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The Countdown To Helsinki, After A Day Of Violence, Palestinians Say They've Reached A Ceasefire With Israel, But Israel So Far Not Commenting, All Eyes On That Stadium In Moscow Where France And Croatia Will Battle It Out For Football's Top Honor, The United States Working On Getting The Remains Of Some 200 US Service Members Killed In The Korean War Returned; Total Darkness, Cold And Rushing Waters, That's The Way Divers Described The Thai Cave Where 12 Young Boys And Their Football Coach Spent 18 Days, A Big Icerbeg Off Greenland That Is Threatening A Whole Village. Aired: 4-5a ET
Aired July 15, 2018 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GEORGE HOWELL, HOST, CNN NEWSROOM: The countdown to Helsinki. The US President departs Scotland in a couple of hours' time for his much anticipated summit with the leader of Russia. Plus, after a day of violence, Palestinians say they've reached a ceasefire with Israel, but Israel so far not commenting. Also ahead this hour, all eyes on that stadium in Moscow where France and Croatia will battle it out for football's top honor.
Live from CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta, we want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm George Howell as "CNN Newsroom" starts right now.
At 4:00 a.m. on the US East Coast and a historic summit ahead of him, the US President leaves his golf resort in Scotland in the coming hours planning to meet with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, and he will have a busy time ahead.
On Monday morning, Mr. Trump meets with the Finnish President, then he and Mr. Putin are set to spend the rest of the day in talks together. Those talks then followed by a joint appearance before the news media. President Trump returns to the United States on Monday night.
Though still hanging over his head, over this summit, new evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Mr. Trump says that he will bring the issue up, raise the issue with the Russian leader, but his latest tweet seems to blame his predecessor, Barack Obama for, as he says, "not dealing with it at the time." Following the story, our Phil Black live from Turnberry, Scotland. Phil, tell us more about the President's time in Scotland looking ahead towards Helsinki.
PHIL BLACK, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: George, since President Trump arrived here in Scotland on Friday night, he has been relatively quiet and seen very little as he has stayed here behind me within the Trump Turnberry Golf Resort. And as I am talking, I just want to give you a little bit of a closer look here at the slice of Scotland that is owned by America's President and how it is currently being protected. You can see lines of police officers around the perimeter. There's a
tower that's being built from scaffolding, an observation tower, very strict vehicle checks at the entrances and exits as well. President Trump has said that he is spending his time here preparing for the Helsinki meeting. We also know that he has played at least a little golf. He played one of the three, at least one of the three championship courses here at Turnberry yesterday.
Given his passion for the game, it is possible that he will be out there today before he departs, but conditions here are a little wet and blustery. That may convince the President to perhaps stay indoors and focus on the meeting with President Putin ahead. The one substantive tweet - really statement to come from President Trump which you referenced there was in - well, it was about those indictments of 12 Russian intelligence officers for interfering in the Presidential election.
He said in his one comment was to make the point that he believes that this all took place under the Obama administration, and to ask the question, "Why didn't President Obama do more about this?" Beyond that, the official statements and comments from the White House have given every indication that President Trump's meeting in Helsinki will go ahead and we expect him to depart here in the next few hours to travel to Helsinki and pursue that often stated aim of securing, building a much closer relationship with his Russian counterpart, George.
HOWELL: Phil Black live there in Turnberry giving us a scene of what's happening there and the reporting. Thank you very much, Phil. And again, President Trump headed to Finland and that is where our international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is live in Helsinki, Finland. Nic, let's start with the overall significance of this very important summit set to take place there.
Mr. Putin surely determined to raise the role of Russia on the world stage despite the that nation's struggling economy, does the mere fact of these two meeting, does that elevate President Putin's stature?
NIC ROBERTSON, INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR, CNN: Look, President Putin wants to be seen as a figure on the world stage, a figure of influence, a figure who can bring stability, a figure who should be listened to. So the very fact that he's going to be meeting face-to- face one on one with President Trump in a way provides that, it very much is going to depend on what comes out of the meeting, but the optics alone of it for President Putin is something that he wants and there's a potential here for him to, you know, have his opinion heard and broadcast around the world on what should happen in Ukraine, on what should happen in Syria, really be able to set tone on Syria, if you will. Russia is in a dominant position there.
ROBERTSON: So he has cards in his hand to play, but it's not normally at the top international table, barred from the top nations' meeting, of what was the G-8 is now a G-7 subsequent to his invasion of Ukraine and annexation - illegal annexation of Crimea, so the optics of that give him that. Just to sort of set scene from here a little bit, in just over 24 hours' time - just over 24 hours from now, President Trump and President Putin will be meeting in the building just over my shoulder here - the Presidential Palace here in Helsinki, Finland.
They will be meeting inside there, one on one President Putin, President Trump, and to your point, that makes President Putin a very important man who is sitting down with the most powerful man on the planet, President Trump, one on one, an opportunity there to sort of get away from what the advisers to President Trump might be advising him. But they'll be sitting down in that building. It will last perhaps several hours, we're not clear on the timeline, and there will be what we're told a joint press availability after, but that building, the Presidential Palace here in Helsinki, the focus of what will go down between these two, what the optics will look like, and if there's anything substantive that comes out of it, George.
HOWELL: It is an important meeting and of course, to our viewers here in the United States and around the world, just remember that we have the global reach and resources of CNN, our Nic Robertson and many other correspondents and analysts covering this story. Nic, so the world is surely watching. Let's talk about what's happening in the backdrop though, this cloud that continues to follow the President as he leaves Scotland, heads to Helsinki, this latest indictment squarely pointing the finger at Russian operatives - state operatives for interfering in US affairs.
But President Trump in a tweet again blaming his predecessor, the former President Barack Obama for what happened, rather than the man that he will meet there in Helsinki. The question here is, is this President Trump giving Mr. Putin a pass?
ROBERTSON: Well, he did the last time they met face to face, although when they met the first time face-to-face on the margins of the G-20 Summit in Hamburg a year ago and President Trump then said, you know, he put the question and President Putin denied it. He accepted that and thought that it was better for their relations to move forward, but of course the context is different now.
President Trump has that evidence to his hand in terms of those indictments. The nature of the indictments and the detail of the indictments has been made public. Is there some version of this evidence that President Trump can show to President Putin despite the fact that President Trump is saying that this was essentially President Obama's problem, but we heard yesterday from the Secretary of Homeland Security Nielsen - Kirstjen Nielsen saying that Russia today, right now today in the US midterm elections in 2018 coming up in the next couple of months, is probing and trying the same sort of cyber meddling that they executed during the 2016 elections.
So this very much gives President Trump, if you will, ownership of the problem today that it's on his lap during his presidency, on his watch while he's sitting down face-to-face with President Putin. Now, is he going to use the evidence from 2016 and what he has the evidence that his intelligence community is saying? I think one cannot overlook the timing of the indictment that we've heard on Friday and the timing of the statement coming from the Secretary of Homeland Security providing the President with the ammunition to go in there and be tough with President Putin.
But it's not clear from things that President Trump is saying publicly at the moment that he's going to do that, and I would just remind ourselves and our viewers, back in 2017 when President Trump met President Putin in Hamburg at the G-20, one of the things we were told they agreed to have continuing discussions on was this issue of cyber meddling, cyber intrusion, call it what you will, but there are no international rules and red lines fix for that and there was going to be an effort to make determinations on what would be considered an aggressive act.
Certainly, the Secretary for Homeland Security said that the meddling in the US elections was an act of aggression and cannot be tolerated. Will President Trump echo those words in his meeting with President Putin?
HOWELL: Nic, correct me if I'm wrong, but if I recall correctly, there was even a suggestion that the two countries could work together on cybersecurity, again Russia, the finger has been pointed squarely at Russia for interfering in US elections. Nic Robertson, thank you so much for the time and reporting and context. We'll keep in touch with you.
HOWELL: Let's cross to get perspective with Amy Pope, live in our London bureau. Amy, the US and the Americas Programme at Chatham House, also a former member of the National Security Council under President Obama. It's good to have you here on the show. Let's talk about what Nic just explained. Let's first listen to the National Intelligence Director Dan Coats. He has some thoughts here on what's described as an increasing threat when it comes to Russia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN COATS, NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DIRECTOR: It was in the months prior to September, 2001, when according to then CIA Director George Tenet, the system was blinking red. And here we are, nearly two decades later and I'm here to say the warning lights are blinking red again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Dan Coats there with a really sobering statement unlike his boss, not shying away from tough talk about Russia. The question now, will President Trump be as assertive when speaking with the Russian leader or will he take a more passive approach from what we've seen and what we can glean from his comments.
AMY POPE, US AND THE AMERICAN PROGRAMME, CHATHAM HOUSE: So we've really seen some schizophrenia within the US administration, and I thinks that's what really should bother people the most. On the first instance, we have President Trump who's claiming that his meetings with the NATO allies, and with the UK Prime Minister Theresa May are going to be more difficult than his meeting with the known adversary to US interests, President Putin. On the other hand, we have a very scathing and detailed indictment of
Russian interference in the American elections, as well as a series of sanctions and other tough measures both advocated and put in place by the US government. I think the real question here is what is President Trump's strategy going into the meeting with Putin? And the real danger here is that he doesn't have a strategy.
HOWELL: You know, President Trump, though, in this tweet blaming your former boss for not really doing enough when it comes to the Russian meddling situation, what are your thoughts about his comment there?
POPE: I think he's deflecting attention and I think he's avoiding taking the responsibility that he needs to now take as the President of the United States of America. Interestingly, there was very public information about what was happening during the elections, back in October before the elections took place. It happened that the story broke at the same time as the "Access Hollywood" story, so it didn't get the same level of attention.
But at the same time, while inside the administration, our goal was to make sure that there was no perception that the election was being manipulated by partisan forces. Instead, our goal was to make sure that this information was handled appropriately within national security channels and that the response was not political but framed within our national security.
That's the approached that I advised President Trump to take now. It's to stop the partisan politicking and to take the serious threat as is.
HOWELL: There are still those who look back that the time during the Obama administration and suggest that more should have, could have been done more assertively. Those criticisms certainly out there.
Let's talk about Mr. Trump again saying that he will bring the issue up, but depending on how he chooses to pursue it. Do you see this as a watershed moment that either emboldens Russia do it again? Our Nic Robertson just pointed out these things could be happening again in the lead up to the midterm elections. or, depending upon how he handles this, would it cause Russia to take pause and reconsider?
POPE: I think if President Trump goes into these meetings and goes in courting President Putin's favor and suggests that his real goal is just to build a relationship or make his relationship or friendship with Putin stronger, then it risks undermining our US national security strategy and will only embolden President Putin further.
In the face of evidence that this is not new and that it's ongoing, Trump needs to be strong and draw some lines here and make clear that the United States won't tolerate this sort of interference in its democratic processes. My fear and I think everyone else's is that he won't use the opportunity as he should and thereby further embolden and empower President Putin.
HOWELL: Amy Pope, it's a pleasure to have you on the show for your context and perspective. Thank you so much for your time today. POPE: Thank you.
HOWELL: There are reports of a ceasefire in Gaza, after a day of heavy fighting, I should say, between militant groups and Israel. CNN is live in Jerusalem following the story for you. Plus, North Korea skipped the last scheduled meeting, but now they're sitting face-to- face with the United States. We'll tell you why they're talking and what we know about those talks. Around the world and in the US, you're watching "Newsroom."
HOWELL: Welcome back to "CNN Newsroom," I'm George Howell. In the Middle East now, Hamas and Islamic jihad say they've reached a ceasefire with Israel. The Israeli Prime Minister's Office though has no comment at this point about those reports.
Over the last 24 hours, take a look. That's the scene again over the last 24 hours. The Gaza border saw an uptick of fighting, of violence there. The Palestinian Health Ministry says two Palestinian teenagers were killed in an Israeli air strike amid mortar fire from Gaza.
Following the story, CNN correspondent Ian Lee is live in Jerusalem. Ian do we have any more information where things stand now given this purported ceasefire?
IAN LEE, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: George, it's been about eight hours now since the last exchange of fire and just to give you an idea, yesterday was the largest bombing campaign that Israel has conducted since the 2014 war that Israel's military is saying more than 200 mortars and rockets were fired into Israel. It does seem to be holding this ceasefire that we're hearing from Hamas and Islamic jihad.
LEE: Now, we don't know the details of the ceasefire that was allegedly brokered by Egypt, but it seems that, at least for now, the bombings and the rockets, and the mortars have stopped. But for some Israeli politicians, that doesn't go far enough. We've heard this morning that they say that they want a cessation of these fire balloons and kites that Gazans have been sending across the border that's been lighting Israeli fields on fire. They say they want that to be included in any so-called ceasefire.
Now, Israel hasn't commented on ceasefires in the past and we're not really expecting them to comment again. But the one thing they keep coming back to when we ask them about these ceasefires is that, quiet will be responded with quiet, George.
HOWELL: And again, just to our viewers around the world, the background and context if you wouldn't mind, just leading up to this uptick in violence there. If you could explain it and also Egypt, again playing a significant role here.
LEE: Yes, let's start with that part first, Egypt's new role. Egypt has played a very pivotal, crucial role in bringing a cessation to hostilities. They've done it before in the past couple of months and they've really stopped this from escalating into something further, but to answer the first part of your question, this really all started back in March and we had these march overturns, these protesters going to the border, that border fence that separates Gaza from Israel. These protests have been very deadly at times.
Israel accusing Hamas and Gazans for instigating this. The protesters though saying that these are peaceful protests. You know, there are rocks thrown, there are - we're seeing Molotov cocktails thrown, so it's a relative peacefulness with these protests - but they have been simmering along this strip of territory between Gaza and Israel for months now and every once in a while we see an uptick, a flair of this violence where you do get these rockets, these mortars fired, Israel responds with air strikes, and then it usually lasts about 24 hours before we see Egypt from reports stepping in, talking to both sides, bringing it back.
But, you know, George, expect something like this to happen again until there is some sort of agreement, we could see an uptick in violence again within the coming months.
HOWELL: And Ian, we've seen your reporting there in the lead-up to this several weeks before all of this to the point where we are now. We'll continue to stay in touch with you as you monitor the situation there. Thank you for the reporting.
Now, to the Korean Peninsula. The United States working on getting the remains of some 200 US service members killed in the Korean war returned. Officials for North Korea and the US have come together at the Korean demilitarized zone to work out those details, all of this part of the agreement that was made by the leaders of both countries after that historic summit, you see right there, that took place last month in Singapore.
CNN correspondent Andrew Stevens following the story live in Seoul, South Korea. Andrew, you'll remember that the President said before that those remains had been returned. That in fact, not the case. And the particulars now around that point remain uncertain, it seems, from the North Korean perspective at least.
ANDREW STEVENS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: That's right, George. That announcement by Donald Trump, a little premature. So at that meeting, that summit meeting in Singapore on June the 12th, both Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump signing what Donald Trump has called a contract, which included the return of the remains of those US servicemen who died in the Korean War which ended back in 1953.
That contract also included of course, and most importantly, the whole denuclearization issue on the peninsula. There were no details spelled out at all, but we did have that one specific which was the return of the service people who have died. But it has got off to a rocky start as we know.
This meeting was supposed to take place on Thursday - last Thursday, it didn't happen when the North Koreans didn't show up. They then pushed it forward to Sunday. Local media is saying that that meeting actually started about seven hours ago, about 10:00 a.m. local time and we have been told by the US Korean forces here that we will be informed when the meeting has ended and what was discussed.
I mean, we understand, George, in details very few and far between, that what's on the agenda is primarily when the remains will be returned and how. We know the US have caskets, they have flags at the DMZ. They think that the US - the North Koreans have something like two - the remains of 200 servicemen to be brought back to the US, but what we don't know is the details. What we also don't know, George, is whether the North Koreans are tacking on any other conditions before they release those remains.
HOWELL: And, Andrew, the question just about the meeting that didn't happen and now it's been rescheduled of course to this particular day, but is it more a matter of logistics or does it play into the question of whether North Korea is truly taking these talks seriously?
STEVENS: Well, certainly that's how it's been received generally, that the north was not showing good faith by not turning up to that initial meeting. In fact, they did alert the US until midday of the day that meeting was supposed to take place. In rumor, Mike Pompeo did actually say June the 12th, he did add that it could be a day or so later than that, but did he say June the 12th. So it's been interpreted really that the north is not acting in good faith and has not acted in good faith.
The north, as we know, has accused the US also of not acting in good faith calling Mike Pompeo's delegation to Pyongyang using gangster like mentality on demanding unilateral denuclearization and not offering as much in return, so it has got off to a very rocky start and it does appear that initially, at least, that was a deliberate action from North Korea to send a message to the US; however, having said that, they are now meeting.
HOWELL: Mr. Trump said before if people play games, I guess maybe one of the games to be played here as these very serious talks continue. Andrew Stevens, thank you so much for the reporting. We'll keep in touch with you there in Seoul, South Korea.
Football's biggest game, well, if you're waiting for it, almost here. CNN of course live in Moscow as France and Croatia get set for the World Cup final. Plus, I want to show you some incredible new photos that showed just how terrifying the conditions were inside that Thai cave where 12 young boys and their football coach were trapped. Stay with us.
HOWELL: In the US and around the world you're looking at live pictures in Turnberry, Scotland where you see what we believe to be the President of the United States. See that white cap? We'll zoom back in here in a minute, I'm sure, but we believe that to be the President of the United States golfing before he heads to Helsinki, Finland.
Again, for a very important summit set to happen, Mr. Trump expected to leave the UK on Sunday to fly to Helsinki where he will meet Monday with the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin.
Other news we're following around the world, two students have been killed in antigovernment demonstrations in Nicaragua. This the scene in Managua, the students among other student protesters, occupying a university there until pro-government forces moved in and the demonstrators escaped to a church when then came under siege. An estimated 273 people have been killed since these protests started in April.
The British Prime Minister Theresa May has a warning for her Brexit supporters. Watch out or she says Brexit won't happen at all. Her comments to the main - to the mail rather on Sunday referred to lawmakers critical of her plan to leave the European Union that prompted her Brexit minister and Foreign Minister to resign this week.
Everybody around the world is excited about this. Who wins? We'll have to see, but this big game just hours away. France and Croatia set to face-off in the World Cup final. The match taking place in Moscow and that's where we find CNN's Alex Thomas with the very latest. Alex, the excitement, the preps, the expectation, tell us about what you're seeing in the lead-up to this big game.
ALEX THOMAS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: George, we'll still six hours away from kickoff between France and Croatia in the FIFA World Cup Final. It will take place at the Luzhniki Stadium behind me. We're looking down at the venue from Sparrow Hills, a famous tourist spot here in Moscow because you see a view of the whole city skyline. This is a city of over 10 million people. That's more than double the population of Croatia, which gives you an idea of exactly how much of a fairytale story it is that country has even reached the World Cup Final for the first time in its history.
They've done it through a combination of grit and great skill and they have a handful of players that are at the very biggest players in Europe, so they certainly have got the pedigree, but they will be massive underdogs against the France team looking to win the World Cup for the second time in its history, exactly 20 years after they did it the first time back in 1998 on home soil.
The captain of the team that year was Didier Deschamps, and he is the current coach of Les Bleus, so Deschamps looking for a personal milestone. He will be only the third person to win the World Cup as both a player and a manager if France triumph later. The other two were legends of the game as well.
So, a history in the making day possibly for Deschamps, and for France. They're certainly not going to be complacent against a Croatian team that had to come through three successive knockout games, all going to extra time, which is 30 minutes, so if you add all of that up, it amounts to an extra game played more than France, so Croatia's legs may be feeling a bit tired towards the end of the game. They've defied us in the past though, so certainly, they can't be
written off. They've also had one day less to prepare for this match certainly. So it could be on all over the pitch, star players everywhere, but certainly, the defenses of both teams have proven themselves to be very, very good, but the atmosphere slowly building here in Moscow.
We are 100 yards or so away from the official FIFA fan zone here at Sparrow Hills which is behind my cameraman, Chris, that way doing a sound check at the moment. A hundred thousand people or up to a hundred thousand people could well be in there a bit little later on watching on a big screen just to add to the hundreds of millions across the globe that will be tuning in to this as well, George. The biggest single sporting event of the planet's most popular sport.
HOWELL: Alex Thomas, look, I have to ask you for those people around the world watching, but specifically in Zagreb, Croatia, right? I mean people have got to be really excited to see the home team at this stage in this big, big game. So what are their chances of winning? Many experts, they see them as outsiders to beat France, at the very least.
THOMAS: Yes, I mean, Croatia are the smallest team to get this far in the World Cup since Uruguay back in 1950 and the football world was very different back in those days.
THOMAS: Uruguay already world champions when they made the final that year beating Brazil, I think on Brazilian soil, one of the embarrassments for Brazil, who of course have gone on to win the World Cup five times more than any other country, but Croatia has a chance, it's a one-off match. Anything is possible, George.
HOWELL: Alex Thomas, live in Moscow, the world will be watching. Thank you so much for the reporting. We'll stay in touch with you.
Let's cross back over now to Turnberry, Scotland. I want to show you these live images we're following. We're monitoring because we've seen off and on, right there I believe in the white hat, that hat should say USA. The President of the United States taking part in a round of golf. This is something he's done in the past day or so, President Trump doing this in advance of a major summit that he has said before he's prepared for all his life.
This is his preparation as we're seeing playing golf in Turnberry, Scotland. Mr. Trump heads to Helsinki. He will meet with the Russian leader, a very important and historic summit where they are expected to talk about many different things and we do believe it is the President of the United States Donald Trump that we're looking at right now. Again, they'll talk about a host of different things from Syria to Iran to North Korea, nuclear weapons and of course. President Trump is saying that he will bring up the issue of Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.
CNN continuing to monitor the situation here as the President plans to head to this big summit. Stay with us.
Imagine the concept of total darkness, cold and rushing waters, that's the way divers described the Thai cave where 12 young boys and their football coach spent 18 days. Despite the treacherous conditions, divers were able to guide them all out to freedom and safety.
The boys and their coach still recovering in the hospital. These new photos show them paying their respects to the former Navy SEAL diver who died during the rescue operation.
HOWELL: It was a long and dangerous journey out of that cave system. Our Nick Glass has this story.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
NICK GLASS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Has there ever been a cave rescue quite like this one? The Thai military allied with an international team of volunteers searching until the lost boys were found and daringly rescued in remote mountains in northern Thailand.
We're still piecing the story together in all of its inspiring heroic detail. So much of the drama of the drama happened in the dark, out- of-sight. But it begins with a haunting image in silhouette. The kids' bikes chained up in a row at the cave entrance, football boots, shin pads left behind with no sign of their owners.
The date, Saturday, June 23rd, and this was the missing party, what we can now refer to as the miraculously lucky 13, the Wild Boars football team plus their young coach. They went missing after match practice. They had explored this particular cave before, but were apparently trapped by a sudden monsoon flood. Water, and more water.
ARPAKORN YUUKONGKAEW, REAR ADMIRAL, THAI NAVY SEALS: [Speaking in foreign language].
GLASS: In came the piping and the pumps and Thai Navy SEALS. As the water continued to rise, the equipment for a serious diving operation was transferred by hand and by hoist deep into the cave. Where were the boys? Could they be reached in time? The place is known as the big cave for a reason. Almost seven miles of limestone tunnels and recesses, nooks, and crannies.
Anxious, distressed relatives could only wait and offer prayers.
NARONGSAK OSATANAKORN, HEAD OF JOINT COMMAND CENTER: I cannot expect how long, but every minute is important.
GLASS: The cave known as Tham Luang was mapped by French divers in the 1980s. It's among the longest in Thailand, but it's the first few miles of the cave that concern us here. The most recent survey was carried out by this man, Vern Unsworth, a British caver who has a home in the area. His immediate advice was call in British experts.
VERN UMSWORTH, BRITISH CAVER: We got the Thai authorities to understand that, you know, they needed expert divers out here. Because cave diving is - it's specialists in more ways, it's like diving with - you can't see three inches in front of your face, and they needed world-class divers, and that's what we got.
GLASS: Rick Stanton on the left, a retired fireman from Coventry and his diving partner, John Volanthen, an IT consultant from Bristol. In cave diving, they're pretty much as good as it gets. At the request of the Thai Command Center, they were flown out from Britain.
Underground they almost passed unnoticed, just two guys in dark shorts, t-shirts, and Wellington boots. The British divers made their first exploratory dive on Wednesday, June 27th, four days after the boys went missing. The challenge was immediately obvious, water the color of cold coffee, almost no visibility, swimming against a torrent of water, the engorged stream that runs through the cave.
The divers war able to lay down a crucial guide rope and on the seventh day of diving, on Monday, July 2nd, they found the boys perched on a rocky ledge and were met by an unforgettable chorus of little voices.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many of you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirteen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirteen?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brilliant.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GLASS: "What day is it?" The boys ask.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Monday. Monday. You have been here ten days. Ten days. You're very strong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Navy SEAL. We'll come tomorrow with food and doctor and everything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am very happy. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are happy, too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you so much. Thank you so much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Okay.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, where are you from?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: England, the UK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GLASS: Oh, indeed. A nice surprise, England home to her Majesty, United and Arsenal, some of their favorite teams. The euphoria among relatives outside was immediate.
GLASS: The British team, some eight British divers in all were warmly embraced, hugs all around. They had brought hope out of the darkness. The boys were joined on their ledge by Navy SEALS, given food and emergency foil blankets and medicine. They sent messages to their parents, wrote letters that were carried out.
Their coach had helped keep their spirits up during their ordeal in their tiny refuge less than half the size of a tennis court. Coach Ek, as they call him was sat at the bank. He had been a Buddhist monk in his youth and taught them to meditate to pass the time.
On Friday, July 6th, tragedy struck. One of the Thai divers, Saman Kunan lost consciousness was he was replacing oxygen tanks and died. He was 38. A retired Thai Navy SEAL, he had volunteered to join the rescue effort just five days earlier. His death changed the mood in the cave.
Now, there was a growing urgency about a rescue. We know it happened over three successive days - Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, July 8th, 9th, and 10th. Thai Navy SEALs have released footage of it. The boys carried out on so called Sked military stretchers, wrapped in foil for last mile or so.
We glimpsed a face here and there. Each boy regularly checked on the way out by doctors, but the most dramatic and daring part of the rescue happened off camera in the submerged part of the cave system.
UNSWORTH: These divers, you know, they went in on three consecutive days. That's tough. You know, four, five, six hours each time, you know, in not so nice conditions, but super human.
GLASS: We know the boys were sedated in some way. An Australian cave diver Dr. Richard Harris was part of the team. He's an anesthetist.
UNSWORTH: You have to understand, some of these kids couldn't swim and they're being put into cold, cold water and with wet suits on, full face mask. You know, alien to them. So it was the only way.
RICK STANTON, BRITISH CAVE DIVER: The most important thing was to have a full face mask which we acquired on-site with positive pressure to enable them to breathe and to relax them enough to not feel any anxiety during the process.
GLASS: It seems then, that the boys were somehow escorted out one by one by pairs of divers before being put into stretchers. The UK, Australia, Denmark, the divers list inside the cave indicated that they came from all over the world. But there's still a general reticence about talking what each of them did.
Another pair of British divers, Chris Jewell on the left and Jason Mallison were certainly involved in escorting the boys out, but weren't prepared to reveal much more.
CHRIS JEWELL, BRITISH DIVER: Myself and Jason Mallison came out after Rick and John and our role was to help transport the boys underwater through the cave to bring them out.
GLASS: And not forgetting the anonymous quartet of Thai Navy SEALS who had kept the boys them company on the ledge for seven days, they were last out after the boys.
UNSWORTH: Just to get any of them out alive would have been a miracle, but to get 13 out of 13, won't happen again. It's the biggest miracle ever.
GLASS: After the rescue, a sense of overwhelming relief and gratitude on the streets. You can could it on their faces, something wonderful had happened. The salute for an ambulance taking one of the boys to a hospital. This woman didn't have to say anything to let us know how she felt. Her nephew had been saved.
SARISA PROMJAK, AUNT OF ONE OF THE TRAPPED BOYS: [Speaking foreign language.]
GLASS: From his hospital bed and still in quarantine, the youngest and apparently the of the last of the kids to be rescued paid his respects to his parents. All relatives were kept tearfully behind glass until medical checks are complete. The boy is 11 years old, but has the longest name in the team. Here he's glimpsed in the cave. His nickname is Tatun. In his letter to his parents, he urged them not to worry and to get ready his favorite fried chicken.
GLASS: His father was simply drained by the ordeal, but eternally grateful his son had survived.
TANAWAI WIBOONRUNGRUENG, FATHER OF ONE OF THE TRAPPED BOYS: [Speaking foreign language ].
UNSWORTH: Thirteen will not be an unlucky number anymore.
GLASS: Nick Glass, CNN, with the extraordinary story of how the Wild Boars and their coach were lost and found and safely rescued.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
HOWELL: Welcome back. Icebergs are famous for being hazards to ships, but now there's a big one off Greenland that is threatening a whole village. Our meteorologist, Derek Van Dam is here to tell us about that, Derek.
DEREK VAN DAM, METEOROLOGIST, CNN: Big is an understatement, maybe not the right adjective. I mean, we're talking about an 11 million ton, that's 11 megaton iceberg that's floating off the west coast of Greenland.
VAN DAM: And this particular iceberg was caught on camera, calving, meaning a piece of ice broke away. You're watching it on your TV screen there, but what happened after that is what is concerning the 170 residents that called this particular area home.
We fast forward to the video, this is about 45 seconds after the iceberg calved and I want to take note of this rushing water moving up the inlet you see on the TV screen behind me. This is the "tsunami" that was generated from that that ice calving event that took place with the glacier.
That is why residents have evacuated this area and there are concerns that this could happen again if the weather and mother nature brings with it warm weather and rainfall causing more unfortunate calving events like this to take place.
Now icebergs can be roughly the size of a stadium, but that's only the top portion of what you and I see. The majority of an iceberg lies below surface of the water, roughly 80% to 90%. So, the ideal situation would be for the currents to take this into the Baffin region and move it off of the coast. But that may not be what mother nature has in store for this particular iceberg.
It is particularly large. We're talking about 10 to 11 megatons and of course, we don't want to see anymore ice calving events because the potential exists for tsunamis there. Fortunately, everybody is out of harm's way, but dramatic footage coming off the west coast of Greenland to say the least.
HOWELL: Planet warming.
VAN DAM: Yes, that's right. The fingerprints of climate change.
HOWELL: Derek Van Dam.
VAN DAM: Thank you.
HOWELL: And thank you for being with us this hour for "Newsroom." Let's reset more news right after the break.