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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  September 26, 2022 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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finally, the massive pricetag for biden's student debt relief package, $400 billion. that is the new estimate. that did an analysis. they estimated it would cost $24 billion a year. to cancel up to $20,000 of student debt for certain borrowers. thank you so much for joining us. ""ac 360"" starts now. >> just leave now. a warning from the mayor of tampa, florida, as hurricane ian grows stronger and moves closer to bringing the head of the national hurricane center calls a near worst case scenario for that city. john berman here in for anderson.
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and there you see it. a major storm heading for the tampa area that could deliver the first direct hit there in a century then not move for nearly two full days. already people in areas are ordered to leave. the local sheriff is warning anyone who defies the order and stays, you're on your own. we just received a new advisory from the national hurricane center. we're in the weather center with the very latest and new advisory. what does it say, tom? >> john, we don't have much in the way of changes except the pressure is dropping. and it usually takes a while when that pressure drops, the storm gets stronger. so what we're going to notice here is even though the winds have not changed, still 100 mile per hour sustained winds, they will start to increase now greatly. when that pressure drops, the equivalent to a stronger wind pattern. the they're just heat engines. they feed on that warm water. that warm water then as it rises up changes the energy and goes to wind the we're 130 miles from a land fall in cuba.
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typically, interaction with a landmass will break it down. we don't expect that to happen. this already underwent a rapid intense fiction and will do it again. category 4. last time we had a category 4 pass this close to tampa was in 1950. so there say lot of people that have never been through something like. this even though, john, it goes from 4 to a 1, pay no attention to that. that just the winds. think of katrina. it was a category 5 well off shore. it didn't make land fall in louisiana. it carried the category 5 sornlg with it. soup storm sandy wasn't a hurricane when it made land fall. it carried the surge inland. so that's where we have our hurricane warning now from the tampa area southward, we'll see hurricane conditions in the next 24 to 48 hours. we're expecting the mod tels to update. the european and american models are alike. we're looking at storm surge.
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from cedar key to engelwood, five to eight feet. this is all about water. it's about the surge and the water just hour after hour gets pummelling this area up into every bay, every inlet and then on top of that, you drop a good, you know, 10, 20 inches of rainfall that's going to be staggering for many areas. >> that's right. people don't need to pay as close attention to the car tego of the storm. it's the rainfall and the amount of watter that could be lethal and storm surge kills more people in hurricanes than anything else. >> absolutely. >> where do you think -- i'm sorry, tom. where do you think, where it is pointing the storm? >> right now it's going to hover about 25 miles off the coast of the bay. the worst possible position. if we can get this eye to jog a little bit, like when he with irma. everybody left the state and, you know, went to the west coast. but then it jogged a little bit and went in to marco island.
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so it can change a little bit. but if it parts itself and looks like it may slow down, maybe to a crawl, two to three miles per hour. think of harvey in texas dropped 40e, 50 hin-- 40, 50 inches. 46 hours of slowing this water into every inlet, canal and channel and not just right on the coastline, we're talking a mile or so in. developers off of the last several decades grabbed every sand dune, every orange grove and put high value real estate here. so this is a very vulnerable spot. now even if you look at some of the areas, of course, getting up over 9, 10 feet, that is staggering. there are hospitals, churches, air force base will probably flood. one way airport at the tampa international. even to port charles, you get into the -- port charlotte this is the peace river. that is several miles inland. we're look being at nine, ten feet. and homes line every one of these waterways.
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so it's significant to say the least. >> yeah, ten feet of water right on top of where people live. which could be lethal. tom, thank you so much for that. we're going to watch this storm throughout the hour. we'll bring you a live report from cuba that tom just mentioned later. now we have multiple new developments with less than two days to go until wednesday's house january 6th committee hearing. there are the text messages obtained by cnn connecting then white house chief of staff mark meadows with a key player in the scheme to seize voting machines. there is also new footage in the former president's long time alloy roger stone, a day before the 2020 election saying, "f the voting. let's get right to the violence." cnn's sarah murray has more on both stories and joins us now. so, sarah, let's start with this documentary footage of roger stone. >> he said this is a day before the 2020 election. roger stone is, of course, a long time key ally of the former president. he pretty much makes it clear in this footage, you know, shot by documentary filmmakers, he
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doesn't feel a need to wait until the votes are tallied. here's a look at what he said in this footage. >> let's get right to the violence. >> let's get right to it. >> shoot to kill. shoot to kill. done with this bull. [ beep ] . >> this is a clib obtained by cnn. of course, it was also shared with the january 6th committee. the you know, we know that they have been looking into roger stone's alleged ties to domestic extremist groups. we may see this coming through in the wednesday hearing. they've been looking at effort that's roger stone made to try to keep donald trump in the white house. we also got a lengthy statement from roger stone. so bear with me for this. he said i challenge the accuracy and authenticity of these videos and believe they have been manipulated and selectively edited. i also point out that filmmakers
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do not have the legal right to use them. eye ronnic that kim kardashian and i are both subjected to computer manipulated individeosa same day. he continues to say, what you provided below prove nothing. certainly they do not prove i had anything to do with the events of january 6th. this being said, it clearly shows i advocated for lawful congressional and judicial options. that is roger stone's take on these videos. again, as i said, you know, this clip and others that the january 6th committee has obtained. >> there's that. then the text messages between then white house chief of staff mark meadows and this pro trump operative behind plans to seize voting machines. what's going on there? >> that's right. this is a guy phil walder, he is a retired army colonel and this big promoter of election conspiracies. and he, you know, promoted this effort to try to seize voting machines. the goal, of course, is to try to find evidence of these
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baseless claims of voter fraud that have been pedalled by the trump team. these texts from december 2020. they show that he is keeping meadows, the then white house chief of staff, in the loop about his efforts to try to access these voting machines. at one point, you know, he is texting mark meadows to essentially lament the fact that, you know, an arizona lawsuit was dismiss bid a judge. they were trying to force state officials to hand over the voting equipment. again, so that they could go through this voting equipment and, you know, find some kind of evidence to back up these allegations of voter fraud they were making. and meadows responds and says, pathetic. and that's what you can see in the text messages sort of meadows sharing in this frustration that phil waldron is laying about the inability to get to the voting machines. the john? >> sarah murray, thank you for your reporting on multiple fronts. perspective on the meadows story from someone that once held his job. leon panetta was white house
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chief of staff during the clinton administration and cia director in the obama white house. secretary panetta, very nice to see you. as someone that had this job, what goes through your head when you see that mark meadows was communicating at a minimum, communicating indulging a conspiracy theorist about attempts to gain access to voting systems? >> well, it just adds to evidence that mark meadows was obviously trying to find ways to implement president trump's desire to be able to set aside the election results and have him be able to be elected. so what you're picking up here are all of the text messages that mark meadows was involved with all kinds of shady characters and phil waldron is one of those involved in
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theories related to election machines that were out there. and, you know, it just shows that the level of desperation, i think, to try to see if they can find any way to overturn the election. >> you know, mr. secretary, at the beginning of the administration we have seen the pictures of new white house staffers taking an oath. raising their right hand and taking an oath. they take an oath to the country. right? the constitution. not the president. so should the chief of staff be offering a reality check to a president rather than indulging what could be these conspiracy theories? >> well, you know, it's pretty clear that the president trump had a very hard time working with any chief of staff he was getting rid of chiefs of staff left and right because any chief of staff who is willing to stand up to him and probably john kelly is one of those that was trying to exert some discipline
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on president trump, president got rid of them. and so dhchiefs of staff came i and rather than standing up to the president telling them the things he was doing wrong, they basically implemented all of the strange conspiracies that president trump was trying to implement related to the election. much it's a sad commentary. and probably a very good example of how not to be chief of staff to the president. >> very quickly, mr. secretary, we learned about this mysterious nine second phone call from inside the white house to a rioter on january 6th which former january 6th committee staffer referenced on "60 minutes" last night. let me play that quickly. >> you get a real ah-ha moment when you see that the white house switchboard had connected to a rioter's phone while it is happening. >> someone in the white house was calling one of the rioters while the riot is going on? >> absolutely. >> so cnn learned that rioters
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is 26 y-year-old supporter according to multiple sources familiar with the investigation. he says accident remember receiving the call and claims he doesn't know anyone that worked inside the trump white house. do you think the committee or the justice department will be able to identify the person at the other end of the line inside the white house and do you think it matters? >> it's going to be tough to do, i think. but, you know, obviously, it would be good to be able to find out who in the white house made that call. because that could add to the theory that the white house was very involved in what was happening with the attack on the capitol. but i think as the committee itself has pointed out, they made a lot of efforts to try to track down who that person might be and they just have not been able to determine and name that is associated with the white house. >> leon panetta, thank you so much for joining us. >> good to be with you, john. >> all right. with us now is cnn legal analyst
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and former federal prosecutor jennifer rogers. let's start with the text messages, december text message twenz mark meadows and phil waldron. what do they tell you? meadows recently complied with the subpoena to hand over information about the 2020 election including these text messages. >> well, it's interesting, john. we know previously that waldron was working with sidney powell, mike flynn, rudy juice lan yi giuliani. people that were trying to overturn the election but working from the outside. the they had access to the president but not inside the white house. a lot of people were pushing back against them like the white house counsel, for example. the fald that waldron had direct communications with mark meadows is different. that means he was into perhaps the person closest to trump in terms of being able observe and know what he knew, what trump now and trump was directing. i think it just adds to the pile of evidence that mark meadows is going to be someone what doj in
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particular is very, very interested in getting on their side with a cooperation agreement or immunity order to get the testimony about the former president. the. >> that is phil waldron on the screen right now, just so people know what he looks like. the georgia investigation is demanding both waldron and meadows testify. meadows is supposed to testify in this -- tomorrow, i believe. as soon as tomorrow. how much hot water do you think he could be in there? >> well, i think he's in a decent amount of hot water overall. but not maybe as much in georgia because they're looking at the folks who provided testimony to the georgia legislature and, of course, the famous call with him who he apparently set up. but, you know, wasn't vocal in. so i don't think he's as in much dafrp danger in georgia. i think he won't testify. i suspect he would assert prif
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l ledges and die kline to testify unless he gets immunity from them. >> great to see you tonight. thank you very much. >> thanks, john. >> so next, growing concern about putin's nuclear threats over ukraine and what the white house is now doing about it. later, kneel degrass tyson on nasa's mission tonight t targetg an asteroid in the first test of a way of literally saving planet earth maybe from extinction. wonderful. earn 5% cash back that automatically adjusts to your top eligible spend category up to $500 spent each billing cycle with the citi custom cash℠ card. ♪
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finally, a totally different way to finance your ride only from carvana. to give you an idea of how russia's military call-up is going, look at this. >> this is from a military enlistment center in siberia. the gunman shooting and badly wounding a recruitment officer. that is 100 miles southeast of moscow, he set himself on fire and border crossings are getting
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backed up to day with draft evaders facing a two day wait to leave the country. in a moment, as only cnn can, a live report on all this in the latest from inside ukraine. first though, growing concerns about putin's threat which he himself says is not a bluff to perhaps go nuclear. >> if russia crosses this line, there will be catastrophic consequences for russia. the united states will respond. >> it's very important that moscow hear from us. and know from us that the consequences would be horrific. >> that's not all that is being said publicly or behind closed doors. kaitlyn collins at the white house tonight. you have new reporting about what white house officials are saying about the threats from putin. >> yeah. they're not saying as much publicly, john, as they're saying behind closed doors. they said that they are basically spelling out to russia what the consequences would be if they were to use nuclear weapons inside ukraine.
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those are things they're disclosing publicly for obvious reasons. they say they made it very clear to russian officials behind the scenes. i think the important part of this, john, is this is coming as thee so-called referendums are being conducted in rush ukraine orchestrated by russia. the white house is watching really closely. it is the four regions. the result are set to be announced tomorrow. the concern the white house has is not with results. they say that is predetermined. we know what they're going to say. people overwhelmingly voted to join russia which, of course, you know, these referendums are being carried out at gun point with armed escorts taking them house-to-house and watching people fill out the ballots. the white house says they will never recognize those results. but they're concerned that once they're public, russia then tries to an exthe regions and then try to make the argument that any kind of finding with ukrainian forces in the regions is an attack on russia. that is something they're monitoring very closely. i'm told if russia does move to
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an exthe regions that are part of the referendums, the white house is prepared to act with some kind of sanctions. the we're not sure if that's going to look like, john. but they're preparing that. kaitlyn, has u.s. intelligence given any indication that they think russia is actually planning to use nuclear weapons in near term? >> it's a good question. the whoigs says they have seen no indications they need to change their own nuclear posture. but i was told by someone, you know, they're viewing this differently. they thought the whied is incredibly unlikely. they think it is low. they're viewing it differently. and they're taking putin at his word when it comes to this posturing. it doesn't mean they changed any of their own posturing here in
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the united states. but it is something they're watching closely. >> all right. great to see you. thank you very much. more now on the mobilization backlash inside russia. >> incredible pictures. those are police firing over the heads of protesters. pt many of whom believe they are unfairly bearing the brunt of the mobilization. matthew chance is watching this story for us and joins us now. matthew, you know, what do we know about these protests, how large they are and how widespread? >> well, you just showed that from southern russia. i think it's the place where the biggest of the protests, the past 24 hours have been. you is have seen thousands of people come out, locals, literally kind of blocking the roads to prevent the buses that were carrying their men off to
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their military units to fight in ukraine from leaving. there is such a lot of anger that's been provoked by this particle mobilization that kremlin announced. as you mentioned, this concern among people in other areas where there are high percentage of ethnic minorities. sort of in the far east of russia as well. ethnic minorities that are bearing the brunt of this mobilization. that are being disproportionately called upon to, you know, pick up weapons and to put on uniforms and potentially face death on the front lines in ukraine. the governor of the republic has moved to try to calm people down. look, anybody who is drafted illegally, somebody who is too old or has lots of children or never serving in the military, that will be sorted out. we're going to address that. there are so many examples of people in those situations who have been drafted.
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but obviously not doing much at this stage to calm the anger. there is also fear as well. look at the incredible images that you briefly showed a moment ago of the cars, gridlock, ten mile lonqueues of men of fighti age, some of them with families, who are trying to get out to the republic of georgia. similar scenes to the west. you know, customs officials in finland to the west of russia reporting that the traffic out of russia into finland has doubled in the past week. and so we're seeing this extraordinary mix of anger on the streets and fear as well among russian that's they are going to be, you know, fingered basically to go fight in ukraine. >> look at the congestion at the border. the pictures are remarkable. matthew chance, thank you very much. >> now to ukraine and remarkable story of survival in one hard hit area by a 73-year-old woman
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for six months on her own. nick peyton walsh reports. >> when the blasts pause, there are few blessings to count and most are bitter. one is here. familiar scene of private worlds torn open by a russian rocket. but a place that might persuade you to believe in miracles. >> 1 pe9 people trapped up here. not one of them was even injured. the ladder getting them all out. not even survivors like them know how. >> i blink twice and couldn't see. the balcony door flew open and trash flew in. i'm terrified of flames. i realize we're on the seventh floor and it's collapsing. then someone screamed, don't come out as there's no way. it's a miracle. i can't call it anything else.
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>> putin's referendum a few miles away threaten worse here just now the shelling has finally become too much for some. >> rescuers are evacuating nina, 73, after six months living alone without water or help. we're told she's the last person to leave her block. >> two days ago, a rocket hit her building. yet also magically she was unscathed. and just sat here under the gaping hole.
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the lonely agony of the struggle before this moment lying around. the pictures of life left of her student daughter who died of meningitis of the choices of watt to leave and what to take. of how hard just eating, washing, and drinking has been. winter will rip through here. this may be last time the lights go out on this home. she's taken to the courtyard where dozens of similar agonies are gathered, waiting for the evacuation bus. and then baffle by the heaviest question. why?
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>> then the guns pick up again. >> that's being responded to by the shells. the they're trying to get people on the bus as fast as they can to get them out of here. dozens of lives with everything left behind them and nothing certain ahead. >> peyton joins us now. the pictures of the people leaving and what they're living hend are just heartbreaking, nick. the people you spoke with, why leave now? >> i mean even here the shelling is constant. just even this evening. there is no change. they're in a town close to russian occupied areas.
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but there is a mood in the air among people very aware of these reverenda, shams as they are. and the likelihood that is will leave russia to feel they can claim the occupied areas part of its own territory. or just continue to threaten. these is where the threats are likely dom into reality enfelt. so people are deeply concerned. some as you saw there just frankly the shells have hit their house. and that's finally enough. after being able to sustain for month after month after month. but there say real concern here that we may be looking to a russian escalation in the days ahead. but also too that we're beinging to russian military who is conventional military you saw there in the mobilization chaos. just really isn't able to reverse the momentum for ukraine on the front lines here. and moscow has to find something
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else, something slightly more terrifying to change the momentum here on the battlefield. for ordinary people that, can be a reason to finally make the move. john. >> what a searing report. nick peyton walsh, thank you for being there. thank you for your work. coming up, a conversation with neil degrass tyson about an incredible event that happened just last hour. a nasa spacecraft slammed into an asteroid part of a test for a planetary defense system. we'll show you the final moments both from the impact and a clearly overjoyed mission control.
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>> so last hour we were witnessed to an exhilarate ago chiefment by nasa. the a step toward a planetary defense system. the space agency deliberately slammed a spacecraft into an asteroid to change the course. it will be some time before we know how successful the mission was. this is what it looked like from the camera onboard the craft as ate pro it approached the asteroid as well as a very excited mission control. >> oh, my goodness. seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. >> oh, my gosh. >> wow. >> individual confirmation.
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>> all right. >> we got it? >> and we have impact. >> those are pretty jazzed scientists right there. i'm joined now by legendary astro physicist of the american museum of natural history joins me now. he is also author of "starry messenger." so hitting this asteroid was successful. it hit what it was aiming at. what will nasa determine to figure out how successful it was if it worked to push this asteroid away? >> so it's not an isolated asteroid. it's a moon lit asteroid. and they actually have a little graphtational dance they do where the moon lit orbits the larger asteroid. so a lot of thought went into what would be the best way to test if we can deflect an
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asteroid and once you have a very well calculated and measured orbit, if you now give it a nudge, it was a head on collision in this case, can you see what is happening to the orbit after that collision. and so brilliantly conceived and designed. i think we should have been doing this decades ago. >> the part i can't get past is we need a planetary defense system. this is a dry run to test technology in casen an asteroid is headed to earth that poses a threat to human kind. what is the chance of that actually happening? >> if you can bet that if the dinosaurs have nasa, they were deflecting that asteroid that took them out 65 million years ago. i don't want to be the laughingstock of the galaxy to be the only species to not only be part enough to be able to deflect an asteroid, have a space program in place to do so and then not do so and go
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extinct because of it. that will be just embarrassing. i think for me as a species, we -- this is baby steps right now. just to see if we have the power to do this. then when the big one comes, you want to make sure there is enough for the practice runs that, in fact, we would end up succeeding. notice it's deflecting. in america we're good at blowing things up. so a deflected asteroid is far more sensible in what it would require to protect our species. >> i like the fact that embarrassment is high on your list of concerns during an excontex
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exextinction event. would nasa be able to replicate this mission or would it tailor what does to a specific threat? >> of course you have to taylor it. and the catch here is you want to get you want to discover the threat as early as possible. so it might be if you get an asteroid then 1,000 orbit. from from now, it may hit earth. maybe that is early enough so you nudge it one centimeter per secr second to the left or right n a direction it's not otherwise headed. once you give that extra speed, that speed just accumulates in the deflection angle. and you can with relatively little investment of energy have an asteroid completely miss earth if you get it early enough. so a big effort of nasa now is cataloging the asteroids that are near earth threats, near earth objects. once you get a full catalog of those, then you track them. once you track them and get one discovered, that's when you go
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into effect. i'd rather have this ready before we discover such a threat. >> i feel better. i feel better talking you to about it. neil degrass tyson, thank you. always a pleasure. >> by the way, that movie "don't look up," that was a documentary. i worry about that. >> right. >> everyone in denial. >> neil, thank you very much. reminder, neil's new book starry messenger is coming out. >> coming up, a live report from cuba. hurricane ian which is gathering strength is due to c cross the western portion of that island tonight or tomorrow morning before taking aim at florida. cnn's patrick has the latest on the preparations there. lightweight. clinically proven. 48-hour hydration. for that healthy sn glow. neutrogena®. for people with skin.
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california, mountains, oceans, natural wonders, diverse and creative people. but when the out-of-state corporations behind prop 27 look at california, they see nothing but suckers. they wrote prop 27 to give themselves 90% of the profits from online sports betting in california. other states get much more. why is prop 27 such a suckers deal for california? because the corporations didn't write it for us. they wrote it for themselves.
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the abortion bans that have become law in a dozen states since the supreme court overruled roe v. wade divided voters and officials no more so than in arizona. a swing state that could help determine which party controls the senate. he wanted a 15-week ban he signed into law earlier this year to take precedence. instead on friday, a judge siding with the arizona republican attorney general who demanded she reinstate a 121-year-old law passed before arizona was even a state that
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bans nearly all abortions. cnn was in arizona and met one of the last women to get an a legal abortion there, something she needed to save her life. >> reporter: at the planned parenthood clinic in tucson, arizona, we meet a 23-year-old patient. a mother of two boys, 9 weeks pregnant with her third. >> you could see the head and the little nose. >> baby she will never hold. >> what brought me here is an abortion by choice. >> we're calling her jane to protect her privacy. her last pregnancy almost killed her. >> breathing machines and paperwork to sign to decide whether i have to save my life or my son's life. >> she 2 1/2 months ago, she and her partner's birth control failed. >> i'm only nine weeks right now. >> nine weeks and all of this pain? >> all of this pain.
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zbl >> what if i do and keep tbauby and i lose my life and i can't be there for my other two sons. jane will be among the last women to receive a safe and legal abortion in arizona. the supreme court's decision overturning roe v. wade threw state laws into chaos days after we met jane, an arizona judge ruled a 1901 law banning abortion with no exception for rape or incest but does consider the life of a mother is the law of the state. >> it's constant fear. it is constant fear. like i said, it feels like you're alone. like you're being given only one option by a man who doesn't know half of the struggles that us women go through. or the women that want to have babies and can't or the traumas that we've experienced through our life. it is very, very frightening. >> the doctor in this clinic is
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jill gibson, planned parenthood arizona's medical director. >> to have politicians who have never had any formal medical training, for them dom into that exam room and make the decisions, for which they have no basis, is completely unacceptable. >> we met gibson at the only fully functioning planned parenthood clinic in tucson under the now existing state law if she performs abortions that don't fall under the state strict guidelines, she faces prosecution and up to five years in prison. at another clinic in nearby phoenix -- what's happening here now? >> nothing. the silence that is present here is really deafening. >> why is it so silent? >> there is fear about what is legal and not legal in our state. >> i'm calling from planned parenthood. >> this registered nurse now arranges travel to get women out of phoenix to tucson. >> so what i want to do is i can
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get you funding for your procedure. >> people are furious. people are infuriated. so i really hope that the electorate will be able to tap into that collective rage at this disruption in -- into our personal lives and demand something different. >> good afternoon. >>. >> reporter: activists hope that rage exists outside the clinics and will translate at the polls in november, especially among women. >> unwaivering really in her support for abortion rights and access. >> i knew the woman was a republican, a registered republican. >> a registered republican. >> who says she will cross party lines to vote for candidates who support abortion rights. >> reporter: what does that tell you about arizona and especially women? >> even for republicans, it's not an issue that just democratic women face. it's an issue that all women face. >> reporter: back at the tucson
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clinic. >> turn from your sin. >> anti-abortion activists believe overturning roe will pay off for conservative this is midterm. >> as a christian, i believe god is pro-life. jesus is pro-life. and every single life has value. so i think that it's a very good thing. >> reporter: but for the woman inside today, it's so much more complicated than politics. would you have wanted this baby? >> if it didn't come with all the complications and everything that it did, probably, yes. i think more women should take a stand. if we speak up more, maybe our voices will be heard. >> now we're getting this developing news out of arizona. plant parndhood arizona filed a notice after pale as well aas an emergency stay. the lawyers calling the 1901 law unacceptable and, john, while this legal limbo and battle is taking place, abortions have been halted because planned parenthood is worried about
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doctors and women facing prison time for engaging in abortion services. john? >> thank you for that report very much. the a powerful hurricane is taking aim at cuba tonight. we have a live report from havana next. because to reach net zero, it's going to take everything. ♪ ♪ ♪ here goes nothing. hey greg. um...hello? it's m your heart! really? yes! recording an ekg in 30 secos. tada! wow that was fast! good news, pal. i'm not detecting any of the six most common arrhythmias. what next? let's get some fresh air. been cooped up for too long. yeah... ♪ get kardia mobile card at or amazon.
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more now on hurricane ian. as we mentioned, the tampa, florida, area is getting ready for a possible direct hit. local officials warning residents this is the real deal. ian is now a category 2 storm with maximum winds of 100 miles per hour and is expected to strengthen. mandatory evacuations are underway in some parts of the tampa bay region. the eye of the storm is near the western tip of cuba. patrick oppmann joins us from havana. patrick, what are the conditions there like tonight? >> reporter: we felt bands of rain all afternoon. you know from your years of covering hurricanes, the calm before the storm. it doesn't feel like a hurricane son its way. of course that is exactly what's
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about to happen. and cuban meteorologists say throughout the evening into the early morning hours, this hurricane will get across western cuba. it's not a very populated area, but the western side will begin to feel the impacts of this powerful hurricane. already 20,000 people in the ochbs -- evacuated from their homes ahead of this storm's arrival. in havana, we've seen in low lying areas people being evacuated by the government, told they need to leave because the rain could flood those areas. you have storm surge, and that could cause a very dangerous situation. of course in the middle of a hurricane, you cannot expect rescuers to go out and get people from their home. so, they're trying ahead of the storm to get people out of the storm's path. and of course the great fear here in havana is even if ian does not make a direct hit on havana, it's expected to go further west, you don't need
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much rain, much wind to cause flooding here or to cause buildings here, these old ancient buildings that are beautiful but not been maintained well over the years. they can fall down. they fall down often in heavy rainstorms. so, that is the concern, some of this aging infrastructure in cuba's capital city could give way with the storm passing through here. it had been a very quiet august for both sides of the florida strait. people really hoped that here in cuba and florida that they migit get off easy this hurricane season. apparently that is not the case. >> no, it doesn't look loik that. patrick oppmann, thank you so much for kwour are work. appreciate it. we'll be right back.
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we mentioned at the top, the house january 6th committee returns to national television wednesday afternoon for another hearing that if experience bears out, will make news. we'll have special coverage and perspective anchored by anderson and jake tapper during this hour wednesday night and throughout prime time. we do hope you'll join us for that. the news continues, so let's hand it over to laura coates and "cnn tonight." >> thank you, john bergman. i'm laura coates, and this is "cnn tonight." here we are. we are less than 48 hours from what could be the final public hearing of the january 6 committee. and yes, we are alread