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Biden Announces Limited Gun Restrictions After Mass Shootings; U.S. Senator Joe Manchin Discusses His Role as Power Broker. Top Iranian Negotiator Meets Head of U.N. Nuclear Watchdog; Ads for COVID- 19 Vaccines Found on Dark Web; England's Justin Rose Leads on Day One at the Masters. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired April 9, 2021 - 04:30   ET




PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: President Biden has unveiled a series of executive actions aimed at curbing gun violence in the United States. Now the new orders include restrictions on weapons known as ghost guns which can be built at home without traceable serial numbers. He also announced his nomination of gun control advocate David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which hasn't had a permanent director in place since 2015. The president also had a message for Congress.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Whether Congress acts or not, I'm going to use all the resources at my disposal at president to keep the American people safe from gun violence. But there's much more that Congress can do to help that effort and they can do it right now. They've offered plenty of thoughts and prayers, members of Congress, but they've passed not a single new federal law to reduce gun violence. Enough prayers. Time for some action.


NEWTON: Now President Biden's gun measures came just before another mass shooting, this time in Texas. The gunman killed one person and wounded at least five others. It happened at a cabinet-making company in an industrial mark in the city of Bryan. A witness describes the scene there.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was standing with my co-worker and I heard -- I heard like boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. I said, oh, the machine got messed up again. So I tried to walk to figure out which one and when I start walking somebody grabbed me, she was like, no, no, no, we need to run because there is a shooting going on.

He didn't start shooting like each one, he just starts picking who he was going to shoot. That's what they told me. (END VIDEO CLIP)

NEWTON: Now a trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety was shot while pursuing the suspect and is in stable condition. Police believe the suspect was an employee of the business. He is now in custody and has been charged with murder. No motive has been determined as of yet.

Now to another mass shooting we're following in the United States. This one in South Carolina. Police are searching for a motive after they say former NFL player Phillip Adams shot and killed five people at a home in Rock Hill on Wednesday. Investigators say Adams was later found dead after he shot himself. The victims included a beloved local doctor, his wife and two of their young grandchildren. Two workmen were also shot, one was killed and the other is still in critical condition. Police have not been able to verify if Adams was a patient of the doctor.


Now when it comes to gun control and other measures that Mr. Biden wants, there's one man who may hold their fate in his hands -- West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin. Crucially he says he opposes weakening the filibuster, the Senate measure that effectively requires a super majority with a bill -- for a bill to actually pass. Now it's become a real stumbling block for many Democrats. CNN's congressional correspondent Lauren Fox spoke with Senator Manchin. Here is her exclusive interview.


LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The other Joe who holds the power in Washington clear and unequivocal tonight.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): I'm not killing the filibuster.

FOX (voice-over): The reason, Senator Manchin tells CNN the insurrection at the Capitol.

MANCHIN: January 6 changed me, and I was very clear with everybody. I never thought in my life, I never read in history books, to where our form of government had been attacked at our seat of government, which is Washington D.C., our Capitol by our own people.

Now the British did it, but not Americans. So something told me, wait a minute, pause, hit the pause button, something's wrong. You can't have this many people split to where they want to go to war with each other.

FOX (voice-over): Insisting the only way to move past the animosity is by working together.

MANCHIN: I think we can find a pathway forward. I really do. I'm going to be sitting down with both sides and understanding where everybody's coming from. We should have an open, fair and secure election. If we have to put guard rails on, we can put guard rails on so people can't take advantage of people. And I believe there are Republicans that feel exactly like I feel.

FOX (voice-over): How does that affect his relationship with the White House?

MANCHIN: They've been very, very kind and talking. We do talk, we have communication.

FOX: How often?

MANCHIN: As often as I would like, as often as they were like, I'm always, you know, with President whenever --

FOX: The president directly?

MANCHIN: Whenever he calls me, he calls me we have a good conversation. We've had a good friendship and relationship for a long time we understand each other.

FOX (voice-over): And he has a warning for fellow Democrats, slow down on thoughts of ramming through legislation, like voting rights.

FOX: Some progressives think that you're standing in the way of significant changes the president could make on voting rights, because you don't want to get rid of the filibuster, other changes that they could make on gun reforms --

MANCHIN: They can resolve these changes, if we try to work towards the middle, you can't work in the fringes. You just cannot work in the fringes. We want fair, open secured elections. And what Georgia has done some things which I thought were just atrocious. OK. But I've also been a secretary state and I've been a governor. And I know the 10th Amendment. I know my rights as far as states' rights. And I don't think there should be an over -- overreaching, if you will, federal elections.

FOX: What he just --

MANCHIN: The guy -- you know, well, I'll tell you the one they did, which is unbelievable to me. They took away the powers of the election, Secretary State's Office and put it in the hands of the Congress -- I mean, in their legislature. Now you have no one person that you can hold accountable for. You have a whole legislative 100 people or more. That's crazy.

FOX (voice-over): And gun control.

MANCHIN: I support what the President did today. From what I heard, OK, what he's doing on executive order. Now, there's an awful lot of the things he talked about, but the executive order says, ghost guns should not be allowed to be legally made or sold or used. It's illegal because they're making them all for printers and can't detect it.

FOX: But you still can't support the House pass background check though?

MANCHIN: Not the way the House bill is, but they're you know, that's negotiations.

FOX: Had there been any negotiations over this recess?

MANCHIN: We haven't gotten the bill yet. No, we haven't.


MANCHIN: And I'm happy to work with him, sit down. And I think that just we call common gun sense. And if you come from a gun culture, such as I do in West Virginia, I don't think there's a person -- I don't know a person that doesn't have a gun. OK. It's a different background. I'm anxious to work with them and try to do something in a most constructive way.

FOX (voice-over): What does he think of his newfound role as rainmaker?

FOX: Some of your colleagues joke that you're the president of the Senate? Now, I've heard them in the hallways remark that to you, do you like this role? How does it feel?

MANCHIN: Let me tell you about and I said this before, I'll say it again, I've watched people that had power and abused it. I've watched people that sought power and destroyed themselves. And I've watched people that had a moment of time to make a difference and change things and used it. I would like to be that third.

FOX (voice-over): And while he may not like the role he has been given. He says he knows he has a real friend in the other Joe.

MANCHIN: I'm so pleased to understand that we have a person sitting in the White House that understands the legislating. Understands how Congress works and should work. And understands that basically, we've got to represent the people who we represent. And I'm representing West Virginia to the best of my ability, and I'm trying to speak for my state.

FOX: And Manchin also making it clear in the interview that what he wants to see is some negotiations also with his Democratic colleagues. He told me when he gets back to Washington he wants to have a discussion with Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia. Of course Warnock has been pushing Manchin to get rid of the filibuster when it comes to legislation dealing with voting rights.

Now Manchin has said that's something he's not willing to do but he does want to sit down and have a conversation with his colleague.


But this interview really underscoring what a linchpin for Biden's legacy, for Biden's legislative agenda, Manchin is right now. I think Manchin making it clear that while he's not always sure he wants to be in the spotlight, he feels like in this moment, this is the place where he has to be.

For CNN, I'm Lauren Fox, in West Virginia. (END VIDEOTAPE)

NEWTON: Now negotiators are getting ready to meet in Vienna for their next attempt at reviving at Iran nuclear deal. Now this comes a day after Iran's top negotiator met with the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog calling their talks a thorough exchange. But Iran has insisted there will be no breakthrough unless the U.S. lifts sanctions.

Nick Paton Walsh is covering this live from London for us. So we continually hear that refrain from Iran. No deal if the sanctions aren't lifted and yet the State Department has said in fact, that they are willing to lift sanctions on Iran that are in its words inconsistent with the nuclear deal. Does that really mean anything? What are they getting at there?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think that is a reference to the sanctions that were sort of enforced, dumped upon Iran by the Trump administration. Frankly in a bid to make it very hard for the nuclear deal to be revived by any subsequent U.S. administration.

Now nothing has been specified about what these inconsistent sanctions might be, but they are -- do relate normally to accessions of terrorism sponsored by Iran itself.

But what's interesting is how these messages are being sent in public. We've had one meeting in Vienna and most likely continued back door negotiations with the Europeans kind of shuffling between the U.S. and Iran. And of course, today they resume as well.

But we have heard that over the weekend the U.S.'s key negotiator here for the Iran deal, Robert Malley will be going back to the U.S. most likely. He can always return afterwards but this is frankly what many expected. Brinksmanship, some public signals being given, some private signals being given with what many I think also feel is the slightly inevitable fact that they may end up coming to some kind of arrangement here.

Interesting today to note that a South Korean tanker, the Hankuk Chemi, which was seized in January by the Iranians, accusations of pollution against, and are held in the port of Bandar Abbas, that was released early this morning. And many are seeing that as a bid by Iran to say to South Korea that holds billions of Iranian funds to start releasing those. And there has been suggestion that is up to this $7 billion worth possibly might find its way into accounts that could be used for humanitarian purposes by Iran.

All part of what many would say are confidence building measures here. You have the U.S. overtly saying it might take off some of the sanctions placed on over those which were reinstated when the Trump administration pulled out of the nuclear deal. But there's a lot of very complicated moves here involving trust, involving who goes first. But essentially it does seem that the diplomats have it in their will and competence to find a kind of timing which may suit them both. This South Korean release of a tanker this morning a key sign that

this is beginning to filter into the real world, the practical world. A lot could still go wrong, Paula. Remember, we've seen accusations by the Iranians that one of their tankers was attacked just off its coast recently and the Saudi Arabians are demanding a seat at the table.

Many in the region possibly want to disturb this coming to fruition but it does seem that both Tehran and Washington know where they want to get. the questions is, can they get there fast enough and efficiently enough to suit all the different parts of their body politic and different capitals -- Paula.

NEWTON: Yes, well the posture on all sides has been much different in the last few days. Our Nick Paton Walsh for that update, thank you.

Now COVID vaccines are a hot commodity and online scammers are trying to cash in. But beware of what's offered on the dark web.


DEREK MIDDLEMISS, EMEA HEAD OF SECURITY SOLUTIONS ENGINEERING, CHECK POINT: If something looks too good to be true it probably is. This is what's preyed on, this feeling of desperation.




NEWTON: Yes, I know I don't have to remind you of this, the wait for coronavirus vaccines can, of course, feel agonizingly long, but no matter how desperate you are to get that shot, don't try buying one online. As Anna Stewart explains, criminals are active during times of crisis.


ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER (voice over): Available now, satisfaction 100 percent guaranteed. Adverts claiming to sell authentic COVID-19 vaccines found on the dark web.

DEREK MIDDLEMISS, EMEA HEAD OF SECURITY SOLUTIONS ENGINEERING, CHECK POINT: We can see there are three times more vaccines that were on offer in three months, so it's constantly going up.

STEWART (voice-over): Cybersecurity firm Check Point has been investigating COVID- related ads on the dark web for months.

MIDDLEMISS: So, initially it was the medicines how to treat it, then we found the vaccines, and then more and more. This thing snowballed on, and what we then found later on was, as they became more interested and society is starting to unlock and move forward, we then found more interest in being able to buy negative tests. And also, now with the vaccine is rolling out, we're finding vaccine passports as well. STEWART: So, this is the marketplace you have initially found, we're seeing Moderna, Pfizer?

MIDDLEMISS: The latest one we have here is a single dose from Johnson and Johnson, and we can see there that's just an example of an advert.

STEWART (voice-over): Check Point try to buy a Sinovac vaccine on the dark web in back in January for $750 worth of bitcoin, nothing ever arrived.

MIDDLEMISS: We don't have any evidence that anyone has bought successfully and got a vaccine and had it delivered.

STEWART (voice-over): These products aren't just appearing online. Interpol issued a global alert last year, warning that organized crime networks would take advantage of the pandemic.

JURGEN STOCK, SECRETARY-GENERAL, INTERPOL: Criminals are using it any opportunity with these fake certificates concerning COVID-19 vaccination or test. We have even been seen in some parts of the world that the criminals are getting physically close to the borders, and they are offering these kinds of services providing people who desperately like to cross the border, for instance, to see their relatives. Providing them at the border with a fake certificate concerning a negative test result, or even a vaccination.

STEWART (voice-over): Last month, a fake vaccine distribution ring operating across two continents was dismantled.

STOCK: That led to more than 80 arrests in both countries and all of these thousands of doses of fake vaccines could be taken away from the market before they, again, they put harm to people.

STEWART (voice-over): Both Interpol and Check Point stress you cannot legitimately buy a COVID-19 vaccine online. You may never receive a vial, but if you do, you don't know what's in it.

MIDDLEMISS: If something looks too good to be true, then it probably is. This is what's preyed on, you know, this feeling this desperation is the reason why this exists.


But my advice 100 percent would be, you know, it's just, it's not going to happen.

STEWART: Anna Stewart, CNN, London.


NEWTON: One of golf's signature events returns. We'll have all the action from the first round of the Masters Tournament.


NEWTON: The second round of golf's legendary Masters Tournament tees off in just about three hours. England's Justin Rose grabbed a four- stroke lead on day one of beautiful Augusta National Golf Course. Coy Wire has more.


COY WIRE, CNN WORLD SPORT CORRESPONDENT: After last year's edition was pushed back to November due to the pandemic with no fans, the Masters is back where it belongs, in April, azaleas in bloom, patrons are back to a limited capacity for the first men's major of the year.

Challenging conditions like gusts of wind and fast greens were giving many of the favorites fits, but England's Justin Rose found a way. The two-time runner-up here hadn't played competitively in more than a month due to back issues. But he's at 7 under par and in the lead which is a familiar place for him here. It's his fourth time holding at least a share of the first round lead at the Masters, tying in with the great Jack Niklaus for the most of all time.


JUSTIN ROSE, MASTERS FIRST ROUND LEADER: I just got a great run, and I was just trying to stay out of my own way and just kind of get it to the club house, and just keep doing what I was doing. And yes, I didn't feel like today was the day for a 65.

It's been -- it's a good reminder that you just never know what can happen out there, just to stick with it on the golf course.

WIRE: And although Roy McIlroy finished 4 over on the day, he brings perhaps the most memorable moment, not with a birdie or a bogey, but with a daddy. Hitting his own dad with an errant shot on 7. I asked him all about it after the round.

RORY MCILROY, GOLF PLAYER: I knew it was my dad when I was aiming at him. So probably 30 seconds before it hit him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You told a reporter nearby that he's going to demand an autographed glove. How might you have some fun with that as a follow-up?

MCILROY: He has seen me sign plenty of stuff over the years. So I think that's the least of his worries. I think he just going to see if he's going to put some ice on. Maybe autograph a bag of frozen peas for him.

WIRE: What are the chances, of all people hitting his dad? Hope it didn't leave too big of a mark.

We'll see with the second round here at the Masters has in store. Weather could play a factor with some rain expected in the forecast.

Coy Wire, CNN, Augusta, Georgia.


NEWTON: OK. And finally here is a video that might have you screaming along at home. Take a look.


(Customs in convenience store try to remove giant lizard)


NEWTON: I can't get over this video. On a mission. Customers at a Thailand convenience store was stunned to see a guy gigantic monitor lizard scrambling up those shelves. Encyclopedia Britannica says monitor lizards -- if you were wondering --can grow up to be 9 feet long and they are carnivores, eating insects, spiders and small mammals. But thankfully we're told not humans or convenience store snacks. He had his choice there.

I can't get over that video. Thanks for keeping me company here. I'm Paula Newton. "EARLY START" is up right now. You're watching CNN.