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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  February 17, 2022 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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over this conservatorship. when we heard how restrictive it was for a woman who's 38, 39 now, unbelievable. >> oh, yeah. i hope she goes to capitol hill. i think that it would obviously bring huge star power to the issue and i just think that she should -- this is part of her healing process. >> we'll see what her decision is. "the lead with jake tapper" starts right now. a stark message to the world. i am here today not to start a war, but to prevent one. "the lead" starts right now. america's top diplomat at the united nations security council today laying out how russia could lie to try to justify going into ukraine. it might be a mass grave or a fake chemical attack or a staged drone strike secretary of state antony blinken says. part of eastern ukraine was just shelled. cnn is on the ground. then words americans have been waiting to hear for two years, the most populous state in the nation entering the endemic phase of covid, meaning
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they're going to try to live with it and lift restrictions. might your state be next? then, two teenagers, one white, one black. both in a fight in a new jersey mall. why was only the black teenager thrown to the ground and handcuffed by police? well, his mother is speaking out. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we start today with our world lead and warnings from the west that russia is not telling the truth, that it is increasing its capabilities to increase ukraine and that it may be staging attacks right now to try to justify a war that they are clearly prepared for. >> we see some of those troops inch closer to that border. we see them fly in more combat and support aircraft. we see them sharpen their readiness. we even see them stocking up their blood supplies. >> those comments by defense secretary lloyd austin echoed by
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president biden today, he predicted an invasion within the next several days and by the head of nato, who says they have seen zero signs russia is withdrawing forces from the border. the u.s. accusing russia of escalating tensions even further today by expelling the second-most senior diplomat at the u.s. embassy in moscow, a move the state department called unprovoked. our team of reporters is covering from every angle across ukraine to moscow. let's start with phil mattingly at the white house appeared the biden administration sending every top official except president biden around the world to sound the alarm. >> let me be clear. i am here today not to start a war but to prevent one. >> reporter: a dramatic appearance at the united nations by america's top diplomat. >> this is a moment of peril for the lives and safety of millions of people. >> reporter: giving a clear window into tensions that u.s. officials believe will imminently give way to a russian invasion of ukraine.
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>> every indication we have is they're prepared to go into ukraine, attack ukraine. >> reporter: this direct and dire warning from the president of the united states. >> my sense is this will happen within the next several days. >> reporter: coming as the u.s. waged a full-scale diplomatic and messaging blitz. >> we see them add to the more than 150,000 troops that they already have arrayed on that border, even in the last couple of days. >> shelling in the donbas region sending alarms across intelligence agencies. >> we've said for some time the russians might do something like this in order to justify a military conflict, so we'll be watching this very closely. >> reporter: but the u.s. on high alert and biden leveling this allegation. >> we have reason to believe that they may have a false flag operation to have an excuse to go in. >> reporter: blinken and white house officials making a
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decision to travel to the u.n. late tuesday night. a surprise and high-stakes move on the biggest international stage. >> russian missiles and bombs will drop across ukraine. russian soldiers will advance on key targets that have already been identified and mapped out in detailed plans. >> reporter: and force their hand in what may be a last-ditch effort to salvage a diplomatic path. >> today we are laying it out in great detail, with a hope that by sharing what we know with the world, we can influence russia to abandon the path of war and choose a different path while there's still time. >> reporter: just hours after defense secretary lloyd austin in brussels to meet with nato allies listed his own ominous warning. >> we even see them stocking up their blood supplies. >> reporter: vice president kamala harris set to land in munich for her own high-stakes diplomatic engagements, all as russia after weeks of silence delivered its response to u.s. security proposals meant to
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spark diplomatic talks, but by all appearances, instead marking an ultimatum. >> translator: our priority is not seeing isolated issues plucked from the package of measures and then claimed we've resolved all issues. >> reporter: u.s. officials say they are still reviewing that 11-page russia proposal but there are limited, if any, areas of overlap. still administration officials very much believe they need to keep talking. in fact secretary of state antony blinken sent a letter to his russian counterpart asking to meet next week in europe, jake. >> phil mattingly, thank you so much. the west's concerns of a possible pending invasion were heightened today due to an outbreak of violence in the donbas region, an area on the ukraine side which has been controlled by russian-backed separatists since 2014. a kindergarten was hit by shelling earlier this morning. by whom we do not know for sure. the british foreign minister, however, called the attack straight out of the kremlin playbook.
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jim sciutto joins me live from the ukrainian capital of kyiv. jim, there's usually some kind of fighting in this region every day, so what was different about today's violence? >> reporter: you're right, jake, this took place along what's known as the line of contact, which is that between ukrainian forces and russian-backed forces inside ukrainian territory but the site of a slow-burn war for eight years. 14,000 people have died in this war already and shelling goes back and forth frequently and kills people, sadly. what happened today, though, and cnn has been talking to people in the region, that shelling increased to a degree they have not seen in some time. this particular school that was hit, according to people in the area and the ukrainian military, these shells came from the russian-backed side of that territory across into ukrainian territory. now, on the russian-backed side you have claims today that shells went in the other direction as well. our clarissa ward went down to the site of this school where the shells struck.
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>> reporter: this is where the ukrainian military says that one of the artillery shells hit. you can see this is a room where children would be playing. fortunately, there was no one in this room at the time. but according to local authorities, three people who worked here -- >> reporter: the concern is that russia would use instability in that region, trading of artillery fire and so on, as a pretext to say things are getting unstable. we have to send our russian forces in to stabilize the situation. jake, as you heard secretary antony blinken at the u.n. today, that just one in a long menu of pretexts that the u.s. is concern russia might use or deploy to justify an invasion. >> jim sciutto, thank you so much. appreciate it. today the russian government formally responded to proposals from the biden administration on ways to keep peace in the region. a u.s. letter sent three weeks ago raised concerns about russia's military buildup and
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left the door open for ukraine to join nato. jill dougherty is live in moscow for us. jill, what's the response from the kremlin? >> reporter: it's essentially negative, jake, as you might expect. essentially it is 11 pages long. essentially it boils down to russia saying, look, we have overall very serious red line security concerns and the united states continues to ignore them. and what they say is the united states is picking and choosing, taking parts out of our ideas and trying to turn them to their advantage. but it's like all the deal or no deal. and that is a problem, that's what we've been hearing for a long time. essentially i think you probably know this by heart by now, but one is stop nato expansion, don't let ukraine and georgia in. remove military infrastructure that would include missiles, et cetera, from the region, from
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those post-soviet states that have joined nato. and then also return to the boundaries from 1997 when nato and russia had their founding act. so one of the, i think, interesting things about this, notable things, is today yet again russia made it very public. they published it, it was in newspapers, picked up on websites, et cetera. and mostly in these negotiations of this type, you don't have this public diplomacy. that's usually not how this is done. so i think it's important and as one former ambassador was mentioning to me, you know, is this for show or do they really want to negotiate? because this is not how it's usually done. >> jill, what comes next? does the u.s. send another written response back to russia, and does any of this matter if ultimately russia invades ukraine? >> well, i think it is important that they keep talking, very
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important. amidst all of the details here, there are things that are very important to keep talking about. they may be these discreet elements that the united states is paying attention to, but luckily russia is saying we want to continue to talk about those. it might be nuclear weapons, et cetera, and that is very, very important. but it's hard to see how the specific discussion about ukraine and then about this very big picture of russian security is going to be resolved, because russia is saying, you know, the entire deal or nothing. >> jill dougherty in moscow, thank you so much, appreciate it. anxiety over a possible russian invasion of ukraine is not only rattling world leaders, it's making global financial markets quite jittery. what money is on the line. plus a terrifying truth. middle schoolers increasingly losing their lives due to laced prescription pills. how emojis could be the warning signs. stay with us.
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this tbd status with russia and ukraine is also our money lead, as investors anxiously hang on every twist and turn of this crisis. here in the you say, the dow finished down more than 620 points after trading in the red all day. many are closely watching wild swings in the price of oil with modest drops and steep surges all week. nowhere else may the people be more nervous about what's to come of course than in ukraine. cnn's erin burnett is in the western part of that money. erin, there's a money war going on and ukraine is taking some big hits. >> reporter: yeah, you know, jake, look, as part of this, their whole push and quest to join nato, they had to do serious financial forms, which very haven't completed. they wouldn't be even ready to join nato for a whole host of reasons but that's the push for
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reform for a country that was reliant on a few oligarchs that controlled all of the natural resources to a totally different sort of economy and that is what's being crushed. jake, just imagine if i told you that a year ago, you know, it would cost you 10% to borrow money for a year and now you come to me and ask for a loan and i tell you it's going to cost you more than 20% to get that loan. that's what's happened to ukraine, to the government of ukraine for all of their borrowing. bloomberg estimates they need $5 billion to even stabilize the country. president biden has said the u.s. is considering about a billion dollars in loan guarantees, but it's bad, okay. when you start seeing that happen to sovereign debt, that is a real problem if it lasts for any period of time. vladimir putin has already inflicted that damage and that pain on ukraine, right? no tank has come across the border and you've already seen that. today i talked to the ceo of one of the largest tech companies in ukraine. that's the industry that's actually leading, transforming
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this country to being something bigger and more modern and better. and here's what he had to say about the crisis. >> this panic, the fact -- >> the panic is the problem. >> the panic is the problem. so investors may lose confidence is more problem for us than the russian tanks at our borders. >> jake, look, he's trying to put a good spin on things. he says his company will keep growing. they do a lot of satellite navigation systems and software for luxury german car makers and others. but the situation is not good. you're seeing well over a billion dollars of money leave the country. and that is what vladimir putin has already done. didn't have to put a tank over the border. didn't have to fire a shot over the border north of here or anywhere else to accomplish that. and that is very significant. so i think that's just a really important part of this story to keep in mind, that there is economic warfare and that is
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well under way. >> erin burnett, thank you. please stay safe. you can see more from erin as she anchors "outfront" from ukraine. she'll be talking to the u.s. ambassador to the united nations only here on cnn. joining me live to discuss this, former ambassador to ukraine bill taylor and dr. evelyn farkas. evelyn, let me start with you. president biden says his, quote, sense is that russia could invade ukraine within the next several days. he says the threat of an attack is very high. do you agree? >> well, i do agree because president biden is saying that and frankly i'm hearing the same thing from other administration contacts who were former colleagues of mine. we haven't seen anything coming out of the russians to make us believe that they're thought planning some kind of military operation. so unfortunately, my answer to you is yes.
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>> ambassador taylor, what is the effect of public declarations like the one we heard from president biden? does that impact whether or not vladimir putin chooses to invade, the fact that the u.s. keeps saying we expect he's going to do it in the next couple of days. does that detract him or have any effect? >> jake, i'm not sure that that has any effect on him. but you're right, he's the one that should make the decision. president biden is right he's ready, and evelyn is right, but he hasn't made that decision as far as we can tell which means he can still be deterred. he can go in another direction. he can decide to back down or blink and go to negotiation. that's the direction he should go. >> has he ever done that before? >> has he dub one that before? >> he seizes parts of georgia, he seizes crimea. >> this past april he built up on the ukrainian border. president biden called him right then and he backed down. he pulled not all of his troops
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but pulled his troops out. he came back in the fall, in october, november. now he's back again. so yes, i think he is -- he can be backed down. he can go. >> evelyn, the white house is accusing russia of conducting pro temkin diplomacy. do you view russia's written response to the u.s. regarding its security concerns, did that contain anything, the russian response, to indicate that there is a truly serious diplomatic solution here? >> no. and i think, you know, all of this posturing, having president putin meeting with his foreign minister and saying -- like a king. go and see whether there can be some diplomacy. it's really odd. and at the same time while he's saying these things, it's kind of a mockery because of what
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they're doing militarily. no, i don't see them backing down in terms of their response. they are perfectly happy to talk to us about what they call secondary issues, arms control, nuclear and conventional, but they now appear to really want to control ukraine. and it may not be enough for them to even control just some part of it. you know, i'm afraid that what i'm hearing coming out of the administration is something more than just grabbing the donbas region, which is what i had anticipated he might do as a way of getting more leverage in the negotiations specifically with ukraine. >> ambassador taylor, western officials have been closely watching the construction of a tactical pontoon bridge over this key river in belarus, which they said was highly unusual. sources now say the bridge appears to be gone. what do you think is going on there? >> jake, president putin has told his generals to do everything, everything short of going across the border.
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so, you know, figure out a way to get across that bridge. move the blood, as secretary austin said. move everything into place, but don't go across because he's not yet decided. he knows that the cost to him will be very, very high. >> why put up this pontoon bridge and then take it down, apparently? >> good question. maybe he's figured, jake, that it is too high, that the cost is too high, that the price he'll have to pay is just too much for whatever benefits he's going to get. maybe he's decided he's not going to go across. i don't know. it's up to him. that's what we have to decide. >> evelyn, we've seen warnings for weeks about moscow possibly staging events, false flag attacks and the like, to generate a pretext for invasion. today ukrainian armed forces and russian-backed separatists reported shell fire in separatist controlled donbas region. video images show that a shell
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hit a preschool in ukrainian-controlled territory. thankfully no kids were in there. it's not clear who is to blame. could this be a russian false flag operation? >> well, jake, these are the types of things the russians would contemplate and put into place as a false flag operation. in this case i think that they probably need a bigger pretext. so you might remember they were talking in moscow, the defense minister was talking about chemical weapons and how the americans were going to bring chemical weapons into donbas, into eastern ukraine. that kind of false flag i could see, where they pretend they found chemical weapons that nato or ukrainians put in there. we've heard them mention something about mass graves, and those are the types of things. i think they need to be a little bit bigger. >> ambassador bill taylor, dr. evelyn farkas, thank you. appreciate it. i want to go back to the ground in ukraine where clarissa ward has just returned from her
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tour with the ukrainian military and she joins us live from kyiv. clarissa, you went to the area shelled in eastern ukraine today. we played a little bit of the video from your stop in the preschool. tell us what you saw. >> reporter: so, jake, just to give you a sense of how much the ukrainians wanted us to see this and how unusual a situation it was, it's very rare for them to take journalists to the front line at night. but that's what they did because they wanted the world to see what happened at this kindergarten. 8:45 this morning, two shells landed, according to the ukrainian military and also some employees and staff who we talked to on the ground. one of the rooms that you can see, the sort of play room, filled with children's toys, had a huge gaping hole allegedly where that shell had come through. there were toys scattered everywhere. by the grace of god, jake, there were no children in the room when that shell hit.
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the children were in a different part of the building having breakfast. we interviewed a teacher who said that she immediately moved them away from any windows into an internal corridor. she said that they told the young kids that it was a game basically, that it was a make-believe game of sorts and so they weren't as frightened, but some of the older children understood what was going on because of course they do live near the front lines and they are experienced with hearing the sound of heavy artillery. however, just to give you a sense of perspective, you might see cease-fire violations on any given day in this area. you might see according to the ose, monitors on the ground there yesterday, 129 violations. today there were more than 400. so this was really a massive spike in activity. and what happened at the kindergarten, i think, is really a very ominous warning about what could quickly escalate into
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a situation beyond anyone's control, because clearly the situation on the ground is getting more tense, people are getting more trigger happy. there's a lot more confusion and a lot more emotion as well. we have been used to talking to people who seem relatively calm, relatively relaxed. they are used to seeing acts of aggress, they are used to living in the shadow of russia, but today you really had a sense that people were more nervous. we could hear some shelling as we were on the ground doing a live shot with john king. the ukrainian military immediately yanked us out of there, put us on a bus and we're lucky we've been flown back by the ukrainian military to here in kyiv. but for the people living in that town, the shelling continues. the fear continues, jake. >> clarissa, how exactly might nato leaders think putin could use this incident as a justification for an invasion?
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>> reporter: so i've been talking exclusively about what we saw, the results of what was happening on the ukrainian military side of the front line. on the other side in the sort of pro-russian separatist region, they claim that there was also a large amount of shelling going on as well. and president putin has said many times before, and we've seen it in other conflicts, in 2008 in georgia. he's been handing out russian passports like candy, some 600,000 in those pro-russian separatist areas. and so he will often invoke any kind of act of aggression, or there may be some kind of a false flag operation as u.s. intelligence services have predicted might happen, and then say, now you know what, we have to go in. we have to protect our people. it's our job to make sure that russian speakers, russian nationals indeed for those who have passports are protected. and so that's what happens often
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in these scenarios and that's why as the situation becomes more volatile and as you're seeing this huge uptick in the number of cease-fire violations, the situation becomes much more ominous and much more tense indeed, jake. >> all right, clarissa ward in ukraine, thank you so much. stay safe, please. coming up, is it too soon to throw out those masks? what living with covid should look like as we enter the endemic phase of the pandemic. stay with us. - common percy! - yeah let's go! on a trip. book with priceline. you save more, so you can “woooo” mor - wooo. - wooo. wooooo!!!!! - wooo. woohooooo!!!! w-o-o-o-o-o... yeah, feelhe savings. priceline. every trip is a big deal.
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in our health lead, the leaders of more states and cities are saying it is time to start living in the endemic phase of covid. authorities across the country rapidly removing restrictions and ending mandates as the omicron wave that slammed the u.s. earlier this year recedes. but as cnn's nick watt reports for us now, dr. anthony fauci says some of these new moves may be premature and risky. >> reporter: just a couple of hours from now, the governor of the most populous state in the nation will lay out his post-pandemic plan. >> we've been working on it for more than a month, our endemic plan. >> reporter: in philly, you no longer need to prove you're vaccinated to eat inside a restaurant. in seattle soon you'll be able to go into restaurants, bars, gyms without proving vaccination or a recent negative test. >> we are not entirely out of
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the woods yet, but there is a clear path forward. >> reporter: here in los angeles, school kids no longer need to mask up outside. still required inside classrooms. michigan, no longer urging masks in most indoor settings, including classrooms. >> it's understandable why people want to take masks off the kids. but right now given the level of activity that we have, it is risky. >> the national average daily covid-19 case count still high but just fell 42% in a week. numbers in the hospital down 25% in just a week. and almost back below pre-omicron levels. just for awareness for now, japanese researchers say the ba.2 subvariant of omicron needs more close monitoring, spreads faster, and also might cause more severe disease and increase the need for vaccine boosters.
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it's a pre-print study. meantime, a possible fourth shot of pfizer and moderna or a third shot of the j&j -- >> is being very carefully monitored in realtime. recommendations if needed will be updated according to the data as it evolves. >> reporter: now, as i just mentioned, yesterday was the first day here in los angeles where kids did not have to wear masks outside at school. my kids reported back from the school yard that about half of kids were still wearing them, either because they're still scared of the virus or they said it just feels weird not to be wearing a mask after so long. listen, one thing is very clear. our exit from covid is not going to be the flip of a light switch, it's going to be a gradual slide on the dimmer. jake. >> nick watt, i hope you paid your kids for that journalism. thank you so much. appreciate it. coming up, outrage after
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police officers break up a fight between two teenagers in a new jersey mall, but only the black teenager was pinned to the ground and handcuffed. his mother is talking now. stay with us. ever! with 5g ultra wideband now in many more cities and up to 10 times the spspeed at no extra cost, the downloads are flflying fast! verizon is going ultra, so your busisiness can too.
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in our national lead, growing outrage after a fight between teenagers at a mall in bridgewater township, new jersey, was broken up by police officers, but the two teens were treated in vastly different ways. one teen is white, the other black. here you can see the kids are
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arguing. it quickly turns into a brawl. the police come to break it up. the male officer tackles the black teen. the female officer sits the white teen down. the black eighth grader is handcuffed. the white teen is not. let's get right to athena jones. athena, has the police department offered any explanation of why such different treatment of these two kids? >> reporter: hi, jake. no explanation from the bridgewater township police department, but they did make a post on facebook where they said we recognize that this video has upset some members of the community and we're calling for an internal affairs investigation. they're asking the somerset county prosecutor's office to assist in this matter. that's what's happening. the somerset county prosecutor's office will be working closely with new jersey's attorney general, their internal affairs department will be working closely with the new jersey attorney general's office looking at the fight itself and the police response to it. both the police and prosecutor's office are asking members of the
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community to share with them and get in touch if they have video of that incident. that video was shot by one of the teen witnesses on site. there were other cell phones out so they're asking for the public's help with that but they're not explaining or commenting on the officers' actions. >> what do the parents of the kids have to say? >> reporter: the 14-year-old black teen is named kai. his mother, ebony, both of them appeared on "don lemon tonight" last night. here is what his mother had to say. >> i hate to say this, but if it wasn't for race, then what is it? what made them tackle my son and not the other kid? what made them be so aggressive with my son and not the other kid? why is the other kid sitting down looking at my son be humiliated and put into cuffs? >> reporter: she went on to say that she's angry and she's not the only person that's angry. the naacp is calling for these officers involved to be removed pending an investigation. this all goes to the larger
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point that a lot of folks say this kind of video points directly to the notion that racial bias, even unconscious racial bias is deeply embedded into policing in america and into american society. you can look at the ahmaud arbery case. this goes back a long way in american history and folks have had enough. >> athena jones, thanks so much, appreciate it. the u.s. is in the worst mega drought in 1,200 years. in 30 years sea levels will rise another foot on the coasts on average. so why are some states making it more difficult or even impossible for local authorities to enact measures to try to do their part to slow down climate change? stay with us. ♪ i think to myself ♪ ♪ what a wonderful world ♪
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in our earth matters series now, one of the easiest ways to tackle the climate crisis could start in your kitchen. experts tell cnn switching your gas stove to electric will slash your home's release of planet-warming gases such as methane or carbon dioxide. now cities such as new york or san francisco are making plans to ban gas appliances in newly constructed homes. but natural gas companies see gas bans as a burn, and they're using lawmakers to try to keep
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the pilot light on. >> we do not have water. >> reporter: in the dry and sparse alfalfa fields in arizona, the effects of climate change are undeniable. nancy kaywood's family farm of nearly a century is struggling to survive arizona's two-decade-long mega drought. >> our future is kind of bleak until we get through this drought. >> reporter: in canal is supposed to supply water for farmers and their crops but as far as the eye can see it is completely dry and filled with tumbleweeds. part has not flowed through this canal for the last nine months all due to the drought. despite the devastating impact of climate change, states like arizona are enacting laws that are slowing climate action. natural gas lobbyists have worked behind the scenes to craft the first law for bidding
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cities to ban natural gas. now they are pushing for laws across the country. a recording of the leadership call obtained by a watchdog group reveals the strategy. >> home builders, laborers and agriculture farmers specifically are the more effective voices for us. we have used them to testify in cases in front of the legislatures as well as at city councils. >> reporter: tucson's mayor, re jeagina romero says breaking st law is costly. >> they could retain our state shared sales taxes. for the city of tucson that would be a $130 million hit. >> reporter: nearly two dozen republican-controlled states have passed laws forbidding natural gas bans. residential and commercial greenhouse gas emissions from heating and stove tops made up 13% of total u.s. emissions in 2019. >> when you have state
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governments that are really cutting off local government authority at the knees, that means that local governments aren't going to be able to combat climate change in the way that makes the most sense. >> reporter: protests in florida as a bill that cuts financial incentives making rooftop solar less affordable moves through the republican-controlled legislature. emails obtained by energy and policy institutes show a lobbyist for state utility company florida power & light gave republican state senator a draft bill for legislature sglgs there is no intent to put our solar industry out of business. >> reporter: two days later the utility's parent company donated $10,000 to a political committee affiliated with bradley. four weeks after bradley introduced the bill, another $10,000. state finance records show. in a statement, bradley only said she introduced the bill because i believe it is good for my constituents.
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real-life consequences of the politics inside these statehouses are scarce water, dry lands and people in danger of losing their livelihoods. >> my grand dad farmed it, my dad farmed it, my son farms it. i'm very involved with it out here. to lose our land would be very painful. >> jake, bradley's spokeswoman avoided cnn's questions about the timeline of ooents for when she received the draft bill, introduced it and received political donations. as for the natural gas lobby, a spokesperson acknowledged that the audio does sound like the group was directly lobbying state governments to enact these laws. despite that, they maintain they are not directly lobbying for these specific pieces of l legislation. we reached out to the lawmakers but no response at this point. >> i'm sure it's just a coincidence. rene marsh, thank you so much. it's a family affair. a judge rules that donald trump and some of his adult children will have to sit down and answer questions under oath about their
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abdomen pain, bleeding, bruising, fever, chills or other symptoms of an infection, a severe or worsening rash, are or plan to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. avoid grapefruit during treatment. ask your doctor about living longer with kisqali. (vo) verizon is going ultra! and so is manny! event planning with our best business unlimited plan ever! with 5g ultra wideband now in many more cities and up to 10 times the speed at no extra cost, the downloads are flying fast! verizon is going ultra, so your business can too. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. shocker on the ice as kamila valiyeva flames out on her final performance. maybe the pressure from the doping scandal got to her. and then middle schoolers increasingly losing their lives due to laced prescription pills some are buying on popular
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social media apps. why emojis could be the first sign something is wrong. and leading this hour, president biden says the writing is on the wall, russia is ready to attack ukraine. this as america's top diplomat goes before the united nations security council to warn the world russia may lie to justify its invasion. and there is concern shelling in a part of eastern ukraine may actually be one of these supposed false flags. as cnn's matthew chance reports, ukrainian leadership is eager to show that their forces are ready for an attack by the russians at any time. >> reporter: ukraine's president in full battle fatigues, greeting troops on the eastern front. they could soon be facing a russian onslaught, according to u.s. officials. a senior ukrainian source tells cnn they have already been briefed by u.s. intelligence to expect an attack, if not a full invasion, in days. no doubt we need to be ready for
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any scenario, the ukrainian foreign minister says. over recent weeks, the president, the government, have all worked to prepare the country for any event. ukraine's position is strong, he adds. it will have to be, if russia decides to unleash the powerful military force it's amassed near ukraine's borders. these rockets were fired in neighboring belarus where joint military drills are still under way and fueling u.s. concerns that russia is poised. >> how high is the threat of a russian invasion right now? >> it's very high. >> why? >> because they have not -- they have not moved any troops out. they have moved more troops in, number one. number two, we have reason to believe that they are engaged in a false flag operation to have an excuse to go in. every indication we have is they are prepared to go into ukraine,
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attack ukraine. >> reporter: it was a dire warning repeated at the u.n. security council by the u.s. secretary of state. u.s. officials seem to have made a strategic decision to go public with intelligence as russia in secretary blinken's words steps down the path to war. >> first, russia plans to manufacture a pretext for its attack. this could be a violent event that russia will blame on ukraine or an outrageous accusation that russia will level against the ukrainian government. we don't know exactly the form it will take. it could be a fabricated so-called terrorist bombing inside russia. the invented discovery of a mass grave. a staged drone strike against civilians, or a fake, even a real attack using chemical weapons. >> reporter: it's an extraordinary list of possibilities, and one being wholly rejected by the kremlin,
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which is