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U.S. and Mexico Reach Migration Deal; G20 Leaders in Japan to Discuss Trade Wars; Tariffs and Floods Distress American Farmers; U.K. Marks Queen's 93rd Birthday; Notre Dame Fire Aftermath of Lead Exposure. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired June 08, 2019 - 05:00   ET




NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The U.S. and Mexico make a deal on immigration and border policy and President Trump calls off his threat to impose tariffs.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Plus, take a look at this near collision between U.S. Navy and Russian warships. Experts say this is no accident.

ALLEN (voice-over): Also this hour, Queen Elizabeth celebrating her official birthday, we're live outside of Buckingham Palace.

HOWELL (voice-over): Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm George Howell.

ALLEN (voice-over): Thanks for being with us. I'm Natalie Allen, NEWSROOM starts right now.


ALLEN: After pushback from many in his own party and warnings about the effect on the U.S. economy, President Trump's threat to impose tariffs on Mexico is over for now.

HOWELL: That's right. Mr. Trump announced in a tweet that negotiators reached a deal to avoid duty on all products imported from Mexico. He said the tariffs that were set to go into effect Monday, those tariffs have been suspended.

ALLEN: On the deal, here are the highlights. Mexico said it will take unprecedented steps to curb illegal migration. To do that it will use its national guard, focusing on the border with Guatemala.

It will also take action to dismantle human trafficking networks. And asylum seekers entering the U.S. will be sent back to Mexico to wait while their claim is processed.

HOWELL: In a statement, the U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo says the United States looks forward to working with Mexico on its commitments. Both countries say they will work to build a more prosperous and secure Central America to address the root cause of migration.

ALLEN: CNN's Rafael Romo has more details on the agreement.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SR. LATIN AFFAIRS EDITOR: Under the agreement Mexico will be taking what the U.S. State Department called unprecedented steps, beginning with enforcement of its own immigration laws, representing what could become a drastic break with the recent past.

Mexican foreign secretary Marcelo Ebrard said that his country will significantly increase its efforts to apply the Mexican law with the purpose of reducing what it called "irregular migration."

In practical terms this means that Mexico, as CNN previously reported, will deploy as many as 6,000 members of its national guard to its border with Guatemala for immigration enforcement.

Also under the agreement, Mexico will become a waiting room of sorts. Asylum seekers that cross into the United States will immediately be sent to Mexico, where they will wait for their cases to be adjudicated. Secretary Ebrard said that he was satisfied with the result of the negotiations.


MARCELO EBRARD, MEXICAN FOREIGN MINISTER: I think it's a fair balance because they have more drastic measures and proposals at the start and we have reached some middle point. For instance, they accept to support the program that Mexico proposed in Central America.

ROMO (voice-over): Earlier Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had said in Los Cabos, Mexico, that his government didn't want a confrontation with the U.S. government.


ROMO: He also said Mexico would like to keep on being friends of the American people -- Rafael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.



HOWELL: Let's talk more about this now with James Boys, an author and political analyst, joining us this hour from London.

Good to have you this morning, James.


HOWELL: A week ago, President Trump used the threat of tariffs on immigration. Both sides have moved on the issue.

The question here, did this threat of tariffs work, in your view?

BOYS: Well, it's interesting, isn't it, because just a few days ago, Donald Trump was suggesting that there hadn't been enough movement with regard to these negotiations, which were taking place while he was over here in London, and that the tariffs would be produced on schedule on Monday.

Now here we are and that threat has apparently been withdrawn. So I think, from the White House point of view, they will say that this was a stick that was used to basically beat some concessions out of Mexico.

You heard there in the package, the Mexican side of things seem to be quite pleased with the reciprocal nature of this relationship. So as with all negotiations, what you want are both sides coming out claiming some degree of victory. And that seems to be where we are at the moment, I think.

HOWELL: This is, as we know, is a president who takes a very transactional approach to U.S. political; rather, geopolitics, an unconventional approach with --


HOWELL: -- tariffs.

But if it can be argued that tariffs worked here, do you think we'll see the use of tariffs again on other problems, geopolitical problems, political problems that the president wants to take on?

BOYS: I think we already are. We've seen how tariffs have been used with regard to negotiations with China, with India, with the European Union. So this is clearly a tactic that President Trump feels is effective. He believes he'll see effects with.

We'll have to wait and see, I think most economists will tell you that tariffs imposed are bad for all sides and can lead to wider problems. One of those issues is the fact that, the last couple of weeks, we've seen surges of individuals trying to make it into the United States in an attempt to get across the border before the imposition of harsher restrictions.

We saw in May, for example, a 12-year high in arrests. The idea that Mexican organizations and American goods and companies in Mexico were desperate to try to get their stocks across the Mexican border ahead of the imposition of these tariffs.

So there's no doubt from the White House point of view they see a victory here. But it's also important to note, I think, they're also saying we're going to withhold the imposition of these tariffs and see what happens.

So the proof, I think, will be in the pudding, to see whether is any reduction in migrationary flows coming through the Mexico-U.S. border.

HOWELL: So a deal has been reached, Democrats here in the U.S., they are reacting, of course. Here's what the Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer had to say in a tweet.

"This is an historic night. @realDonaldTrump has announced that he has cut a deal to greatly reduce or eliminate illegal immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States."

He goes on to say, "Now that the problem is solved, I'm sure we won't be hearing any more about it in the future."

So the president on the hook with Democrats. He struck a deal.

Is it solved?

We'll have to see if he thinks it's solved here but that's going to be important for him politically, isn't it, come 2020?

BOYS: Well, Senator Schumer was somewhat facetious there in that tweet and playing Trump in his own game. But that's the nature of American politics in the age of Trump. Don't forget, Donald Trump campaigned as a candidate for president, promising to build the wall and to address the immigration situation and the migrationary flows across the American southern border.

Now if he achieves that, that will be a huge result. This is and should be a bipartisan issue and we've seen both Democrats and Republicans present ideas for how to address this situation. But nothing successfully coming together in a bipartisan fashion.

Maybe that's wishful thinking and too much to hope for moving to an election season as we are in the U.S. right now. But very clearly, I think what the White House will be doing is looking to the agreement and trying to tout as success and a demonstration of how President Trump brings his business acumen to international relations, to try to find a way over insurmountable odds.

Now whether that holds is going to be debatable. But the last thing this White House wanted was imposition of tariffs which were going to raise prices in an election year moving forward.

HOWELL: Clearly, neither side got what they really wanted, right?

The U.S. wanting everyone traveling through Mexico to claim asylum there first before been able to claim asylum in the United States. That's not what they got; instead, the U.S. agree to expand its program to return migrants to Mexico while their asylum claims are being processed.

Again, the U.S. didn't get exactly what it wanted but both sides did move here.

BOYS: Absolutely. Again, that's what you'd expect in any international negotiation. To be fair, you know, Donald Trump has been in London the last week. And we've been covering that heavily here. Many people have been talking about a potential trade deal with Great Britain. And fears that a behemoth United States would come in and swoop and get whatever it wants. Quite frankly, I think we've seen in the last 24 hours, as you rightly

remark there, that the United States does not get what it wants all the time. And in any negotiation, any sovereign country dealing with the United States has its own national interests at stake. And Mexico has its own position there.

Quite clearly, I think what the White House has done is to strike a deal that it can claim some degree of victory from, as well as Mexico. But it's important to remember that policy you that refer to, that remaining Mexico issue of returning migrants back to Mexico to be processed effectively, is being heavily challenged in the courts at this point. So we'll have to wait and see how effective that element of this deal is going to be in the short to medium term.

James Boys, we appreciate your time and perspective --


HOWELL: -- thank you.

BOYS: Thank you, George.


ALLEN: Well, the president returned from Europe Friday not to a warm welcome from Democrats. He returned to growing calls for an impeachment inquiry.

HOWELL: Mr. Trump's response, name calling and insults. And at the top of his list, a Democratic lawmaker who has become his nemesis. Our Manu Raju has more.


MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump continuing the assault he launched on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the graves of U.S. soldiers before him on the solemn 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, calling Pelosi a disgrace to herself and to her family.

TRUMP: I think she's a disgrace. I actually don't think she's a talented person. She's a nasty, vindictive, horrible person.

RAJU: The insults did not stop there.

TRUMP: I call her nervous Nancy. Nancy Pelosi is a disaster. OK? She's a disaster.

RAJU: Trump responding to Pelosi's private comments at a meeting in the Capitol this week, where, according to "Politico," she says she doesn't want to see Trump impeached, she wants him in prison.

TRUMP: And she made a statement. It was a horrible...

INGRAHAM: When you were overseas.

TRUMP: ... nasty, vicious statement while I'm overseas.

RAJU: But while she was in Normandy, Pelosi actually avoided criticizing the president publicly.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: I don't talk about the president when we're out of the country.

RAJU: Behind the scenes, the debate over whether to impeach the president has taken a new turn. CNN has learned House Judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler is pressing Pelosi to open up an impeachment inquiry, arguing it would bolster the Democrats' battles with the Trump administration in court.

In the same meeting where Pelosi said she wanted Trump in prison, Nadler said an impeachment inquiry would let his committee play the main role in investigating the president's conduct, freeing up other House panels to push forward on legislation instead.

But sources said he met resistance from Pelosi and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff. The divide evident this week when Nadler would not say if he and Pelosi are on the same page over mounting an inquiry.

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: When that decision has to be made, it will be made not by any one individual.

RAJU: Nadler is feeling growing pressure from members of his own committee and from 2020 candidates, amid White House defiance of their subpoena.

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): There's a growing sentiment that it's an intolerable situation.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I do believe that the Judiciary Committee in the House should go forward with an impeachment inquiry.

RAJU: And in the coming week, the House will take its first real step to try to enforce subpoenas that have so far not been complied with. The House will authorize the House Judiciary Committee to go to court to enforce a subpoena issued to Bill Barr, the attorney general, to turn over the unredacted Mueller report and the underlying evidence to that committee.

Also for Don McGahn to comply and turn over records the former White House counsel has not complied with, that subpoena under the instructions of the White House.

That same resolution that will be approved by the full House will authorize all committees to go to court directly, bypassing the full House in order to pursue any subpoenas that have not been complied with by this administration. Democrats say this is necessary. Republicans say this is overreach but it could lead to even more court fights than we've seen so far -- Manu Raju, CNN, Capitol Hill.


ALLEN: The world's finance leaders are meeting right now in southern Japan. Coming next here, we'll tell you about the issues they're discussing that could affect you.

HOWELL: Plus, farmers in the United States, first tariffs, now floods. You'll hear what one struggling farmer has to say about this. Stay with us.





HOWELL: A two-day meeting of the world's largest economies is presently underway in Japan. G20 finance ministers are expected to discuss trade wars, the slowing economy and the global tax system.

ALLEN: This comes as tensions are escalating between the two largest economies. We know who that is, the U.S. and China. Journalist Kaori Enjoji is in Tokyo, covering the story for us.

We know the trade war and slowing economies, much hanging over this meeting in Japan.

How is it getting going?

KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Well, Natalie, this is going to be one of the most contentious G20 finance meetings in recent memory. And this is because of the one meeting that everyone is waiting for. That is happening tomorrow and Sunday, between the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and his counterpart at the People's Bank of China. The two countries, U.S. and China, have not faced off in a month.

And a month ago, the talks broke down. The tariffs went into effect, China retaliated and now the U.S. is threatening more at the end of the month. This is a meeting that everyone wants to hear about.

But at the same time, this is a quandary for the G20. As the name suggests, it's a group of 20 countries, it's supposed to be a multilateral effort. So on the surface, everyone is saying it's not just about the U.S. and China. It's not a forum for bilateral discussion.

But at the end of the day, this is the risk that everyone is talking about.

Will they be able to avert further escalation in the trade war?

And everyone is saying the risks are increasing for economic growth globally. Very interesting timing that, as the finance ministers and the central banks of these 20 countries were about to sit down, the U.S. dropped the tariffs on Mexico. And the chair of this meeting, Japan, has said they welcome this move.

Although on the surface they say that this itself is not the entire point of the meeting, we all know in reality, I think that is going to be precisely the point.

And people are growing a little bit nervous as to whether or not they can provide a united front when they issue the communique on Sunday -- Natalie.

ALLEN: What are the other issues?

We know that they're discussing major, major corporations and how they're dealt with.

ENJOJI: That's right. I think taxation is going to be a big issue as well. There was a panel today on that very issue. We're talking about taxation loopholes that countries like France and Britain have been very vocal about. And companies like Google, Facebook, using countries like Ireland and Luxembourg that have very low taxation rates are trying to pay as few taxes as possible.

But I think there's growing consensus within the G20 that they need to close some of these loopholes and they're trying to put together some sort of consensus regarding that.

The U.S. has always said that may put unfair biases on some American companies because the names that keep popping up are ones like Google and Facebook. I don't think there will be a final blueprint on how to address this taxation issue but, you're right, this is one of the issues surrounding this meeting.

ALLEN: Kaori Enjoji, thank you so much.

HOWELL: Of those impacted the most by the trade war between United States and China, American farmers. Their incomes have been slashed dramatically, with China pulling back from buying U.S. products like soybeans.

ALLEN: Now some of those farmers have been hit with a double whammy, catastrophic flooding -- that means no crops this year. President Trump Thursday approving $19 billion in --


ALLEN: -- disaster aid but, for some, it's too late. CNN's Dan Simon is in the state of Missouri.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Where are we at this exact moment?

ADAM JONES, FARMER: We're directly over my field.

SIMON (voice-over): Adam Jones is a fourth generation family farmer. His fields, which would normally be sprouting corn and soybeans, have turned into lakes. SIMON: It's pretty amazing to think that you might be in a tractor today, you're in a boat?

JONES: Yes, and we're in four feet of water, so halfway up in the middle of the tractor. Yes, it's pretty surreal.

SIMON (voice-over): And the latest round of flooding, Jones says, has diminished any hope of a viable product for hundreds of farmers, many of whom had already been reeling from President Trump's trade war with China.

JONES: We're not going to make any money this year.

SIMON (voice-over): Located in the small town of Old Monroe north of St. Louis, Jones said that tariffs have already cut into his bottom line, with China slashing its purchase of American soybeans.

Though farmers have been promised government assistance, he doesn't know how much he might receive and the notion of a bailout wears on his pride.

JONES: Farmers don't want a bailout, we don't want government money, we just want a free market. Most farmers are still supporting President Trump but I think it's wearing out. The flooding is obviously more difficult. The tariffs might be more frustrating because somebody has control over the tariffs.

SIMON (voice-over): For now, his immediate concern is trying to save the house built by his grandparents. These pumps and a homemade floodwall have mainly kept it dry. He said the water won't fully recede until July. Too late, he says, for any planting.

JONES: You don't get your food from the grocery store. I mean, you can get it at the grocery store but we're out here working our tails off to grow it for you. And we're having a pretty tough time.

SIMON (voice-over): Yet he said most farmers wouldn't have it any other way.

JONES: Farming is a passion. It's what I love. I don't -- we don't farm for money. It's what I love. My dad does it and did it. My grandfather did it. My great-grandfather did it, right here on this land. I'm fourth generation on this farm. And I take pride in that. And I just have a passion for agriculture and -- unfortunately.

SIMON (voice-over): Dan Simon, CNN, Old Monroe, Missouri.


ALLEN: The month of May was one of the wettest months we've seen in the United States, taking a toll on farmers and the land.

HOWELL: That's right, on this World Oceans Day, we must also look at the Earth's water. The oceans threatened by change and by plastic pollution. Our Derek Van Dam explains what we can do about it.


DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: If you're anything like me, you love the oceans, you may associate it with a happy memory or a pleasant family vacation. You might believe that the ocean deserves its own day as well.

In fact, Saturday, June 8th is World Oceans Day but there's an overarching theme here. Our oceans are in trouble, over 320 million metric tons of plastic are produced each year. And a disturbing amount of that ends up in our oceans and in our seas.

We're talking about single use plastic, shopping bags, toothbrushes, water bottles, 5 trillion pieces found in our oceans, 8 million metric tons of plastic produced each year end up in our oceans. Some you see, some you can't. Those are known as microplastics.

We'll talk about why that's concerning in one second. There are oceans currents that ultimately catch our garbage and our plastic. You may have heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This thing is massive, 3.5 times the size of Sweden, more than three times the size of Spain, all circulating across the north Pacific Ocean. There are other ocean gyres circulating across the world's oceans that are collecting garbage, our plastic as well. So it's not only across the Pacific.

Why is this concerning?

Well, plastics degrade. They may not be seen physically with our own eyes but they are definitely present. That harms marine life. The plastic is consumed by fish and ultimately gets into our food chain. So it's not all doom and gloom.

What can you and I do to help for future generations?

Well, we need to reduce single use plastics from bottles, bags, straws, packaging and utensils. Back to you.


ALLEN: Toothbrush -- you name it. So much plastic, it's a problem.

The U.S. and Mexico reach a deal on migration. But there are questions about the specifics and if the agreement on asylum is even legal. We'll talk about it.

HOWELL: Plus this close call in the Pacific as warships from Russia and United States narrowly avoid a crash. How did it happen?




(MUSIC PLAYING) HOWELL: All right, welcome back to viewers here in the United States

and around the world, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from ATL, I'm George Howell.

ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our headlines.


HOWELL: U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported more arrests of migrants at the border in the month of May than any other time in the last 13 years.

ALLEN: CNN's Gary Tuchman is on the border.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What we witnessed and what you're about to see was chaotic, depressing, emotional and sad.

We spent part of the afternoon with agents from U.S. Border Patrol in a van with them as they patrolled the border near El Paso, Texas. And what we saw in a 60-minute span was them apprehend eight different family units, 25 people, most of them children.

Every five or 10 minutes people were coming out of the Rio Grande. The first person we saw was Juana. She was emaciated, 25 years old, with a 6-year-old son and a 9-month-old baby on her back. They were all hungry. They were all thirsty. And they were all sick.


TUCHMAN: She said she is very poor and she had to come from Guatemala because she had no money left and no means. She said she had heard in her town that people had got to the United States as long as they brought children with them but they got here safely. She was apprehended.

We also met Sandy from Honduras. She didn't come with any children. She's about to have a child. She's 8.5 months pregnant and she came all the way from Honduras in three weeks, taking buses, trains and walking to get to the United States.

She says that her husband and brother were both killed by gang members, she was afraid it was going to happen to her, too, that she had to leave and had to come here.

And then we met a man who brought his two sons. And after he was apprehended by Border Patrol, he started crying.

(Speaking Spanish).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Spanish).

TUCHMAN: Yes, "Tears of happiness," he says, that he made it with his son. He's very happy. And we saw that from many of the people, crying out of a sense of

relief, crying out of happiness when they arrived here and they realized that they were no longer on this journey.

Something very notable: the Rio Grande River is what separates Texas and the United States. The middle of the Rio Grande is the border. Here, it's relatively dry and people are able to walk across it on rocks.

When they walked across the river, they saw this huge 18-foot fence, which is about 1,000 feet to the north of the river. All of them said they thought they had to figure out a way to get over the fence. The Border Patrol said, no, you're already in the United States, you crossed the river. They were greatly relieved.

So this fence does nothing to stop people from entering the land of the United States.

One thing I can tell you is that these Border Patrol agents we worked with are very professional, they are very considerate, they are ambassadors to this country and they do a great job being ambassadors to these people, who've gone through an awful lot -- this is Gary Tuchman, CNN, in El Paso, Texas.



ALLEN: Joining me now to discuss this is Holly Cooper. She is the co-director of the Immigration Law Clinic at the University of California in Davis.

Holly, thanks so much for being with us.


ALLEN: First of all, the U.S. wanted Mexico to hear the asylum claims in Mexico. Instead they will still be heard in the U.S. But people will have to wait in Mexico.

Is that a reasonable compromise?

Is it workable?

COOPER: It is not. Currently what we're seeing is waiting times upward of November. So essentially with an immigrant who asks for political asylum, is forced to wait in a shelter or a halfway house in Mexico. And it is very difficult, as you can imagine, to cross the border, even just to find a lawyer that is willing to meet with individuals in Mexico, prepare their case in Mexico and then come back to the United States where their office is located.

So there is a lot of notice issues, a lot of immigrants are saying they are not getting notice of the hearings. The next court date for individuals recently apprehended will be in November. So you are talking about extraordinary obstacles that we're seeing. ALLEN: So if that were to be worked out, would it be legal to have Mexico step in and work on this?

COOPER: There are two issues. Mexico has its own asylum procedures. And the U.S. has its procedures where many individuals are being required to wait in Mexico. Mexican asylum seekers are very deficient. Very small numbers of people actually win asylum in Mexico. They are completely understaffed. Very few asylum officers in Mexico.

And the grant rates are also extremely low. And most individuals are coming through Mexico to get to the United States to apply for asylum rather than apply in Mexico.

ALLEN: So that is one area. The other area, another front, is stopping people in the first place from getting on to the U.S. So Mexico is sending troops to its southern border to try to curtail the massive migrant flow we're seeing from Central America.

Is this a tenable solution?

COOPER: We don't believe it is. Part of what is at issue is most immigrants, when they are migrating from Central America to the United States, consider Mexico to be one of the most dangerous parts of the journey.

Part of the reason for that is the Mexican government itself. Oftentimes immigrants have told me countless stories about how they are being robbed by immigration authorities. They are held in cells for long periods of time, they are not given the option to even apply for political asylum. And they are summarily deported.

And this is the very reason that U.S. probably wants to use Mexico as an instrument in our enforcement, is because it can bypass many of the constitutional legal protections that we have in this country.

So we don't believe it is a tenable solution and we think people should have the right under international law to seek asylum here in the United States.

ALLEN: So we see Mexico bending to the president, saying you have to do something. But what I hear you saying is an effort to engage Mexico in this unbelievable situation --


ALLEN: -- that Mexico very likely will not be a viable partner here.

COOPER: They have long been a partner of the United States immigration policy. It is just that they will ratchet up that cooperation here. We don't believe that they are a viable partner in part because of their enormous history of human rights abuse against migrants passing through Mexico.

ALLEN: So we're seeing the biggest number of asylum seekers in more than a decade. In the past, the U.S. has sent aid to the countries in Central America where these people are fleeing, to try to help these countries stabilize and stem violence.

What is happening that families are now coming by the thousands?

It is a problem at the border. They are overwhelmed. And Mexico is trying to help ameliorate this.

But what is happening that they are still coming?

COOPER: It depends on the country. In Guatemala, there is enormous food shortages. There is a real lack of infrastructure in those countries to stem the gang violence. In Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, as well, we are seeing enormous numbers of indigenous migrants who are suffering food shortages.

So a lot of people are coming here, seeking just, you know, protection in their lives. In addition just seeking the dignity of having access to food.

ALLEN: Immigration law expert Holly Cooper, we appreciate your insights and your expertise. Thank you for joining us.

COOPER: Thank you.


HOWELL: The United States and Russia are pointing the fingers at one another after two of their warships almost collided in the Pacific.

ALLEN: It was a close call, each side now accusing the other of making reckless maneuvers in the encounter. Here's CNN's Alex Marquardt.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A brazen challenge, this Russian destroyer, according to the U.S. Navy, coming within 100 feet of the U.S.S. Chancellorsville. The American sailors recording the latest potentially deadly provocation by the Russian military.

The incident taking place in international waters in the Philippine Sea, just south of the Japanese island of Okinawa. The Russian action came as the U.S. cruiser was trying to land a helicopter on its deck, giving it even less maneuverability than usual.

REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY (RET.), CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: You have to be on a set course and a set speed so that the winds across the deck are safe for the helicopter to land.

MARQUARDT (voice-over): Boxed in, the captain performs an emergency maneuver called an all engines back full.

KIRBY: You're basically throwing that ship into reverse while it's moving forward at 15 to 18 miles an hour, would be my guess. It's 10,000 tons of metal moving through the water. It's not going to stop quickly. And as the ship reacts to that order, as the propellers shift direction, the whole ship is going to shudder. MARQUARDT (voice-over): While the Russians blame the U.S. for the incident, this photo from above contradicts that, according to Navy officials who say that the wake curving behind the Russian ship on the left could only be created from a steep turn at high speed.

Today, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan saying he will protest the incident to Moscow.

PATRICK SHANAHAN, ACTING SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: The unsafe, unprofessional acts have certainly put our men and women at risk.

MARQUARDT (voice-over): The ships so close together that Russian sailors could even be seen onboard appearing to be sunbathing on the back of their ship despite the severity of their encounter.

The incident coming as Russian President Vladimir Putin hosts the Chinese President, Xi Jinping. The two enjoying a more leisurely boat ride in Saint Petersburg yesterday.

As the two countries grow friendlier, analysts say this latest incident could signal a new dimension to the Russian threat.

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: You're looking at the kinds of things that they can -- that they can do in concert with the Chinese to challenge the U.S. And if it means helping the Chinese out in the Pacific, they will do so.

MARQUARDT (voice-over): The near collision coming after two other tense interactions with the Russian military. Three days ago, the U.S. accused Russia of intercepting a U.S. aircraft three times in international air space over the Mediterranean Sea.

And last month, the U.S. intercepted Russian bombers and fighter jets in international air space off the coast of Alaska.

MARQUARDT: The U.S. ship had spotted the Russian destroyer in the area keeping its distance until this incident. Now, under international maritime law, ships are supposed to give each other much wider berth, around 1,000 yards and not interfere when a naval vessel is conducting flight operations as this American cruiser was -- Alex Marquardt, CNN.


HOWELL: Still ahead, in London, it's all about the 93rd birthday celebration of Queen Elizabeth. Live images from London at this hour. The country's biggest parade of military precision and a whole lot of --


HOWELL: -- fanfare. Stay with us.



ALLEN: Well, it's all about Queen Elizabeth right now. She's taking part this hour in one of the biggest royal bits in Britain, Trooping the Colour, the official celebration of her birthday. She turned 93 back in April.

HOWELL: Besides a parade of soldiers, horses and musicians, the national event features a military fly-by while the royal family watches from Buckingham Palace. The ceremony is usually held on the second Saturday of June. It's been a royal tradition for more than 260 years.

CNN producer Salma Abdelaziz is live outside of Buckingham Palace.

Salma, certainly, all eyes will be on the queen.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN PRODUCER: That's absolutely right, George. We're just moments away, we're hearing today that the queen and the royal procession is about to get out of Buckingham Palace. You can take a look behind me at what's happening at Buckingham Palace.

This is what starts the parade. This is the way the country celebrates the queen's birthday every year. Her birthday is actually in April. But for some 260 years now, the country has commemorated the monarch, celebrated the monarch with this parade, the Trooping the Colour parade.

And what we're going to see is the start of it. The queen, members of the royal family will come out by carriage. They will, of course, be followed by the household cavalry. That's seven regiments in the household cavalry. There are royal regiments. Those will follow the queen and her procession.

Behind them will be the nonroyal regiments. Of course --


ABDELAZIZ: -- they'll make their way down the mall. We're starting to see that procession coming out.

All eyes will be on the queen coming out, what royal family members will be wearing as well as the queen. They're making their way down the mall. There will be hundreds if not thousands of well-wishers on the streets, waving, greeting the queen, meeting members of the royal family, trying to get a glimpse of what they're wearing, what designers they have on.

That procession will make its way all the way down to the mall to the horse guard parade. This is a building near Whitehall, a short distance from here. As soon as she arrives, the queen will, of course, be given a royal salute. She will inspect her troops, a spectacular display, 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses, 400 musicians, all there to be inspected by the queen, all there to celebrate her birthday. And then the Trooping the Colour part of this parade will take place.

Trooping the Colour actually means to wave your flag, to wave the colors of your regiment. Every year there's a different regiment chosen. This year, it's the 1st Battalion of the Grenadier Guards. They're the ones trooping their flag in front of the queen, parading in front of the queen, as the musicians play.

Once that ceremony is over, once that pomp and circumstance has taken place, the queen and the royal family, that full parade, that full procession will make their way back down the mall, led by the queen, back down to Buckingham Palace, where she will receive a second royal salute.

We're seeing them coming out now. Take a look. They're wearing their traditional red tunics and their bearskin hats. We will have, all eyes on the queen to see what she's wearing. We see the Duchess of Cornwall, she's come out in a green uniform and a white hat.

We're going to look and see who else is coming out; all eyes will be on Duchess Kate as well. We are expecting Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, will be coming out as well. You see the royal family, waving and greeting well-wishers.

There's going to be hundreds if not thousands of people from all over the world here to see this ceremony. It's really the most royal of royal days in the country, really all the pomp and circumstance that you want to see.


HOWELL: Salma, just to let you know, I don't mean to interrupt, Salma, I believe we're looking right now at the queen in your live shot, the queen headed down to the mall, as you pointed out.

ABDELAZIZ: That's wonderful to hear, George. I'm so sorry, I can't see her. But I do see Duchess Kate. She's wearing a beautiful yellow form. I can't see the queen from where I'm standing. But I do see her carriage. I do wonder what she's wearing, George.

HOWELL: Natalie, it looks like --


HOWELL: -- she's wearing white.

I wanted to get confirmation here with Natalie. It looks white.

ABDELAZIZ: She's wearing white. And everyone will be looking to see -- oh, there she is, I can see her now in that carriage. Of course, her husband has retired from public service. So she's in that carriage on her own.

Everyone will try to get a glimpse of her in that carriage. In the '80s, the queen actually used to ride on horseback along with the guards. She's since now taken into this carriage. And she will be inspecting her guards when she makes her way to the horse guards parade.

So this is really the moment for the crowd. This is really the moment that the crowd gets to see the queen and the members of the royal family. This is why everybody woke up early to make it out to Buckingham Palace to get that one glimpse we're looking of the queen and her family, the members of the royal family.

The mall is full of flags, well-wishers cheering and waving. Some of them will have small flags to wave as well. Yes, it's something, a British ceremony that's for the country but it's also something that's recognized internationally.

So you'll see plenty of tourists from all over the world who are here, really, to get that glimpse of the queen, the royal family and see that pageantry in action. This is really British military pageantry at its best. You see all of the traditional uniforms there.

I'll be stepping away. Remember how spectacular of a ceremony this is and how involved this is --


ABDELAZIZ: -- 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses, 400 musicians, all gathered to celebrate the queen's birthday. Of course, she will be closely watching this. This is a day to impress the queen, to show the queen the training and the clear training that they've given to celebrate the queen's birthday, George.

HOWELL: What a fun moment, Salma. All of the detail that you explained as we were watching that. And I was just a little cautious because it looked like it was white. Maybe a shade of beige. I want do get it right.

ALLEN: All I know, she has a crown on top of her carriage.

ABDELAZIZ: I'm sure we'll have controversy over it.

ALLEN: Salma, thank you very much. We'll continue to follow this celebration of Queen Elizabeth's 93rd birthday. We'll be right back.





ALLEN: Well, the blackness of the Notre Dame Cathedral after the fire in Paris is more than a heartbreaking sight. It may also be posing a health hazard to people.

HOWELL: That's right, hundreds of tons of toxic lead melted in that fire. Our Cyril Vanier has this report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): On April 15th, a catastrophic fire --


VANIER (voice-over): -- engulfed Notre Dame, destroying its spire and much of its roof. The French environmental group Robin des Bois estimates the blaze melted more than 300 tons of lead from the cathedral's roof and steeple.

Now local health authorities are urging families to test pregnant women and children younger than 7 for exposure to lead. The regional health agency says this is only a precautionary move after a child in the area was found to have lead levels higher than normal standards.

Last month, businesses and health associations in neighborhoods surrounding Notre Dame raised concerns about lead contamination in the area. But the regional health agency says recent tests show there's no risk to air quality.

Still some high levels of lead have been found in the soil near the cathedral. Authorities say they have sealed off the affected areas and decontamination will begin soon.

They're also testing dust samples from homes near the cathedral. Exposure to high levels of lead can affect children's brain development. The World Health Organization also says lead poisoning can affect the central nervous system. And for pregnant women, high levels of lead can cause miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth -- Cyril Vanier, CNN.


HOWELL: All right. We end this hour with a look at Queen Elizabeth. Just moments ago, at her official birthday celebration, you see there, the queen. Trooping the Colour, as its known, is a military parade. It's been tradition in the United Kingdom for more than 260 years.

ALLEN: Later, the royal family will gather on the balcony as they always do at Buckingham Palace and watch the military fly past. A royal source says the Duchess of Sussex will also be there. It will be Meghan Markle's first public appearance since the birth of her son last month.

Thanks for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. The news here on CNN will continue right after the break.