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U.S. To Send 1,000 More Troops To Middle East Amid Iran Tensions; At Least 12 Dead, 134 Hurt In China Earthquake; Four Injured In Shooting During Toronto Raptors' NBA Celebration; Netanyahu Unveils Plans For "Trump Heights" Settlement; Swift More Politically Vocal Over Past Year. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired June 18, 2019 - 02:00 ET
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ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Growing concerns of confrontation as the U.S. announces more troops are headed to the Middle East, citing concerns over Iran.
Calls for an investigation into the death of Mohamed Morsi after the former Egyptian president collapses in court.
Also ahead, why the Catholic Church might soon reverse a centuries-old tradition and allow some married men to become priests.
Hello and welcome to our viewers from all around the world, I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM.
CHURCH: At this hour, 1,000 U.S. troops are preparing for their next mission: deter Iran from hostile acts. The Pentagon has just announced the troops, spyplanes and missile defense assets will be headed to the Middle East. This all stems from Thursday's attack on two tankers to the Gulf of Oman. The U.S. blames Iran but Iran says that the U.S. is setting the stage for war. Barbara Starr has the details.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Newly declassified images of what the Pentagon says was an Iranian attack on two oil tankers last week. One extraordinarily clear image taken from a U.S. Navy helicopter overhead shows an Iranian Revolutionary Guard boat moments after those on board removed an unexploded mine from one tanker according to the Pentagon.
More images of the leftover mine and a hole in the hull from additional blasts, the Pentagon acknowledged two things: they are not sure all the damage was caused by mines and the case against the Iranians still will have its doubters.
Iran's ambassador warned his country and the U.S. are headed for a possible showdown.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAMID BAEIDINEJAD, IRANIAN AMBASSADOR TO U.K.: Unfortunately, we are headed towards a confrontation, which is very serious for everyone the region.
STARR (voice-over): In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, the ambassador is saying that Iran is not responsible for the attack that left two oil tankers damaged last week.
BAEIDINEJAD: I don't know about the strategy of the U.S. on this. But I am sure that this is a scenario that some people are very forcefully working on it, that they would drag the United States into a confrontation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STARR (voice-over): President Trump's national security team now discussing sending more military force to the region.
MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The United States is considering a full range of options, we briefed the president a couple of times and we will continue to keep him updated. We are confident that we can take a set of actions that can restore deterrence, which is our mission set.
STARR (voice-over): A decision could be made soon that will send additional U.S. warships, fighter jets and Patriot missile defenses.
POMPEO: Obviously we need to make contingency plans, should the attention deteriorate.
STARR (voice-over): Iran's response to the escalate tension: it will bust through a limit in the nuclear deal on how much low-grade uranium it can have for non-weapons purposes.
We will pass through a limit on the nuclear deal about how much low grade uranium we can have for non weapons purposes.
BEHROUZ KAMALVANDI, IRAN'S ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY: It is a matter of only hours and not even days.
STARR (voice-over): Iran hopes that the threat will break Europe's will to go along with tough U.S. economic sanctions imposed after President Trump broke from the nuclear deal.
ADM. JOHN KIRBY (RET.), CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: This is a far cry from the 90 percent enrichment rate that you would need for a bomb but it is a very strong signal from Tehran that the deal could be put under some pressure.
STARR: Another major worry, Iran's conventional weapons are getting better. Its missiles have improved guidance, improved precision and improved targeting -- Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.
CHURCH: Well, the first democratically elected president of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, has been buried alongside other Muslim Brotherhood figures, according to his wife's Facebook page. He collapsed and fell unconscious after making a 5-minute statement at his espionage trial. He was dead when he arrived at the hospital.
The state media says he died after a heart attack. Human rights groups and his fellow Muslim Brotherhood are calling for full investigation into his death.
Jomana Karadsheh has more details on this.
Good to see you.
So what are you learning about --
CHURCH: -- the circumstances leading up to the death of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi in that court on Monday?
And will we see that full investigation into his death that has been called for?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that is the big question, Rosemary, as you know, with these trials, they are not really open to the media so the information that we are getting about what happened during that court session is coming from Egyptian state media, a statement from the state prosecutor from Morsi's lawyer.
And what they say is that this session of this espionage trial, one of several trials that the former president has faced since his ouster in 2013, as the session was wrapping up on Monday, he asked to speak and the judge allowed him to speak.
And he addressed the court for about five to seven minutes. And as he returned to the glass cage where he was being kept, that is where he collapsed and he was transported to hospital.
According to the state prosecutor they say he was dead upon arrival and state media is reporting that he died as a result of a heart attack. But we have seen really angry reaction from supporters in Egypt amongst the Muslim Brotherhood, of course, an outlawed banned group now and they are describing him as a martyr, calling his death an assassination and murder.
We have also heard from president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a close ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, calling Morsi a martyr and a brother and blaming the death on the "tyrants."
CHURCH: And what have you learned about the conditions of Mohamed Morsi's detention since 2013?
KARADSHEH: Well, you know Rosemary I think what sums it up is the reaction we got from Human Rights Watch. As soon as the news broke about the death of Mohamed Morsi, Human Rights Watch describe this as predictable.
For years they have been raising concerns about his condition and his treatment in detention, several issues that have come up when it comes to solitary confinement, said that he was isolated from the world, the fact that he was only allowed to meet with his family three times over the past six years.
But most importantly they and other human rights organizations and other independent groups have been really raising concerns about his medical condition and what has been described as inadequate medical treatment.
They say he had a liver condition and he was a diabetic and was not receiving the specialized treatment that he needed and that he requested several times in court.
Of course, Egyptian state media has denied this, saying that he was receiving medical treatment. And you know last year a panel that was commissioned by the family of the former president, this is made up of British lawmakers, MPs, in their report, they also raised concerns, saying that the way he was treated was inhuman.
They were saying it could meet the threshold of torture under international and Egyptian law. And they warned that it could lead to his premature death, so we have heard these warnings in the past
And in reaction, also Rosemary we heard from Amnesty International for example saying in a statement, we call on Egyptian authorities to conduct an impartial, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of his death and the reasons for his detention including solitary confinement and isolation from the outside world as well as the medical care that he received and to hold accountable those responsible for his treatment.
But of course, among the supporters there is going to be a lot of skepticism that the Egyptian authorities who they blame for his death will be able to produce any kind of thorough and credible investigation into his death -- Rosemary.
CHURCH: All right, Jomana Karadsheh, bringing us the very latest details on the death of Mohamed Morsi from her vantage point there in Istanbul, many thanks.
Well, a second secret ballot is just hours away , the race to name the new leader of Britain's Conservative Party, it is down to six contenders now, former foreign secretary and mayor of London Boris Johnson is the acknowledged frontrunner and whoever comes in second is expected to face him in a televised debate.
Now he got a boost Monday when one of his former rivals, Matt Hancock said he is backing Johnson.
Donald Trump officially launches his reelection campaign Tuesday night and it comes with fresh attacks on the news media. He is calling --
[02:10:00] CHURCH: -- poll numbers that show him behind in key states fake and he is accusing "The New York Times" of, quote, "a virtual act of treason" for a story on U.S. cyber attacks on Russia, Kaitlan Collins has our story.
TRUMP: You're fired.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Today President Trump is reviving his old catchphrase and purging his polling team after unflattering internal poll numbers leaked.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC HOST: But even your own polls show you are behind right now, don't they?
TRUMP: No, my polls show that I'm winning everywhere.
COLLINS (voice-over): The president is cutting ties with three pollsters, including two who were part of his 2016 campaign and another who works for the polling company founded by Kellyanne Conway. The campaign downplayed the polls at the time but never denied them until Trump was infuriated by the coverage.
TRUMP: Nobody showed you those polls because those polls don't exist, George. Those polls don't exist.
To -- hold it off for a little while. Just call Brad on the phone and I want to ask him that question, OK.
COLLINS (voice-over): The Brad he's referring to is campaign manager Brad Parscale. Sources said the president erupted on several campaign officials after the embarrassing numbers leaked and instructed them --
COLLINS (voice-over): -- to get him new polls, his fixation ramping up in recent days as he tweeted that, "Only Fake Polls show us behind the Motley Crew."
The president is also firing back at "The New York Times" after it reported that the U.S. is escalating cyber attacks on Russian power grids as part warning and part preparation.
But one of the most stunning details is what the president wasn't told. According to "The Times," Defense and intelligence officials were hesitant to go into detail with him about the move out of fear he might overrule it or tell foreign officials, like he did in 2017, when Trump boasted about classified intelligence in an Oval Office meeting with Russian diplomats.
TRUMP: It's a fantastic --
COLLINS (voice-over): One thing not allowed in the Oval Office, coughing.
TRUMP: Let's do that over. He's coughing in the middle of my answer.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, OK.
TRUMP: I don't like that, you know.
COLLINS (voice-over): Trump interrupting his interview with ABC News to scold his chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, for coughing while he was speaking.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Your chief of staff.
TRUMP: If you're going to cough, please leave the room.
MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: I'll shut up. And I'll come over here.
TRUMP: You just can't do it.
MULVANEY: Sorry, Mr. Trump.
Do you want to do that a little differently then?
COLLINS: Now back to the president's poll numbers, one person lamented the fact that lately the campaign seems more focused on containing the leaks than on the president's bad numbers in states that he is going to need to win in 2020.
That's something the campaign is hoping to change, as the president goes to Orlando Florida to officially relaunch his election bid -- Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.
CHURCH: So, let's get more on all of this with CNN political analyst, Julian Zelizer, he is a historian and professor at Princeton University.
Always good to have you with us.
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Thanks for having me.
CHURCH: So ignoring his own polling, President Trump falsely denied the existence of internal poll showing him trailing his Democratic rivals in key battlegrounds states, but then he fired three of his pollsters.
Was that for leaking the information or for collecting numbers that made him look bad?
ZELIZER: I think leaking the information. President Trump likes to control the narrative on media stories that are being told and so obviously the leak on internal polls that were unfavorable which complement other polls that exists about some of the problems that he faces in 2020, angered him for sure, so I assumed this is a part of an effort to centralize and take control over his one shot.
CHURCH: So why did someone leak this internal polling, what message do you think they were trying to send the president, because he thinks his numbers are great?
ZELIZER: Yes, this very much could be from people in the administration who are sympathetic and trying to send a message that he needs to be pay attention and that he needs to see that he has any weaknesses going into the election. It's like advisers who sometimes go on television to send a message back to the president about what, so that very well --
ZELIZER: -- might be what just happened.
CHURCH: And of course, in the meantime, Joe Biden is enjoying all of this, predicting the Democrats can win back Florida taunting Trump before his big official campaign launch Tuesday, is Biden right?
Can the Dems win Florida and perhaps a number of other battleground states as some of these polls predict, to put Trump's reelection under threat here?
ZELIZER: Some of the battleground states they might be able to win, it is very early the poll numbers could change and the president has the power incumbency and a strong economy, so maybe Florida is in play.
I am dubious that some of the bigger states, like Texas or Georgia are really going to be at play for Democrats, but clearly there are these swing states, every election in recent cycles have been closed where the president's strongest approval numbers might be just what Democrats need to take those back.
CHURCH: All right. And of course another issue that is bubbling along according to "The New York Times," intelligence officials are hesitant to fully brief Trump on escalating U.S. cyber attacks on Russia, he was kept to the dark apparently about cyber attacks on Russia's power grid, Trump was furious.
So why are they avoiding briefing him on such topics and has this ever happened to any other U.S. president in your memory?
ZELIZER: No, it is pretty dramatic if those stories are accurate they are basically working around the president not for a low level issue, but for a pretty central issue in our election process and the suspicion is that they are doing so because they don't have full confidence he will contain the information or if he keep it from Russian officials even.
So that is a different kind of story that we have had from recent presidents in the American history and it shows a level of distress and uncertainty that exists in this White House. CHURCH: It is pretty damning isn't it?
When you can't trust the president, of course to in the ABC interview that Trump did, he revealed that he believes that Article II of the Constitution allows him to do whatever he wants.
What would you say to him on that point and why do you think he believes that?
ZELIZER: Yes. I mean, that is not true the president does not have the power to do anything he wants and certainly the president can't obstruct justice when an investigation is being conducted on his administration.
This is an incredibly broad reading of Article II; he does have supporters, advisers who believe the same thing, but most things are skeptical and downright opposed to this kind of interpretation, because basically what he is saying is the president can do whatever the president wants and that is antithetical to what the founders of our system wanted.
CHURCH: Indeed. Julian Zelizer, always great to chat with you and to get your analysis on this matters, I appreciate it.
CHURCH: And we will take a short break, here, still to come a devastating blow to aid efforts in Yemen, threats of suspension of food assistance send a direct message to Houthi rebels, still ahead on CNN NEWSROOM.
And Huawei blames the U.S. for losses that will total $30 billion, we will hear from the Chinese tech giant CEO.
Plus a long-standing doctrine in the Roman Catholic Church may be about to change, allowing some married men to become a priest.
CHURCH: The World Food Programme is warning that food assistance in Yemen may be suspended if Houthi rebels don't stop diverting the aid for profit. Officials with the U.N. food aid agency says they need assurances the Houthis will not intervene in the distribution of aid.
The executive director of the World Food Programme is calling on the rebel group to let them do their job.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID BEASLEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WFP: We are now assisting, feeding over 10 million people per month.
But as the head of the World Food Programme I cannot assure you that all this is going to the people who need it most, why?
Because we are not allowed to operate independently and because aid is being diverted for profit and for other purposes. The bottom line is this, food is being taken from the mouths of hungry little girls and little boys who need it just to survive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: He also said that if the Houthis don't cooperate, a first in suspension of aid will likely begin later this week.
A long debated issue in the Catholic Church is when a married man can become a priest and now the Vatican is actually considering the matter. But there are some limitations, as CNN's Delia Gallagher reports from Rome.
DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: In what will be a significant change for the Catholic priesthood, the Vatican have announced that they are considering the question to allow married men to become priests. This would be a specific area of the Amazon region in South America, which is currently undergoing a shortage of priests and the Vatican just published an agenda for a meeting that will discuss this amongst other proposals to take place here at the Vatican in October.
To be clear the proposal is not about allowing current Catholic priests to marry, it is about allowing respected elders of the community, the Vatican says, who may already be married and have families, to be ordained priests in order to say mass and support the Catholic communities in the Amazon community who are currently without priests.
To be sure, if the proposal were to go through and Pope Francis would have to sign off on it, it would represent an important change for the Catholic priesthood and it would also open up the possibility of other parts in the world that married men could be ordained priests if there is a shortage of priests in that area.
Also on the agenda for the October meeting is the question of the role of women in the Amazon. The agenda does not go into detail about what that is, so we will have to wait for the October meeting to see how those discussions unfold.
We will also be discussing environmental issues in the Amazon such as deforestation and support for indigenous people, that some 20 indigenous people from the Amazon will be joining Pope Francis as representatives from the Catholic Church in the region at the Vatican in October -- Delia Gallagher, CNN, Rome.
(END VIDEOTAPE) CHURCH: Huawei says that the company will take a $30 billion hit in lost sales as a result of U.S. policy, the Chinese tech giant slammed the Trump administration's directive barring U.S. companies from selling Huawei technology without first obtaining a U.S. government license.
The U.S. cites security concerns. The policy keep Huawei from its goal of becoming the number one smartphone brand in the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REN ZHENGFEI, HUAWEI FOUNDER AND CEO (through translator): What we didn't foresee is the U.S. strategic determination to attack us to be so great and could be so unwavering. We also did not foresee that the U.S. would strategically attack us on so many fronts. However, I don't think this will stop us from moving forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: A wide range of U.S. companies are making their case to the Trump administration as to why tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese imports is bad for business.
More than 300 witnesses from a diverse group of industries are expected to testify in Washington in the coming weeks. They include fashion retailers Kenneth Cole and Ralph Lauren, electronics giant Best Buy, streaming box company Roku and toymaker Hasbro. Some argue that getting materials from countries other than China will be too costly.
Well, as the trade war escalates, many American importers are taking action to avoid higher costs.
CHURCH: Our Clare Sebastian went to one to meet them.
ARNOLD KAMLER, CEO & CHAIRMAN, KENT INTERNATIONAL: Aluminum handle bar, aluminum handle bar stem, aluminum suspension fork, this is all from China.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER (voice-over): For Arnold Kamler, this is no longer just an 8-speed mountain bike, it's a reminder: almost every part of his business is caught up in the U.S.- China trade war.
(on camera): Would these have all been subject to tariffs?
KAMLER: These -- everything in this building.
SEBASTIAN: Kent International is one of the largest bicycle and bike part wholesalers in the U.S., supplying Wal-Mart, Amazon and other major retailers. KAMLER: So on a million-dollar shipment which is a normal shipment for us, where a year ago, we would have paid $110,000 of import duties, this year it'd be $360,000 of import duties. So, it's quite expensive to handle.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): So expensive that after more than three decades of manufacturing and sourcing in China, he's shifting gears.
KAMLER: We don't want to move away from our main suppliers and so we're working together to build a fairly substantial factory in Cambodia, it's their money, it's a little bit of our help and advice.
SEBASTIAN: Kent is part-owned by its Chinese manufacturing partner. Last year, they purchased this plot of land in Cambodia and when hopes of a trade deal fell apart in early May, construction plans were fast- tracked. They now hope to have the factory completed by early next year.
Kent is just a small part of what experts say is one of the biggest shifts in global supply chains in years accelerated by tariffs.
PETE GUARRAIA, PARTNER, BAIN & COMPANY: For the last decade or practically two decades, China has been the factory of the world and we've seen everything shift there from nails to cell phones.
What's happening now is people are stepping back and saying his labor rates are increasing and there's uncertainty with tariffs, we need to rethink the sort of nature of the totality of our supply chain.
SEBASTIAN: Shoe designer Steve Madden, GoPro, even iPhone maker Foxconn are all shifting or considering shifting some production away from China to avoid the tariffs.
KAMLER: It's a beautiful front suspension mountain bike.
SEBASTIAN: Arnold Kamler says the irony is before the tariffs hit, he wanted to move more production back to the U.S., expanding this assembly plant he set up in South Carolina in 2014. The tariffs on parts have made that too expensive.
KAMLER: We believe that we have the opportunity to bring back the American bicycle industry which was decimated by China 25 and 30 years ago and bring it all back here, but we need some help from the government.
SEBASTIAN: So, for now, this century-old family business is heading into uncharted ground -- Clare Sebastian, CNN, Parsippany, New Jersey.
CHURCH: Another short break, still to come, we will take a closer look at the Iran nuclear deal that is apparently falling apart. Plus China's President Xi will pay Kim Jong-un a visit in Pyongyang this week.
What message might the North Korean leader be trying to send at the summit?
Back in a moment.
[02:30:25] CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we've been following this hour. The U.S. is planning to send a thousand additional troops and military assets to the Middle East. It's in response to Thursday's attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman. The U.S. says these image shows Iran is responsible.
Iran denies that and accuses the U.S. of pushing a narrative that could lead to a confrontation. The wife a former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi posted on her Facebook page that her husband has been buried next to other Muslim brotherhood members. The ousted Egyptian leader died shortly after collapsing in court Monday. State-run media report he died of a heart attack. Last year report of a panel of British M.P.'s describe Morsi's detention as cruel, inhumane and degrading and warned it would likely lead to a premature death.
At least 12 people are dead and more than 100 injured after a magnitude 6.0 earthquake in the China's Sichuan province. Rescue crews are digging through rubble, looking for survivors. The region continues to feel aftershocks including a 5.0 tremor just a few hours ago. Well Iran and the U.S. are pushing their strained relationship to the limit. The U.S. is sending additional military troops and assets to the Middle East.
While to Iran is defying its nuclear agreement by increasing its low- grade uranium. Let's take a closer look now at the deal. It was signed in Vienna back in 2015 following two years of intense negotiations. China, Russia, the U.K., France, the U.S. and Germany and the E.U. all signed on. The agreement put limits on the Iran civilian nuclear program preventing it from developing nuclear weapons in the future in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.
Under the deal, Iran agreed to reduce its number of centrifuges by two-thirds to 6100. Centrifuges are tube-shaped machines used to enrich uranium. Tehran also agreed to slash its stockpile of enriched uranium by 98 percent and not to enrich uranium beyond the point necessary to power a nuclear reactor. Well Iran's ambassador to the United Kingdom sat down with our Christiane Amanpour to talk about ignoring those limits placed by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAMID BAEIDINEJAD, IRAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.K.: They announced 40 days ago that if in fact they have -- they have decided to suspend two of the measures designed in the JCPOA. They are not committed anymore to the level designed by the JCPOA. But they said that we give you 60 days if you rectify the problems and you would in fact implement your commitments, Iran can roll back in fact the suspensions.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: So the fact is that they're not, the Europeans have not been able to. Do you know something that I don't know? And the Americans continue to rush up their pressure. What you have just done has been met with the following response from the United States that the plans to exceed these internationally agreed curbs amounts to nuclear blackmail and must be met with increased international pressure, that is from the White House today.
So my question is, are you playing with fire here? Because you know where they stand and you know where the Saudi Arabia stands and where the UAE stands. They want to squeeze you and it looks like you are playing into their hands.
BAEIDINEJAD: These policies by the others are not new policies. We have mentioned that they have an agreement which is the JCPOA, otherwise either they would implement this agreement in full, all parties are committed to their obligations or we would be facing partial agreement if you agree that there is a partial agreement Iran is in fact entitled to suspend some of the measures until the situation is cleared.
So the question is that it's very funny that the United States and this administration which has characterized the JCPOA as the worst agreement in the history, now they are expecting that Iran will be fully committed with this agreement. If it is a funny agreement, if it is the worse that they have made in history, how come you expect Iran will be fully committed to this agreement?
[02:35:08] So we have announced very clearly that either you have full commitment to the agreement or as designed in the JCPOA itself, this agreement can be partial to implement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And that was Iran's ambassador to the U.K. speaking with our Christiane Amanpour.
North Korea says China's President Xi Jinping will visit Pyongyang later this week. Our CNN's Brian Todd reports the summit is another big win for Kim Jong-un.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Another diplomatic victory for North Korea's ambitious young dictator, one of several he scored over the past 18 months. This week Kim Jong-un gets a visit from Chinese President Xi Jinping, the first time a Chinese leader has deemed it important up to visit Pyongyang in 14 years. North Korean workers seems sprucing up the China-North Korea friendship tower in Pyongyang.
LAURA ROSENBERGER, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT NSC OFFICIAL FOR ASIA: It is quite significant and will be real ammunition for Kim Jong-un to be able to show his people once again just how powerful he is on the world stage.
TODD: Kim's meeting with his traditional ally comes days before the G20 summit in Japan, where President Trump, Xi and Vladimir Putin will all be trying to wield influence. Kim has met Xi Jinping several times in China, has met twice with President Trump and he's met with Vladimir Putin who offered to be a go-between for Kim and Trump.
DEAN CHANG, SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW FOR ASIAN STUDIES, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: So Kim sitting there is now able to play each of these leaders off against the other two and reap the benefits from all three.
TODD: With Trump, experts say Kim is promising denuclearization in return for lifting of sanctions, though few experts expect Kim to keep that promise. With Xi, Kim can promise not to cause trouble with nuclear testing and the Chinese leader in return will keep Kim's economy afloat.
CHANG: And with Putin in a sense, all he has to do is sit back because Putin is offering things to North Korea. Fiber optic, land mines, additional trade sanctions (INAUDIBLE) almost for no return because for Putin, what he seems mostly want is to be recognized as a player.
TODD: Extraordinary for a 35-year-old strongman who had never met with a world leader until last year, who now is working channels with three of the world's top powerbrokers, all of whom about twice his age. President Trump with an interview with ABC again touted what he called his strong personal relationship with the dictator. When asked if he thinks that Kim is still building his nuclear weapons arsenal.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't know, I hope not, he promised me he wouldn't me be, he promised me he wouldn't be testing. I believe he respects me, I get along with him really well. I think I understand him and I think he understands me.
TODD: Experts say Kim is definitely playing Trump with a personal letter he just sent to the President but at the same time sending the President and unmistakable signal with his meeting with Xi Jinping.
ROSENBERGER: I think that Kim Jong-un is not going to want to necessarily offend trump but I think he's also sending a signal that, you know, the U.S. isn't the only one that, you know, Kim needs, that he has other partners and options that will help support him.
TODD: How could this high stakes diplomatic game backfire on Kim Jong-un? Analysts say by meeting with so many high-profile leaders, he's again raising the expectations among his own people about the kind of concessions he can win from leaders like Trump and Xi Jinping. And after his failure at the Hanoi Summit to win any of those concessions he's under more under more pressure than ever to come up with something. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
CHURCH: Four people suffered non-life threatening gunshots injuries at a rally celebrating Toronto's first ever NBA championship. The incident occurred downtown where huge crowds had gathered to celebrate the Toronto Raptors' victory over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA basketball finals. Three people were arrested in connection with that shooting.
CHURCH: Ethics experts and U.S. House Democrats say Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao may be using her offers to boost her family's business. Hear both sides of the story next. And inviting controversy, why plans to name a Jewish settlement after the U.S. President being slammed as a P.R. stunt. Back in just a moment.
[02:42:21] CHURCH: U.S. House Democrats may open an investigation into Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. New ethics questions are being raised about whether she's using her office to help her off family's business. The Department of Transportation says any allegation of wrongdoing is baseless. Our Drew Griffin has our report.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is the Trump administration's top official overseeing shipping in the United States which is exactly the industry that has help make Elaine Chao rich. Her family's company built by her parents both Chinese immigrants and now run by her sister Angela is a global leader in dry boat shipping and does major business in China.
Which is Chao's use of her office to put her family and its business on display is raising more than a few eyebrows.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She has attempted to use and she has used government office to help her father and his business.
GRIFFIN: In 2017, Elaine Chao used the Department of Transportation as a backdrop for multiple interviews with Chinese and Chinese language media, like this one. Her at her side. And showing off his lapel pin he received flying on Air Force One.
ELAINE CHAO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION: Well, my father and I traveled on Air Force One, that's always an experience, and I was so pleased that I was able to bring my father on Air Force One with the President.
GRIFFIN: The Chao family company called the foremost group is base in the U.S., but the company builds ships in China, hires workers in China, does much of its shipping to and from china. Elaine Chao's sister Angela sits on the board of the state-run Bank of China. And even though there is no evidence Elaine Chao used her office to influence government policy to benefit her family's business, she has repeatedly travel to China for a major company events.
Several Chinese government and business experts tell CNN her relationship to her family sends a message intended or not. Chinese Expert Robert Lawrence Kuhn says though there has been a recent crackdown on corruption in China, personal relationships remain very important. ROBERT LAWRENCE KUHN, AUTHOR, HOW CHINA'S LEADERS THINK: To
understand the relationship between business and government in China is a story of Chinese culture going back for a long period of time and indeed in recent times as well. And the perception is that if you're seeing in the company of powerful people or relatives of powerful people within China, that is good for your business relationship.
GRIFFIN: A spokesman for Elaine Chao is quick to point out the Transportation Secretary has no official connection to the foremost group but the foremost group has certainly help make her rich.
[02:45:02] Chao and her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell received between five and $25 million from in gifts from Chao's parents according to 2008 Senate financial disclosures. Catapulting McConnell to becoming one of the richest members of the Senate.
Elaine Chao's extended family has donated more than a million dollars to McConnell's political pursuits. And Elaine Chao could inherent even more wealth as Foremost shipping continuous to flourish.
Making scenes like this, all the more troubling according to law professor and government ethics expert Kathleen Clark. Clark, says regardless of the perception in China, this use of office violates U.S. government ethics rules. Specifically this one, on endorsing organization's products or persons.
Executive branch employees may not use their government positions to suggest that the agency or any part of the executive branch endorses organizations, products, or people.
KATHLEEN CLARK, LAW PROFESSOR, WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: It's a clear- cut violation. If Secretary Chao did not violate that regulation under these circumstances, then the regulation means nothing. Then, any government official will be able to -- you know, endorse any kind of outside enterprise associated with a family member.
GRIFFIN: In or out of public office, visit after visit, it is Elaine Chao who appears to be the Foremost Group's most important unofficial representative in China. She has accompanied her father or sister to more than a dozen events there. Often meeting top Chinese officials.
In 2008, when she served as labor secretary, Chao brought her father on an official visit to meet the Chinese premier.
In 2015, she is sitting prominently with a party leader and introduced as the former U.S. labor secretary. According to a Chinese report, the meeting was to promote mutually beneficial cooperation between Foremost Group and Hubei Province.
Do watchdog group headed by Democrats is now suing the Department of Transportation for any agency documents that mentioned the Chao family business. Several House Democrats say they are concerned about Chao's use of her office.
But for now, the Department of Transportation is calling the attacks political. An attempt to fabricate a web of old, tired innuendos and baseless inferences, reflecting a lack of understanding of the department's responsibilities while demonstrating deep cultural misunderstandings. Chao, the spokesman says, has done nothing wrong. Drew Griffin, CNN, Washington.
CHURCH: The auction is found themselves on the block Monday. Yes, Sotheby's itself went under the hammer and was sold for $3.7 billion.
The winning bid came from telecom billionaire and art collector Patrick Drahi. Drahi will take Sotheby's private ending its three decades as a public company trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Sotheby's, the world's oldest and largest international auction house was founded in London back in 1744. And sells famous paintings and sculptures as well as valuable collectibles.
Israel's Prime Minister has announced a planned new settlement in the Golan Heights with a name that's usually associated with luxury developments and for the past 2-1/2 years, the White House, it's to be called Trump Heights.
And as Oren Liebermann reports like most things identified with the U.S. president and the Golan, it's causing controversy.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They called it a festive Cabinet meeting. And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was all smiles as he stood in front of the newest settlement in the Golan, Trump Heights. Netanyahu promised he would name a town after President Donald Trump after Trump recognized Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights. Breaking decades of U.S. foreign policy.
The recognition came two weeks before the last Israeli elections in what was seen as a political gift to Netanyahu.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER, ISRAEL (through translator): We're making an important step towards the establishment of the settlement of Ramat Trump. It carries the name of a great friend of Israel. I'm also proud to say he's my great friend as well, the President of the United States Donald Trump.
LIEBERMANN: The Golan Heights were seized from Syria in the 1967 Six- Day War. They're regarded as illegally occupied territory under international law, despite Israel annexing the territory in 1981. The U.S. is the only country to recognize the Golan as part of Israel.
NETANYAHU: The Golan, I'll say it again and listen carefully. The Golan was and will be an integral part of our country in our states. The Golan is Israeli.
LIEBERMANN: In May, Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner brought Netanyahu a gift. A map of the Golan signed by Trump. This time, it was Trump's proclamation recognizing Israeli sovereignty here that was on display during the ceremony.
[02:50:00] VLADIMIR BELOZERKOVSKY, RESIDENT, GOLAN HEIGHTS (through translator): I'm happy about it, of course, that a new community is formed here, named after Trump. It's OK, that doesn't bother me.
LIEBERMANN: Trump showed his gratitude on Twitter. Saying, "Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister. A great honor."
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman sat next to Netanyahu in the Cabinet meeting held at the proposed site of the new settlement.
DAVID FRIEDMAN, UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL: I want to thank you for holding the Cabinet meeting here, and for the extraordinary gesture that you and the State of Israel are making to the president of United States. He's well-deserved, but it's much appreciated.
LIEBERMANN: Opposition lawmakers ripped the ceremony as a public relations stunt, meant to appease Trump. On Twitter, member of Knesset, Zvi Hauser said, "Whoever reads the fine print in this historic decision understands that it's a phantom decision. There is no budget, there is no planning, there is no place, and there is really no binding decision."
Even if all that was missing, there was still more than enough here for Benjamin Netanyahu to celebrate his friendship with Donald Trump. Oren Liebermann, CNN, Jerusalem.
CHURCH: Intense heat has scorched India for more than 30 days. After a short break, we will check if any relief is inside for those suffering through the deadly heat wave.
Plus, pop star Taylor Swift has found her political voice. We will reveal the issue that has her speaking up and asking fans for support.
CHURCH: India's heat wave this summer is especially brutal and one of the longest in the country's history. Officials say, at least, 70 people have died in the eastern state of Bihar since Saturday.
Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now from the International weather center with the details. Of course, Pedram, what everyone wants to know is when is there going to be some sort of relief?
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Yes, you know, the relief, Rosemary, comes with the monsoons, of course, every year. And this year, the delay has been prolonged. In the last several days, we've seen the progression of the monsoons.
Here well to the south for this time of year, you'd expect to see the progression well to the north, impact approaching the northern tier of the subcontinent. Of course, we are far from that point.
So, we've seen temps run some 40 to nearly 50 degrees. That's the afternoon high heat indices approaching 50 degrees in some areas. And then, you take a look, June 8th that was the onset of the monsoons. But, of course, in the past several days here, we've seen that slowly shift up. And you see where June 15th is, of course, sitting now on June 17th, I believe, you should have the progression well to the north.
But this has been very slow progress and still working their way into Wednesday afternoon. Notice these temperatures. Doesn't seem very hot when you see 35-36 or so. But then, you factor in the humidity, places such as Kolkata to the north and east of India there, sitting at 50 degrees, what it feels like outside. But generally speaking, five to seven degrees above the heat index value there for the actual temperature.
And then, you take a look, Monday's heat indices to the north and east, this is Bihar State here where we had a lot of those fatalities, as Rosemary referenced, the sitting at 53 degrees. That is what it feels like in the shade, in the afternoon, or 130 degrees Fahrenheit that's the range we're talking in some of these areas remarkable heat that's been in place in places such as New Delhi have run on some 20 consecutive days of temperatures running above 40 degrees Celsius.
So, until the monsoons arrive here and we think within the next two weeks or so, we'll see some signs of him working its way to the north. We will continue to see the heat across this region. Notice from Tuesday into Wednesday, Bihar does see the alert level drop just a little bit when it comes to the concern of excessive heat. So, maybe some improvement in the immediate future and hopefully, much more in the next couple of weeks. Rosemary.
[02:55:11] CHURCH: All right. Thank you so much, Pedram. Appreciate it.
JAVAHERI: Thank you.
CHURCH: Well, pop superstar Taylor Swift has been increasingly vocal about her politics in recent months. And her new music video is a call to action in support of the LGBTQ community. CNN entertainment reporter Chloe Miller has more.
CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Hey, there. Taylor Swift's You Need to Calm Down music video is a pop anthem for equality and understanding. The singer debuted this new music video on Good Morning America, Monday in the midst of LGBTQ Pride Month. And included a call to action at the end. Writing, "Please sign my petition for Senate support of the Equality Act on change.org." That change.org petition already has over 200,000 signatures.
Now, the video features numerous celebrities who identify as LGBTQ, including Ellen DeGeneres, Billy Porter, RuPaul, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Adam Lambert, just to name a few. Some are met by chanting protesters holding anti-gay signs. And also in the video, she buries a feud with her longtime music enemy Katy Perry.
Perry is featured in the video wearing a hamburger costume which she was seen wearing at the Met Gala and she and Taylor Swift are even seen embracing. Now, that You Need to Calm Down video comes just days after Swift gave a surprise performance at the Stonewall Inn in New York City and LGBTQ rights landmark.
Swift has become more vocal over the past year when it's come to politics. For the first time in her career, she endorsed not one but two Democratic candidates. And it looks like this new more vocal version of Taylor is here to stay. Back to you.
CHURCH: Thanks so much for that. And now to a political catastrophe in Pakistan. A regional minister was live-streaming his news conference on social media but he didn't look quite as serious and credible as he would have liked. And that is because a staffer apparently left a cat filter on.
So, the minister inadvertently appeared with kitty ears and whiskers. And you can imagine the online catcalls, but the minister seemed to take things in stride after all, nobody's perfect.
Thank you so much for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. You're watching CNN. I'll be back with another hour of news in just a moment. Do stick around.