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Acting Defense Secretary Withdraws from Nomination; U.S. and Iran Calculating Every Single Move; Trump Officially Launches 2020 Campaign Trailing Six Democrats; Platini Questioned over 2022 World Cup Bid; Children Among the Most Vulnerable in Syria's War; India Suffering in High Temperatures, Water Shortage. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired June 19, 2019 - 00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): All options are on the table -- but maybe not. Donald Trump at odds wit his senior advisers over Iran in the midst of a standoff comes another shakeup at the Pentagon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I stand before you to officially launch my campaign for a second term as President of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Donald Trump Mach II, looking to send the White House until 2024 and his official launch in Florida supporters eating up those familiar themes.

Nine years after Qatar got the 2022 World Cup, French police question Michel Platini about the controversy choice.

What do they really want from him?

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm John Vause.

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VAUSE: The Trump administration sending mixed signals over its policy toward Iran while the leadership at the Pentagon in turmoil. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan withdrew his name for the top job. He took over in January when Jim Mattis resigned because of differences with Trump.

On Monday, Shanahan announced the deployment of 1,000 troops to the Middle East, raising concerns of a confrontation with Tehran. After President Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal he reimposed sanctions. The White House believes Iran is targeting oil tankers in response to those sanctions. But Trump appears to contradict his senior security officials by downplaying the recent attacks in the Gulf of Oman as very minor. He warned the U.S. would go to war with Iran if Tehran develops nuclear weapons.

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VAUSE: CNN intelligence and senior analyst and former CIA operative, Bob Baer, is with us now.

Bob, good to see you.

BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Thanks.

VAUSE: The U.S. secretary of state confirmed on Tuesday there were private communications between Tehran and Washington, sending messages to each other.

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MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: President Trump had sent President (sic) Abe to take a message of his to the leadership in Iran. You have to remember, these are messages for leadership.

I think the Iranian people have been woefully served by that leadership. But yes, we're engaged in -- we have engaged in many messages, even this moment right here, communicating to Iran that we are there to deter aggression.

President Trump does not want war and we will continue to communicate that message while doing the things that are necessary to protect American interests in the region.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: "The Washington Post" is reporting that Pompeo has privately delivered warnings intended for Iranian leaders that any attack by Tehran or its proxies resulting in the death of even one American service member will generate a military counterattack.

So we're getting the president doesn't want war, the threat of conflict is incredibly low and we pick up this week's "Time" magazine, when asked whether he would consider military action against Iran, the president told "Time," "I wouldn't say that."

If a threat is to be effective, it needs to be consistent and detailed.

BAER: John, you're right, the messages are mixed. But I think the extraordinary thing is we sent the Japanese prime minister to Tehran and the same day they hit a Japanese tanker and that's the return message.

The Iranians know exactly what they're doing. They're essentially telling us we are in charge of security in the Gulf. We control 20 percent of the world's oil consumption, which passes through Hormuz and there's not much you can do about it.

So this message from Pompeo saying our red line is kill an American soldier and we will come after you.

But for me, for the Iranians it's like, all right, keep on blowing up tankers and keep on hitting pipelines from Yemen and the rest of it, the president understandably does not want to go to war with Iran because we don't have the army to do it.

But all these messages in between and imposing sanctions, it seems like the Iranians are leading the dance here.

VAUSE: The attacks on the oil tankers, the two recent ones and the ones in May, they started around the same time Ali Fadavi, a navy admiral with the Revolutionary Guard --

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VAUSE: -- here he is talking in 2014 about the basis of Iran's naval strategy. Here's what he said when it came to the Persian Gulf. Watch this.

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ALI FADAVI, IRGC NAVY COMMANDER (through translator): The American presence in the Persian Gulf means a lack of security, it's important for the world to understand this. It must be understood by Europe, East Asia, Japan and Korea as well as China and India, the new economic powers and energy consumers.

We are the ones who guarantee security in the Persian Gulf.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: That was their strategy then. That's their message then. That's their message and the strategy now; if nothing else, how remarkably consistent.

BAER: It is remarkable. They've stated what they're going to do. Fadavi had his troops, the IRGC, in the Gulf for a long time. They know what to do with American carriers, swarm them. The fact that they can pick out tankers like the Japanese one and disable it, this would be one serious war with Iran.

And everybody in this administration with any sense is advising the president not to do it. But the problem is he pulled out of the 2015 nuclear agreement with no real plan. He thought he was just going to bluff the Iranians.

I can tell you one thing about the Islamic Revolutionary Guard corps, you don't bluff them. You better have the forces to control the battlefield or don't take them on.

VAUSE: Last week Pompeo went to Congress and delivered a presentation arguing that this administration could use the same authorization of force the Bush White House used in the fight against Al Qaeda after 9/11. According to Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, this is what she said.

"He did not say I want to go to Iran and I'm going to use 2001, he referenced a relationship between Iran and Al Qaeda.

To me, once he opened that door he asked for an answer."

Using the 9/11 authorization for military force for any activity against Iran it would have to be very thin legalized, given that Iran and Al Qaeda have been at odds.

BAER: Exactly. It's a violation of the War Powers Act which is up to Congress. Going to war with Iran, my reading of the law, is illegal. He couldn't do it. Going after Al Qaeda and Somalia or whatever they are as one thing, it's a dispersed force.

But this is a country of 72 million people and it would essentially -- going to war with Iran would be a regional war at the very least or worse.

The acting Defense Secretary withdrew his nomination for the post after revelations of past domestic abuse. Amid this turmoil we have the hawkish national security adviser John Bolton who is filling the void, controlling the flow of information to the president.

There's Pompeo, who believes and said whatever he thinks the president wants him to believe or say. There does seems to be a shortage of the best people to advise the president.

BAER: Well, there is a shortage and there's this delusion in the administration that you just have to threaten Iranians or a little bit of force and the whole regime will fall. But the intelligence doesn't support that.

This regime may not be popular completely but it's not a regime that's going to fall. There is no evidence of it. None. All the demonstrations of the past led to nothing, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard controls the country.

It's more the spiritual leader of Iran. It's very radical, very violent and they control that country 100 percent. I don't see that regime falling, short of an all-out war.

VAUSE: We're out of but the similarities to the buildup to Iraq are striking. But this would not be an Iraqi invasion, as you say, it would be much tougher. Good to see you. Bob, thank you.

BAER: Thank you.

VAUSE: Just a few hours ago Donald Trump kicked off his reelection campaign with a very big rally in Florida. Amid the grievances he went out, there was a stark warning to the cheering crowd.

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TRUMP: Our radical Democrat opponents are driven by hatred, prejudice and rage. They want to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it. Not acceptable, it's not going to happen. It's not going to happen.

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VAUSE: Michael Genovese is the president of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University and he joins us this hour from Los Angeles.

Welcome, Michael.

How are you?

Good to see you.

MICHAEL GENOVESE, POLITICAL ANALYST: Good to see you.

VAUSE: When Trump launched his 2016 campaign he descended the golden elevator --

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VAUSE: -- and went after Mexicans and other minorities. This time there are still the dark undertones but some Democrats were in the crosshairs over the attacks and the ones we just heard and then others were not so subtle, like this.

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TRUMP: It's a movement made up of hardworking patriots who love their country, love their flag, love their children and who believe that a nation must care for its own citizens first.

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VAUSE: The implication is that, if you don't support Donald Trump, you're not the hardworking patriot, you don't love the country, you don't, love the flag, especially don't love your kids. This is just the start, there is more than 500 days until the election.

GENOVESE: This was Trump masterfully controlling his audience. Give him credit, he has a bond with his base that is astonishing. We joke about his statement, well, I could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue. I don't think that's a joke.

I think these are people that are blindly loyal to this man, they connect to him, he connects to them, he speaks for them, for their resentments, their prejudices. He hates the people they hate.

If you saw the speech, they're still attacking Hillary Clinton as if Clinton was running against Trump right now. They were shouting, lock her up, lock her up, lock her up. It was Trump at his best, he revealed exactly what he is going to do from this point until the day of the election and that is he knows that he cannot add to his numbers.

He is stuck and he's been stuck in the same number for two and a half years. So he can't add to his numbers, he can tear down someone else's numbers. So I think what you saw tonight was a shot across the bow to the Democrats, saying, whoever you put up, I'm going to attack viciously and go after the jugular and tear them down. And that's my strategy. All the people will show up and I'll get yours not to.

VAUSE: A replay of the 2016 election, there wasn't a lot new from the president in the last hours; these were the greatest hits; these are his grievances. This was a standard attack on the Russian investigation and special counsel Robert Mueller.

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TRUMP: For the last two and a half years, we have been under siege. With the Mueller report we want and now they want a do-over. Let's do it again. Didn't work out too well, let's do it again. They want a do-over. No president should ever have to go through this again. It is so bad for our great country. A hoax.

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VAUSE: Normally you'd say that a first term president who ran as a grievance candidate could not do so in a reelection. But Trump is going to square that circle.

GENOVESE: I think he has the energy to do it and he has the base to do us. People are still complaining about Hillary Clinton. They still complain about the immigrants that are taking their jobs, even though unemployment is tremendously low.

You basically create an enemy, you unify yourself, saying we're under attack, we're under assault, we need to pull together against them, Democrats, immigrants, Hillary, whomever.

It's a strategy that is very effective, especially if the Democrats can't unify. Obviously now they have 20 some odd candidates that everyone can pull in the primary. If the Democrats are not united going into this election, Donald Trump is going through the back door again.

VAUSE: He did talk about his record and his achievements so far, his dubious claims that are heard often from Donald Trump's. He talked about conservative judges and the economy, which is doing well. Watch this.

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TRUMP: Our economy is the envy of the world. Perhaps the greatest economy we've had in the history of our country. As long as you keep this team in place, we have a tremendous way to go, our future has never ever looked brighter or sharper.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: He's a president with a good economy and he is certainly looking to be reelected. But with the latest polling from Florida, which is a crucial state, Trump won in 2015, he held his rally there a couple hours ago, but he would lose to six Democratic candidates. The front-runner Joe Biden has a huge 9 point lead and polling is reflective, not predictive, especially this far out from Election Day.

But much of the polling is showing a trend, not favorable to Trump and that's what's important, right?

GENOVESE: In normal times, Donald Trump would be worried but these aren't normal times --

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GENOVESE: -- this isn't a normal election. What I think this suggests is that Donald Trump has reasons to worry or be concerned but again, we are so far out. And it's going to be different when it's one on one when Donald Trump is against person X.

I think those numbers that you saw suggested, that the Democrats have a very good shot, are determinative. And what you'll see is those numbers are going to be very close come election time. This will be another, I'm guessing, close election, I also think this can go either way.

The Democrats have to win, to be together and they have to get out in massive numbers. If they sit this out, as many did in 2016, it can go right back to Trump.

VAUSE: Michael, we're out of time, we should also note here that this was the official launch of the reelection campaign. But Trump didn't stop campaigning for this. He started the moment he got into office. And he's been running the White House like a political campaign as well.

Michael, good to see you, thank you.

GENOVESE: Anytime.

VAUSE: Well, and then there are five. The race to the third-party leadership in the U.K. is in essence a race to be the next British prime minister. After a second round of voting by Conservative MPs, former Brexit minister Dominic Raab is out. The front-runner and former mayor of London Boris Johnson won with 40 percent of the vote. The remaining five candidates faced off in a lively televised debate.

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BORIS JOHNSON, FORMER BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER: I share --

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you just give me that guarantee that it's October 31st?

JOHNSON: Michael was guaranteeing to get out by the end of December. I think that October 31st is eminently feasible.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, that's not a guarantee.

Is that your date? (CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I ask you a question?

JOHNSON: If we now say that we have a deadline that is not a deadline. And we allow October the 31st to come and go as March came and went and April came and went, I think the public will look upon us with increasing mystification.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boris, Boris --

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anyone, anyone on this stage guarantee it?

Can you raise your hand if you can guarantee to leave by October 31st?

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VAUSE: The list of contenders will be reduced to two and Conservative Party members then select a winner on who will be the next prime minister. Should be by the end of July.

We'll take a short break, when we come back, pushing boundaries. Brazil's Marta breaks a record for both men and women.

Plus allegations of corruption over a future World Cup. Michel Platini questioned over the awarding of the 2020 World Cup to Qatar.

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VAUSE: History was made again on Tuesday at the Women's World Cup in France. Brazil's Marta became the all time top world scorer in men's and women's tournaments. Her 17th goal came during a penalty shootout against Italy, helping Brazil secure a win and a ticket to the World Cup knockout stage.

When you think football or soccer, you don't normally think of Qatar. That designation with searing temperatures that means when they play the 2020 World Cup there, they will have to play in November and December instead of the middle of the year, which is which this event is normally held.

Ever since Qatar was awarded the game, the country faced allegations of corruption. That somehow this country managed to win this event by misdeeds. An investigation by France has detained Michel Platini over that decision. He's released without charge. He was once a major figure in world football, head of football's governing body.

But he was swept out of the sport after accusations of corruption while at FIFA.

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VAUSE: Seth Berenzweig is a business and sports attorney and with us this hour from Washington.

So Seth, how significant is the timing here by the French prosecutors, given that Platini is just months away from a four-year ban from soccer. Apparently he is plotting a comeback to the highest levels of the game. But then he had the detention and questioning by investigators.

SETH BERENZWEIG, BUSINESS AND SPORTS ATTORNEY: The timing right now is very unfortunate for him because the suspension was due to end this October. It's really just a few months away from that, we suddenly have this very surprising detention with the financial criminal investigation unit of the police in France.

The core of this investigation will probably go back to a meeting at the presidential palace in France back in the end of 2010 when he met with then president Nicolas Sarkozy and the crown prince of Qatar.

What exactly happened in that meeting is very much subject to dispute and no one really knows other than the people in that room. But it ended up having a real major effect on the World Cup and really leads us to the controversy where we are today.

VAUSE: This lunch meeting which was at the palace with Sarkozy and the man who represented Qatar, the speculation it is, at the president at the time wanted Platini to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. In return, France would receive preferential treatment to business investments by Qatar with the use of geopolitics and to France's benefit.

We don't know that; as you say, it's murky at this point. But what is apparent is that the two former advisers to the French president are now part of the investigation which seems to be moving now from the world of sport into the world of politics.

Does that add another dimension here to how it's being carried out?

BERENZWEIG: Absolutely. Michel Platini was not the only person who was in detention today; two former officials that worked with former French president Sarkozy were also detained.

And this seems to indicate that this is very intriguing instance, where allegations of fraud in both world soccer and the highest level of politics are both colliding right now. This is an investigation that may involve highest levels of the government of France and Qatar.

The allegation seems to be that although, the initial inclination was to vote in favor of the World Cup going to the United States, president Sarkozy, through perhaps some arm twisting and financial consideration ended up encouraging his vote to go by way of Qatar, which was a very shocking development because they really don't have the facilities or the standing to host this kind of event. And in fact, they had to build all of these stadiums, change the

timing of the matches and it really had a very broad ripple effect. So really, it was that very critical meeting in the French palace that now seems to involve intrigue at the highest levels. Not only involving allegations of fraud in sports but also politics.

VAUSE: The former FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, who is also serving a ban from soccer -- six years, I think --

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VAUSE: -- for the same incident, financial misconduct. In 2015, he told the "Financial Times" that in his words the vote was rigged not for Qatar but for the United States. Here's part of his interview.

"At the last minute, the deal was off because of the governmental interference of Mr. Sarkozy, who Blatter claims encouraging Michel Platini to vote for Qatar. Just one week before the election I got a telephone call from Platini and he said I'm no longer in your picture because I'm told by the head of state that we consider the situation of France.

"And he told me that this would affect more than one vote because he had a group of voters."

This interview was done in 2015. Blatter makes no bones about it; the rig was in. Sarkozy influenced the vote and Platini changed his vote from the U.S. to Qatar. Surely that's actionable evidence of any kind of case against Michel Platini and others who may be involved.

BERENZWEIG: This kind of information demonstrates that there may be a strong case by the financial crimes unit of the French police regarding potential bribery and criminal conspiracy. It's ironic that Sepp Blatter is involved in some of the recollections and statements which might become evidence in this case because we know, there's a lurid past between Sepp Blatter and the subject of the investigation that we're talking about now. Because, there was an alleged 1.3 million pound payment that involved the suspension both of their roles in world soccer back in 2015.

So this is really an epidemic literally of global proportions. During the same time the United States attorney's office in the United States issued criminal indictments of several people related to FIFA, which was announced by James Comey in New York.

So this is again another unfortunate chapter of fraud except now we have political intrigue because of the involvement of Sarkozy and currently the emir of Qatar.

VAUSE: Platini denied any wrongdoing and claim he is being heard as a witness by investigators. In a statement a spokesperson said that other matters have also been under discussion, including the awarding of the 2016 championship to France, a decision made while Michel Platini was involved as UEFA president.

It would seem French authorities are interested in a lot more than that Qatar was awarded 2022 World Cup.

BERENZWEIG: Yes, Platini has always maintained his innocence and he and his attorney have been very aggressive to assert that there is no conclusive evidence to show or demonstrate any wrongdoing.

In fact, FIFA issued a report back in 2017 where they claim that, after a thorough investigation, that they found no evidence of corruption as well. However, given the allegations and the authority of the French police, they have the authority under French law to maintain detention up to 48 hours, at which point he needs to be released or brought into custody for criminal prosecution.

So it is true that there are a number of allegations involved here. The police have broad discretion to go back. The most crucial meeting, as you noted correctly, was back in the late part of 2010 at the palace in France.

VAUSE: Seth we, appreciate your being with us, your insights and you obviously have a great handle on this. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

BERENZWEIG: My pleasure.

VAUSE: Ahead on CNN, a heat deadly wave has hit much of India. We'll have the very latest from the CNN NEWSROOM, which returns in a few minutes.

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JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back, everybody. Thank you for staying with us. I'm John Vause with an update on our top news this hour.

[00:31:21] U.S. President Donald Trump contradicting his senior officials by downplaying the tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman. He says the attacks which his administration blames on Iran are very minor.

Just days ago, America's top diplomat said the U.S. was considering military options against Tehran.

Former UEFA president Michel Platini has been released by police without charge. He was questioned over Qatar's successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup. Platini is coming to the end of a four-year-long ban from the sport, up after FIFA's 2015 corruption scandal.

Former London mayor Boris Johnson keeps his frontrunner status in the race for Conservative Party leader after winning 40 percent of Tuesday's vote by conservative MPs. Eventually, the race will be narrowed down to the final two candidates and then rank-and-file party members will decide the winner. And in effect, the next prime minister of Britain.

In Syria there's been a surge in bloodshed as fighting has escalated. The U.N. says civilians are paying an horrific price in Idlib as they search for safety, where there just isn't any. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK LOWCOCK, U.N. RELIEF CHIEF: Over the last six weeks, the conduct of hostilities has resulted in more than 230 civilian deaths, including 69 women and 81 children. Hundreds more have been injured. Since 1 May, an estimated 330,000 people have been forced to flee their homes, moving northwards towards the border with Turkey.

That's almost double, Mr. President, the number of newly-displaced people since my last briefing to you. We've had reports this morning of another 19 people killed yesterday by air strikes and artillery shelling. And this past weekend, civilians were killed by mortar and rocket attacks in the Elwadayhi (ph) area, hit to the south of the Aleppo city. In short, we're facing the humanitarian disaster unfolding before our eyes. There's no denying the facts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: A real look now inside the battleground in Idlib. The video was provided by nongovernmental organizations operating in the region, like the White Helmets who pull survivors from the wreckage after attacks. A warning: some viewers may find this report by CNN's Nick Paton Walsh disturbing.

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NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This war has gone on so log it's almost forgotten. But the rescues -- here a distant building across the olive groves -- in Idlib are daily.

And the rubble is still fresh that childhood plays out in.

"Come, come," they say. All the rescuers can do in the anonymous rubble and clouds is follow the screams.

"Save me," the little girl screams. Latex gloves removing rubble carefully, in case it hides her wounds.

But rescue here, after years of blockade and bombardment, spells a barren ambulance and arrive to an exhausted, targeted hospital.

Territory changes hands around here as regularly as ceasefires are mulled between the Russians and the regime, and the mix of Jihadists and rebels they're trying to oust.

But still, this is too often the skyline. The U.N. has demanded it stop.

But not even with the night is there a respite. Parents leaving so fast now they don't even have time to bury their children.

[00:35:07] A second miracle came earlier this weekend. "Look here, here, here. Please, sir," the boy screams, his hands too small to move the rubble. "For God's sake, help him," he cries.

The body is motionless, but extraordinarily, is alive. That is the exception that proves the rule of extinction here. Nearly 100 children have died since the bombing escalated with spring.

And even in the barrage, it is stalemate, meaning more rubble and tiny bodies will follow.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, London.

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VAUSE: German chancellor Angela Merkel says she's doing fine after a troubling incident at Berlin. She began to shake uncontrollably while sitting next to Ukraine's president as the band played the country's national anthem. It was a hot day in Germany's capital, about 30 degrees Celsius.

Mrs. Merkel later said she was dehydrated, just needed some water.

Still to come, a record heat wave is scorching India. Dozens have died. Hospitals are full. Schools are closed. So, when can they expect some relief? We'll tell you, next up on CNN NEWSROOM.

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VAUSE: Well, millions in India are enduring one of the longest heat waves the country has ever seen. CNN's Amara Walker has details.

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AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hospitals are feeling the heat in India. In Bihar, dozens of people have died since Saturday from heat-related conditions, with temperatures hovering at 40 degrees Celsius and higher.

It's so hot the government has imposed a curfew to prevent people from going outdoors and closed schools until the temperatures drop. Officials say about two-thirds of India has been affected by severe heat this summer in one of the longest heat waves the country has ever experienced.

The high temperatures are also adding to the misery in Chennai, where water sources have run dry. Women have to line up in the scorching heat to wait their turn at the pump.

"We depend almost completely on this water, as all the nearby reservoirs have gone dry. After 30 people in the line, we get our turn to fill water. There's no water in this entire area. We are suffering a lot without water."

Many restaurants and businesses have shut down temporarily, until the monsoon rain come and replenish the water supply. Weather forecasters say those rains have been delayed, so relief from the drought and heat is still at least a week away.

Amara Walker, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE) VAUSE: Let's go now to CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri with more on

the forecast. You know, when you get those temperatures and then just go on day after day after day, and no relief. It's just miserable.

[00:40:05] PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGISTS: It is. And it really shows you, John, what's happening right now. The significance of just a couple of days of delay on millions and millions of people here.

Of course, this has been an extended heat wave here, 20-plus consecutive days across Delhi, at least, where temps have exceeded 40 degrees Celsius. And the monsoons about eight days behind schedule when you look at the climatological norm.

Why are we seeing the water shortages? Well, we know there's been a decline not only in the rainfall across the wet season, but also in the dry season. We've seen the dry season extend beyond what it typically resides in across, say, the months of September through April on into May.

And then you take a look. The ground water depletion rates have also increased as a result. Of course, climate change all plays into this, as well, some ten to 25 millimeters per year of groundwater depletion.

And a study actually came out last year, referencing at least 20 cities across India could see their ground water completely disappear within the next year or so, and that does include Haderi (ph) and areas around Chennai, as well. It really speaks to what's been happening across this region.

But notice the decline. From 1970, the average rainfall in the summer crop season was about 1,050 millimeters. That has dropped below 1,000 millimeters. And then you look at the dry season, the winter season. The rainfall amounts were about 150 millimeters. They've dropped below 100 millimeters in recent years.

So all of this really works hand in hand in why we're seeing these shortages.

The trough to the south, it should be well here to the north. Without it, we've seen those temperatures remain above 40 to 45 degrees. And of course, you look at the last seven years. Areas in red here, indicative of below-average rainfall. In the monsoon season, notice, only one year have we had a surplus since 2012 across the Indian subcontinent.

And of course, the progression, the latter portion of June, we want to see it again well to the north. That would bring much cooler temperatures. That would replenish, of course, the reservoirs across this region. But still, seeing tremendously heat. Areas around Calcutta, John, seeing heat indices approaching 50 degrees yet again, where it should be much, much cooler by this time of year.

VAUSE: Pedram, thank you. Appreciate the update.

The devastating impact of a warming planet has been captured in a stunning image of Greenland's melting ice sheet. A photo was taken a few days ago by scientist Steffen Olsen. His sled dogs would normally be running on ice, but that they're knee-deep in wide expanse of light-blue water.

Greenland's melt season runs from June to August, but on this one day, June 13, 40 percent of the island's ice sheet experienced melting. Here's Olsen talking to CNN about the image.

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STEFFEN OLSEN, CLIMATOLOGIST: I was, perhaps like -- like many others now, a bit overwhelmed by the impressive melting we saw during the day and the situation was somehow getting a little bit out of hand, or we were getting out of our comfort zone, working on the ice. And so, yes, I want to document the situation and to -- and to likely also had an idea that it would be some kind of a scientific evidence of the situation.

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VAUSE: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Stay tuned now. WORLD SPORT is next. You're watching CNN.

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