crowd as they were carrying the coffin. cnn's atika schubert has more on this. atika, you were there this morning. you saw this play out. what happened? >> reporter: yeah. this started at the st. joseph hospital where her body was being prepared for the funeral. mourners and her family wanted to have a walking funeral procession where they carry the coffin on their shoulders to the church. but israeli police had already said they would not allow that. that it could only be transported by car. so israeli riot police lined up actually just outside of the hospital grounds outside of the gate. when the family and mourners tried to move forward with the coffin on their shoulders, israeli police initially blocked them, and then charged moving forward into the hospital grounds. this is when we saw israeli riot police using their batons to hit
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at some of the pallbearers and the coffin nearly falls from their shoulders to the floor. it was a completely chaotic situation, stun grenades were used to disperse the crowds. it was tense. the israeli place maintain that they were trying to allow the funeral procession to go ahead in a safe manner, but they may say that the rocks and stones were being thrown at them. i was there. i did not personally see any stones or rocks being thrown at them. certainly there were plastic bottles and other projectiles like plastic flags that were thrown at the police. but i did not see any stones. the funeral procession was able to go ahead with a car and it did end peacefully, but at the beginning, it was very chaotic. >> it was. atika, thank you for being there and for that update. something else we're tracking. shares of twitter down sharply right now. you can see more than 8%.
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after elon musk says his takeover deal of the social media company is on hold. musk noting and announcing concerns about the number of fake accounts on the platform. let me bring in brian stelter for more on this. brian, what is going on here? >> it seems this is all about money even though musk says he wants to review the deal because of concerns about spam or fake accounts on twitter. he tweeted out before dawn saying the deal is on hold while he looks into this. he linked it to an 11-day-old routers article about the existence of bots on the site. he said he needs to review it but is committed to the transaction. we should be skeptical. the markets have been tanking. elon musk is not as valuable. tesla stock is declining. it was the main way he was securing the financing for twitter. as tim o'brien said, his pockets are feeling lighter. he may need a way out of this deal, but with elon musk, you never know for sure. >> i guess we will see. what happens if the deal falls
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through? >> there's no other obvious buyer for twitter. they have looked for bidders when musk made the offer and couldn't find anybody. it's musk or nobody right now. as twitter stock slides with the rest of the market, twitter will be in precarious positions. it's lost talent. others looking for exits because of the drama. maybe the company will stay as a publicly traded company and just continue to tweet through it. right now musk was talking about all the changes he was going to make. so everything is up in limbo up in the air for now. >> par for the course with elon musk. >> yes. >> it's good to see you, brian. thank you for that. thank you for being with us at this hour. i'm kate bolduan. "inside politics" with john king starts after the break. the suste reach our goals years faster than our initial p projection. ♪ capella university looks at education differently.
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some questions about why the suspect involved was arrested multiple times and not held. yes on h. recall chesa boudin now.
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hello. welcome to "inside politics." thank you for sharing your day with us. a complex picture of the battlefield today. ukraine forcing a russian retreat on one front. russian slowly but steadily eating into ukrainian territory in another. in kharkiv russia is back pedals. officials believe these were blown up on the way out to stop oh ukrainian offensive. a russ


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