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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Pyongyang Appears To Be Dismantling Key Launch Site; Trump Contradicts Putin: Russians Don't Want Trump; Ivanka Trump To Shut Down Fashion Company; FMR Cricketer VS. Political Dynasties In Pakistan Elections; Elton John And Prince Harry Join Forces To Fight Aids. Aired 3- 4p ET
Aired July 24, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hala Gorani.
Tonight, extreme weather around the world in Greece, more than 70 people are dead after wildfires ripped through a tourist resort.
And meanwhile, thousands of miles away in Greenland, this huge iceberg next to a village is leaving residents very worried about what might come next.
Also, tonight --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELTON JOHN, SINGER: I don't have much influence I might have over the president of the United States. There may come a time when we meet to
discuss some delays.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Speaks one of the true icons of pop.
Flames on one side, the sea on the other in Greece, people say they could feel the heat from wild fires burning their backs as they made a desperate
run for the beach in the water. And many of them unfortunately did not make it.
Seventy four people are confirmed dead. Others are reported missing still. In all, five major fires are burning across the country. One woman who
outran the flames as they destroyed her house is calling it sheer hell look how thick the smoke is there. In one resort town, people are coming back
to a surreal scene of burned-out cars and houses.
Our Melissa Bell is in Mati on the outskirts of Athens and she joins us now live with more on what's going on right across Greece -- Melissa.
MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, here in Mati, which was really the heart of the very worst of those fires that gripped
such a large region around Athens yesterday afternoon. You can see the operation goes on around me.
And it is a scene of devastation. It was here that there's 26 bodies were found caught between the forest and the ocean unable to make their escape
and still clinging to one another.
This is, of course, the region still coming to terms with all that has happened, the loss of life, the damage to property, even as those fires
continue to rage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BELL (voice-over): Wildfires rage across the hills surrounding Athens, forcing many to jump into the sea to escape the flames. A wall of fire so
hot it melts the tires of cars in its path.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I saw fire at the back of the house, after that it came here in the front. It was sheer hell.
BELL: And moving so fast that dozens were trapped as they tried to escape. Some of the victims in Mati, to the east of Athens, were found clinging to
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Yes, it's true. It seems that some of them, the deceased, knew each other because they were found in
groups of three and four, so they could be friends or relatives or families, who try to protect themselves by hugging each other.
BELL: In Mati, the fire has now been putout and locals like Doris (inaudible) are returning to size up the damage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Many people who were during the fire yesterday, they say that it expands within minutes and the temperature were so high, so
nobody could do anything (inaudible), they say. As you can see, houses, cars, everything destroyed from the fire. I have lost everything.
BELL: But elsewhere the fires continue to rage as 500 firefighters battled to put out the flames. Hundreds have been evacuated and a state of
emergency has been declared. The Greek Prime Minister has urged people in threatened neighborhoods to flee immediately. On Tuesday, he declared
three days of mourning.
ALEXIS TSIPRAS, GREEK PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Now is a time for mobilization and fighting. A fight to save what can be saved. A fight
to defeat the fire. A fight to find the missing. So that we don't (inaudible) anymore lives, and we may sooth the pain of those affected.
The fires are part of the scorching heat wave that has climbed across Europe, triggering wildfires in Sweden and setting record temperature highs
in the Arctic. Spain, Germany and other E.U. nations has sent extra firefighters and water carriers to Greece hoping to contain the fires and
prevent any further loss of life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BELL: Now we heard, Hala, earlier from the Greek Fire Brigade, who said there were five fires is still ongoing. So, some like here in Mati have
been put out successfully. They spoke of five areas that were still seeing the flames uncontained.
We went up to one of those, which is just beyond here. The fire was under control at least four areas and it's ever shifting situation where so much
depends on the winds and the heat.
[15:05:08] And the ability of the emergency services to deal with this ongoing emergency even as the country has entered this period of mourning -
GORANI: In your reporting, you talked about 500 firefighters for all of the fires across Greece, that's the number? It sounds low.
BELL: It does sound fairly low and they are across Greece. You're quite right. Two of those including the one that I just mentioned that have been
contained are here in the Attica region around Athens. Another is near (inaudible), two others are in Greece (ph). So, they are quite spread out.
Those were the figures given by the Fire Brigade. Greece has, of course, often is receiving help from other European countries and indeed from the
European Union after the triggering of the civil defense mechanism that allows it to get involved in the civil emergencies within E.U. member
That is what it's going to be happening here in Greece. I think part of the trouble for the Greek authorities, Hala, was that this happened so
quickly, suddenly. Here in Mati, for instance, what the locals tell us is the flame came down yesterday afternoon and essentially burned so intensely
that anyone in Mati was trapped and anyone outside trying to get in to help could do so.
GORANI: There was this story of 23, I believe, people who tragically died on a beach trying to run from the flames and jumped in the water. Why is
it that they didn't make it to the water and lost their lives right there on a beach so close to basically being able to escape the flames?
BELL: And so many people did successfully escape, Hala. We've heard of hundreds of people jumping into this sea and being picked up in makeshift
ships and rescue organization was gathered together and organize fairly quickly.
But there's 26 that you mentioned who died in each other's arms probably one of the most heart-wrenching stories that we have heard come out of this
so far, still gripping one another as the flames consume them.
That took place just near here in a camping site. They were apparently trapped within a field by the water and unable to jump inside it, Hala.
But, these are the sorts of scenes, the sorts of stories, the sorts of heartbreaking scenes that we can only imagine. That Greece is very slowly
trying to come to terms with.
GORANI: Right. Just some wild disruptive deadly weather we are seeing the heat as well in Japan and other parts of the world that has become
extremely deadly. Melissa Bell, thanks very much reporting live from Mati, Greece.
There's another disaster unfolding in Asia and possibly a tremendous loss of life there as well. Searchers are looking for hundreds of people
missing after a dam collapsed in Southern Laos.
Authorities say the dam gave way and heavy rains, much heavier than usual, and the water inundated several villages sweeping away entire houses. The
hydroelectric dam was under construction and it had not yet been operating.
Now more than 6,000 people lost their homes. It is believed, and officials are asking the public for help with clothes and food and emergency aid.
We're going to have a lot more on the crazy weather patterns a little bit later in the show including that iceberg threatening a small village in
But I want to turn my attention now and yours to the Middle East. The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is defending the downing of a
Syrian war plane today. Saying Israel will not tolerate any violation of territory that it controls.
Israel's military says it fired two patriot missiles at the jet after it crossed 2 kilometers they say into Israeli airspace. It says the missiles
hit the plane after it had returned to Syrian airspace. Syria says the manned jet was conducting an operation against terrorist routes at the
Let's get more now from CNN's Oren Liebermann. He is live in Jerusalem. So, the jet did crash in Syria, right, but the Israeli military is saying
encroached on Israeli airspace 2 kilometers in, is that correct?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Correct. So, it's about 2:00 this afternoon, local time when the Israeli military says that jet under a
Russian-made Sukhoi 22 or Sukhoi 24 fighter jet entered 2 kilometers into Israeli airspace. At the speeds of a fighter jet, that is only a few
seconds before it apparently turned around.
By that point, Israel had fired these two Patriot missiles after confirming that it was not a Russian fighter jet of the Russian Air Force. And it was
not in fact, Syrian, and the plane itself, this fighter jet went down in Southern Syria near the Yarmov bases where the regime has ongoing fighting
against -- in that specific area, an ISIS affiliate that they are trying to clear out there.
GORANI: Do we know what happened to the pilot? I mean, I know it is probably difficult for the Israeli military to assess, but do we have any
LIEBERMANN: We haven't heard anything from the Israeli military. They say they are not sure what happened to the pilot or it seems pilots depending
on the fighter jet here. And we haven't heard anything from the Syrians, either in this case.
[15:10:05] There has been some reporting from the Russians, which may be reliable because the Russians backed the Syrians in that area. But we are
waiting for official word from the Syrians as to what happened to the pilot or pilots in the aircraft.
GORANI: Is this the first time that Israel down the Syrian jet in what it says is its own airspace?
LIEBERMANN: It actually happened four years ago in September 2014 under very similar circumstances. Then they say a Sukhoi 24, another Russian-
made fighter jet entered about a mile in Israeli airspace, so a little less and was shot down.
Again, Israel enforcing its red lines. It is worth noting that a couple of years ago, a Russian fighter jet from the Russian Air Force entered about a
mile into Israeli airspace. Israel used what it calls its deconfliction measures.
It's contact between the Israeli military and the Russian military to make sure that was in fact a Russian fighter jet and let it exit its airspace.
A very different redline Israel has for the Syrian Air Force.
GORANI: Now we do know that Israel reportedly conducts sometimes bombing campaigns inside area and certain targets. This is something that's
believed and that has been reported, but would this constitute an escalation of Israel's involvement in the conflict in Syria?
LIEBERMANN: That's an excellent question. There's no definitive answer to that. Perhaps we'll have a better idea if we see the Israeli Air Force
take action tonight. Israel says this plane took from the T4 military base, which is northeast of Damascus.
Israel has acknowledged striking that base in the past targeting Iranian forces there. The difficult part here is why does Israel believed that
Syrian jet entered Israeli airspace?
If they think, it was just mistaken navigation in the heat of combat as it was carrying out an operation against a group there, then perhaps there
won't be any further escalation.
The other question is, and this is also difficult to know is what role did the Russians play here? And do they essentially felt both sides knocked it
off and let this one be over.
GORANI: Oren Liebermann, thanks very much reporting live.
Still to come tonight, imagine this heading for your home, for villagers in Greenland, that is exactly what is happening. The vast iceberg threatening
a way of life next.
Plus, this --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN: It felt like a party and it felt like progress have been made (inaudible).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Elton John opens about many things, the royal wedding as well as his work fighting AIDS. Our interview with the pop legend coming up.
GORANI: Now, giant icebergs like the ones you see behind me and the ones we are showing you on your screen now are an incredible site. And for
residents in a remote fishing village in Greenland, a common one. But this particular iceberg is heading their way and they are worried obviously
about the possible consequences.
Phil Black is in Western Greenland with more -- Phil.
[15:15:06] PHIL BLACK, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hala, you can see the icebergs towering over this remote community. Monster icebergs
like this are not incumbent in these waters, especially at this time of year. But the danger here is the proximity, it's grounded on the seafloor
so close to this remove village. And the people here know the incredible power that is released when an iceberg like this breaks up suddenly.
BLACK (voice-over): Very few people get to see this, the beautiful hazardous water of Greenland's west coast, a place where icebergs are often
vastly larger than any ship trying to avoid them.
FRANK EDLEFSON, COMMANDING OFFICER, DANISH NAVY: A lot of big icebergs in this area as you can see.
BLACK (on camera): When we say big, they're enormous.
EDLEFSON: They are enormous, yes.
BLACK (voice-over): We have traveled with the Danish Navy to see this one giant mountain of ice. You can see the iceberg's awesome mass above and
below the water as it sits right next to the isolated village of Innaarsuit.
(on camera): Just moments ago, this is where a large part of the iceberg carved off into the sea. At first impression it looks really big and
intimidating, solid and unmoving, wedge tied on the sea floor.
But all over the surface you can see cracks and crevices, weak points that have the potential to split. And if they do, suddenly you can see the
dramatic break up of this iceberg would be a hugely violent event.
(voice-over): We go ashore in the twilight gloom that is a summer's night here. From almost every angle the iceberg looms over this community.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's beautiful.
BLACK (on camera): Beautiful?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
BLACK: Why is it beautiful?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have many like this in summers, but it seems bigger than the others.
BLACK (voice-over): Bigger and most dangerously it's closer. If the iceberg breaks or rolls, it would send tsunami like waves towards these
people. In a new day's arctic sunshine, the iceberg is a brilliant white.
From the shoreline, you can hear and see the ice changing and approaching its end. Hans Matias Christenson has lived in Innaarsuit for 52 years.
Like almost every man here he fishes, hunts seals and whales and polar bears in winter, and he knows icebergs.
He tells me his father told him grounded icebergs are the most dangerous because they eventually break. He's seen them destroy boats and he knows
there will be huge waves from this one. The people here felt some relief when the iceberg moved a little beyond their harbor and they hope higher
sea levels from the next full moon will allow it to lift off the bottom and float away.
If it doesn't, it will eventually become unstable like this, another massive iceberg we could see from Innaarsuit. We sped up the video to show
the incredible power as it rolls in the water. Scientists say the glaciers in this specific region of Greenland have long been known producing big
There is no known link to climate change. The people of Innaarsuit know how to endure the challenges of living in the arctic. One key rule hard
learned by generations, they must keep their distance from the unpredictable frozen giants they share these waters with.
BLACK: So, Hala, all big icebergs here melt slowly, weaken overtime and eventually break up or roll over. The key question is where will this one
be when that happens? If it doesn't drift away on the next full moon, the people here can only hope it breaks up slowly overtime in such a way that
it doesn't do any damage.
But in a worst-case scenario, a dramatic movement or break or roll, the people here might hear a loud noise and crack or a bang, something very
much like artillery fire and then they wouldn't have very long to run to higher ground as the iceberg has big, powerful waves heading towards them -
GORANI: Phil Black in Greenland, thanks very much.
Now in addition to icebergs in Greenland and wildfires in Greece, much of the planet is experiencing record temperatures this summer including right
here in the U.K. So, what is going on? Is it a blip? Is it a trend?
Dr. Michael Byrne is a climate scientist at Imperial College London and he joins me now. So, what is happening in Europe?
MICHAEL BYRNE, CLIMATE SCIENTIST, IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON: So, what we are seeing in the U.K., for example, is most severe heatwave we've had since
1976. We believe that these heat waves are becoming more likely and more intense because of climate change.
[15:20:08] So, since the pre-industrial times, global average temperature has increased by 1 degree Celsius and increases are likely (inaudible) of
the heatwaves that are experienced across the northern hemisphere.
GORANI: And is that caused by human kind?
BYRNE: We believe that it is. So, we believe that 75 percent of the heat waves occurring in the present-day climate can be attributed to the global
warming that's occurred because human emissions of greenhouse gases.
GORANI: So, what can we do to reverse it?
BYRNE: Well, what we need to do is to stop and to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases, but we need to do it quickly because our climate model
suggests as we go into the future, the likelihood of these very intense heatwaves will increase very rapidly.
GORANI: You're seeing the globe here a map with the above average temperatures and there are many parts of the world that are highlighted in
BYRNE: That's right. So, that's one of the indications that this is linked to climate change. So, in 1976, we have two thirds less of a
temperature rise, but we still had a heat wave. But seeing these heat waves occurring all across the northern hemisphere is a strong indication
that this is due to climate change.
GORANI: Now, there is a map that the met office here in the U.K. released showing the U.K. in May and then after weeks of seemingly endless drought
because it has not rained in so long and you see it on the left there and it is green. And on the right just a few weeks later, in July 2018, it's
gone brown, the whole country.
BYRNE: That's right. Well, that's what happens when you don't get any rainfall and this is serious for agriculture. It's going to impact
agriculture yields and it also makes wildfires more likely, such as what we've seen in Greece tragically over the last few days.
GORANI: What does it do, for instance, if a country like the United States withdrawing from the Paris Accord, what impact does that have on everyone's
attempt to try to control this trend, this warming of the planet?
BYRNE: Well, that's symbolic on one sense because the U.S. emits more carbon dioxide per person than any other country in the world, but they are
also huge emitters. If the U.S. aren't going to step up and reduce their emissions, it makes it difficult for the world to deal with on the climate
change that is happening right now.
GORANI: And if the warming of temperatures, climate change and the rising temperatures, is that also, and I don't know, you may -- we may not know if
it is necessary, but that could cause more severe weather? You know, whether it is massive rainfall or tornadoes, or that type of thing?
GORANI: And are we seeing that already?
BYRNE: We are seeing definitely right now we are seeing for heat waves and we also expect more severe rainstorms will happen because of climate
GORANI: So, we're seeing a map there. The deniers and I don't think anyone is denying that the temperatures are warmer, but the climate change
deniers essentially what they are saying is we do not know that it is man- made. We just know it's happening. Trends like this have come and gone in human history. How can we know that this is necessarily linked to what we
BYRNE: Well, so we --
GORANI: How do you measure that?
BYRNE: So, what we do is we combine our understanding of how the climate works, but very advanced computer simulations of how the climate works and
combining those two things gives a lot of confidence about what's happening is unusual and is not natural.
GORANI: But what's the disaster scenario? I mean, some people might look at this and say, it's already happening. By the way, the tornadoes, the
crazy weather, the U.K., no rain for I don't know how long and crops dying and drying out and fire is in Greece. We're already in it. How much worse
could it get?
BYRNE: Well, it depends what effect you want to look at. So, let's take heat waves. So, the heat wave of 2003 in Continental Europe caused about
20,000 premature deaths and in the U.K. alone it caused 2,000 premature deaths. So, to me, that's a catastrophic impact of climate change that is
only going to get worse over the coming decades.
GORANI: So, you might see a situation -- and by the way, these numbers are not widely known. I mean, I remember that heatwave, but I did not realize
that we were talking tens of thousands of people prematurely dying.
So, therefore, we could look at a scenario where the more the temperatures rise, and these countries like the U.K. are not necessarily prepared and
ready to deal with this type of heat unlike other parts of the world where you could see that type of death toll on a regular basis.
BYRNE: Absolutely. There are suggestions that parts of the world will become uninhabitable because it will be too hot for humans to cool
GORANI: For instance, the gulf in the Middle East?
GORANI: That kind of thing. So, we talked about what can be done to reverse it, but I mean, beyond limiting consumption of these nonrenewable
[15:25:14] Is that all that we can do?
BYRNE: Well, then it becomes a question of adaptations. If we can't reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases, we need to adopt and that, of
course, takes technology and takes money. So, some countries are going to be able to adopt. So, for example, putting in air-conditioners in U.K.
homes, for example, but that's going to emit more greenhouse gas. So, it could make the problem worse.
GORANI: And this leads -- this is off topic, and we've discussed this with many of our experts on parts of the world like in Africa or other poor
parts of the Middle East, or in Asia, where this leads to parts of the world if they're inhabitable and it becomes impossible to grow crops and
eat where you have such a disparity in wealth and the ability to make a living. Certainly, something that could arise?
Well, Dr. Michael Byrne, thank you so much for joining us. We're going to continue to keep our eye on the U.K. There is no forecast -- next 10 days.
BYRNE: So, it's looks like this could keep going for next two weeks judging where the forecast we have seen today.
GORANI: It's unbelievable. I've lived in the U.K. 12 years, 13 years, I've never said anything like it. It is very unusual. Dr. Byrne, thank
you very much.
BYRNE: Thank you.
GORANI: Still to come this evening, Donald Trump is well known for dismissing news reports he doesn't like as fake. But now, he's
contradicting something Vladimir Putin said in front of the entire world. We're live in Washington with the details.
And a big announcement from Ivanka Trump, we'll tell you what it is after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Putin, did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Yes, I did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: There you have it right from Vladimir Putin's mouth. Unequivocal confirmation that Russia wanted Donald Trump in the White House. The whole
world heard that statement at the Helsinki Summit last week.
And yet, today, we are explicitly seeing this tweet from Donald Trump, "I'm very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on
the upcoming election, based on the fact that no president has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They
definitely don't want Trump."
Let's bring in Jeremy Diamond live at the White House. So, what should we make of this Donald Trump tweet?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Hala, I think there is two key points to look at here with this tweet. The first is, as you pointed
out, kind of the confusing notion here that the president is suggesting that Russia would be trying to help Democrats in the 2018 midterm
elections. The only evidence that the president offered to back up that claim is his suggestion that he has been tougher on Russia than any
previous U.S. president. A contention that I think a lot of his critics would disagree with, of course.
But the second point here is that this has really the firmest indication that we've gotten yet from this president acknowledging that Russia is
still trying to interfere in the U.S. democratic process.
Just last week, the president said no when he was asked whether he thought Russia was still a threat in the 2018 midterms, something that press
secretary later walked back. But even when he was asked in an interview after that about Dan Coats' assessment of these blinking lights and that
the Russian threat is still ongoing, the president demurred saying essentially that, listen, Dan Coats says that, sure. But it was by no
means a confidence suggestion, you know, assessment that Russia is indeed interfering. And so here it seems like the president is conceding that
Russia is still trying to influence the U.S. elections particularly, the 2018 midterms. But again, tail ending that is the suggestion that they are
trying to help Democrats and it's unclear if the president actually has any evidence of that. Frankly, it's probably unlikely.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: He didn't produce any evidence and this is something to do what? To divert attention from the allegations
that the Russians helped potentially the Trump campaign that this is under investigation. But also, the words that Vladimir Putin himself uttered in
Helsinki. When asked directly, did you want Donald Trump to win? He said, yes.
DIAMOND: That's right. Absolutely. Unequivocally, the Russian president made clear that in 2016, his preference was Donald Trump. Now, could that
have change now? Could he now be supporting Democrats? We know that Russians ultimately are trying to sow civil issues and controversy in U.S.
politics regardless of republican or Democrat. They did clearly develop a preference for Donald Trump who was much less tougher in his rhetoric on
Russia than Hillary Clinton was. And that is why Vladimir Putin said that he felt Trump should win. We don't know what they are moving on doing in
the 2018 midterms if they're supporting one party over another. But the president's suggestion today doesn't seem to be based on much evidence, at
least none that he's produced thus far.
GORANI: What's the latest on Sarah Sanders' statement about the president considering removing the security clearances of former intelligence
officials in Washington?
DIAMOND: As of now, there's no update from the White House. They've said that the president is considering this seriously. But it's continuing to
make waves in Washington, of course. I mean, the house speaker -- the speaker of the house, rather, Paul Ryan, said earlier today that he felt
that the president was simply trolling the American public on this. There's been much more serious reaction from other folks on both sides of
the aisle. A thing that they were concerned by the president's suggestion of this. Something that would be a pretty unprecedented use of his
presidential power to go after his political critics.
GORANI: This has not happened before, right? No president has done this before where -- I mean, removing security clearances and privileges of
people with whom he disagrees politically or people who he perceives as having insulted or been disloyal to him.
DIAMOND: Right. There's no indication that a president has previously used this power over the security clearance system to go after his critics.
I mean, Michael Flynn, he was one of the president's surrogates during the 2016 campaign. His subsequent national security advisor. He was talking
about locking Hilary Clinton up and going after President Obama during the campaign. He still maintains his security clearance during that time.
Again, this is kind of a courtesy extended to form a national security officials.
GORANI: Jeremy Diamond, thanks very much, live at the White House.
There is news about Ivanka Trump today. The president's daughter has decided to shut down her fashion company to pursue a career in public
policy instead. She issued a statement reading in part, "After 17 months in Washington, I do not know when or if I will ever return to the business.
But I do know that my focus for the foreseeable future will be the work I'm doing here in Washington. So making this decision now is the only fair
outcome for my team and partners.
President Trump is signaling that North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, is making good on one of his promises from last month's summit. Mr. Trump
says images show that Pyongyang is indeed dismantling a key missile launch site. And he quote, "Appreciates that."
CNN's Will Ripley walks us through the images.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The analyst at 38 North say these images were taken just in the last couple of days, which means that the work to
dismantle the Sohae Satellite launch site relatively recent. International experts are not being allowed on the ground to verify exactly what's
happening, but we do have an animation which gives us a general idea of what the six square kilometer site looks like, of course, the centerpiece
right there where North Korea first launch a satellite into orbit back in 2012.
[15:35:05] It was actually that launch just months after a denuclearization agreement was negotiated with the Obama administration. Well, that
agreement was scuttled because North Korea launched this satellite into orbit. They claimed it was for peaceful purposes, but United States
military intelligence said this type of ballistic missile technology could put a satellite up and could also put a warhead off a warhead that could
potentially threaten the mainland U.S.
But even a few years ago in 2015, when I interviewed North Korea's satellite scientist, they instead the work they were doing was peaceful.
What can you say to the world to prove that this is not a ballistic missile program in the sky?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Why on Earth would we drop nuclear bombs on the people of the world, including the United States?
RIPLEY: Of course we know since then, North Korea has threatened to drop nuclear bombs on the U.S. many times. Now, one important thing to know,
the work that they were doing at Sohae involves liquid fuel technology. The missiles had to be rolled out. They sat on the launch pad for quite
some time, very visible to spy satellites. And North Korea has since moved on to solid fuel ballistic missile technology. Those are the kind of
missiles that we've seen rolled out on those mobile missile launchers. Missile launchers that can be rolled out very little notice and those
ballistic missiles also with a very long range potentially threatening the mainland U.S.
So this liquid fuel technology, North Korea is kind of move past that which is why experts say that even though it's significant and symbolic at the
Sohae launch site is being dismantled, it is purely one small first step on a very long road to denuclearization for North Korea.
Will Ripley, CNN, Hong Kong.
GORANI: Thanks to will.
Security and corruption are in the minds of Pakistani voters as they prepared to start casting ballots. Polls in parliamentary elections open
in a few hours. As Kristie Lu Stout explains the tight race looks promising for the country's most famous cricketer.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For the first time, since he left sport for politics, Imran Khan believes he could be on cusp of victory.
Pakistan's election is imminent and his movement for justice is now neck and neck with the ruling party in the polls.
IMRAN KHAN, CHAIRMAN, PAKISTAN MOVEMENT OF JUSTICE: I'm hopeful. I'm confident. But still, you know, the match is not over until the last ball
STOUT: The cricket star is running against two families who have dominated Pakistani politics for decades. His main rival, the PMLN is the party of
Nawaz Sharif. He has been prime minister three times, but is now in jail on corruption charges, leaving his brother Shehbaz Sharif at the wheel.
Trailing in third is the PPP led by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. His mother, Benazir was the country's first female leader, assassinated on the campaign
trail. But at age 29, he is a political novice and his family's popularity is waning.
ZAHID HUSSAIN, PAKISTANI JOURNALIST: Imran, after 18 year being in the fringes of Pakistani politics, he's now smelling victory, and that is
probably his last chance.
STOUT: Khan began his journey into politics more than two decades ago. He was already a national hero. One of the greatest cricket players in history
who led Pakistan to its first and only World Cup victory in 1992.
Four years later, he entered politics. His promise, an end to corruption amongst the country's ruling elite. In 2013, his center right party won
the second largest share of the vote. And today, his hard line on political wrongdoing is resonating with even more voters.
I will prove to you that we can have a government here in which neither a corrupt prime minister, nor a minister, will go scot-free, he says. But
there are rumors the military is intervening to back his bid. Claims he and the generals deny.
Allegations of military interference have dogged this campaign. Politicians and journalists say they have been threatened. Nawaz Sharif is casting his
10-year jail sentence for corruption as part of a conspiracy to keep his party from office.
And to add to the tension, a spate of bombings at political rallies, including a suicide attack that killed at least 149 people. All this casts
a shadow over what should be a milestone in this country's history, only the second time that one civilian government has handed over power to
Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.
GORANI: Their terrifying ordeal and miraculous rescue captivated us all. Now, the young Thai football players who were trapped in a cave are taking
a dramatic step to honor a diver that was killed in their rescue operation. Eleven of the boys and their coach will live s novice monks for a short
time. They'll stay in a Buddhist temple for nine days in memory of the Thai navy seal who died and also to give thanks for their safe return. The
12th member of the team is Christian. He participated in a church ceremony instead.
[15:40:00] Still to come tonight, nobody needs to die anymore. That is the message from Elton John on his latest billion dollar project to fight HIV.
More on that as we sit down with the pop legend after the break.
GORANI: There are few people in the world with as much star power as Elton John. And with Prince Harry, the two have joined forces to bring attention
to an issue they are both passionate about. Today, the pair announced the launch of a new billion dollar project aimed at protecting men living with
or at risk of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. Elton John has been at the forefront of AIDS campaigning since the 90s and he did so along, you'll
remember, if you're old enough, Prince Harry's mother, Princess Diana.
My colleague Max Foster got the chance to sit down with Sir Elton and his husband and started by asking what keeps them motivated to solve this issue
after so many years.
ELTON JOHN, ENGLISH SINGER: Because of the people we lost in the beginning. So they didn't die in vain for nothing. And because of my
inactivity during the 80s and because of my drug use and I didn't do that much when I got sober 1990, I decided to do something. And when you do
make progress, we saw that -- I saw that in a blank to it, two people over kitchen table and delivering mails and that's 26 years ago. And we've come
so far. And the frustrating part is now we have come so far. No diseases had scientific progress like this diseases. It's just amazing. People who
are dying, who got their life back. They've got their jobs back. They have a future. Nobody needs to dilate anymore.
DAVID FURNISH, CHAIRMAN ELTON JOHN AIDS FOUNDATION: We also do it because we can. I mean, we feel very blessed as a couple. We've lived our lives
very openly. We were profoundly affected by the people we lost from the disease. But as a gay couple, we receive a lot of support from society.
Elton's music and the people that he reaches with his music. It has a way of uniting and bringing people together.
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I need to ask you about the kids, because I've got kids, and your whole outlet changes, doesn't it? Once you
have kids. So, how much of this part of your work gets to do with your kids?
FURNISH: Well, it's anything we can do to make the world a better place. And I think a key pillar in our -- in our raising our children is the
importance of helping others. It's in our family DNA. And again, we're very lucky, we live a blessed lives and we're in a position to support and
help other people. To not do that, I think is obscene. So we're very, very passionate about it. The children are here with us in Amsterdam. We
told them what we're doing and why we're here. They don't understand the specifics of AIDS other than they really understand it's a disease where
people need support and you help them. We're getting as much help as we can and they're really proud of that.
FOSTER: I don't want to pry, but what are the conversations do you have with them to talk about AIDS and HIV and then it shows the personal
connections you've had over the years?
[15:45:01] JOHN: We just have a big event at our house which we do normally every summer, to raise money for AIDS. And they are part of that
now. If they come out and before they go to bed and they're on the lawn, they say hello to people. And so we explain to them why we're doing it and
why we have to raise money and where it goes. They have their own little bank accounts. They have -- we'll get money which they give to have
savings, charity, and spend their money. And so they are aware of -- it's important at an early age to know that you have to give back in life.
FOSTER: Briefly on the parenting, you're also going on your last tour. Is this about spending more time to kids and talking about these types of
JOHN: I've been in music all my life now. I've loved it. It's given me so much, gave me everything. Been in the vans since I was 16 traveling on
the motorways and I've had an amazing life. But then the children came along later in our lives and changed the whole perspective of our lives,
which is one fully came along at the right time. And by the time I finish 74, and I just want to hopefully, if I'm still alive and so well and I
should, I've had -- music's given me everything, but I should prefer my kids to music.
FOSTER: On one of your statements about the LGBT fund, it's part funded by PEPFAR which is the U.S. president's funding for work ground AIDS and HIV,
you're aware of course.
JOHN: President Bush is a Republican.
FOSTER: Yes, he started it off.
JOHN: Yes, he started it off.
FOSTER: And Donald Trump try to reduce funding massively. It's going to be hundreds of millions of dollars.
FURNISH: There's been no changes to PEPFAR yet. And I think the thing that I think really helps PEPFAR and keeps PEPFAR alive is, you know, it
was started under President Bush. And it is one of the last few surviving non-partisan programs. And I think when we're looking at all the
challenges in the world today, HIV/AIDS and PEPFAR is a really good example. If we do pull together, to put our differences aside, Republicans
and Democrats started under Republican regime continued under a democratic regime, at the moment it's continuing under the current Republican regime.
If we do pull together, we can make amazing things happen in the world. It doesn't have to be us and them.
JOHN: Unfortunately, the world has become too us and them at the moment. As David said, this is a bipartisan thing and the results are spectacular.
FOSTER: You're being very diplomatic about it. But you'll be aware at President Trump's fascination with you talk about how he gets big crowds
like you, the rocket man.
JOHN: He's always come to my shows in the past when I've done Madison Square Garden. He's a fan.
FOSTER: But from my point of view, coming to this, of all the people saying to me, this is a guy that has influence over Donald Trump because
he's fascinated by you. Have you ever been tempted to use that influence?
JOHN: I don't know I have much influence on the president of the United States. There may come a time -- there may come a time when we need to
discuss something of AIDS. That time hasn't come up because PEPFAR, as David say, is an existent.
FURNISH: We're not Americans, so we can't sit on the sidelines and take part shots in another government. That's not very productive or helpful.
But if we see changes in the healthcare landscape, that we think are going to have set us back in the fight against HIV/AIDS, which is what we care
dedicated and what we know, then that's the time you pick up the phone and that's the time you --
JOHN: You can't take your foot off the accelerator. The accelerator is going towards ending AIDS. It's hitting a few bumps on the road and a lot
of pot hold, but we're still advancing. That accelerator has to keep going. And maybe he could be the president of the United States that ends
AIDS altogether. Why not?
FOSTER: He's also a collaborator (INAUDIBLE) of course, but relationships are doing your work with Diana, Princess of Wales. What would you -- what
do you think she would have thought about the progress in the course since she --
JOHN: I think she will be delighted. , I think she would have made a huge difference if she had been still alive. We'd probably come a lot further
as well. She has an ability to charm anyone. I mean, President Trump, Ho Chi Minh (ph), the guy from North Korea, you name it. She can charm the
pants of anybody. The guy in (INAUDIBLE), you name it. She's the one.
And Prince Harry has -- well, the Duke of Sussex, rather now, has inherited his mother's ability to do that, which is an amazing asset that we have
now, because he's very passionate about it.
FURNISH: He also reaches young people. He's reaches younger people in a way that we can't and his connections are the commonwealth and parts of
Africa and the developing world where a lot of these old British anti-LGBT laws are still on the books. That's where he can have a real impact to
make a difference.
FOSTER: And just a thought. We talked about (INAUDIBLE) campaign. You both promoted that. It's been a lot of talks since the royal wedding about
how that showed the best side of British diversity. Did it feel historic when you were there?
[15:50:59] JOHN: It was very, very wonderful to be that to have a black gospel choir, a multiracial bride, a black (INAUDIBLE) who is wonderful, a
preacher. It felt like a party. And it felt like progress have been made. Thank God.
FOSTER: Do you think it was historic?
JOHN: Oh, absolutely. Are you kidding me? Yes, of course. Look, you go back and you watch the crown and things like that in the 50s, Princess
Margaret wasn't allowed to get married, because he was divorced. And look at how we come in that respect. I think the queen have a lot to do with
it. I think she's been magnificent and it was a wonderful thing to be at. And to be at the first multiracial royal wedding in Britain. Amazing.
GORANI: Elton John, the pop legend there sitting down with Max Foster and David Furnish, his husband. Don't forget you can check all the latest
news, interviews and analysis from the show online at facebook.com/halagoranicnn. And check out my Twitter feed as well,
@HalaGorani, why don't you?
More to come, a lot more in the program. We'll be right back. Stay with us.
GORANI: It is the seventh largest country in the world, I'm talking about India, of course. Now, two sisters based in Delhi are hoping to make
exploring the country's diverse landscape just a bit easier. Especially for female travelers. Take a look.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the city of Mussoorie, known as the Queen of Hills, is a gateway to the Himalayas.
Many hikers come here to start treks in the region. Hikers like sisters Prachi and Himadri Garg.
PRACHI GARG, INDIAN AUTHOR AND TRAVELER: The beauty like in the place of great calm, quite, serene and it's all surrounded by forest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The two have defied conventional wisdom. Proving female travel in India can be safe as well as exhilarating.
GARG: So over the period of time, all the people who are near in (INAUDIBLE), they started saying to me that, do you have views on the
(INAUDIBLE) because every time we speak to you, so you are somewhere on the other places traveling.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And when friends became envious of their adventures, they decided to turn a hobby into a career, taking over with them along for
the ride. Then became the Ghoomophiro sisters, which in Hindi fittingly means to roam around.
GARG: We see a new unexplored places. We do not roam around the places which are typical tourist places. Instead we explore the unexplored part
[15:55:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On this day, they're exploring the hills above the city.
HIMADRI GARG, SISTER OF PRACHI GARG: Every time we come to explore new places, new place to eat, and more people -- all kinds of different people
living down here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Meeting new people testing their limits and encouraging others to do the same has become a mission for the Ghoomophiro sisters.
Especially when it comes to other women. They now host female-only trips, run by women, for women.
PRACHI GRAG: We try to have as many females as we can during the entire tour. For example, we try to have to have drive -- well, we try to have
the trek guide and we try to have a next release. We tried to have the female-only. So that they get more comfortable.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Putting themselves and others outside their comfort zones, showing everyone a different side of India. One step at a time.
GORANI: Now, from the Tour de France to the Tour de Farce. The world's most prestigious cycling race was temporarily halted today, after some
cyclists were accidentally sprayed with tear gas by police. Now, intended targets would not be professional cyclists, obviously. They were
protesting local farmers who glade bales of hay on the cyclists' path. It took about 15 minutes for the riders to be treated before the race was
restarted. But that gust of wind blew the tear gas right in their faces.
Now, usually, the news is full of doom and gloom. I don't have to tell you that. So we thought we'd leave you with something to put a smile on your
face. And what better to do -- better to do that them, baby panther cubs. These cute little guys are in the Royal Burgers' Zoo in the Netherlands.
And they showed two Sri Lanka panther cubs and their mother. They were born at the zoo in May. I don't think it is possible be cuter than those
little guys. So it'd be better if they were in the wild, wouldn't it?
Anyway, we're going to have a lot more news, of course, after this break, especially with the very latest on these Greek wildfires. Dozens of people
have been killed and there is still large parts of Greece in flames. So do stay tuned to CNN for that.
I'm Hala Gorani, thanks for watching the program this evening. Catch me @HalaGorani. Stay with CNN. On the other side of this break, "QUEST MEANS
BUSINESS" is next.